SXSW: Day 4

I promise I will sort this all out with a (semi-) comprehensive update Sunday or Monday. (Read: Tuesday, or never.) But I’ll go ahead and list what I saw tonight right now. I’m not nearly as over-served as last night, and yet, I doubt this will make any more sense.

  • White Lies: from London, Eng-uh-lund, sort of dance-y; pretty good.
  • Iran: boozy pop; bar band in the vein of Guided by Voices, though they end up in a slightly different location.
  • Daniel Francis Doyle: looks like your company’s IT guy (but not our company’s IT guy). He played drums and a sampler (with his foot) and sang through a Madonna mike. Felt like I was spying on him in his bedroom.
  • Magic Kids: from Memphis, third show ever. Trivia: have a Lou Christie cover band called the Loose Christies — and don’t play Christie’s only real hit, “Lightning Strikes.”
  • Matthew and the Arrogant Sea: from here. Ish. Found them kind of “eh.”
  • Immaculate Machine: liked them better when the young lady from the New Pornographers was still in the band.
  • LA Riots: kind of a curveball for me. Sort of a hard house DJ. Enjoyed it for what it was, and still love his remixes.
  • Hot Leg: new band from fella from the Darkness. Was wearing what appeared to be a tight studded leather jumpsuit. That pretty much describes the music as well.
  • Bosque Brown: “She’s intense,” said some dude after. Agreed.
  • Youth Group: Really good. I’m a sucker for their kind — big melodies extremely solidly played. Australian. But probably not the kind the Flight of the Conchords are scared of.
  • Spinto Band: See above, but erase “Australian” and all the stuff after.
  • Jack Oblivian: Bluesy punk or garage rock or something in that neighborhood. Solid.
  • Waco Brothers: Their drummer disappeared and they were forced to play with someone who had never heard their songs. Jon Langford is one of the few who could make anything out of that.

Probably forgot a thing or two (oh, in the afternoon I saw Graham Coxon — from Blur — and Shearwater. Really good in kind of totally opposite ways). But I’m not going to rack my brain. Not with my couch bed and pillow right here.


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16 responses to “SXSW: Day 4”

  1. D IT Fan says:

    Was Daniel Francis Doyle wearing jorts?

  2. Am I the only one . . . says:

    . . . who thinks this is neat and all, but aren’t you getting a little bit old for this? I’m sure you’ve got a finely tuned ear and great taste in music, etc., etc., but it just seems kind of sad that you’re still hanging on to it. Shoot, I loved college, too, but then, you know, I had to grow up and leave.

    But maybe it’s just me.

  3. 84692 says:

    Batface McGee loves The Spinto Band.

  4. Blake says:

    @Am I the only one

    I don’t get your point. “Still hanging on to” what? “Growing up and leaving” what exactly? The finely tuned ear? The great taste in music?

    Are you saying that when we leave college new musical styles and bands are dead to us? For the rest of our lives, we should just stick with the artists and the styles that were popular when we were in college? Does something happen to our hearing when we hit 25?

    Thank goodness not everyone feels that way. I appreciate that writers like Zac are out there introducing readers and listeners to new music, new styles, and new bands, and don’t make the assumption that we are too old to be challenged by and be interested in what new artists have to say.

  5. Am I the only one . . . says:

    @Blake: No, I meant a forty-year-old man with a wife and kids at home, lurching a college music festival, drunk and solo, like a thinner version of Burl Ives, trying to hold on to his “street cred.”

    To be fair, though, I did say maybe it was just me. (And Zac is a good writer, but I don’t call what he’s doing in Austin exactly “writing.”)

  6. Am I the only one . . . says:

    Meant to say “lurching around a college music festival.”

    Plus, Zac should get the reference to Burl Ives, because it was a comment that Robert Plant made about himself and Jimmy Page.

