Lots of twitter foo from me yesterday. That would be me having crazy day solo* at SXSW.
*Even though I ran into lots of people I knew almost everywhere. I still felt the need to share with my twitterfriends.
The drive to Austin was really long and then it took an hour to go around a single block to find parking   (accidentally hit send in the middle of a twitter), which fortunately I did before I had to circle more blocks (got the last spot in an expensive open air lot but it was so worth it).
Went to the Paste venue and waited in line. Not sure if the door guy ever found my name on teh list, but let me in anyway. As soon as I walked in Zipf said hello, he was loading in. Cold War Kids started playing right then too, and since I couldn’t find Zipf again I decided to check them out. Apparently my twitter was longer than even a standard SMS. I like the Cold War Kids’ music, but they have jumped the hipster shark as it were. They bounce around on stage like nu metal people! And hipsters in the audience were doing the same thing! It was causing serious cognitive dissonance and agoraphobia so I went upstairs to the deck to check things out. I found free beer and food and was instantly happier. Unfortunately, by the time I finished my first beer (for those who do not know me, this doesn’t take long) the comp tab was done. This bummed me out for obvious reasons, but then an amazing thing happened, all the hipsters there for CWK’s left! It was like instant relief, and turned out to be the pivot point for the day (further intensifying my hipsteraphobia).
Then Zipf played. He opened with my favorite song of his and it was weird to see my kit on stage with me not playing it. That pretty much summed that up.
I then ran into a woman I met at Danielson’s show at Rubber Gloves last year. She’s from Brooklyn but originally from Dallas. So we chatted for a bit. Then I ran into Daniel Hughes and chatted with him for a bit. This was towards the beginning of Sondre Lerche’s set, which was blowing my mind! Then later in the set I noticed Sondre’s drummer was using my kick drum. Part of me was pissed for people loaning out the drums I loaned to them*, but part of me was totally excited that my drum kit was getting famous! I’m such a wannabe.
I’m more pissed Andy’s drummer dented the *crap out of my snare head, but it was an old head and it may yet show up with a new head, so I’m reserving resentment. Ha.
Then I followed Andy and a couple other ppl over the Muzak tent, which was in a prime location right across from the convention center, and had more free beer and food. Ran into a girl I dated a couple of times last fall (that no one knows about) and chatted with her and her friend for a while. Andy played again at the Muzak tent, but SX being what it is, right as he started this nasty rock band in the next tent over started a set as well, and it sucked*. Andy totally diffused it with some witty stage banter, so that was good. I was feeling really bad for him. But he’s a pro. He only played three songs, and I don’t know if that was planned or if he bailed because of the other band’s noise.
*Biggest annoyance about SX besides the just-a-little-too-big-for-me crowds is the constant cacophony. Both in industry wankers’ conversation and in indistinguishable rock coming from all the cheap semi-outdoor venues and parking lot wannabe stages.
In the Most Serendipitous Occurrence award category, I had the thought pop in my brain –like, I wasn’t going through my phone looking for potential SXSWer’s– “I wonder if John Ralston is here.” And I still had his phone number in my phone from a 2005 Florida trip, so I texted him. He texted me back that he was playing at 8:30! I was like Holy Crap.
I already knew that my friend John Athayde was going to be playing with Honor by August. We had been emailing and texting, and about this time (just post-Muzak tent), he rolled into town. So I went over to their venue where they were checking in, and then got to hang out with him for probly an hour or so, before heading over to John’s show. (HbA’s show was later.) It took some doing, but I finally found the entrance for John’s show and talked my way in for a couple bucks less than the cover price, since walking to an ATM at that point might mean missing some of the set (or all of it, the way SX shows go). Said hi to John. His band is emoTAStic but really good. The drummer was in Legends of Rodeo, and I briefly considered yelling a Legends request before realizing that would be really lame. BUT! He played Flags anyway! #
After talking again to John for about 3 minutes after the show, I went over to see Honor by August. The cool thing about this day was that I got to see three friends play, all of whom are working their proverbial asses off to be able to play their music. And seeing them at SX was just more proof of both their talent and determination. The HbA show was at a really shitty venue (most at SX are, since every room with a corner hosts a band), and they rocked so solidly with all A’s and W’s. They had one, count it, one small monitor in front. Michael’s mic stand was falling down constantly, the mic came unplugged at one point, and he broke a string and had to change guitars mid-song…but here’s the kicker –they never dropped a single beat or note! Not even when the mic came unplugged! Every disaster, even the venue itself –which made the Cavern look classy– was just another thing to deftly navigate around. These are guys that can sell out the 9:30 club in DC. And Evan, despite looking exactly like some actor I can’t place, can play the shit out of the guitar. Later when I asked John if he and Brian could hear anything, he said they practice to a click track. Possibly the tightest band I’ve ever seen (that wasn’t comprised entirely of professionals). Helped them unload off stage, then hung out with John, Brian, and Evan a bit more before jetting home to Dallas. Was in bed by 3:45.
hilarious that the MCA site is still up)
‘Don’t pretend to be anything but an American boy who drives Japanese toys’)