South by South Wonderful: Part Five

South by South Wonderful: Part Five

For thirty years and counting, thousands head to Austin, TX each March for the annual SXSW Festival. Once again, Fine Living Lancaster joined this pilgrimage to act as your eyes and ears at the SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive festivals. What a wonderful, educational, entertaining, and, well, super fun trip it was. Check out our roundup of our best discoveries here!

10 Minutes with Birthday Club
Band members: Valeria Pinchuk (synth/noise), Stephen Wells (vox/guitar), Travis Peck (drums), Nate Dietrich (bass)
Genre: Indie Rock
Hometown: Houston, TX
On their music: “Psych-pop rock,” Valeria says. “Our music sounds like candy to my ears,” Stephen interjects. “The other day someone told me that we sound like the love child of Hanson, Violent Femmes, and The 13th Floor Elevators, which was very flattering,” Valeria responds.
Trips to SXSW so far: This was Birthday Club’s first trip to SXSW, though members of the band had all been there many times before with other bands or musical endeavors.
Their favorite places in Austin: Tamale House East for breakfast and Mayfield Park (“That place is the spiritual heart of Austin,” Stephen says. “We always hit it up when we’re in town.”)
Favorite Candy: “The late, great Butterfinger BBs,” Nate smiles.“RIP.”

Lamberts Downtown BBQ
THIS RESTAURANT IS THE BEST. Yes, caps lock might seem like a bit much. But, trust us, Lamberts is worth the emphasis. The bar is amazing: if you’re a gin fan, be sure to order their Cucumber Gimlet (made of a simple yet fresh mix of Hendrick’s gin, muddled cucumber, and lime juice). You really can’t go wrong when ordering off of Lamberts’ menu, but we LOVED the Frito Pie, an elevated take on a classic comfort food. Made with flavorful chopped beef, pico, goat cheese, and their house queso, all layered and baked on top of Fritos… this dish really is unlike anything
we’ve eaten before. Now do you understand the caps?

Keep Austin Weird
A week in Austin can provide hope in times of turmoil. Festival participants are surrounded by diverse, creative, smart, artistic people who are sharing ideas, visions for the future, possible ways to solve problems, places to connect with one another, collaborations of art, tech, music, philosophers, and entrepreneurs, and, at all times, great
food and art. Austin takes its “weird” vibe very seriously; SXSW is Austin’s thirty-year magnum opus, bringing together everything that is good about that sweet, perfect slogan.

Inspiring Global Change Through Women’s Stories
A collective of four incredibly talented and intelligent women came together to share their stories of resistance and persistence to inform, educate, care for, and empower women around the world at the Inspiring Global Change Through Women’s Stories panel. Their stories ranged from secretly opening schools in spite of death threats from the Taliban, to a doctor in Egypt who is now working for the United Nations, to a filmmaker in Pakistan, and finally, to an American social entrepreneur. All four are dedicated to bringing awareness and concern to the litany of problems women face worldwide. Learn more and join this important cause at

Stay tuned for more stories and adventures from our trip to SXSW!

Recent GW School of Media & Public Affairs alumna. Passionate storyteller. Avid podcast listener & NYT Best Seller reader. Lover of flowery writing, sad music & strong coffee.