Kate's Take, day four
The final day of South By Southwest viewed from a foot below:
"It's the end of the tour" Last day. I've already seen so much great music this week, I'm inured and ready to start passing judgment on anyone and everyone. Unfortunately, the spring break crowd is returning tonight, and the clash of the SxSW crowd with the usual Sixth Street bunch is never pretty. Fortunately, there's a number of pleasant and random surprises.
Gina Lee and the Brisket Boys: (Botticelli's) Two-stepping country band, local regulars down at the Broken Spoke. Very funny commentary throughout by the guy on keyboards. Couples are dancing, interrupting lunch service. Very nice.
The Show is the Rainbow: (Botticelli's) Words sort of fail me. This guy is a brilliant performer, just him and his Macbook. He didn't even have his videos, but he was strutting in the crowd and on top of tables and stealing drinks off the waitresses' trays then complaining about what he grabbed. He's brilliant, amazing, I haven't laughed this much in a long time. If you hear about him coming to your town, go see him.
No Seatbelt: (Botticelli's) Very nice alt-country, but who wants that? Sorry, system's still in shock from The Show is the Rainbow. I mean he introduced a song by saying, "This is about a friend who asked me for advice, which I couldn't really give because my father never molested me." Okay, let's go to dinner, clear out the system.
Jacob Golden: (St. David's Church) This man has issues. And limited ability to play guitar. I mean, not bad, but I heard better and more interesting things in the dorms at college. And the lyrics are a little too personal and a little too peppered with pop culture references. And he sings like a girl. And half the audience is asleep. But let's all politely clap,
M Ward: (St. David's Church) Now this is how you do one man plus acoustic guitar! The lyrics are interesting as are the rhythms and music. He plays the guitar like he's caressing a lover and sings like he's telling you a dirty secret. Jim James and a guitarist from My Morning Jacket join him mid-set but I kind of liked him better alone. Superb.
The End of the World: (B.D. Riley's) Nice little garage punk band doing some different rhythms and interesting beats. They need some work, but definite potential.
The Mannequin Men: (B.D. Riley's) An incredibly pleasant surprise, disaffected school boy rock, but they really jam. The singer's playing to the crowd out the windows and attracting a lot of attention. And the bar's suddenly full of men. I guess I like boy rock.
The Alabama 3: (La Zona Rosa) Really hot show by a country-bluegrass band. I guess they're out of England by the way the lead singer pronounces "vicar". Both he and the female vocalist are delightful. And cool, Mick Jones from the Clash makes a surprise appearance to do a cover of... wait, no, went to look up the name of the song and as it turns out they wrote "Woke Up This Morning" (which I think of as the Sopranos theme). Wow. Had no idea what I'd seen, it was just all very good.
Was (Not Was): (La Zona Rosa) The biggest band (9 people) of the festival. And they're getting funky, back together for the first time in sixteen years with a new guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, and saxophone. But the gang's all here and they're dancing and getting down and playing with towels. The new songs are just as groovy as the old favorites. So glad to be here, especially because my presence drags the crowd's median age down a good fifteen years.
And that's it. I'm beat. Let's look at the stats one last time:
Number of shows: 9 (today) 41(total)
Number of times up and down Sixth Street: 4 (today) 14 (total)
Number of CDs: 1 (bought) 3 (schwag)
Number of walks up and down Congress: 2. And it's a haul!
Number of T-Shirts: 1 - The Show is the Rainbow
Number of drinks: uncountable
Hours of sleep: 20 hours in four days
I'ma go crash now.
"I'm not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"