I woke up at 4:30AM, and attempted to down a green smoothie. You should know I'm not much of a flyer. I took some anti-anxiety meds, and conked out with Miss Steve, then woke up in AUSTIN!
We arrived very early and it was very cold, so we wandered around looking for a credit union for a while, and I picked up a Cashew Chai beverage at Snap, which was the only raw thing they had besides juice.
We wandered into Maggie Maes on 6th, and got to talking with the bartender, who distills Korean whiskey. I got his info and will definitely pay him a visit in Brooklyn when I am next there.
From there, we hit Mohawk and saw:
Lemuria (RIYL Del Cielo) - a female fronted, but otherwise somewhat generic unimpressive pop-rock band
Beach fossils (RIYL The Cure, New Order, lots of spring reverb) - who were PERFECT for a sunny afternoon show
Chelsea Light Moving: (RIYL Sonic Youth, Slint) Thurston Moore's new band with Samara Lubelski. Given Lubelski's style, I just assumed it would be more like A Thousand Leaves/Murray Street era, but turns out, this was more Sister, Confusion is Sex old school noise punk with some "prettier" elements.
CLM became overwhelming for Miss Steve so we ended up grabbing our luggage and bouncing to meet Kyle, then hit up Whole Foods for dinner.
Dinner, lesigh, I wish our Whole Foods had a raw bar. I did marinated vegetable salad and "Tuna" salad, which was a little overly oniony for me.
Walked past either Guards (RIYL Fun., Burning Hearts) or Ghost Beach (RIYL Neon Trees, Dinosaur Feathers, the soundtrack to Weekend at Bernie's) playing, stopped and listened for a minute. They're both pretty decent.
We tried to get into Viceland-Mohawk-Antone's and all were wristbands only! Things got a lot tighter this year for credentials.
We met up with Juan Huevos and Shirlette at Halcyon Lounge, then went looking for food-- at midnight thirty, which landed us at Bikini's on 6th, which is a sad, sad bar. It basically ended our night.
Weds Day 29
I fixed myself a breakfast of Qia and shake, and good thing because the "Food Co-op" I entered sold like...cheetos.
We headed uptown to this Urban Outfitters party that had free pizza and free beer (god, being raw sucked there). Got to see:
Mount Moriah (RIYL Cat Power, the Shivers) in full for the first time. That's kind of embarrassing, but it was super great and mesmerising.
Icky Blossoms (RIYL CSS, Animotion) who I have been listening to a lot leading up to SxSW. The soundguy definitely struggled to balance them and they front-loaded the set with songs I don't love, but they recovered and won over Steve and Kyle with the woahwoahs.
The boys wanted to see Spider Bags so we bailed before Nu Sensae (RIYL Hole, Mika Miko) and Icono Pop (RIYL Shampoo, Kenickie). We headed over to Gypsy Lounge for the Sailor Jerry's party where they had Tattoo Darts (bad idea) and caught Spider Bags (RIYL Hunx and his Punx, loud and drunk dudes), then inexplicably hung around for Natural Child (RIYL the Dukes of Hazzard Soundtrack) who were a super twangy bummer. At that point, I was also mad hungry and crabby.
We hit Whole Foods for dinner, where I hit the raw bar again, this time trying raw pad thai (HOLY YUMMY), avocado kale salad and a hail merry tart. Felt human again.
I peeled off from the boys and headed to Oil Can Harry's to check out Bentley Mode and SOOKEE can rap, man! NC/Deutschland Representing!
On the way across town, I popped in at Avenue and caught The Away Days (RIYL Coldplay, We Were Promised Jetpacks).
Finally made my way to the Saddle Creek showcase:
UUVVWWZ - (RIYL Deerhoof, but think they're too poppy) NOW HAS a signer! The addition of this dancing signer just adds a whole new amazing dimension of weird to the live show. Singer (Emily? Met her after the set, but was engaged in conversation with someone else) was magnetic, can really sing and I was pretty mesmerized by the show.
