By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
9 P.M., COPPER TANK
Irish Night at this blond-wooded, cigar-roomed brewery yields a fun guitar-synth band that's very U2, but, to quote Jonathan Weiss of Haiku Entertainment, the lead singer really needs to sell the lyrics more.
9:50 P.M., ELECTRIC LOUNGE
Since this music festival is apparently run by the same regime that made Italy's trains run on time, everything operates like the Swiss watch other Swiss watches aspire to be. Bands start playing on the hour and end at quarter-till, so you have time to scoot over to your next club. I slosh through thunder showers to catch Orange Kandy from Japan, two guys and two gals who seem to be having the time of their lives. Not only are they adorable, they play the happiest hard pop I've heard since early Redd Kross -- a little Go-Go's, a little Aerosmith, a little Blondie.
11 P.M., BUFFALO CLUB
Diane Izzo's debut album had blown me away with gutsy songs and passionate singing that recalled PJ Harvey and Patti Smith. Maybe it's the weather or the fact that this cold and uncomfortable artsy space is trying way too hard to look like it's in Soho, but her set clears half the room and virtually halts all bar service.
MIDNIGHT, BOB POPULAR
What a great name for a nightclub. Music writers I know, whom I formerly trusted, made Arling & Cameron sound like DJs who might actually make original sounds. Okay, so they throw in some kooky theme songs. Thinking up reasons why this isn't really music is making me feel old, so I head out.
12:30 A.M., BABE'S
Michael Quercio's third in a series of bands with bad names, Jupiter Affect, sounds amazing -- stirring pop that should have drawn a lot more people. â
1 A.M., SOHO LOUNGE
There are so many Wanda Jackson fans packed into the upstairs of this brand-new club that when I go downstairs to the ladies' room during the fourth song, they're not letting people back up. But Wanda sounds pretty good from down here. "It took y'all long enough to invite me to your hootenanny!" she hollers.
DAY 3: FRIDAY2 P.M., AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER
How could I possibly pass up this panel discussion called "Artists: How We Make Records" with -- yes, really -- Kinky Friedman, Beth Orton, Exene Cervenkova and Richard Fairbrass (the guy from Right Said Fred)? While Exene doodles and Beth Orton spills water on Kinky Friedman, the I'm-Too-Sexy guy rambles on about what a thrill it was when he first heard his hit on the radio. Shut up Fred. (I got his autograph later.)
4 P.M., STUBB'S
L7 finish their soundcheck for a later show just in time for a party thrown by Stern Publishing (The Village Voice, OC Weekly, Seattle Weekly, City Pages, Long Island Voice, Free Times and this dead-tree paper). Some genius from the Seattle Weekly got the idea to give away cowboy hats, which has the effect of making everyone happy, but not as happy as the cute kids from Orange Kandy, who are expertly adapting to SXSW behavior -- simultaneously drinking, cavorting and stuffing down chicken wings. "The world needs more Japanese people," astutely observes party-thrower Diane Mooney. I spill beer on Exene. Robert Christgau doesn't.
6:30 P.M., WATERLOO PARK -- ANTONE'S
After a stop by Waterloo Park for Fastball, it's over to Antone's for the coveted Antone's Records' BBQ with blues artists Toni Price, Barbara Lynn and Guy Forsyth. The label's publicist is Cary Baker of Baker/Northrop Media Group, a veteran of 12 South By Southwests making his second appearance in these pages in as many weeks (and he's married to my boss). Baker is so skilled at his party/schmooze management that on an average convention day he will attend five receptions, shake 75 hands, hand out 50 business cards and hear 20 different acts. Next year he should head a panel on networking time management.
The 'cue and blues rule, and the chiles hurt like Texas promised.
10 P.M., LA ZONA ROSA
MIDNIGHT, AUSTIN MUSIC HALL
DAY 4: SATURDAY1:30 P.M., AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER
"How Has the Internet Changed the World of Publicity?" is the question posed to a panel of six top PR people. Everyone seems to agree that e-mail has eliminated the time-consuming task of small talk and good manners.
3 P.M., ELECTRIC LOUNGE
Triple X Records and Popsmear magazine throw a sleazy blowout. Austin's Brown Whörnet -- best name of the week -- does the comic art-rock thing in the parking lot. Inside, the Streetwalkin' Cheetahs make me forget that there's no food and no free alcohol (assholes) by making rock clichés fun again.