Diary - Wednesday, March 15
pics for bigger fatter ones...
I dropped by Antone’s just in time to watch Damon
McMahon walk off the stage and give 'im a quick Texas
howdy. Next I hiked down the strip o'sports bars, finding myself
in extended street conversations with long lost friends from all
over. Though I didn’t really get to hear any music until late,
I still wound up witnessing a bunch of amazing shows.
fell into Headhunters to meet my friend Dave
Bourbon just in time for Brooklyn’s Fresh
Kills as they started rolling into a set of pure hellbent
intensity. Members of The
Giraffes claimed the front of the stage, singing along
at points as the Kills played every song as if it was their last.
Not only did I notice that the quintessential Austin doorman, Matt
Looney, had finally moved behind the bar, but I had the pleasure
of running into a handfull of my favorite local faces from way back
I followed my plan to check out one of my favorite bands going,
Gris, at Club DeVille. While I saw Greg Ashley and
gang setting up, it was just a teaser - the entire band was backing
Birdman labelmate Brian
Glaze. After a short break, I wandered back in for
a typically amazing Gris Gris performance. The lighting under the
tent was a bit too bright and didn’t quite lend to the atmosphere
but the mighty Gris Gris triumphed - starting out on a garagey foot
and gradually intensifying into a rawer yet more musically dimensional
take on Spaceman 3. Totally informal, psychedelic, and real. They
also get points 'cause I have a warm spot for Houston bands triumphing
- even if they have to go to Cali to do it.
a number of folks fled to parties, I stayed true to my plan to check
out the Punkeroos and then GoGoGo Airheart. The
Punkaroos, again at Headhunters, were nothing less
than five legendary punk rockers who’ve all been doing the
right thing alone and together in all kinds of incarnations and
projects for more than two-and-a-half decades – Buff and Pat
(the rhythm section from the Dicks), Dottie and Mark from Randy
“Biscuit” Turner’s (R.I.P.) Swine King (and before
that Jaws of Life and many more), and Todd from The Shoulders. If
you don't know who at least some of these folks are, I imagine you
need to brush up a little on your Texas punk rock history. Pounding
the audience with an onslaught of both ancient Austin anthems and
originals, they tore through it hard and heavy. I'm both surprised
and thrilled to have gotten a chance to see this and was reminded
just how much love and admiration I have for these folks.
most people probably wouldn’t have been able to take any more,
I still made it down to check out San Diego’s GoGoGo
Airheart at Room 710. GoGoGo again did not disappoint.
They were already banging by the time I walked in and didn’t
let up – even after they were told to stop – and then
even after they turned the house lights on. The highlight of the
set, and the perfect cap on my evening, was a defiantly long and
soulful dubby jam featuring noneother than Gold
Standard Labs' weird rap king Subtitle.
I love to complain,
but tonight I got everything that I expected and much more from
a bunch of my favorite artists - everyone was magnificent and it
was quite an experience going door to door to find the best bands
in the land going at it with all of their hearts and souls. The
bittersweet truth of it all was that I found my taste more obscure
than I imagined - there was plenty of room, no lines, and no trouble
getting in at any of the shows. A lot of folks missed out - but
perhaps best they stay at the big shows? Either way, I totally got
the fix I’ve been craving for a long time.
forward to the March 16 SXSW Diary
Step back to New York Night Train's SXSW
New York Night Train , 2006