Friday, March 19, 2010

SXSW 2010, The Casio Way, Day Two: Hot Chicks, Cold Drinks and Free Shit

Posted By on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 1:27 PM

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Check out the slideshows for more SXSW photos.

Although I'm sitting in the IFC Crossroads lounge enjoying a complimentary continental breakfast and cup of coffee, it's times like these I feel more like I'm carrying a bucket of fish guts to the tanks at Sea World, dangling gruesome morsels of sustenance over a bubbling, salivating tank of killer whales, stretching ever so carefully so one of you animals doesn't take my arm off.

If there's one thing the Cream knows, it's that during SXSW, whether they're here or not, it's all anyone ever thinks about. I've heard all about you guys hanging at your favorite bars during the day, drinking beers and pretending they're free and that you're at some fancy day party sponsored by 1-800-COLLECT and Axe Body Spray. Hence, I won't taunt you any longer and will get onto your daily dose of vicarious excursion.

As you damn well know, free shit. Right? It's all over the place. But you gotta be on top of your shit to get it sometimes. Either that, or you sort of just happen upon it at random. Well, on top of my shit yesterday I was not. I wound up paying for a couple of breakfast tacos and a coffee foolishly thinking beforehand that I could get into the Filter party. Let me tell you something: free food + buzz bands = forget about it. The line will be wrapped around the block. Basically, you can pick one or the other, but never go for both unless you're ready to spend a lot of time standing in line. Your best bet is to almost always go where there are shitty bands you haven't heard of, get your fill, and then move on to catch the band of your choosing.

That said, I did stumble on some free tacos, champagne and PBR at a French music showcase featuring Uffie. No doubt Uffie must enjoy the hell out of the fact that since the rise of Ke$ha, her name is rarely mentioned without also pointing out that Ke$ha is now infinitely more successful with a trend that Uffie was participating in years beforehand. Uffie is either trudging on regardless or falling in line with the other geese in the flying-V formation of the dirty sexpot pop scene. Regardless, the room was packed with cute college freshmen snapping pics and vids and going apeshit for old jams like "Hot Chick" and "Pop the Glock." Uffie made efficient use of the short set, abridging most of the songs into more of a medley style. For the record, any time you can make your songs shorter, do it. (I'm looking at you, The Doors.)

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I'd planned on catching Kid Sister much later at Mad Decent's Carniville, but damn if I didn't happen upon her doing a set at Eastbound and Found, a free outdoor event. Like Uffie, Kid Sis performs with just a mic and a DJ and also snipped those tracks a little for streamlined effect. Again, like Uffie, her tunes fare more on the electro side of hip-hop, but more Chicago-style ghetto than ex-pat white girl. The crowd dug it. They knew the words, myself included. Making a mental note now to see Kid Sister again.

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Speaking of making things shorter, I'm going to streamline here a bit myself. I caught MEN at the IHEARTCOMIX showcase at Beauty Bar featuring J.D. Sampson from Le Tigre (you know, the androgynous one). If you recall, MEN DJ'd the Left Can Dance anniversary a couple years ago. They seem to have blossomed into a full band that sounds more or less like Le Tigre. Both the songs and performance felt a little weak to me, but folks around me were digging it, so what do I know?

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I also spotted one Bill Murray at The Beauty Bar. He'd stopped in to see The Hollywood Holt, whom I'd just missed. He stuck around to see Ninjasonik whose high energy, self-referential brand of hip-hop looked more like a hardcore show than anything.

Finally, lastly, but not leastly: Man ... or Astroman? I snuck out of my house at 14 to see them at Huntsville, Alabama's Tip Top Cafe. They were the first band I saw after moving to Murfreesboro. I have more bits of vinyl from them than I can count, and I was stoked to the max to see them reunited. Never ones to slack on showmanship, MOA? decked out the stage in wires, sci-fi props, visual projects, etc A parking lot full of folks exactly my age were just as amped as I was to hear them bust out high-octane instrumentals peppered with classic sci-fi samples and the best between-song banter of any band ever. Even when new guitarist Vic Vector's broken amp cost them a good seven minutes of stage time, the spectacle was no less entertaining as drummer Coco the Electric Monkey Wizard insisted everyone turn the opposite direction while they got things under control.

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Well, that's all you get for today, you animals. I'm heading out and attempting to see Neon Indian, Thurston Moore, Superchunk, OFF! and YACHT today.

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