Flyover State v. South By Southwest ’10

Pink Eyes enjoying himself with a nice clean rinse off. Those photographers? Not so much. (Photo: Jason Richter)

It’s the Internet’s only — and most timely! — SXSW recap. Hell, even Coachella’s already happened. But, wanted to get this out there with more pictures.

This was Team Flyover State’s fifth SXSW and the first since 2005. (An aside: I could really use name for writing stuff like this, something like Bobby Hundreds. But “Erik Flyover” just sounds terrible. Whatever.) And recession be damned, it seemed busier than ever.

The day party aspect has really taken off since I started going. What used to be the time we used to catch bands we were gonna miss at night at lightly attended day parties is OVER. And I’ll admit, I miss it.

Anyway, on with the show. Here’s a day-by-day walk-through, highlights, etc.

The Henry Clay People – Red Eye Fly
BEST OPENER: This scrappy LA band made for a great kickoff to the week. And talk about lightly attended, when we first got there we were about the 12 through 16th people in the place.

Miles Kurosky (ex-Beulah) – Red Eye Fly
BEST SOLO VENTURE: Looked like Beulah, sounded like Beulah. We’re cool, Miles.

“The Mayor’s”
BEST NEW EXPERIENCE: This was totally new to me, but apparently the mayor holds a kickoff party at City Hall the Wednesday night of SXSW.

We headed down to the sandstone government building front entrance area to meet up with some friends from SPIN Magazine and a few other folks.

The crowd was a strange mix of what appeared to be city officials and music fans there for the free drinks, but everyone got along swimmingly. The high courtyard overlooking the river made for a great spot to cool the heels before the night began.

WORST MEETING TIME: I headed inside to use the bathroom, and along the way passed what looked like a zoning meeting in full swing. At 6pm with music blaring right outside the door. Tough break, public servants.

Dinner at Huts

Hamburger and fries

That lettuce is about the closest thing we got to vegetables all week. The Mr. Blue at Hut's. (Photo: Team Flyover State)

BIGGEST UPSET: Iron Works BBQ was the favorite for Wednesday’s dinner by a wide margin. (Iron Works paid 3-2. The field 5-1.) But since we were all the way down by the river already, the venerable burger joint made perfect sense.

The Walkmen– Stubb’s
MOST OVERSHADOWED: We settled in near the tree on the righthand side at Stubb’s for The
Walkmen and about two songs in I checked Twitter on my phone. The news was spreading fast that Alex Chilton had died. Very surreal, esp. with Big Star on the schedule for Saturday night. Children by the millions…

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – Stubb’s

Broken Bells – Stubb’s
DANGER MOUSE’S NEXT SIDEPROJECT ISN’T GONNA START ITSELF: This header is courtesy of the band Harlem, who said this as a way to introduce one of their songs later in the week. Just thought that was hilarious and it fit well here. Broken Bells were solid — if you like The Shins. And I do, so cool.


We Became Actors – Maggie Mae’s ( Day Party)
IT’S A LOCAL THING: The pop-punk scrappers were all in, even with the early hour and a crowed queued up for free BBQ.

The Rural Alberta Advantage – Yard Dog (Schuba’s Day Party)
SHORTEST SET: It wasn’t their fault. We only caught two songs but they sounded great. Bums me out I missed ’em at the Entry.

Japandroids – Yard Dog (Schuba’s Day Party)
NOT BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND: I’d heard that the Japandroids lead singer stood over a wind machine when playing live. No such luck even on a day that was getting hotter by the minute. But love these guys, so stage tricks were unnecessary.

The Hood Internet – Yard Dog (Schuba’s Day Party)
BIGGEST MISTAKE: I have the mixtapes. I love the mixtapes. But to put this DJ crew on a bill behind Yard Dog in the hot sun seemed like a total miss. Still fealing that Passion Pit/Juvenile mix though.

We Became Scientists – Yard Dog (Schuba’s Day Party)

Born Ruffians – Yard Dog (Schuba’s Day Party)

Lunch/Dinner at Gueros
BIGGEST UPSET PART 2: Two restaurant meals and still no Iron Works? Next thing you’re gonna tell me that Wisconsin is gonna lose to Cornell. Wait, what?
CRAZIEST SERVER: You really had to be there, but our server at this Tex-Mex standard-bearer was like a stoned, gum-popping brunette extra from “Dazed & Confused.” She went so far as to just start talking to someone else as someone at our table ordered, to the point that he had to stop and ask her if she’d heard his order. We later saw her sitting at another table talking to some guy for at least 10 minutes. To her credit, the food came out correct. And she picked up a 20% tip thanks to a $48 bill and three guys with twenties…

The Besnard Lakes – Stubb’s
THEY ROCK, BUT LOOKERS, NOT SO MUCH: Fronted by Mott the Hoople (and it’s downhill from there), the Besnard Lakes would be dead meat if Jane Magazine still influenced music. Lucky for them their wall-of-sound played perfect in the cooling Texas air. I’m down with it. One of my favorite sets of the week.

The Besnard Lakes

The rapture! No, just some eardrum-rattling drone rock. The Besnard Lakes at Stubb's (Photo: Team Flyover State)

The Soft Pack – Stubb’s
BEST PREPPIES: Look like Vampire Weekend. Rock like power-pop

The Drive-By Truckers – Stubb’s
BEST GOES WITHOUT SAYING: Yep. They’re the DBTs. But, the best quote of the weekend needs a callout: “Hey! Did somebody hit a skunk?” Apparently someone did. The guys right behind us, and a green one by the smell of things. Good call.

