Poseur Goes to SXSW, Ignores Sports


As y'all already know, I was unable to follow the baseball action this weekend, shamefully shirking my duties as a good LSU blogger to instead attend South by Southwest, one of the greatest musical festivals on earth. 

What makes SXSW great is that most of the shows are in small clubs throughout Austin, so unlike most festivals, you can get right up and see the acts up close and personal.  There's also tons of free food and beer, and that's never a bad thing.  The downside is that the setup requires those of us who don't want to shell out the exorbitant fee for a wristband to hustle all over the city in the hopes to get in to see who you want, which is no sure thing.  The line for the Mohawk was over two blocks long on Saturday, which meant that this blogger was not going to stand in 35 degree weather for four hours on the off chance he MIGHT get in to see the Antlers and the Black Keys.  So cross that off the list.

Since I can't review the games other than "Yay! Series win!" this is instead a review of SXSW by a guy with no credentials to cut in line.  Essentially, this is what SXSW was like for those of us without pres credentials.

Best Band.  Without a doubt, Frightened Rabbit.  I'm completely biased as I already adore Frightened Rabbit, but their live version of "Keep Yourself Warm" is one of those things that makes me keep going to live shows.  The song is great and you should go download it, but it's even better live.  It's just a song that's designed to build to a crescendo, which works so well in a live format.  Sloppiness and all.

Worst Band.  We caught exactly one-half of Ty Hall's first song.  That was more than enough to make the judgment that we needed to leave.  The only reason we were even at the show was because it was inside and we were frozen solid from being out in 35 degree weather all day.  It was a song so terrible that we literally ran back into the cold.  Being warm was not that important.  Getting away from Ty Hall was.

Best Discovery.    We were waiting for Dawes to play, Savoir Adore kicked things off on the outdoor stage at Red Eyed Fly.  There were probably 20 people outside (it was early AND cold), and we didn't have any expectations.  They sounded a lot like MGMT, but it was really good.  The crowd even sang along to the last song even though only about 10 people knew the words.  By the end of the show, the outdoor patio was packed.  Great show.

Most Schizophrenic Set.  I really like the Low Anthem and I was pretty darn excited to see them.  And they did not fail to disappoint, as they played their ethereal folk songs as the crowd stayed eerily quiet to listen to a band with a clarinet player and a guy bowing a saw.  And then, halfway through, they announced they were going to play songs from the new album.  At which point, the clarinet player picked up an electric bass, the saw player went to the organ, the stand-up bassist went to the unused drum kit, and the lead singer went to the electric guitar.  And then they rocked the hell out.  It went from quiet folk set to pounding rock show in the time it takes Trindon Holliday to run the 40.  I mentally added The Low Anthem's new alum to my shopping list.

Most Unexpected Lecture.  Billy Bragg went on for about five minutes in favor of American Exceptionalism.  Billy Bragg is a British agitprop socialist punker from the 1980s.  I'm checking the weather in hell.

Worst Dining Decision.  Whatever sports bar I stopped in on Saturday to get an update on the tourney.  The food was so awful that I think even a tapeworm would refuse to eat it.  This is how they keep you from becoming a sports fan in Austin: lousy food at sports bars.

Best Decision.  Not standing in line to get into Perez Hilton's party to see Snoop Dogg.  Apparently, people waited for five hours in the cold to be told they were not getting in.  I spent this time in the hotel bar, drinking and watching basketball.

Most Misplaced Honesty.  Nicole Atkins told the crowd she would not be playing the guitar because she was too hungover.  We took this as a sign to go outside and see Dawes.  Who were totally awesome.  So thanks, Nicole.   

This is all a long way of me saying I won't have the Tourney Game update until tonight. 

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