  7. Virgogirl says:

    Since when is SXSW a college music festival? Just because an event occurs in Austin doesn’t mean it’s geared for college students. Austin is also the state capital; it makes as much sense to assume it’s a festival for state politicians. I attend lots of live music venues at the geriatric age of 36. I’ve even been known to enjoy music produced within the current year; lurching around while listening to it, just makes it sound better! How is enjoying music attached to “street cred”? It’s not like your ears fall off after you get married, have kids, and hit 40.

  8. Zac Crain says:

    @ Am I the only one: Christ, man. I’m 34.


    I do have a wife and a kid, yes. And I probably do look like a thinner (?) version of Burl Ives. As for the other stuff: I have as much street cred as I always have — zero. And, you’re right: that wasn’t exactly writing.

    Why was I there? As Russell Hammond said, “I dig music.” But also: I like seeing friends I get to see once a year, and if we’re being completely honest, knocking back watered-down drinks at noon on a workday.

    Hope none of that sounded too snippy. Was going for only a slight twinge of snippyness.

  9. We are many says:

    So Zac is only 34, but speaking as a 40 year old who “yes” leaves the wife and kids and home and joins other 40 year old friends who have done the same thing, there are plenty of not sad reasons to go. Seeing Jon Langford, Exene Cervenka, Charlie Pickett, Kid Kongo Powers, and The Wrens still being good at what they do, it is pretty hard to feel that age is a valid excuse for anything.

  10. Dr Pepper presents Batface McGee says:

    Agreed. The Spinto Band is badass and great to see live. Glad you enjoyed them.

  11. Am I the only one . . . says:

    @Zac: Given the unfair crotch kick I gave you in my comments, you were certainly entitled to more than a little snippyness in your response. And based all the other responses, it’s clear that I was, in fact, the “only one.”

  12. Zac Crain says:

    @ Am I the only one: I should have mentioned, though, that I do see your point. I’m not going to stop going to SXSW anytime soon, but I do feel like there’s an expiration date, at least for doing it the way I do it now.

  13. Am I the only one . . . says:

    Please tell me that the expiration date precedes the time (by a wide margin) when you are balding and with what’s left of your stringy gray hair pulled back in a ponytail. And are as portly as Burl Ives.

    Unless, of course, you’re really writing. . .

  14. We are many says:

    @ ZC: After 14 trips down there, here are my tips. 1) Stay within easy walking distance of Sixth. I appreciate that your job my have called upon you to work in a hotel review too, but try to say no next time. Otherwise, your most staying memory will always be the three hour wait for a cab as you miss your most anticipated show 2) Have four meals a day — especially breakfast. Waiting until your entire group can meet up at Stubbs at 1 PM for your first nutrition sets you up to feel awful all day. Don’t underestimate the theraputic value of 2:15 AM street pizza. They have spinach! 3) If someone insists on fetching you a drink before 6 PM, make it a dark beer. You’ll find a couple of bands have gone by before you finish it. Then after 6, don’t drink anything darker than pilsner (whether distilled or not). 4) Wear comfy shoes, you are an old man after all. 5) Cut down on the venue hopping. One of the unknown bands sandwiched between the two on your must-see list might well end up as your best of show.

    @ Am I the only one: I’d rather stare at a shiny sweaty pate in front of me, or get jostled by an unsettlingly squidgy paunch behind me, then be wedged between two twenty-something hipsters that think extreme BO is an especially effective protest of corporate America. Welcome, Grandpa Crain. The other old guys may think they are only allowed to act like children on the golf course or Stars game, but your money is good at the rock show.

  15. Zac Crain says:

    @ We are many: I would be at 14 trips myself, but I skipped 2004. As I have the last few years, I stayed with friends who live around the 15th and Lamar area. Not exactly walking distance, but I did pull off that hike on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

    As for the other stuff: Long ago realized the wonder of street pizza and started packing good sneakers instead of Chucks or Vans, but will never stop midday drinking. I just can’t. But I’ve found if you pace yourself, and mix in a lot of water, it’s no big deal. I have more of a problem at night anyway.

    And the venue-hopping? I’ve done it both ways numerous times and I can say they both have their merits. In fact, I did it both ways this time.