March 25, 2004

Through the fire

I forgot to tell you about SXSW. Sorry, I was busy thinking about how I accidentally caught on fire in my nutritionists office this morning. My hoodie hood went into a scented candle where it caught a light. And about three minutes later I ask my doctor "do you smell something burning?' to which she responded by screaming and running at me. She put the fire out with her hands because she is a brave lady. My long locks did not catch a fire. I did not wind up in the emergency room with open wounds and a salved nape of neck. I wound up with eau de campfire and an album sized burn hole on my Jade Tree hoodie. My doctor cried. I laughed hysterically for about 34 minutes afterwards. Lucky for sure, I yam I yam.

Here's what I learned at SXSW. It's not super worth going into. I was busy and sick and people were trying to hand me business cards, and it felt like a bad dream when you meet people waiting in line for the bathroom, after looking at their nametag. Networking in the ladies room with women who have been drinking for 9 hours, their under-face muscles slack like maternity sweatpants. You know, thats not really my idea of a good time, but any time I am in the proximity of Julianne, same city, I am at peace. Alright, the highlights:

1.It's not possible to say "Murder Dog" without laughing. Just try. We watched Dizzee Rascal from a sandpit, where the chicks in the neon bikini's and the volleyball net had been replaced by the staff of Blender, Pretty Girls Make Graves and 150 critics from second-tier daily papers. Dizzee was like a teenage hyena, all hormones and cocksure talent, some message but mostly just he had killowattage.

2. Aesop Rock's favorite lyricist: Blake from Jawbreaker.

3. Har Mar Sean represented Minneapolis local from the DJ booth at the Fader party, playing The Jets "I got a Crush on You" and The Time. I once entered a contest to try and get The Jets to play my middle school. I am pretty sure they are still a band. My favorite Samoan act, tied perhaps with the dudes from Boo-Yaa Tribe. Quit acting like you have no idea what I am talking about. You do.

4. TV on The Radio, despite everyone with a badge decrying BROOKLYN NY saying they are like all skuzz and fuzz and z-z-z-z live, they took it to the street, their melodies and honeyed voices banging and richocheting off the walls of building across the street ( we were all in a tent, outside, on a hill, we were) that had NO TRESSPASSING written on it eleventy hundred times. yeah, right, TVOTR were all a hum on me, on everyone, what you would want it to be, how you would want it to feel. Like swimming in a pool with all your clothes on. Really, when you come down to it, thats what they are like.

5. Hanging out at the VICE afterparty which was maybe the worst party I have been to all year. I stood there w. Julianne, silent, as one of the Icarus Line dudes made call after call asking people if they were holding. If they said no, he just hung up on them. Outside, shitty but popular bands played, flood lights were in the trees, like the squirrels were doing a photoshoot. Everything was free. I saw everyone I knew in the world that I did not have anything to say to (except Andy). Inside the party house someone was playing my first DJ - like a caricture of a party, really, -- they spun Back In Black, a Missy Elliott mashup, The Rapture, Blondie and some shit you were tired of in 1904. I laughed outloud. Men with ill groomed moustaches came in and out the door by the half dozen, Ultragrrrl danced swan lake to a Kylie song and yelled to the people with her to make sure they got pictures. It felt like Brett Easton Ellis had concieved, perhaps drawn forth purgatory.

5. The Hold Steady are the new Jim Carroll band, and Craig was wearing an old school Twins shirt. I love that the represent local, even though they live in NY now. I mean it would take serious balls not to, and plus they just are not the type. Their shit was nine kinds of geniune genius.

6. We stumbled upon Pete Rock spinning at 4 am in a Mexican resturant, going all VH1 Storytellers style, monologue between cuts "I made this.... when I was a younger, happier man, when I was 23.... when I was... a different man.... YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE?! ( pleading, serious) When the whole world is telling you ... "you are the greatest"? You know what kind of fucking... weight that is to carry around?!" and then would throw the fader over to some track that I barely knew but was so so fresh, so from 1988 with love. he did this between every song, would stop songs early, discussed the death of his father, Jam Master J, apologized for being drunk, talking about stealing from his mom at age 10 to buy albums, and I think verged on tears. Every song he played was one of his, and it was genius. He did this in front of me, Julianne, Partymanica and 11 other headz and the people working the bar.

6. Friends of Dean Martinez did a seven minute version of "Summertime", which made my heart stutter. It was like hearing Metallica for the first time. It was like "whoa, people can do that?".

7. We missed the Record Collection showcase where there was a 5 foot tall (?) erection pinata, and Har Mar Sean beat someone about the head with a microphone, after the dude hit him really hard with the cock-pinata and then refused to play anymore because the dude had ruined the party vibe.

8. The Living Legends showcase made me excited about hip hop. I also had to turn down joints being passed my way about every 70 seconds.

9. Old Dominion showcase also made me excited about hip hop.

10. Rhymesayers showcase made me happy to be from Minnesota.

I remember a lot of other shit, but none of it is worth explaining. It's like going to summer camp and coming back and telling people about the amazing canoes you rode around in.

Posted by Jessica at March 25, 2004 01:12 AM | TrackBack

"Men with ill groomed moustaches came in and out the door by the half dozen, Ultragrrrl danced swan lake to a Kylie song and yelled to the people with her to make sure they got pictures. It felt like Brett Easton Ellis had concieved, perhaps drawn forth purgatory."

brilliant. :)

Posted by: colin nagy at March 25, 2004 10:52 AM

Agreed, the Vice Party was completely stomach churning. The whole scene just made me want to go back to my hotel and think real deep about my generation, what we are doing, what we value.

Low point of the entire weekend: The singer from the Stills (who sound like Cracker) rubbing his nose and mock-casually mumbling into the mic, "I've got something up my nose." Crowd member mock-enthusiastically yells back, "IT'S COCAINE!", to which rock star(tm) replies, "This is a Vice Party, be civil."

I nearly wretched on the spot.

Bummed I miss the Hopper party though. I'm sure the company would have been better.

Posted by: Matt Wright at March 25, 2004 03:25 PM

Aesop Rock's favorite lyricist is Blake? Dang.

And the Jets are Tongan, not Samoan...

brown n' proud


Posted by: Todd Inoue at March 25, 2004 07:32 PM

That Stills shit is hilarious . . . but as bad as Vice might've been, at least there was something entertaining going on, albeit unintentionally so. The coke in my area was being done by overweight, over-the-hill Australian dorkwad rock stars whose self-important label had rented out my friends' place for a private party. All of us were in the back entertaining ourselves, and every few minutes the Australians' handler would swing through and encourage us to "go hang out with the Aussies." The front had been decorated with a supposedly Southwestern/Texas theme, and the vibe was downright funereal. At least they let us keep the candles.

Great rundown, jessica. As dissapointed as I was to miss Dizzee and the TVOTR, it's at least good to know they were as good as I would've hoped.

Posted by: David at March 26, 2004 08:45 AM

That story about Pete Rock is one of the best things I've ever heard.

Posted by: David at March 30, 2004 01:05 AM

This post was AWESOME

Posted by: Jay Smooth at March 30, 2004 03:00 AM

man pete rock deserved better but i'm glad you enjoyed him. white industry peepz be on some bullshit though, i don't know why hip-hop legends even bother with SXSW.

who the hell is Jawbreaker?!

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