The extreme cliffnoted version of South By SouthWest…
The good news is that I’ve been swimming every morning, and swimming better than I ever have. In fact my daily schedule seems to be:
* wake up
* chug protein drink
* swim and hit the hot tub
* hit the ground running to see bands, perform and enjoy Austin
* return to hotel around 2 am
Once in a while I get on the computer, like at the airport.
Our adventure started at the place where planes fly from. Even without bringing the drum set, 7 musicians (okay, 6 musicians and a drummer) can create a large pile of stuff. Packing our rental van was a tactile game of Tetris, eventually blocking any possible view from any window, making the driving sort of a guessing game combined with a bunch of quick prayers.
Our hotel room eluded us until around 3 am, since once in town we prepped, loaded, registered and played, and somehow managed to see a couple of bands before finally checking into our room, where I happily spent every night since sleeping on the floor and not having to share a bed with a sweaty, gassy band mate.
Our first show was a showcase for a label who will be releasing an upcoming release about all 43 presidencies. As Christian, the leader of the project, joked: I wish I was kidding. It is true, and since I realized over the last few weeks that this band actually knows very little about the presidents, it was my job to be the trivia master. So go ahead… ask me a question about the presidents.
We went so far as to visit the LBJ Library, where Chad and Matt paid homage at the Johnson Bust Made Of Poo.
while Matt and Christian signed the ink with a record label to release the project, right in the faux Oval Office. Seemed an appropriate venue.
Then night fell…
SXSW is not a place for reclusive hermits like myself. Thankfully, like Jandek, I can make an occasional appearance in the real world, and, like Matty and Chad above, we merged into the crazy Austin nightlife, every night either playing or watching music, or both. The lists of bands we end up seeing is huge, including Kit (wonderfully unconventional), Anavan (completely insane), David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion), Elani Mandell, and X (yeah, bitches, I finally saw X!!)
We delved into places we haven’t been yet as a band during our second show at Habana Calle for the Undertow Showcase. It moved us to blood, sweat and tears. Well, at least Jason bled.
But darn it if we couldn’t sleep in, as out of the 7 musicians who went, there were 4 band projects, and three of them played day shows, including Nice Monster.
Oh there’s more, including bats, bands and BBQ… but it must be continued tomorrow.