While checking in on Clock Opera, I found this. If you’re getting bored, skip to about three minutes to have your mind blown by beautiful lips that will cause the greatest music-gasm you have felt since… I don’t know, maybe a Radiohead song or whatever you’re into.
This guy danced like this through the entire set. Please don’t tell him he’s on the internet. He seems like a nice enough guy.
On Wednesday, Gus and I had a hole in our schedule. I noticed that I had a backup plan of seeing Clock Opera and they were playing nearby at The Bat Bar. We figured that it was at least worth checking out even though I couldn’t remember why I had them written down.
Wow. They were really good. Gus noticed that there was no one upstairs, so we were able to watch them up close from the balcony.
Later, I saw them again for my last show at SXSW 2011. It’s hard to tell from this video, but these guys are really good. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these guys at Stubb’s next year. Not at SXSW, mind you, but headlining a huge North American tour. I talked with their bassist a bit after the show. They just recently signed to an international label, so they are no longer BBC exclusive and should be getting some attention here in the U.S. soon.
Donald Glover, a.k.a. DongLover, a.k.a. Troy, a.k.a Childish Gambino played SXSW this year at Red 7. He started the set by looking in the crowd for “Danny”. I really, really expected to see Danny Pudi end up on stage with him at the end to free style together, but sadly, that did not happen. I still got a few videos of Donald rapping with his live band. Unfortunately, I didn’t record him playing his new hit single, “Freaks and Geeks”. He also played an incredible song with Reggie Watts via video, but I just got a picture of that.
Gus and I were in line for food at a local food trailer on Saturday. There was a large group of wanna-be hipsters in front of us calling all their friends who kept cutting in front of us. Gus decided that it was time to try to talk to them. He asked “why do you all have face paint on?” The tall woman in front of us turned around and explained that they came from Shangri-La where someone was painting faces for free.
That sounded pretty cool. “Why did you leave?” Turns out, they were kicked out. One of the girls was passed out in the corner. Some asshole saw her and started screaming that she needed to be kicked out. Her boyfriend came over and said that he would gladly carry her out of the bar as soon as he finished his beer. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quickly enough and there was fisticuffs. The entire group of friends came over to help calm things down (yeah, right, they were wasted and came in swinging). While all this was happening, one friend sat calmly and watched, while getting his face painted like The Ultimate Warrior! I agree, it was the right choice to make sure this work of art was completed.
I took this video of Filter’s amazing performance of “Hay Man, Nice Shot” at SXSW 2011. I believe Gus’s comment was “What cover band is butchering these Filter songs? Oh, Filter…right.”
I’m not saying Cera is a douche. I’ve never met the dude. He’s probably really awesome. How else could he convince members of Islands, Man Man, and Modest Mouse to play in a band with him? But I’ve seen concrete proof that total douches are drawn to him like frat boys on fake tits. When I say douche, I’m not using that term to simply categorize everyone that annoys me (although I kind of am), I’m referring to the typical 6th street dweller that is so self involved that impressing the person next to them is all that matters. It matters more than their physical appearance, intelligence, or consideration of people that give the tiniest of shits about something else.
Gus and I walked into the Bat Bar to see Fences this evening. You see, this is how the joke starts.
I was shocked when I walked into the Bat Bar for two reasons. One, I realized that the bar we were walking into used to be a wings place that I had spent many afternoons downtown playing that one trivia game that utilizes the televisions that aren’t showing a rerun of sportscenter. I have no idea where I’m going to sneak off to next time I’m permitted to be downtown for work (that’s a lie, I have an idea and it involves margaritas). Two, this place is really packed given that there’s a cover. There weren’t too many badges out tonight, so most of these people paid the $15 cover. In Austin, people only pay cover because something awesome is expected to happen. Fences, the band that Gus and I wanted to see, must be more popular than I thought.
Then the show started. Then I noticed something very annoying. The crowd, for the most part, were more interested in talking to each other than listening to the band. WTF? Why did these people pay $15 to not watch the show? Why are they all wearing torn brimmed caps, cargo shorts, and striped polos… fuck! Douchebags! That’s when I started tweeting about the annoying crowd. That’s when I noticed Gus tweeting about the annoying idiots in front of him. That’s when I read the tweets about the next band at the Bat Bar, who happened to be Michael Cera’s band. That’s when I put the pieces together and came up with my grand theorem, which is the title of this post.
