When last we spoke, I was about to depart for a supposed “secret” Beastie Boys concert. I’m making those little air-quote thingies with my fingers around the word “secret” because, when I showed up outside the venue about an hour and 15 minutes before the gate opened, the line already stretched around the block.
(If you need the visual, and feel like clicking “Next” 21 times, check out photo 22 of 59 in this photo gallery.)
Said the Austin American-Statesman newspaper:
The biggest surprise acts, such as the Beastie Boys at Stubb’s on Thursday, were swarmed by badge-danglers and wristband-wearers.
Well, kids, if being a badge-dangler is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right, for ’twas my dangling badge that got the K-I-D into that swarmed Beasties gig, whereupon my badge-dangling was surpassed only by my rump-shaking.
As a longtime Beasties fan who, until last Thursday, had never seen them live, I am pleased to report that Mixmaster Mike, Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D brought the noise. Suffice to say that they got everyone off the wall who was playin’ the wall.
Other artists I checked out during this year’s SXSW included:
- The Giraffes, whose show basically served as a (mostly & admittedly kick-ass) soundtrack to a 40-minute demonstration by the band members that could have been titled “You Know You Have a Drinking Problem When … “
- Talib Kweli and Jean Grae — Turns out live hip-hop shows are incredibly entertaining; who knew?
- Juliette & The Licks — As in actress Juliette Lewis, who I had no idea was a singer, and who gave a surprisingly good performance.
- Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders — Taylor being the drummer from the Foo Fighters, and whom, I discovered, somehow ended up staying at the same less-than-stellar Holiday Inn that was my temporary home. (Incidentally, this discovery is filed under “Jon’s SXSW 2006 Starfucker Moment,” wherein I impulsively blurted out “Hi, Taylor” after noticing him standing relatively close to the table at which I was seated for breakfast. He responded “Hey” while looking at me as though he had never seen me before and had no idea who I was … which, in his defense, he hadn’t and, therefore, didn’t. In a desperate bid to lessen my douchebaggery, I told him I was a music journalist, that I had once interviewed his friend and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and that I was planning to hit his show that night, to which he replied “Oh, cool, thanks,” a phrase that I chose to interpret as, “You have lessened your douchebaggery, and have demonstrated that a restraining order won’t be necessary.”)
- Damone, a Boston-based band fronted by the reincarnation of Leather Tuscadero whose performance transported me back to the glory days of hair metal—and, amazingly, I don’t mean that in a bad way.
So, to sum up SXSW 2006: Good music; several consecutive nights of sleep that were neither punctuated nor truncated by the cries of small children (though, it turns out, they’ve destroyed my sleep pattern to the extent that I am incapable of remaining unconscious for more than a few hours at a time); some decent (and free) food and drinks (to include a meal at Roy’s that was the nicest dining-out-on-the-company’s-dime experience I’ve had since the NASDAQ imploded); and some quality time among co-workers with whom I communicate almost exclusively via email and instant messaging the other 360 days of the year. Can’t wait for SXSW 2007.
But, if I may quote Dorothy, “There’s no place like home” … even when one returns to a wife and two kids who are all ingesting antibiotics. Hey, they may be sickies, but they’re my sickies, and I missed ’em.