Tuesday, April 05, 2011

South by Southwest 2011

So I guess I should have titled this post, “Better Late Than Never,” since SxSw music festival happened nearly three weeks ago.

I started this years’ fest by checking out the debut of the highly anticipated/publicized Third Man Records mobile record store. Third Man, as you might know, is run by none other than Jack White, which of course means every release is only on vinyl (the only proper way to listen). I wasn’t really interested in buying anything from the truck since I already have everything I need (and probably a lot that I don’t) from the label. But it was sort of historic anyway. I mean, who just starts a mobile record store that travels all over the country selling vinyl and encouraging bands to plug into their built-in PA? Pretty cool I think.

After seeing the big yellow truck, it was a few blocks down 6th Street to see Long Beach favorites, The Fling play to a disappointingly small crowd. Sort of problematic to be playing at 1:00pm I suppose.

After The Fling I had several hours to kill before seeing Nicole Atkins’ set at Clive Bar. I wandered around Rainey District and ate two amazing Morocan Lamb Sausage wraps at Cazamance African food stand. And Nicole Atkins killed. She has such a powerful voice.

The next day began with Atlanta’s Gringo Star, which once again yielded a poor attendance due to the 1:00pm show time. They’re a really good band though, I recommend checking them out.

LA’s Night Horse rocked pretty hard as well despite not being able to find their drummer for the first three songs. Not to worry though, a good friend filled-in until the real drummer showed up and the rock continued.

One of my favorite things about a festival like this that literally takes over an entire city is all the random awesomeness you happen upon just walking the streets. Like this very impressive old time jug/string band, 20 Dollar Bill Wishing Well who spent their afternoon busking for passersby. Complete with washboard, banjo, washtub bass, resonator guitar, and a bevy of homemade instruments, these four lads really drew a crowd.

As did this 20-foot tall dancing robot further down the street.

The final show for me was longtime favorites, The Greenhornes, featuring Jack Lawrence on bass. This was actually one of his first bands before moving on to bigger bands like The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather. I’ve really liked these guys for quite a few years and it was nice to see them draw a big crowd.

After the show I decided to check out a nearby restaurant we’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Péché’s claim to fame is being Austin’s first absinthe bar, after the recent relaxation of the laws previously forbidding this drink. Absinthe is fine I guess but I was there for the food. I started with crispy pork belly confit, followed closely by a veal sweetbread salad with sunny-side-up springdale farm egg, and ended with a brandy alexander milkshake made with Austin’s own local Amy’s Ice Cream. Mmmm. A great ending to a great festival.

1 comment:

Josh H. said...

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