Thursday March 19, 2009
I got up and had breakfast at the hotel. made to order omelets ROCK! and Francesca even more so for getting us the free breakfast coupons!
I made certain to be up and ready to go, because I had to get over to the first day of the Twangfest parties. I shared a cab with Dave and Rob to get over to Jovita’s. the guys got a meal inside and I sat with them as Hot Club of Cowtown started their set. I didn’t need food yet.
pause for SXSW advice: always eat when you can, drink water when you can, use the toilet when you can, and sit down when you can….all of these things will help you survive long days and nights. also, partake of the free drink and food as much as possible, it will help cut costs.
Shortly after the guys finished their meals, the This is American Music portion…once again, Grand Champeen, Glossary and Two Cow Garage rocked the patio of Jovita’s. Plus, it was great to see young Calder Lewis & how much he’s grown since last year! And, he’s a big brother now too!
after the TiAM sets were done, I hitched a lift back downtown by literally squeezing into the backseat of a mustang convertible between Dave & Daryl. I think I might be married to them both now. I probably should have shared a cab with others, but it was too late by the time I thought of that.
I decided to skip the New West party this year. last year, I was more than happy to get there and move right up front for Old 97′s and The Drams. this year, with confusion about the lineup, I decided not to go. My consolation was that I will be seeing Mark Olson & Gary Louris in Scotland at the Darvel Music Festival.
I got to the Northern Ireland party at Latitude 30 between sets, so I got in line for some food. General Fiasco were about to play and I was pleased because they were the band I didn’t want to miss! they’re just babies! ok, not really, but they’re soooo young and so adorable! I can’t tell you how many times I used the word adorable while in austin. granted, mostly speaking to myself, but there were a lot of young bands so young that you just wanted to pinch their cheeks (and no, I did not do that to anyone)
I really liked the mp3 from General Fiasco and their set was impressive. I didn’t get to see them again, but they seem like a real fun band. It will be interesting to see where they go with their music.
This is about the time where my afternoon became full of missed connections. I tried to catch Elliott Brood at convention center, but missed them and caught some of Justin Townes Earle. Then I tried to catch An Horse, but where I thought they were playing, had 6 guys setting up on stage…clearly not An Horse!
at this point, it’s about 5pm and I quickly went over to check out Henry Clay People. loads of energy from the stage and once again, adorable. But it’s the energy that really pulls you in. they were having tons of fun, whether you were or not. Clearly they love to play and go full on every time. I hope to see them again.
after The Henry Clay People, I decided to take a break, head back to the hotel and get some dinner.
For the night, my first stop was Latitude 30 and Frank Turner at 8pm. A buzz in the air, great crowd, great venue (in my opinion) and proper air conditioning. Holy Moley! Frank Turner is amazing! A bunch of us were there, and I think we thought he’d play solo acoustic, but he had a full backing band. Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts who apparently had just met Frank Turner that morning (obviously, they were able to learn the songs beforehand) I can’t wait to see him again (and I did)! I’m sorry I missed him at last year’s SXSW…so many bands/musicians so little time.
I confess, I almost had one by accident, and then I realized that from where I was standing, all 5’2 of me & how I was taking photographs, I could easily get a good one once the butterfly image came back around on the screen behind him. I don’t know if anyone else captured a shot similar but this one happened to be when he was speaking between songs and I just had to…I hope he doesn’t mind!
the 9pm slot was a toss up, but I opted for Eugene Francis Jr. & the Juniors since they were playing just before the Heavenly States. I’m glad I did, I had fun, the band had fun and we all got free records, along with a free “shaker” for an audience participation song. they were little wrapped matchboxes.
I missed The Heavenly States at last year’s SXSW and while they played a bunch of times this year, I almost was going to miss them again. I made sure that didn’t happen. I really love their entire album, and I seriously can not sit still when “Lost in the Light” is on…it’s a repeat worthy song. Since I had yet to see them live, I was concerned I’d anticipate it too much. They totally proved me wrong and rocked through their set mixing old and new stuff. And of course, “Lost in the Light” I’m so glad I finally got to see them and I hope they make it to the East Coast soon.
after the Heavenly States’ set, I decided to try the almost impossible task of seeing four, yes FOUR bands in one hour! I hustled over to The Rio to catch The Lost Brothers. I really liked them at the Belfast-Nashville party. I caught a couple songs…
then, I ran back up to 6th St. and stopped at the Velveeta Room to try and catch Elliott Brood (my 2nd attempt) only to be informed that they were at capacity and I could wait and be first in the badge line. I replied: ‘sorry I don’t have time for that’ so it was on to Two Hours Traffic.
No line to get in El Sol y La Luna, but I had a police officer check my ID. I wonder if they randomly chose to be there or if the club asked them to be there. My friend, John, from The Successful Failures had been texting me earlier in the day, but we had yet to meet up. He was at this show, but I couldn’t find him. and while my verizon text messages were going through, I don’t think his iPhone was getting them in a timely manner. I stayed for 3-4 songs, and then went over to catch the end of Glossary’s set at Habana Calle 6 patio. I chatted with Kelly for a bit, got a new t-shirt from her and also chatted with Chris from Magnolia Summer. I missed their set, but promised I would be seeing them at the Twangfest party.
I was going to stay for The Monahans, or go see Blind Pilot again, but opted for a beer with Brooke & Craig in the hotel, before heading out to see The Wrens at 1am. This is where Kiki, my other roommate for the week was planted all evening. I’m pretty sure she was in Austin specifically to see The Wrens. I’ve never been a fanatic but thought it would be fun to be with a group of people for the 1am slot. We walked over to the venue, The Prague, which didn’t really seem like a rock or music venue. After 15 minutes, which included me sitting on a couch at the back of the room, and chatting with a really really drunk guy who practically sat on my lap, I gave up. I realized I could be seeing others who were already playing. I skipped through a few places on my way back up 6th St. since most of the bands on my list were playing well off 6th. I now wish I had gone to see 18th Dye, but what can you do? like I say, if I was meant to see a band, I will.
bands for day 2:
Hot Club of Cowtown
Two Cow Garage
Justin Townes Earle (3 songs)
The Henry Clay People
Eugene Francis, Jr & The Juniors
The Heavenly States
The Lost Brothers (3 songs)
Two Hours Traffic (3 songs)
Glossary (3 songs)
tally for Thursday: 13 (9 full sets)
it was a slow day, I guess!