Day Two: Straying Far From Sixth Street

travels.pngSince I knew I wasn’t getting into the big car-sponsored Motorhead gig after being tipped off by a friend that the line had stretched around the block two hours prior to the show, my experience yesterday at SXSW was all about finding some day parties that were off the way-too-beaten path downtown–travels which took me first to a patio-rich pizza party in South Austin, then to a beer-and-pool bar east of the Sixth Street strip that’s become the Austin home of promoter Todd P, and finally to a carousel-themed bar northeast of downtown where I instantly felt at home, and where I’d probably spend the rest of the week were I not beholden to things like trying to see more bands than I did last year. I spent about 50 bucks on cabs, but given that I crashed out immediately upon my return to my hotel room, I’m going to think of that cash as an investment against eating too many late-night tacos further on in the evening.

DEPARTURE FROM HOTEL ROOM: Thursday, 11:48 a.m. CT.
RETURN TO HOTEL ROOM: Thursday, 7:40 p.m. CT.
WEATHER REPORT: Gray in the morning; broiling in the afternoon.
BANDS SEEN*: Six: Chris Mills, Mussels, Ponytail, Gowns, The Black, Air Traffic Controllers. Running SXSW total: 16.
DISTANCE BETWEEN THREE VENUES I ATTENDED: ~5.7 miles.
BLOG-SPONSORED PARTIES ATTENDED: One. Running SXSW total: One.
PANELS ATTENDED: Zero. Running SXSW total: Zero.
NUMBER OF TACOS CONSUMED: Three (one al pastor, two chicken al carbon).
BEST BAR DECORATION: The giant wooden elephant at the Carousel Lounge..
BEST AMENITIES, NON-OPEN BAR VARIETY: The Carousel Lounge had a pretty nice jukebox, too. Did I mention that I really liked this place?
BEST DISCOVERY, NON-MUSIC: Hey Cupcake!, an Airstream trailer that doubles as a cupcake vendor.
SECOND-BEST DISCOVERY, NON-MUSIC: In Austin, a “setup” is when you go to a liquor store and buy booze and a mixer for imbibing at a beer-only bar nearby. And people think New York nightlife is on the cutting edge.
LONGEST LINE: The Scion-sponsored Motorhead/High On Fire/Napalm Death show, the impossibility of which bummed out every friend I ran into during the day.
TOP “WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN AND WHY ARE WE HERE” MOMENT: Watching Don’t Forget The Lyrics as I ate dinner. But I think that show inspires those feelings in me no matter where I am.

Idolator’s complete SXSW coverage

* Where “seen” = “caught two or more songs by.”

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  • the rich girls are weeping

    Oh, bless us! You found the Carousel Lounge. (Yay, setups!) Give it a big hug & kiss for me. My old office is about half a mile up the highway…

  • Ned Raggett

    How was Chris Mills, anyway? Always had a soft spot for him ever since I caught him doing a great show to about ten people in a slightly scruffy bar in Edinburgh.

  • Maura Johnston

    @Ned Raggett: i am biased, because he is an old pal, but he sounded great, and his new material is a big step above what he’s been doing.

  • Ned Raggett

    Very cool!

  • Anonymous

    Carousel Lounge’s pretty cool. I didn’t realize you’d be venturing so far off the beaten path (yes, 5 miles is far when everything’s packed together downtown). Please tell me you’ve been eating at interesting places as well.

  • rogerniner

    “The Scion-sponsored Motorhead/High On Fire/Napalm Death show”

    When did the Scion ad campaign switch from Ministry Of Sound to Church of Satan?

  • heyzeus

    I live down 51st street from the Carousel Lounge. If you’re not afraid of clowns and circuses already, you will be once you visit. Last year Okkervil River filmed a concert DVD in there, but it hasn’t been released yet, sadly.

  • jt.ramsay

    That line initially snaked around the corner, but then moved very briskly into Stubb’s at precisely the moment I was trying to shoot a piece on long lines at SXSW. That piece was killed shortly thereafter.

  • Anonymous

    Stubb’s is so huge, it almost doesn’t matter how long the line is; you’ll definitely get in for any show if you have a badge or a wristband. And people here don’t seem to rush right up to the stage like they do so often in some cities (like my home town of Seattle). Right at the fence tonight for the Ting Tings, Santogold, MGMT, and the Cribs, was a treat. (Better behaved crowds here, too: try moshing or crowd surfing and get your ass booted out pronto.)

    On the other hand, a lot of the people who lined up around the block yesterday definitely not get in to see the NPR day show at the Parish (much smaller than Stubb’s), featuring the Shout Out Louds, Jens Lekman, Yeasayer, Bon Iver, AA Bondi, and yes, Vampire Weekend. And what a great show it was!