Not that I’m very eagle-like at all, but I have arrived in Austin, TX for SXSW 2008! Things started off pretty quickly. Soon after my arrival I met up with some IFC colleagues at Iron Works BBQ for a production meeting. We do things right here–forget the conference room–head straight for the rib joint. Oddly enough (because I just posted about it yesterday) I bumped into Matt Pinfield again. Unlike last year’s Iron Works encounter, I made sure to keep my greeting at a low volume level, just so Matt could sneak out without having to play music trivia with everyone (I guess it comes with the territory though). I also spotted Tokyo Police Club enjoying some Texas BBQ.
Before I even I had a chance to run back to my hotel to grab my camera, we were off to the IFC Crossroads Party at a club called The Parish. Yo La Tengo kicked off the proceedings–not a bad way for me to start off my SXSW 2008, huh? The indie veterans were in town because they had scored a film that was screening at the SXSW movie festival.
Since it was a party and not a proper music showcase, many people were taking advantage of the free drinks during the early portion of the performance. As I scanned the crowd, I noticed half were socializing and half were watching Yo La Tengo. Though the band was scheduled to play 45 minutes, it felt a wee bit shorter than that. In Yo La Tengo’s brief set they did manage to show their sweet, tender side, their punk rock leanings (which included a couple spaz-outs on guitar by Ira Kaplan) and their hankering for jamming out. It was also fun watching the trio swap instruments every couple of songs. I wish more people were into it, but what are you going to do? Free finger foods can be an evil temptress.
Once the drinks kicked in, everyone was ready to rock out for My Morning Jacket. Beer bottles were raised as the band took the stage behind some epic backlighting and an endless supply of stage smoke. These guys are so ready to tour arenas (that’s to be taken as a compliment). My Morning Jacket showed off some new material and jammed out extensively on a few of their catalog goodies (“Off The Record”, “One Big Holiday”). They sounded amazingly tight, and like Yo La Tengo, showed that they can be good quiet or be good loud. While taking in the set I thought to myself, “If they ever include one of these guys’ songs on the next Guitar Hero, there’s going to be some kids out there with achy fingers.”
Pictures of tonight’s show will be posted as soon as I get ’em. Also, please bear with me throughout the week. There’s a ton of people here at SXSW with their laptops, and the wireless internet is running S-L-O-W. I’ll get my posts up as soon as I can.