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3/16 (Wednesday)
We Are Scientists @ The Hard Rock
The Upwelling/ Army of Me @ Nuno's

3/17 (Thursday)
World Leader Pretend @ Emo's
Tegan & Sara @ Emo's
Ash/ Benzos @ Fader Space
Radio 4 @ Stubb's
The Adored @ Red Eye Fly
Earlimart @ Buffalo Billiards
The Upwelling @ The Bitter End
Army of Me (w/John Popper) @ Speakeasy

3/18 (Friday)
Bloc Party/ @ Stubb's (Spin Party)
Louis XIV
Kaiser Chiefs @ Cedar Street (Filter Party)
MIA @ Fader Space
Benzos @ Co-Op Bar
Idlewild/ @ Stolen Transmission Party
Maximo Park

3/19 (Saturday)
The Cloud Room @ Buffalo Billiards
Ambulance, Ltd. @ Cedar Street
The Shore @ The Hard Rock
Say Hi To Your Mom @ Copa
Ed Harcourt @ Antone's

Some sxsw music stories from Thursday 3/17 (aka St. Patrick's Day)

World Leader Pretend - I am madly in love with this band now, whom I saw completely by accident. I showed up at the wrong Emo's stage expecting to see Stars... not being overly familiar with the music of Stars, I actually thought I was seeing them [hahaha... i thought i was "seeing stars", sorry, i'm a little punch drunk with the insomnia] for the first couple songs, or you know... through the whole set really, until I looked them up in the book say, 5 hours later. Right. Didn't matter. They were phenomenal. They're from New Orleans, their band name is an REM song, and they don't play the Northeast nearly enough... but I promise if you go and listen to the songs from their forthcoming ep on their site, you're gonna fall in love too. DISCLAIMER: I am not associated with this band in any manner, I've never met them, I don't know any of their names, they've never bought me so much as a beer before... i just really really dig on their sound. Thank you. /disclaimer

Tegan & Sara are pretty much the cutest Canadian Lesbian Twins you'd ever want to see. I know I saw their acoustic set at spin back in January, but I was really glad to catch them full on this time around... which again happened by accident.

Hmmn. Let's retell this tale from the beginning, shall we? Post WLP, I walked (and walked, and walked) on over to Nina's little Gorillaz soiree at The Red Fez. Mighty hung-over from my "welcome to Austin land of the obscenely cheap drinks let's see how many vodka tonics you can consume" evening, I ignored the open bar for a little while and downed some ice water whilst wandering around aimlessly through the increasingly crowded space until I met up with Hoops, who insisted that this was as good a time as any to jump off the wagon and kick start my day. Point taken. Then we discovered the food. SO good. Shrimps and pot stickers, and spring rolls, oh my! And honestly? The absolute best Spinach dip EVER. [ed. note: all this talk about food is making me damn hungry, i think it's high time we order lunch] We watched the screening of the new video - which was fantastic and amazing in that way that the Gorillaz just *are*. I stuck around long enough to hear DJ Dangermouse (ok, ok, bad joke i know, the real link is here) spin the first few tracks off the Gorillaz new album - which was enough for me to discover that I actually like their music a lot more than I thought I did. Go Figure.

So, I walked all the way back over to The Fader space in an attempt to catch Ash & Benzos... i was early, so I saw a bit of Graham Coxon, and I realized I wasn't even remotely on the guest list. I decided to try and remedy this with a few desperate text messages, then realized that my recent re-involvement with alcohol had put something of a strain on my bladder. I walked down 6th street until I found a bar with public rstrooms that honored wristbands. It turned out the bar was the "other" Emo's... the one where I was supposed to have seen Stars, the one where two adorably pixie-ish Canadian lasses were rocking out on stage. Curiously enough, as I noted the girls and the fact that I still had some time to kill before Ash, I approached the bar - only to recognize a familiar face across the way. I snuck over and surprised Dan who greeted me with one of those bear-sized feet leaving the ground kind of hugs. He didn't know I'd be there, and I had foolishly ignored the notion that a Texas-bred Indie-Rock-boy might possibly attend Texas' biggest Indie Rock event, so we were all happily surprised, toasted our good fortune with PBR's and focused on the fine Canadian entertainment.

hey Dan, you know what i like best about Texas so far?
they grow the boys TALL here
yeah, i guess you could say this is the deep end of the gene-pool...

Dan and I parted ways and I made my way back over to the Fader space. Where I spent almost ALL of Ash's set in line waiting for a bracelet. Boo. Well, even if I couldn't see them from my vantage point, they sounded amazing. The most frustrating thing about that was that much like Dorothy Gale of Kansas... I'd had all the power I needed to see them all along. As it turned out, the bouncers working the gate were satisfied with pretty much any "Ruby" bracelet, and waved me on through without so much as a glance at it's distinguishing features. Bonus. Several free beers later I was thoroughly enjoying Benzos' set as the sun sank in the sky beyond the tent. If you're familiar with Benzos music, then you know what a sublimely timed treat that was.

