Filed under: Austin, entertainment, events, lifestyle, music | Tags: antone's austin, BRAHMS, built by snow, citizen cope, crystal antlers, frightened rabbit, holy fuck, levi's fader fort, live music, local natives, minus the bear, mohawk austin, music festivals, still life still, sxsw 2010, the rural alberta advantage, the white white lights, think about life, we were promised jetpacks
I was going to write about the garden again. I spent time in it yesterday, I took bunches of photos. But I just can’t bring myself to talk about broccoli or radishes or tomatoes right now. Because the most glorious SXSW 2010 was one week ago today. And right now I need nothing more than to sit, reflect, and piece together 5 days of fantastic music and memories.
Day 1 – Wednesay, March 17
BRAHMS – Levi’s Fader Fort
Okay, so I didn’t accomplish a whole lot on Day 1 of SXSW. We stood in line for an hour at lunchtime to pick up our wristbands for Fader Fort. I went back to the office for a bit and then reemerged on the scene around 5pm at Red7 where I ran into a few friends, made some new ones, and saw The Rural Alberta Advantage. They were alright. The girl was cute. Paying $5 for Lone Star sucked. My more immediate concern was meeting up with friends across the street, which I did after the band finished their set.
We went to Bull McCabe’s and made an album cover. And asses of ourselves, I’m sure. After this point, the night begins to blur a bit. We left Bull McCabe’s for Fader Fort. It was my first SXSW with a Fader Fort wristband and it won’t be my last. Once inside the compound the alcohol was freely flowing (like, $0 for as many drinks as you could carry), BRAHMS was jamming on the stage at the western most end of the complex and the photo booths were endlessly entertaining. From there it was on to Shangri-La, where we ate tamales out of a cooler offered by a sketchy looking gentleman. Somewhere between Fader Fort and Shangri-La a tall British gentleman complimented me on my houndstooth shirt & picked me up and swung me around in the air for a bit. All in all, a successful start to the weekend.
Day 2 – Thursday, March 18th
Local Natives – Levi’s Fader Fort
Bomba Estereo – Levi’s Fader Fort
First Aid Kit – Mohawk
Salem – Mohawk
That list looks awfully slim for the amount of awesomeness that we fit into our Thursday schedule. I worked a half day at the office, came home and ran a few miles (in anticipation of the havoc that was about to occupy my life for the following 4 days). My new fun friend Kyle got in from Houston around 3, and we scurried downtown for more fun line-sitting. In total we probably spent an hour and a half waiting in lines till we got into Fader Fort. We made up for the wait by double-fisting two rounds of beers while listening to the crazy woman lead singer for Bombo Estero. That girl could wail. We may have watched another set there too but I can’t remember… pounding two rounds of two drinks each will modify a person’s memory in fairly short order.
With beer in our bellies and smiles on our faces we headed towards town in the direction of Mohawk, where my friends were camped out between day parties & the night shows. My friend Hollie (see mafia picture above) had made friends with the Black Keys, the band who had played the last set at Mohawk that afternoon. Hollie’s connections are regularly getting us privileges fit for super-cool kids. It’s always fun to saunter up to the back of a mile long line for the front door, then receive a phone call from someone inside and get quickly ushered in through the back door. Which is precisely what happened for Kyle & I that afternoon. Once inside we milled about with handful of other super-cool kids (band members n groupies n what not). We patiently waited. And waited. At long last the sun fell and the music started up again. We made it through First Aid Kit, which was no small miracle. About halfway through the set friends Otis & Kim sent a full beer directly into Kyle’s face and for a minute I thought his eyes were going to dissolve right out of his sockets. The girls in First Aid Kit were Swedish, and they were okay. But then Salem took the stage. The show was awful. Barely tolerable. We all fought the irresistible urge to slit our wrists or jump off the balcony. Thankfully Hollie, in all of her awesomeness, had ordered up some pizza to be delivered to us at the bar. So we stuffed our faces and concentrated on drinking, eating & blocking the dreadful grunge/rap/drone from our ears.
