Frank Kimenai is present at the yearly SXSW festival, he will give us live blog updates from Austin! This is the first part in the series, more to follow over the next days.
So, after one year of absence in the beautiful city of Austin, I’m finally back for the annual madness that’s called SXSW. Me and my buddy Roel flew in on a Monday, and got picked up by our friend Shawn. First things first, which in Austin means mexican food and a DosXX on the side. The steak Polvo’s stays a classic, so I would recommend anybody to go to Polvo’s on South First street and try one out for yourself (there’s plenty of vegetarian options too, by the way). After steak it was bedtime for me and Roel, we only slept 3 hours the night prior, and the next week won’t be giving us a lot more I’m afraid.
Tuesday is SXSW preparation day. I sended out a shitload of emails, and finally made a schedule, or an attemt to, for the next few days. What I immediatley noted is that the Tuesday is becoming an additional SXSW music day. Lot’s of shows going on already, although the official part doesn’t start until Wednesday. After 3 hours of scheduling and emailing, Roel and me decided to go downtown for some shopping and sightseeing. We walked up to South First street again, which is parallel to South Congress, the most famous strip here in Austin. South First is just as cool though, and hosts one of the coolest record stores I’ve been, End of an Ear records. Go check it. It’s better than Waterloo Records.
After shopping in numerous vintage stores (got myself a cool vintage Allman Brothers shirt!), we walked downtown to check out some SXSW action. It was already quite busy with people, and a lot of stuff going on. First some beers in the Side Bar on 7th, a nice haven if you want a little rest away from all the SXSW madness. It’s located just across Red 7, and has a really nice backyard. After beers it was time to pick up my badge, and I went to the Pitchfork showcase at Emo’s, where I met fellow Dutchies like Sander Kerkhof, Nick Helderman, Willem van Zeeland, Peter Weening, Robert Meijerink and Darko Esser. Good crowd, good company. Also had a chat with one of the Interactive visitors. He had something quite interesting to say about Online Influencers. Google it for more info…. :) Had some aweful Texas beer (as John Cleese put it: American beer is like making love in a canoo….it’s fucking close to water), Budweiser actually came out as the best option…Saw some hipster Pitchfork bands, Jamie Woon (slick soul stuff), Beach Fossils (quite good somewhat psychedelic rock) and Pictureplane. Aparently Pitchfork premiered some 3D movie experience, but I missed that one.
After Emo’s it was time to meet up with Roel and the guys and girl from The Deaf, a pretty cool beat band from the Hague. Since their guitarist only had a really crappy drivers licence on him, we couldn’t enter any bar because they didn’t accept his ID. But, magically, some back door opened when we where hanging on the street, so we snuk in to a venue what turned out to be Elysium, where cult heroes Psychic TV played 10 minutes later. Pretty cool, they played Incubate a few years back, but I missed them then, so here’s my chance for a re-run. Genisis P Orridge kinda gained weight, (s)he looked healthy…and the whole band looked like some sort of motorcycle gang. They played a sort of classic rock set, with an awesome lead guitar player. Good one.
After that show, we dropped by at the Red Eyed Fly to check out the traditional Honky SXSW pre-show, but it just wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be. Although Jeff Pinkus of Butthole Surfers is still an awesome musician, I kinda had it with Honky. So, after picking up some of Shawn’s band buddies (of the awesome new classic rock band Scorpio Child, check m!) in a sketchy gay disco, we went home. End of day one, for Wednesday, I’ve scheduled some day shows, and during the night, I’m gonna check out EMA, Esben and the Witch, OFF!, Smith Westerns, Gay for Johnny Depp, The Fresh and Only’s and a shitload more, probably! Looking forward.
Oh, on a final note. Wear a Ronnie James Dio shirt when in Austin. It opens doors….