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.
The quietest day musically for me.
I started the day behind the Four Seasons Hotel for the BMI Brunch. ** A note to hungry SXSW goers: this party is full of an amazing buffet and no one checks the rsvp list to see if you are on it. You can wander in from all sides, grab a plate and start filling in that hole in your stomach that was filled with beer from the night before. I feel sorry for the artists that were performing. Not only were people too preoccupied with their breakfast burritos, the wind was blowing over the stage!
After we had eaten, drank our first two drinks of the day and lay in the grass for a while, we headed to Flatstock, a yearly tradition for me and one of the coolest things happening at this festival. I dropped $100 USD, $60 of which was souvenirs.
I jumped over to the Brush Square for the Australian Party, The Vines were on the stage. Playing their classics like ‘Get Free’ and ‘Ride’, I felt as if I was transported back to the early 2000’s. Still to this day, Ride is one of my favorite music videos. Rent a gym, invite all the local bands in town to learn your song and have everyone play together. Love how the drum part out of the guitar solo looks with all the drummers in formation.
I jumped into a car to find one of the +1 parties. This company was throwing a bunch of parties that week, two days earlier they denied my request to attend the Playboy party they were throwing. I headed to Hank Sinatra’s to see if I could get a chance to see The Morning Benders. Our timing was off, we missed them but managed to down a couple beers from the keg. And I watched my friend Jon get ‘boned’ by a guy named Matthias from New York (by boned, I mean having a chicken bone tossed off his leg on its way to the garbage can). Jon’s a vegetarian. He took it pretty well considering. Couldn’t even tell you who we saw perform though. Things were starting to get hazy.
We headed to the NXNE/Manitoba Bar-b-que afterwards for Canadian Beer, more bar-b-que meats and probably every Canadian who was down in Austin. Basia Bulat was great, The Choir Practice had problems quieting the crowd, Grand Analog were solid as well.
I spent my night at either Stubb’s or Maggie Mae’s (M for Montreal /Great Escape Showcases). Got a chance to see MGMT, who I thought were good. I got a sense that these guys were rushed into this biz we call music, and that the live show wasn’t quite top notch yet. The songs are though. Anytime I play Electric Feel I get people asking who these guys are.
btw, headbands and mustaches are totally in right now.
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:
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:
-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.
I started this day working for some good friends, helping set up the outdoor party for the Canadian Blast. I mounted a left arrow on a fence and hung flags. Pretty easy work to do in the sun. It was a solid lineup that day at the Brush Square. The United Steel Workers of Montreal opened (and if you check the flyer, it looks like two bands had the opening slot, The United Steel Workers and Of Montreal). Next up was The Pack AD, Mints’ newest band. I’d agree with Andrew from Red Cat Records by saying
“Awwwwwooooogggaaaaararoraroarrrrrrr. Janis Joplin, meet the White Stripes. Now, go and drink a bucket of bourbon and hang out on a Civil War battleground.”
City and Colour were next. Was nice to see Dallas play in a venue that wasn’t full of screaming girls. Hot Springs were 3rd last. I’ve gotta say, since seeing them at NXNE last year, they’ve really improved. Previously I was blah about the band, now I’m diggin their songs and developing a crush on any lead singer that rocks like she does.
Here’s their video for Headrush. Here’s the mp3.
The 2nd last band was Dragonette. Up until that point, no other band had my attention like they did. I don’t think I ever looked away. Definitely for fans of Metric, featuring Dan from The New Deal. Check out I Get Around on their myspace page, here’s the Van She Vocal Remix.
Then, to upstage their act, we had a slew of Canadian DJs/producers/MCs take the stage and precede to blow it up. Ghislain Poirier, Cadence Weapon, Megasoid (Hadji from Wolf Parade and Sixtoo), Skratch Bastid and Grand Analog.
I can’t remember what I did for dinner. Pretty sure I was drunk by this point…..
I caught the last song of The Delta Spirit‘s set, People, Turn Around. Get it at I Guess I’m Floating. I was singing, felt like part of the choir. From there, we headed to Buffalo Billiards to get in for The Ting Tings, one of the most buzzed about bands down in Austin. Again, like previously noted, they were great. Someone book these two on some Canadian dates.
Here’s the video for Great DJ.
Went home tired, sun-burnt, drunk. Went to bed spinning. Got a couple winks and got ready to do it all again.