Wednesday March 14th – The Wasteland

Posted March 20, 2007 in
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Wednesday March 14th � The Wasteland
By Erik Lopez
Photos: Angela Brown

The first official day of SXSW started off with two goals in mind: 1) cost effectiveness i.e. not paying for ANY eats or treats and 2) go to as many lame parties as possible. With those principles as our guide we began our adventure. The first party we attended was a non-descript bro bar where they were serving free food and drink.

Note to fat guy: buffet does NOT mean all-you-can-eat

As we were abusing our free food and drink privileges a douche bag singer/songerwriter and his band that looked like the Hudson River School sang horrible lyrics like �I may be blind but I can see,� a tribute to the early 90s mentality of Scott Stapp. We attempted to balance the bad music with more booze, but it just didn�t work and we had to leave.

Our next stop was the Turbojurgend party on the other side of the tracks. The party was held in a rundown industrial area at dive called the Red Scooter Inn. The Inn was just a field with a fence, a bar shack and a stage � nothing fancy.

The Red Scoot Inn

The opening band, Summer of Blood, was a fierce Turbonegro tribute band that rocked the fucking socks off the handful of people that had shown up to this place at 3pm in the afternoon.

Summer of Blood fucking destroys!

The Turbojurgend party was organized by the Alamo City Chapter of the Turbonegro fan club, to celebrate � wait for it � everything rock n� roll and Turbonegro. Turbonegro will be playing SXSW but will make the first official appearance tomorrow in San Antonio. It is surprising how well organized and dedicated Turbonegro fans are. All the die-hards wore their signature Turbonegro denim jackets with the name of their respective chapter on it. Each of them had numerous buttons and patches that they had sewn on� souvenir testaments showing how many official Turbonegro events they under their belt. Some fans had come clear across the country to come see Turbonegro.

Turbojurgend equals TurboAWESOME

After a show or two at the shit shack Scooter Inn, we headed back to the official hum-drum of SXSW and started to prowl for more fuel. We ended up at a small party that was serving free vodka drinks and decided to stock up there. Inside we met the biggest ass-clown EVER. Picture this: an ironic indie rock kid with a Keith Hernandez douche-tashe talking to an androgynous indie rock chick and a guy with aviator glasses. He is doing his best to keep the conversation flowing and all that � but wait! � what is that in his back pocket? Whaaaaaat? A beat-up copy of T.S. Eliot�s the Wasteland? What the fuck? Who carries a copy of the Wasteland in their back pocket all nonchalant like? Who does this douche bag thinks he is? Does he seriously have enough time to sit down anywhere and read it without any sort of hint at trying to draw attention to himself or have any vain attempt to capture the heart of some unsuspecting 17-year-old girl? The pictures need to be seen to be believed and they speak for themselves. Not even David Berg is that pretentious.

Will the real T.S. Eliot please stand up?

I had high hopes for the next few bands that we went to see but unfortunately they blew monkey balls. The White Rabbits, from Brooklyn, NY, sounded like a typical New York, post-punk dance band but with a poser 16 Horsepower element. They had two drummers, cool, but they were overly synth-y, brass-y and just sub-par. 22-Pistepirkko was a band, from Finland, whose albums are great but unfortunately live they sucked dick. They meandered through a set of bad country covers with too much reverb, another cover of a bad 80s love ballad and just drunken awkwardness. Boooo, disappointment, booooo.

The band that redeemed us from this poor display of musicianship (with 2000 bands some have to be bad) was Austin�s very own, the Black Angels. The Black Angels played a furious set of reverb heavy psych ala Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It is interesting to see how a band carries themselves live versus on record. On record you don�t really see who is the backbone of the band and what would ultimately make or break them, member-wise. For the Black Angels, their drummer and main guitarist totally held the band together and cemented their sound into what it is. The drummer whose steady drum beat is reminiscent of Mo Tucker from the Velvet Underground, kept a good strong line while their lead guitarist shredded away quietly in the background. His talent really shows through live.

Black Angels from Austin, TX

Finally, we capped off our evening with a Blonde Redhead set. The chick from Blonde Redhead looked hot yet haggard in a really rad white blouse while the twins sported similar black pants and shirt ensembles. What was really cool about this set was that 80 percent (if not more) of the set was totally new material. The new songs are a steady progression from Misery is a Butterfly but used the albums swirling poppiness as its song-structure. After the set we tried to go swimming but that was a no-go. Who would have thought that the pool would be closed at 2:30am?