Austin is Hot

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Austin is hot. SXSW is insane. Someone sent me a text yesterday saying, "Sara get over here, you're missing some great bands!" No kidding. That's the thing, you're always missing great bands whether you are or aren't at SXSW.

After an evening involving REM (my favourite band EVER!), I left my hotel room Thursday morning at around 10am so I could catch the keynote talk with Lou Reed. It was more like a fly on the wall observation of a conversation he was having with his producer, Hal Willner. It was fantastic to be thrust into his world. He wasn't entirely lucid and certainly wasn't performing for us. He was just chatting with his buddy about such things as the making of Berlin in 1972, what it was like to sit for Andy Warhol's "Screen Tests" and being an artist from deep in the city playing rock and roll without the proficiency of a southern bluesman. He cited some current favourite artists like Holy Fuck and Dr. Dog. It was neat to catch a glimpse of his genius mind, and it was funny as he really didn't give a shit about any of us, he was just chatting randomly.

Next was out to the SOCAN/ASCAP Boat, where we sailed down Town Lake for an hour on board with Canadians. A good chance to get the schmooze machine running for the rest of the weekend and to talk up our Manitoba/NXNE party.

From the boat, we had an hour to kill so we tried to get some free jeans at the Fader/Levis Fort party, but had to settle for a nice light bottle of Bass instead. We watched a pretty energetic British band a-la-Killers... they might have been called The Kills, actually.

Next up was down the road, past Stubbs, where a bunch of energetic metalheads were awaiting their masters, Motorhead, we ventured into HeadHunters where Mint and Six Shooter were hosting a party. We caught short but amazing performances by Christine Fellows, Luke Doucet, Vancougar, and Elliot Brood. Best party so far. It was packed and everyone was in a fantastic mood (might have been the tequila Six Shooter founder and front woman, Shauna de Cartier was serving up in personalized shot glasses).

The evening consisted of a Mexican dinner, a raging show by The Perps, a packed room for The Nods, and a shot of Manman followed by The Weakerthans (how do all those kids know all the words to all their songs?! amazing). I called it a night at 12:30am, skipping my folk hero Billy Bragg in favour of sleep. There's always something awesome to miss at SXSW!


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