Anyway. It was a short night given that there were only 10 venues (compared to around 90 tomorrow) hosting shows at the first ever Tuesday night of showcases, which wasn’t even announced until less than a month ago. It was still fun though. Esben the Witch was awesome. Fences was great, but the crowd made the experience infuriating. PS I Love You was…. interesting. And Surfer Blood proved that they can knock off Vampire Weekend better than anyone else who has tried (which is an appropriately short list).
I’ve always wanted to go to a SXSW after party. I’ve heard of them. I know that there are impromptu shows on the pedestrian bridge every year. I just either never hear of good after parties or I’m too tired to go out after two. When I found out that Rival Schools was playing a two am show that I was pretty sure I could get into, I decided that I would finally go to an after party.
Gus and I showed up to the venue of the Rival Schools show, the Purevolume house (formerly The Copper Tank), around 1:00am there was a decent line. I’m sure we would have gotten in just fine if we waited, but we were somehow able to use our badges to cut the line. It didn’t really make sense, but the bouncers let us in and we didn’t complain. Somehow I missed the guy giving out drink tickets, but Gus grabbed a couple. We stood in the line at the bar and asked for four beers. I have no idea what the ticket for beer exchange rate was, but I think that if you tipped well the bartenders didn’t care.
Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes was playing a DJ set on stage. Normally I don’t really enjoy listening to hip-hop, but get a few beers in me and put me in the middle of a fun crowd and my attitude changes. Of course, OF COURSE, completely predictably, Travis and his crew invited the crowd on stage. At first, only a few lame, attention deprived, guys got on stage. Slowly, more and more people realized that they could be the center of attention too if they hopped on stage.
There was a point when a rather large fellow went to the front of the stage and danced next to one of Travis’s minions. The large man, as if to celebrate his fatness, proceeded to lift his shirt and allow the minion to slap his fat in rhythm to the music. Now, I’m rather fat myself, but I realize that being fat is nothing to celebrate. So, I’m not going to knock someone for simply being overweight, but when you stand on stage in front of a few hundred people and allow a stranger to shake your naked fat gut, I don’t feel bad for jokingly laying the blame you for the event that occurred.
The stage broke.
No one was hurt. The stage simply began to sag slightly in the center. However, the stage manager, a man who looked like John Carmack’s uptight brother, was convinced that the center of the stage was no longer safe. He was probably right, but his new “no one can be on the stage” decree was going to make it tough for Rival Schools to play from said stage. The uptight annoying stage manager ordered everyone out of the room. I was hoping it was so they could quickly repair the broken support beam in the stage, but that’s not what they appeared to be doing.
My spirits were quickly sinking. I didn’t want my first SXSW after party to end before 2:00am (making it… not really an after party). Slowly, the crew’s plans became clear. Suddenly, one of the worst delivered lines from one of my favorite movies, Mallrats, came to mind.
T.S. Quint: Looks like a stage is being erected.
Seriously, if you ever watch Mallrats again, which you should because Jason Lee is awesome, try to find a worse line delivery. If you do, I guarantee you that it also came from Jeremy London. His horrendous performance in that movie almost completely sunk Kevin Smith’s promising career.
Rival Schools set up on the floor in front of the broken stage. The drummer and the guitar amps were allowed to remain on the very front of the stage.
Walter (lead singer) kept shouting into the side of the microphone where his voice wasn’t picked up at all. When thinking back, I think he might have been singing quietly on some songs because he didn’t think he could hit the notes or something. That seemed to be confirmed when Gus and I saw Rival Schools again on Saturday and Walter’s vocals seemed to only cut out on the new song that they played. (YAY! New song! They have new material! The new album may come out this decade.) And of course, they played their hit.
I saw We Were Promised Jetpacks twice at SXSW 2010. Before I continue, I have one important thing to say.
Seriously science dudes, we really were promised jetpacks, and flying cars. You guys suck.
From the intense emotion Adam Thompson shows while belting out the lyrics with an uncanny Scottish accent, to the toe tapping, head bobbing beats, We Were Promised Jetpacks was one of my favorite artists this year. I think my favorite part was when a few fellow Scots were screaming nonsensically at the Jetpacks during their Fader Fort gig, Adam yelled back at them “Shut Up! You’re f#@king idiots!” Well said Adam.
If you have the means, go see them. And pick up their album. Seriously, it’s pretty great.