Sunday, March 22, 2009

Autin - Day Four

And yes, the madness continues...

Day Four - March 21

At this point in the trek, you kind of don't care who is playing anymore. You're gonna see what you're gonna see. I already knew I wasn't going to bother trying to get to the Kanye West show that night. What? Am I crazy? Absolutely. Crazy tired of the Auto-Tune phenom no matter who is doing it. I hate robot voices. And overly dressed hipster kids. So what did I see?

Mess With Texas: thank God the good people of Austin rose up against the SXSW machine... The third (hopefully annual) Mess With Texas day fest is free to anybody who wants to hang out in the park all day and check out a heck of a lot of the great bands that played during the course of the festival. So I saw a couple acts I'd missed during the week.

I kinda fell in love with Thao Ngyuen and the Get Down Stay Down. Figures - she's from the Bay. She rocked pretty hard with her boys, and vocally reminded me a bit of Cat Power - if Cat Power were an excitable and rowdy person instead so darned morose.

Then the Vivian Girls. My brother had told me they were like a cross between the Aisler's Set and the Gossip. Or maybe he didn't. All I know is that when both Kevs and my brother told me I was missing out, I downloaded for a listen and liked it. Live, it made me think of those glorious K Records girl bands of the early '90s. You know, they all sing the same note, and they don't really ever change anything much, but they are having fun doing it in a nice indie rock way. And in this case, they brought up a whole lotta people to dance.

After cruising around the park, catching random bits of music, and getting myself a big ole snowcone, I went back to my hotel for dinner. And then to go see the Sonics. Yes! The mother-fuckin' Sonics! They were playing and it was going to be glorious... only I got the nights wrong and missed them. They played Friday. DAMN!!!

In despair, I texted some friends who were headed to see some comedy and I wound up in a giant underwater sea adventure... well, it was decorated that way, anyhow. Once you passed through the concrete sea serpents and sparkly plastic bubbles, you entered an auditorium filled with comedians! I gotta tell ya, it was the perfect palette cleanser after all the rock and roll. After a rousing set from Eugene Mirman (occasional Flight of the Conchords player), it was time to hit the road for more music.

The Duke Spirit did their rock thing at Antone's, evoking that '60s sex appeal the lady singer is so good at doing. And sounding smoky hot too. Nay had spotted her earlier in the day wearing the same outfit she wore this evening - which was topped with a glittery garage bag of a jacket that only a rock star can get away with.

And then I broke one of my SXSW rules again... I stayed for an L.A. band. But it was the Silversun Pickups, kids from my hood, folks I've had drinks with, peeps who play softball with friends. They are doing quite well for themselves and always rock the live shows - and after all the touring they've done the last couple of years, they pretty much tore the roof off the place. The music is both beautiful and rollicking, as evidenced by Drew Barrymore hurtling herself to the front of the crowd so she could sway her arms dreamily during "Lazy Eye." See? You can both hurtle AND sway to SSPU. Despite a barrage of technical difficulties and a crowd half filled with utter morons, SSPU was the absolute best way to end a long few days of Rock, Roll, and everything inbetween.

And at this point, my camera was long dead. Yet, here I am, to South By another year...