SXSW 2011

Thursday= Si n Jeremy Black picked me up around 1230, arrived to Austin round 430ish. Whilst waiting to cross the street, turned to find guy w fuzzy wolf man helmet/mask thing on. It was more than just a mask, full on furry mascot style helmet; I don’t know what you really call those. Drank at bar until 7ish, and then walked to Scoot Inn for hip-hop show. Talib Kwali was playing but at 1. This means 5 hrs of sitting through hype guys. Hip-hop shows are much more efficient than rock shows so they stay on schedule. Plus you can have twice as many bands since there isn’t any set up time. Didn’t make it to see Talib, drank too much too fast and couldn’t keep it together.

Friday= Arrived @ Red7 prior to noon start only to wait until 1230ish to actually get in. They were still setting up or something. We judged our progress via the bike we where next to. “We made it passed the back tire guys!” There was puke all over bike so that was something. Went originally to check out Flatliners and Gamblers but I discovered iwreastledabearonce was playing. I skipped the Gamblers to witness the WTF faces of the goth/emo/new rock fans. Also the singer is pretty hot but can scream/sing better than most other front men. They were awesome! Scored a t-shirt, v-neck style. Motionless in White were most intriguing band but only cos they were all maybe 20 w full tattoo sleeves. Singer had full neck work too. Lots of keyboards n band members all day. Every band had 6-7 members. Flatliners n Bane where pretty cool.

Headed to Stubb’s for real meal. Not so impressed w pork, it was busy sxsw so maybe they were struggling. I’m starting to think bbq joints are really more about the side options. And sauce.

Again headed to Scoot Inn for Fat Wreck Chords showcase w Flatliners and Screeching Weasel. I was not feeling well having had beer all day again. Just waited it out and watched from the back. A NYC hair band was best thing to mention. It was like 30 years never happened. Teased hair, ripped jeans, leather, scarves, looked like Poison.  We did run into Wiebe from Gamblers who said hi to everyone. I do like Gamblers, they do Denton proud but they belong to Austin now.

Flatliners got me going, they are Canadian and it had been long enough to start drinking again. Got up front for their set then it was Weasel time. Ben was in a pissy mood which I get, it may just be his thing. He railed against corp rock, festivals, venue, everyone. I’d say their show was equal parts rants n music. I hear where green day and nofx may have got their sound though. Eventually he had to actually do something besides talk so he threatened to beat up a guy if they copped to throwing beer/ice at him. He eventually learned it was a girl to which he said, ‘whatever, I don’t care anymore…’ and jumped into the crowd swinging. Not sure if he landed a punch but he did also shove a woman onstage. Go home bro.

Went to outside food court thing and saw Michael Cera. Si tried to get a pic but was turned away. Dude was eating after all. Met up w James Sarah n Audrey. James demanded Iron Maiden on the juke box, I watched Zombieland! Nice ride home from Hampy in back of his truck. I know why people have motorcycles; wind in your face is great.

Saturday- Got up and headed to Arandas for lunch. Got serenaded just like at Lupita’s here. Must be a thing where you know you are a good Mexican joint. Headed to check out Jeremy’s show at DIY venue. This was actually a junkyard of sorts. The first band was prob most inspiring ever: bassist vocalist in wheelchair, guitarist played w stub hand. There are no limits, you want to play music, you can do it. Guitarist was playing leads n everything! WOW

Headed over to Carousel Lounge for DFI showcase. Turns out we passed by Govalle on the way. Ah 3rd grade memories. This was a bit of an odd venue, very old school. All cash, beer only, but you can bring in liquor BUT you have to buy a set up aka mixer. Well I’m sure there’s a sign, handwritten no doubt, that has all these details which I missed. Anywho I brought in a mixer n liquor only to have the mixer taken from me. They prob should have kicked me out but clearly they don’t care as well as have little interaction w the police. Safe to say we weren’t the only ones outside drinking in this neighborhood.

Alas I didn’t read the sign: no mixers. They took my ginger ale which was laden w beam. I bought a couple beers to make up for it. I realized that they gotta make money too somehow. Also they put on the showcase so that’s pretty cool of them and cool things need to be reciprocated. Opposite Day rocked it pretty good as they always do. They had help on “Safety First,” from the singer of the Better Death. I tell you I missed this song initially but it’s an ear worm. I had it in my head for awhile that is for sure.

