So here it is, Friday night and I'm opting to stay in to write. Let's get retroactive.
Last night, Wednesday night, we visited Levi's and FADER magazine's FORT (don't ask me what it stands for) tent to watch B.O.B. and Little Boots. I don't know either of them but they were modestly entertaining. More than modestly entertaining was the free booze with zero lines. My initial thoughts, after waiting for 20 minutes to get our event passes (Pete, Mandy and Josh were all somehow on the guestlist. Me, just a plus-one), are that I have never seen so many hipsters, wannabes, rockers, douchebags and photojournalists ever in my entire life. In one place. Not even Williamsburg can really compete. Sooo many dudes on such an epic scale. I am kind of embarrassed. Not that I don't look the part. I have black boots and Raybans and bored eyes, etc. I just...I think about how if my dad could be there with me, how I wouldn't be able to take it. How every look I'd give him would come ready-made with an apology. And my dad's not even a square dad. He just purchased his third motorcycle after something like a 30-year road warrior hiatus.
What eases the pain is the amount of gorgeous women walking by me every second. Granted, you lump thousands of 18-40 year-olds into a warm trendy place one's bound to brush elbows with a showstopper or two. But it's not even about how attractive the girls are since every last one of them looks like they'd probably net the shortlist of lifelong best girlfriends. They wear the ironic big glasses and have nice tats, dress smartly and look like you could talk with them easily about John Milton or Duvel. It made me really lonely, hitting those crowded streets. South By Southwest is a bleeding-heart hell because not only do you want to cuddle on Sunday afternoons with most of the ladies you pass, but with most of the dudes too. Dudes either so laughably pretentious you question the sociopathic tendencies necessary for not punching them in the face, or dudes of a more cuddly puppy variety who’d make ideal companions for getting tossed through a bar-front window with. (Hey, this is Texas.). Again, the free nonstop SoCo and diet Pepsi went a long way towards affecting these impressions.
While waiting in line for my pass to the FORT event (want my wristband, Julie?), I stand next to Shepard Fairey, and little do I know it then, but in less than 24 hours I will top this celeb-sighting when I meet Joseph Gordon Levitt. Mandy finds Graham Coxon and gets her picture taken with him. In the meantime I shyly avoid the advances of a 19-year-old cutie in a good skirt, making excuses; my pasty unbathed Ohio skin, the bags under my eyes, I am a pussy, etc. I slink back and talk with Pete about a short film we want to make together that involves me taking my clothes off. We admire the easy, breezy, beautiful weather (so warm, yet so dry!) and talk shit about the people around us.
After the show, we boozily/wearily stumble down to Sixth and Red River--ground zero for post-show partying, man. The streets are all roped off, bands are playing aftershows in every other bar, which Austin is packed to the brim with. On our way to meet up with Bad Veins we run into recent Southgate House sell-outers, Pomegranates. My initial impression is that they are a sweet little pack of handsome young men, all of whom my roommate would probably want to make out with in some kind of darkened area (just wait til you meet them, Ian). Josh, their bass player, tells me it's their first time at SXSW and I tell him it's mine too. Interview number one in the can.
Interview number two is out as Seb and Ben are holed-down at an exclusive event I can't get into. The bar they're shagging ass in has no front windows for me to get thrown out of, however, and because of this I get the next best thing when Seb leans out over the railing to give me a very tender kiss on the cheek. While Ben attempts (but fails) to get us on the list, Josh takes me next door to Hoeks Death Metal Pizza and buys me a slice, because that's who he is. Hoeks is a window facing the street with Christian Death cranked over speakers so loud you can't hear yourself order the heat-lamped greatness. I love it.
Austin is a pretty cool town so far. It comes aplenty with those shitty-chic aesthetic dives that go a long way in making this clever young Cincinnati man feel right at home, but, the place is also gawdy and dumb-looking enough to allow me to appreciate the fact that I'm on vacation. It's like Disneyland for fuck-ups.
Stay tuned for my Friday report on Gorilla vs. Bear's Gorilla vs. Booze shenanigans. Thanks for the kind words on my first ever blog posting for CityBeat, though, I'm slightly frosted my rating went from five to four stars.