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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stacy Schwartz words and pictures from SXSW Day 1

Stacy's full Day 1 photo set is here:

Stacy's Day 1 itinerary recollections:

9:45 – 10:00 Head down to the hotel’s free hot breakfast! Breakfast sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, cereal, coffee, etc. Good stuff.

10:30 – 11:30 – Go pick up my badge at the conference center. Line is soooo much longer than last year, but they have everything under control. My badge pic is the one David de Young took of me at the Turf last fall and it’s hilarious. Pick up my big bag of swag and throw out a lot of junk. Survey the tables and Andrea Myers & Kyle Matteson pick up leftovers from other badge holders. Post-its, buttons, cds, magazines, etc.

12:00 - Leave and head off to Emo’s for some music and free PBR! Take that POB!!

12:30 – See These United States at Emo’s – get there for the last song of their set. I have full belly after breakfast and the weather is freakin’ AMAZING. Woooot!

12:45 – Swag! Antone’s t-shirts (unicorn shirts – huh?) and energy water, lip balm and a random sampler cd. Back into Emos for Evangelicals. The lead guitarist broke one of his strings, but just pulled it out as he continued playing and tossed it on the ground. The keyboard player/guitarist matched his outfit to the material covering the keyboard – fancy!

1:00 – Meh to Evangelicals, so off to Emo Jr’s (they’re connected) to see Radar Brothers. It’s much more mellow that I’m looking for at this point in time. Sort of reminds me of The Beatifics. Get a txt message from friends I met last SXSW so that was neat – I am looking forward to seeing them again as well as other Mpls folks.

The second Radar Brothers song has a bit more oomph. It seems like a band that used to rock hardcore, but now has mellowed and matured with age. They are good though. The bass player reminds me of Heath Henjum – he does that same lip thing.

1:45 – The New Puritans. Oh. My. God. Awesomeness in a can. The last song they play is that “Elvis, I wasn’t talking about that king” song that The Current plays a bit. Holy shit I’d watch these guys play again in a heartbeat. Of course this falls in line with my love for all Brit bands, TNP being from the UK. Wheee!! I am happy and bouncing along to their tunes.

2:15 – Matt Perkins (from The Nomad and The Current) just got into town. I am waiting to see Frightened Rabbit (a Scottish band – me? Seeing a Scottish band? Imagine that!) at Emo’s Annex (same venue, just across the street from where I just was). Attempting via text to figure out room keys and such with four people in different places is odd, but it still works.

2:40 – Frightened Rabbit sound checking – I am excited! I’m at the Iota Party. I talk to Eric (This guy from PA I’m working on a book with about SXSW) and we plan to meet up later. FR begins playing and I am sadly unimpressed. Dammit. Oh well. Sometimes the recordings are just better than the live act. OR it could be the venue. I’m not adverse to attempting to see them again, but we’ll see what happens.

3:55 – Leaving Emos Annex after eating some ridiculously good free Tex Mex food (quesadillas, tamales, chips, guac, kabobs, salsa, cheese sauce) and free beer. Yum yum! Go to meet up with Perkins, Sean Peterson (Universal Music), and a few other people. Andrea Myers, Kyle Matteson & Steve McPherson are now at the Annex too.

4:15 – Meeting Jim Walsh at the hotel pool as he just got into Austin. Crazy day! Perkins and I stop to wait in line and get our Fader Party wristbands. Afterwards we meet up with Jim, drop stuff off in the room, and head out into the sunshine. It’s SO beautiful out. Perkins is with us and he gets called to help The Current set up their stuff. Jim grabs a taco and we sit on a fire escape stairway overlooking Sixth Street and watch the musicians, hipsters, scenesters, publishers, A&R Reps, fans and anyone and everyone else imaginable walk past. It’s perfect.

5:50 – Meet Andrea & Kyle at Creekside to see Spinto Band. $2 PBRs. There are 6 members of Spinto Band and there’s something wrong with a piece of their equipment so they are taking a while to set up. The drunk guy next to me keeps yelling for their song “Mandy.” Shut up!

6:00 – The band starts as they’re supposed to be done by 6:15. Oh well. Spinto Band plays 6 – 7 songs and I really dig them. Find #2 of my trip, thanks to Kyle Matteson’s suggestion. They are pop-rocky and bounding around the stage. The keyboard player totally looks like Jon Behm and Andrea and I giggle.

6:30 – Head off to the hotel to drop off gear and swag and think about food. Andrea and Kyle decide to wait in line to get their Fader Party bracelets while I go back to the hotel. Jim and Steve are already there. I start editing pics, while the rest of them blog and nerd out. Andrea and Kyle arrive and the crew figures out where to eat. I stay behind to catch up on editing pics... and I’m still full from all that Tex Mex this afternoon. Ooo! I get an email from Basia Bulat, who’s awesome and sweet, and we plan to meet for lunch or something on Saturday. Yay! I can hear some band playing outside our room. Glad I brought earplugs.

8:15 – Gang back from dinner, I am finishing up editing the 1st half of the day’s photos. Whew. Hopefully that’ll grant me some reprieve tonight when blogging and editing the rest. Decide to head out to see Romantica at Touche. We get part way there when my friend Eric calls and says REM is getting hard to get into. I jet over that direction, as I reaaaaalllly wanna shoot that.

10:15 – Yay!!! Into Stubbs (with camera pass this year!) to see REM. Have to sit through another band prior to them coming on and I’m in line for the photo pit so I can’t see a thing. Zzzz…. There are a LOT of photographers! They decide to put us into the pit 25 at time for 3 songs each. REM has agreed to let two sets of photographers into the pit (total of 50 people) instead of just one shot so that it’s not so nuts. They apparently are really great to press.

12:00ish – REM!!!!! I am in the first batch of photographers into the pit, which pleases me because it means that I get to see them sound checking (well, not REM, but their people) and take a bunch of gear shots. Whee! I love gear shots. Stipe and co. finally emerge, are very gracious and kind and jump around frantically. It’s amazing and I am in love with them. Unfortunately we (the press) are whisked out after 3 songs (Stipe waving and saying, “Goodbye press!”). I blow him a kiss and he smiles at me. Hee!

12:30 – Run into my friend Mark Trammell from Digg and we go to Emos to get his girlfriend. We are then planning on going to see Bon Iver at Maggie Mays rooftop. Mark finds his gal is at a different venue, but I meet Bruce, Mark’s friend and so Bruce and I head over to Maggie Mays. We meet up with Gabe from the Varsity and Lindsay Kimball from The Current.

1:00 – Bon Iver takes the stage. Justin says hello. I take pics. Kimball and I are sitting on little stairs that lead up to the stage and it’s relaxing and Minneapolis-like. I’m tired, but my feet and such are holding up better than last year. My face is a bit sun-burned and my shoulder is killing me from carrying around my camera bag. Oh well. I am happy and tired.

1:45 – Meet up with Kyle and Andrea. Hit up the “Damn Good Tacos” stand and get the best taco I probably have ever had. Guac, queso and fried chicken in a flour tortilla. OMG. Yum!!! We head back to the hotel. Perkins, McPherson & Walsh are all on the floor sleeping when we get there. Lame. Hee hee…

2:55 – I’ve uploaded my pics to my computer and am done blogging. Whew. Another full day tomorrow. Night, night.