Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tasteless at SXSW - Day 2

Day 2 of SXSW booglaoo and I've slept in! Ah yes, but I planned on that happening and so begins this beautiful Thursday afternoon (roughly noonish). After an easy coast to the *ACC parking garage, my girl and I walked over to the French Legation Museum for day one of the All Roads Lead to Austin party. J. Mascis was scheduled to play a solo set, and there is no better to way to start a day than that my friends. Except that it was short. So short. Excruciatingly short. I mean, it seems like he played three songs, although there was a seriously long J.Mascis-I'll-cop-every-riff-I've-ever-done-and-cram-it-into-one-solo ending. Did I say that like it was a bad thing? ...because it wasn't. Still, I could've gone for way more.

*(I did learn one valuable lesson from this year's SXSW. As obvious as it seems, park at the Austin Convention Center parking. You can leave three times during the day (up to 11pm) and it's only seven bucks. Plus, that guy at the booth was rad.)

We walk over to The Parish to catch Bon Iver. Whoa. Huge line. We scratch that and decide to get inside Red-Eyed Fly early for a good spot at the A Place to Bury Strangers show. Huge line again. I realize quickly The Raveonettes are still on and after their set, the line goes in pretty fast. I didn't bother going to the outside area to watch The Big Sleep. Whatever I was hearing wasn't doing it for me.

The problem here is things begin to get a bit grey at this point. Holes in my memory. I tend to party a bit too hard during this week and well, have come to terms with this side effect. Here's what I do remember... the APTBS show was pretty good. I remember thinking that thought exactly, "this was pretty good." At the end, a guitar gets demolished. I need to see them again.

At this point, I want to be pampered and The Fader is a necessity. "I love you, you ice cold Bass." Watching the tribute to Lou Reed was pretty much a yawn fest for me. I left just before members of My Morning Jacket, and Moby, and Lou Reed himself, and apparently every other damn musician came on, and my girlfriend has let me know several times since, that we should have stayed. Who can think of staying at a yawn fest when Think About Life is only an hour away at Beerland?

Hell ya. I finally got to see a live show of them and I know there was potential for more, but there didn't seem to be a whole bunch of people there as eager as we were. My mates, Alex and Ryan, met up with me and we danced in the sound. They ripped through quite a bit of new ones, only playing two from the last album. If you were there, then you probably know us as the two drunk (and most likely annoying) guys singing in the mic and flailing limbs. Special thanks to Ryan for taking the blame on the ahem and getting kicked out so we could stay in. Love you bro.

We floated (yes, floated as we're now high from sounds and dancing of Think About Life) slowly over to The Austin Children's Museum for the performance of the week - The Mae Shi. The museum was filled with toys to play with and tons of stuff to help you feel like a kid while still getting your drink on. I've heard and read from countless people at this show that they thought this may have been one of the greatest live experiences they have ever had. Involving the crowd into your show is the way to get everyone together. The guitarist is up on the balcony. The singer is behind the crowd. "I Want Everything" is chanted and the song takes on a higher purpose. I've never seen so many smiles at once.

A brief glitch with their gear happens and the song abruptly stops. "Go. Go. Go." The guitarist begins chanting this and soon we're all helping out and yelling with him. They kick right back into the song and I am impressed at the level of pure fun that is going on now, despite the technical error that just happened. These dudes make quite a bit of lemonade it seems.

I can't think of the last time I was at a show where everyone had a shared and communal purpose: to have the best time possible. A sheet is soon thrown over the audience and who knew that grandma's bedding would make for the final climax of bringing us all together. We're reaching for the ceiling to keep the sheet hovering over us, and the sheet seemed to connect us all.

I am satisfied for once. So satisfied.