SXSW Sunday Party Wrap: Barbarians, Bands and CNN

By Kiran Aditham 

If there’s one wish to be granted at SXSW, it’s to be in multiple places at once. With parties scattered throughout downtown Austin, it’s logistically impossible to hit a majority of them up, but we gave it a valiant effort nonetheless. First up was an early evening event being thrown by Draftfcb to promoted the agency’s new group Tumblr weblog called Firestarter. Aptly enough, the soiree took place at a bar way out on West 6th Street called Molotov. While the DJ downstairs dropped beats with Super Mario Bros gameplay serving as a backdrop, the real schmoozing and boozing took place on the rooftop deck. There was a very summer-esque vibe as”Fire girls” roamed the grounds while staffers passed out Firestarter t-shirts as well as pairs of peculiar Kanye West-like glasses (below). The sun hadn’t even set, but it was time to move on.

After literally devouring a pig (along with veggies) and getting some downtime at a dinner thrown by my former colleague’s agency, Skinny, it was time to hit up some of Sunday’s most hyped events including CNNMoney’s party at the CNN Grill, where the network/site’s “stars” including Ali Velshi hobnobbed with guests including Angry Birds co-creator Juhana Kotlainen, Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow, Twitter’s Erica Anderson and David Carr from The New York Times. Patron was served along with delicacies like yellowfin tuna Cru and a chap named David All became the random winner of a brand new iPad2 by checking into the party on Gowalla.

The media mingling, though, had to give way to the music as yours truly was most excited for the Barbarian Group/StumbleUpon party way up the hill at the Mohawk. Bands including headliners No Age and actor Michael Cera’s project, Mister Heavenly, were tapped to play in the outdoor patio. From what we hear, Cera is just as awkward in real life as he is playing the same character in every movie as he was quite shy about photo opps at the party (though here’s a blurry pic of him soundchecking). After getting through the tiny VIP entrance and chatting it up briefly with Barbarian co-head Rick Webb and Contagious editor Nick Parish, it was time to check out No Age and the three-piece didn’t disappoint. It was intense punk, rock, emo and almost new-wave at times, but well worth the claustrophobia and hike all the way across town. But with old age creeping in, it was time to leave, skip the Vimeo party and head to the hotel and crash.It was only 10pm…yeesh, one more day to go…