On the ground in Austin
Photo courtesy South by Southwest/Jeff Picard
A view of Austin’s busy 6th Street during last year’s South by Southwest Conference.
Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of posts by Star-Bulletin staff writer Gary C.W. Chun filed from Austin, Texas, the location of the annual South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference. He plans to post his observations of the conference and its surrounding events daily until Sunday.
By Gary C.W. Chun
AUSTIN, Tex. » Even though it was the end of a long traveling day for Kona Chang and Sabrina Velazquez, there was no denying their building excitement to showcase their music in three days at the prestigious South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference later this week.
Both they and their traveling companions left Honolulu on Sunday evening with stopovers in Dallas and Houston, respectively, and caught separate connecting flights to Austin yesterday. They all met up Monday night in Austin’s busy downtown district, filled with bars and nightclubs which usually provide nightlife options for students from the University of Texas. Read more
Can-do indie rock
Dennis Oda / email@example.com
Where: Hank’s Cafe, 1038 Nuuanu Ave.
When: 9 to 10 p.m. tomorrow
Info: 526-1410 or www.hsblinks.com/bi
“I can do this” should be the working mantra for Hawaii-born singer-songwriter Sabrina Velazquez.
Thanks to the inspiration of a former guitar-playing skater boyfriend from her college days, Velazquez has blossomed into an emerging indie rocker in her own right. Her self-released EP, “The Anomaly,” has garnered her some buzz on the Internet since it came out in February, and Velazquez hopes to build on that locally with a solo showcase at Hank’s Cafe downtown tomorrow. (She’s also the featured artist June 20 on KTUH’s “Songwriters Showcase” program; visit www.ktuh.org for more.)
Now in “the twilight of her 20s” (said with a humorous, pseudo-dramatic flourish), her musical journey has come a long way from wanting to impress a former beau when she was attending the University of Southern California. It was that can-do attitude that had her first learn “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” on “a cheap Epiphone guitar,” to taking classes in pop-rock and jazz guitar while at USC.
“I found learning music to be really challenging, like solving a puzzle,” she said.
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