Concerts

SXSW As It Happens: Advice From Smokey Robinson, A Hunch About Surfer Blood, Minor Disagreement Over Antlers And Our First Courtney Love Sighting

Dan Oko, 2:00 p.m.: As in Las Vegas, at SXSW day and night swirl together as the ever-strong throngs dive in and out of showcases all day and and all night. The gamble is whether you will hit the jackpot by sticking around, or crap out by leaving a day party/showcase early to chase a band that has not bothered to turn up (sometimes literally, often figuratively).

"But the startling thing is how often you muster a guess and find yourself rewarded with something stellar and professional: Twice, significantly, in my first 24 hours: Broken Bells last night at Stubb's, with its Dangermouse-Shins pedigree, and the appearance of Austin homegirl Kat Edmondson as I waited for Smokey Robinson to give his keynote. "I'm an optimist," Smokey offered, a gracious raconteur. "So the glass is always half-full to me. And I let the valleys be a lesson." Good advice if you can take it."

Adam P. Newton, 2:06 p.m.: "Matias and DJ Heidi behind the decks, hamming it up and having fun."

Newton, 2:11 p.m.: "Everyone loves a good performer, even prog-metal musicians."

Oko, 2:12 p.m.: "Buzz in the press suite: Has anybody else died? Witty response No. 1: 'No, but a million dreams have been crushed.'"

Newton, 2:14, p.m.: "I have no idea what Matias is singing about, but I believe every word. Energy trumps the language barrier."

Newton, 2:19 p.m.: "DJ Heidi is bringing it, with nice bass lines, handclaps as snares, and a big smile on her face."

Craig Hlavaty, 2:20 p.m.: "Third Man store inside Frank's Hot Dogs off Colorado is amazing Stripes nerd heaven. Thirteen-inch vinyl!"

Newton, 2:22 p.m.: "DJ Heidi has an upbeat sound that brings together new-school post-disco and classic German techno."

Newton, 2:28 p.m.: "This is nice, above-average floor-filling dance music - generic, though enjoyable. Unfortunately, no one dances at day parties."

Brandon K. Hernsberger, 2:31 p.m.: At French Legation. Waiting on Antlers, 30 minutes late. Huge crowd, mostly for beer."

Hlavaty, 2:33 p.m.: "Katharine Shilcutt saw a rapping dwarf and I did not. So pissed."

Hernsberger, 2:40 p.m.: "Line for bathroom about two blocks long, no lie. Most likely because of afternoon beer mixed with last night's vomit."

Hernsberger, 2:41 p.m.: "People keep saying, 'This is the line for the bathroom? Fuck.'"

Oko, 2:42 p.m.: "French Legation, always a good bet. Air redolent with onions and the organ-pumped harmonies of the Antlers - Brooklyn band still flogging 2009 release Hospice to good effect. Plus rock chicks in sundresses sipping beer."

Hernsberger, 2:44 p.m.: Antlers are Dark Star Orchestra for people with a higher reading level than sixth grade. Other than that, exact same."

Hlavaty, 2:44 p.m.: "The Third Man store should expect blood as payment. So much stuff that I need to live. Things with Meg White's face on them."

Hernsberger, 2:45 p.m.: "Handlebar mustaches are the new skinny jean."

Newton, 2:48 p.m.: "Wow, I was just interviewed by two German videojournalists about SXSW here at Wunderbar at Parkside."

Hernsberger, 2:50 p.m.: "Just saw Courtney Love! Fuckkkkk yeaah. Asked her for a pic, laughed at me and walked away. I'm in love. True story."

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray