SXSW: THE RECAP!

I’m back in Seattle, slowly recovering from the wear and tear that is SXSW. I tried, pretty dismally, to post at least something every day, but I wanted, after having a few days to sort of digest, write more of a final piece about the whole ordeal. I feel as if I got most of my observations out in the daily posts, so for this I just want to highlight the music that I found awesome, amazing, crappy, and just plain confusing. Also, the good folk at Light In The Attic added a few of their own memories of the event and they are well worth checking out below.

As I’m wont to do, I’ll be eschewing form based writing for a series of short quippy reactions to self-proposed questions … or something.

Finally, we’d all love to hear about your favorite SXSW memories for the year. What made you smile, what made you puke, what made you want to shake-a-shake-a that ass. You get the point, just comment – we love comments.

On to the RECAP:

BEST PERFORMANCE OVERALL: Dr. Dog’s final show at the Park The Van showcase Saturday night. When you’ve been performing for that long on as little sleep as some of these dudes were getting, you’re apt to phone in the last performance. Not Dr. Dog, they cut their songs short, turned it up to eleven and rocked my socks to another continent.BEST PEFORMANCE RUNNER-UP: Los Campesinos, Emo’s Inside on Thursday. I heart Wales. What can I say?

WORST PERFORMANCE: Autolux. I don’t know who these asses from LA think they are, but they fought on stage, played pretentious art-rock, and generally looked infuriatingly smug. Also, silver guitars are not cool. Sorry wankers. Oh and from what I saw of Evil Blood, they would be in competition for this if not for the fact that I ran out of the building screaming after one song.

CRAZIEST LEAD SINGER:

Jemina Pearl of Be My Own Pet. The woman is like Gumby on the pipe. I’m in love.

BEST DISCOVERY: Dead Ocean’s The Explorer’s Club. Sweet, sweet harmonies ala The Beach Boys. Saw them twice and both times they rocked a sweet cover of “Johnny B Good” as their final cut. Call me a sucker, but it was a deal-sealer.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Not seeing the entire set of Handsome Furs at the Sub Pop showcase. The brief moment I caught was amazing.

BEST OVERALL SHOWCASE: Park The Van. These guys have a solid roster. And it gave me a chance to check out Tulsa, a band all of you should be listening to at deafening levels.

BEST DAY PARTY: Mess W/ Texas in Waterloo Park. Oh jesus, just finally having a place where I could rest/sleep on the ground without the constant fear of shit-rivulets flowing towards me was award winning in itself. Also, Black Mountain killed a brief set.

BEST NON-MUSIC RELATED SXSW DISCOVERY:

The Alamo Drafthouse. I saw fucking 10,000 B.C. and I still consider it one of the great film moments of my life. So amazing.

STRANGEST PERFORMANCE: Pissed Jeans. I tried to blog about it, but no words could describe a 35 year old man beating a microphone against his stomach while screaming over nu-metal. Very very odd.

Overall this week was amazing. At times I felt defeated by the crowds, the heat, the lack of passable shitters, but in the end it was all worth it. Met amazing people, saw amazing music, had an amazing time.

A few words from some of the other Light In The Attic SXSW attendees:

Emily Cohen

-Seeing Lou Reed enjoy the Black Angels set at his own movie afterparty
-Meeting Eljah Wood, handing him the Free Design Redesigned Compilation, and having him tell us he LOVED the Free Design!
-5 part harmonies courtesy of the Explorer’s Club
-Rachel Ray’s 7 Layer Sliders
-Watching Billy Gibbons play guitar, even if it was without the rest of ZZ Top
-Free Blended Mojitos
-My blue tongue after drinking too much of the SOCO punch
-Bon Iver…nuff said
-Light In The Attic bonding time!

Josh Wright

Top Performances -

The Heavy @ The Continental Club
Earthless @ Bourbon Rocks
Annihilation Time @ Waterloo Park

Other good times -

Record Store Day Party!
Hanging with the AIMS Crew!
Sharing “kind” moments with Ice Cube

Sandy Wilson

A report from one of my operatives exchanging a few words with a mildly faded but coherent Steve Buschemi at an outdoor dive bar after a Viet Minh show on outskirts of the SXSW perimeter.

And yeah, all that free blue booze at the Fader party which I re-named 2,000 Flushes.

Seeing that photo of Alex @ The Salt Lick with copious amounts of BBQ

Going bowling on Sunday and not realizing that there was gum stuck to the bottom of my rental bowling shoe and – upon my release at the end of the runway – falling smack on my face and sliding across the foul line as the buzzer went off.

Eating Rachael Ray’s brisket, seven layer sliders, and mac n cheese.

Hearing that my girlfriend had been accosted by a ghost.

Hanging out with Eric J. Lawrence from KCRW for an afternoon.

The ZYNC Music party on that rooftop bar on the West side with lots more free mojitos and tasty dishes.

A nice lunch with Danny Benair and Tiffany Anders and finding out that Danny was in the Cheech & Chong film “Up In Smoke.”

Finding an awesome hat shop on 6th & Brazos called Hatbox (hatbox.com should you want to link it) and finding a Kangol that looked good on my big ol’ head.

Having some laughs with Tim from IODA and coming up with the concept for what would be quite possible the worst album in history – a Woody Allen rap album produced by David Hasselhoff.

Oh! – and talking to Jon Pareles from the New York Times while Elijah Wood was spinning Betty Davis “Don’t You Call Her No Tramp”

Matt Sullivan

Getting a hotel room.

I’m sure we’ll all be back next year. I can’t fucking wait.