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


sxsw day three

We've reached the point in SXSW where it's all sortof a blur. Bands, friends, films, basketball - I'm exhausted and hardly know what day it is. Also, I'm pretty sure I saw a guy rapping with an accordion last night on Congress Avenue, but I didn't take a picture, so who knows?

Anyway, day 3 of SXSW dawned early as I had an early lunch with a friend. After that, I met the Attorney at Emo's for the Pipettes, who were playing the Pitchfork party. The Attorney is marginally obsessed with the Pipettes, and after seeing their set, it's easy to see why. Imagine a sixties girl group, polka-dot dresses and all, with a modern girl twist and you'll get an idea of their sound. They're sortof the anti-Dreamgirls; their songs feature tight harmonies, coreographed dancing, peppy beats, and sappy ballads, but the lyrics are all liberated women. Their song, "Because it's Not Love (But It's Still a Feeling)" should give you the idea. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much that I popped over to Cheapo and bought their album, which is as funny as their live act.

After that I met PhSquared to go see a band he likes. On the way to Fado's 4th Street stage, we stopped in at the Gingerman to check the basketball scores. Wouldn't it be my luck that Michelle Shocked was playing inside? I cannot stand Shocked's music, and yet I manage to run into her act at every SXSW. It's like the universe is aligned against me. Anyway, her whining was over by the time Winthrop won. Thank goodness.

We went to the Fourth Street Stage, but they were running way behind, so we stepped into Cedar Street Courtyard and saw the end of Architecture in Helsinki's act. It was okay. Not as special as I've been led to believe, but not offensive either. By 4:10, Brooklyn's Antibalas finally took to the stage on 4th. Antibalas was interesting. Twelve-piece Afrobeat jam bands are Not Really My Thing, but they were pretty good. PhSquared was way into it.
After that, I went home to rest for an hour, baked cookies, and headed over to 23's to watch the Texas game. That ended later than I expected, which made me late to the Watson Twins' set at Central Presbyterian Church. CPC is running a venue this year, and while you'd think that their lack of a liquor license would make it an unpopular venue, they have something that most other venues lack: pews, aka, a place to sit down. The church was nearly full for the twins' excellent rootsy blues and the kind of tight harmonies that only sibilings can achieve. I loved it and may try to catch their full set tonight.
Next I headed to the Parish to get in line for Steve Earle. I mentioned last night that the volunteer staff there was terrible. It started with the wristband line attendant we all nicknamed Debbie Downer, who felt it her duty to inform everyone in the wristband line that there was no way we were getting into the Parish to see Steve Earle, despite the fact that it was more than an hour before showtime and the badge line wasn't all that long. Debbie informed me that I had "maybe a 10% chance" and the guys directly behind me that they had a 1% chance of getting in.

We waited less than ten minutes.

Inside, the place wasn't yet full, but as The Drams played an okay set, it got more and more crowded and the inside volunteers got more and more unreasonable. Steve Earle's set was amazing (see last night's review, below), except for the volunteer who felt it her duty to step in in the middle of "Comin' Around" to tell the guy next to me that he couldn't take pictures (He had a camera permit. And nowhere else in the festival does anyone enforce the no photos rule for people who don't have camera permits). On our way out of the club, Debbie was standing at the door, saying, "You don't want to see Rickie Lee Jones?" No, Debbie, no. We didn't.

After that, I wanted to catch Carrie Rodriguez, but by the time we got over there, Cedar Street was running about a set behind. Someone (apparently Emerson Hart) was singing a song you know from the radio, but by that point I was too tired to care. One more night to go.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emerson Hart who performed at Cedar Street during SXSW was singing all his own original material - that is great that you recognize it from the radio - his band Tonic had some pretty big hits and he is preparing to release his first solo album in June.

Monday, March 19, 2007 8:10:00 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Okay, thanks for the clairification. ARe you his publicist?

Monday, March 19, 2007 2:15:00 PM


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