Day 3 – Friday, March 19th
Still Life Still – Mohawk
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Mohawk
Citizen Cope – Antone’s
Minus the Bear – Antone’s
Frightened Rabbit – Mohawk
Friday was awesome. We started the morning with a trip to Arkie’s Grill (mmmmmm paaaaancakes…). Then off to downtown for an afternoon of amazing show after amazing show. We started towards Mohawk & walked ourselves right into the Onion party upstairs: free Brooklyn Lager & Batter Blaster pancakes. YAY. We Were Promised Jetpacks rocked our socks off. The band before them, Still Life Still, was pretty great also. It was starting out to be a pretty good day.
At Antone’s we were up close & personal for the Citizen Cope show, and then Minus the Bear. Minus the Bear was awesome. They really were. I know there are some Antone’s haters out there, but I actually really love the place. Kyle’s main objective for his SX experience was to see MtB. It was good to check this show off the list.
We hustled back to Mohawk for Frightened Rabbit. The Brooklyn Lager keg was kicked but the Batter Blasters were still flying off the griddle left & right. It’s really bizarre to be at a show and see a bunch of people standing around eating pancakes with their fingers, by the way. Frightened Rabbit sounded great. Just like the LP. I was happy.
We briefly saw the friend group at Sidebar before leaving to meet up with Kyle’s friends at Buenos Aires cafe, where I proceeded to drink too much red wine and enjoyed chatting it up with Kevin the friendly waiter again. Kevin’s always a lot of fun, but he seemed pretty stressed out because of SXSW weekend. My vegetarian crepes were the most delicious thing on the face of this earth – highly recommend them to anyone planning a trip to Buenos Aires Cafe. From the Cafe we journeyed over to Rio Rita, where the girls got Bloody Marys and I got even closer to porcelain god worship. Another truly awesome night.
Day 4 – Saturday, March 20
Crystal Antlers – Galaxy Room
Think About Life – Galaxy Room
Duchess Says – Galaxy Room
Holy Fuck – Galaxy Room
I’m having a hard time remembering Saturday. Many, many braincells had been killed by this point. I know it started with breakfast tacos at Taco Deli. And then a tour of the office for Kyle. And then…? I guess we went downtown. And we saw the awesome shows listed above. And then I think we went to Uncorked for a few glasses of wine. And then Koriente for yummy japanese. And then we met Kim & Sara at Bull McCabe’s? And then we went to some random place to watch the K State game. YES! This is what happened on Saturday, I’m sure of it.
My take-away from Saturday was that Holy Fuck is… holy fuck, awesome. I danced, danced, danced. Think About Life was a super-fun, new, unique, interesting band too. I enjoyed their show a whole ton. What I really loved about both shows was the variety of people in the audience. I swear I saw a farmer my dad’s age leaning against the stage & bobbing his head during Holy Fuck’s set. And at Think About Life, there were folks from all walks of life, all ages, etc. It seemed an appropriate mirror to the unique composition of the band itself.
Day 5 – Sunday, March 21
Built by Snow – Six Stages Over Texas
The White White Lights – Six Stages Over Texas
At this point, I was just happy to still be alive. There weren’t any set plans for music on Sunday. We started with the legendary Juan in a Million for breakfast. Then a tour of Town Lake Park. Then a tour of West Austin (to show Kyle that not all of Austin is gritty like East Austin or 6th Street). And then,“hey, I have those tickets for the show up near UT…. ahhh, what the heck. Let’s go.” Free Lone Star. And Kyle got some sweet gear from Cream Vintage, which the venue backed up to. I discovered that I have a severe girl crush on the lead singer of The White White Lights. The guitarists sunglasses went flying off of his head multiple times. They did Toadies covers? But also their own stuff, that ranged from super sweet to death metal. It was pretty awesome.
And that concludes my recap. It was a long post. There was a lot to cover, and probably lots that I missed. Like the mysterious bruises I found on Monday, and the glass of wine I shattered on Thursday and how Wii Fit continues to be a source of sheer joy after a day of drinking. But those are all small beans compared to the crazy awesome shows we saw & some of the bigger pieces of the puzzle that I summarized here. This alone has already taken me 2 hours to write. It’s too beautiful of a day to waste time collecting & sharing all of the little bean stories.
Did anyone else see some crazy fun stuff that I should’ve seen? Or go to any awesome venues/day parties that need to be added to the list for next year’s SXSW? Please share. If I can fit any more awesome to next year’s SX experience, I’ll be amazed and out-of-my-mind happy. I challenge you to help me achieve this lofty goal.
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