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The Ross Who Knew Too Much

Friday, March 18, 2005

SXSW Day Two in exhaustive detail!

-- My SXSW Thursday started at a listening party for the new Gorillazalbum. Verdict: It sounds a lot like the first Gorillaz album, but slightly different! Damon Albarn -- who looks much more handsome in person -- and new Gorillaz collaborator DJ Danger Mouse -- he of that whole "Grey Album" Beatles/Jay-Z mashup thingee -- were hanging around watching people listen to the album. It was very dark inside, so I imagine this was a fairly difficult task. Also, much to my dismay, Danger Mouse was not wearing his mouse outfit.

-- Next stop: The Village Voice party, where the Kills headlined. I've never been overly impressed by the duo's albums, but live they're something to behold, wallowing in Velvet Underground/Jesus and Mary Chain style noise and filth. Both were clad almost entirely in black, with guitarist Hotel (a.k.a. Jamie Hince) even sporting a lengthy black knit scarf. And it was 70-odd degrees outside at the time. Now that's commitment to a bit.

-- After the Kills, I chatted with 2024 Records' newest employee David Campbell, who also performs with Accident Clearinghouse and co-hosts the excellent "Homegrown" radio show on KQRS. The Kills, as it turns out, was his first actual gig at SXSW. He's been spending most of his time at the festival's many panels and workshops, taking copious notes and getting all sorts of insider info on how to make 2024 a more efficient record label. David was also convinced the guy standing in front of us during the show was Tears for Fears' Curt Smith, and I'm 86 percent sure he was correct.

-- Yesterday, I reported that MTV's "The Real World" is shooting its current season in Austin, and the cast have been given the task of filming a documentary about SXSW. While leaving the Village Voice party, I saw what appeared to be a "Real World"-type guy -- blandly good-looking, muscular, lots of teeth -- conducting an on-camera interview with a pirate. (I'm not making this up.)

-- Spotted on the street: Senior, of the amazingly fantastically wonderful hip-hop/garage rock/dance duo from Denmark, Junior Senior. I wanted to ask him if he had a spare copy of the ultra-limited new Junior Senior 7-inch single "Itch U Can't Skratch," but, you know, I'm not a total nerd.

-- Another street spotting: James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem. He was, don't forget, the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids.

-- After that, I hit a party for Spin magazine, held at a rental house located a taxi-ride outside of downtown Austin. It was a very cool place, indeed, with spiral staircases and balconies and hot tubs and several open bars stocked with Absolut. It sort of felt like being at a party on an episode of "The O.C." The ostensible reason for the gathering was to promote the top-shelf rock documentary "Dig," which explained the presence of at least one guy who is (or was) in the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Onetime Smashing Pumpkin James Iha was also there with a headful of bottle-blond hair.

-- Freebies from said Spin house party (beyond, of course, all the booze): "Dig" lighters, packs of Zig-Zag brand cigarettes and flasks emblazoned with the Spin logo. I snatched up one of the latter, even though I already own a flask and I've only used it once in my life, at the R.E.M. show at Midway Stadium in 1999.

-- I met a very affable editor from Elle Girl magazine over margaritas at a Mexican restaurant named Jaime's Spanish Village (my foreign-language nickname back during my three years of high school Spanish was Jaime, although that was just a happy coincidence). I asked her how the New York fashion elite felt about "Project Runway," which was affiliated with her sister publication, Elle. See, I was absolutely obsessed with "Project Runway," and after its recent finale, I felt like a small part of me had died. Anyway, she said that, in general, NYC fashionistas enjoyed the show, but quite possibly not as much as me.

-- While I have yet to run into him, former Twin Cities rap guy Har Mar Superstar is in Austin. I would imagine he has been bragging of his sexual prowess to the ladies.

-- I made it over to the Kill Rock Stars showcase just in time to catch St. Paul's own Jeff Hanson. And that angelic voice of his isn't just some nifty studio trick. His live show consists solely of him, his guitar and that gorgeous falsetto, which instantly turned the heads of even the most jaded hipsters in the house.

-- Hottest show of Thursday night? Sublime stoner rockers Queens of the Stone Age were set to play a not-so-secret show at the invite-only Entertainment Weekly party. I returned to my hotel to eat pizza and blog away, but I can only imagine Jessica "The Shaw Report" Shaw was holding court in a corner, tossing off witticisms like this: "IN: Vowels; FIVE MINUTES AGO: Consonants; OUT: The letter Y."

-- Second hottest show of Thursday night? Controversial Sri Lankan hip-hop artist M.I.A., who (apparently) does not rap about tsunamis. Still, the show had fans lining up for hours (and it's not unpossible that there are still people queued up for it as I type these very words).


Blogger roxy said...

funny details, feels like i'm there right along with you, and nearly just exhausting ... love the fact that 'real world' is filming a doc. challenge: ross, you should try to get on and say something snarky, see if it makes the cut.

7:27 AM  

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