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Friday, March 16, 2007

Yeah, No

posted by on March 16 at 11:25 AM

No Heff at the Playboy party (of course), no topless models onstage, no chicks in bunny suits even. But yes free booze and yes Ghostland Observatory, an Austin duo in the vein of Matt & Kim but without the happy-go-lucky. They played a dark, dance-mad set of electro-pop to a packed house of, by this point, sweat-drenched revelers at some warehouse outside of downtown.

I'll stand by Danava though--those guys were meticulous musicians and the sound in the room favored the keyboard-colored intricacy behind their louder-than-loud jams.

I have great pics of the entire night but am having a hard time uploading them to my laptop. This thing's five years old and apparently doesn't want any more data inside of it. Hopefully I can figure that out.

I'm off to the KEXP studio sesh with the Stooges. The beat goes on.

A Tale of Two Conferences

posted by on March 16 at 9:38 AM

UGK @ Fox and Hound, SXSW, 3/15/2007It was apparent after one phone call that Jonathan and I might as well be at two different conferences. He was destined to experience SXSW as a king, wielding the power of his mighty badge and industry connections. I on the other hand was going to have to scrape by on wit, charm, and a bit of ingenuity with my position of elevated plebian with my lowly SXSW wristband (meants for Austin residents). But no matter, SXSW is still a music lover's paradise, and even the unbadged can experience musical overload with a bit of planning. It's even arguable that by introducing constraints, the SXSW caste system actually favors those without badges, since it bring the list of possibilities down to more manageable levels (yes, I'm just saying that to make myself feel better).

Jonathan was definitely right in saying that you hit the ground running after arrival. After dropping off my stuff yesterday, I immediately headed out for the night, attempting to see Ariel Pink at Peabody's, only to find there were travel delays, pushing the performance later. At this point there's very little attachment to any performance since for any band, there are still multiple occasions to still see them, so my crew and I moved on to get food then venue-hopped after being denied at the Stax 50 Revue (soul at its finest I'm sure, but you'd have to ask a badge holder since they filled up the venue - if they do the same with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings today there will be hell to pay).

The music we did manage to see last night is after the jump(in bullet form since I'm in a rush to get to the Pipettes show at the Pitchfork showcase).

Continue reading "A Tale of Two Conferences" »

Thursday, March 15, 2007


posted by on March 15 at 11:23 PM

Computer issues. Totally lame. It's after midnight and I don't wanna deal with this shit. I'm just trying to bring the news to the people...

I will say this: BBQ with POTUSA was delish, and the ride back to downtown in the back of a pickup even better. Portland psych-rock slayers Danava provided the best show of the day by far, just loud enough and just metal enough to keep the crowd heshing. Beautiful, brutal stuff.

Much-hyped NYC beard band Vietnam gets the big whateva.

I have great pics but I can't get them online right now. It's late and I can't fiddle with the laptop/digi anymore. I'm heading out to the Playboy party.

Seattle Surprise

posted by on March 15 at 5:01 PM


It's never an easy landing in Austin for South By Southwest, and I'm not talking about touching down at the airport. You gotta hit the ground running no matter when you get in, which is what I did. I bust out of the cab, drop my bags at the front desk of my hotel, and hustle down 6th Street to Mohawk for the Rhapsody day party.

First order of biznezz--free beer and pulled pork tacos. Outside in the sunshine (I've forgotten what the sun is like; it's like medicine), there's Robin Hitchcock onstage, gray hair flapping in the breeze. Hitchcock is playing an acoustic, accompanied by Peter Buck, and... none other than dapper Seattleite and The Stranger's own Sean Nelson on backup vocals. Hitchcock is discussing Heideggerian philosophy between songs, Buck looks somewhat bored on 12-string guitar, and Nelson is unflappable with his soft falsetto.

Afterwards Nelson tells me he's all over the new Robin Hitchcock album, great and unexpected news. Dude's a true Renaissance man.

On hand are also Dave Meinert of Fuzed Music and Sub Pop's Jen C, "licensing guru," according to Meinert. She's gotta split, unfortch--kids back home, birthday tomorrow, etc. Musically, Buck and Hitchcock aren't the rowdy welcome I was hoping for. Peter, Bjorn & John are on next, and since their album doesn't do it for me I give their live set a try. I'm still not convinced. (Apparently I'm not the only one, as attested to by this website.)

I'm on my way right now to meet Meinert at the Four Seasons for a party thrown by a major label honcho's son's friend or something. I expect more free booze.

Tonight's early affair is the Stax 50 year anniversary party at Antone's and later on Playboy's Rock the Rabbit party with Ghostland Observatory and more free booze somewhere outside downtown.

And that's how it is here at SXSW: A mutual handjob, handshake, and helping hand, connections made and egos stroked and Tecates drank. The sun is setting outside my eighth floor window and music drifts up from somewhere down on 6th Street.

More later, including pictures.