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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Kate Galloway issues final report, confirms Mallman won SXSW second year in a row

Not that I mind hosting her wonderful comments here. In fact, I'm damned flattered. But after reading such wonderful correspondence from Kate Galloway from SXSW, I am hereby proposing that she start her own blog soon so we can read her accounts of rock and roll extravagance on a more regular basis.

Here is Kate's final report:

Saturday morning, we woke up to discover that it was very humid as Craig and I were off to yet another Austin music venue. This time, it was the Longbranch Inn, a cement hole in the wall with gourmet Bloody Mary's. To my dismay, we got there right after Magnapop had ended, but were just in time to see the entire Visqueen set. I had heard a couple singles from them on The Current, but I never expected to be rocked out so much by this sugary girl pop.

After some taco stand schmoozing time with various people, it was time to head off in our separate directions. I went to go see Steve Poltz at a fancy nursery party, hosted by an Austin booking agent, that my friend best described with "If you want to pay three times as much for a ficus, this is where you go." They had a nice sized rock garden with a cute mini amphitheater. Craig went off to see Dan Israel at a day party where he played with Mary Lou Lord, and Anna took advantage of being in Austin to visit with a local friend. Luckily, for my location, they were well prepared with canopies for the rapid and strange rain/hail storm that put pretty much every outdoor schedule behind an hour. It was ok though because it gave me plenty of time to catch up with some of my friends I don't get to see very often under the "backstage" canopy.

I have to take a moment to talk about Steve Poltz's set because it was one of the most interesting things I had seen all week. Stinky, drummer of Steve's other project The Rugburns, was on hand to provide a little percussion and a lot of entertainment. I lieu of a drum set, Stinky played a cardboard box. I have it on good authority that he'll be touring with Steve and will make a cardboard box-playing appearance at their Lee's Liquor Lounge show scheduled for Saturday May 7th. (See photo by Anna Lee.)

Oh, did I forget to mention that this party was emceed by groupie extraordinaire Pamela Des Barres? She stood right next to me during Poltz's set, and I didn't even think to get a photo with her until after it was all done. Oh well, we got to see her polka-dotted underwear through her floral skirt. They were full-backs, not a thong, if you were wondering.

Everything was a little rushed because of the rain delay, so we quickly stopped back at the hotel to refresh, grab something to eat and run over to Antone's to see the Kings of Convenience. This show gets the award for longest line I'd seen the whole trip. Thank God for badges! We were rushed in with about 200-300 other badge holders first, and unfortunately this meant Anna had to wait, or go somewhere else. We thought about being sneaky to see if we could get her in with us since someone had come around, carded us, and given us all the same wristband, but then we quickly realized that it probably wasn't going to happen. Anna gave a call to Dave Russ to meet him elsewhere and we made plans to meet later.

Kings of Convenience suffered from the same problems as Jolie Holland. Antone's is NOT the venue for acoustic or lo-fi music at all. I was SO hoping the KOC would have a band with them, but they didn't. Craig and I killed the disappointing time by hanging out with a club booker/promoter we knew from Arizona (probably to the dismay of the die-hards around us because we talked so much). We dubbed him the "Rob Rule of Tucson". The venue was abuzz with girly (boy and girl) chatter because Elijah Wood was there. See Ross "by Rosswest" Raihala's blog for my other mention about Mr. Wood.

Next was back to Opal Divine's for the second time to see Seattle's Radio Nationals once again. Chris Riemenschneider and Taco Martin were among the Minneapolitans there to see them. Next, we made our way to Say Hi to Your Mom. Why? Well, we loved the name, and I think it's the prerequisite for everyone attending SXSW that they go see a band purely based on their name. They were really, really good. Think Postal Service music with the vocals of Conor Oberst.

Next was BD Reilly's with Anna to grab a drink (pays to know the bartenders of course!) where we found out we were in the exact location where Slobberbone's last, unannounced and pretty much unplanned show was about to happen. We would've stayed, but after seeing the huge line of fans waiting to get in, we thought it would be better for them than it would be for us. We headed to the next planned stop, but after seeing the line decided we should refuel on sushi instead. This is part of the problem when you go to SXSW... if someone doesn't have a badge, they have to wait. I think Anna decided next year she would get one.

Our very last stop of the night was to see Austinite Shane Bartell. We almost didn't go after walking by Emo's Annex and hearing Against Me! playing... it was one of those things where you knew everyone in there was having the time of their lives. Without regret, we had a wonderful time seeing Shane. When he was threatened to be unplugged by the venue due to going over his time, he took the audience out to the back alley with his accordion player to do a distinct and unforgettable version of "Under the Milky Way". Again, only at SXSW.
We arrived back at the hotel around 3:45 a.m.

As usual, SXSW was one of the best times that can be had all year round. Somehow by recapping, I'm beginning to forget that my flight home was delayed by 8 hours - getting me back in Minneapolis at 4am Monday morning. And yes, Mallman won SXSW for the second year in a row.