Best New Band

Pete and the Pirates/ First Communion Afterparty

Pete and the boys were the only band I made the effort to seek out


SXSW - My Best Of

Best New Band

Pete and the Pirates/ First Communion Afterparty

Pete and the boys were the only band I made the effort to seek out twice. Their super-fueled take on modern Brit Pop coupled with the fact they are the most cheek-pinchabley cute band since Blur rates them high on my list.

First Communion Afterparty come off like the bastard tour children of Zia McCabe and Anton Newcombe, abandoned in the suburbs of Minneapolis. They look hip, sound incredible, and borrow just enough from their musical parentage to turn kids under twenty-five on to neo- psychedelia and make anyone over 25 feel real, real old.

Best Freebie

Beer (of course)

Lone Star and lots of it.

Best Place to Crash

Your own bed.

Living in Austin completely changes your SXSW perspective. You take the whole thing a little easier. When contemplating that after-afterparty your own bed will lure you home much earlier than a shared to the max hotel room ever will.

Best Band -Sought Out

Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles

Maybe you've only heard his records and don't get the big deal about this folk-acana troubadour. Trust me kids, I've seen him many a time and if showmanship were gold this lanky lad would be Fort Freakin' Knox. His shows are a rollicking good time and leave you feeling that sweaty, drunk, elation that live music is suppose to inspire.

Best Groupies

The gorgeous Brit girls at the Q Magazine festivities.

Looking like they spent hours getting ready and freshly tumbled at the same time, they carried off a timeless hottness you'd expect on the arm of Mick or Keith back in the day.

Speaking of Groupies.......

Best Semi-Celeb Encounter

My fairly major and rather embarrassing spaz over meeting I'm with the Band author Pamela Des Barres.

Ms. Pamela, who has got to be knocking on sixty's door and looks like a million smackers was out to support her latest honky-tonk honey Mike Stinson's SXSW appearances (and teaching a writing workshop here in Austin). Despite traversing what could be unappealingly icky territory her books are entertainingly juicy tales of growing up in love with rock 'n roll. Her books turned me on to acts like Captain Beefheart and the Burrito Bros in my teens, that may have taken me years to discover otherwise. I've never understood why people find her so divisive. Jeez, you'd have to be a blind, deaf and frigid moron to pass up the opportunity to sleep with Jimmy Page in 1970.

Best Band-Stumbled Upon

Other Lives

Maggie Mae's is an extremely spreadout venue and when I finally got up to the roof for their "Throwdown" an absolutely terrible band whose sound was current on commercial radio somewhere around 1998 and looked like they were all auditioning for Rock Star:Supernova were finishing up their overwrought, microphone clutching set. I fled to a side room with a tiny stage where Other Lives were just getting started. A study in minimalism, these Oklahomies exhibit an emotionally genuine yet seamlessly tight performance. A must hear for fans of Fleet Foxes.

Best Way to Attend the Event

Credentialed, darling.

You may be the best RSVPer/free-list seeker/sweet talker in the world, but to get into the really good stuff at SXSW you need at least a wristband. Sad but true.

Best Free Nibbles

SXSeattle party

While they lasted, the little samosas and sushi were yummmerific.

Best Event Photos

My house guest Christopher Nelson

Chris shoots events all over Seattle and these photos will make you feel like you were actually there. Crack a Lone Star and enjoy.....

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