SXSW 2010 Recap

SXSW 2010 Recap

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:


Ted’s 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.
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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.
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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.
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Day 4 Went into Day Four with low expections, was frozen by the weather, but heated up thanks to a Hilton party.
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Robin’s Recaps

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.
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Day 2 Day Two saw friends in good spirits, and old favorites seriously delivering.
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Day 3 Focused on the intricacies of the harder fare on Day Three.
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Day 4 Metal, psychedelica, and even comedy mixed on the final day of South-by-Southwest.
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Abby’s Recaps

Day 1 I was unprepared for South by Southwest.
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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.
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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.
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Day 4 In a wedding – couldn’t make it



Rough run-down of everyone & everything covered (80 bands, 85 performances):

Alphabeat – Day Four, Photos @ The Whitley (Ted)

ASG – Day Four (Robin)

Audible Mainframe – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Black Angels – Day One (Abby)

Black Cobra – Day Four (Robin)

Black Keys – Day Four, Photos @ Mohawk (Ted)

Broken Bells – Day One, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Broken Social Scene – Day Three, Photos @ The Parish (Ted)

Camper Van Beethoven – Day Two, Photos @ Encore Patio (Ted); Day Four, Photos @ Side Bar (Ted)

Casxio – Day Two, Photos @ Blind Pig Pub (Ted)

Jason Collett – Day Three, Photos @ The Parish (Ted)

Cracker – Day Two, Photos @ Encore Patio (Ted)

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Day Two, Photos @ Mexican American Cultural Center (Ted)

Dawes – Day One (Abby)

Dudes Die – Day Two (Robin)

The Entrance Band – Day Three (Robin)

Fanfarlo – Photos @ Galaxy Room (Day Two) (Abby); Day Four, Photos @ Brush Square Park (Ted)

First Aid Kit – Day Two, Photos @ Mohawk Patio (Abby)

Owen Fitzgerald (of Jokes and Jokes and Jokes) – Day Two (Robin)

FM Campers – Day Two (Robin)

Foxy Shazam – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Robert Francis – Day Four, Photos @ Brush Square Park (Ted)

Free Energy – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Freelance Whales – Day Three, Photos @ Galaxy Room Patio (Abby)

Fucked UpDay One (Abby); Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Nancy Garcia – Day Three (Robin)

Goons of Doom – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Macy Gray – Day Four, Photos @ The Whitley (Ted)

Harlem – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Grant Hart – Day Two (Robin)

Here We Go Magic – Day One (Abby)

High on Fire – Day One (Robin)

Hole – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted); Day Four, Photos @ The Whitley (Ted)

Hollerado – Day One, Photos @ Brush Square Park (Ted)

Holy Fuck – Day Two, Photos @ Mohawk Patio (Abby)

An Horse – Day Three, Photos @ Galaxy Room Patio (Abby)

Hot Panda – Day Two, Photos @ Headhunters Patio (Ted)

jj – Day Two, Photos @ Mohawk Patio (Abby)

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Day One, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted); Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Tommy Keene Band – Day Two (Robin)

Miles Kurosky – Day Two, Photos @ Galaxy Room (Abby)

Let’s Wrestle – Day Two, Photos @ Cedar Street Courtyard (Ted)

Liturgy – Day Three (Robin)

Living Sisters – Day Two, Photos @ Galaxy Room (Abby)

Local Natives – Day Three, Photos @ Galaxy Room Patio (Abby)

The Low Anthem – Day Two (Ted); Day Two (Abby); Photos @ Galaxy Room (Abby & Ted)

Man… or Astro-Man? – Day Two, Photos @ Club de Ville (Robin)

Marina & The Diamonds – Day Four, Photos @ The Whitley (Ted)

Ian McLagan & The Bump Band – Day Four (Robin)

Meat Puppets – Day Two, Photos @ Dog and Duck Pub (Ted)

Metric – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

The Middle East – Day One (Abby)

Muse – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Chelsea Peretti – Day Four (Robin)

Mike Posner – Day Four, Photos @ The Whitley (Ted)

Puffy Areolas – Day One (Robin)

Radar Brothers – Day Two, Photos @ Cedar Street Courtyard (Ted)

Rogue Wave – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Day Two, Photos @ Emo’s Annex (Ted)

SALEM – Day Two, Photos @ Mohawk Patio (Abby)

Savagist – Day Four (Robin)

Scale the Summit – Day One (Robin)

The Seedy Seeds – Day Two, Photos @ BD Riley’s (Ted)

She & Him – Day Two, Photos @ Cedar Street Courtyard (Ted)

Shearwater – Day Two, Photos @ Galaxy Room (Abby)

Snoop Dogg – Day Four, Photos @ The Whitley (Ted)

Miike Snow – Day Three, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Spiderbags – Day Four (Robin)

Spoon – Day One, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Stone Temple Pilots – Day Two, Photos @ Austin Music Hall (Robin)

Suckers – Day Three, Photos @ Galaxy Room Patio (Abby)

Superchunk – Day Two, Photos @ Cedar Street Courtyard (Ted)

Tenant – Day Four (Robin)

These United States – Day One, Photos @ Paradise (Ted)

Titus Andronicus – Day Two, Photos @ Beauty Bar/Palm Door (Ted)

U.S. Christmas – Day Four (Robin)

The Walkmen – Day One, Photos @ Stubb’s (Ted)

Yakuza – Day Three (Robin)

You Say Party! We Say Die! – Day One, Photos @ Brush Square Park (Ted)

Zeus – Day Three, Photos @ The Parish (Ted)


Festival sights – Photos @ South-by-Southwest


Ted Chase –

Best New ActAlphabeat

Runners-up – Zeus, Foxy Shazam

Worst New ActHarlem

Runners-up – Hollerado, Broken Bells

Best Established ActMetric

Runners-up – Superchunk, Camper Van Beethoven, Broken Social Scene

Worst Established ActMacy Gray

Runners-up – Hole, Miike Snow

Most OverratedBroken Bells

Runners-Up – Fucked Up, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Muse, She & Him

Most ForgettableHole

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 PackedShe & Him

Runners-Up – MOG @ Mohawk (Day Four), SPIN/MySpace Music @ Stubb’s (Day Three)

Biggest MissAlex 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 –

Best Bands:

1. Liturgy
2. High on Fire
3. Entrance Band
4. Yakuza
5. Spiderbags

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?…


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