Here’s the lowdown on sxsw music festival. My lowdown on the conference will come next.
I saw 30 or so bands (which is just over 2% of the total number of bands showcasing!) at SXSW, as well as several unofficial shows. I missed some things everyone was talking about (of course), but all in all I’d say I did okay, both in diversity and quantity of acts seen.
Okay, starting with the LEAST indie, least unknown first: let me just say that with his porn star-looking wife writhing around onstage and his silver lamé pants, Perry Farrell is a showman in the grand tradition of Freddy Mercury and David Bowie. You know you’re not watching yet another earnest hipster indie rock band when he waves his arm across the crowd and says: “You all look so ravishing! I just want to grab you by the hair and…” (okay, you get the idea). And quite a breathtaking striped sweater. Maybe it was my mood, but i loved it.
Rickie Lee performed a few shows, as well as sat for an interview during the conference. The show I caught was on the last day, an afternoon thing at the convention center where they were broadcasting live for Direct TV. It was a set designed to look like a club. They had two: the “Bat Bar” and the “Lone Star Lounge” or something. Anyway, her band was really tight and she was in a good mood. She said, “this has turned out to be a lot of fun for me. There should just be more food for when you’re walking down the street at 2 am after your show and you’re drunk…we need more food for the people.” She was focused and beautiful and when she wailed “Do you know my name? Do you know my name?” it was an anthem for all of the hopeful souls trying to be heard in Austin last week. I was crying, but that’s not rare.
I saw Kaki King, who was amazing. She performs these weird percussive things and then loops them and it’s fiddle and guitar and very interesting. Andrew Bird does something along those lines but with a band and with his surreal, ethereal lyrics. At one point he introduced the song “Plasticities,” and the guy behind me yelled “Plasticities!” like it was “Freebird.” Funny! And then talked throughout the whole song.
Martha Wainwright is some kind of otherworldly creature – so charming and lovely and sexy and talented – something in the Wainwright/McGarrigle DNA is more talented than the rest of us humans. She’s a timeless performer, which was refreshing because quite a few of the bands I saw were completely of the moment – a moment that will pass.
They weren’t on the official SXSW showcase list, but I had a blast watching the Lonesome Spurs at Hole in the Wall. They are the duo of Lynda Kay Parker and Danny B. Harvey – he plays rockabilly lead guitar and she plays rhythm, sings and a Samsonite suitcase kick drum. Very fun. Plus – it turns out that Danny B used to tour with Nancy Sinatra, and they played the song “Kind of a Woman” that my mom wrote.
Okay – gotta get the kids to bed and will post more soon.
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 22nd, 2007 at 2:54 am
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