The Washington Post

SXSW: D.C. edition (or how to fake it ’til you make it)

The music portion of South by Southwest starts next week, but you’ve probably already figured that out by the number of Instagram photos of airport coffees and Twitter posts ending with #SXSW. Well good for them, but what about those of us who aren’t headed to Austin or (gasp) have never been? Seriously, we can’t even participate in the #fakeSXSW tweet fun. We enlisted the advice of The Post’s pop music critic, Chris Richards, to help us fake it in the very likely event we end up in a SXSW conversation.

What phrase do you expect to be most overheard this year at SXSW?

Singer-songwriter Sky Ferriera (Dan Steinberg/AP) Singer-songwriter Sky Ferriera (Dan Steinberg/AP)

“Did you see Sky Ferreira yet?” This one will be handy for Washingtonians because she’s playing U Street Music Hall on Tuesday, March 19, just 48 hours after SXSW wraps up.

Help us finish this sentence: “Ugh, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with ____________.”

SXSW is no place for claustrophobes. Imagine the most crowded Metro bus you ever boarded, then add 115 decibels shaking the air between you and the seven other people you’re pressed into. But when those 115 decibels are really good, there’s no place I’d rather be. Can’t say the same for the 54 bus.

What D.C. music venues could we describe that someone might mistake for an Austin venue?

I’ve toured the rock clubs of the world on my previous career path and it’s probably still safe to say that Austin’s nightclubs — while great in many respects — have the most horrific men’s rooms in America. I can smell them in my mind’s nostrils. Gah. So thankfully, Washington’s clubs aren’t very Austin-esque. The closest we get is the Black Cat, a reliable, no-nonsense, music-first rock club – and much cleaner.

Can you recommend some bands for our SXSW playlist?



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Dan Zak · March 7, 2013