Being a seasoned pro of the SXSW gauntlet of free food, free booze, and free bands, Wednesday felt like a preliminary round; people were still getting into town, important bands were hiding out till later in the week, and the weather was less than desirable. Cloudy with a chance of whooping cough. That said, weaving one's way through the maze of day parties has rewards. Like finding rough diamonds after a few steps into the coal mine.
The pick of the day, and perhaps the entire week was Glasgow's Twilight Sad. During their brief day set, they blazed through an tiny orchestra of feedback. This must have been what it was like to see My Bloody Valentine back in the day. Blistering noise with thick Scottish accents cutting through, creating a dour and stoic blend of rainy day "pop." You could hardly call them a pop band, though at night, their set seemed more reserved and deliberate, as if Snow Patrol was a fluke, and The Twilight Sad sold millions on multi-hued hits of morphine.
Or maybe it was the CPC Gangbangs that cured my non-existent hangover. Perhaps the Hives and the Mooney Suzuki killed the garage rock revival, or in the case of the former, simply mastered it. Well this Quebecois outfit, got the package late, broken in shards, played out on a wooden turntable, wobbling and constantly shifting speeds. Quite a contrast to New Zealand's Mint Chicks, for whom I had hopes, only the day-glo punk of their records is not that fashionable live, proving too many Elvis imports made it down under. Ugh.
The party officially got started when Tampa, Florida's Yo Majesty tore through the Creekside Lounge with enough beats, bitch slaps, and occasional nudity, to get a crowd of white hipsters to chant "fuck that shit," twice, as they played their soon to be underground hit "Club Action" until the kids could no longer take it. Seeing the trio roaming the streets completely blotto at 1 A.M. gave me a good feeling that Yo Majesty embraced exactly what the spirit of SXSW is about. Go see them tonight.
Final proverb? "Old people will always prefer free bloody marys and art cars, while the young still get hard for Victory Records and new Sub Pop bands." Avoid Maps and Atlases as if they were herpes. Till tomorrow.