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South by Southwest far



Alisa Ali checkin in from SXSW 2010.  It’s been a whirlwind couple of days.  I’m finally getting a chance  to check in and try to remember what has happened so far.

1st - the flight from NYC to Texas: There were tons of guys with skinny tight black jeans on my flight. Clear indicator that nyc hipster bands were making their way to sxsw to perform.  (btw - I’m totally over this look.  why is looking like an emaciated heroin addict  fashionably?  no offense to my hipster friends who actually sport this look.  I’m merely suggesting that perhaps a looser pair of jeans might be a bit more flattering. that’s all) Anyway, I found the dichotomy between hipster musicians and high powered business people very interesting.  On one side of me I heard conversations about musical equipment and late night benders.  On the other side, conversations about trips to Munich and unproductive conference calls.  Both conversations equally amusing to me.

But enough about the travel.  I’m here in Austin now.  So far I’ve seen a ton of great bands and a fair share of terrible ones too.  Highlights thus far include: Spoon - great show.  How do you not fall in love with Britt Daniel?  His voice is so captivating.  He sounds like he’s been up all night drinking and thinking...of clever and jaded things to say. swoooon!

I had a pretty terrible view of the show at first, but after a while the freakishly tall person in front of me got tired and left me with a perfectly unobstructed view!  I got some good video of a few songs they performed that I’ll post soon.  I’m having technical difficulties right now, so that”ll have to wait.  

I also saw a really cool band called, “the morning benders”  I saw them around 1:30am at Emo’s.  I was leaving the Spoon show, fully intending on going back to my hotel, but I heard something that sounded intriguing, so I figured I’d just go investigate for a song or two and then leave.  I ended up staying for their whole set and was so glad I did,  they were amazing!  Great guitars riffs and surprisingly mature lyricism for such a young looking band.  I doubt they were old enough to drink.  

A great Danish band called Efterklang.  After I got past their comical mustaches - way too thin - I started to really appreciate their musicianship.  They made such a joyful sound that it was hard not to enjoy them.  In addition to great percussion and guitars, they had flutes and keys too.  Also, one of the guys from Camera Obscura joined them onstage for a song.  Apparently their violinist couldnt make the gig, so they brought in this Camera Obscura guy to play trumpet in place of the missing violin.  It was beautiful.  

I saw and heard some terrible bands too.  The kind that think that if they just play loud enough no one will notice how terrible they are.  Well guess what.  I noticed.  

Had a few celebrity sightings too. John Norris - from MTV news.  This was exciting to me.  He was a very down to earth and cool guy.  Bumped into the XX on the street.  I asked them for a suggestion on a good restaurant.  They had no clue but they were nice and seemed to be in very good spirits.  I talked to a band called Wye Oak who demonstrated their awesome auto tune application on their phone.  

I got some free bbq and shiner bock beer and walked up and down the famous 6th street in downtown Austin, which feels a bit like Bourbon Street in New Orleans.  

Lots of other things happened too, but I cant access that info right now.  Gotta get to bed and start all over.  I’m hoping to see lots more music and eat lots more BBQ. If anyone has suggestions on bands I should check out, please let me know.  There are about 2,000 bands playing and I can’t keep track of all of them on my own.  The tentative plan for tomorrow though is to check out band of horses, jj, holy miranda, delorean & smoky robinson.  We’ll see what actually ends up happening.  I’ll check back in and let you know.