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SxSW 2013 Recap

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Whew…It almost seemed like SxSW would not end for me this year.  This is the first year since 2009 that I didn’t live downtown but was still able to have free downtown parking access in my old apartment building thanks for my friend that still lives there.  I did have to be a bit sneaky about it and not be seen by the building mgmt.

3/12/13
Everything started for me Tuesday night after getting home from Houston with seeing my good friends Ancient VVisdom playing at The Jr (the old Emo’s inside stage).  From there I bounced over to Beerland to the “Sammi Curr  Trick x Treatwest” metalfest and caught The Blood Royale, Mutilation Rites, Gyspyhawk and Venomous Maximus.  Next up was seeing Broken Teeth.  Again, Jason McMaster is one of the best frontmen in rock.  No question. Final stop was on the Headhunters patio to see a few songs by Amplified Heat.

3/13/13
I got back to downtown on Wednesday around 2PM.  I was a little hungover from the night before, but was doing alright.  Lots of water, an early beer for the hair of the dog.  First band on tap was Vattnet Viskar, who were pretty unmemorable.  Royal Thunder was up next and to be honest, it was shit.  Enough said.  Pallbearer was up next and they were great as always.  I headed over to the Austin Convention Center to see the short film “Black Metal”.  It pissed me off.  It should up on YouTube gain soon, so please look for it and let me know your reaction.  Kat Candler can kiss my ass.  After the movie, I bounced around town through the 1000s of people.  Popping in and out of clubs and not really hearing much of anything I cared about.  I ended up at Texas Rockfest to see my friends from Ventura, CA called New Liberty.  They’re good kids and put on a good rock show.  The rest of that evening was spent just milling around until about midnight, then I went home.  I as still a little tired from the night before.

3/14/13
Are we there yet?  Got downtown around 10:30AM and was ready to rock out.  I grabbed a quick meal with my friends working at Chupacabra before the masses muddled in and headed back to Texas Rockfest to catch San Antonio’s Immortal Guardian at 12:50PM.  They were really good.  Total power metal and they do it pretty well.  Nice guys, too.   Later in the day, I returned to catch some of the band Hessler.  Let’s face facts, if the band didn’t have a scantily clad “hot” singer (not hot to me), no one would give a flying fuck about this band.  Other than the guitarist’s semi-rare Killer (brand) guitar, there were no redeeming qualities about this band.  NONE!  Didn’t really do much throughout that day but mill around.  That night I caught some songs by D-A-D.  I’ve never been a fan and I’m still not, but they played a solid set.  I finished the night out at Headhunters again and caught some songs by Suplecs.  They’re always a blast.  I was home by 1:30AM and worn out.  Lots of walking that day.

3/15/13
I’m feeling my age a little bit now.  Feet, legs and back starting to hurt, not to mention getting sunburned pretty well the day before.  I got back into town around 11AM and milled around until Brooklyn Vegan’s day party at The Jr.  First up was Vancouver, BC’s Baptists.  Holy shit.  They instantly became my favorite band of the whole week.  They were a crossover-ish hardcore band with a cool style about them.  Their drummer was fan-fucking-tastic.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch any of their other shows.  Look them up if you’re into that sort of thing.  Batillus (NY) came next and they were quite good.  Their bassist looked like a young Paul Di’Anno.  Next up was Richmond, VA’s Inter Arma.  They were also new to me but blew me away.  Damn fine stuff.  I skipped Royal Thunder and KEN Mode because I think they both suck, but also to go and charge my phone at my friend’s apartment.  I cam back a little later to catch Pallbearer again.  I missed Today is the Day.  The rest of the afternoon was spent pissing off, hanging with friends and just killing time until the night shows.  That eveing, my friend Pablo and I went to Bat Bar to see my friend Adriana for a quick drink.  Apparently it was a big hip hop party sponsored by WILL RAP 4 FOOD.  We went to the upstairs bar where my friend worked and apparently that was the VIP section.  We just walked right by the security guard who was stopping other people and making them wait in line.  We just acted like we were supposed to be there and no one said anything.  We had a lot of funny looks while up there as we were pretty much the only 2 white guys in the club.  After that I headed back to The Jr to catch sets by Cuba’s Agonizer and Ancestor.  It was decent thrash and black metal.  Attomica finished the night out there.  They’re a Brazilian band that formed the same year that Sepultura did.  They were ok (only 2 original members).  Ran into Immortal Guardian playing a set in the street too.  Good fun!

3/16/13
Worn out.  Tired.  Sore.  First plan of the day was to meet Hawkwind’s Nik Turner at End of an Ear Records at 3PM.  What a cool dude.  A legend!  Unfortunately I missed his show the night before.  After that I headed back downtown to fall into the madness again.  The order of the evening included great sets by Inter Arma, Howl and Power Trip.  Afterwards I ended up at Headhunters again to see The Evaporators featuring Andrew WK on keyboards.  Always a fun show.  Nardwuar is hilarious and The Evaporators are pretty much the happiest band on earth.  I’m pretty sure Nardwuar can be considered the original hipster, but in a good way.  In the street I saw Immortal Guardian…again!  On the way back to my car I went to Stubbs to catch up with my friend Leah.  Unfortunately Vampire Weekend was played.  COMPLETE SHIT.  It was about 1:30 and my body told me to go home…so I did.

Overall it was a great SxSW.  I didn’t get to see Prince like I had hoped (and everyone else hoped they could too!).  Not a lot of bigger metal bands this year.  Can’t wait until 2014!