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Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Lost SXSW Report from Kate Galloway

As a scientifically-minded computer professional who doesn't believe in mumbo jumbo, the only explanation I can offer why Kate Galloway's second SXSW email update did not reach me Saturday is Mercury Retrograde (which started Saturday morning.)

Anyway, now that I finally have the report, here it is in all its glory. Through the magic of Blogger I have changed the timestamp so it looks like we actually posted it Saturday when she sent it originally.


After not a lot of sleep, Thursday morning I had high ambitions to go over to the Copa to see DeVotchka and the Hot IQs only to find out that the show had been moved to 1pm instead of 12pm, and the bands I wanted to see wouldn't be on until 5pm or so. Craig Grossman and I thought this was a great excuse to have a hair of the dog session before going to the convention center for a peer meeting of booking agents. Then it was time for Charles Gehr and me to head over to see a new client of ours on Times Beach Records - Man, Inc. Man, Inc. is one guy, Matt McGuire, his bass guitar and a bass drum. He's angry, he's political, and he's awesome.

We decided to head back over to the Copa to try to catch Hot IQs and Devotchka. When we got there, we were a little disappointed with the outdoor patio sound. Charles was crabby since he hadn't eaten, so we went to grab a bite. Well, we forgot it was St. Patty's Day, and the place we decided to go to for food started to fill up quickly, and we ended up spending over an hour just for our sandwiches. We missed DeVotchka. I was pissed. I came home, fell asleep and slept through the night. Depressing I know, but it had to be done if I was going to survive.

My roommates Craig and Anna on the other hand spent the night out seeing the likes of Viva Voce, The Bedroom Walls, and Robert Skoro. Dave Russ and Dan Israel joined them for most of the evening. Dan and Craig went to the Kill Rock Stars showcase to see Jeff Hanson. There was a huge line, full of people who even had badges, but somehow Dan and Craig walked straight in with no problems. The only Minnesotans in attendance were Ross "by Rosswest" Raihala and Chris Riemenschneider. I have no clever name for Chris.

Where's my clever name?

Later, Dan and Craig checked out The Reputation and DeVotchka. On the way there, they ran into Mary Lou Lord playing a guitar that was hooked up to a car battery outside of the Driskill hotel. Only at SXSW.

SXSW is also a great opportunity to run into people you haven't seen in a while. Some former MN people of note: Melissa Maerz and Dave Wolf. (See photo by Anna Lee below.)

Craig Grossman, Dave Wolfe, Dave Russ and Dan Israel - Photo by Anna Lee


After getting some much-needed sleep, I got up early to head to the convention center to check out a couple of great panels. Then, we were off to more parties and opportunities to get some face-time with current and future clients. Because they're so great, we took another opportunity to see Jet by Day and Built Like Alaska. Then around 5pm, it was time for the MN Meet and Greet Happy Hour. We get there just as Mark Mallman and Ryan & Kat Smith are heading out. We reassured them that they were at the right place, but they weren't convinced. Then we went in at weren't quite convinced ourselves... it was pretty full due to Michelle Shocked also playing there, so it was a little hard to find everyone. I ran into Mick Spence, Sonya Southward, Kim King, Taco Martin, Nate Dungan, Ken Abdo, Ross Raihala, Dan Israel, Mei Young... and maybe a few others. It was hard to keep track.

We kicked off the evening concerts with Johnny Hickman of Cracker at Opal Divines, being backed by the Radio Nationals (KEXP's "Best Seattle Band"). I met up with some friends of mine at Momo's across the street and got to see a little bit of the Resentments. I wanted to leave early though because the ONE thing I really needed to see was Jolie Holland. She was playing a few blocks away at Antone's, one of the larger venues downtown. It was packed, hot and loud. I had a bad feeling... After standing on my aching feet for 30 minutes waiting for her to come on, troubles started. First, people wouldn't shut up. Jolie Holland is not at all the type of act that should be at Antone's, especially when she's on the same bill as The Frames and Calexico. Then, her violin was out of tune and had "strange liquid" on it. So after a couple attempts to pick it up and fix it, she'd put it down and play the guitar again. It was really disappointing. So much so, that I decided to get out of there. I did not want my wonderful opinion of Holland to be tainted by this experience.

Next, it was time to go see Dan Israel at BD Reilly's. He drew a very nice crowd (including Japanese and French fans) and the set was incredibly tight and entertaining. I hadn't seen Dan rock out like that in a long time.

Another reason badges rule: cutting in front of a line that goes out to the street. I really wanted to see Of Montreal at 1am and brought Craig with me. The place was literally WALL TO WALL. There was no room to move. We got in with no problems, stayed close to the door and enjoyed a full two songs before deciding we were too old for it. Went outside, ran into a buddy from Athens, and enjoyed a few more songs from the comfort of 6th Street.

It's Saturday afternoon, and now we're off to see Magnapop and Visqueen...


Crowed Out said...

Magnapop and Visqueen. Now that's good taste in music. Last year at SXSW I had the good fortune to be a part of Rachel's running verbal battle with a sound guy who was not in her good books. Cue much verbal banter with Rachel at one point saying something on the lines of "Let's take it outside" Now that's a girl who doesn't take any crap from anyone.