SXSW The After-Hour Slice of Pizza
posted by March 13 at 1:27 AMon
Nope, not a breakfast taco…it’s 3 a.m., and the onion cheeseburger pizza I just had was perfect.
I cannot find the SD adapter at my friend’s desk, which means I can’t yet post the low-res videos I shot today—of The Acorn, of Phosphorescent, of….Slaraffenland? Yes, the best band I’ve ever seen out of Denmark was my utterly random surprise hit of the night. Imagine a German military choir gone twee, taking up horns and synthesizers and clarinets as they shout their way into melodic bliss. Even if their videos didn’t turn out, I at least have photos of the quintet in matching, star-covered T-shirts (and one guy smattered those stars on his guitar, as well). And to think, I saw them only to pass time between two other bands. Bands like that are the whole point of the fest, really; while shlubs stop to see REM and The Lemonheads and whoever else has some new album to promote, I’m far more interested by the fact that this broken music industry can still convince bands from all over the world to come to one city for four days. All the talk I heard today from people revolved around this question: if the industry’s promotional money continues going downhill, who knows what relevance industry-heavy SXSW will have in two or three years? Good to see people who are enjoying press passes and zillions of bands can keep their minds on the fucking positives…
Other highlights—Leatherbag, an Austin trio with a lead singer who’s a dead ringer for Lou Reed in all of the right ways; White Williams, a Cure & The Bunnymen kind of dance-rock group, steeped in mainstream ’80s Brit-pop but with enough thump and life of their own; Bear in Heaven, a Brooklyn noise-rock group whose broken-apart songwriting is held together by a lead singer who looks like a Jesus imitator and shrieks with a crazed voice similar to the guy from Ghostland Observatory. Also was really impressed by WHY?—particularly the guy’s incredible live band, which he contributes to by banging around on drums while rolling out his nasal-yet-smooth flow. And I actually liked Sunburned Hand of the Man—not that I hate noise-jazz, necessarily, but they hit on all cylinders today.
A coupl’a disappointments—Autolux was awful, though the sound at their venue was the main reason. Worse, at my final 1 a.m. show destination, I was cockblocked by five dudes in suits who were standing guard in front of the No Depression party. I repeat—an alt-country magazine’s showcase was guarded by five large men in matching, snappy suits. They said that I couldn’t go inside their show at nightclub-turned-venue Panagea if I was wearing a backpack. Never mind that a person can’t function at the walk-all-over-town SXSW without a big bag of some kind filled with bottled water/food/guides/etc…What did they think I’ was hiding inside of the bag? A sixth suit?
Will try and get photos/vids up tomorrow. G’night, Eric!