Back to the U$$A, SXSW

From March 10th to March 25th, Frank is visiting the good old US of A. First a 6 day trip to Portland, to visit ZXZW artist Khris Soden. After that, Frank is visiting the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. He will try and write a blogpost a day on his whereabouts.

My 2nd day in Austin started out with the arrival of some Dutch friend who are doing a road trip from New York to San Francisco at the moment. Johan (of Union Town fame), Gijs (of Tenement Kids fame) and Jenno (not famous, but a cool guy anyways) arrived around 1 p.m. and after a quick beer we drove down to Art’s Rib House for a light lunch, consisting of a shitload of really good and famous babyback ribs. Best ribs I ever ate. After ribs, Lonestar and coleslaw, we drove to the downtown area, to check out bands.

Cool thing about the daytime during SXSW is that there are a lot of free shows, where you can get in pretty easy without a wristband or expensive festival badge. We went to Emo’s, where we met up with some other Dutch friends who came to visit the festival. Japi (promoter 013), Koos and Tjerk (Loudnoise Bookings), Karen (Karen Proeme Productions) and Walter (Roadburn festival) were there, and we checked out Annihilation Time. I booked AT three times in Tilburg, and shit was always insane there. This time the show was a bit mellow, but entertaining anyways. At one point, the singer startet ranting against the corporate sponsorship of SXSW (Pepsi for instance) and decided to tear down the banner which was ” a blasphemy to independent music” . I couldn’t agree more, and thought it was a cool thing he ripped it apart. Needless to say that the people from Emo’s were less amused….

After hanging around in the sun for a while, we went on to see Endless Boogie in Beerland, just down the road. Pretty good Motorpsycho-like jamband. Walter totally liked it and they’ll probably be on Roadburn next year. We met Bob van Heur (Belmont bookings) and had an interesting conversation about the music industry, which is one thing we love the most, but hate the most at the same time. Well, long discussion, won;t go into detail here….:o)

I still needed my badge, so we bought one at the convention centre, got a lousy goodiebag with nothing usefull in it, and went to get a quick bite to eat at the Monolian Wok restaurant. It was approaching 8 p.m. , the time when all the shows start, so we headed back to town. We saw Jucifer for a while, which was cool and loud as fuck, but nothing really special. I decided to go for a walk, and met with my roadtripping friends. I took them to Jackalopes, the cool place we went to yesterday for burgers. The Crank County Daredevils were playing. CCDD are the evil punkrock twinbrothers of Motley Crue, I played with them at SXSW 4 years ago with my band. Some other familiar faces here, like Peer, the owner of the Rambler bar in Eindhoven, and Bartman and the Black Earth guys. CCDD totally ripped, even restored Johan’s faith in Rock ‘n Roll. He was impressed. By the way, they also gave the SXSW organization a big fuck you for being corporate sell outs. There are lessons to be learned here people….

After CCDD, I went on to see the Cynics, an older, more ’60 / Nuggets like band, of who my band used to play a cover. They played at a quite small place downstairs. It was pretty ok, singer was really good. The place however lacked every bit of atmosphere, so after a quick beer, I decided to go and see Julliette Lewis and the New Romantiques. The line there was so big, that I gave up that idea, and went on to see Priestess in the EMo’s Annex tent. Damn, that was a good idea. I knew the band for a while already, but never saw them live. They kicked ass. Cool, Thin Lizzy like dual guitar leads, three guys singing, and killer riffing. Hooked up with Jeps (Mojo) and Daniel (Feet First Management) there, and the 3 of us went on to see The Bronx at Red 7. Another band I never saw live.

The Bronx was pretty good, place was reasonably packed with people. They are pretty popular here, I mean, they did 3 shows on 1 day today, and will do a few more the next couple of days. Jeps booked the band in the Netherlands, and the turnout there was never more than 100 people. Really weird how a band with these qualities gets such a poor reception in Holland. Jeps and Daniel theorized that is was due to their looks (which is actually 5 NORMAL LOOKING guys, approaching the age of 30). Young kids just don’t dig that. If it were 5 young kids looking all tattood up with make up and all, playing the same music, it would be totally different.

After The Bronx, I walked to Headhunters to catch up with the rest of the guys for our ride home. Caught the last bit of the CCDD, and afte 2 gin-tonics, we went to Dave’s place again. I was exhausted, so after a beer there, I went to sleep. 3 more days ahead of us!

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