The whole thing about SXSW is that the day parties are free and often have free food and booze, so it's critical to get up early and mooch like you've never mooched before. Yesterday, there wasn't so much as a free breakfast taco to be found. So this morning, I got up early-early enough to catch a blogger panel called "Bloggers Are Now in Charge" featuring Nashville's own Janet Timmons from Out the Other, Glenn Peoples from Coolfer as well as the dudes from Brooklyn Vegan and Aquarium Drunkard. Blogging about blogging is so meta you guys, but the panel was cool because it looked at the unique position bloggers are still in to be tastemakers while maintaining their own independence and street cred. But then it was time to hit the streets to find tunes and booze, hopefully the free kind.
While you're at it, check out photos from Steve Cross's slideshow. More goodness after the jump.
Sometimes you're mapping out bands you're gonna see and someone texts you and says "Free food at the Filter mag party!" so you bolt to Cedar Street in the hopes of grub. We got there to see Portland band Hockey, who sounded like a dance-rock band backing Rod Stewart. Totally fine, just kinda forgettable.
But with no free food or booze in sight, we headed back down 6th Street. Since every band is bleeding out of every imaginable crevice, it was funny to be able to identify Aussie band An Horse rocking out at Friends. We cut over and caught the last few songs of the act at the Sounds Australia showcase, and realized again a curious fact: Why is it that international bands are alway so chatty and friendly, while American bands can barely be bothered to mumble their band name in-between songs? An Horse used their in-between song time to warn us about sun exposure, skin cancer and other public-servicey type things, even apologizing to the minors outside who couldn't get in to the 21 and up show. Their indie pop sounded more raw and loose live, and that was a good thing, especially on more upbeat numbers like "Postcards" and "Camp Out."
Then it was time to score free food for reals, so when some chick said Entertainment Weekly had some free smokes, food and booze, we knew where to go. It was everything you wanted it to be, and by that I mean there was free mini-hamburgers, mini-corndogs and quesadillas. Add to that Miller High Life and American Spirits, and you're set up to listen to M. Ward playing, whose strummy musings never fail to leave me completely cold. Sorry fans, I just can't get into it. I'm sure the flaw is mine.
But one thing I can pay attention to is the fact that there are still mustaches like you wouldn't believe all over this place this year. It lives and breathes with an almost righteous bravado. Like this dude:
Stuffed and pleasantly buzzed, we headed to the aptly named Peckerheads where Those Darlins were setting up for an at-capacity crowd. The Red Stripe was warm but free, and the ladies blazed through a spunky set to a crowd full of the usual snakepit that even a broken bass string couldn't slow down.