This year will be my fourth trip to Austin for the South By Southwest Music Conference. I was introduced in 1999, returned in 2000 and took a few years off before heading back in 2005. Over these three years I have seen some of the greatest live performances of my life. Slobberbone at Club de Ville in 1999 still stands as the best single performance I've ever witnessed. Brent Best and co. played in the POURING rain for well over an hour. During the encore the band charged through Neil Young's "Powderfinger" as well as The Gourds' "Web Before You Walk Into It" (joined by a belligerently drunk Jimmy Smith).

Other amazing performances I've seen: Elliott Smith, The Jayhawks, Varnaline, South San Gabriel, Marah, Noodles, The Backsliders, Joe Henry, Steve Earle, Anna Fermin....the list just goes on and on.

This year may be the best lineup yet. I would list off some of the bands I'm excited to see, but that'd take me 7-8 hours. If you're a fan of good music, you should do everything in your power to make the haul to Austin, Texas the third week of March. See you then.