Big Harp (RIYL Noah and the Whale, but think their records are too "polished") featuring members of The Good Life/Bright Eyes touring section and Art in Manila, the whole is definitely less than the sum of its parts. Good example of road warriors who can play the hell out of instruments...but can't write very good songs.
Pujol (RIYL Jay Reatard, Zeus) - better than I remembered, tight as fuck, garagey and a great sense of humor
Icky Blossoms - totally a night time band. Killed it.
Thurs Day 30:
Telekinesis fail! I misread the showlist and got us to a show just in time to see...Chelsea Light Moving. Whoops!
We wandered over to DeVille's which was sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and saw:
Widowspeak (RIYL Lush, Sarah Records)- they had rad tour jackets and played dreamy shoe gaze like with a singer like a somber Jill Sobule
Bleeding Rainbow (RIYL Tiger Trap, but think they're too poppy) - liked reading rainbow better as a name band just noisy sound terrible. the sound overall that day was not good, but I felt like I was being aurally assaulted.
The Soft moon (RIYL Joy Division) the songs are good but are more for a headphones alone or sexytime thing than a fun afternoon outdoor party.
We left to try and get a foot in at the Brooklyn Vegan show at what used to be Emo's
Metz (RIYL Minor Threat, Punk-o-Rama) very loud/aggressive. They made me feel old
Cloud nothings (RIYL: Sunny Day Real Estate, The Replacements) rocking out lots of new stuff, and god do I love this band.
We hit up a restaurant for dinner which was NOT GOOD.
Got to Merge showcase early:
Barren girls (RIYL The Donnas, but think they play their instruments too well) dressed like 80/ glam rock groupies, struggled to play forgettable 3 chord pop punk songs, keyboardist looked like someone just told her that her puppy got run over by her mother. I know this sounds really sour grapes, but seriously, I'm still at a point where I would cut someone's achilles tendon to sign to merge/play an official showcase at SxSW for a reputable label and I am just not seeing what Merge sees in this band.
William Tyler (RIYL fingerstyle guitar) Hey guy! You play fingerstyle guitar well and have a thing about Heaven's Gate. Good for you! (hired gun syndrome!)
Mikal Cronin (RIYL Ty Segall, Kula Shaker without the arrogance) good psychy 60s style rock
Mount Moriah again
Telekinesis (RIYL The Rentals, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists) - adorable. I was essentially blinded by my desire to spend my days with this man and the warm memories of touring to the records. Played a lot of new songs so it sounds like the new one will be pretty darn good!
Friday Day 31
I spent the morning at the MEOW luncheon and learned about MEOW Con, which is at a terribly inconvenient time (either my cousin's wedding or ROMBA interferes with it).
Headed to BD Riley's for the Full Irish Breakfast:
Squarehead (RIYL Wavves, Beach Boys) rad straightforward rock, with a twangy, beachy feeling I wouldn't expect from an Irish band.
Delorentos (RIYL Arcade Fire, Deleted Scenes) uncomplicated lots of harmonies pop rock. They were fine, but are obviously pretty famous in Ireland
Funeral suits (RIYL Futureheads, Wolf Parade) electro infused "epic rock"
Ash (RIYL Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Stereophonics) thought-packed pop rock songs with interesting touches
Headed to whole foods for dinner and had the pad thai again, this time over a salad and got into a chat with some of the other folks at the "restaurant."
Last, I tried to go see DIIV (whose SXSW tantrum was not cute, btw) and Joy Formidable, but the show was wristbands only. Instead, I went over to Mohawk and saw:
Spider Bags (again? really?)
Dawes (RIYL chode rock, southern style) - but mostly just overheard them
2 songs from Ducktails (RIYL Real Estate, Vampire Weekend) who Kyle said were the worst but I thought they were okay
then we went home so we could wake up 4 hours later. :)
Thx SXSW, it was fun!