I woke up at 3:45 this morning (because why the hell would I want to sleep at that enchanting hour?) and in an effort to avoid any real thinking, occupied myself with tweets from those who were wringing the last bits of life out of SXSW 2011. As I lay reading their peeps (pleas) from over-crowded bars, dark taxi-less corners and side-stages, I recalled the vacuous feeling that came over me last year as I closed SXSW 2010: “How can it be ending?!” We shared five long days/nights together drinking, laughing, crying, dancing, scrambling, stumbling and finding hope in the work of so many artists….and now it was over? If you allow yourself to be swept away by the spirit of SXSW (and can ignore/roll-with the tons of B.S. that comes along with it), the end can be as dampening as a minor break-up.
Not surprisingly, the true music lovers forge ahead to the bitter end of SXSW….to the last band…to the last drunk person spilling whiskey in their boots…blisters, dehydration and exhaustion be damned! As I read my friends’ cries from these final listening places, I thought of the band that closed my SXSW 2010. They were incredible musicians with some of the best songs I’d ever heard, and they were as dashing as any men I’d seen all week. In essence, I loved them. Oddly, the next day I couldn’t remember what or how they played, let alone their band name. Clearly my adoration came from a place of pure delirium -a celebration of the fact that I had conquered the beast, albeit with wavering acuity. The closing band was just an accessory to my life at that moment –existing only to play my victory theme. Selfish? Not really. After all, whether it’s to punctuate a moment in life or to score a movie, one of the main purposes of music is to ‘set the scene’, isn’t it?
For your amusement (and to paint a candid picture from the throes of SXSW) I chose a few closing statements from my gaggle of music fiends. Note how exhaustion, sore feet and unabashed appreciation abound. I”ll not credit the tweeters, because it’s not really my place to ‘out’ them to my millions of followers….you know.
The Last Peeps from the Wee and Final Hours of SXSW 2011:
“I’m the fun part of a rollercoaster.”
“we need a working fireplace to play Tiptoe live. fire dept said no.” -I love that they asked the fire department.
“Odd Future left us with dirt and beer in our hair and reminded us of seeing a great new punk band. In the best way possible.”
“The floor is going to collapse.” - I like how there is no exclamation point at the end of this. Fact: the floor is going to collapse.
“Odd Future. 10 mins on stage. Stormed off after dissing their sponsor at this showcase. Oh my god. This will be fun to write about.”
“ridiculously tired but that only made tonight’s set more unhinged. long live the chaos that is rock ‘n’ roll. also, goodnight already!”
“Pure wildness for @JeffBrotherhood’s show at Mohawk. As it should be.”
“Serenly lovely tunes from High Higjs seem to be sucking the soreness from my head, legs and feet. Spacious. Nice.”
“Less beer than you thought (none) (@ SPIN Loft on 6th).” -because we needed the address of the place that has NO BEER.
“Deervana. Fuck yea.”
“Deervana just ruined me. Best set of SXSW.”
“Holy blistered feet, Army Navy’s janglicious guitarwork is a pretty perfect way to close out SXSW. Finely crafted pop, timeless.” -I guess Batman and Robin attend SXSW.
“I chose Nightowl Bus over seeing White Wires, which I’m sure I’ll regret at some point but glad to be near a bed now. Night, Austin.” -If White Wires was anything like my closing band last year, this guy made the right choice.
“I’ll also add this is probably my favorite SXSW yet, almost no dud bands….seriously. Until next year, folks.” -ah the drunk, SXSW graduation night love.
“DFA1979 secret reunion debut erupts into chaos, fans storm fence, riot police descend, duo’s legend bolstered.”
“Riot At Death From Above 1979′s Secret Reunion Show At SXSW…!!!”
“Three broken toes, head to the chin, i feel amazing!” -this person hasn’t ‘spoken’ yet this morning….
“We made those two minutes last forever.” -a whole new meaning to speed dating…??
“Sitting down to pee cause my god damn feet hurt” - a boy, obviously. cute.
“Home is where I want to be. Pick me up and turn me round.”
….until next year.
As an armchair warrior of SXSW 2011, I’ve been glued to Twitter and the blogs for clues pointing to the buzz bands of 2011. Fortunately, one doesn’t have to be extra sharp to pick up on the clear and present hype around Austra. Last night, tweets from two of my favorite music nuts, Amrit Singh at Stereogum and Seraphina at Buzz Bands LA, confirmed that Austra, clad in tons of glitter, ruled. (Period.)
#Trust me, you want to have Austra’s “Beat and the Pulse” (FREE via Soundcloud) on your playlist this Friday night.
So you’re not going to SXSW this year? Fear not! SPIN compiled a FREE 33-song mixtape from some of the top bands playing SXSW 2011, including O.M.D., Smith Westerns, The Kills, Cloud Nothings, Okkervil River, Black Lips and 27 more!
Simply follow this link, or “like” SPIN on Facebook, then click to download. Handy tip: if you want to re-create the SXSW experience while you listen, just dehydrate yourself completely, get a sunburn, walk about 16 miles on concrete (3/4 of them drunk), stay up until 5:30am every day for 5 days, replace all “proper” meals with double vodka sodas or double flatliners and make out with/bum cigarettes off of random people who share your taste in music. Presto!
I don’t have time to write about how awesome Saint Motel is, because: i) I have to go to work and ii) I’m too excited to get this free download into your hands to worry about couching it in a whole bunch of garbage/band history/woes etc. If you want to read a real article about Saint Motel, use the Buzz Bands L.A. link at the lower right hand corner of this page.
Trust me. GO GET PUZZLE PIECES. Then, when the douchebag in your office begins to yammer about this ‘great little cab‘ he swilled at a wine tasting event last night, simply put in your earphones and have an internal party(!)
Other office coping strategies coming soon on sPikeR(!)’s sister blog: “i-don’t-have-a-real-job-but-i-can-imagine-one.blergspot.grr”
Hey, they’re The Strokes. Did you expect them to sound like someone else? Although some critics claim that their new tracks pattern too closely the sound created on Is This It, my grandpa would say , “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” …and The Strokes ain’t broke.
As you watch them debut “Under Cover of Darkness” from their new record, pay special attention to both the guitar dissonance at the beginning (a little naughty, mostly nice) and Casablanca’s use of the F word on national TV at the end (all naughty). Their new album, Angles, is due out March 22. A review on sPikeR(!) can be expected, since I’ll probably just have to cut and paste most of my review from Is This It. #lazyblogger
Use the above link to download some great stuff by Wye Oak, Smith Westerns, Telekinesis (CAR CRASH!!), Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band, Drive By Truckers, Bright Eyes and 13 others.
Woooohooooo! The big day is here……1 day early. Thanks to an alert from THE KEXP BLOG in Seattle (another reason to love the Pacific Northwest) I snagged the new Radiohead, The King of Limbs, a day early. Listening now and, seriously, I’m feverish.
….and this is how I felt while waiting the 2 minutes it took for the WAV file to download (scroll to 1:20 for actual footage of me- sort of):
What’s a straight line if it ain’t desperate? That’s what I always say.
Today, Merge Records (Have you heard of The Arcade Fire?) released 12 Desperate Straight Lines from one of my favorite rule-breaking bands, Telekinesis. Listen to Jason Narducy’s (Bob Mould band) filthy bass on “Car Crash” and tell me this doesn’t qualify.