Wednesday, March 31, 2010

MTYMX IN REVIEW

MTYMX ^FT3R
"So, how was Mexico?"

That question has been coming up alot lately, often enough that I figured it was time I stopped putting off publishing this post. Given much of the negative and frankly uninformed press immediately following the festival, it's been important to me that I get this right.


A MOMENT FOR THE PRE$$

In retrospect, the main failing of many of the articles about MtyMX was simply a lack of perspective, particularly in that they were writing in accepted press style and employing more traditional press methods.

And here is where I say that if you're reading this, odds are I'm not talking about your personal blog or local online publication. Put down that rope, please.

You can hardly fault them for that. After all, they're press, right? Nice people. I made friends with alot of them. I mean, I was there as press too, and accumulating and analyzing "unbiased facts" and stats (think # of buses that were 10+ hours late, # of bands that dropped out, # people dead [0!!!], # of tents broken into [1!]) is a good chunk of what press is usually supposed to do. And yeah, some of the most obvious numbers naturally don't look so hot on paper. After all, it's hard to calculate smiles per capita at an after party.

Once those numbers and impressions are gathered, they have to be put in some context if anything is going to make sense to the reporter, much less the reader. The natural context for MtyMx in most people's mind is "music festival," meaning some large, overblown showcase of really big bands of today and yesteryear that lasts several days, charges criminal prices for bottled water, and has corporate sponsorship out the hey ho. Well guys, the fact is that MtyMx was never meant to be Coachella: Monterrey Edition. It wasn't even meant to be NRML, which I sadly had to miss. MtyMx was a different animal from its inception: utterly DIY, corporate subsidy free, and boldly inclusive.

And realize this: most of the people sent down there by more popular news outlets are not the most seasoned reporters (not that I am) and are by no means used to the difficulties that pop up traveling internationally (I guess I am). Smaller problems that were realistically simple inconveniences were overblown into "organizational failures" and "disasters."


A MOMENT FOR FRIENDSHIP

One of the greatest things about the festival was the lack of barriers. Ok, a language barrier was definitely there, but you can thank our underfunded education system and cultural narcissism for that. What I'm talking about though is how bands, organizers, press, "normal people," local kids, and smatterings of other internationals were all hanging out and meshing with few discernible divisions. Example: Dan Deacon was so all over the place eating tacos, talking to people, and giving high fives that he became what one attendee described as "the event's spirit animal." Ok, that attendee was me, but that doesn't make it untrue. Point being, the connections people were making felt palpable. Spending 12+ hours on a bus with 40 other people will do that.

A MOMENT FOR BIG YELLOW BUSES

This brings us to what I consider the primary source of the festival's woes: the buses. The delays and no shows and psychotic breaks among the drivers and breaches of contract regarding the state of the buses, etc. (the list goes on) created the scheduling woes that forced most of the attendees and bands that did not attend to decide to do so. Evidence? Nobody that took a Greyhound down had any problems. Thee Oh Sees and a few others had legitimate logistical issues that kept them from coming. I don't blame bands for not wanting to jeopardize the 1st leg of a tour they've been anticipating for months. On the other hand, the bands that were getting flown in that canceled, well that's just stupid. No sympathy for them. Andrew WK managed to show up:
Andrew WK
So why couldn't they? He's at least ten times busier than their lazy asses. Waiting around at borders is a regular part of international travel, so that's not really an excuse either. Expect it next time, guys. Most bands that canceled can now say "Oh, being scared wasn't why we didn't come," but sadly that was a factor for a few.


THE CROWD

All press and bands? No, not quite. The fact you could get a press pass by asking nicely might have had something to do with so many people being "press," too. Not that a press pass got you many boons. The one press perk was being able to get onstage, which was cool at first. Once I started to realize all my pictures were of band members' backs, the magic disappeared pretty quickly. After the drinks tickets were gone, everyone was pretty much in the same spot.

The Mexican kids who came out were all sweet, awesome, spoke better English than me, and were totally attached to their respective significant others at the hip. Some of them were saying the 3 day pass was probably priced a bit heavy. That's too bad. Would have liked to have met more of them.

THE TERRIBLE CRIMES COMMITTED UPON THE PROPERTY AND PERSONS OF US CITIZENS
  1. Two people that wandered into the hills surrounding the festival got their stuff stolen. Lesson: oops, don't do that.
  2. Two people had their tent slashed, losing a camera and some clothes. Locals brought back their passports. Lesson: some people suck, but some people don't.
  3. Some guy wandered into the slum with his camera and was told to leave by a man with a shotgun. Lesson: oops, don't do that.
Overall, the people involved in these incidents had great attitudes and were generally poster children for how to not lose your cool in a crisis. As I said before, nobody died.

