March 29, 2012

South By South West 2012 – UniqueSquared Awards

South By South West was an experience like none other for the UniqueSquared Mobile Studio Team. Aside from following Ambassadors on the road to SXSW, we also recorded 3 other artists on the Mobile Studio during the busy week. You can read about all of the acts we recorded on the bus by going to the Mobile Studio blog. When we weren’t on the bus recording artists, our team was able to explore what SXSW had to offer. We’ve put together a couple quirky awards for what we saw while walking around downtown Austin. There may be some video footage of some of these in the near future but be sure to subscribe to the Mobile Studio YouTube Channel for updates about the videos filmed there. Without further ado, here are the UniqueSquared Awards for SXSW 2012.

HGTV comes to mind when I think music

Utter Destruction of The Most Showcases Award:

Not really sure if this should be an award or a cry for someone’s head, but this year HGTV successfully ruined SXSW for a number of legitimate showcases that had made SXSW arrangements months in advance. Leading up to SXSW, UniqueSquared and Aerobic International were working together to put on an amazing showcase at the Ghost Room. Things didn’t work out and it had been later revealed in the weeks before SXSW, the parking lot had been bought out by HGTV. Not really sure what Home and Garden TV have to do with SXSW, but they managed to ruin showcases for a number of legitimate artists.

Not everything in Texas is Bigger

Most Shocking Wall of Sound From a 3-Piece Award:

Sphynx, is a local Austin synth pop band that really caught our attention. We first heard their sound at the Aerobic International unofficial showcase on Saturday at Frontier Bar with our own Lonely Paul DJing. They have 80′s synth sounds with beats that are easy to dance to and lyrics that are extremely catchy. They are amazing live, and put on a killer show. Their set consist of some prerecorded material but it didn’t take anything away from a tight and dynamic performance. The best way to describe their sound would be if someone took Phoenix, and somehow shrunk them while making them sound better live.

You sure you're not related to Tom Selleck?

Best Mustache In A Band Award:

Early in the week we stumbled into Deseo Centro and caught the tail end of The Bright Light Social Hour‘s set. Needless to say, we were blown away. We did a little digging while at the venue and came to find out that these guys were more than just the real deal with an Epic Mustache. Last year, during Austin Chronicle‘s 29th Annual Austin Music Awards, these guys took home 6 awards including, “Band of the Year,” “Album of the Year,” and “Song of the Year.” Well it’s 2012 and now these guys can claim they earned a Golden Tag.


Missing from picture, head to toe US Flag Man

Most Official Unofficial Showcase Award:

Friday night in Austin we made our way over to the Scottish Rite Chapel for a very exciting showcase. The place was extremely well attended, considering it was a good cab ride away from the main Austin scene. This unofficial SXSW showcase featured Chappo, Yip Deceiver, and of Montreal. Due to the fiasko that was HGTV, bands like Yip Deveiver and of Montreal were forced to throw unofficial showcases during the week. This didn’t stop them from being completely legit and well attended. The show was amazing, and though of Montreal didn’t sport the same set design they had on Jimmy Fallon, they threw a great show with a few surprises.


Every College Campus should have this

Largest Vending Machine With Only One Choice of Snack Award:

Those that made it to SXSW couldn’t help but notice the giant 50ft vending machine in downtown Austin. The vending machine actually doubled as the Doritos Jacked Stage, and they had performances throughout the week including Snoop Dogg and Ghostland Observatory. I know they say “Everything is Bigger in Texas,” but come on! This thing was massive and only had room for one snack, Doritos Jacked chips? What happened to Cool Ranch? Who knows if the bags were actually filled with chips, we didn’t stick around long enough to find out, but a single bag could suffice a college student’s snack intake for a year. Apparently Doritos hid massive, pizza tray size, coins around Austin, and those in attendance to their party could win a 9ft bag of chips if they found one.

Eugene, never too shy to grab the mic

Best Karaoke Performance Award:

Sometimes the best things happen when you least expect it. In this case, we were on our way back from an event Thursday night and were tired, and a little hungry. We stopped by a food truck park to grab a late night snack. Within this park, was an outdoor karaoke station, with wireless mics and PAs. All of a sudden we hear a familiar voice come on, it was Eugene, the Mobile Studio Director, singing “Bust a Move” to the T. He was moving in and around the crowd, finding people to sing the hook and pumping out the crowd. It was the entertainment we needed to keep going, and there may be a video of this up in the future.

Delicious and reasonably priced.

Favorite Street Vendor Award:

Not sure how we found this place, probably Lonely Paul’s idea, but Pueblo Viejo by the East Side Drive was our favorit food truck we encountered down in Austin. Part of what made it our favorite was the fact that it was delicious, check, reasonably priced, check, and had excellent entertainment, check! It was easily the best meal we had down in Austin.


Finders, keepers. Losers, Zack.

Best Dressed Maids in Austin Award:

After the first night in Austin, Zack realized that a few of his things were missing. Specifically, UniqueSquared T-shirts. After dissecting his room, he came to the realization that the missing items could have been taken by the cleaning maids. The hotel, not to be named, better represent the company well, because some of the shirts were limited run items. If you happen to see a couple UniqueSquared shirts in Austin, give us a holla, Zack would appreciate it.



Just like that, the Golden TAG Awards have all been dished out. We’ll have some more of these prestigious awards for WMC/ULTRA week, and you’ll have to keep a look out for them. We’d like to thank everyone involved in making this dream a reality. If it wasn’t for all of these events taking place, at the right time, we wouldn’t be here writing about them. Thank you, and we hope to see you again SXSW in 2013 with even more awards to give out.