Friday, March 20
Once again, I was up for breakfast relatively early. And out the door for a fully scheduled day, however….
Over the last couple of years, between car accidents and other health issues, I’m somewhat baffled at my ability to take on SXSW. The problem with me is that I never know what kind of day I’m going to have health wise. One day, I could be fine, feeling fabulous, the next barely feeling up to standing. In addition, the migraines I’ve suffered from since age 15 or so are like your worst hangover without the benefit of the drink. In addition, typically the effects of a hangover will go away with rest, water and a dose of some greasy food and you start feeling better and working the alcohol out of your system. My migraines eventually go away, but sometimes it might be quick, other times all the “tricks” won’t work and I’m not sure when it will go away & they can last for days. I’m doing my best to sort it out all with doctor’s visits, but it’s not always easy.
At any rate, I try to rally through it all as best I can, unless, the universe decides otherwise.
I decided to start off the morning with The Lost Brothers! And it was a nice way to start off the morning. I went from there to the Sonic Bids party specifically to see Hot Lava.
I felt I should give them my support for a number of reasons: they’re from Richmond, they’re label mates with Oppenheimer (Bar None Records) & they played my friends’ pool party last summer. I caught a little bit of Devil Makes Three downstairs before I went up to Maggie Mae’s rooftop. I also caught the end of The Beat Poets set, although just barely.
It was a tough crowd so early in the day for Hot Lava. most were in the back of the roof top area, chowing down on free food & beer, and looking over the edge down to 6th St. Early people watching I’m sure. I was as close as I could be without being too close as the one person up front. After a few moments, I finally managed to meet Mark from Bar None in person. We’ve “spoken” to one another through myspace, email, etc mostly about Oppenheimer, but had yet to meet. It was a funny moment, but it was really great to finally meet!
The rest of the afternoon had many options. Some were just too far on the fringe (Home Slice Pizza and Fader Fort) for me to get back & forth to other stuff I wanted to see, so I stuck around the core of 6th St. I also needed to get some cash since I was running out. Remembering that my bank had a branch near the church where Camera Obscura played, I was pretty close to it from my current location. I’m forever trying to maximize my time with efficiency! (yes, a bit freaky, I know)
I was also trying to meet up with my friend, John. I ended up going over to the Aussie BBQ. the line for food was entirely too long, but the line for free beer was short, and I wasn’t hungry yet. I opted for the Lemon Myrtle beer (camera phone photo):
While there, I did finally meet up with John & his friend. I got to see The Fumes & Gabriella (boy was she AWFUL) And after a 2nd beer, we decided to move on. We went separate ways and I moved on to Latitude 30 for the Scottish Music party. I must confess, last year’s day party was way more exciting for me, personally, with this 2008 lineup: Our Lunar Activities, Jyrojets, Make Model, Dykeenies, Sons & Daughters, and Frightened Rabbit. Between the bands and the great crowd, 2008’s party was tops!
But 2009 did all right, I saw Come On Gang!, FOUND, & My Latest Novel.
I saw Dave, Donny, Bruce, & Tom there (and probably others)…and by this point I was feeling mighty fine thanks to free beer. I was loving the new Glossary songs & heard them enough times I could sort of sing along. The Felice Brothers were up just after, so I stayed to catch them too. It was at this point I saw my friend, Tom, and started talking with him and another guy. I can’t remember where in the UK he was from, but I managed to spill my beer on him, which I apologized profusely for doing. But we started talking about Dropkick and he was surprised to know I knew of their music! I had plans to go to the Yorkshire party at Latitude 30 the next day, so I sort of made plans to meet up with him there.
I moved along to catch Camera Obscura nearby at Flamingo Cantina:
I managed some decent photos despite the contrasting light and the packed crowd. It was pretty close quarters on stage too! I enjoyed the new songs and old favs, and was just soaking it all in at this point! Once they finished their short set, I moved on up 6th St. to see We Should Be Dead:
An adorable (there’s that word again!) young band from Limerick, Ireland. While not my regular go to type band, I liked their song on the SXSW site and thought they were worthy of catching at least one short set.
At this point, it was time for a bit of a break. I went back to the hotel and find myself spinning on the bed. Luckily, I got some food and water and took a little snooze.
Then it was off to see The Love Language! “Lalita” is so damn catchy and repeat worthy!
Kiki went over to the Habana Backyard with me since she was looking to see Felice Bros, Jason Isbell, & Tim Easton. We both really liked The Love Language, but weren’t sure it was necessary to have so many people on stage! I really like them a lot, but “Lalita” was definitely tops for me and the obvious “hit” single!
From there, it was a must to go see Frank Turner again. When I got to Friends, I wasn’t feeling so great, and could feel the start of a migraine. Francesca was there, and soon a few other Postcarders would be too. John met up with me as well. I was sticking to water & soda for awhile, but opted for a Corona, hoping the headache would go away. They were severely behind schedule at Friends. Which sadly, meant very short sets for most performers. I saw Beans & Toast, Ed Harcourt, Otis Gibbs, and Frank Turner. most barely got to play all of say 4 songs each. Frank wanted to play just one more and got shut down, despite the crowd clearly wanting just one more!
And what does Frank Turner do when he’s told no? He takes it to the street:
It has to be one of the greatest moments of SXSW 2009! He sung us two songs and it was brilliant! I’m sure there’s video & better photos, but that’s the best I could do and I didn’t want to keep holding my arm up to take pics, and ruin the experience for those behind me. I didn’t realize it would be my last photo of the night.
From here, John & I started walking over to Pangea to try and catch Graham Coxon before Superdrag. On the way over, I was enjoying the fresh air and cool breeze. However, I also realized that I went past my migraine threshold. There’s a certain point when I get a migraine that if I don’t catch it in time, and the meds don’t kick in properly, I have to give in to it. Let it run its course. But that means getting myself in bed with an ice pack and a room cool & dark. We made it all the way to the club when I had to say a quick good night and get myself up to Hilton Garden Inn ASAP. It was a really long walk (not really, but it felt that way) and I kept myself going as best I could. I *just* made it in time to crawl into bed with a cold wash cloth and the AC turned way down. I kept thinking in through my head, and trying to look at my schedule to see that I was missing Graham Coxon, Superdrag, Gary Louris & Mark Olson (consolation was knowing that I’d be seeing them in Scotland in May), Southeast Engine, Mike Badger, and Right or Happy (Reivers!!)…
It did me no good to fret over it. There’s no way I could be in a hot sweaty, crowded club in my condition. Kiki got back and got me some ice. And it got worse before it got better. But I did feel better by about 1am, and I wish I had looked to see that Shearwater were playing the 18th Floor, literally just above our floor. But I decided to call it a night and stay in bed. I’d rather kick the migraine completely and have a great Saturday.
I’ve learned that because of weird health issues, I’ve become much more flexible in a lot of things. I can’t always control how my body is going to react to the world. I just gotta roll with it, for lack of a better phrase.
bands for day 3:
The Lost Brothers
The Beat Poets (2 songs)
Devil Makes Three (3 songs)
Come On Gang!
My Latest Novel
Glossary (4 songs)
The Felice Brothers
We Should Be Dead
The Love Language
Beans & Toast
tally for Friday: 18 (16 full sets, although the last four only got to play about 4-5 songs each)