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Reviews: SXSW Part 3 (Saturday 3/20)

March 25, 2010

Yep, Saturday was so jam-packed full of action that it gets its very own recap.  And with this, we’ve come to the end of my SXSW recaps – and only 5 days after the fest ended!  But don’t worry, the Docubloggers/AGMG/ME-TV SXSW Special is still coming…

1:30 pm – Rachael Ray’s Feedback Party at Stubb’s

So, people can hate on Rachael Ray all they want, but she knows a couple of things a lot better than others:

A) food

B) drinks

C) awesome music

Last year, Ray-Ray’s party at Maggie Mae’s was another one of my highlights and once her lineup for this year dropped, I was super excited to attend again this year.  Plus, I love Stubb’s as a venue.

Sure enough, Rachael’s crack SXSW team made use of Stubb’s space in a way that showed up several other parties.  They had 3 stages (one inside), so watching soundcheck time was reduced to a minimum, the food line was fast and efficient, and 4 bars were serving up frozen mixed drinks.  Let’s not forget that this was the 40° day and the fact that the weather wasn’t the first thing I mentioned speaks volumes about how much I enjoyed this party.

The first band we saw was Andrew WK.  And I freakin’ loved it.  We were in the food line almost the whole time, but because of the way they laid out the venue, the line was right in the middle of Stubb’s outside and we could see the stage and hear the music perfectly.  This good-natured, clever rock star totally commands the audience, and the songs are a savvy blend of trashy hard rock, party tunes, and intricate instrumentation.  Yes!

Next up, post-food and third frozen drink, was Dr. Dog.  I had seen Dr. Dog at the ACL Festival last year and wasn’t enthralled, yet I have heard and liked a bunch of their songs since then, so I was happy to be able to see them again.  And they didn’t disappoint.  Their pop-psychedelia was exactly what the extremely cold day called for and they put on a great show.

Click the jump to see my reviews of Jakob Dylan, She & Him, and Do512’s The Big One!

Jakob Dylan was someone I highly anticipated seeing at SXSW this year.  I am a big fan of his turn to alt-country, and I was looking forward to seeing him play with Neko Case.  Their set was short, but sweet.  I love Jakob’s gritty, gravelly voice and paired with Neko’s honeyed vocals, it’s even better.  This was one of those sets that was absolutely no flash; just top-notch musicianship, brilliant songwriting, and a great performance.  I would gladly pay to see Jakob and Neko in a full-length show.

The headliner for the Ray-Ray Party was indie super-favorites She & Him.  It’s controversy time – I really don’t get She & Him’s massively huge popularity.  I especially don’t get the obsession with Zooey Deschanel as some indie girl blueprint.  I’ll admit that the day before I had heard them do some stripped down sets on NPR and really enjoyed the couple of songs I heard.

I dig M. Ward’s solo work, but Zooey is a full-grown woman who is just a little too intentionally and childishly precocious for me, and without the superb chops it would take to make me look past that.  I fully appreciate their project and the retro sound they’re going for, but that doesn’t stop the fact that watching them grates on my nerves.  We watched most of this set and then took off.

5:00 pm – The Big One by Do512

It’s unfortunate that the day of one of the biggest and best outdoor parties of SXSW, the weather crapped out, but the intrepid Do512 team carried on despite the frigid temperatures.  The Big One was situated behind the Frost Tower and it was a pretty striking view.  The party was very well-organized, there was plentiful free booze (Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka…WHAT?!), the lines moved quickly, and the crowd was friendly.

We arrived when club band Jessica 6 was on the stage.  They had everyone moving, which was good considering how cold it was.  And by the time (like an hour and a half later) Warpaint hit the stage, the wind was starting to howl and the temperature at least felt like it was dropping quickly.

I really wanted to stay and check out Dan Black as well, but there was just no way.  I was wearing a winter hat, a coat with a hood, a giant scarf, long john, jeans and two shirts and I was still so cold, it was time to call it a night.

We locked ourselves inside at about 8:30 pm and couldn’t have been happier.

That was the end of our SXSW 2010 experience, and boy, was it a craaaaazy ride.  Despite all the sleepless nights, the stress, the drama (Psst…wanna know what SXSW Mistake #3 was?  Ask me off the internetz.), the soreness, and the hangovers, I look forward to next year already.

I am also glad that I got to have so many awesome experiences with my lovely husband.  Awww!!


One Comment leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 4:50 pm

    Great recap, AGMG, and great memories. Working with you for that week+ was great, but hanging out and enjoying each other’s company was even better. Awww!!

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