Five minutes before Cloud Nothings began their set at The Longbranch, after Weekend made every hand in the crowd grip their beer cans with white-knuckled lust, the last of the rum & Xanax crawled into the back of my head and took a nap. A warm breeze blew me and all the other dusty t-shirts away from our cigarettes and into a crowd of people who weren't there to get a free iPhone case or see Jack White.
We wanted to get drunk and listen to music. Music so close its spit hits our forehead. Music too loud for earplugs. SXSW is about as bloody as spectacles get: we plastered Fiats with Night Cooter at the Fader Fort, and loved telling Michael Cera to “stop being a pussy” as he watched Thee Oh Sees from the periphery of the pit. Furtive joints smoked meters from police, punctuated only by the blue goo of a porta-potty and the sticky ass beats of Shabazz Palaces. Memories like these write themselves. Booze + Sun + Geetars + Clammy/Winterized Skin = Fun (and “Don't Move Here” shirts from the Austinites).
Former Austinite Taraka Larson of Prince Rama at the Imposition
So we did. High-fiving kids with Andrew WK shirts, clapping our dirty hands for “The Greatest Accordion Player in Japan,” always careful to wave to the woman in curlers on a porch at Navasota & Hackberry (Hackberry! Austin has a street called “Hackberry”—and “Short Hackberry!”) who saw far too many Animal Collective shoes trample her turf. We toasted the sun with Tecate and made the moon bow for my friend's carnitas. We laughed pronouncing the band name “Daughtry.”
Our esteemed colleague is correct to eulogize SXSW, but lets dance on it's grave. Because when the free energy drinks run out and you're sleepwalking through airport security, kept awake only by the clenching of your ass cheeks as 5 days worth of tacos painfully extract atonement, you won't think of all the QR codes you scanned. (If you scanned any QR codes, please walk into your kitchen, grab a kitchen knife, cut off AT LEAST one thumb.) You'll think about how Sal, the Branch bouncer from Queens, reacted to Gobble Gobble's parade of bliss: “This shit is fuggin' GOOD.”
Gobble Gobble at the Imposition
Also: we won.