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 sense of time is completely gone. We went out for breakfast around 3 p.m., and if they would have told me it was 10 a.m., I would have believed it too. Anyways, we went to Polvo’s again, to meet up with good friend Shaun, for some tasty Mexican food once more. This time, I took the steak Polvo’s as well, it was awesome. Largest steak I ever ate. When I’m back home, it will be vegetarian food for the whole week again, to make up for all the meat I ate.

After the great Mexican brunch, we went to the Waterloo park, for the Mess with Texas festival, a big open air music festival in the park, with 2 stages. Weather was perfect again, so just hanging around in the grass, checking out some bands, was really what I needed. I ran into Bas (Belmont Bookings) during a perfect set by the Thermals. I really start to like this band a lot. It’s just a no nonsense 3-piece, making really pure, nice and intense music. I have an instant ” feel good mood” when I hear them play. And that bassplayer….:o)

After the Thermals, I cued for about 20 minutes to take a leak. They had maybe 15 portable toilets for a park filled with 4000 people drinking beer and having fun….not really well thought of. Thing is, that the famous ” urinating cross” we have in the Netherlands, would cause ” indecent exposure” because people might see something….and pissing in the wild would probably get you arrested, so everybody was nicely in line, waiting to go. Maybe next time, try putting down 50 cabins more or so….. Oh yeah, Peer (owner of the Rambler) displayed a nice bit of Dutch rudeness by just walking up to the first toilet that got avaiable, not queing at all….funny….

2 more bands, a nice chat with Guusje, a former colleague of mine back in 013, who lives in Texas now, and the mighty Circle Jerks were on. The place was filled people, and Keith Morris started out with some funny anacdotes, after which the band took of…..and how! They were tight as hell, and really on top of their game. They played a lot of classics like ” Wild” and ” Wasted” , but ended the set with 5 Black Flag covers. Holy Shit! That’s probably the closest I will ever get to seeing Black Flag live. It was fucking awesome. Crowd went nuts and climbed on the speakers dived off everywhere. Insane! Keith Morris is a hero!

After Circle Jerks, the Black Lips were on. Saw 3 songs of them, never seen them live. Pretty good once again, but after 3 songs, Dave got a sms saying that Twisted Sister was about to play the Texas Rock Fest downtown, so we rushed over there. Too bad this rumor was also not true, like every other rumour we heard the last few days… Ah well, I needed to go downtown anyways, to see Harlan T. Bobo at the Goner Records showcase. I had a really good hotdog from the famous Hot Dog King next to the Red Eyed Fly. We don;t have ‘m like that at home. After the more than perfect hotdog, I walked to Red7, where the Goner Records showcase was on. I bought a beer, sat down in a booth, and Harlan T. Bobo started playing. Too bad there were about 100 people there, in a room that could easily hold 350. It looked a bit empty.

Harlan T. Bobo was great. Really beautiful songs combined with some rougher material. Exactly what I wanted to hear, just sitting down, enjoying my beer. Goner Records is a great label anyways. Too bad Reigning Sounds weren’t playing, I would have loved to see them.

After Harlan T. Bobo, I went to see the International Noise Conference at a coffee-shop annex theatre on Congress. I had to walk all the way up, and my feet were so tired, that I considered hiring a peddy cab. However, that was impossible on the overcrowded 6th street (which was filled with 1000’s of morons anyways). I had a nice seat at the theatre and enjoyed some weird act of 3 girls with keybords and effects doing some sort of vocal mantra. Nice, but boring after more than 10 minutes.

I went back to Red 7 again, to see the 2nd band on the Goner Records showcase. This time however, I did take a paddy cab, with a cranky driver who was bummed out that I gave him only 10 dollars for a 7 minute bikeride, instead of 20. Asshole…. Red 7 was a bit more crowdy than during Harlan T. Bobo. Next up were the Box Elders from Arizona. A cool upbeat band with organ, making party garage rock. Sat down in the booth again, and enjoyed it with a Tecate beer.

Saturday was a bit of a slow day concerning cool shows. There wasn’t much going on what I wanted to see. Maybe next time, put up one of the 3 cometing showcases that were on at the same time yesterday on this day. Would be better timing. I went to the Mohawk club to see some bands that had the same booking agency as AIDS WOLF, Pre, and HEALTH, but nothing really decent played there. SO, I went back to the central festival area, and dropped by Emo’s to see the last bit of Pelican, which didn’t sound that bad this time. ARound this time, exhaustion started to kick in. It was just too much for too many days already.

I ran into Dave and Megan on the roadside. Dave was helping out his friends from Trail of Dead. After the van was loaded, we walked to the SPin Magazine party, where Trail of Dead was playing their last show for this years festival. Impossible to get in, and the Trail of Dead guys were nowhere in sight to help us in, so we decide to walk to Jackalopes for a last beer of the night. After curfew, we went to the car, picked up a rather drunk Bart and Angelique at the Continental club and went straight to bed.

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