SXSW news

Fight! (Photo By Aubrey Edwards)

"I want you all to drink so you can fuck each other." – Josh Homme, Queens of the Stone Age, approximately 1:35am Friday morning

Eastside Suicide

Depending on the spin, Austin's Eastside is either underdeveloped, crime-ridden, and backward, or laid-back, affordable, and progressive. Obviously, either situation makes it the ideal sector of town to host an afterparty.

This year the annual soiree thrown by Charles Attal Management, Capital Sports & Entertainment, and DKNY Jeans outgrew its previous quarters at the East First Garden Theater, and welcomed desert lords Queens of the Stone Age, post-punk wunderkinds the Bravery, and Hollertronix mash-up boy Diplo into a gigantic hangar off East 51st. It was a little roomy, but a guest list upwards of 1,500 tends to do that.

Sighted among the throng were CAM party alum Har Mar Superstar, ditzy diva (and Texas native) Jessica Simpson, and for the umpteenth time since Monday night, Austin Mayor Will Wynn. Gravitating toward friends at such outsized events is natural, and "TCB" waited out the teeming bar line with filmmaker Bob Ray, who hopes his Roller Derby documentary is ready for Toronto next year. Over a plate of free Stubb's chow, Yuppie Pricks vocalist Trevor Middleton III expressed his astonishment at their heavy rotation on XM Satellite Radio's punk channel, so much so that their upcoming 10-day tour has a stopover at XM HQ to do a live studio recording.

Among the Bravery's forceful if overly Cure-like mope-pop and Queens' low-center-of-gravity seductions, there was plenty of party behavior. Someone cracked, "Hey, are there any black people here?" as one stood right in front of him. Even before Queens finished, an outbreak of cab-jumping in the departure line out front threatened to degenerate into a full-on scrum. A not entirely joking "We should stone them" was a definite cue to leave.

The Scottish Invasion Party at the Tillery Street Theater off Pleasant Valley was more intimate if no less besotted: Multiple drunken make-outs were in progress, guys in kilts briskly ferried beer from keg to pitcher to plastic cup, and at least one dude sat passed out in his seat. Austin's Real Heroes, playing host alongside the saintly Julianna Gilchrist, gamely weathered inaudible monitors by welcoming Beatle Bob onstage to pantomime along to an extended instrumental jam, and rocked the woozy but enthusiastic audience anyhow.

Scotsmen Dawn of the Replicants and Bee Thousand turned in sloppy-fun sets as the clock staggered toward 5am, when an ice chest full of Jell-O shots got rolled out. But of course. Someone had the audacity to mention a house party on East 30th, where Erase Errata, A Frames, and Black Lips were supposed to be, but this night was over.

Indie Right Direction

It used to be all about the Spin party, but all this year's had to offer (at least early on) was the unremarkable Louis XVI, host Matt Pinfield so hoarse he sounded like a girl, and more pale faces than a John Ford flick. The Vice party, though, held at Austin's historic Victory Grill, was much more happening. The Caribbean-spiced toastings of Chronicle Daily cover girl M.I.A. came lilting into the foyer as Leyla Borraho discussed Austin's newest label, Indierect Musicians' Incubator. "We wanted to help our friends in bands get out there," she says of herself and friends Brian Jones and Daniel Perlaky. Indierect hosted day shows at Spider House and Exodus all week, books a regular Friday-evening slot at Spider House, and will put out local up-and-comers Ghostland Observatory and Purchase New York next month. "We want to help bands be able to eat more than canned food," Borraho laughs.

Accident & Casualty

SXSW can be a rough experience, to be sure, and nerves have been fraying all week. Cruiserweight singer Stella Maxwell was shaken up but otherwise unharmed when a car accident kept her from attending Wednesday's Austin Music Awards. Nashville punks Immortal Lee County Killers were likewise unharmed in a highway collision, but the back door of the van wasn't so lucky. Brendan Reilly of Austin's Single Frame witnessed a tirade during his band's Co-op Bar showcase, where the owner threw things at employees, knocked over equipment, and soon enough had SXSW bigwigs on the scene. Finally, fisticuffs erupted Friday at the Blender Balcony when Kevin Bybee of Austin's the Arm, after lending his drums to New Zealand's Mint Chicks, took exception to the way they were being treated and rushed the stage. Though his head was split open in the ensuing melee, Bybee went ahead and played the Arm's showcase. Sheesh.


Count this one under the "mirrors ain't just for chopping, y'all" heading: A Chronicle colleague informs "TCB" that as of Friday afternoon she's had to "tell five different people they have cocaine on their face"… Outlandishly attired Japanese punks Peelander-Z extolled the virtues of steak at the KVRX day party at Elysium… Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin were seen having dinner at Starlite Cafe Tuesday night… Damon Albarn chilled at Devin the Dude Wednesday and his own Gorillaz listening party Thursday, but for some reason missed his former Blur bandmate Graham Coxon's superb showcase at Stubb's… Attention locals: After months of "in two weeks," the Longbranch Inn really does have liquor now… Todd Snider and Lyle Lovett joined Robert Earl Keen onstage at Antone's Thursday… The SXSW party bus was parked outside the CVS pharmacy at 11th Street and I-35 Friday. Stocking up, perhaps?

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