Wednesday was the first official day of South By Southwest’s music conference, and overall, it seemed pretty low-key, with the day’s biggest names coming from rock’s various old guards (R.E.M., Van Morrison, Naked Raygun) and the day’s biggest sounds coming, as one might expect, from the pedaled-to-the-metal Raveonettes. After the jump, I break down the day, from tacos to temperatures.
DEPARTURE FROM HOTEL ROOM: Wednesday, 12:28 p.m. CT.
RETURN TO HOTEL ROOM: Thursday, 12:10 a.m. CT.
WEATHER REPORT: Pleasant in the morning; sorta-broiling by midafternoon; chilly once the clock struck midnight.
BANDS SEEN*: Ten: YACHT, Raveonettes, Mae Shi, The Death Set, Yellow Fever, Soiled Mattress & The Springs, Air Waves, Kirsten Ketsjer The Rock Band, Delorean, Peel. Running SXSW total: Ten.
BLOGGER PARTIES ATTENDED: Zero. Running SXSW total: Zero.
PANELS ATTENDED: Zero. Running SXSW total: Zero.
NUMBER OF TACOS CONSUMED: Five (two al pastor, two hard shell ground beef, one chicken fajita)
MOST USELESS ADMONITION TO AN AUDIENCE MADE UP OF MUSIC FANS: Above, the sign inside Emo’s.
BAND MOST FITTING ITS ENVIRONMENT: The Raveonettes, who played the back patio at Emo’s just as the weather was getting really warm, which only made their distorted-like-crazy guitars shimmer even more.
BEST REASON TO AVOID THE CONVENTION CENTER: The possibility of getting rabies.
AM I UPSET THAT AVOIDING THE CONVENTION CENTER MEANS I HAVEN’T PICKED UP MY BAG YET: Not really, if only because this way I’m putting off the inevitable regret that comes from throwing out 87 sheets of brightly colored, useless paper and some U.S. Army propaganda.
BEST AMENITIES, NON-OPEN BAR VARIETY: Perhaps this is where we’ll be seeing the “downshifting” in the ever-contracting music industry this year, as there wasn’t much free stuff that wasn’t consumable to be had anywhere that I went. Or maybe I haven’t been invited to the right parties!
BEST DISCOVERY, NON-MUSIC: The Bad Flags Blog, which is pretty much what it says it is.
WORST PICK-UP LINE FROM A BARBIE TWIN: “You’re drinking the wrong beer,” uttered by a Miller Lite-shilling blonde woman who was trying to get a table of Lone Star drinkers to switch to her brew.
TOP “WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN AND WHY ARE WE HERE” MOMENT: Reading other writers’ impassioned SXSW coverage, then clicking over to Google Trends and finding out that the No. 1 music-related search (non-”Eliot Spitzer’s call girl” division) wasn’t even the misspelled “catherine mcphee,” who was on American Idol last night–it was “david foster,” who accompanied “catherine” on piano.
* Where “seen” = “caught two or more songs by.”