Shaolin rocked it but just before they got on stage, some ladies started doing each other’s hair. Now I’m a guy and I don’t usually hang around salons so having rarely seen this I was intrigued. Apparently I was buzzed to the point that perhaps I wasn’t merely glancing so much as staring we will say. Either way I was called out for being a judger. I tell you want I wasn’t judging anything, in fact no one really wants to know what I was thinking so I’ll just say I found their hairstyling very sexxy, yes two xx’s! It’s probably due to the fact that one of my favorite thing to do w the ladies is run my fingers through their long hair. Yeah long hair ladies always a good choice.

After the show we headed out to check out Dead Milkmen. It was a free show and who doesn’t like “punk rock girl,” I say. We arrived to a very long line…to a free event y’all! I suppose they did have to control the underage but it seemed silly to wait in line considering there was an easily scaled fence between fans and the band. Several people just hoped over. One guy hung on to a tree and of course it was right over this pipe and I tell you all I could think about was the fall and impalement. It didn’t happen, someone pulled him down and pointed it out but for a few moments, that branch didn’t look like it would hold him. The milkmen played awhile, lots of stage divers. The singer enjoyed ranting about random things but he did have positive things to say about SXSW and Odd Future.

We made it back down to around the SXSW area, sort of close to Scoot Inn, that side, making sure we stayed away from I-35. We hoofed it to some tiny downstairs bar that wasn’t officially open yet. It was another punk showcase so get ready to sweat. First up was a band I’d heard of and wanted to check out, Mind Spiders. It was one or two of the guys from Marked Men but was supposed to be better and they were really good. A 3 guitar punk band is quite a sight and so I hasten to even call them a punk band, they were just full on direct, powerful rock. I liked them and want to check them out again. Next up was another great punk band I’d seen before, Bad Sports. They are young and full of great songs and attitude! Definitely enjoy seeing them. After them was a collective w members of the two bands that just played w the singer from Riverboat Gamblers. They also had 3 guitars I believe. They are also loud and good but I think I liked Mind Spiders more. Who am I really kidding, I liked them all and they need to be seen live. That’s the thing about punk or these sorts of bands; they have a hard time translating things onto a record. Even if they record it live, you don’t get the full sweat, pushing each other to get a better view, ear ringing that is necessary to properly enjoy this style.

We ran into a guy from Peelander Z who handed us a flyer. They were playing a show down the street. They are super crazy and always a good show. We stopped for some ok pizza beforehand. I didn’t realize it at the time but there was a cover for the show. Si asked the door guy and he told us to go to the side and we’d see them. Little did he know they would just let us in. Maybe it was the band entrance or something but it was cool.

I headed up stairs which turned out to be a good/bad decision. They had food up top and I saw some guy sitting at a table by himself. I said hey and he said he was about to take down this 9 lb burrito. It was a 35 buck challenge if he failed! I for one don’t think it’s possible for a human to eat that much food but this dude looked like he could or had eaten that much. Out came this large plate w equally large burrito. He dug in w gusto at first then slowed. He had a lot of people taking photos and asking him questions. One girl kept leaning in to talk to him as the band playing was pretty loud. I’m not sure if she fell or was pushed but she ended up on his burrito, covered in sour cream n cheese on her arm and side. No way this dude wants to eat it now but he kept spooning it in. he stopped for a while and said he was going to take a break and come back.

This is where the story turns my friends. At first some girl spies the burrito and spoon and shimmies over. Hesitantly she picks up the spoon and tries to just plop it into a napkin or something. Eventually she just stopped trying and began shoveling bite after bite w the same spoon that was just used on a burrito that a girl fell into. After several spoonfuls forks appeared and people started tearing into this thing w reckless abandon. It got down to the end and some dude palmed some bites. I was so let down by people at this moment but you figure that is really what happens in nature: free food free for all!

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived upstairs was the amount of freely smoking of grass by a table. No one really said or did anything and they kept passing around a pipe. I angled for a view of the stage but the people were 2 deep and tall.  I turned around I noticed people at another table smoking too. I decided to just wait it out maybe they would offer. Si motioned for me as he had a beverage so as I retrieved it I saw something I hadn’t seen since Amsterdam: a dude pulled out a bag of grass, pulled buds from it and broke it up on a table for all to see. Wow this was Austin TX. I was about halfway through my bev when I saw the guitarist pulling himself up on the stairs, he has crowd walked and made it up to the 2nd story! Peelander z is an outrageous good time and I fully encourage everyone to check them out.


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