So I’m back from SXSW… I thought this was going to be my last year, but it was (once again) so amazing I’ll probably be booking my hotel for next year as soon as is humanly possible. Here are some of the high and lowlights, followed by the full list of bands we saw this year; 56 in total, a new personal record. Not that anyone is keeping score.
Call Me Lightning (Milwaukee, WI)
No doubt, this one goes to Call Me Lightning. I happened to stumble onto these guys at the French Kiss showcase Wednesday night, and they were exactly what I needed: after a day of mediocre and/or boring shows (even The Wedding Present [while still fun] was a bit of a let down, since there were no drums) these guys took the stage and shattered my i’m-getting-old-and-jaded coma by opening with "Billion Eyes". This was my personal turnaround moment of the festival; it put me in a good mood for the rest of the week. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera out with me Wednesday night, so I didn’t get any snaps, but take a listen:
The "I Can’t See These Guys Enough" Award:
Tie: Man Man (Philadelphia, PA) / Jens Lekman (Gothenburg, Sweden)
I’ve seen both these bands three or four times and I still wouldn’t miss a chance to watch either of them again; great stuff. Jens played for a half-hour and I left thinking that the only problem with his set was that it was about two hours too short. Man Man blew away everyone I dragged to the show; they are the most primal band I’ve ever seen.
Tapes ‘n’ Tapes (Cambridge, MA)
Say it with me: sophomore slump. These dudes were not on their game; the new tunes were a serious snooze and the only people who looked more bored than the folks in the audience were the guys in the band. Ironically, seeing them at SXSW ’06 was one of the highlights of that trip; evidently it’s been a exhausting couple of years for these boys.
Runner-up: Fleet Foxes
Worst of the Worst:
Chester French (Cambridge, MA)
What a bunch of factory-wrapped douches. Seriously, I missed the first half of Fatal Flying Guillotines for this? I hope you nerds choke on your stupid cumber buns.
Runner-up: Roky Erikson
Best Show of the Festival:
The Pillows (Tokyo, Japan)
Uh, duh. 8 years in the making and the last show of the trip. What can I say, except… can you feel?
Runners-up: Constantines, The Kills
And here’s the full list. Next year, I aim for an even sixty…
Moby (DJ set)
The Wedding Present
Phil and the Osophers
Call Me Lightning
Fatal Flying Guillotines
The Plastic Constellations
The Black Keys
The Shout Out Louds
Bodies of Water
Throw Me the Statue
High on Fire
Ra Ra Riot
The Coconut Coolouts
The Fall Outs
The Unnatural Helpers
Tapes ‘n’ Tapes
Ezra Furman and the Harpoons
White Shoes and the Couples Company
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