SXSW Part 4

SXSW Part 4

SATURDAY

Brugos and I met downtown and sought out an entire set of The Research. Despite technical difficulties on the part of the keyboardist, I thought they were really good. If a shitty show is that much fun, imagine how great they are when all their equipment is working. It helped that they brought in a cute bohemian girl as a guest vocalist.

We also partook in a free buffet at the venue. More free stuff! This time, my body was overjoyed to be eating free carrots and green beans instead of free booze.

Next we took a long stroll toward the University area to try and find the venue where Matthew Sweet and Susannah Hoffs were to play together. When we got there, it appeared that everything was behind schedule. We figured we had at least an hour to kill, so we walked further into the university area and saw all the vintage shops and super cool college kids.

When we got back, we sat through one more set before Sweet and Hoffs came on. In the meantime, there was plenty of people watching. It was clear that we’d stumbled into the “older person” tent. The older crowd was having a great time, dancing and singing along to the bands. It was kind of a refreshing sight, after having spent a week hanging out with hipsters who don’t smile and insist on wearing black even in hot weather. (And yes, I’m aware that I am one of these people.)

Sweet and Hoffs finally came on to a very receptive audience. They played all covers of 60’s songs including one of my favorites, “Different Drum” (written my Mike Nesmith from the Monkees!).

We were hungry and had our eyes on an Indian restaurant across the street. By the time we got in there, it was very full and there was a 45 minute wait for a table, but we were able to finagle our way into the bar and eat appetizers for dinner.

We headed back downtown to meet Andrew. He was delayed at a wristband party but convinced us to wait for him inside the Emo’s Annex, where a band that he really wanted to see was going to be playing later that night. We paid our cover and secured a nice cushy spot on a ledge by the side of the stage. We watched a few really good bands and waited to hear from Andrew. Eventually, he called and told us that he was stuck outside and they weren’t letting anyone else in. This time, there was no Aziz to help us out. I went to talk to him. There was nothing they could do. He didn’t get there in time. He was really pissed that he wasn’t going to get to see I Love You Buy I’ve Chosen Darkness. With a name like that, they HAVE to be good, right? Well, Andrew…you didn’t miss much. The best bands came on before them. By the time they went on, they have been overshadowed by their peers and couldn’t live up to the hype. Brugos and I left after the first song or two, and went to find Justin, who was also stuck outside the tent.

Andrew went back to his VIP situation. Justin, Brugos and I were left to our own devices, and, at that point, there wasn’t really a music venue we could get into, so we went back to the Fox and the Hound. By the time the our first round of drinks came, I realized I was EXHAUSTED and just wanted to go to bed. I tried to drink my drink but I couldn’t do it. Justin, who had been in bed all day, was raring to go. He said he didn’t mind sticking around, though, we our unfinished drinks. So Brugos and I shared a cab to our respective hotels and called an end to our last night in Austin.

SUNDAY

The next morning, Justin, Brugos and Andrew convened at my hotel (Jacob had gone home the previous morning). I checked out and we got some breakfast at the Star Seeds café next door.

I took advantage of access to proper grits. Meanwhile, Andrew and Brugos both ordered something called the A-Bomb. From what I could tell, the A-Bomb consisted of two English muffins topped with scrambled eggs, sausage, and queso. It was HUGE and very daunting. Andrew’s was heavy on the queso, while Brugos’ appeared to be heavy on the egg. Either way, finishing it might have killed them. But somehow it didn’t. Justin and I were not able to join the clean plate club that day.

We had a few hours to kill before we needed to get to the airport, so we decided to call a cab to take us to a multiplex. We were going to see Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. Our cab driver dropped us off, and offered to come back and get us after the movie to take us to the airport. It was only 11:30 at the time and the movie didn’t start till after noon, so we dragged our luggage around the deserted strip mall in search of coffee for Andrew. Multiple buffet options they had. Coffee, they did not.

When we got back to the theatre, it was open. They let us stash our luggage in the box office. At the last minute, we forfeited laughter for the option of watching people die. We bought 4 tickets to “The Hills Have Eyes”.

There was still time before the movie started, and guess what they had in the lobby…DDR!! The perfect way to burn off the A-Bomb or a plate of fried eggs and grits! I’m sure the employees of the theatre aren’t accustomed to having a group of young adults with suitcases come into their theatre on a Sunday, buy tickets to a horror movie and then play 3 rounds of DDR.

The movie got out a little late. Andrew called out cabbie. I guess he had been there already and waited for us, then drove off. He came back about 10 minutes later. It was 2:20. He said it takes 45 minutes to an hour to get to the airport. Our plane was taking off at 3:53. He told us we might miss it. Andrew and Brugos said we’d be fine. I was worried because I like to worry.

But we were fine. It didn’t take 45 minutes to get to the airport. I don’t know why the guy told us that it did. Maybe he likes to make his passengers sweat. Maybe it was revenge for making him wait. Regardless, we checked in and got to the gate no problem. I even had time to buy a sandwich.

On the first flight we had both Hotchip and the Research. I felt pretty cool to be flying with rock stars.

For some dumb reason, our flight connected in Chicago. When we taxied, the captain told us we weren’t able to get to the gate. The time of our connecting flight drew near and even though it was due to leave from the same gate we were landing in, it seemed like we might miss it.

Andrew and I passed the time by looking at pictures on his camera phone. He also logged onto MSN and sent Sherwood a message saying we were stuck on a plane. This confounded Sherwood, who then texted me on my cell and said “I just got the strangest message from Andrew.”

Eventually, we got to the gate. When we de-boarded, we discovered that not only was our connecting flight delayed, but that it was actually THE SAME PLANE we were just on. It would have been nice to have that information earlier.

On the flight from Chicago to Seattle, Andrew was kind enough to share his video I-Pod with me. We watched several episodes of Futurama, the Apache video, the first 10 min of Rear Window and half a Seinfeld episode before the battery died. Unfortunately, there was still quite a bit of time left in the flight. Andrew nodded off. Brugos was a row up and over and asleep. I cursed people who are able to sleep on planes and then I restlessly took to my puzzle book. And for some reason, the grumpypuss stewardess didn’t want me to have any water.

We finally landed in Seattle, were picked up by Andrew’s lovely friend Libby and home we went to sleep and prepare ourselves to come back to reality.

Who wants to go to Austin next year?!

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