SXSW Report: Day One, Part One | Bleader

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SXSW Report: Day One, Part One

Posted By on 03.18.10 at 12:23 PM

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  • MNDR
South by Southwest's official music programs run Wednesday through Sunday, and for a change my day one was actually day one this year. Most people—the ones in their right minds—spend only three days at Austin's most famous music festival/ebbless glut of shmoozing and puke smell, and they usually make Thursday the first. I'm leaving early, though, so starting early seems reasonable. Unlike most people attending SXSW, I am five months pregnant and walk slow and nap much, so I am seeing only maybe six bands a day, not 27 (as writer Christopher Weingarten bragged he'd done on Twitter this AM).

Yesterday, after getting my badge at the convention center, I took an elevator up to the fourth floor and watched MNDR—the solo project of producer and singer Amanda Warner—play a short set in a cavernous carpeted conference room at lunchtime. Lots of people were lying on some sort of corporate-cool giant body pillows using the wi-fi. There were rows and rows of empty chairs arranged in front of the stage. The lights dimmed and Warner brought some hi-NRG techno-pop heat to the weirdly air-conditioned room. I sat in the front row with four other people.

Three teenagers moved from the pillow zone to the chairs, lured by the MNDR mega jams. "Bring it, bitch!" yelled one with a Mohawk. I feel like the only place really suited for MNDR is a stadium, on a bill between Rihanna and Gwen Stefani. I feel like she's the people's Rihanna, up from jazz dork to glam dazzle. She whipped her glasses off accidentally and played it off as a dance move and everyone cheered.

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