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SXSW Day 3 - Wrap Up

By malan     Mar 16, 2007 in Entertainment
We meet Perry Ferrell, Stars of Track & Field, Martha Wainwright and more...
Ok, I'm having trouble even considering trying to capture everything that happened yesterday and put it into this laptop... where do I even begin? Oh, I'll start here.
Yesterday I forgot to bring my camera. Worst. Mistake. Ever.
Somehow we knew it, we knew that due to the fact that I did not have my camera we'd experience some amazing things, meet some amazing people and have photo ops left and right and sure enough... we were dead on accurate. We were dropped off in the middle of downtown by the guys from Red Book Audio and were on our own for the entire day. I'd say we were out there for at least 12 straight hours. 2pm to 2am... what happened in that 12 hour period was truly amazing. Here goes.
Mexican food at a small place a local turned us on to. George and I were starving from not eating dinner the night before. We shoveled soft tacos into our mouths and enjoyed the fact that we were sitting down for a while. I picked up the SXSW schedule and started reading funny band names outloud. Some of the funnier ones that stood out were ShitDisco and My!Gay!Husband! we laughed and laughed and then I came across a name, Martha Wainwright... as soon as it came out of my mouth George snatched the schedule out of my hands and started screaming. It was Rufus Wainwright's sister and she was performing at the convention center on a tiny stage in 9 minutes. We bolted.
Stars of Track & Field were wrapping up their high energy, indie rock ala Smashing Pumpkins nephews as we entered. We sat in the 2nd row, the stage was strikingly accessible. Martha came out and spoke to the stage crew, her tuner battery was dead, she borrowed one from Stars of Track & Field, then... she sang. I don't think I've ever seen someone sing like that, so full of soul and emotion, her face streaked with pain, holding an expression one would expect to see on the face of a toddler that just realized she wasn't getting any ice cream... it was amazing. She kicked her leg up in the air as she sang along with her finger-picked acoustic music. Tears welled up in my eyes several times. After the set we were able to walk up and meet her and thank her for the great music before we moved on.
We were back out on the street (after I knocked all the tea boxes off of the Starbucks mobile coffee shop stand) looking to make our next move. I opened the schedule again and had yet another Aha moment. It was about 4:30 and Perry Ferrell, rock icon, creator of Lollapalooza and singer for the band Jane's Addiction was speaking at a panel that had been going since 3 o'clock. I screamed "we've got to run" and we bolted for the convention center to see if we could catch the end of it. We found the room and were walking towards it when we saw him.
Walking towards us in a tight blue suit, was the man himself... the singer who single-handedly changed my life and made me a singer when I was 15-16 years old, Perry Ferrell. I saw him, he saw me. I said "Perry! I guess we missed the panel?" He replied "yeah man... gonna have to catch it next time" and it was on. We shook hands and got to talk for a while, he was with his wife, the same woman I'd seen him with 10 years ago when I stood outside one of his sold out concerts in Dallas in hopes of catching a glimpse, she was there, looking at me... smiling. After we talked we decided to follow him, why not? Let's see where he goes after the panel... so we walked 10 paces behind him through the convention center. It was hilarious to watch people's faces as he passed them, people were doing double-takes left and right and I saw one man mouth the words "Oh My God..." when he floated past him on the escalator. Once outside the convention center they walked to a black limo and disappeared into traffic.
We headed into downtown to catch the D-Fest showcase in hopes of seeing some Tulsa locals and got what we were looking for. We saw everybody... Davit Souders, Angie & TJ from DFest, I got a Diablolical hoodie from Souders before he announced the next band that was playing... then... we saw him. Wayne from the Flaming Lips was there, Angie pointed him out to me and said "He's doing interviews for the tonight show with Jay Leno, he's Jay's correspondent" and sure enough there he was, giant cameras followed him everywhere he went, he walked the streets, we walked with him and he interviewed people that crossed his path, asking them about their bands, videos and even MySpace.... Pretty soon a crowd started to gather and he was mobbed for photos and autographs and he appeased everyone that asked, a really nice guy, no ego, attitude or anything, just a really nice guy, with really curly hair and a pimpin' vintage suit. We sat on a curb to rest, then headed to Starbucks for coffee.
