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SXSW 2006 – The Best, The Worst, The Whatever

The Cribs

Band with the Best Acrobatics: The Cribs

Drummer Ross Jarman from the Cribs has done some time on the balance beam for sure. Playing the Filter day party at Cedar, he and his two brothers Gary and Ryan got things bubbling and blasting with tunes from the 2005 release, The New Fellas, on Wichita.

Into the second song Ross wanted to let people have a better look at his bum, providing everyone with a full view by standing on his drum stool and playing as if he was killing a boa constrictor about ready to devour him, his family and his dog.

Photo: Kim Owens


Lead Singer with the Biggest Balls: Amanda from The Dresden Dolls

The ratio of men to women that perform at SXSW definitely leans towards the beings with the X and a Y chromosomes.

Even so, that chick could have caused the local Hells Angels chapter to blush. It made this girl beam with pride, thanking the Goddesses Athena and Aphrodite that Amanda has turned the singer-behind-the-keyboard formula into a reason to sweat and rock.

Photo: Jim Narcy


Worst Press Conference: Beastie Boys Fans Posing as Journalists

The Beastie Boys held a press conference to talk about their new film, “Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That.”

Unfortunately the questions related closer to the scene in Wayne’s World when the duo meet Alice Cooper backstage with the giddy kind of statements, not questions, about how great the rock star is.

We’re guessing those kids were not reporters from Spin or The New York Times.

Photo: Jim Narcy


Biggest Slaves to Fashion: Dirty Pretty Things

The Eternal nightclub was more like Eternal Hell Hall. Entering the venue ressembled the feel of a steam bath, but not the foo-foo spa kind, unless Budweiser and Butt Crack deodorant decided to branch into a new line of business.

The band made it on the stage late and survived through three songs in their very cool but drenching leather jackets before peeling them off like a second layer of skin.

Photo: Kim Owens



The Shortest Set: Dirty Pretty Things

Members Carl Barât, Anthony Rossomando, Didz Hammond and Gary Powell made it through a few more songs, sans jackets before the venue pulled the plug in order to stick to the already delayed schedule. The band obliged and personally thanked the fans with an “oh, well” attitude and plenty of handshakes to go around before they ventured off.

But they still managed to more than wow the crowd, especially those Libertines fans who like myself, showed up to see and hear the new band’s sound from former members Barât, Powell and Rossomando.

Meanwhile, Pete Doherty (also a former Libertine, in case you didn’t know) continues his drug laden escapades, including occasions to partake during actual interviews, sans his über model girlfriend (Kate Moss, in case you didn’t know…jeez, will you watch more TV already?).

-Photo: Kim Owens


Best Mosh Pit/Rumors of Fights and Mayhem: Photo Atlas at Purevolume Party

After venturing on foot with photographer Jim Narcy and Dave Herrera (Westword) to this party that was in the “ethnic” side of town, we ran into a couple who said the party was over. That was partly true. A fight had broken out between one Denver female and an annoying male that pushed her buttons one too many times. Some may have left the party after that, but the level of aggression didn’t subside with the break up of the girl-beats-boy fight.

When The Photo Atlas took the stage, a cloud of dirt rose from the ground below as the Denver kids showed the rest of the party goers how we throw it down in our pure madness fashion, complete with spewing beer and jumping-on-stage antics. Leaving the venue, I shared a cab with the executive of a major label who was blown away by what he’d seen, and the next day the rumors continued to pop up in various conversations and blogs.

In an effort to protect our camera equipment, we tucked them away for safekeeping…and to finally drink. No photos available for this one, just the ones in our very foggy, aging minds.


Biggest Mishap/Worst Way to Start the Week: Ric Baca and Erin Roberts Greeting

There’s something to be said for prophecy. On the way to Dan Rutherford’s after party at the Austin Design House Wednesday night, Ric Baca and I were discussing the tread on our Chuck Taylors. We concluded that it was not what you want to wear when it’s icy out, although we didn’t need to worry now since we were in balmy Austin.