Best Fwends
OH YEAH, THE MUSIC

So many bands backing out meant that the acts from Mexico got a larger share of the limelight. At the end of the day, that turned out to be good thing. Sure, the Yo Garage scene is a little incestuous and everyone is in everyone else's bands. You can say that about most successful scenes though *COUGH* BK *COUGH* ATX *COUGH*. It's really great there's such a thing as Yo Garage in Monterrey. If every town had a DIY venue or two like that, the world would be a better place. The sense of community was really great and shockingly not cliquey. That blew me away.

Musical highlights are up now. Click for on photos for larger sizes:

Mentira Mentira
Mentira Mentira: if punk is dead, then here is its seriously bad ass ghost.

Jovenes y Sexys
Jovenes y Sexys make really cute, adorable music and are nice people.

Alexico
Alexico needs to teach the world how to not make a heavily electronics dependent live show a dull, soul stealing experience. New favorite.

Best Fwends
Best Fwends absolutely stole the show on Monday. After seeing them at AWTHUMFETHT V, I can't say I was too surprised.

Das Racist
And hey guys, live rap can actually be really fun! If you don't believe me, then allow me to invite you to Das Racist's next show.

Liars
I would have been way more excited about seeing Liars a few years ago, but that's just because I'm a jerk. Their show lived up to all my expectations.

XYX
I hear XYX is hanging out in Austin for a bit, so be sure and check them out.

Ringo Deathstarr
Not only did the members of Ringo Deathstarr help me keep my sanity on that long long bus ride, they managed to sound amazing playing at 7 or so in the morning when we finally got to the after party. After setting up their tents in the predawn light, they woke up to play another great set that afternoon. That deserves some sort of medal.

Dan Deacon
I have yet to see a headliner show up Dan Deacon. Two words: mass hypnosis. There were some weird Jungian dynamics happening.

Neon Indian
But that didn't keep Neon Indian from trying. They're pretty good. You may have heard them on the Internet or something.

Telepathe
As one of the coolest things going on in Brooklyn right now, Telepathe did not disappoint, keeping things dark, even in the daylight. On that note, Indian Jewelry was really mind blowing, too. No pic though. My camera does not get along with strobe lights.

banjo or freakout
I'd managed to avoid listening to Banjo or Freakout before I saw them that groggy Sunday afternoon, but I'm glad I did.

Coasting
Coasting was good, as per every time. Troopers all the way.

Lemonade
Did you know that your favorite summertime beverage shares a name with a really great band? Lemonade are champion human beings.

Ratas del Vaticano
Remember when you were really into hardcore? Was your life an endless series of hooks and breakdowns getting stuck in your head? Ratas del Vaticano might make that happen for you again.

If you want more photos of MtyMx, I made a Flickr set for just that purpose. There's also a Flickr group for MtyMx that features many photographs taken by people who are better at it than me and/or own much nicer cameras.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line/comment. This now concludes ZinBin's coverage/hype of MtyMx.

DISCLAIMER: I MISSED THE FESTIVAL PROPER'S FIRST DAY. I WAS STUCK ON A BUS. SORRY I DIDN'T GET TO SEE YOUR BAND.

Friday, March 26, 2010

TOO BACK OO


Hello all,

In case you haven't guessed, I have returned safely from MtyMx. In fact, I have returned more than just "safely." I'm in a pretty inspired spot right now. Still, after doing a slew of write ups and interviews and trying to get them published in the right places and/or blah blah blah and all that other stuff I've had to do, I've barely had a chance to gather my thoughts about the festival. That process is not quite over. Most things I wrote during and immediately after the festival seem to lack perspective, which is why I haven't posted them here. There's been so much negativity and misinformation that I think it's important I do this right. Expect to read my thoughts soon. Anyway, hope all is well

Love,
Luke

Friday, March 19, 2010

SXSW HIT LIST FOR SATURDAY 3/20

Uh, why are you not going to MtyMx?

MTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXMTYMXALLTHEWAY

SEE YOU NEXT WEEK, AUSTIN

Monday, March 15, 2010

SXSW HIT LIST FOR FRIDAY 3/19

If Thursday leaves you able to stand, breathe, and think, you obviously weren't trying. The good news is though that Friday is going to give you plenty of chances to get rid of all that excess energy you have laying around

WITNESS FRIDAY
You have seen this poster before, no doubt. Note the red ink. It's there to tell you that Thursday's show is now at OK Mountain and Friday's show is now as Mass Gallery (916 Springdale). Friday brings us How I Quit Crack, Eternal Tapestry, Corporate Park, George Quartz, Psychic Violence, S U R V I V E, Vulgar Fashion, Sewn Leather, Picture Plane, Tearist, Medio Mutante, and Twisted Wires. Magic aplenty, so come get some

