Mar 19, 2009 - 12:26 PM
Day 1: Hotter Than Texas
Not to rub it in for those not attending, and apologizing in advance for the stupid cliché (I did write this shit at 5 am) but SXSW is a music lover’s wet dream—for guys, this would be the equivalent of two chicks at the same time, with a third cooking you a steak dinner. Shows and parties all day and night, with some free drinks too (though I heeded the big homey Ken Taylor at XLR8R's advice and din't get fucked up before 2 pm). We (asshole-in-chief Zoneil Maharaj and photographer Ariel Zambelich) knew going in that it would be madness, but linking up with some friends killed the anxiety and nervousness. Getting off the plane Tuesday afternoon, we learned the Texas heat was no joke—there’s a reason people say “hotter than Texas” to describe triple digit weather and burning gonorrhea.
We left our cheap, shitty and super far hotel and hit downtown around noon, linking up with Todd from the Houston Music Review. We wandered around 5th Street, where most of the venues were at and hit up Emo’s to check out the one-man garage-punk band Wavves, one of the acts we were told not to miss. Backed by a drummer, sole member Nathan Daniel Williams looked like a 14-year-old jamming in his bedroom, with his fuzzy guitar dripping a little So Cal sunshine pop. There’s a reason he’s playing a dozen shows this week. After checking the short set, we hit the streets again.
Given the limited hip-hop presence (in comparison to indie rock) and all the homies that were crashing SXSW, it was inevitable to bump into our folks Bambu, DJ Phatrick and iLL-Literacy. We made our way to the Levi’s X Fader Magazine fort—a huge, makeshift citadel where you didn’t need a damn SXSW badge or wristband to catch some great shows and down free Budweiser tall cans. (Rumor has it—well, according to Drizzle and Phatty—that Kanye’s performing there on Saturday.) At the fort, we got another wristband that we can’t take off for the rest of the week, bumped into other homies (Trackademicks, DJ Tap 10 and various Honor Roll representatives), grabbed some beers and kicked it.
We (Ariel and I) dipped out before catching B.o.B’s set since he’d be rocking more shows and so we could make sure we’d get to Back Alley Social in time to catch the Agency Showcase. As far as official SXSW shows go, this was the one to be at for hip-hop: Doomtree, U-N-I, Common Market, Blu & Exile, Blue Scholars, The Grouch & Eligh, Charles Hamilton, Brother Ali and Zion I (in that order).
But you're prolly sick of my rambling, so check the photos below. The rest of the night continues in the captions...
Zoneil Maharaj is editor-in-chief of Oh Dang!
Ariel Zambelich is a contributor to Oh Dang! Check out more of her work at www.arielzambelich.com