Noise: SXSW Everything is subject to change

Pub date March 16, 2006

Damn. It’s only Thursday and I have a hangover the size of Texas. It’s a warm, humid afternoon here in Austin, and Amy, my host just handed me her remedy: a vodka and carrot juice. I’ll piece together what happened yesterday. I ran into Oscar and Lars of the Gris Gris with Brian Glaze while wandering on 6th Street in downtown Austin. We went to Mr. Natural for yummy veggie chalupa before they went to Club DeVille to load in their equipment. Gris Gris is chillin’ in Texas until their tour next month. We won’t see them back in Oakland until May. They just played four shows in California with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who asked Gris Gris to tour with them ‘cause dig this: the Gris Gris is Karen O’s favorite band! Crazy.

I met some kids in line who came from Arizona to see Belle and Sebastian at Stubbs, a big outdoor venue, which was packed for the show. Nice harmonies. They did one song with melodica.

I had a $2 fajita, which was worth about 50 cents, at at Colorado River on 6th that would go out of business in two days if it were in the mission. They got in Austin? That’s my review. To be fair there are lots of great mexican food joints in Austin; even the taco truck on Red River is great. A couple next to me was figuring out who to see in the next two hours. I suggested they see Friends of Dean Martinez at Oslo. The guy said, “We just came from Oslo, so we don’t need to go back.” I found out he plays in We, described on their flyer as “cosmic biker rock from Oslo”. They’re playing at Emo’s on Saturday at 8:00PM. I’m so there (if I remember, and don’t get distracted). I felt justified in recommending Gris Gris to them instead, who were starting that very minute, so I rushed them off and finished what was edible of my snack.

I ran into Shane and Joe of Night after Night and was promptly handed the Rambler schedule. From the literature: “The Rambler is a 1980 Chevy Box van that transforms into a sound stage complete with backline and P.A. to make every band sound their best…” It’s parked at Ms. Beas for the likes of Erase Errata, Von Iva, ZZZ, and DMBQ.
Anyway, I got roped into going to Emo’s Annex with them to see an Oakland band called WHY? The first thing I noticed was there was no drummer and no bassist. Who then was playing the drums and bass? I walked up to the stage and saw that the three piece had all their limbs hard at work with one member playing bass drum with a trigger, snare, and xylophone at the same time—while singing harmonies. The guy in the middle was singing lead and playing a synth, sharing the cymbal duty with the xylophonist. The guy on the right was playing a Fender Rhodes and bass with pedals. I got respect for people who play bass with pedals. They had been together for four years and recently lost a member. I asked if it was the drummer. Answer: no, a guitarist. I highly recommend seeing them next time they play in the bay area. WHY? Because I like ‘em,

I ran into my band mate, Jason, in front of Exodus with a couple of girls from Austin. He had just seen the Plimsouls and raved about what a great set they played. They did a Creation song and a Kinks song, playing a 60’s rock and roll/garage set—a far cry from “A Million Miles Away.” If they play again this weekend, I’ll try and catch ‘em, otherwise, I’ll have to be happy with a CD of their live tapes.

I squeezed into Exodus to see the Go! Team, from England, and thought about leaving because their set up was taking so long, but no one else was leaving the packed house. Man, was I glad I stayed, because their set was awesome. With samples which included horns, bass, and other indescribable sounds, they used the best elements of hip-hop, disco and rock to captivate the audience with an infectious groove that made us dance. They had two drummers, and members switched up to play different instruments on certain songs. This was the best show yet. I’m gonna see ’em again on Friday. I highly recommend this band.

Afterward, I met up with the Cuts/Drunk horse entourage to go to an outdoor party on 1st and Red River. It was drizzly, kinda like Portland, but warm. We arrived right as the cops pulled the plug on the music and broke up the party, but not before I got my beer. Everyone I met there was really nice. We went to the Nervous Exits house and partied until about 5:00 in the morning, hence, the hangover. I missed their gig at Emo;s today at 1:00PM (sorry fellas), but I’ll be at the North Loop block party Friday at 1:00PM.

Tonight, the plan is to see Wolfmother, Peaches, She Wants Revenge, Giant Drag, and the Lashes at the Beauty Bar, then the Like at Elysium, and the Gossip at Emo’s Annex.

Everything is subject to change.