It's hard to remember sometimes how crazy SXSW week can be. For those of you dying to know what we've been stumbling into, here it is:
Friday: Odd open bar staffed by tech guys who are kings of the party for the first time ever. Then heading to the east side to see the bands at the party sponsored by one of the dozen vodka companies in town this week. Line was too long. So I went to the emptiest bar in town. Cramer joined me and we scoped some lines, abandoned some lines, recharged at Takoba, then went back to the vodka party. Saw "The Generationals"--fun pop with a drummer that looked exactly like Zizek. Saw dozens of people splayed on the tiny lawn at Fair Market. I knew three of the bartenders. Long night.
Saturday: Wandering downtown early. Saw Billy Crystal being interviewed at Samsung's spot and was surprised by how excited I became. He did a little bit of Fernando. Met Jeff and Stacy at a party for the documentary about The Residents. They had weird animal-lady dancer-contortionists. Then we headed to the Four Seasons and got to watch a Men in Blazers live podcast. They interviewed NFL players that are famous but we were all more excited for Rog and Davo. Then Paige and I met Ashley at her event. We then ended up at a...well...Republican fundraiser with lots of powerful dudes. One of them got us into Pandora's private party. Mark Ronson spun songs he produced. Rand Paul was there. Members of Congress were there. There were more DC stops after that.
Sunday: Back downtown and Darren and I watched an interview with Diane Ladd (Wild at Heart!, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Chinatown!, Touched by an Angel!) and Danielle Brooks (Taystee from OINTB). We rocked some Samsung VR and some Google cardboard. Then went into the Funny of Die spot, which was oddly empty considering Michael Showalter was there. It seems like anything more than a block west of Congress and north of 6th is just empty this year. Then lunch with Ashley at El Chile where she had queso for the FIRST time. The. First. Time. Then a poorly placed networking/food/drink thing at the Domain. Yup, the mall. Then Victoria came into town! Wait, this is Monday. What did I do Sunday? I did something Sunday but evidently it's lost forever. So, back to Monday, Victoria and I went BACK to Funny or Die where we got in and saw Tig Notaro and Hannibal Burress. Awesomely awesome. Probably one of the biggest highlights. Then we bounced around a bit and ended up at an interactive party where Hank Shocklee was spinning. This was cool. This was also sad.
Tuesday: Spotify House all day with Paige and Victoria! Verite. BORNS. Ryn Weaver. Gorgon City. Then we retreated and ate a kebab before ending the night at Cheer Up Charlies. We took a pedicab all the way to Rainey Street just to realize that was stupid, so we left. This was the longest day yet the shortest recap. Maybe I'm just tired.
Wednesday: Lunch at Sawyers. Aperol. No line for Steve Aoki at the old Emos. His set was at 2pm, which totally baffled everyone and I think that's why no one was there. Also, the old Emo's! Both Aoki and Lil' Debbie (the act before him, yes, named after pre-packaged pastry) yelled at the crowd because no one was dancing. In their defense it was early and they were probably hungover. Also, they were kinda bouncing, which is as good as you get at SXSW. Then, Hype Hotel. If you don't have a wristband, then walk to the front door and they'll give you one. Don't wait in the line. At least that was yesterday. Hype Hotel serves Taco Bell but the bands are great. Alvvays. Then in an hour we stopped by Vegas, La Perla, and saw some dirty rap at The Eastern. The last rapper we saw was a woman who was very angry and wore a crop top that showed off her bullet wound. She was pretty good. Then I went home and died.
Thursday! Sister left town and I took the day mostly easy. We went to the French Legation and heard an angry French jam band that kept stopping their set to yell at the audience and tell us that Paris sucked. I ate a terrine, which is French meatloaf. Then Paige and I picked up our Spin badges and met Alvvays at El Pelons. In the bar I realized that the NCAA basketball tournament had started. I had completely missed the brackets even being announced. This disturbed me. Then I went home before the sunset.
Friday: We made it to Stubbs by 11:30 for easy access to Spin's party. They've been having parties for years. In college I scaled a fence to get in--even though I had an invite. Within Stubbs we were greeted by a series of intersecting lines that from the sky probably looked like the Nazca hummingbird. We heard someone admit they didn't know what they were waiting for. Here's what they were waiting for: the thinnest (free) breakfast taco imaginable (it was basically three matchbooks); a chance to win a free pain of sunglasses or a t-shirt; or free alcohol. The free alcohol was Titos, Hamms, and flavored Steel Reserve Malt Liquor (berry or lemonade). Somehow we never saw anyone vomit. I'm sure they waited until we got home. Here's who we saw: Viet Cong, Metz, Kate Boy, Screaming Females, Earl Sweatshirt, Will Butler, Twin Shadow, Courtney Barnett, Run the Jewels. Also, there was a flash flood watch and everyone got miserable until Jeff brought us ponchos. Coutney Barnett and Run the Jewels were amazing. RTJ were by far the highlights. Then, we took a surged uber home and I passed out for an hour until my sister came BACK into town. We resuscitated, but I don't know how, and went to the Hype Hotel where Dan was bar tending. We saw Seinabo Sei (awesome Sweedish soul), Years and Years (brit pop by kids from Hogwarts), and Rae Sremmurd (yup). Rae Sremmurd and RTJ were light years better than Earl because both those groups weren't afraid to have fun and turn it into a ridiculous party. Rae Sremmurd packed the stage (Mike Will, god knows who else) and danced in front of guys holding giant cardboard cut outs of their heads.
Saturday: Back downtown by noon. We had three choices: 1. Wait in line for Rachael Ray's extravaganza of food and pop music. 2. Wait in line because it looked like we could get into Cheer Ups to see John Legend and whoever John Legend brought to town. 3. Wait in line at the Mohawk for the Fun Fun Fun Fest 10th Anniversary. We chose Mohawk and stayed in the back room for: The Outfit (Texas rap--the lead singer made jokes and came out with a Confederate Flag draped over his shoulders); Lust for Youth (who brought back old fashioned Euro disinterest); Orthy (I have no memories of this); and Roger Sellers (my sister's fave and a guy like Dan Deacon who loops his own voice and drums and plays it all over a light show--he was great. We left Mohawk and Bill Murray showed up an hour later. Victoria and I ate a burger then went to Trailer Space, where we saw bands that came from Tennessee to play in a moldy record store for 15 people. Then I took a micro-nap in Stacy's car and pounded coffee at her house. We saw Coma in Algiers play at a theater on Springdale next to the Austin Eastciders Brewery...Cidery? Another micro nap. Then back to Hype Hotel with Jeff and Stacy where there was actually a line! We saw Tei Shi (very nice and shimmery) then met Paige outside a taco truck. We went into Liberty and a band was playing and I hated them because they were musicians playing music at a music venue. Sometime around 1am, I hit the wall, came home, and died.
Sunday: Spent most of the day in a vegetative state. Goodbye SXSW. You killed me. You were great. One day I'll listen to music again.