Sunday, March 20, 2005

Three days of fun at SxSW (sans wristband)

Songs in my head:
"Staying Fat" by Bloc Party
"L'via L'viaquez" by the Mars Volta
"Fooled With the Wrong Guy" by Beulah
"Operator" by Jim Croce

South By Southwest Wrap-up

Thursday night
I get in and hang out with Jeff for the night. I was still recovering from minor flu symptoms so I wasn't too keen on going to a smoking bar. We ended up playing Taboo with a couple of Jeff's friends who were well on their way to being Invincible Drunk. Somehow, Jeff and I lost to them.

Meet Nick and a wonderful mate from England named Marc at Emo's and go from there. We walk all up and down 6th Street and see a couple of bands play at a venue right next door to Friends. Following that, we get to La Zona Rosa as Alternative Press' party/show was finishing up and I met Aaron Burgess, someone whose articles I've enjoyed for the last few years. I kinda felt like Brodie meeting Stan Lee in Mallrats and thought he was a very cool and genuine guy. We briefly went to the Insound party to watch some of American Analog Set and then the three of us split up. I went to Friends for the Polyvinyl showcase and saw Picastro, Ida, Decibully, Saturday Looks Good to Me and Of Montreal. The show was awesome but the venue was packed to the gills. I made it through most of Of Montreal's set but I just couldn't take the heat and the claustrophobia anymore. 6th Street felt like Mardi Gras x 10 that night.

Met up with Marc and later met up with Nick. Saw the Lemurs play at the Dizzy Rooster and thought they were pretty good. Marc and I walked all the way down to Waterloo Records only to get caught up in a ten minute downpour. Luckily the sun came out and we met up with Nick at Bigsby's for Young Heart Attack. Then we went to a small coffe shop close to UT and saw Bring Back the Guns finish their set. The Guns are always a sight to see but I just wish I could have seen more of their set. For the evening, I met up with Jeff and a friend of his named Alex. We wait in line for about an hour and a half to see Koufax at a sushi bar. While we were waiting we started talking to some guys in front of us. Turned out they're from Kingwood and we shared some good stories. We get in right as The Honorary Title finishes and Koufax was next. I was so excited to see Koufax for the third time and they now have Rob and Ryan from the Get Up Kids in the band. They played a lot of great new songs along with some choice cuts from Social Life. Very cool way to end SxSW for me.

Wrapping things up:
I'm amazed at how many people I recognized just walking around. Whether it be an old friend I hadn't seen in a while, a band members I had seen in the Big Takeover or meeting some of the people I've been in contact for the book, it was a really good time. The whole vibe of the events are just about playing music over the marketing of music. There were no Beatlesque mobs of fans around the much-talked about bands. Case in point, I saw three of the four members of Bloc Party just walking down the street. Nevermind the fact that their posters of their Fader cover were all over the place, they just looked as excited and curious about who's who and what's what to see around town. All in all, a very successful time. Now back to writing this book I've been telling people about . . .


Sarah E. said...

Interesting recap. I never went to SxSW. From what I heard, it would be tough for me even to get in to see the bands I was interested in. But it sounds like you had an awesome time. I'm glad.
Wasn't Ash there? Did you get to see them?

Eric Grubbs said...

Ash did play SxSW but I did not see them perform.

Sarah E. said...

I'm going to see Ash here in about a week. It'll be my third time seeing them. I'm excited.