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Guitar Heroes

Metallica, Other People Rock SXSW on Friday


Getting a cab from a house in South Austin at around 2 p.m. on Friday of SXSW might take a couple hours. But that’s alright, because once the music mayhem starts, it goes all night.

Let’s just cut to the chase:

Magnolia Cafe: Cornerstone of the ‘hood known as “South Congress,” so named because it’s south of the river on Congress Street, the road that smashes into the capitol building downtown. Made it there just in time to find friends leaving breakfast. Their Web site .

Guero’s: Que onda guero? This place, if you like tequila, beer, chips, and live March Madness basketball. (Everyone pulling for the Pitt upset, but didn’t happen.) Across South Congress from the dopely named “Homeslice” pizza place. Visit online .

Austin Mass Transit: Seventy-five cents gets you a long ride somewhere, and if you’re lucky, there might be some dude playing his guitar, however horribly, to keep you at ease. Book a ride now.

Driskill Hotel: Fancy, architecturally superb hotel in the middle of downtown, at Sixth and Brazos streets. Urinals feature river stones to piss on. Bar (grand piano, lots of what appears to be mahogany, dudes who know their liquor) is a solid place for a couple drinks to ease the time away. Getting married there during SXSW? Nuts, but occurs. Book a room.

Guitar Hero Showcase: Me not a big fan of Metallica - could even say I don’t really like them at all - but they were top billing at this Stubbs showcase, perhaps the most awaited “established band” party. So when super line exists, and I don’t have the special/faster line pass, I was gonna go nap in the hotel room of buddy Jeff Theimer, who owned said good pass. But then I ran into Eric and Rick from the Santa Barbara Bowl in the slow line, hung out for about an hour in the hot sun, and wound up inside. New game coming out.

Bassnectar: Long-haired deejay from San Francisco, has previously rocked the unfortunately no-longer-happening Lightning in a Bottle mini-Burning Man fest near the Santa Ynez River. Strong spinning selections. Check him out.

Silversun Pickups: “East L.A.” band, got tough - or good? - slot opening for Metallica. Was involved in long, informative conversation about the difference between publishing and recording rights, so didn’t hear much. People like them though, so see their site.

Guitar Hero Showdown: Grand championships of the video game on stage, pre-Metallica. Pretty funny, intense stuff. Some guy won. He should play real guitar.

Metallica: Don’t like ‘em, but they blew the roof off the non-roof outdoor arena. Can’t say enough about energy, enthusiasm of crowd, intensity of vibe. Way to go, old guys. They got a new album, I’m told.

Flexibility: It’s the key to enjoying life, and certainly the only way to enjoy SXSW. When you make plans, they fail, so roll with the punches. Can’t remember why this part goes here, but it does.

Mirah: Lovely little/jam-packed show at Antone’s. Mix of Joanna Newsom, Mazzy Star, and other pleasantries. Great backing, classic voice, girlish charm, cute perma-dimples. I think she’s coming to Santa Barbara soon. See her.

Pedi-Cabs: Scammers, in our collective estimation (supposed to be $10 total, turned out to be $30 or so), but saved us some walking back to mid-downtown.

Photos © Erica Urech

Lady Sovereign: A recent visitor to the S.B. Bowl, the Brit chick rocked the tent zone at Club Deville. Interesting venue, where you can see the stage through the back window of the bar when waiting for a drink. Try her Web site.

Asher Roth: White boy rapping. Good vibe-hyping, fun lyrics, crowd dug it, danced, etc. I was wondering, though, why the songs were so choppy/sporadically paced, and why it seems harder for black rappers to draw such a crowd at SXSW. Listen yourself.

Return to the Moontower: After much movement/pizza/waiting/etc., made it back to Red Bull’s Moontower. Once again, problems for other friends trying to get in. Once inside, everyone cracked out on the drink, but fun anyway.

Shwayze: Malibu’s finest hip-hop duo. Head-bobbing mandatory. Bring them to S.B. ASAP. Try them out.

5:30 a.m.: The time one goes to sleep, if one leaves the party (thankfully) early.

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