OK, I swear, this is it. Enough SXSW, already. We gotta move on. So let’s get it out of our system, down on blog, and tricycle out to greener, sunnier pastures.
First off, the homo-happenin’ Ark may not have as good a name as their fellow Malmo, Sweden, rockers Quit Your Dayjob, but they managed to evoke the gods of candy-colored pop-rock good times not witnessed since Andrew WK headlined Bottom of the Hill. These guys work hard for their money. So hard for it, honey.
Manic vocalist Salo was shaking that sheckel-maker, telling the SXSW sloggers they embodied his song title, “Rock City Wankers,” and leading the crowd in a chant of “Tonight, one of us is gonna die young.” Someday the sassy singer is gonna be a “Father of a Son,” indeed — as long as those white hot pants don’t cramp his style. “It’s Saturday and no one wants to hear any more music!” he yelled, echoing the thoughts of so many wandering Austin like zombies with a blood hangover. This superfun Emo’s IV day showcase with the Gossip, Wooden Wand, and the Giraffes was one of my faves at SXSW.
Most sighted celebrity, according to Akimbo (who I bunked down with in the Alternative Tentacles flophouse, a.k.a. George Chen’s Super 8 motel room): J. Mascis. “He was everywhere.”
Not J. Mascis’s ass
Oh look, wait, that’s Andy Gill in the middle, doing a crotch-block dance move, with fellow Gang of Four member Dave Allen and Peaches. This party happened earlier in the week at a smoke-filled, Camel-sponsored V2/Dim Mak thing. Weirdest moment: Peaches shakes a Dos Equis and hands it to Gill to spray on the audience, and he, looking befuddled, opens the can and pours it all over her CDs.
I didn’t get to catch nearly as many SXSW panels as I wanted to, but the ones I did were incisive and low on bull dookie.
Best quips from the conference panel “Rolling Down the River: Revenue Streams Artists Should Know About”: International Artist Agency’s Stephen Brush on album sales: “Fuck the record. It helps. But at the end of the day, you’re building the audience one day at a time.” JSR Merchandising’s Brad Hudson on merch: “In the 26 years I’ve been doing this, the black T-shirt has been the staple. A lot of artists come up with great ideas but you’ll find the majority of the revenue coming from that T-shirt. Three T-shirts and a hoodie.”
Most Guardian-friendly soundbyte from Damian Kulash of OK Go at the surprisingly well-attended “Ten Things You Can Do to Change the World” panel: “It’s easy to say ‘Everyone vote!’ onstage. It’s hard to say, ‘There’s a media consolidation problem in this country, especially if you’re trying to get your single on Clear Channel station.”
Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, Steve Earle, and Jenny Toomey at the “Ten Things You Can Do to Change the World” panel. Earle: “How many Republicans are here?”
Word had it that the city of Austin was cracking down on singer-songwriter and former Kurt Cobain squeeze (and focus of mad Courtney jealousy) Mary Lou Lord, according to Austinist. She called them to say that the cops shut her down for busking in the street “citing a new law banning “amplification.”
Yeesh, this after attending and playing on Sixth Street during SXSW for 11 fucking years. Anyway, she managed to hold this spot next to a late-night convenience store, across the posh, supposedly haunted Driscoll Hotel. Her pal Jason and his gorgeous falsetto deserve to be snapped up by some lucky label.
SF’s Boyskout got the rock out at a Lava Lounge Patio show with IMA, Faceless Werewolves, Knife Skills, Happy Flowers, Skullening, and Die! Die! Die! Tight.
The lady — namely Lady Sovereign — looks scary. Here she is at La Zona Rosa. (After losing my way to the Anti- Hoot with Billy Bragg and Jolie Holland, I managed to catch her, as well as Bauhaus-soundalikes She Wants Revenge and the snarksome We Are Scientists down the street at Fox and Hound.) LS’s beats were harsh, and the vibe was, yes, brattay. (She likes to throw down…that microphone.)
Ghostface made a Wu-Tang face right after the Lady — very fun. GK commanded the stage, the crowd went nuts over the Wu tunes, and I appreciated the sound of gunfire that gently segued between the songs. Whoo.
The official SXSW-closer softball game/barbecue was called for rain. But hadn’t we had enough white bread by then?