SXSW 2001 Death March

Day Four: Saturday 17 March 2001

This will be a tragic mess. St. Patrick's Day on the SXSW Saturday. Oh-oh...

Anyway, Saturday began on a hard note at Room 710 for The Crack Pipes (Austin, TX). Kinda funky honkytonk punk. But not too great.

So, over to Emo's for The Shins (Albuquerque, NM). Sparse sounding quasi-rock with-some organ or other electronica here and there, but pretty dull & folksy for a 4AD act.

So, slide through the courtyard to Emo's Jr. for 00100 (Tokyo, JAPAN). Japanoise chipmunk punk. Got a good wall of noise guitar groove toward the end. Pretty cool.

Then I walked all the XO@#! way over to Speakeasy to be greatly disappointed by Je Suis France (Athens, GA). Yet another wall of sound, but not even an interesting one. Sort of hard-rock shoegazers on crank...Eh...

So, on to Lucy's for Venus Hum (Nashville, TN). Bouncy Bjorkish sort of trip-trance sensual techno. Sort of like a bubbly upbeat, happy Lamb if there was such a thing. From Nashville? Huh?

Crossed the street to Mercury for a bit of Yeti (Fort Worth, TX). Loud pounding King Cromson-esque rock. Sorry guys. I didn't hear any jazz in the sounds you made.

I had two courses tonight. I took the would-be post-rock experimental jazz shit. Why didn't I take the punkabilly one? Why?

On the continuing experimental front, I went to Iron Cactus, for Mountain Con (Seattle, WA). Oh, this bodes weird. They're setting up turntables and country-looking guitars.

The effect is something like the Farm circa 1992 or so, with PIL vocals, mixed with your typical country hick hip-hop. Weird ass-shaking fun.

Did have a couple others to check out, so off to spend about a minute at Blind Pig Pub for Tiffany Anders (New York, NY). Eh... Sort of trailer goth caterwauling. Gave it a minute too much.

Then back across the street to Ritz Lounge for Lift To Experience (Denton, TX). Cockteau Twins reincarnated as a trio of hairy trailer goth dirtballs. And what a cool combo. Tempo & energy oscillating back & forth depending on whether the speed or demerol was hitting. Cow skull on the amp. Very nice.

On the way to Atomic for the 11:00 show, I diverted to Pecan St. Alehouse to catch a minute of Bridget Storm (Manchester, UK). Slow cello-infused morphine-drip balladry with some country twang. Not bad.

An now for something completely different. Atomic Café for Thrall (Detroit, MI). Wow. Mike Hard was obviously molested one too many times by a priest when he was a child. The result is the most completely psychotic spazzcore punk that can be found loose in nature.

I do miss the Catholic Schoolgirl costumed wife playing bass, while he molested her. That used to make it even more a carnival of perversity and decadence. But as a result, he spent more time throwing himself out into the crowd.

I'm so lucky. On one of his vaults into the crowd, not only did he lay hands on my head and heal me while screaming his manic we all have a love inside us screed in my face, he gave me a big beer-soaked hug and kissed me. Definitely NOT one of those dreamy I'll never was that spot again moments. I'm just glad he missed the lips.

As always, a total blast.

Hoping the other band I _really wanted to see was playing a longer set, I ran to Buffalo Club for Cold Blooded Animal (Beijing, CHINA). Last song only. Damn! A Great Leap Forward into really, really, blazing loud, really, really angst-impassioned really really viscious attack guitars.

Wow. Really, really good. Wish I could have heard more.

Slowing down a little after those two, I hit Pecan St. Alehouse for Cath Carroll (Chicago, IL). Slow, sultry, subversive soloist of a vaguelly country/folk bent but with a twinge of Curve somewhere in there. David Lynchian. Cool.

Thinking I needed to amp back up, I headed over to The Living Room for Mono (Tokyo, JAPAN). Japanese wall of noise guitar assault shoegazers on crank. Hmm... Did I say crank? Make that PCP. Wow. This hurt so good.

Slowing back down, I went back to Pecan St. Alehouse for My Morning Jacket (Louisville, KY). Sinister, twisted morphine-drip trailer-goth. Nice and depraved. Pecan Street Alehouse just brings out the David Lynch? Idunno. Cool, though.

I split for a small taste of some others, and bopped by Buffalo Club for a minute of Brown Whornet (Austin, TX). Loud, fast, frenzied, out of control, but just not as good as I've seen 'em before. And I can see 'em pretty regularly. Next...

Over to Emo's Jr. for The Black Halos (Vancouver, BC). These guys have Stooges written all over them. Sneering, viscious, old-guard punk, complete with an Iggy stand-in, strangling himself with the mike cord.

But continuing my 3-song rule, after 6 minutes (remember the length of punk songs?) I headed over to Atomic Café to catch some Sister Machine Gun (Chicago, IL) Hyper aggressive NIN-ish techno-punk? Pretty OK, but not a thrill.

Couple of bright spots, but again, not a thrill a minute.

Saturday's Score:
84 Interesting-sounding bands (not all listed here)
18 Actually seen/heard for more than 60 seconds
2 Outstanding, really want to see 'em again, get the CD, etc.
5 Pretty good
5 Pretty decent
5 Eh... Find something better to do, soon
1 Total wanker

Here are some other related links to check out: