Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sat. 3/20/10

Sat. SXSW -  The fun continues...

I roll into town just in time to get in line for the Black Keys, get a wristband, and get back down the street to catch "The Tenant" from Orlando, FL at Side Bar, per Joran's request. Dig it. I get some great, sort of intimate-looking shots with the filtered light coming in through the front window,
enjoy the gritty chill vibe, and then literally hop, skip, and jump back in the hopes of weaseling my way up to the front for the Black Keys.

The Mohawk is PACKED, of course, and they won't allow anymore Photographers into the little press area so I'm forced to fend for myself and I politely ask a short girl if I can borrow the chair she's standing on to grab a couple shots from above. She agrees but I realize the shots are crap and well, screw it, I love this band and I'm done being polite to all these out-of-towners who have not always been polite to ME this week. I decide to do it A-Hole style, throw my camera with it's visible press pass up on my shoulder and do the "excuse me, excuse me, I'm with the press" shuffle until I finagle my way right up to the front, pissing off several people who've clearly worked really hard to garner and maintain their positioning up front.  I know this because I hear them bitching in between songs as one of them fires up a smoke and blows it directly at my camera.  I honestly don't blame her and normally I wouldn't do this for a band like this but hey man, I had another band to shoot up the street and I didn't have the liberty of standing here for an hour holding my spot before they went on. So there.

Ok, now I feel better...

Anyway, so the Black Keys blow my face off completely. I am standing no more than four feet from guitarist-vocalist Dan Auerbach but you'd think he was in a room by himself; eyes closed, gripping his guitar like a woman he's clearly shared a tumultuous relationship with for a LONG time. He beats her and he...well, let's just say my brain was toying with ways to meet him after the show and I'm not even like that (For the record, there was a ring on his finger anyway.). I actually hear myself talking to my camera under my breath, going, "Oh yes, right there - Yeah, Oh Yeah - Give it to me."

This is by far the high point of SXSW for me.

By the time they finish, I feel like I need a cigarette and a cuddle so I meet back up with friends and eventually Joran at Habana Calle for 'Visqueen.'

I can tell almost as soon as we enter that Visqueen is from Seattle by the crowd of dark clothing and detached "nothing can impress me" faces, but Singer, Rachel Flotard cracks jokes in between songs and lightens them up a bit.
They're good and it's nice to see a chick so confidently rocking lead guitar and vocal but again, it's really not my thing so I grab my shots and head back over to Light Bar only to be distracted by the goings on at the Red Bull Thre3 Style Party featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff (Yes, Fresh Prince DJ Jazzy Jeff) for a few minutes but the cold and the surly crowd put a damper on it quickly.

Fortunately, Joran appears along with his cabbie and we head FAR east for "The Mantels" from San Fran at Club 1808.

Anyone who's spent any time in Austin will tell you that the east side crowd is quirky, hip, and often very young, and this was definitely no exception. At least there's good lighting. We are out in no less than twenty minutes, sending Joran with hugs back to the hotel to pack for the trip back to Tampa in the a.m.

Scott and I make it to the "You Make Me Function" Detroit techno party at the Hogg Building, two levels of various rooms with dj's, vodka, and energy drinks. We dance the night away trying to ignore the crowd which becomes increasingly douchy after 2 a.m.
The music is great though until we realize all of Scott's friends have left and he can't leave me for more than two minutes without some collared shirt sleazing up next to me, so we follow suit, head out of town and fall into respective comas until almost 4pm the next day...


Thank you to everyone who made it great, but most especially to Creative Loafing, for giving me a badge and trusting that I'd get some great pix!  It was truly an awesome experience!!

See all my 'South By' pix here:

See you next year!! :)


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