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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Stacy's text wrap-up of SXSW DAY 3, Part 1

Basia Bulat at Antone's

Day Three

*again times are approximate. I have no sense of time or date right now. What day is it? [Editor’s aside: Yo, Stacy’s. Good morning, it’s Saturday!]

9:15 – get up, eat free hotel breakfast, blog about prior day

11:15 – Back to hotel room to grab my gear and run off to the Pitchfork Media day party. I am scheduled to shoot the Emo’s Jr. stage. I am excited and hope people show up. Day parties are almost always packed if only because they are usually free and anyone can go. No badge or wristband required. I hope to catch acts in the main room at Emo’s as well, since it’s just next door to where I’ll be shooting.

12:00 – High Places take the stage. They are from Brooklyn and have a great sound. It’s all female vocals, with a lot of looping. They use a lot of various types of bells and shakers and such to compliment their electronics. It’s actually pretty relaxing and I enjoy it. However, the sound is all pretty similar and I sort of zone out. The sound is pretty muffled so I can’t really understand what they are saying, so that’s most of it.

12:30 – Head into Emo’s main room, where Lykke Lihas just finished setting up. She waits until the three men in her band have finished setting up before sauntering onto the stage. Right off the bat, I’m annoyed. She seems pretentious as hell, and I just want to have a good time. I enjoy her sound, but whatever. She ends one song with, “I know it’s early, but let’s pretend it’s a club, ok?” Yeah, ok. Thank God Emo’s has set up giant fans which are swirling about and helping to cool the crowd. It’s going to be 93 today. If only for that reason I’m sort of glad I’m going to be inside the venue instead of at the outdoor stage.

12:45 – I walk back to Emo Jr’s where White Williams is setting up their gear. They just came from The Current’s day party down the block. I’ve liked the one song I’ve heard played on The Current so this will hopefully be a new band for me to love. Turns out they are just ok. They are bouncing around and decent to watch, but I’m not all that impressed. I don’t care much for the sound in this room and that’s bothering me. I find most of the vocals for bands here muffled and hard to understand. To be fair, this may be due to the fact that I have stupid cheap foam earplugs on because I lost one of my good ones. Fuck. Something else to buy when I get home. Sigh…

1:15 - It’s getting hard to blog here. There is really loud music in-between sets. I am hoping to hit up Emo’s Annex (a tent across the street), that is a day party for Soundcheck Magazine, a local publication. They have bands like Cloud Cult and Why? scheduled to play, and I’m more interested in those than what Pitchfork has on tap. At this point I haven’t yet met my boys from P.Fork. As I am looking at my handwriting in my blogging notebook I make a mental note wondering how I will be able to write a legible bar exam when I can’t even read this scrawl.

1:30 – Next up is the band who carries my favorite band name (possibly of all time), Fuck Buttons. I chat with their manager from the UK about the band – they’ll be in Mpls with Caribou soon – and tell him I am interested in talking with them when they come to my hometown. He says that’d be great and tells me to email him. Fuck Buttons requested one thing from the venue… a table. But alas, it was not meant to be and they end up using some upturned equipment cases instead. They begin their set and I find myself bouncing and involuntarily hardcore head bobbing. Woot! They are great. SO great. I usually am not that into electronic music. Maybe it’s the band name, but I’m enjoying myself immensely. Andrew Hung keeps looking over at me and smiling. I’m one of the only people with a constant bounce and I’m just a happy girl.

2:05 – I head back to Emo’s main room to check out someone… I’m not sure what the schedule is in that room. I see a ridiculous looking metal band on stage complete with Flying V guitars and a Garth-like drummer. I am a bit intrigued, a bit afraid. They begin their set and I can’t stop laughing. They are awesome and hilarious and seem to be totally taking themselves too seriously, which is great. Turns out this band is Jay Reatard. Sweet!

2:20 – Back to Jr’s to check out Atlas Sound. Turns out the lead singer is Bradford Cox of Deerhunter. He is the skinniest man alive. I met him at Pitchfork. I have a photo of me sitting on his lap while he kisses my cheek. He’s super nice, but insane. They are much different that Deerhunter as far as sound goes, and Cox is dressed in more normal attire. I’m not super impressed, but it’s alright.

3:15 – I run over to the main room and am sad to see Bon Iver’s set is already over. Justin Vernon is just hanging out and I say hello. I was sad to learn last night that Vernon’s wallet was stolen from the green room at one of his shows. That’s balls! He has no ID, no cash, and no credit card. That’s gotta be frustrating and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Oh –and it has to be said that Vernon’s wallet was in his “tanny pack” – a tan fanny pack. Really, Justin? Really?

3:30 – Back and forth. Back and forth. Now watching Times New Viking set up their gear. I am excited to see these guys. They take a bit setting up, but not overly long. The show is running super early (which never happens) and so they have plenty of time. They take the stage and jam. Rocking out, shaking heads and pounding drums. I am bored. Is that bad? Meh.

4:00 – At this point I find myself waiting for the show to be over. I haven’t eaten since 10:00 am and I’m starving. I’ve had a bajillion free Fuse drinks and a nasty energy drink in a blue and orange can (where’s my Rockstar beverage!?). BAH. I am becoming the cranky music lover. Baaaaahhhhh…. A Place to Bury Strangers is setting up their gear and I note with a tone of exasperation that they are unloading both a fog machine and strobe lights. Those two things do not good photos make. I am whiny, cranky, and I need a nap. Boo.

4:15 – APTBS starts their set. WHOA. Loud. Omg. Whoa. I do not like it. Flat out. No. I shoot to kill and leave the venue looking for fresh air and love. Oooo! Cloud Cult across the street. I sigh with relief and head over.

5:00 – Yay!! Home again. Craig Minowa is singing, Jeff D. Johnson is behind the soundboard. I am happy. They play a few tracks from their new CD, as well as favorites from The Happy Hippo and The Meaning of Eight, including one of my favorites, “Take Your Medicine.” I shoot what’s left of their set6, and then haul ass to The Current’s tent just down the block. I am hoping to make it to see Carbon/Silicon and also my favorite DJ Mary Lucia.

5:30 – Crowd at The Current tent is thick. It’s packed here. Awesome. Lucia says she might throw up because she’s so nervous to talk with the band. This is why I love her so much. Passion baby. She has it. Carbon/Silicon take the stage. The four rows of people in front of me (all men over 6’ tall) raise their arms… and point and shoots. I can’t see a damn thing. Fuck. Even with my fancy outdoor zoom lens I’m worthless. I shoot a song, what I can, and back out of the crowd. The Alarmists boys are there and I bullshit with them for a bit. I am still hungry and feeling a bit gross. I haven’t eaten still. I tell them I need to run or I am going to die (true!). I run into my friend Mark’s friend Bruce. We talk music for a bit and I pawn off on him for food as well.