SXSW 3.17.10 Recap: A Mean Fiddle, A Bare Hug, and the Mayor of Austin
I approached the Downtown Hilton at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, making a grumpy phone call to TMM’s Peter Babb: “Wait…what the heck is this? Is this the right place?” But the moment I heard Carrie Rodriguez doing her sound check, my uncertainty completely disappeared.
And that was just the sound check, folks. Carrie did a fantastic set Wednesday in the Hilton lobby (Carrie, thank you for rockin’ the house and getting everyone’s adrenalin pumping with “Never Gonna Be Your Bride,” with the meanest fiddle ever), as did Brazos frontman Martin Crane with a stellar solo performance. It was day 1 for the KUT peeps, and things were already running smoothly – a blessing in the midst of SXSW madness.
Later, I met up with my friend and KUT’s guest SXSW blogger, Chris Lynn from Republic of Austin, and his lovely cousin Eleni visiting from New York City. The three of us made our way from the Hilton to The Mohawk on Red River for some Gonna Gonna Get Down V action, courtesy of the Austinist, Woxy and BMI. It was trippy seeing everyone in their greenest St. Patrick’s Day gear hanging out in the Mohawk’s Green Room upstairs. I even snapped a shot of Chris with his green t-shirt. It’s not easy being green, but you can look fabulous wearing it.
I ran back to the Austin Convention Center to give an introduction to Bobby Bare, Jr. before he took to the KUT Day Stage. But I made a little mistake – David Vandervelde, who plays in Bobby’s band, was going to play a couple of songs first. Right after I gave a stellar intro for Bobby, I heard David whimper jokingly behind me, “Uh…that’s not my name!” I was so embarrassed, but all turned out well because we were too busy laughing at the whole deal. Bobby gave me a big ol’ hug and assured me things were cool.
I raced back to The Mohawk in time to catch Besnard Lakes, and then Allen Chen of the Austinist very graciously asked me to introduce Mayor Lee Leffingwell to the crowds. Very awesome indeed! After that, White Denim proceeded to blow everyone away.
One of the coolest things to me during SXSW is how virtually any location – hotel lobby, parking lot, local shops, an abandoned building, the side of the road, the sidewalk near your neighborhood, for crying out loud – can be turned into a venue for a music showcase. It’s an invigorating experience seeing all of these spontaneous bursts of energy popping up everywhere, complete with amps. I can’t wait to wander about to find more of that – it was great encountering a band playing outside of Beerland on Red River, for example. The crowd was ecstatic.
More adventures and photos on the way, plus blogs and video from Chris. Stay tuned, same Bat time, same Bat channel.