Saturday, March 18, 2006

SXSW Friday

Friday started off so well.

We slept in, reeling from Thursday night, then got up and made breakfast of the infamous South Austin Speedball to prep ourselves for the long day ahead.

There was lots going on during the day on Friday, but we made the tough decision to forego everything else and camp out at Club deVille all day long, provided we could get in. This was the Insound party, $2 to everyone, badge or not. Very nice. The lineup was solid--it started out with Love is All, then The Boy Least Likely To, Pink Mountaintops, and Serena Maneesh. All bands on my list to see. Headlining, though, was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, one of my top 3 for the weekend. So, we didn't think we'd get in, but we thought we'd hit the line early and see.

We got in line at 2, and we were in by 2:15 when the first band started. Sweet! And to make it sweeter, free beer and barbecue all day. Suffice to say I'll be supporting Insound, those wonderful people.

So we hung all day, staking out a primo corner with a chair and a place to rest beers. Love is All rocked, they were fantastic, powerful indie pop from Norway, I think. The Boy... was also a good show, very very happy and bouncy, the perfect thing for a 3pm beer buzz. Pink Mountaintops sounded great, a bunch of Canadians with a feel-good jam-out rock vibe, sort of like Broken Social Scene numbed down to Califone tones. Serena Maneesh rocked, also Scandinavian I think, just busting out tune after tune of hard moving indie rock.

Then came CYHSY. They came out and broke right into Heavy Metal, a great opener, and when the singer opened his mouth to sing, the squawk was even more pronounced than usual. It was painful just to watch him try to sing--apparently he had totally fried his voice and could only hit a certain slim range without going blank. Nevertheless, he kept at it like a trooper, the band pounding away behind him, working through a set as fun and wonderful as I could have expected. Great show. And a wise move.

Unfortunately, that's where the Friday fun ends.

We got out late, missed the 9:00 we wanted to see, then I for some reason abandoned my plans and decided to go to Stubb's and see the Subways. The line was a mile long. So we tried the Flamingo for Afrirampo--again shut down. Elysium for The Boy..., same thing.

My night was supposed to end at Animal Collective, but it was looking like everything was too packed, plus it was St. Patrick's Day and the idiot contingent was just too much to bear. So, rather than walk around all night, I thought I'd hang at Stubb's for the middling but interesting lineup of Metric, The Magic Numbers, and Snow Patrol. Seems solid, right?


We never made it in for Metric, as we watched the badge line swell and recede and we never moved. We made it in for The Magic Numbers, who bored me to lifelessness. No doubt my frame of mind influenced this, but still: boring, derivative, sappy crap. Hated it. Snow Patrol? Sucked. Arena rock garbage packaged as sensitive boy indie rock. Just an awful presentation of mediocre material, made all the worse by a total lack of effects or enhancements, which is what makes their records interesting.

So, great day, crap night. Saturday would make up for it, surely.

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