Sunday, March 20, 2005

South By Southwestie, I Hardly Knew Ye

Oooh, my dogs are barking! SXSW does this to me every time. I'm in dire need of one of those hot water foot massager things like Linda Lavin used to use during the opening credits of "Alice," because I am 100 years old!

Saturday night ended up being the most fun I've had during this year's SXSW. I was just along for the ride on Tanya B.'s rock-n-roll odyssey; sometimes that's the best way to go, just wherever the wind and your pal decide to take you. We started off at some brand-spankin'-new club on San Jacinto called Lattitudes or something equally laff-inducing, to see Scottish guitar-drum duo Sluts of Trust. They were very good--kind of like the White Stripes if they had a talented drummer, and the singer had a wonderfully versatile voice with lots of falsettoes and growls and whatnot--but for us the show was marred by a) horrible sound problems (the mic kept going in and out), b) intense heat and smoke, c) the constant distraction of checking out the parade of fashion-forward lads and lasses (so many pants-tucked-into-boots looks! so many pairs of colored tights! so many pinstriped suit jackets!) and d) the juxtaposition of said hipsters with the cheesy boob-enhanced bar staff (one of whom had the odd habit of covering up her exposed cleavage while leaning in to take drink orders--why pay for the implants, wear a teeny tiny tank top, and then block a dude's view of the merchandise? it just didn't make sense!--while another asked me what I meant by the word "Jameson's"). The band was definitely worth checking out, but I was glad to get outta that place. To paraphrase Woody Allen, I was about to be rushed to the hospital with a case of bad vibes!

Finished up the night at the Jackalope, where we saw Frenchie innovative and influential electro/punky punks Metal Urbaine and another performance of The Original Dirty Rapper (sans Frodo), Blowfly, mainly because Tanya B. wanted to see Denver's own Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, whom she had seen earlier at a day show.

Having been told only that the band was good and contained a cello, I didn't know quite what to expect, but it turned out to be the highlight of the festival for me. It's one of the best and rarest things about SXSW: The discovery of a new favorite band. Munly sounds a little like a cross between Nick Cave (when he was great) with a dash of old-timey country and possibly a smidgeon of The Pogues thrown in--although their sound is really hard to pin down, which is always a good thing, in my book. Great songs, beautiful musicianship (especially the drummer and string section), intensely dark and evocative lyrics--the band was a real pleasure to behold, all the way around. I'm not usually that into la musique dramatique, but suffice it to say that I bought the cd and am very much looking forward to their next Austin appearance...that is, if leader/songwriter/singer/guitar-player Jay Munly can make it back. He seemed quite ill, with dark purple eye circles, a pallid complexion, and the overall look of a death's head. A seriously talented death's head, but a death's head all the same. It was kind of hard to watch, yet riveting at the same time...Here's hoping he takes care of whatever is ailing him and makes it back down here in better health!

Speaking of The Pogues, ill health, and death's heads, here's another installment in The Doomed Love Affair of Pete Doherty and Kate Moss, courtesy of Page Six:
Druggie musician Pete Doherty celebrated St. Patrick's Day performing at a London bar where he was joined on stage by Pogues frontman Shane McGowan. The two Guinness-swilling hellraisers sang incoherently together for 10 minutes, according to a witness, before McGowan stumbled offstage. Doherty's girlfriend, model Kate Moss, meanwhile, was seen fighting with bouncers who tried to shield her from photographers, yelling, "Let go!" and "Stop dragging me!"

Wow. Pete Doherty, Shane McGowan, a speedball, great quantities of Guinness...and thou: A real recipe for romance! Actually, though, I can't believe that particular dynamic duo lasted ten whole minutes onstage. I'm impressed at their staying power. Kudos, sirs! Well-played!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nick Cave *is* still great.