Before heading down to Austin we asked a couple of New York bands if they could keep a tour diary of their experiences at SXSW for us. We ran into J, singer of Brooklyn band The Cloud Room, at the party on Friday night and he showed us some folded up papers filled with black ink scribblings. Below is what filled up those papers by the end of the weekend:
We arrived around 10pm. We headed to Habana Calle where our labelmates, Human Television, played on I Am Kloot's show. It turns out that the SXSW bookers never listened to either our cd or Htv's...until our label president kept calling and telling them they were booking bands not as good as us! So out of annoyed frustration, the booker listened to the first song on the first cd in the pile (Htv), heard that it was indeed good, apologized and gave them a spot on the I Am Kloot show. But he never delved further than the first song on the top cd, so poor poor The Cloud Room didn't get picked. But we were set up to play a label showcase and the Fader party, so it was all good. Or as Jay-Z once said, "it was all quite good."
We heard about the pre-teen sensations, Smoosh, a 10 and 14 yr old couple of girls with a puppy painted on their drum kit. We chided ourselves for not painting a puppy on our drum kit first
Drank a lot of beer, poured wine in an Odwalla bottle and snuck swigs at the Driskill Hotel...on one of their fucked up cowhide couches, no less.
[Friday, Saturday and Sunday - with photos - after the jump...]
We went to the Levi's fitting at the Fader house. Free food and booze, free Levi's, girls in the dressing room, all-you-can-read Fader mags. Kasabian was in the next stall and, boy, did they have white legs (I should have said club feet, I know). We were interviewed for a documentary on the New York scene. God, if you're watching up there, the next time you do renovations, I have some suggestions.
Next stop the Spin party. Unfortunately, we only had one pass, so in an extended moment of moral weakness, I slipped the pass through the fence to where Jon was standing, pretending to use the ATM. He grabbed it, got in, and did the same for Jason, who got in and did the same for Benji. The free Stubb's bbq and beer made it all seem worth it. We saw Louis XIV (a lot more AC/DC than their Fall-esque single), Futureheads (great show), Bloc Party (I tried, without much success, to figure out if anything was amazing about this band), and the New York Dolls (some group of old dudes in wigs. I can't keep up with all these new bands).
We saw The Bravery drummer and wanted to ask him what "you put the 'R' in retarded" meant, but we had to run off and catch Calla at the Red Eye Fly (their new stuff is great). Anton of The Brian Jonestown Massacre was talking to some of the young girls at the show. A girl mentioned enjoying "The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay", to which Anton replied, "is that fiction? I hate fiction." It turns out he's reading "a lot of spiritual stuff."
They closed off the main drag in the early evening, and a group of evangelical christians set up immense 6 foot tall banners with images of the Twin Towers burning in the middle of 6th st. Some drunk dudes looked on while eating hot dogs, and I think they thought it was an art rock band.
Just down the block, drawing a much larger crowd, was a man-size meatball that people were fighting to get their pictures with.
Then off to the unofficial Spin party. You've heard the details and they're all true.
Passed out. Woke up for a second. Passed out again.
We finally got to play...twice in 3 hours. First show, the Gigantic Music showcase. We played with Shelby, Human Television and Some Action. During the latter's last song, the singer decided to strip off all his clothes. After doing it, he realized he was completely naked, so he kept a hand over his stuff for a minute before letting go. That was at 4pm.
As we loaded up for the Fader party, I guess the Austin clouds looked down and got a sudden urge to get all Alannis on us, and down came a torrential rain, which let up right after we finished loading in at the Fader. The Go! Team cancelled for some reason. The Magic Numbers were good--looked a little like hobbits. Which reminds me...Elijah Wood was hanging, as well as Jessica Simpson. I got a few vocal warmup suggestions from Maximo Park singer, Paul. We played our set, which seemed to go well.
I drank a lot of Red Stripe and honestly don't remember how I got back to my hotel room.
Hangover, I mean layover in St. Louis for 3 hours, but we finally made it back to New York in one piece. All said and done, it was an f**ing blast.