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SXSW Ephemera: Random Notes from the Field

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Can't find a hotel room? Maybe these people will let you crash on their bus in front of Emo's. Let’s dish about Lou Reed for a minute. He didn’t show up to join Roky Erickson and Okkervil River at the Austin Music Awards last night, as was rumored, because apparently 11 p.m. (when they went on… and killed) is past his bedtime. Talk about a walk on the wild side. He did show up at Pangaea for the Black Angels and Raveonettes a little earlier in the day yesterday, and a friend of mine I ran into on the way to the Awards said “he looks like a leather baseball mitt.” Reed-spotters might want to check out the tribute this evening at the Fader Fort, also known as the American Youthworks building on 4th street in the shadow of the Frost Bank tower. Thurston Moore, Dr. Dog, Yo La Tengo, My Morning Jacket, Oh No! Oh My! and Moby are scheduled to appear, so you better go ahead and get in line now.

Yesterday afternoon at Emo’s, where every third person looked like they were in Kings of Leon, I ran into one of the publishers of Austin zine Misprint, the hilariously spot-on guide to “douchebaggotry” in all its repellent forms. After observing “there are a lot of shitty bands in the world” – indeed – he explained why Misprint wasn’t throwing a party this year. “There’s no sense in it,” my friend, whose name I am unable to reveal for national security reasons (and because he publishes under a pseudonym), said. “Is anyone going to see your local band when the Breeders are playing for free [tomorrow at Waterloo Park]? A lot of local bands aren’t even bothering.” Something to think about.

Dazed and Confused freaks and insomniacs take note: There’s indeed a party at the moontower. In the wee hours, head past the intersection of Cesar Chavez and Pleasant Valley, look for the moontower and follow the crowd. Houston-spawned Austin instrumental weirdos the Octopus Project played last night at 3 a.m., and spliff-loving vaudevillians the White Ghost Shivers do the honors tomorrow. As for tonight, I’m not sure who’s playing, but whoever it is I plan to personally investigate.

Best word of the week so far is “friendager,” which according to a Chicago attorney at my Quickie session yesterday (God, I love typing that) is “a good friend [of a band] who wants to help and maybe learn the business, but doesn’t know a darn thing.”

If you couldn't make it to Austin, XM Radio indie channel XMU (XM 43) is covering the damn thing like a rash, and will air SXSW-related programming well into next week as a much-needed memory refresher for everyone who is here.

One more thing. To all the dudes wearing neck scarves this week, please stop. Immediately. – Chris Gray

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