SXSW ’08: Saturday

The busiest day musically for me.I started the day off solo. If you ask me, the best way to see a lot of bands at a festival like this is to do it alone. That way, you won’t waste time making group decisions.

First band of the day? The Whigs at Hot Freaks. I’ll admit I ended up at this show thinking I was going to see The Whip, but the Whigs pleasantly surprised me with a solid set. I jumped out early to see The Jealous Girlfriends, a band that have been getting a lot of airplay here in the office (look for a post on just them in a day or so).

It was around 2pm, I was starving and hadn’t eaten all day. I got a text about the DMX (not the rapper) party at the Brush square. There was always food there. And free drinks. And friends. And British Sea Power. And Duffy. And Ludacris! Duffy was not really my thing. Touted as the next Amy Winehouse, I thought she was was too sober to hold that reputation. Ludacris was phenomenal. Sure, I was the only person under that tent that didn’t know any of the rhymes, but I didn’t need to. I just said ‘CRIS’ when he said ‘when i say LUDA, you say….. ‘. Great performer, even when dealing with sound issues.

A bunch of us headed to the Q party. I wanted to see Pigeon Detectives. Kate Nash was performing soon after arriving at this party. Apparently, my friend Jon claims that she sang a song directly to him. Really? Jon, are you Ryan of the Cribs?

Here’s Kate’s Pumpkin Soup.


Pigeon Detectives played an animated show, the lead singer being a graduate of the Daultry/Jagger school of ‘mic’-onomics. He swung that mic with authority, was really surprised no guitarist got in the way.

Did I eat dinner that night?

The evening showcases started with The Bloody Beatroots. Amazing set by a group I’ve never heard of. Picture two guys who resemble cronies from Shredders Foot Clan in TMNT djying heavy and dirty electro club beats. Recommended for Justice fans.

I finally saw Think About Life. Really glad I made it to this gig. I’ve linked to it before, but again here’s my favorite of theirs, Paul Cries.

I headed out of town to the Red Bull Party shortly after. Kind of a weird one that was. Everything was huge! and they had Red Bull logos everywhere. I played guitar hero on what must have been a 25 foot screen. Cool kids performed (only really remember them smashing a pinata on stage…). We missed Diplo.

I finished the night at The Vice Party. Some good times had there, in point form:

-Fucked Up performed and during the first song, the lead singer smashed a fluorescent light on his head, tossing the broken glass into the audience. One of those pieces shot up and hit the guitarist in the face, who promptly ran for the washrooms. The band stopped after that song.

-Everyone was drinking tall boys of Miller High Life and something called Sparks.? It was doing weird things to people.

-My friend Maria tossed a demoCD into the crowd (stolen from some dude’s back pocket) and it hit a guy in the face. He just shrugged in response.

Here’s Jon, myself and Gary Powers enjoying the Austin air.

SXSW ’08: Thursday

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and bar-b-que tastes really good, then eating bar-b-que for breakfast every day can’t be that wrong… can it?

My stomach would reply ‘yes sir’ at around 1:30pm each day while at one of the many day parties happening in Austin. But I kept doing it each day, as if I had no recollection of what happened the day before. Might be the booze.

Here’s thursdays highlights:

Duke Spirit at the Fader Party. Or was that the Filter party… They were amazing. Head to Mewzick to grab some of their new tracks, really enjoying Sovereign.

Some time later I dropped by Emo’s for the Cons. Was surprised to see that they were playing.? Heard that they might not be touring because Steve Lambke broke his hand. Live, he fashioned the cast so that he could still tear it up. Head to the Constantines myspace to download Hard Feelings.

Side note, Has anyone seen this page yet?? Beautiful Noise Concert Series has some tapings set up for the next two weeks. I have no idea if they still have room on their guestlists, but if you live in Toronto and want to see The Constantines, Stars, Ted Leo, and others for free, its a simple e-mail.

The last day party on thursday was Musebox’s ‘Hows Your Booze’ party. We saw Krief (guitarist from Dears) perform. He might be the re-incarnation of Hendrix. Good set, but not the best of the three I saw him perform that week. New songs on his myspace page.

I believe we ate dinner in there somewhere

At night, we saw:

-Portugal The Man. Burtch you would have loved this set.

-Working For A Nuclear Free City. Had only really heard their name before heading to this showcase.? Now, I’m setting aside time to get to know this band. Head to their myspace to hear Kingdom.

-The Coast @ The Wave. Had problems hearing the band (from the Nickleback-esque bleed from the band upstairs) but a solid set by these Torontonians. Expatriate hits the shelves April 1st, head to their myspace to stream the whole record.

-Diplo. Sick show in a basement bar. Power problems cut the sound in one side of the bar, but that didn’t stop tons of kids from dancing, drinking and in three cases, throwing down. On the way out I noticed this party was Perez approved.

-Wombats. So glad to finally see this band live. Perfect end to the night. Here’s Let’s Dance To Joy Division.