SXSW 2013 – Music and Booze Annihilation

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I think you get 9 out of 10 on the hipster scale for VIP passes to Youth Lagoon, don’t you? You better, anyway, because young Ian pretty much had a hipstergasm when this happened to us yesterday.  I don’t even know the band that well, but everyone I know seems to love them, so I was very much looking forward to seeing them play, and they really were bloody excellent.

While last year it seemed like I was kind of done with music after a couple of days, this year I’ve managed to maintain genuine enthusiasm for the whole business and have been to see loads of bands. Foxygen are hip as balls and rubbish, Wampire are hip as balls and excellent, as were some Sudanese band from New York called Sinkane, to whom I was dragged to by Vic Galloway… in fact, I think getting dragged to stuff by your pals is probably the best way to treat music festivals. Even pals who drink cocktails which look like this:

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SXSW just gets bigger every year, too. When I first came out East Austin was pretty quiet, and now it’s absolutely rammed with stuff. Even last year Rainey Street was the chilled place to go for a drink, and this year it too has been absorbed into the madness.

South Congress has always been busy of course, and yesterday myself and Ian went out there with Paddy and Andy from Gerry Loves Records too see Paws play at Home Slice. It was the second time I’ve seen Paws this week, and something like the fourth for Andy and Paddy – something which highlights one of the absurdities of SXSW – that you travel thousands of miles to see bands from home.

The other enduring truth about SXSW of course, is that there are times when you simply have to walk away. Vic and myself balked at queues for Surfer Blood and the Secretly Canadian showcase before heading out to Rainey Street to see Sinkane, but you usually get a chance to see people you want to see at some point. Suuns, for example, may have been impossible at their official showcase, but they turned up at a Planet Quebec show later that night and so I got the chance to see them then, courtesy of a tip-off from Vic and Huw Stephens, who were taking advantage of one of those rare breaks in the slog for people who have to work here, and actually seeing some bands.

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Oh, and given I was in desperate need of hipster points, after missing out on the Jagjaguar showcase and not being entirely familiar with the entire Youth Lagoon back catalogue, there was, erm… well there was also this.  My mum is going to go fucking mental. But let’s be honest, it was either that or buy a pair of paedophile shorts, and frankly I couldn’t really have lived with myself if I had chosen the latter.

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Oh, and Thee Oh Sees were fucking incredible at the Panache Booking showcase. Really brilliant.

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