South-by-Southwest 2010 was a festival of extremes, from massive stadium rock to the littlest-known band, from celebrities & celebrity bloggers to nobody & nobody bloggers, from mighty rockers to fragile bitches, from twee alt-folk to hard-hitting metal, from sunburns to chattering teeth, from sobriety to… not – and QRO was there.
We had a trio of correspondents covering South-by-Southwest in 2010: Ted Chase, Robin Sinhababu and Abby Johnston. Here are their daily recaps:
|Day 1||After a long flight in the morning, spent most of the day of Day One in lines for various badges & wristbands I wasn’t going to use, but spent the night rooted at Stubb’s for some must-see acts.
|Day 2||Americana ruled the daytime at parties good & bad, but SXSW got very interesting at night with some of the most memorable artist-meets-venue-meets-festival-meets-audience experiences ever.
|Day 3||After running around the first two days, spent all of the daytime & much of the night rooted at Stubb’s for SPIN big-shots, before closing the night north-of-the-border style.
|Day 4||Went into Day Four with low expections, was frozen by the weather, but heated up thanks to a Hilton party.
|Day 1||Spent most of Day One stuck at work, but still managed to hit up some choice bands, some not-so-choice venues, and just barely survive Texas’ liquor laws.
|Day 2||Day Two saw friends in good spirits, and old favorites seriously delivering.
|Day 3||Focused on the intricacies of the harder fare on Day Three.
|Day 4||Metal, psychedelica, and even comedy mixed on the final day of South-by-Southwest.
|Day 1||I was unprepared for South by Southwest.
|Day 2||Americana dominated the day at Galaxy Room, while the night at Mohawk showcased how – and how not – to go from laptop to live.
|Day 3||After a day of canceled acts and what felt like a stomach virus threatening my SXSW, I was in dire need of a killer showcase, so I turned to Frenchkiss, a record label known for champion underdogs.
|Day 4||In a wedding – couldn’t make it|
Rough run-down of everyone & everything covered (80 bands, 85 performances):
ASG – Day Four (Robin)
Black Angels – Day One (Abby)
Black Cobra – Day Four (Robin)
Dawes – Day One (Abby)
Dudes Die – Day Two (Robin)
The Entrance Band – Day Three (Robin)
Owen Fitzgerald (of Jokes and Jokes and Jokes) – Day Two (Robin)
FM Campers – Day Two (Robin)
Nancy Garcia – Day Three (Robin)
Grant Hart – Day Two (Robin)
Here We Go Magic – Day One (Abby)
High on Fire – Day One (Robin)
Tommy Keene Band – Day Two (Robin)
Liturgy – Day Three (Robin)
Ian McLagan & The Bump Band – Day Four (Robin)
The Middle East – Day One (Abby)
Chelsea Peretti – Day Four (Robin)
Puffy Areolas – Day One (Robin)
Savagist – Day Four (Robin)
Scale the Summit – Day One (Robin)
Spiderbags – Day Four (Robin)
Tenant – Day Four (Robin)
U.S. Christmas – Day Four (Robin)
Yakuza – Day Three (Robin)
Festival sights – Photos @ South-by-Southwest
Ted Chase –
Best New Act – Alphabeat
Runners-up – Zeus, Foxy Shazam
Worst New Act – Harlem
Runners-up – Hollerado, Broken Bells
Best Established Act – Metric
Runners-up – Superchunk, Camper Van Beethoven, Broken Social Scene
Worst Established Act – Macy Gray
Runners-up – Hole, Miike Snow
Most Overrated – Broken Bells
Runners-Up – Fucked Up, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Muse, She & Him
Most Forgettable – Hole
Runners-Up – Macy Gray, Harlem, Rogue Wave, Marina & The Diamonds
Best Showcase – (day) SPIN @ Stubb’s (Day Three)
Runners-Up – (day) MOG @ Mohawk (Day Four), Carniville @ Mexican-American Cultural Center (Day Two)
Worst Showcase – (day) FADER Fort (for the no photo rules)
Runners-Up – (day) Pure Volume House, Cheap Trick signing @ Waterloo Records (Day One)
Best Showcase – (night) Perez Hilton @ The Whitley (Day Four)
Runners-Up – (night) Arts & Crafts/Highline Ballroom @ The Parish (Day Two), Merge Records @ Cedar Street Courtyard (Day Two)
Worst Showcase – (night) Monterey International @ Encore Patio (Day Two) (for the venue)
Runner-Up – (night) NPR Music @ Stubb’s (Day One) (for the disappointment)
Longest Line – Perez Hilton @ The Whitley (Day Four)
Runners-Up – American Apparel Flea Market, SPIN/MySpace Music @ Stubb’s (Day Three), FADER Fort wristband, Merge Records @ Cedar Street Courtyard (Day Two)
Felt Like Longest Line – bathrooms @ Perez Hilton @ The Whitely (Day Four)
Runners-Up – PureVolume wristband, Best Wurst
Most Packed – She & Him
Runners-Up – MOG @ Mohawk (Day Four), SPIN/MySpace Music @ Stubb’s (Day Three)
Biggest Miss – Alex Chilton
Runners-Up – Demolished Thoughts, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Band of Horses, Grant Hart, Electric President, Harlem Shakes, SALEM getting booed off the stage at FADER Fort
Glad To Have Missed – Actually seeing SALEM
Runners-Up – Sum 41, These Are Powers, stepping in police horse shit
Robin Sinhababu –
2. High on Fire
3. Entrance Band
Best Sound: Entrance Band @ Red 7 Patio (Day Three)
Worst Sound: High on Fire @ Mohawk Patio (Day One)
Greatest Spectacle: Man… or Astro-man?
Most Inspiring: Grant Hart
Best Fronting: Matt Pike (High on Fire)
Best Vocals: Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots)
Best Guitar: Star Crunch (Man… or Astro-man?)
see also Matt Pike
Best Drums: Greg Fox (Liturgy)
see also Des Kensel, Rock Forbes, and Derek James
Best Bass: Paz Lenchantin of Entrance Band, Jeff Conaway of High on Fire, and Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots all did good work, but my SXSWeek lacked outstanding bass.
Most Pointless Guest Appearance: Robbie Krieger plays guitar as Stone Temple Pilots covers The Doors‘ “Roadhouse Blues”
Most Refreshing Brews: Austin Music Hall, where you can get $7 beers from a bartender who has cut his hand open and is therefore impaired, bleeding, and in pain, but has no time to bandage it because of the huge lines of Stone Temple Pilots fans trying to do shots before the show
Least Refreshing Brews: Ideal Soul Mart, after a full day of being across the street from a venue with no bar
Best Portable Food Service Establishment: Guy who sold me a big brat on a hearty, tasty bun, a potato cake, mustard, and sour cream for $5 around 7th and San Jacinto
Worst Portable Food Service Establishment: Cajun food in an alley off E. 6th, where the $4 “biscuits and gravy” needs an key “s” edited out
Nicest Door People: Central Presbyterian Church, Day Four (“you know, we don’t mind if you eat that, um, whatever that is, inside, where it’s warm”)
Most with Least: Grant Hart
Least with Most: U.S. Christmas
Whose Idea Was This?: Ear/Splitters Showcase
If This Band Was Less Successful, Then I Could See Better: High on Fire, Entrance Band, Black Cobra
This Band Deserves Better Than its Thin/Indifferent Audience, Who at Least Did Not Obstruct My View & Photos: Spiderbags, Nancy Garcia, Yakuza
Best Showcase: Tone Deaf Touring @ Encore (Day Four)
Worst Showcases: With so many options, why would I attend the worst showcases?…