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March 20, 2006
I fought SXSW and SXSW won

OK, actually I fought the limits of my own body’s endurance. In any case, nights that always extended too late and days that never began late enough have crushed me. But as I recuperate back at home, I have time to look over the past four days.

Basically, I was disappointed by none of the bands that I hoped would knock me out. Art Brut, Wussy, Giant Drag and Envelopes were all that I’d asked for. As for surprises, I’d like to hear more from the Grates, a more playful Yeah Yeah Yeahs from Australia, and the Brunettes, a young, adorable New Zealand band.

My weekend ended late Saturday night with a far older New Zealand band—the Bats. The stage for Habana Calle 6 is on an outdoor patio, and there’s a pavilion that stretches out past the club’s doors, where we listened to the band from a bench. And wafting up toward us, we heard a beat that’s insistent but never rushed, guitars that split the difference between chime and drone. In other words, music that was neither sleepy nor manic--the perfect soundtrack to my exhaustion.

And so, until next year, that’s SXSW…

Posted by Keith Harris at 12:08 PM