I strolled out of the tent with a couple of hungry cohorts in order to suss out a proper Irish pub at which to sup. About 10 blocks later, we settled for a sports bar of sorts that was handing out a plethora of green beads & baubles. Thus began our 3 hour dinner. There was, apparently ONE waitress, and one waitress only. She warned us it might be a while, but it would seem that a Texas "while" and a New York "while" are vastly different approximations of time. Aside from our languid service, it turned out that my order never quite made it to the kitchen. Of course. ::insert eye roll:: And to think I turned down a perfectly good invitation to dine at the legendary Iron Works. Oh well.

By the time I made it out of the Irish Pub from hell it was too late for any number of bands I had wanted to catch... so I took a look at my schedule & my back up schedule and strolled on down to Stubb's where I grabbed a cheese-dog from a truck parked outside, and was reminded of how much I really do like Radio 4. I couldn't help but notice how the boys are looking a little worn around the edges... which made me feel old, but also somehow less anxious about aging - seeing as how they were still bouncing around the stage like teenagers. Speaking of teenagers... next stop of the evening was to see The Adored. So yeah, those guys aren't exactly Spring chickens either, but their sound is something like what you might expect from one of today's post-punk teen acts. Lead vocalist Ryan was predictably unimpressed with Austin and it's crowd and showed his disdain by routinely spitting beer at the crowd. Now depending on your take on "fashioncore", his actions were either amplified or rendered ridiculous by the fact that he was sporting Miss Sixty jeans and flashing his crack to the crowd so often it pretty much became a 5th band member. Lured to the show with the promise of an appearance by guest vocalist Pete Shelley, I gave up early and left before Mr. Buzzcocks even showed his face, making my way to Buffalo Billiards' as fast as the promise of Earlimart could carry me.

Ah Earlimart... pretty pretty music from a fairly biblical looking boy and his earthy-crunchy friends. I swayed, I sighed, I smoked (god bless texas!), I swigged $2 Vodka Tonics... I was one very happy girl. Once their Indie spell was broken, I shimmied on over to the Bitter End to catch up with the Brothers Ingber & Scott Morley for their second sxsw show. Now, I never quite got the full story on the liquored up lovelies who were cheering on The Upwelling boys... but they were loud, proud, and decked out in enough green party beads to make you wonder exactly how they earned them all... What can I say? For the second night in a row the boys rocked my socks. A less formal show than the Nuno's showcase, the boys really "let their hair down" so to speak... Ari played the whole set with a twinkle in his eye and a single in his collar, Scott rocked the Korg sans glasses, and Josh set about impishly winking in time with the popping flashbulbs. Four songs in, I was dancing around with a bunch of strangers who were actually jealous that I was familiar enough with the music to sing along. One of their newly converted flock ran up on stage, tore the mike from Ari's hands and screamed, "somebody get this fucking band a record deal!!!". It was hysterical and brilliantly rock&roll, but mostly? It was true, in vino veritas... right? When the boys were all but spent the crowd begged them for one more. They obliged, eliciting roars of delight from the crowd, with an encore of their opener, Annie on the Rooftop, which pretty much brought the house down.

Now the evening really could have ended right there... but free from performance obligations, the boys were ready to throw down - and well, I'm nothing if not an excellent tag-alonger, and so that's exactly what I did. Next thing I know, we're at some Napster party, and I run smack into Sarah & her shadow just in time to see another band sxsw introduced me to, Army of Me, pump out their second set in as many days, which was even more electric and engaging that their first. To really top off our night, they ended the set with a special guest who turned out to be none other than Blues Traveler's own John Popper!! He strode on stage silver suitcase in hand, whipped open the case to select one of a dozen harmonicas, and then proceeded to jam out with the DC bred band. Needless to say, my inner college freshman was ridiculously psyched and I danced around like a whirling dervish... an impulse that I continued to indulge post-set while the dj pumped out a veritable "best of" hipster dance set. When we had finally worn our poor feet out, The Upwelling crew was kind enough to let me have the first cab we found and sent me on my merry way to the Ramada and some well-earned rest. :)

oh, and one more thing...

Yankees win! ohhhh Yankees win!

thank you, that is all.


( 1 spanking — spank your inner moppet )
May. 6th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
world leader pretend
hey, i liked your comment on world leader pretend. i actually AM friends with them, DO know their names, and I'm pretty sure alex offered to buy me a beer last time they were in town (i live in chicago, where matt, the drummer, has spent some quality time), but i was digging on water at the time. anyway, these guys are not only great musicians, they're just super-cool, super-sweet guys trying to see the world and do what they love. thanks for the good post and keep spreading the word, they'll be back in your neck of the woods soon.
( 1 spanking — spank your inner moppet )