"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


sxsw day four

I forgot that it was St. Patrick's Day yesterday. In Austin, "major holidays" mean that all the city's 70,000-plus college students and a bunch of other people head down to Sixth Street to party. And I hate Sixth Street, especially when it's crowded. So trying to negotiate the last night of SXSW music was kindof a nightmare. Not to mention how hard it was to find parking. Ugh.

Anyway, since I'd missed most of their set the night before, I stopped at Cedar Street Courtyard to hear the Watson Twins. The Truly Obsessed was there, helping her friend M hand out, um, promotional materials, and the crowd wasn't too big. The Watson Twins themselves were great. It was their birthday, and their blend of bluesy roots rock almost drowned out the noise from Fado's St. Patrick's Day party out on 4th Street. I really like their sound - it hits somewhere between Beth Orton and Laura Nyro - and hope they get signed as a result of all their shows this week.

After that, I very much wanted to see Kings of Leon at Stubb's, but since the Stooges were playing there two hours later, there was no chance of getting in. I've never seen the line that long - the place was packed, the badge line stretched all the way down the block and up 9th street, and they didn't even allow a wristband line. So we decided to go around to 8th and stand behind the stage. The acoustics are surprisingly decent back there, so even though I didn't get to see Kings of Leon, I did get to hear them. An added amusement was that this is where all the acts go in and out of the venue, so I saw Britt Daniel of Spoon and a couple of the Stooges. No Iggy Pop, though.

After that, I went to Emo's for the 11:05 show (more on that below), but since it's always better to enter through the Emo's Jr. door, I stumbled upon this. Yolz in the Sky is a Japanese experimental punk band that must be seen to be believed. Oh. My. (Actually, when I said, "Oh. My." last night, the guy in front of me turned around and said, "I know, this is totally my favorite song of theirs." He was joking.) Everyone in the venue was pretty much in shock. It was So. Funny.

Not, however, as intentionally funny as what came after that. That's right, Emo's hosted Donnie Davies' inaugural show, and, wow, was it somethin'. Davies, for those not familiar with the story, is the perpetrator of an elaborate internet performance art hoax that mocks a pet cause of some fundamentalist Christians. The show itself was pure camp. Backed by his band Evening Service, Davies, dressed entirely in pink and lavender, sang several campy songs, preached his message of love through hate, and performed a healing on a "random" audience member. It was a hoot, until just at the end, when Davies sang his hit song, "The Bible Says." Towards the end of the last chorus, Davies started to cry, then stumbled off the stage, which abruptly ended the performance. It was poignant and sad, and such a strange way to end SXSW, thinking about love, hate, fear, and how we choose to exlude those we don't like.



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