by David Downs
40,000 Superheroes Descend on Austin, But When Everyone's Super, No One Is
Devoid of A-listers like E-40 or AFI (hey, they sell), the twentieth annual South by Southwest music conference functions as an answer to a bizarre hypothetical question: What if you lopped the celebrity head off Coachella, stuffed it with even more blog bands, and moved it to the only metropolitan democratic stronghold in Texas? Weird. Austin weird. The sky throbs with music and schmoozing as roughly 40,000 music hacks, flacks, and lawyers continue to herd into Austin for more than 1,500 bands at dozens of venues over five days. East Bay highlights include shows by rap acts the Pack, the Federation and Mistah F.A.B., indie rock material from Street to Nowhere and Birdmonster, plus at least a dozen more Bay Area acts.
The festival population has supplanted the local 50,000 or so meatheads that go to Austin University but currently drink tequila shots in Cancun on spring break. For this one week every year, it appears that local Austinites have traded meatheads for hipsters and traffic snarls for millions in revenue. Poor bastards. On behalf of the herd, I say to Austin, "Thanks for letting us in. Sorry in advance for puking on the couch."
And now, video of Birdmonster: And a slideshow of Birdmonster:
In the next SXSW post:
Rock lion Buzz, the lead singer of the Melvins, tells East Bay readers why he's playing with all the little brats. Hint: It ain't the frat boys.