SXSW 2000 Death March

Day Four: Saturday 18 March 2000

The notes are getting shorter, 'cause I was getting worn out. And also tired of telling people, no, I'm not a journalist, I'm just taking notes on my Pilot because I'm a geek. Next time, maybe I get a Badge and play poseur.

On to Saturday's Music:

I gave up a rare chance to see the Golden Arm Orchestra at the Scottish Rite Temple. I've been told it was great, but I just had to see for myself what it was like at a show/sermon by ...

The Causey Way (Gainesville, FL) Atomic Cafe (2000) Jeezus! What a way to begin the Alternative Tentacles Records showcase night. Spastic punk rock the way only David Koresh and the Davidians could play as they rode the Hale-Bopp Comet out of their flaming compound. Fast, loose and completely unhinged, and very, very, very entertaining. The first time I have ever seen an 8:00 SXSW show _PACKED_ and Atomic Cafe is a pretty big place. Be healed brothers and sisters. Open your loving arms to the Alternative Tentacles of the Lord! Hallelujah!

I don't expect to match that one all night...

Qwasi Qwa (Cleveland, OH) Iron Cactus (2100) Imagine the Beatles if they were born in the heartland of the U.S., and fronted by a guy who looks like Dustin Hoffman from The Graduate. Decent guitar but unpolished in general, but hey, they're _young.

Sci-Fi Uterus (Denver, CO) Maggie Mae's East (2100) The air is a whole lot thinner in Denver. That means less oxygen and more radiation to the brain. This was utterly weird shit. Imagine Rob Schneider's (B-52s) deepest, darkest plans for world domination through cross-dressing as an alien. I'm not even gonna try to describe the "music".

The Wontons (Austin, TX) Blind Pig Pub (2100) Competent, catchy punkish pop, but nothing special.

Dumptruck (Austin, TX) Buffalo Club (2100) Dull, proto-VH1 quasi-rock. Yawn.

Evren Goknar (Los Angeles, CA) Pecan St Ale House (2100) Bright, catchy, occasionally country-tinged, indie songwriter rock. Not bad at all.

Since I've got some time, I hoof it over to ...

The Uninvited (San Francisco, CA) Waterloo Brewing Company (2200) Infectuous indie pop schizophrenia. Part of the time it was Bad Religion's love child with the Go-Gos. Part of the time it was come sort of punky, funky ZZTop boogie. Kinda fun either way.

Quick cab ride ...

Reto Burrell (Lucerne, SWITZERLAND) Pecan St Ale House (2200) Swiss rendition of a countrified Tom Petty. Eh. Chicks seemed to dig it, though.

Buzzkill (New Brunswick, NJ) Atomic Cafe (2200) Three piece playing spastic old-school (pre-dumbass-skinhead) hardcore. Sort of like old Dead Kennedy's or The Germs. Tres apropos for an Alternative Tentacles showcase.

New Wave Hookers (Portland, OR) Red Eyed Fly (2300) Something like the sort of punk-boogie that a Dead Boys & Cramps jam session might create. Quite depraved & way cool.

Love Love Straw (Tokyo, JAPAN) Park Ave (2300) Only heard a minute, since the line into Japan Night was off the scale. Think Ramones. I like the Ramones well enough, but what is it with this seeming Japanese obsession with their sound?

The Kiss Offs (Austin, TX) Blind Pig Pub (2300) All over the map with a mixed up bag of friendly, fun power-pop, garage-rock, new-wave & punk. Cool that they're local.

The Tremolo Beer Gut (Copenhagen, DENMARK) Soho Lounge (2300) Danish 3-piece playing creepy-spooky, spaghetti-western surf music of the damned. Outstanding show. Too bad they forgot to bring CDs. Time to hit Crunchy Frog's (their label's) web site.

Superheroes (Copenhagen, DENMARK) Soho Lounge (0000) You know how sometimes continental Europeans seem, Idunno, behind? These guys were New Order all over again, but dressed like a 70s disco band. Huh?

Silver Scooter (Austin, TX) Blind Pig Pub (0000) Somewhat New Order-tinged 80s guitar pop. Eh...

Fur Packed Action (St John's, NF) Maggie Mae's West (0000) Pretty iffy dred-head, Bad-Brains-ish hard rock from Newfoundland? Huh?

The Halo Friendlies (Long Beach, CA) Copper Tank North (0000) Competent, but not compelling, bubble gum chick punk.

Black Kali Ma (San Francisco, CA) Atomic Cafe (0000) A full-on, in yo face, version of Omar & the Howlers mixing Swamp-boogie Blues with Death Punk. Weird thing is that it worked so well. Cool stuff.

The Dragons (San Diego, CA) Red Eyed Fly (0100) High quality rockers. Think Rolling Stones meet the Ramones.

Feed (Tokyo, JAPAN) Park Ave (0100) Sort of a Japanese Cranberries, with some jangly old, old U2-ish guitars. Nice female vocals.

The Mekons (Leeds, UK) Antone's (0100) Kinda weird, only vaguely interesting, new wave cowboy folk punk. They're the Mekons. Not much more you can say. One of those bands you're just supposed to see. I'm not sure quite why, though.

Saturday's Score:
46 Interesting-sounding bands (not all listed here)
21 Actually seen/heard for more than 60 seconds
2 Outstanding, _really want to see 'em again, get the CD, etc., shows
4 Really good, entertaining shows
7 Pretty decent ones
7 Not worth the bother
1 Fucking Awful

Blew off Modest Mouse, and couldn't check out Golden Arm Orchestra
because of The Causey Way. Grrr.

The rest of the fest: