Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SxSW 2008 - Friday, March 14 - Day Two

Day two started with a nice morning hike around Zilker Park and the surrounding area, taking in the beginning of a beautiful 80 degree Austin day. We relaxed a bit before heading out in the early afternoon to South Congress, where we strolled over to Gueros and took in a band that Brother Joe remarked, out of honesty, "sound just like Zykos." Smart man, as we were, indeed, watching Zykos, a band with which I possessed no prior familiarity whatsoever.

Crossing the street and heading behind Home Slice Pizza, we checked the schedule ("Hollerado"!) and took in AA Bondy, a cool singer-songwriter who provided just the right mellow morning introduction-- back into the world of music. After a few originals, Bondy closed with a fingerpicked folkie cover of The Boss' "I'm on Fire," with a nice touch. It's noon, the sun is shining, and we're back into beer, greasy food, a little ice cream, and music.

In the not-so-distant future, we foresee our merry band splintering, as Joe and I want to grab a taxi out to 6th Street for Lucero, one of our mutual "must sees" of the weekend. Before doing so, though, the group heads into the end of Mojo's Madness at the legendary Continental Club, where we catch Susan Cowsill in a Cowsills reunion, complete with two Cowsill brothers. The packed club erupts as the siblings, some 40 years after having a #1 hit with "Hair," absolutely nail the highly-arranged harmonies-- shinin', gleamin', streamin' flaxen waxen . . . I am overwhelmed with vivid memories of dancing around the basement as a kid, our 45 of the hit blaring from the stereo. I grab Susan after the set to blurt out this memory, and, from the conversation all around me, realize I am surrounded by a throng of 40-60 year-olds, reliving the exact same memory.

From South Congress, the group indeed splits, and Joe and I head up to see Lucero, one of our mutual "must sees" of the weekend. We get to the venue early enough to grab a couple of beers, wander in toward the stage, and catch whatever mystery band is playing the pre-Lucero set. Surprise! The return of the Black Diamond Heavies, just as loud, angry, and funky as yesterday at Jovita's.

Ears aching, we position ourselves in front of the stage between sets for Ben & Co. This is my third or fourth run at Lucero over the years, and they never disappoint. A big part of the experience is the rabid fan base, all skin-arted and crushing the stage, thrusting fists in the air and screaming every last lyric right back in Ben's face. Lucero puts on a blistering, if short, set, hitting songs from the most recent three releases. I make a note to finally commit to a road trip and see a full show from these guys soon.

Too many beers in for early afternoon, we retire for a bit, put our feet up, eat, and prepare for the evening festivities. We catch an early set on 6th Street from The Parisians, a punchy rhythm guitar/solo-free Strokes-ish affair, that hails from . . . France. A great set.

From there, we head over to the tented festivities behind the Cedar Door, where we will stay for the rest of the night. Over the course of three or four hours, we take in a stellar (and very loud) run of:

Rogue Wave

The unfortunately-named but surprisingly-good Dr. Dog . . .

Tapes N Tapes . . .

and Paste Magazine darlings and "headliners" of sorts, Nada Surf.

With that, it's two a.m., and we've spent the day with Zykos, AA Bondy, the Cowsills, Lucero, the Parisians, Rogue Wave, (a brief re-appearance of) AA Bondy, Dr. Dog, Tapes N Tapes, and Nada Surf. Not bad for a single day's work. Exhausted, we head for the crash and burn, resting up for a Saturday SxSW marathon.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Nice pics.

Isn't "post-up" a basketball term?

I think I speak for all of us when I say: We're ready for the Ides.