We exit into streets choked with people working their way back to the main strip, grabbing food and making plans before the evening’s shows begin. Eighty-eight official venues have shows scheduled that night, and the bills are laden with popular independent groups like She & Him, Dr. Dog, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson, The XX, We Are Scientists, Broken Social Scene, and others. Outside The Music Gym, Weingarten leans against a wall and goes silent as he works to compose his thoughts about Shabazz Palaces’ set. “I feel dumb sometimes,” he says, “because it’s supposed to be just ‘Blah! Tweet!’” He ends up giving them 133 characters, and he makes all of them count: “#SXSW 39)SHABAZZ PALACES: Ex-Digable Planet does impossibly funky, dubby avant-rap with shakers, kalimbas, ideas without boundaries.” Then, two minutes later, as if realizing that they could use the help, he tweets about them again: “#SXSW 39)SHABAZZ PALACES: Truly a unique and wonderful mix that deserves to be one of SXSW 2010’s breakout stars. Get Googling!”

The Seattle crew passes by and waves farewell. Weingarten nods. “See you on the Internet!”


Justin Peters is editor-at-large of the Columbia Journalism Review.