Making our way to the back of the party we found a pool area where one young chap was doing flips in the shallowness of the water below. That was an accident waiting to happen. And we didn’t have to wait long until an actual mishap took place.

Seeing Erin R. from Porlolo standing near a hose and facet, Baca recognized his friend and went running towards her, ready with a big hug greeting, but in the slickness of the wet pebble stone he lost his footing and they went down.

Unfortunately, Erin really messed up here ankle and had to play two gigs the following day. Sporting a cast, she made it through in true rock ‘n’ roll fashion. It happens.


Best Examples of Fateful Reunions: Fred & Brandon

With so many people attending SXSW from Denver, it felt like we’d never really left home. But one particular night I had two run-ins with folks I haven’t seen in quite a while.

One was Fred, the former drummer of Fomofuiab (a disbanded metal act from Denver) who is now with an outfit in San Diego. Fred ran into me on our way out of Stubbs, realizing after we had passed who I was. I didn’t recognize him at all since he no longer shaves his head. The dude actually does have hair, which he had done the next time I saw him and his band mates at the Beauty Bar.

The next encounter was with Brandon, who was handing us a flyer for his band The 88 as we made our way down 6th and towards Eternal. It took a few minutes, but it all came rushing back…in a very wild and foggy manner. He used to be in a band with a former boyfriend from 10+ years back and had just spoken to said boyfriend, Jeff, who was also in Austin. It was definitely a week of reunions, just not the family kind with sack races…although there were a lot of BBQs.

Photo: Kim Owens


Best Denver Reunion Party: Mile High Fidelity

This week there were many occasions where you felt like you’re hanging out in the Austin version of Hi-Dive or Sputnik, but this daytime gathering was also packed with our Denver superstars, including The Photo Atlas, The Swayback, The Hot IQs and Porlolo.

It was also perfect time to reenergize the vitamins depleted the night before with the left over energy /malt liquor drinks from Dan Rutherford’s after party. Coloradoans are known for our healthy habits and our crew were the poster children, if the poster was a bit torn, had a cigarette burn and was barely hanging on the wall with a piece of duct tape.

Photo: Kim Owens


Musician That Still Makes People Swoon: Rob Dickinson, former lead singer/guitarist/songwriter of Catherine Wheel

Starting out with “Heal” off of Happy Days, Rob immediately took people’s breath away when he played a daytime show at Friends. Introducing new music off of this year’s Fresh Wine for the Horses he continued to the captivate fans while bringing back favorites, including “Crank.”

As a huge, huge fan (Catherine Wheel like totally rates in my top five, all-time favorite bands), it was one of the major highlight of the week. He was quite witty throughout, joking that if there were any A&R types in the crowd, he has a new record out…hint, hint.

Dickinson is also one of those men that get even sexier as the years go by. Looks like the years of rock ‘n’ roll haven’t treated him that badly. I can’t say the same for Robert Plant. Yikes.

Photo: Jim Narcy


The Band Who Best Lives Up To Their Name/Longest Sound Check: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

It was a clapping frenzy from the beginning to the end of their set, once CYHSY actually started playing. That had to be the longest sound check I’ve seen where the crowd was actually standing and shifting from one foot to another, waiting for them to play. It got so bad that people from the front to the back were yelling, “JUST PLAY!!”

Play they did, and the whole place lit up with Happy Birthday energy as boys and girls jumped, sang along, smiling from the rafters and yes, clapping and clapping and clapping.

Photo: Kim Owens


A Pinnacle “Influence” Band on Our Musical Past, Present and Future: Echo & The Bunnymen

For decades Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant have affected untold numbers of people across continents and generations.

It was a crisp night when the band took the Towne Lake Stage with classics “Killing Moon,” “The Cutter,” and of course, “Lips Like Sugar” along with tracks from 2005’s Siberia. In a word: amazing. Mac’s voice was just as gorgeous as ever, making it one of the pinnacle performances of SXSW ’06.

Photo: Kim Owens


Jim J. Narcy, photographic artist since 1992
1701 E 17th Ave., 2
Denver, CO 80218

303.204.1666 direct


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