And these two shows don't really have posters, so I'm stealing some text from Todd P's site. You know where Cheer Up Charlie's is by now right? (HINT: 1104 East 6th St @ Medina)
Friday March 19th -NOON- @ MS BEA’S aka CHEER UP CHARLIE’S - Austin TX:: PPM / the SMELL PARTY:: curated by Dean Spunt & Jim Smith:: http://postpresentmedium.com / http://thesmell.org
5:10 :: Abe Vigoda
4:45 :: Total Abuse
4:20 :: Pearl Harbor
3:55 :: Gun Outfit
3:30 :: Randy Randall
3pm :: Tearist
2:35 :: Infinite Body
2:10 :: Pocahaunted
1:45 :: Residual Echo’s
1:20 :: Audacity
12:55 :: Devon Williams
12:30 :: Lovvers
12:05 :: Moment Trigger

WOODSIST PARTY:: curated by Jeremy Earl:: http://woodsist.com
11:10 :: Vivian Girls
10:30 :: Nodzzz
9:50 :: Bleeker and the Freaks
8:30 :: the Beets
7:40 :: Woods
7:10 :: Happy Birthday
6:45 :: the Mantles
6:00 :: Sun Araw
An early house show with free Zico water sounds like an excellent chance to rehydrate and catch your breath. Not noted on the poster, but vastly important is that The Fritzl Babies are playing at 2 PM. It's their first live show, but I got to see them practice last night and oh my how good they are. It's cute indie pop that skidded off the beaten track and slipped into a tar pit of greatness. We are enthused!

The shrouded man pictured above is here to tell you that Breathing Problem Productions is bringing Rusted Shut, Drunkdriver, Dry-Rot, Total Abuse, Rene Hell, Slavescene, Neon Blud, Weak Sisters, Cold Girls, Rayon Beach, The Men, Pigeon Religion, and White Dog (Members of Total Abuse and Rayon Beach?) to the Broken Neck. And there will be a keg popped at 8. Anything else you need to know: (right here)

Free high fructose corn syrup water and boozy wheat water at this free show that features Audacity, The Baths, Ratas Del Vaticano (YES!), Davila 666, Soft Pack, Grass Widow, Darker My Love, and Thee Oh Sees

The Temple of Boom resumes at Okay Mountain. Friday brings us Fungi Girls, Turbo Fruits, Lovvers, Winter Gloves, Golden Triangle, and Javelin. Further details (here)

Our pals at Broken Teeth are having themselves a day party. RSVP details and Myspace links (here)

Another tasty (read: limited supply of free beer) dance party for you daylight dancing needs. RSVP and details (here)

$3 entry gets you free beer, bunch of hard hitting DJs, and and escape from sunlight. Details! Details! Get your fresh details (here)

For those of you unfamiliar with Lamar Pedestrian Bridge shows, this could be somewhat of an initiation. Full details and lineup (here). They generally start late, go til late, and get real rowdy. BYOPopo

All that you see on this poster and more can be yours! Assuming you bring the "more," whatever that is. A solid live music option with a bunch of bands you'll probably care alot more about seeing this time next year

So, Andrew WK, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, DD/MM/YYYY, and everyone else on that poster are playing at 21st St. Co-op, the body around which Austin's co-op party culture orbits. I'd shy away from this, but I imagine seeing Andrew WK play 21st St Co-op would be like watching an alien king returning to his home planet. Expect pomp, circumstance, and partying real hard. The dude that is always naked there will probably be there, because he is always there

Undocumented Management is parading around their harem. And that's as far as I'm taking that analogy. Good to know dance parties still happen at night. The (details)

THESE WILL LOOK FAMILIAR
This will still be happening. Follow @carniville if you want to stay updated

This will still be going on, too. Hope you RSVP'd already!

THE SADDEST LONGSHOT
This party is probably going to be pretty fun. Unfortunately, I'm not alone in thinking that. I am actually anti-alone in thinking that. Simply put, this place is gonna be crowded. That AND only the day show is free; the night show is an official showcase, so non-badgers/wristbanders be advised. Details for the brave (here)

Friday, March 12, 2010

SXSW HIT LIST FOR THURSDAY 3/18

Let the hit parade continue. If you haven't been overwhelmed by the sheer number of options yet, you best prepare yourself. Follow a pace that fits how your feeling

THURSDAY: DIY WALHALLA/DANCEFLOOR DOMINANCE
IMPORTANT UPDATE: This day of the showcase will now be at Okay Mountain. An amazing lineup that's perfect for a lovely spring day. I mean, that's assuming you're big on looming, echoey vibes on lovely spring days. I am. It's a nice contrast. All my residual gothness aside, look forward to Pure Ecstasy, Silver Pines, Pocahaunted, Headdress, Young Prisms, White Rainbow, and more! A whole other mess of greatness on tap for Friday. You can get full details on both days (here). Highly recommended

