Wish I Was in Austin: Thursday @ SXSW Music

March 21, 2009

By Matthew Wettergreen Sound Opinions Roving Producer

The days are starting later, the beer is flowing free-er (contributing to the  exhaustion), people are everywhere. As we went through the city today almost every street corner was packed with people, the streets are closed and it's staggering how many people are here as compared to the interactive crowd. Every single storefront seems to have something going on for SXSW, stages appear out of nowhere in spaces that never had any room anyway. We hit up some non-SXSW sanctioned parties and met with friends, skipping the standard run-around to catch the next biggest thing at SXSW. The day started at Trophy's on South Congress which has just exploded in the past couple days with stages, tents and people milling about everywhere not for the curio shops but for the wealth of the free music and booze. Trophy's was playing host to the South By Shut The Hell Up festival, featuring 25+ bands on multiple stages in and around the venue. We checked out former Chicagoan Keith McManus' band The Dirty Hearts. The Dirty Hearts play tight garage rock with catchy hooks. Our only complaint was that the band didn't cover the song [NSFW] that Wesley Willis wrote for bassist Keith McManus in the mid 90's. Rewarding ourselves for two panels, a day-long party and all of our other obligations during SXSW we bounced to go get a massage at MYO Massage. The best part of the entire week was that 30 minute period where Boards of Canada played softly while a masseuse worked my stressed shoulders and back. How decadent. Back into the fray we hit up Schuba's annual party at Yard Dog on S. Congress. There an afternoon long slate of local an national bands played to a recognizable crowd of Chicago music people. Chris Barroner of the Metro, Brian Zisk of the San Fran Music Tech Summit, the owner of Delilah's and local manager and man-about-town Mitch Marlow hung around to check out these bands while Life During Wartime DJ Chess Haistar spun in between sets. We caught up with Andrew Hyde of Startup Weekend who was there with Matt Matteson playing a couple games: hipster costume and hipster pickup lines. They had dropped by a Salvation Army and allowed the other to pick out their uniforms. Andrew was wearing purple maternity sweatpants, a ratty v-neck white tshirt, skull cap and a tie, loosely hanging around his neck. During Hipster pickup lines we we came up with "are those your shoes?" and "I appreciate how little you care" and other non-publishable quotables. We caught the Asteroids Galaxy Tour, a Danish band comprised of a female singer with a horn section singing what could have been lounge music if not for the funky atmosphere of the horns. Chicago's Sybris headlined and after a couple songs thanked "Humanity," explaining that they had been caught in the wilderness for the past several days in a backwoods Texas town and were more than happy to be back in civilization. It's pretty clear they hadn't been around the filth of SXSW to know the difference from these savages.
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