Another year, another great festival full of hot dirty rockers, free flowing booze, fast formed friendships and oh yeah, some great music as well.
The instant I woke up at 5:40 a.m. things went into a breakneck speed on Thursday morning to get to JFK terminal 5. I made it and was rewarded with a plane full of music industry movers and shakers, setting a tone for the most ‘Bromantic’ festival on earth, SXSW. Exchanges of fist pounding, hand grabbing-pulling in for that half hug with a pat on the back, and we were away.
Just remember if you are going to this festival even at seven in the morning, you are expected to look your hipster best. If this isn’t second nature, remember to layer especially since going from a 30 degree temperature in NY to an 85 degrees with the sun pounding down on you Austin, here’s a few tips:
-big, gawdy jewelry you never threw away from the 80’s, gold is preferred
-oversized scarves draped around the neck like a large cloth napkin in a “v” shape
- bold colors, the more the better, patterns that clash and may be viewed an eyesore elsewhere
- tattoo sleeves. Why not start now while you have a year to get it done and can spread out the ink, the pain and the payments?
- dark, chipped away nail polish
- pointed toe shoes or boots (converse are not going to cut it walking around on the concrete so do your feet a favor and forget them!)
- hats, although it made me hot just looking at dudes wearing wool knitted ones
Upon arrival a friend let me drop off my bag in her room and even sacrificed waiting for a ‘regular’ room for a handicap one because it was clean, eliminating any waste of party time.
We arrived at The Rhapsody party as the Vivian Girls were playing.
The marathon was underway where every hour feels like an entire day because so much happens. Armed with bloody marys, the crowd was thick for Glasvegas who I had “seen” (lighting is such you don’t see their faces too much during their full live show) at Shepard’s Bush in London in December with their undeniable ‘O-O-Ohs’ winning over the crowd.
Next up was dinner with ‘Big Nuts’ from a major record label and the programming/marketing/label relations staff of iTunes (about 30.) A tasty treat was local Mary a “normal person” aka housewife friend of one of the group who crowned our hostess “Big Nuts” and added “just a little bit of fish humor.”
My favorite Appleman
, was having a slight meltdown as he lost his iPhone the night before leaving for SXSW and was reduced to …email via an iTouch. Oh my, I hope that Apple sales are not down this week as a result! Oddly, spending a lot of time with other new Apple friends, they don’t seem to have a chip implanted in their heads running off mid-conversation when spotting co-workers.
A trip to La Zona Rosa yielded another bizarre revelation– straight men love Tori Amos. I dig me some Tori but was definitely taking her in to channel the show to my gay boyfriend in LA reporting all via text. I was told reality dating show, Tough Love’s number one rule “don’t be weird” didn’t throw straight men away in this instance. In essence they like the quirky! This revelation of more bro-mance was evident by the fact the average height in the crowd was six feet. I could sort of see Tori’s bright red crown. Why do we crucify ourselves indeed trying to stretch our necks trying to see sometimes?
Onwards to see Chair Lift at Red 7 and our dogs were barking as we crossed town yet again. Sadly, although I think a summer tour of Winter Gloves, Chair Lift and Snow Patrol ….get it, get it…yeah okay, I haven’t had much sleep the last week…would be fun on paper, the reality was Chair Lift, the darling of music bloggers everywhere, was throughly dissappointing. The male vocals seemed unplugged and, joined by a music supervisor for a music channel, we were not entertained by the male chest hair of the guitarist– not pretty on skinny white boys. Each new song reminded us of a different 90’s female vocalist. First she was Liz Phair ala Exile in Guyville, then Bjork, then Tori…enough, find your own sound.
Fortunately next up was Rye Rye at Aces on 6th Street.
Rye Rye takes the M.I.A. formula of rock + dance=eceltic fun -the rock, +urban instead and you get “Wassup Wassup.” A delectable new talent indeed! ( Indeed the have recorded the song “Bang” together.) The crowd forgot their aching feet and danced. Her two dancers would come out during a song, reminding us Baltimore’s dance scene is still intact, dance like madness for a minute, then Rye Rye would lay down wickedly fun irresistible tunes.
Coming off that high, back on the street we realized our feet were on fire again. We had to get back over to Zona Rosa for the 1am show of Steel Panthers by command from our dinner hostess, Big Nuts. After 12 hours of doing the do at SXSW, we decided it was time for a pedicab. The next one in line happened to be, a rickshaw.
Three of us climbed in and all I could think of was my head hitting the concrete as my butt was hanging over the side. It was most amusing to passerbys who yelled out such memorable comments (as one does at that time of night) as “That’s Chinese…fun.” Going down the hill or bumps was terrifying for me but my friends loved it.
As for Steel Panthers, the faux awesome hair band, we were reunited with Big Nuts, Krinsky, and a few other now very ‘happy’ revelers. There was a lot of laughter, oh no they didn’t looks, and cringing at points. I especially loved the song “Asian Hookers.” That one is self explanatory. Another crowd pleaser was when Justin Hawkins, formerly of The Darkness now of Hot Leg, joined them on stage to sing “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.” The highlight though was the closer “Community Property” which is a power love ballad letting the object of affection know that she has his heart, but his dick is well, community property.
That about wraps up Thursday….and about all the brainpower I had left on reserve today to write.