Friday, March 18, 2011

LOL/OMG/SXSW Day #3: Riot girls, The Strokes, shirtless midgets

Our SXSW correspondent Robyn Lewis is still tearin' it up in Austin! Follow her antics live at @LOLOMGSXSW!

Day 3: 4:39am / March 18th

Another day, another series of outrageous events here in Austin.

After just a few hours sleep, I rolled out of bed looking like a caveman on acid. And without even my morning coffee, I wandered over to the NPR party where Tune-Yards were playing an early 1pm show hosted by Mary Lucia, who we ran into in the back alley. She was on the phone talking on air with fellow MPR host Barb Abney, and passed the phone off to City Pages music editor Andrea Swensson for a word. Since the venue was to capacity, Mary and MPR program director Leslie Walker shooed us up the back stairs. After catching a captivating Tune-Yards set, we ran back out to the alley, right past the Seater Kinney and Helium chicks - basically the entire 90's riot girl movement (now performing in a band called Wild Flag). I practically died and had to supress my urge to yell "SCREAM" at them all.

After recovering, and having Huevos Rancheros down the block, I met up with half of Minneapolis to have a dance party to one of my favorite sets of the festival so far, the brilliant Dominique Young Unique. Nikki Minaj, you'll have some stiff competition with this bitch, mark my words.

The crew then shuffled down to Maggie Mae's, where Sims performed to, yup, a group of Minnesotans.

I strolled on down 6th Street to find my friend, painter Chuck U doing scribbling some mustaches on a canvas outside the Copycats Media day party where Rockford Mules were playing.

Next stop, the Village Voice Media party, where we had VIP access thanks to our friends at Gimme Noise. Free food and top shelf cocktails are always a treat after a long day of peeping bands.

From the rooftop patio, I could see the masses migrating over the river for the big headlining set of the year, the Strokes. Of course, I couldn't resist. But when I got there, there were mile-long lines which I just couldn't be bothered with, so I ninja-ed in, and was immediately whisked into a roped off area up front that turned out to be the Deaf section. Apparently, the Strokes have a huge deaf following. With everybody signing at me and assuming I was the deaf member of the press, I just smiled and put my camera up to my face and pretended to take pics, hoping nobody would notice my lack of sign language skills. Luckily, I was saved by the band of the hour taking stage. As the 50 deaf people that surrounded me silently screamed for the Strokes, my camera battery chose that moment to die, so no hot Julian Casablancas pics. But rest assured folks, the Strokes are every bit as kickass as they were in 2001.

After hopping a pedicab over back over the river to Mohawks, the official Gayngs was in full swing. Similar to the extravagana that happened a couple weeks ago at First Avenue, all our hometown boys and girls brought their finest to the masses of Austin. And much to our collective joy, the packed crowd adored Doomtree, Gayngs, Solid Gold, Marijuana Deathsquads, and Slapping Purses. It was truly spellbinding to watch people from all over the country loving these bands just as much as I do - even MTV tweeted that Doomtree was the best set they'd seen all weekend.

For the final song of the night, all the Gayngs members spontaneously whipped off their shirts....and so did a certain midget in the audience. That was our cue to high-tail it out of there and back to the hotel room for another few hours sleep till its time to do it all over again.

Oh yeah, and at some point, this happened. WTF?!

Follow Robyn's antics live at SXSW at @LOLOMGSXSW

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