But first, some teasers and then recovery.
At 2:30 in the morning last night, less than 12 hours ago, I was standing around a pit fire in front of a food truck in East Austin. I was there with some friends I made in Austin after bumping into them at a showcase yesterday afternoon and joining their motley crew as we bounced from gig to gig.
Among that group was the fucking maniac shown in the photo at left, Aaron, from The Stone Foxes. Believe it or not, when Aaron isn’t about to jump off a 9 foot stack onto the stage during his band’s set, he’s a very calm, almost shy dude.
And last night, by the time Death had gone on for their 1 AM set at the Mohawk, he was certainly the one among us with the most sense despite what you might infer from the photo. So when he asked if I was coming for chicken and waffles, I didn’t hesitate. And when he told me to order the Miss M (chicken, cheese, bacon – wrapped in waffle), I wasn’t going to argue. Even if I only had a dollar in my wallet and had to beg $10 off of band manager Rob.
Just as catching the Walkmen play in the tiny IFC Crossroads House studio was the perfect way to start SXSW, hanging out with these guys and chowing heart-attack inducing carb-bombs in 35 degree weather was the perfect way to end what was, for me, an incredible week.
A brief, and incomplete recap: I interviewed Kashmir and shared recipes with them (which will be a part of an upcoming Meatist column), talked meat, ice breaking ferries, reindeer steak and the dangers of too much Guinness with Karnivool, and geeked out about about vintage keyboards and talked music with Crash Kings (my pick – you read it hear first - to get bigger, faster than ANY band that played this year).
I stood in the photo pit for the incredible Sharon Jones show, stood on stage while Nneka (haven’t heard of her? you will – trust me) performed a breakfast show, and caught incredibly talented bands I’d never heard of like French Miami and The Stone Foxes (who were totally great and you should see as soon as you can, which I posted via Twitter the night I saw them, which was before I had met and hung out with Aaron, so don’t you fucking accuse me of saying they were great because I like the guy).
I hung in the gifting suite sipping rum/vodka (who knew to mix them?) cocktails and watched Adrian Grenier from Entourage collect swag (it was like being in a TV show!), caught an amazing old-school-feeling garage punk rock show from Ty Segall, met musicians of every size, shape, style and skill level, was blown away at some shows, completely underwhelmed at others, and came back to my friend’s house beat to shit every night, but up 5 hours later to do it again.
It was fucking awesome.
I will tell every story (that I can remember) over the next few days (o.k., maybe more than a few, but I’ll get there), and post photos and videos as evidence of both my presence in Austin and my lack of a great camera.
So it’ll be stories, videos, pics, and commentary coming as soon as I sleep for a few days and find myself in front of a proper computer. Oh, and get a Keith Richards-style blood rotation.