Sauced In Austin: Day 4.

Saturday finally rolls around and I’m psyched. My passport arrives as expected, and Jim and I head downtown to make the best of our last day in Austin. I’m thrilled to be with legal ID again and promise myself that today will be the BEST day of the trip. I have no idea that I will be 100% correct about that.

So once again it’s a lovely sunny day, and we hit up the Bust magazine party for some free Mojitos. Who cares who’s playing. FREE MOJITOS!!! We meet Nick and Steve there and have a few delishious minty beverages and catch everyone’s favorite hobbit Elijah Wood DJ’ing in the back room.

I’m watching my the clock constantly because the Liverpool Sound City party is going to begin shortly and we have to make haste over to the British Music Embassy. Once we got there, the line was around the block and after 3 days of waiting in lines, my friends didn’t want to wait. So I told them I was going to wait (since we all RSVP’ed, silly!).

As I’m waiting in line, I keep getting phone calls from a 512 area code. Who the hell is 512???? They leave a voicemail. I check it. Guess what? It’s Emo’s. Someone found and turned in my wallet, and I am to come get it anytime that afternoon. God Bless Austin, TX. (I stayed in line for the Liverpool party, as I had my passport and didn’t want to miss the bands. I later got my wallet from Emo’s – with EVERYTHING still in it. Not a thing was moved or stolen or missing. Hell yeah.)

As soon as Jim, Nick, and Steve leave me in the line at the British Embassy, I’m suddenly at the front of the line and instantly inside the bar. I text them to come back, and after a while they do. I just KNEW Jon Pinto was already inside, because he knows what’s up with the English bands. (Those Pintos are always up on the English tip!)

The Whip is stirring up a big pot of amazing digital/analog dance music (check their ass-shaking single “Trash”), and who else do I see cutting a rug but Jon and his friend Ben. I went over (after getting a free top-shelf cocktail. Mmm-hmm, those Brits know what’s up…) and helped cut it up a bit. The Whip rocks it and I am dancing too much and don’t get quite close enough to get great shots. Sorry boys, but I just couldn’t stand still.

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After The Whip, The Rascals come on and impress me with their adorable haircuts, accents, and catchy pop tunes. These boys have toured with the Arctic Monkeys, and bear a striking resemblance to a certain frontman… *swoon* See for yourself…

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Miles Kane belts one out at the BME. Next up, THE WOMBATS!!! Everyone asked me “who was the band that you didn’t know about before SXSW but now can’t live without?” For me, this is that band. Catchy, upbeat, sing-songy, and just generally charming, I love this band. LOVE. Their hit single “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” pretty much sums up where we all are at this point in our lives. It’s brilliant, AND it’s on the free CD they handed out at the door at this party. I’ve already worn it out. Their full length CD (Backfire at the Disco) just came out this Tuesday and if you haven’t already purchased it, you really should. Some favorites from their set:

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After the show we meander next door where Jim, Nick and the rest of the crew are doing car bombs with the Wombats. I walked in just in time to miss it. Dang having to go to the bathroom.

We meander a bit more and get some quick food (with a snotty waitress, I might add), and then headed off to see a few more bands before getting to Spiro’s with time to spare for Phantom Planet. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I think Alex Greenwald has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard. The thing is, I’d never seen them live, and I didn’t even know what they looked like. Go figure. Luckily, Spiro’s was super small, and there weren’t a ton of people there. We arrived a bit too early and had to sit through the Hush Sound (I’d like to call them the “Shush Sound”). I just didn’t like them. Too-generic piano rock that we’ve all heard a million times before. We were bored.

Finally Phantom Planet comes on and Jim and I squeal with delight. We seriously were like two 15 year old girls in the front row. Whatever. It’s fucking Phantom Planet. They are absolutely brilliant, and mix in a few new tracks with old favorites. We kept screaming “LEADER!!!!” but apparently they didn’t practice that one. 🙁 No worries, their set is still everything I wanted and more. I managed to snap away through their set, and am pleased with the results.

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Moving on…After Phantom Planet we’re trying to choose wisely about what to do next. It’s getting late and in my mind there’s only one place I wanna go: back to Emo’s to see X. Capping off my SXSW experience with a legendary punk band is just about as good as it gets.

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Does Billy Zoom ever stop smiling?

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Far from camera shy, Billy Zoom kept squatting over me. Thanks, Billy, for the great angle!

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There’s a great story behind this photo: the blurry hand in the lower right is a woman who was quite intoxicated, completely enamored with Billy Zoom. Wasted and starry-eyed, she tried several times to caress his inner thigh and groin while he played. She almost grabbed his head stock, if you know what I mean…

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Exene and John Doe share a mic.Overall, SXSW 2008 was a fantastic trip. I heard so much great (!!!) new music and got to spend some time in an awesome city with some of my best friends. I don’t know if I could ask for anything more. If you’re considering attending next year, you really really should. It’s worth every penny.

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