SXSW. Mecca for music nerds. Four days, 1,800 bands and so much free BBQ (and booze) that you just don't know what to do with yourself. Yes, it's that time of year again, and once more, FFWD's following as much of the action as can reasonably be expected from two guys in a crowd of thousands.
The music portion of the fesival doesn't kick off until today, but there were still a handful of shows last night, so we swung by Ms. Bea's to check out Daniel Francis Doyle and Expensive Shit. Doyle plays crazy-intricate guitar loops before adding in Hella-style drums and mostly unintelligible vocals -- that description makes it sound like a bit of a mess, but it's actually pretty badass. After that insanely complex one-man-band, the 8-piece Expensive Shit (4 percussionists, 3 guitars and lap steel) took the stage and made a swirling mess of noisey... noise. The rhythms were interesting, granted, and it was undenyably loud, but you'd think they could do something a little more fullfilling with such a huge line-ups.
Still, between a 75-cent bus ride from the airport to the hotel, gorgeous weather and a vendor giving away free ice cream sandwiches, Austin's already won me over in short order. Wednesday means a speech from Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, performances from Marnie Stern, Wavves and The Thermals and who knows what else. Can't wait.