Thursday, March 16, 2006

SXSW: Day One Recap

I heart Austin.

No, really. I do.

I think I sent out about 15 text messages last night saying I was going to move here. It's just so...I don't know what, but I like it. It's friendly. It's pretty. And it's pretty rocking too.

I asked my cab driver last night if Sixth Street is always this crazy. He said, yes, on the weekend. He then proceeded to play me a selection of all his favorite Austin singers. He was really excited about it. I like that.

So after an incredibly long day of traveling, I got to the apartment I'm staying at and unloaded for about .6 seconds until I hopped back in a cab to head downtown. I feared it was too late to pick up my badge, but luckily I found that not to be the case. I also avoided the 2 hour lines I had heard about earlier in the day. Go me.

Now with a huge bag full of free stuff, I trotted up the road to Emo's, my first (and last) stop of the night. I was there just in time for Voxtrot to take the stage. It seemed appropriate that these guys were my first slice of Austin pie. These hometown boys were so giddy, I couldn't help but be giddy too. The guy behind me kept yelling out requests -- annoying at first, but then kinda funny. As soon as the band started playing "Rasied By Wolves" I was in heaven. People were dancing, it was warm in the half inside/half outside venue, and the beer was only $3.

Like I said, I heart Austin.

After Voxtrot, I ran into some NYC folk also known as Kathryn and Amrit. We all enjoyed a quite fabulous set by the UK band Field Music. These guys are perhaps my new favorite UK export (don't tell the others). They have the same spot-on harmonies as Futureheads but in a much more melodic and less rowdy way. I was honestly pleasantly surprised by their entire set. I had only previously been familiar with the remixes they had done. The band was charming at all the right moments and I'm pumped to see them again this weekend.

I was considering calling it a night because I had now been awake for far too many hours but Amrit insisted I check out at least two songs by the Norway band Serena Maneesh. I knew nothing about this band, but as Amrit explained how crazy they were I was interested to see if they live up to the talk. And then this 7 foot tall giant woman walked on stage. Seriously, she could have kicked my ass in 1 second. I was kinda scared. She's a bass player and all, too. This band became much more interesting to look at then to listen to. The music was all sorts of crazy, the kind that is cool to see live but I'd never listen to voluntarily. There was nothing holding this band back -- from throwing guitars, throwing themselves on the floor, and playing instruments with a knife. My head was starting to hurt from the mere chaos of it all. It was time to call it a night.

I am now well rested and ready for the next three days. There's no stopping me now, I swear. Wes should be landing in less than an hour. He finally made it!

Will report back tomorrow.

P.S - I can't upload pictures. Or at least I don't feel like schlepping my laptop to the convention center just yet. But don't fret, it'll be like a whole photo bonanza when I get back to NYC.

  • Field Music - I'm Tired
  • Field Music - You Can Decide


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