South by Southwest 2009: Day 5 & 6 (Music, Music, Music)

Wednesday was the day it all kicked off, and we started the day at Yard Dog Gallery around 2 p.m. for the Florida Bandango, a showcase hosted by BAAMO, that featured Tampa Bay acts Rebekah Pulley, The Beauvilles, Have Gun Will Travel, Damon Fowler and Mojo Gurus - interspersed with a sprinkling of national acts like Hoots and Hellmouth and Exene Cervenka to keep the crowd from wandering. No indie rockers here, mostly hippies and cowboys. A fine turnout and good banner placement ;-). Lone Star 16oz in a can, gator chili and being surrounded by your friends from home - a beautiful day. And a big congratulations to Dawn Morgan and Ronny Eliott on their recent engagement!

After that, began a 24-hour marathon of trying to see as many bands as possible. It's become a saying here that "it's a numbers game," and we've fallen into a nice rhythm of catching two songs per band, having one drink and moving on. 


In the past 36 hours I've seen the following bands: Ivison at The Parish; White White Lights, Scorpion Child, Shunda K and Belaire at The Beauty Bar; The Monster Big Band at Elephant Room; Priestess and Dirty Projectors at Emo's; Modern Skirts at Cedar Door; Past Lives and These Arms Are Snakes at Red Eye Fly; Mock Tigers at Apple Bar; 3 Kisses at Spill; Me Talk PrettyThe Vettes and Mother's Anthem at Austin RockFest; Bob Schneider, The Fireants and The Dicks with David Yow at the Austin Music Awards. Not to mention visiting the legendary Waterloo Record Store and scoring a front row seat for Quincy Jones' two-and-a-half-hour keynote address. Definitely a busy two days.

Video will be forthcoming on the madness in the streets, footage of most of these bands actually performing and a rather intimate session with Quincy Jones. Mr. Jones actually cried at one point reflecting on a tender moment with his old friend Ray Charles.

It's 8 p.m. now and Ivan is anxious to get back in the streets. Stay tuned.


"What a diff'rence a day makes" - María Méndez Grever

The music portion of SXSW has begun and Austin is infested with indie rockers, scenesters, hipsters and musicians from all over the world. The snarky t-shirts and iPhones of the interactive and film portion have been replaced with leather, tight pants and guitar cases. And they're everywhere.

Try to imagine if every bar, club and art gallery in Tampa and St. Pete tented their parking lots and had full concert lineups on indoor and outdoor stages for 6 straight days. It's a lot to take in. Not to mention, the stimulation of the local economy here - from stage and equipment rental to groceries and clothing - is staggering.

These Arms Are Snakes at Red Eye Fly. More photos after the jump.

There are many methods of navigating the music portion of "South by." You can meticulously plot your path, you can wander from bar to bar (if you have a wristband or a badge) or you can do a combination of both. Modes of transport can include car (shout out to Monica Armendazzle), cab, bus, shuttle, bike (they ought to rent these), rickshaw, horse-and-buggy, and finally your own two feet. 

Ivan is in town now, as well as some folks from Creative Loafing Atlanta, so we've been coordinating via text. This has worked to avoid overlap and to catch wind of "secret" parties such as last night's Playboy Party held in a warehouse on E. 12th in which Jane's Addiction played a surprise hour-long set. Word on the street is that Metallica will be doing a similar stunt tonight to promote their new Guitar Hero game. We'll see.

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