Mar 27, 2009

A look back at SXSW 09 by Aaron Lloyd Barr (the vanguard)

Day 1, WEDNESDAY:

Woke up in NYC at 2:30am and stumbled out the door with my suitcase and MicroKorg carry-on to meet Luke. Met up with the immigrants at 3 and headed to LaGuardia. 6:30am – we’re on the tarmac bound for Tejas.

After a series of naps, we touched down in San Antonio around noon. The Alamo rental car senora promised to give us a brand-new SUV if we took pictures with her and signed a CD. We did. She hooked us up. Awesome. We’re out.

SIDE NOTE: Director Patryk has said “Honey or Honeys” 7 times.

Arrive at pad. Unload. I call dibs on the Master Bed.

OH SHIT – We only have 2 hours to get to downtown (traffic!), park (no spaces!), check-in to SXSW, grab our equipment from the guys and make it in time to play our first gig at 6:30.

Good so far. We check-in and meet up with our Manager Bob (ReThinkPopMusic), Jose (other documentary director), Nari (Fashion Designer) and 40s (Yound Ohio-ian band ) – All of which drove all the way from NYC with the help of Cocaine (the drink!), yak-pak and a U-Haul sponsorship. (Thanks sponsors!).

Ka-POW! We made it. First gig at the Thirsty Nickel on 6th Street (the dirty sixth, they call it) at 6:30pm. Really cool place. Great show – Hi, to all of you guys and gals that were there! – Place was packed. Patryk got some amazing footage. THE Perfect start to the trip.

We spent the rest of the evening in awe of Austin (awe-stin?), eating street tacos, and meandering around with Bob grabbing our numerous wrist bands and VIP passes to be used later.

8PM: Go to the Radio Room in the dirty 6th for the My Old Kentucky Blog showcase. A couple of random people say “good show today”. I like hearing this. I fall madly in love with the singer forThe Grates but can’t get close enough to her to get her number. It’s probably an Australian cell and has 29 digits or something anyway. Favorite band so far. Go out back to the patio to catch the Annuals.

3AM: Sleep..

Day 2, THURSDAY:

Do we have a show today? I don’t think so…

Hang out in the hot Texas sunshine by the pool. This is the Life.

3PM: Luke and I go to Aussie’s to see 40s play the outdoor space. Dave, Rasko and Patryk go to a shooting range (Scary!). I have my first experience with LONESTAR BEER. I’m a fan now. If only they sold this back in the City.

6PM: Met up with smiling friend Colleen at Fader Party. Free SoCo or beer (Reason #47 why SXSW is the best music festival). Chuck! I randomly run into my friend chuck of Day Parade and his cool ladyfriend. We chat.

8PM: Bob tells us that we’re confirmed to play Belmont on W 6th at Midnight (What?? – Awesome!). Nonchalantly, We catch the rest of Tricky’s set at Fader then go to grab some Tex Mex at Wahoo’s. Walked by La Zona Rosa where Tori Amos is playing, but they want $40. We’ll catch you later Ms. Amos.

Meet back up with the guys. They’re alive and unharmed from their pistol excursion.

BELMONT is an amazing venue with open roof to the Texas stars. Adele played here yesterday in the pouring rain. Indigo Girls and Manchester Orchestra tomorrow. Tonight, The Vanguard. Official. Upon arrival, Brian (Covalent Records) immediately brings a keg backstage for us. Chuck and ladyfriend and Colleen show up because they’re classy. What a second gig.

ALREADY lost count of amount of time Patryk has said “Honeys”….I needed a clicker/counter. Next trip, Patryk!

Slumber…

Day 3, FRIDAY:

Missed the BMI breakfast – it should have been a BMI Brunch. Productive meeting with Jon from Tinderbox at the Hilton. Hey, there’s the dude from Dinosaur Jr…

3PM: Walk over to catch 40s at 219 West as part of the first SXSW ReThinkPopMusic Showcase. We set up and play a short set. Cool place and gig. Ramping up. WEIRD OBSERVATION: Everyone I meet is from San Francisco. Nari heads over to hang out with James Iha and catch his new project with the ‘Fountains of Wayne’ guy perform.
The Vanguard has the night off. Time to enjoy ourselves and soak up some of this music that is floating about Austin. Walk across the street and watch/listen to Razorlight . Not bad – they must have already played their ‘hit’. Grab a beer with Bob and enjoy the mindstate that we’re in.

7PM: Catch White Lies at the same space. Probably only 100 or so people here. We’re right beside the stage having paninis. Realize how much they sound like the Editors (what happened to them?).

Head to PureVolume House to meet up with our friends Me Talk Pretty , whose show we can never catch due to scheduling issues. Get in with VIP passes (thanks Bob!) and continue to enjoy ourselves (too much?).

Catch Lights. Then, Amberlin (clever band name) comes on. Not my thing (at all), I head to the back patio to hang out with Me Talk Pretty and continue consumption.

Sometime AM: Back to the pad…Advil. Water. Pass out.

Day 4, SATURDAY:

10AM: EmergenC drink. Yet, more Advil and water. Also, the combination of playing shows and having to talk over the pleathura of shows/live music is taking it’s toll on my voice – Maggie suggests, remotely, that I bring the honey bear out of retirement. She’s right; I need to find one before we play these two shows today….

BUT first, a little more poolside enjoyment….

1PM: Classy band breakfast with The Vanguard and Patryk at a Restaurant under one of those patio-umbrellas. Delicious.

2:30PM: Hey, there’s the O.G. whole foods! I grab my Honey Bear – re-united and it feels so good (on my throat). Arrive at Fado’s to play the next ReThinkPopMusic Showcase. We set up. I chug honey from the honey bear. Great crowd. Hand out EPs. Shake some hands. meet more people from San Francisco (random!). Watch as 40s play (they’re getting tighter and tighter).

5PM: Arrive at The Dizzy Rooster on 6th Street to play our fifth and final show for SXSW. I have my pre-show Jim Beam, chug more honey, and we rock it out. Shake some more hands. Hand out more EPs. More Jim Beam. Forgot to eat – Starving!

7PM: Eat a burrito. Then head to see our friends, Hypernova , play. And, we miss them because the venue re-scheduled them last minute. Walk down 6th and take in the atmosphere. Pose in front of a gigantic Texas flag.

9PM: Go to Vice on 6th Street, where Bob, yet again, gets us in VIP back stage area. LUKE Quote: “Hey guys – what are we doing, the line is over there.” We take promo photos that are being used by 5 Gum for god-knows-what. Met the promoterchick who kept tossing glowsticks down from the back-stage balcony and hitting people in the face. (I think the victims thought that I was the culprit….) We catch an AMAZING line-up. Iglu and Hartly (I believe, the only band to get arrested this year in Austin for public nudity while playing their hotel bar’s piano) then Asher Roth (He’s white, who knew?) and then was BLOWN AWAY by Janelle Monae . wow. Check her out. Last up was the headliner, Shiny Toy Guns. They spent hours back stage on their make-up (Hey, if that’s their thing…). Wasn’t into it, so we headed out into the still-packed 6th Street.

2AM: Snacked on some street meat avec onions and headed home to pack and catch a couple of hours of sleep before we fly out tomorrow (today).

Day 5, SUNDAY:

5:30AM: Need more sleep. Turn off alarm. Zzzzzz.

6AM: Awakened by Patryk in his underwear.

6:30AM: See you next year, Austin, Texas.

Connect with RethinkPopMusic On:

Facebook Myspace Twitter Vimeo YouTube

RethinkPopMusic on Facebook

join our list for event notifications and artist news

Event Photos

Flickr is currently unavailable.