Without the accreditations one is afforded with an official SXSW badge, there are still boundless shows and parties to be taken in outside of the official calendar. Not to mention, it’s relatively easy to gain access to things that are badge-only with little more than a good smile or an unquestionable air of confidence.
Wednesday kicked off at a free party sponsored by The Syndicate and Wonkavision at Red 7, where Denver’s own The Photo Atlas performed a stunted, but pleasant set. Singer/guitarist Alan Andrews seemed a bit stiff and hair-concerned; but it was the ungodly non-rock hour of 2:30 in the afternoon. Despite the ‘what should I do with my arms’ anxiety that was displayed, they nonetheless gave up a fine sampling.
Just down the Street, Stubb’s BBQ hosted an all-day NME party, complete with free beer and grub. KB caught Brit-pop rockers Mumm-Ra playing their first U.S. gig ever to a spellbound audience, who had a surprisingly expensive collection of cameras. Something tells us you’ll be hearing a lot more of them in the very near future.
Onward (or backward) to Red 7 again, we catch a yawner of a set from the over-hyped Panthers (Vice, why do you love them so??). This was rounded out however, with a killer onslaught from Mondo Diao before we were swept out for the evening’s badge-only showcase.
A tiny cantina called Ms. Bea’s awaited us just the other side of the freeway, where things get a little more residential and diverse. This hole in the wall beer joint has dedicated its backyard to two stages’ worth of free public music for the entire weekend. This evening boasted the about 12 artists, among whom were spastic future-carnivalists The Mae Shi from Los Angeles, and Brooklyn’s Aa (AKA, BIG A little a).
At the Beauty Bar, the crowd is brimming at midnight to see Ontario’s Holy Fuck… and for good reason. These four gentlemen create live electronic dance rock that makes the whole house look like Michael J. Fox forgot to take his pills. The badge-holders and wrist-banders packed this one so tight that you couldn’t pay to get in if you wanted to; but a little sweet talk goes a long way. We got in, and despite the delay of a few technical diffs, our asses were sufficiently rocked.
The night rounded out at the Birdman Records showcase, where The Time Flys and Apache gave new life to psych hair rock. “Ride, Apache, ride… into the sun.” What more need we say?!
A stumble out the door, and I was shimming through some quicksand that formed from the past two-days’ rain, witnessing the human litter that oozes through the streets after SXSW day one, as it flushed out ladies laying in the road and cross-eyed rocker dudes sporadically running into light poles.
It’s all in a day’s work. Five hours’ sleep and it will be time to do this all over again.
Coming up on day two: Against Me!, Gallows, Greg Ashley, VietNam, Lucky Stiffs and certainly much, much more.
Don’t forget to eat!
Jef Hoskins March 15, 2007
photos: Jef Hoskins, Kim Owens
SXSW 2007-Renegade Report, Thursday, Mar 15