The 5 Hottest Places in Austin for SXSW

It’s just about that time in Texas when mad amounts of people invade for the annual music and film conference known as SXSW. For those unfamiliar, it’s a week-long party consisting mostly of music and booze and then more music and then some more booze. Should you find yourself here, which I highly recommend even if you don’t have a badge, here are some places I would hit up.

1. Progress Coffee Chances are you will be partying extremely hard and you are going to need some fresh recovery food or at least a good cup of coffee to wake up to. Progress Coffee would be the spot to hit right after you wipe the SXSW crust from your eyes. The owner of Progress has been a long-time homey of my label Exponential. Aether and myself played there a few years ago with Tycho. 2. Toy Joy If you venture further out Guadalupe by UT, then this is the perfect spot for that inner kid in you or to find a random toy for someone back home. Seems like it’ stocked and decorated by Pee Wee Herman. Next time I go, I am making it a point to pick up the invisible pregnant woman keychain. 3. Waterloo Records The kind of stuff that girlfriends’ nightmare’s are made of — unless your girl is into shopping for music as much as you are. Really good selection of all kinds of music and vinyl, plus you are probably going to catch a few good in-store performances, especially during SXSW. Make it up to her by hooking it up with some ice cream right around the corner.

4. Beauty Bar Although the name is recognizable as not strictly Austin, it’s worth adding to this list for longtime resident DJ Prince Klassen. An Austin transplant by way of San Antonio, Klassen (my ex-roommate while in S.A.) can be found as the regular Friday-night DJ and taught me the art of mixing half-time and double-time beats — something I still use when DJing and producing. Beauty Bar has also hosted myself and DJ Jester the Filipino Fist a couple of times. 5. Magnolia Cafe The late-night joint, hands down. Open 24 hours a day and serves up really amazing classics with their own twist. I once saw Daedelus attempt to eat the biggest stack of nachos ever here, and we all chipped in but didn’t make a dent in it.

Ernest Gonzales is an experimental musician and DJ.

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