We drove from El Paso to Austin on Wednesday, got a late start and didn't make it there til 2:30AM. It is a 10 hour drive after all. We didn't have a set place to stay, but serendipitously, Max was at the tour kick-off show at Bar Pink and told me we might be able to stay at his friend Billy's house. Thankfully, Max was right and we can't thank Billy and Max enough for that, I'd owe them my first born, but that sounds like more of a burden, than a gift.
So after a friendly night of drinking at Billy's "modern cabin," and a "comfortable" floor's rest, we woke up to tackle our first day at SXSW. My good friend Riyadh works for Singing Serpent (SD based music company), and they were putting on a showcase with free food, drinks, and bands (including Rafter and Rob Crow). Sounded like a good place to start. It was noon, and people were already out-and-about, bands playing venues up and down the street. Click on Keep Reading for the full story Iron Gate, our first stop, was not in the chaos of the storm (6th St.) but in a more residential area which had two bars on every block, unlike 6th St. which had about 5 on every block. The first band, No Kids (Vancouver), didn't have all their drum gear so they asked to borrow ours. In return, Writer got added to the Singing Serpent showcase. Only an hour into SXSW and already got an extra gig, rad! No Kids are what I'd like to call indie-rock R&B. Electronic, dancy, groovy, and silky are my 4 favorites words to describe it. They were really good, but halfway through their set they had to compete with the free BBQ line. Writer performed after No Kids and it was great to see crowd support from local friends Team Abraham, Lights On, and The Fling (Long Beach).
After Writer we stuck around for a little bit, but eventually needed to roam the streets. Ms. Beas, which is 362 days out of the year a biker bar, was an awesome indie all- ages outdoor venue across the street. We stopped in for a bit, but had to keep roaming, our friends' Henry Clay People were playing an Aquarium Drunkard showcase on the main strip of 6th St.
Along with Lights On, we mobbed through the crowded, blocked off st., venue extravaganza called 6th St. On our way, we were inspired to stop at a beauty salon showcase, when the door girl said "Free Margaritas." Are You Kidding Me! Inside a small area was setup as a stage, and in the back of the salon a full bar serving tons of margaritas and free energy bars was in full swing. We quickly downed 2-3 margs and jammed up the street to the venue for Henry Clay People. There was a long line for the show, but somehow we kind of weaseled our way in. HCP was in full rock mode and it was great to see our friends getting some amazing attention. Last year at SXSW was their first time and they were hardly noticed. The bar was totally packed and everyone was getting into it. That's all I got for my write-up of SXSW day 1 for now. I will recap more soon.
Also I will post more photos on my personal myspace page. (www.myspace.com/dagart)