Looking at the world of media: from music to RIA.

Tales from SXSW – day 3

March 18th, 2006 Posted in General Media / Stuff

The word of the day: lines. Today was our logistical nightmare of the week; were all our best laid plans came crumbling down due to the convergence of the weekend, St. Patrick’s day and way too many bands we wanted to see that are all creating a lot of buzz.

We got off to a rocky start yesterday when we tried to get a little extra sleep and pack it all in. We wanted to catch Beth Orton at the Waterloo Records instore but she was going on at 2pm. By the time we got out of the hotel room it was 1pm and there was no way we could make Delaware subs and catch her set. We picked up Dani and went straight to the show.

By the time we got there the place was packed and they were only doing one in one out for the line. Luckily, a lot of people were there to shop so we got in just as Beth finished her first song. The interesting thing about her set was that she was up there by herself with an acoustic guitar. If you know her music she tends to lean heavy on the electronic music tip so this was a pleasant surprise. The last song she did was one of those goose bump moments because her lyrics were so powerful.

After Beth, we headed over to this bar/Cajun joint and met up with Niki’s good friend Amanda. We kicked back, ate duck gumbo, po-boys and sipped at a pitcher or two of Shiner. Once we were completely stuffed we wandered back to the store to see “Goblin Cock”. How can you not love that name, nor the fact that the entire band is dressed like Grim Reapers and all play BC Rich guitars? Not only that, but they played a fucking rocking cover of Tears for Fears. Interesting side note about Goblin Cock is that apparently it is a fun side project for members of Pinback and Stones of the Queens Age. Good times.

On a random side note, as Goblin Cock was breaking down their rig I noticed a familiar face. It ended being my old friend Polaris. He used to hang out with us at the old 43 Norfolk warehouse and he had moved to Austin about 2 years back. I hadn’t seen him in at least 3 years and it was great to catch up and also see someone random that I know.

We decided to stay around the store to catch Lady Sovereign, who is considered the next MIA by a lot of critics. Her DJ took a ridiculous amount of time to set up, seriously does it take 35 min to set up turntables? I could set up my rig in under 10 in the dark at a packed club, and he had a ton of room and good light. Anyway, he mixed a few tracks and then Lady Sovereign came up and laid it out. We were all rocked by her skills, once again I am blown away by the talent of someone so young. It was a fun bouncy set and I realized that the MIA/Lady Sovereign sound is coming out of the older hardcore dance scene (hardcore is a style of music fyi).

We made our way back into the heart of the city were all the SXSW fun is going on to see Ambulette play a full set, since we only caught part of their first set. We set up and they rocked us once again. The lead singer, Maura Davis, was dealing with a sore throat so you could tell she had to strain a bit but she was able to pull off a tight set. I was also able to grock the drummer of Ambulette and that guy is way out there good.

We left that club to head over to grab a bite to eat for dinner before Dungen went on at Buffalo Billards. Unfortunately this was our first major folly. By the time we got back there was a massive line to get in. We at first assumed it was people that wanted to pay to get in but after talking to the door guy we found out that the line was for wristbands.

The way it doors work at SXSW is that there are 3 ways to get into a club. One is to have the full SXSW badge (which I have) and badge holders get first dibs over any of the other ways. Second is to purchase a wristband that is only sold locally a few weeks before. Wristband holders have to wait for badge holders but have first dibs over people that want to pay the cover, which is the final way to get in.

What we were facing was that Niki has a wristband and I have a full badge. I could have just walked in at that point but there was no way I was going to bail on him. We stood in line and by the time we got near the front they stopped letting wristbands in because there was a huge line of badge holders. We realized that there was no way we could see Dungen or Elephant like we planned so we needed to find another show.

At this point I look up and lo and behold there is Dave M from Libsyn. My brain shut down for a second and I called him Marty (another libsyner) and I have no idea why. Stupid brain… probably because I hadn’t had a drink in a few hours grin

Dave and his friends bailed on the line a little earlier then us and they decided to go to set up camp at Emo IV to catch Circle. Niki and I decided to see how the crowd was there too. The thing about Emo’s is that there are 4 of them. Emo’s main, Emo’s Jr., Emo’s Annex and Emo’s IV. We ended up in Jr. and main before we realized it was the wrong club.

At that point we just wanted to see at least one more good band so we headed over to Red Eyed Fly to try and catch Rogue Wave. We once again hit a massive line and this ended up being just badge holders! From there we checked Stubbs and that was even crazier so we ended up at Emo IV to catch Circle (which we know nothing about).

We got into Emo IV without a problem and this experimental noise rock band, Cul De Sac was playing. After them Circle came on. Circle ended up being this art punk/metal band out of Finland that was bizarre to say the least. The first few songs were not moving us but by the end of the show it became interesting.

Once we left Emo’s I had resigned myself to no more good shows and hell, we were 13 hours in we might as well call it a night. Niki had no intention of leaving with the taste of Cul De Sac and Circle in his mouth so we looked at all the clubs on the map that we would pass on the way back to the car. He recognized, or thought he recognized Electric Soft Parade so we headed over there.

Once again we got in without a problem (which I thought was a bad sign). As I was standing there waiting for a drink some random guy starts talking to me about the band. It ends up they are two brothers from the UK and this is there first show in the States. The band got set up and started babbling in that fun lack of sleep, jet lag kind of way and then jumped into a fucking rocking set. These guys were amazing and even though they had terrible monitor issues you could just tell how good they were. Electric Soft Parade saved the night and we headed out to try and find a late night snack…

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