Greetings from Austin: SXSW Roundup
SXSW is a whirlwind that takes a couple different perspectives to truly grasp. From bands whose memories may be hazy from countless, back-to-back gigs, to one photographer along for the ride capturing proof, we have those viewpoints.
Hector traveled to Austin with his band Slump, and friends True Body. "The city [was] on fire with things to do," he sends me, cut and copied from his iPhone notes, "it was always a party."
"The last show of this tour left my mind floating in a bubbling black lagoon," he said of playing tons of shows in a row and feeling the toll. "My head burst and I nearly passed out. It felt like I had died, collapsing into a black hole, sucked in by my bodies physicality; no control. Confronted and simultaneously halted in the life thresher. It’s not healthy."
"When I came to I was surrounded by friends and strangers alike. Here I am in Austin, Texas doing what I love, emptying my savings for the sake of traveling. American Psychonauts, plunging into an endless sea of crisp fur, infinite and vast hills lush with wild flowers. We’re all cackling like hyenas, gunning it on hi-way 35 for a good time."
His crew crashed with Hector's childhood friend, and speaks of his eclectic, much older roommate. "Tony and Isaac stayed up until the serene blue light caressed their retinas," talking to "John," Hector recalls. "John bought 4 hits of acid from me - i was charging $40 for the strip - he gave me $60 because 'he liked the mania in my eyes.' He took them right then and there."
"The Meow Wolf installment at Empire Control room was my fav part," said another John who attended. "The tacos were my favorite part," said Neal, "but I did see some good bands in between eating delicious Mexican food in Texas’ liberal oasis." He was there for a second time with the same band under a new name, Super Doppler. "I still didn’t see half of the bands that I wanted to see."
They did catch Crumb, at the wrong location after waiting several hours. "Crumb had originally announced the show at the wrong co-op a couple blocks away, the one where I heard two guys were kayaking in the pool the night before," Neal said, killing time by "[picking] up some beers from the corner store nearby and [hanging] out for the evening next to a broken trampoline in the backyard."
Apparently, it was worth the wait. "By the time Crumb came on stage - if you could call it that - the sun had started to set, casting shadows on the graffiti’d walls of the house," Neal said, "It was a welcome contrast from the drunken hordes and corporate showcases that seem to dominate SXSW sometimes."
Check out more photos via Craig Zirpolo below: