Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yesterday we played a show in the evening for SXSW, so we took the day to go around and see the bands we've been trying to check out.

The Weakerthans - 1 PM
I had been so concerned with catching this band that I kind of forgot why it was so important to me to see them. As soon as they started playing, it clicked that they've been one of my favorite bands since I was 17 and this was my first time seeing them. They played mostly songs off of their new record (which, luckily, i love), and I had to stop singing along with "Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure" in order to not get choked up. There were free nachos and Southern Comfort at this show.

Ra Ra Riot - 2:30 PM
This might be the best band in the universe right now. We played with them a year and a half ago in New York, and I've been obsessed with them since. They're like Chin Up Chin Up if Chin Up Chin Up totally ruled instead of being just okay, or they're like Broken Social Scene if BSS were "dudes" and not "kind of hippies". And by "dudes" i mean people that you see and immediately want to hang out with (I must clarify because two of the members are female, but girls can definitely be "dudes"). I have rarely felt so overwhelmed seeing a band, and I could gush for hours about them.

Meneguar - 3:00 PM
Meneguar is great and generally perceived as hip becuase they are from Brooklyn and are overtly DIY. The great thing is that, to me, they sound like late 90's emo bands, the kind of bands that were getting ripped on by the hip contingency when I was getting into indie rock. It's a surpreme irony that makes me love the band even more. They played on a po-dunk stage with a makeshift PA system, and they sounded great BUT they were so quiet, it kind of made me uncomfortable.

Village Voice Media Party - 4:00
I walked so so so so long to get to this show under the promise of free food, free drinks, and ..Trail of Dead. The walk from Ms. Bea's (where Meneguar was) to La Zona Rosa was hellishly long on the hottest day of SXSW thus far. By the time I arrived, Trail of Dead had just begun playing. I got a taco and was waiting in line for fixins when they played "Another Morning Stoner," their best song and 90% of why I care about them as a band. When I was tacoed and beered up and ready to watch the show, my friend I met up with left. I was sitting by myself watching a band I sort of like play songs I couldn't force myself to care about. I gave my VIP free-shit passes to some randoms on the way out so they could drink free. I felt like a better person.

Our show
We played a house show across town, which means that the cops came and broke it up. Bands had played this house all day, and there were 3 more yet to play: Sharks and Sailors, us, and Woozyhelmet. We moved things over to another house, but were fully aware that as soon as music started, the cops would come and the other 2 bands that hadn't played there yet would be unable to play. Our solution: we set up a bunch of gear in the living room and had all 3 bands play round robin style, one song at a time. It was a blast, and everybody there knew how ridiculous it was, chanting things like "Fuck the police!" and "Yes We Can!" inbetween bands' songs. As Toto from Woozyhelmet (and Octopus Project) put it: "that is the only thing that could have happened to make the show right."

Today's plan is: get an oil change, watch Pattern is Movement, play our show, watch Maps and Atlases/Tera Melos/Russian Circles, high five each other, sleep.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


The title of this post, that's what South By Southwest is like. Complete and udder clusterfuck. We got to Austin yesterday, played a house party, then I caught The Photo Atlas, Hearts of Palm, and a crazy 3 AM Octopus Project set. Insane.

We've neglected this blog pretty hard, so I wrote a really long tour diary-ish thing that talks about our experiences and focuses on the perception of "coolness" within the areas we've been playing. It's being posted in installments at Annie Zaleski'sRiverfront Times A to Z blog.

Today we play at a mexican restaurant with Pattern is Movement, who may be one of the best bands in the universe. If I don't get to see these bands at SXSW, I may murder somebody: The Weakerthans, Ra Ra Riot, Tera Melos.