Sunday, September 24, 2017

SXSW Blow by Blow Thursday

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Posted by teibs On March - 20 - 2014

@ZackTeiblom When we last left our hero, he was drunk and clean and happy to be heading to bed after a 20 hour day that ended with Watch the Throne and a treacherous bike ride home. Shockingly, I didn’t wake up feeling great. Still, it was only day two, so I had to find strength in breakfast tacos and copious amounts of electrolytes and sandwiches and power through. The day before, we’d told our contact at the bar that we’d swing by to pick up the posters around 10. It was now close to 11 and we weren’t making any sudden moves to get out of bed. I didn’t even bother texting them. I just headed out into the world, but needed to make an important stop first.

    • 11:25 a.m. I drive to the wildly under-appreciated drive thru Mexican restaurant at 7th and Robert Martinez Jr. street and order three tacos for me and two for Caitlin, along with a Mexican coke.
    • 11:30 a.m. I break my vow to myself to never eat in my new car. And with a barbacoa taco at that. I pull off to the side in the parking lot, eat the sloppy taco and try not to spill. Desperate times.
    • 11:35 a.m. I drive all of a block and a half west on 7th street before stopping at the first gas station I see to buy a couple enormous Gatorades.
    • 11:45 I finish off the first Gatorade and park illegally in the parking lot next to the venue. The valet warns me they’ll tow. I make it fast.
    • 11:50 I’m out the door, my car isn’t towed, and I have the posters and I managed to avoid traffic. So far, so good.
    • 12:10-12:40 p.m. We watch “Daria” eat the tacos and I polish off the second Gatorade and a sandwich and I’m feeling close to normal.
    • 12:48 p.m. I hop on the cruiser. It’s slower and I’m still dragging a bit, but I follow Caitlin’s lead as we head downtown hoping to catch the 1 p.m. White Sea show.
    • 1:03 p.m. We park and walk in just as the band is about to start. Perfect.

  • 1:05-1:40 p.m. Another lovely White Sea set. It’s a cleaner sound inside now that they’re recording for radio (watch here). It’s exactly what I needed this morning.
  • 1:45 p.m.We wait around after the set so Caitlin can talk to the band. They’re doing a radio interview. Caitlin stands nearby to watch and I find a place to sit down. Still dragging ass.
  • 1:50 p.m. We meet the drummer, who’s adorable and was worried about a snare issue during the show. We re-assure her and it seems to genuinely make her feel better about how it went, so that felt nice.
  • 2 p.m. Caitlin’s co-worker tells us he’s at a bar on Rainey St. with free booze and even though that sounds like the worst thing ever right now, we bike over there.
  • 2:10-3 p.m. The free booze is over. I get a beer to hair of the dog it. It’s a $10 minimum, so Caitlin has a vodka sprite and we find a place to sit down and hang with her co-worker. We don’t note the band, we’re just happy to sit and chill for a bit.

This is from a different show. We didn’t get Ezra in a dress, but I love this and I want you to as well.

  • 3:30 p.m-3:45 p.m. We’re back in the thick of it at Swan Dive for my old favorite Ezra Furman. We get up to the front row and Ezra is rocking harder than ever (watch here) I love the new backing band, “the boy friends,” especially the sax player. Ezra plays more recent stuff that’s hard and fast and rock ‘n’ roll. I was in heaven. I’m not saying this as an expression, I genuinely felt the hair on my neck stand up when he played “Take off your sunglasses.” I was feeling the feels for an artist I’ve loved since the beginning of this blog.
  • 3:50 p.m. I say hi to Ezra as we’re packing up and he doesn’t recognize me at first with the stash. It really was a terrible slice of facial hair I had going there.
  • 4:30 p.m-5:15 p.m. We find a nice place in the shade leaning up against Waterloo to see Charli XCX. It’s another solid, but predictable and short set from Charli, who’s playing the same songs every show. By this point, I’m still enjoying her, but selfishly annoyed she’s not playing the three best songs off her album and the only pop stuff she’s doing is a perfectly fine, but unremarkable “I want candy” cover.
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. We bike home and I take a much needed nap. We pick out our showcase for the night and bike back, not knowing if there will be a line for the 8 pm showcase.
  • 8:10 p.m. There’s no line at the Yahoo showcase, we’re curious about all four bands and there’s an open bar. We chose wisely.
  • 9 p.m. Austin’s own Ume takes the stage. Every time I see her I think I should see her more often. She constantly whips her hair around and is a tall, sultry rock star. She’s very well liked, but still under-appreciated. Make it a point to see her when you can. They really rock. No “single” type songs, but it’s all fun to rock with.
  • 10 p.m White Sea took the stage for their showcase show and they FUCKING KILLED IT. This is when they went from “band Caitlin loves that I’m into and happy to see with her” to “easily my favorite new band of the festival.” The songs sound so epic in a big space with a good sound system. Everyone around us was super into them, including two young black guys nodding along and smiling as one said to another “this was a GREAT suggestion.” I can’t insist enough that you check them out.
  • 11 p.m. Gary Numan plays a pretty blah set. “Cars” is like his dice move. It’s pretty much all he’s got. You can be old and rock. Don’t try to be young. See: the next artist.
  • Midnight to 1:15 a.m. Blondie SLAYS. The 68 year-old sounded, danced and fronted the band as well as ever, 40 years into her career. Starting with “One Way or Another,” ending with “Call Me” and with everything you’d want to hear in the middle, including “Heart of Glass,” they were a great sounding rock band. It seems like they have most original members and they all wail. The kinds of men that prided themselves on making big sounding records at Sound City. Even the new stuff sounded great. Shockingly great. I’ve never been a Blondie “fan” but I certainly am now.

1:30 a.m. We start our ride home and get to the 4th street bridge at I-35 and there’s the usual clusterfuck of pedicabs, mindless pedestrians and shady figures. Then, as we cross, two pedicabs ride ahead of us and one starts blaring music. We don’t recognize it. But the guy in the pedicab next to him does. He starts singing along. “Just hold on, we’re going home.” He’s got a great voice. The other pedi cab starts singing too. “It’s hard to do these things alone. Just hold on we’re going home.” We smile wide. We don’t speed past the pedicab. We want to hear the rest of the song. “I know exactly who you could be. So just hold on, we’re goiiiing home.”

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