05/22/2013 05:48 pm ET Updated Jul 22, 2013

The Making Of Mikal Cronin: How A Shy Kid From Laguna Beach Became The Best Pop Songwriter In San Francisco - Page 1 - Music - San Francisco - SF Weekly

Getty Images

The wind on this Thursday night in Austin sags with the din of a dozen hopeful rock bands and the stench of stale beer. In a dark alley behind of a row of clubs on Sixth Street, Mikal Cronin leans into an alcove and tries to light a cigarette. It's tough, both because of the wind and because he's nervous. In about an hour, Cronin will be on the other side of this brick wall, vying for his share of attention from the industry types and journalists at South by Southwest.