I started the first day of SXSW the same way I began the night before: watching Carol Bui, this time at the DC Does Texas party. She delivered another great set. I was especially impressed with her new songs that have a strong middle eastern influence.
Middle Distance Runner was up next. I'm digging their new song, "The Unbeliever". It seems destined to be used in a commercial at some point.
After seeing MDR I left the DC Does Texas party for the Bitch Magazine/Kill Rock Stars party at Club Deville. I arrived in time to catch the end of Horse Feathers. I was in total fanboy mode for Thao and The Get Down Stay Down. I was hoping to hear some of their new stuff but wouldn't have cared if they played "Jazz Odyssey" by Spinal Tap. They started a little sloppy but really came together as the set progressed. They debuted one new song called "Body". Thao had almost a hip-hop delivery with the lyrics which was a new direction for her. The crowd loved the set and Thao's amusing stories about stealing soup from Whole Foods.
I caught only the very end of the Deleted Scenes set at DC Does Texas. So after Thao ended I walked over to see them play at the Tronco/Monstro Party, a party sponsored by the Brazilian government (I think). Two things all true Brazilians love (besides going pube-less): good music and alcohol and there was plenty of both at this party. The Brazilians also loved Deleted Scenes. It was a fun day party and the best set for Deleted Scenes at SXSW.
I ended the day parties by going back to the Kill Rock Stars gathering for The Thermals. Hutch Harris, the lead singer, is one funny dude. He took the stage wearing tiny speedos that had some unfortunate holes in them. This isn't to say he's merely a clown onstage. Their songs deliver a punch - often to the religious right. Their latest single, "Now We Can See" is another winner and has me thinking their upcoming album could be their best yet.
After a full day I took it easy at night. I met up with friends at Ace's Lounge to see Dignan before hitting 6th Street. I met up with other friends and since they didn't have a badge or wristband we needed to find an unofficial showcase. We decided to see The Harlem Shakes...but didn't. Instead of staying upstairs with the bands we grabbed a booth downstairs to rest up and talk. Next thing we know there's a huge line to get back upstairs. No worries. There were plenty of bands to see on Day 2...