THU., MARCH 16, 2006
You may not feel it yet, but it’s on. You might be tooling around Pflugerville in your honeydipper truck, hoovering up porta-potty turds and listening to Tom Petty 8-tracks, but down here in the bowels of the city, the SXSW shit has hit the fans. There’s music all over the goddamned place: Sidewalks, trailers, parking lots, back yards, restaurants, coffee shops … it’s only a matter of time before some earnest group of aspiring musicians starts serenading badge-holders in the Hilton crapper … talk about a captive audience … plus the great acoustics. Peers will get to hear condensed radio tracks, and pooers will get the extended club mixes. On the way out the door, lucky listeners will receive breath mints with the band’s logo, a shot of cologne, and a press kit. “Have a nice day Mr. Mottola, and don’t forget the Crotch Rockets’ unofficial showcase 9:30am Sunday morning at the Jiffy Lube on Ben White. They’re totally gonna ROCK, plus you get 15% off your oil change.” Yes, it’s Springtime in Austin, and music is in the air. Well, music and the smell of nervous sweat and desperation. Nowhere else in the world are so many people trying so hard to be loved and trying so hard not to show it. No doubt SXSW is a depraved scene, but anytime art and commerce engage in such a shameless clusterfuck, there’s bound to be a little ugliness. The beauty of it all is that ultimately, music lovers still get the most out of SXSW. Yes, the badge-holders pretty much have the run of the place, but there’s more than enough musical spillover to keep everyone happy. For instance, tonight at Auditorium Shores, SXSW throws a bone to the badgeless with a free concert featuring Mr. Lif, Blackalicious, Music Awards sweepers Spoon, and Eighties post-punkers Echo & the Bunnymen. If these four acts ever share the same stage again, it won’t be on this earth.