My SXSW experience started out on WEDNESDAY night as I made my way to the Central Presbyterian Church to see M Ward, Department of Eagles, St Vincent, and Camera Obscura. It was freezing ass cold in there, so I left after Department of Eagles.
On THURSDAY, I was downtown a little after 11am to see Daniel Johnston. After that, I loafed around and then made my way to Scholz Garden, which was quite a hike, to see Evangelicals who put on an absolutely blistering set. A band called Women played before Evangelicals, to my surprise, because I had wanted to see Women and had no idea they were playing a set at Scholz Garden. They were really good. From there, I made my way to Mohawks to see Richard Swift who would have played arenas if this were the seventies.
He's a really underrated guy whose piano-infused pop music was a relief after all the walking I had done...and it was only 8pm. After the last song and a date with a Frito Pie, I moseyed on over to Red 7 to see the psychedelic electronic sensation that is Nite Jewel. The sound in Red 7 wasn't very good, but Nite Jewel was delightful nonetheless. By this time, Jim Beam, Coke, and Red Bulls were creating a riot in my system but I was unfazed. I had to go see Justin Townes Earle at Antones. Before JT went on, however, I caught local sensation Carrie Rodriguez who I had sadly never seen before. She is amazing. Anywho, if anyone is looking for the ghost of Hank Williams - it has risen and his name is Justin Townes Earle. This kid is really that good. I was going to go home after his set, but a friend of mine called and told me to meet him at Volume to see Beach House, who I had wanted to see anyway so I obliged.
Three or four songs into their set, I was cashed. My legs were gone and so was I - right out the door to go home and sleep. While waiting at a stop light, I was startled by a girl who knocked on my window and asked if I could give her and another guy a ride home which I did. They said they were in a band called Idle Hands and that they were here from Minnesota. They didn't have a Minnesota accent or maybe they did. I was delirious at this point. They were extremely polite and overly thankful and all around good kids. I got home and the massive quantities of Red Bull would not let me sleep despite the fact that I was horribly tired. South By Southwest is MADNESS.
FRIDAY was no good. I was irritable and cranky. I saw a friend's band and afterwards attempted to see some shows but it was a no go. I went home for some much needed rest.
SATURDAY, I went to Homeslice(the best pizza parlor in the world) to see Deer Tick but he canceled due to sickness which I'll take a wild guess and say was a case of the cocktail flu which was pretty contagious for some reason in Austin this week. Later, I went to Auditorium Shores to see The Cannabinoids who I had never heard of before, but was nonetheless excited to see because Erykah Badu was playing with them. After over an hour of watching them onstage without playing, I said "fuck this" very grumpily and left. Apparently, she only played two songs anyways so I didn't miss much. Explosions In The Sky played after the Cannabinoids and the line for that show was absolutely INSANE. They are a local band for chrisakes! I went to Mohawks after that to see Angel Deradoorian(of the Dirty Projectors) and her music was really beautiful and dark. She said she was sick too. That dirty cocktail flu must have struck her as well.
I blogged already about AIDS Wolf. They were insane and the best live band I saw at SXSW this year. My last stop of the night was at Back Alley Social to see the one person I had wanted to see most - Invincible.
Even the technical glitches throughout the show couldn't stop this rap phenom. She was great and her set ended another amazing SXSW for me. I'm already looking forward to next year.