Back to the U$$A, SXSW, Last day!

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.

The day started out pretty slowly again. Around 3 p.m. Shaun came by to pick me up. Bart and his girl went to the rodeo, I had to go to the Flatstock poster exhibition. But first, Shaun and me had a lunch at Stubbs, the BBQ place where Metallica played last friday. I had ribs, beef brisket and a sausage. Again, some of the best meat I ever ate. I will definitally be eating veggie food for the rest of the week now….

After a decent meal, we went to the Austin Convention Centre, where Flatstock took place. In a gigantic hall, there were about 6 rows of 30 meters filled with posters. It was a really colorfull sight, and there were some kick-ass designs on those walls. I really like the poster-art culture a lot, and it’s a shame that not more venues in Holland (except for the mighty VERA ofcourse) adopt this way of advertisement, which ofcourse, is also an artform. I think, in these fast times of digital marketing, it would be a way to get noticed between all the rubbish which is put onto people by all the venues and festivals.

I took stroll through all the aisles, and I walked to the guys from the Decoder Ring. Geoff, on of the artists, is also in the Board of Directors of the American Poster Institute, and him and Mara Piccione (of VERA fame) put up the Z-stock exhibition we did last year during ZXZW. I had a chat with him about the do’s and don’t and their experiences on the whole thing. He said he really enjoyed the atmosphere of our festival a lot, which ofcourse is always nice to hear. During this edition of the Z-stock exhibition, we are probably going to take it outside on one of the central squares of Tilburg. Should be fun!

The exhibition closed at 6 p.m., and my buddy Shaun had to go work as a soundguy at the Red Eyed Fly for the last day (he’d been working 80 hours or so the last few days), and I wanted to go to Red 7, where the ” Goodbye South-by”  show was on. We took a quick Guiness at the Side bar, and went our own ways. I walked down Red River, and it was a bit surreal to see it completely empty again. No people there anymore, just a normal street with some venues. Also 6th street was completely abandoned. They cleaned the whole place, which was a total frenzy of people and music the last few days, out overnight. Good job, because believe me, it was a mess….

At Red 7, there were about 150 people there, enjoying the last bands of this years SXSW. Wolves in the Throne Room were playing, and I walked into those guys after an hour or so. We sat down at the bar, and had a nice talk for a while. I was a bit tired of live music, I noticed. Although I did see one good band there, called Pack of Wolves. Really heavy, crusty and noise shit. Check it out. After lots of beers with the Wolves guys and their cousin, I went out for a walk, to catch some fresh air. I walked pass Beerland, that also held it’s last show for this years festival (although they weren;t an official SXSW venue). And who do I walk into: The Kurt Vile dudes I met on my first day travelling to Portland, 2 weeks ago.

Funny coincidense. I knew that they were playing, but missed them out due to a busy schedule. Fortunately, I got to seem them now with a drummer. I sat down on an amp and listened to their nice, quite guitarmusic for 20 minutes. It was a joy for the ear, after all that heavy noise. I said goodbye to the guys after the show, hope to meet them again once, or maybe put them on ZXZW. If you read this guys: come tour in september!

I walked back to Red 7, where Wolves in the Throne Room were about to get on. After killing all the lights on stage, and lighting the place with candles, they took off. They started the show with the epic “I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks”  which took about 12 minutes. The crowd went nuts, and I did some severe headbanging myself too. Really enjoyed myself during the whole set. I like this band a lot. After the show, we hung out for an hour or so, had some beers, and talked about going fishing in the woods they live in. I’m definitally paying a visit to them on my next US trip for sure! It was time to meet up with Shaun again, after saying goodbye about a thousand times (see you in 4 weeks dudes), I walked to the 80’s party at a bar near by.

Shaun was hanging around there, with some friends, chilling on crappy 80’s music. But, the place shut down at 2 a.m., so we had to go home. Good thing, because I was about to fall asleep on the dance floor. We went home but not before eating some really good American pancakes with maplesirup and butter. Damn, that shit tastes well. Got home at around 3.30 and went to bed straight away. That was it for SXSW. I really had a fucking amazing time, and hopefully will return next year.

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