Thursday, March 18, 2010

SXSW Day 1

 First of all and most importantly:  Rest in Peace Alex Chilton...your absence here in Austin will be felt. You brought such joy and influence to anyone who appreciated the best power pop ever to bleed out of an amp....such sad news. I will hum "Thirteen" all through the day today.

-Sat next to some uber hipster girls with perfect bangs and re tailored thrift shop clothes, The conversation leaked in and out of my ears as the ambien pulled me under:  My ex is a totalitarian extremist. he's 37, thats kind of old.  My parents used to take family trips up the coast to Seattle and would casually drink bottles of beer all the way there...I used to be able to make a ring out of a dollar bill, I can't imagine being bothered by having my sleep interrupted to go change a diaper...I brought my piccolo.................

Airport, Austin:  a limo driver holding up a sign with the name :BEERE.  I took it as a sign of my own.

-picked up by my dear friends Alex,James and Steven.  Gangs all here. Talked about the good times and stopped at Spec's for a critical beer run.

Was shown my accommodations: a 1968 Airstream trailer. Heaven.

Took the bike Alex lent me down to the thick of things. The last time I rode a bike, I remember my dad taking the training wheels off and saying "You can do it Sean!"

Locked the bike and felt an adrenalin rush like no other.  You might think it was because of the incoming onslaught of infinite music I was looking for the goddamn taco truck. The holy grail of Austin texas .  Walked up and down the main drag on 6th...NO TACO TRUCK.  Who is in charge here.  Look at all of the beards.  Where's the pile of free beer?  Oh yes... i remember happens for free at the DAY parties....It was 7pm on St. pattys day and needed to fill the taco hole...the taco negative space....with a 4 dollar PBR.

Music:  Got the news that i was on the bands list for the Action/PR Showcase at Mohawk......So it was there I went and stayed. I was feeling so metal, wearing black, sporting beard, a mild waft of BO eminating from beneath my jeans
First Band:  Mondo Drag : an excellent young psych rock band from davenport Iowa.
Next: Naam- fromm Brooklynn......Toooo muchhhhh reverbbbbbb and songs so slow and buried in sound that time stopped long enough to make me think of the missing taco truck again.
Next: Bison from Vancouver- A crushing  wave of riff and uppercut rhythms on repeat. cascading over a whipped up crowd. So loud that beer vibrated in my tummy and the guitarist blew his 1000 watt head.
Next:  Gates Of Slumber from "the midwest". Three beefy guys that looked like a team of Wrestlemania ringers who always lose to the stars of the ring....proceeded to surprise everyone with some shredding just south of Iommi and drumming like an amped up Gatlin gun.
Next: Zoroaster:  doom, the record is on slow, walking to the gates of Hades in slow motion...smoke machines...bass slung so low it was hitting the floor............tacos, tacos.
Priestess:  been waiting for this one. A great Montreal metal band with a real live singer who climbs up the register while punishing his SG and bigsby.  New album: Prior to the Fire rocks the rivets off of my denim....they slayed it.   Burly tattooed women got closer to the dreamy singer as the set wore on. Drummer could have broken a ride cymbal with one more blow.
and Finally....High On Fire. The loudest band on earth.Run for cover. Hide the women and children. Matt Pike plays a 10 string guitar!!!!! The pit swirled like a dizzy and rabid dog as tinnitus overcame the faithful..a rumble of epic proportion, a viking crying out for more war, a crack in the earth beneath the stage. That's metal, right down to my bubbling marrow. new album Snakes for the Divine so loud it could down a fighter jet.

Rode the bike home, a UT student with 60 pounds on me whizzed by in the bike lane..I.wheezed and coughed all the way back..where's my breath bed in the airstream, dreaming of cross country travel on an interstate, in the airstream  chasing a taco truck.


  1. My tinnitus flared up just reading about these bands! I am sooooooooo glad I don't have to go through Circle of Fits withdrawls while you are down south. Keep writing when you can. I could live in an Airstream if I had to.

  2. Losing Alex has sent strange vibes my way. Big Star was at the spearhead of my SXSW jealousy - would have missed a 1/2 a day of shows to see them play. My head was shaved yesterday, maybe because Alex left, maybe because of March Madness, or possibly it was some sort of protest move due to my lack of being in Austin. Either way, keep the post coming, I'm refreshing the page like a fiend.

  3. Very sad to hear about Alex - would have loved to have seen Big Star perform and am sorry you didn't so I could live the moment vicariously through you.

    Airstream digs - man you get all the good gigs.