Around 8:00 we were looking for the Martha Wainwright / Pete Townsend show but couldn't find it, we ran into the guitarist from Stars of Track & Field and I stopped him to tell him we enjoyed the set earlier. He said they were playing 3 shows that day and he was exhausted, we talked for a few minutes, then my phone rang. I got a call from RayDog, an ex-Tulsan and program director for 104.5 The Edge who is now living in Austin and hosting a radio show on Sundays called 'Chillville.' We found each other after several phone calls and ended up at a place called 'The Parrish' a medium sized venue in the heart of downtown Austin. He introduced us to another Tulsan, I forgot his name but Ray claimed he "started" The Edge back in the day, very nice guy. We talked and talked and then she came out on stage, Meiko, with a smoky voice, stand-up bass player and trumpet player, it was amazing. We were mystified by her music, really laid back jazzy stuff that blew us away. Next up was a guy named Rocco Delucca and The Burden.
The man walked onstage in a white T shirt and with a few quick notes, ripped the walls of the building down and took us to another place, another time. I'm convinced at this point that he is either possessed or sold his soul to the Devil because no one sings like that naturally. I'm telling you, think of who you think is the best singer of all time, ever and multiply the range, quality and passion by 1 Million and you have Rocco Delucca. It was so good, so passionate, so amazing that again tears were in my eyes and I had to rethink what I was doing in my life, because with singers like that on the planet, the rest of us are really in trouble. At that moment the trumpet player from Meiko's band walked by, I grabbed him to tell him how great I thought the band was.
He was very nice to us and within seconds had invited us backstage to meet Meiko, we followed him through the crowd and sure enough there she was. She was a tiny thing, with an accent, it turns out she's from a small town in Georgia with a population of 808. She got her start singing in talent shows and was known as "the girl that could play guitar" and years later she was a touring musician. Ray pulled out his recorder and did a quick interview with her, afterwards she admitted it was her first time. We hung out backstage for a while then we were off. Mute Math was playing at a different club and I couldn't miss it.
Ray hailed a cab and took us to the Cold War Kids showcase in a different part of downtown. The show was packed, the band was good, but not great and we took several breaks so Ray could smoke on the patio. While at the club we met Amy who owns Hits Magazine, a national music magazine. She was a SXSW panelist and spoke earlier that day with Tom Morello and others about how to make money in the music biz, she said she'd done the festival 21 times as a panelist, Ray looked at me with wide eyes, this girl was huge. While on the patio we also met a man that MC'd the SXSW awards show earlier in the day, a writer from Esquire Magazine that stood as tall as a house, very nice guy. It was nearing 11pm and I had to see Mute Math, I grabbed George and Ray, hailed cab and we were off.
The line to the Dirty Dog Bar was going down the street and I never thought we'd have made it in. Ray performed a magic trick somehow and within seconds he was standing in the doorway waving and screaming "Malan get over here man!!!" he'd cut in front of at least 100 people and wam, bam we were inside. The club was packed and Mute Math was walking onstage. I ran into their guitarist as he walked towards the stage and stopped him to talk for a second. I told him I was a big fan and all that, had seen them 3 or 4 times and he thanked me for being there. We talked for a minute at most, and then he walked onstage. Mute Math proceeded to put on one of the best shows I've ever seen live. This was my 4th time to see them and was definitely the best show I've ever seen them do. They were all over the place, jumping, sweating, breaking their instruments, dumping water on their heads. Paul dived onto the Rhodes piano face first several times, the crowd went crazy. I was standing on the front row and the energy was electric. Mute Math tore it up. They ended the show with 'Reset' and instrumental track and by the end of it, the drums were knocked over, the microphone stand had broken in half and Paul Meany was slamming it onto the piano keys, intense. They ended, we walked out. Ray was gone into the night somewhere, I lost him during the show, we never saw him again, I'm sure we'll run into him again tonight. I am appearing live on his radio show 'Chillville' on Sunday where I will be interviewed alongside Jamie Kennedy - MTV's prankster and reality show star. You know Jamie, yeah that guy. I'll be playing acoustic and spinning songs from my new CD and Jamie will be talking about what he's up to, I think he's rapping now. That should be quite interesting.
So overall we were right, I forgot my camera and sure enough we met everyone imaginable, had so many photo opportunities it was unreal and yes... I met Perry Ferrell... which was my #1 goal and dream of this entire festival, if one thing could have happened to make my life complete that was it. In my book there is none bigger, none. Mike Patton is up there but Perry... yes, that is tops for me and we did it, face to face. Viva!
Tonight we hit the strip again (with camera in-tow) to do it all again. I will update you on those events tomorrow, including what happens at my show today at 3pm at Aquave.
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