Band of Horses – Stubb’s
BEST BEST: Best songs, best show, best epic. Loved it.

Riverboat Gamblers – Red 7 Courtyard
BEST GULAG: Ever go to a place that just feels menacing? Like if you got stabbed in the gut while waiting for the Porta-john you’d just accept it as your punishment for being in a place so gutter-y? That’s the Red 7 Courtyard. Super dark to the point that you can’t really see two or three people in front of you, outdoor only in that the 20-foot cinder block walls don’t quite make it all the way to the corrugated steel roof. And to top it off, the tops of the cinderblock walls were lined with jagged bottles. Eastern Bloc chic. We all survived though, Mom. And a plus: Now I can write Lifter Puller songs!

Roxy Shazam – Stubb’s (SPIN Day Party)

Rogue Wave – Stubb’s (SPIN Day Party)

Fucked Up – Stubb’s (SPIN Day Party)
MOST FUN: When the hardcore band’s frontman, Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham, a portly, bearded, shirtless man, barreled into the crowd one song in, it was easily the craziest and, pardon me, funnest, show of the week.

You have a to have respect for someone who’s so dedicated to his craft.

Pink Eye from Fucked Up

This is before the mud came into play. Sneakerheads, note the Cassette Playa Dunks. They would not stay on for long. (Photo: Team Flyover State)

Harlem – Stubb’s (SPIN Day Party)
BIGGEST MAIL IN: Talk about lame. Like the record. Hated it live.
Would’ve rather been watching Bucky-Wofford. And that’s saying something.

Free Energy – Stubb’s (SPIN Day Party)

Hole – Stubb’s (SPIN Day Party)
BEST SIDESHOW: We stayed for 3 songs just to say we saw them. That’s about it.

Dinner at Iron Works
BEST BBQ: By default by this point. Still love this place.

Iron Works BBQ Sampler Plate

This is the Sampler plate. Dessert? An angioplasty. Dinner at Iron Works BBQ. (Photo: Team Flyover State)

Here We Go Magic – Lustre Pearl
BIGGEST BUZZKILL: Terrible venue, massive set change times and a totally crappy crowd. I hear Here We Go Magic on Radio K from time to time and don’t mind it. But as one of my rock-loving travel compatriots would say, “Where are the hooks?!” At this point of the fest, we needed hooks.

She & Him – Lustre Pearl
BEST ACTRESS: I get it. She’s cute. She’s an actress. Her voice is “quirky.” But this killed the night for me. People piling forward with cameras in hand to get a shot like some sad TMZ wanna-bes. It was certainly a scene. But for music? Not great. I still like the record and even picked up the new one, but live? I’ve seen it now. That was enough.

Zooey Deschanel of She & Him

This is She. And like every other time they're photographed... not pictured: Him. (Photo: Team Flyover State)

The Cringe – Stubb’s (Rachael Ray Party)
BEST BAND NAME: Only because it perfectly describes Rachael Ray’s husband’s band. They’re like a bad Jersey bar band. And not in a good way. At all.
SECOND BEST QUOTE: We’d been spoiled by Driskill bartender David’s awesome Bloody Marys, so when we grabbed free Mr. & Mrs. T’s bloodies at the Rachael Ray event, someone summed it up best: “Wow. Glad they made mine with ketchup.”

Andrew WK – Stubb’s (Rachael Ray Party)
MOST SONGS ABOUT PARTYING: Plus, best outfit (the same grungy white jeans and T). Plus, best backup dancer. He had a woman who looked like Apollonia in a Jazzercise outfit doing kick-punch routines while he wilded out. Anything to keep warm in the 35-and-windy weather.

Rachael Ray

Don't worry, there's a bottle of EVOO behind the pole. Rachael Ray escaping the pasty indie rock fanboys at her SXSW party at Stubb's. (Photo: Jason Richter)

Dr. Dog – Stubb’s (Rachael Ray Party)
WORST TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES: The sound cut out twice, sabotaging one of the shows I was really looking forward to.

Jakob Dylan feat. Kelly Hogan and Neko Case – Stubb’s (Rachael Ray Party)

The Constellations – Cedar Street Courtyard (Dickies Sounds Day Party)

Boxer Rebellion – Cedar Street Courtyard (Dickies Sounds Day Party)

Frightened Rabbit – Cedar Street Courtyard (Dickies Sounds Day Party)
WORST WIND: By now we were freezing, and I mean FREEZING. Everyone was from MN/WI and we were still super cold. I gotta say, that’s what I’ll remember most about Saturday. The f*cking wind.

Huts for dinner
BEST REDUXES: Finally warmed up a bit back at Huts. Still love the Mr. Blue burger. Still love to see KU fans on TV looking like they’re about to cry.

Free Energy – Cedar Street Courtyard
BEST THIN LIZZY COVERS: Wait, these weren’t covers? But I like this band. It’ll sound great in the car this summer.

Free Energy at SXSW 2010

This is really what Randall "Pink" Floyd would've listened to on his way to get Aerosmith tickets. Free Energy at the Cedar Street Courtyard. (Photo: Team Flyover State)

Surfer Blood
BEST SHOW WE NEVER SAW: We went for one last gasp before our 6am flight, but it wasn’t meant to be. They put the badge and wristband people into one line and it moved about 8 people in 45 minutes. In the freezing wind tunnel, with ears ringing from the cold, we bailed. Lame, I know. But you had to be there. It was like the Donner Party. I’d had enough.

‘Til next year?

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4 Responses to “Flyover State v. South By Southwest ’10”

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