Brrrrrrrr! That's right - after three beautiful days at SXSW, Saturday turned arctic, which means (in Austin terms) temperatures between 35 - 50 degrees and high winds WTF?? On the bright side, it didn't rain. Thank you, weather gods! (It never hurts to stay positive, right?) So, after bundling up (sure didn't think I'd be wearing my down jacket again until NEXT winter), I made my way to The Dog & Duck Pub for Yallwire's day party featuring Dale Watson, The Gourds, James Hyland, Matt King, Shinyribs, Two Tons of Steel, Max Stalling and The Jungle Rockers - full sets from all artists will be available for streaming on Yallwire.com in the near future, so definitely check back! Due to the cold and my cold/allergies, Dale Watson's performance was the only one I caught. I like how he's positioned himself as a tattooed outsider in the country music circuit, and his guitar was rad. Does anyone know what coins are glued to it?
After some time de-thawing, I went to check out Rachel Ray's party at Stubb's, where I saw Zooey Deschanel's indie folk band, She & Him. Zooey was adorable in her navy trench with white piping and red hat, which her bassist, Mike Coykendall, complimented with his Davy Crocket-esque coonskin cap(?). Ok, enough on fashion - we're here for the music! Honestly, She & Him's set was pretty much what I expected from the quirky-cute-girlie persona Deschanel has portrayed in several films. I didn't leave in awe but enjoyed what I saw. On a side note, I was too impatient to wait in line for some Rachel Ray goodness (actually I'm not a big fans of hers, but the food did look good), so I left hungry, unfortunately - I know you pity me!
The show up next was definitely one of my favorites at SXSW this year. Ahhh, The Slip. Thankyouthankyouthankyou to the chain of friends that spread the word about this special and super intimate appearance inside of Shangri-la. I seriously found out about this only an hour or so before it happened, and it was a bright, shiny surprise on this glum day. I'd never seen these guys before and only have a few live recordings from back in their very jazz-centric days (actually, I vividly remember one such recording that somehow made being stuck in stand-still traffic from San Francisco to Truckee, dare I say, enjoyable), which is still evident in their more avant-rock style these days. The show was a ton of fun, inside and warm, and our group had the best spot in the house - right up front. Score! Definitely check these guys out if you get the chance.
Also, and rightly so, Santa showed up to see The Slip and spread the merriment that is SXSW. And then across the street, over the fence, and on the Mess With Texas stage was some hefty metal dude getting (almost) naked. Good times - love me some SXSW!
So after some confusion regarding the Mess With Texas schedule (yet, again, set times went awry - Neon Indian at 6:45pm? Apparently not - boo!), we trekked over to Lovejoys for some liquid warmth and a nighttime gameplan. As it turns out, Saturday was the only day that was pretty hit-or-miss for me. There was a several-hour-stretch that definitely left more to be desired. We tried to hit up the Fader Fort for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, but the sheriff decided to show up and enforce capacity. So that was a no-go. Then we headed to Relix's showcase at Galaxy Room Backyard for Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, only catching their last song. We stuck around for the next set featuring Kings Go Forth, a soulful funk band from Milwaukee that was pretty entertaining (though not what I was looking for). Next up was The Ganjas, a psychedelic rock band from Chile, at Maggie Mae's. I wasn't really feeling them either, so we went to Flamingo Cantina for Mishka, the first artist signed to Matthew McConaughey's j.k.livin label (no, a bare-chested McConaughey was not spotted at the show). Having heard about Mishka last year from some friends, I'd been wanting to check him out. Take a listen and a look (he is pretty beautiful, ladies) and see what ya think of his reggae-ish style. Are ya feeling irie yet, eh eh??
Well, to conclude SXSW '10, we checked out Chilean hip-hop I-wish-I-could-be-as-badass-as-she-is artist Anita Tijoux (whose performance reminded me of Mala Rodriguez's from SXSW two years ago). During the show, a Swedish musician in the audience asked me if I understood what she was saying. Honestly, I speak NO Spanish, but I tried to explain to him that's not why I was there. I mean, think about the opera. Shit, even if it's sung in English, it's hard to make out their words. And that's because the words don't matter so much as the feelings that they convey. Anita Tijoux was raw and powerful on stage - a memorable end to SXSW for me.
Even though I was chilled to the bone by the end of it all, SXSW '10 was definitely another fest for the books. Much thanks to my company, Blastro Networks, for the badge, and my girls (you know who you are!) for all the great recommendations - none of this would be possible without y'all!