Landing at Austin’s Bergstrom Airport, one is immediately reminded that the FESTIVAL is in town. Young people, lots of young people, are all over the place. Most are fiddling with smart phones, iPads, laptops and the like. The baggage claim area is hilarious-sort of like one of those old Buster Keaton movies where things are falling, flying, and crashing. Road cases, and I use that term loosely, in various degrees of wear and tear, are moving down the conveyer belts. The occasional cymbal and cowbell that managed to escape go rolling to the floor. Guitar cases do their best to avoid being wedged and broken into bits. Amazingly, though, it all works.
My first stop is at Momo’s Club where Leo Laporte is doing a live Twit TV broadcast. Leo is probably best knows as “The Tech Guy” and through the years become his own cottage industry/empire. His followers are called, not surprisingly, “Geeks.” Bob Heil and Leo have a mutual admiration for each other’s work and Leo uses Heil mics a lot. Tonight was no exception as his guest panelists used PR 22s. Actually, one gentleman from The Onion, used a PR 40, which seemed to bring out a small amount of geek envy from the others.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Twit TV? I mean, I’m a rock guy – technology oriented talk radio is not my area of expertise. But I have to say, Leo is a rock star! He had the standing-room-only fans cheering and he even considered crowd surfing, which apparently he has done before. He’s a big guy and I quickly moved to the back of the room. Just in case. I also learned a lot, including some of the iPad 2’s dirty little secrets. It was fascinating stuff and I am really glad I attended.
The evening show ended and I met Lisa Kentzell, who is CEO of Twit. Which by the way stands for “This Week In Tech.” Lisa told me about the new facility that they are building near their current headquarters in Petaluma, CA. It’s going to be wired for all sorts of production uses. I heard Leo say that they will have up to forty cameras working. You can bet there will be a pile of Heil mics too.