Sunday, March 17, 2013

An irresponsible Saturday to close out my SXSW

Posted By on 03.17.13 at 04:36 PM

Waka Flocka Flame: Taller than youd expect
  • Gregoryjoziak/Wikimedia Commons
  • Waka Flocka Flame: Taller than you'd expect
I have the hangover that I was asking for. Just as our esteemed editor did recently I set out last night with the intention of feeling terrible today, not for the sake of a testing out a hangover cure, but just because I had spent the entire week being shockingly responsible—and it's not a true SXSW experience if you don't wake up wanting to die at least once.

After a day of finishing off all of the work-related responsibilities I had to fulfill during the festival I headed over to Viceland to catch the excellent Brooklyn punk band Parquet Courts. Due to some production delays I ended up only catching half of one of their songs, but it was great, as per usual with that band. I did get to see Erykah Badu DJ, which was a dreamy surprise, especially since she's actually a really good DJ. Her set was an unaggressively bumping blend of recent R&B, vintage soul, and old school hip-hop, and she had a live microphone in front of her for whenever she was moved to sing along. Erykah Badu singing over old Stevie Wonder songs is better than 99 percent of the other music happening at SXSW. On my way out I walked past Waka Flocka Flame, who is far taller in person than you might expect.

The reason I had to leave early was to catch a block of performers at the SXSW installment of Boiler Room, which is not only the best streaming music webcast around but just generally one of my favorite things going right now; I really wanted to check out Shlohmo, Lunice, and the Underachievers. I think everyone was feeling the same kind of mild apathy I was, because after a week of shows running impressively on schedule everything I went to last night was running late. So I ended up only catching part of Shlohmo's set, but the amount of skull-rattling bass—delivered by the best-sounding PA I encountered all week—was enough to satisfy me.

Backstage I ran into Austin from Supreme Cuts, who was scheduled to play at another venue in a couple of hours. Since I was planning on catching their set and guessed (correctly, it turned out) that there would be guest-list issues I walked up there with him and the GTW, who had also appeared. Things were running off there too, but the Supreme Cuts guys got us into a VIP section with an open bar, which fit in with my general plan of getting what rappers refer to as "white-boy wasted."

That goal achieved, I swung by the Burger Records showcase to meet my friend whom I was staying with, who was on a similar booze regimen. We made it back to our Airbnb house and crashed, and in the morning got up and moved to a hotel downtown because the tenants were coming home. Pretty much everyone else was already on their way back out of town. Downtown Austin looked like a ghost town compared to the crushing mayhem of the past few nights. Walking back from brunch we could hear grackles squawking in the trees and thankfully not a single note of live music.

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