Girls Can Tell
This morning, after a lot of lollygagging, the better half and I moseyed on down to Las Manitas for what we hoped would be a delicious, leisurely breakfast rife with people-watching. And believe you me, there were plenty of people to be watched. Crammed into a corner table on the patio, we absorbed the anxiety of the staff as they ran around at a panicked speed while also checking out our fellow diners (hats off to you folks drinking Dos Equis at 10:30am).
Tortillas and Sympathy
It was no surprise to see Alejandro Escovedo there, looking understandably peaked after an eventful Wednesday night at the Austin Music Awards. In tow were his daughter and his lady, Kim. The horde, in large part, left the family alone to dine in peace, probably because everyone was so tightly packed at their tables that begging for autographs was more trouble than it was worth.
On our way out, I spotted Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne nestled into a cozy booth at the front of the restaurant. This sparked a brief debate about acceptable boundaries when approaching celebrities in public; Mr. Coyne was kind enough to not tell me to fuck off when I barged up to his table. In fact, he was such a champ that he's my new celebrity boyfriend. Call me, Wayne!
Giddy after my encounter with the head Flaming Lip, I ended up getting lost in the convention center on my way to Robert Plant's keynote speech, which was really more of an interview than a speech, but maybe we're defining what a "speech" is a bit more loosely these days. I zigged when I shoulda zagged and found myself gasping for breath in the un-air-conditioned part of the center. After briefly entertaining visions of being found emaciated and delirious weeks from now, I gathered my wits and got to the overflowing room in time to hear Plant talking about
Elvis? I missed the context of that part of the conversation. No matter, though: What's really important is that Mr. Led Zeppelin and I both wore green pants for St. Patrick's Day. We're clearly kindred spirits.
The Tag Team/DIW Magazine party at Emo's was incredibly well attended, thanks in no small part to the Wrens' 1pm time slot. Word has it that the New Jersey rockers' Wednesday-night showcase wasn't as overstuffed as last year; people are obviously employing day-party strategy to maximize their SXSW experience. The guys tore it up, as usual, and bassist Kevin Whelan gave the locals a nod in his Okkervil River T-shirt (aw!). Stars provided a serviceable follow-up, with lead singer (and birthday boy) Torquil Campbell introducing a song by saying, "This is a song about fucking someone you hate." Something we can all relate to.
Not Your Mama's Day Party
Meanwhile, Los Angeles chanteuse Inara George soothed tired ears and souls on the inside stage; it's nice to inject a little estrogen into this relentless testosterone fest every once in a while. Onward to the SXSE party (formerly known as the P2 BBQ), where we hoped to catch the Apostles of Hustle in order to whip up a makeshift Broken Social Scene cocktail. No such luck, but we did see the Long Winters, who don't have a showcase this year but graced us with their presence anyway. This seems to be the party for families, as it was a rugrat-and-pooch convention over there in Cherrywood. It's good to know that breeders get equal opportunities to rock here in Austin.