by Casey Dewey
After a slightly hellish train ride, I arrived in Austin with maybe having two hours of sleep in the past 24 hours. I immediately set upon the convention center to grab my badge, check out the press room, and gulp down a few cups of coffee. I was ready to party.
...No, I wasn't.
I took a nap in the hotel room, dragged my ass out of bed and went downtown. This being the first night of the music portion of SXSW, pickins' were slim and I was thirsty, so I decided to go where the free beer was.
I headed over to the Vice magazine/Jansport party located at a spacious indoor-outdoor warehouse. Why the backpack I wore my entire time in high school was having a party, I don't know. Here's a lowdown on the bands I saw:
Skaters (NY) - If you look like you cribbed your fashion style from old pictures of Adrenalin O.D. in Maximum Rock and Roll, and your opening music is the theme to Beavis and Butthead, I'm going to have high hopes. But if you're going to retread the not-exactly-ancient sounds of The Strokes and ARE Weapons, you're going to crush those hopes.
Team Spirit (NY) - Nothing memorable about this band other than their throwaway cover of a Replacements song two songs in.
Wavves (CA) - You remember Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke? Remember the battle of the bands scenes with the three punk bands? That's what these guys remind me of. Messy, fun and a touch chaotic. The trio have also expanded to a quartet, adding a second guitar player to the mix. Hilarious celebrity cameo in the crowd by MTV's John Norris.
Throughout the night, the sound mix was incredibly awful. The bands sets were muddled and muffled. But.....what else should I expect from a party sponsored by Vice and backpacks, right?
Austin, we need to talk about the port-a-potty situation. When you're going to fill me up with countless beers, monstrous energy drink & vodka concoctions, and BBQ tacos, there's going to have to be a release at some point, and probably several more. WHERE ARE THE PORT-A-POTTYS??? Please help me.
When an attempt to check out Action Bronson proved futile due to the "one in-one out" procedure and the HUGE line of people waiting to get in, I decided to cash in my chips and get a good night of sleep.
I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Casey, you saw all of three bands on your first day?" Let me tell you, that train ride here really did a number on me. But, I'm well-rested and have another day ahead of me, chock full of great bands and surprises to check out.
For further ramblings, on-the-fly thoughts and other inner dialogue, follow me on Twitter at @Dewtron. You can also follow the #tucsonweekly hashtag. See you soon, and stay tuned for more discourse.
Over and out.