No, Grace Jones will not be performing at Baby Blue, but perhaps all the really cool bands, tasteful DJs, and visual projection wizards contributing to this event can together measure up to how insane it would be if she were. They surely will in their own way. Highlights: Ratas del Vaticano, Mutating Meltdown, The Carrots, Neon Blud, White Boss, and ok, they're all pretty great. Full lineup and times (here). $5 for an all day/on into the night show like this ain't bad at all

I am unfamiliar with the breed of cat pictured above. A great chance to experience one of the most hallowed SXSW traditions: the backyard vegan snacks and beer daytime showcase. A rather diverse lineup, too. Cute video flyer (here) and full details (here)

To jump off the DIY or die track for a moment, the Austin's own font of crass and sass known as The Glitoris is masterminding a day show/Baby Monster single release party/Bigstereo label launch party that you won't want to miss. Get yourself RSVP'd to the nines (here) for free entry

If you're looking to escape from the downtown tangle for a spell, I'd suggest you attack this show for free burgers, free vodka, dirt cheap drinks, and maybe a game of pool or something. The bands are no slouches either. Go team Cassingles! Schedule and directions (aqui)

Our folk inclined friends from The Eastern Sea are playing a show at Monkeywrench Books and a few other places this week. Check them out

Fairly self-explanatory. Steed Lord!

It's an art show that's a music show. Remember those? Opening and usual accompanying treats at Okay Mountain. Bands will be playing inside the installation. Thursday brings Speculator, Prince rama of ayodhy, Sleep Over, Pure Ecstasy, Silver Pines, M. Geddes Gengras, Pocahaunted, Sun Araw, Headdress, Young Prisms, and Silent Diane, too. Good smelling stuff. Like baked goods. The shows continue Sunday. Details (here)

Word. Confuse. Order. Me. Toro Y Moi, Warpaint, Bachelorette, The Golden Filter, Free Energy, Memory Tapes, and Washed Out are playing a day show in the back lot of an Urban Outfitters, affording you a chance to see all these fun, popular bands in a smaller venue and/or get arrested for shoplifting purple flannel. Schedule for Thursday and other days (here)

A BYOB show at Rancho Relaxo! From what I understand, there aren't shows at Rancho as much as there used to be, but I get the feeling this one is going to be huge and packed out. Ok, I know it's going to be huge and packed out, because Rancho shows during SXSW are always insanely successful. 2 stages cramming in alot of good bands, whose myspace links and show times are behind this (link). Oh Facebook, how the people love you

Look everyone, an event to go to at night! Sponsored by the local college radio station, listen to what the kids are listening to with the kids. If you need crowd reaction interviews, do that here. Lineup is not set in stone, but includes Aa, Teenage Cool Kids, Hatred Surge, Endless Blockade, DD/MM/YYYY, and Ty Segall. It's at the former Obama campaign headquarters, so if you are especially psychic, you might see the ghost of our national optimism. Anything else you need to know is (here). No, I'm not tired of saying that, thank you very much

Another good lineup at Cheer Up Charlie's, formerly Ms. Bea's. If you want to see that poster change colors a bunch, click (here)

Ah Spiderhouse, haunt of my youth. This coffee bar turned bar... bar is hosting a 3 stage day show extravaganza, featuring Thee Oh Sees, A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Golden Triangle, and many more. (Click for details)

That DMT elf can only mean one thing: Broken Water, Moment Trigger, Eternal Tapestry, Weird Weeds, Total Abuse, Zs, Abe Vigoda, John Bellows, Infinite Body, and Earn are playing at Domy Books 12-6pm for $0

This poster doth much confuse my tired eyes. Where are the cute hand drawn things? I thought everyone agreed that's what we were doing for poster art this year. Someone doesn't check their email enough. My obvious reason for posting this: ANAMANAGUCHI's 8-bit madness. Details (here)

Reason: NINJASONIK, because they are sonic ninjas and good bartenders and awesome live

BIG PARTIES
A lineup that includes everyone except Elvis, but has no clear schedule attached to it per se. If you see anything you like, RSVP away. Definitely one of the multi-day events with the most buzz. Free booze? There will even be carnival rides if you feel like waiting in extra lines. Sorry, I dread lines so much. They are a great historical enemy of my people. Follow @carniville on Twitter for up to date details

There is also the continuation of (this). Free breakfast tacos from noon-1. Not many other scheduling details. People are all about the breakfast tacos this year

A SMALLER BIG PARTY (ONE NIGHT ONLY)
Details in non pink and white format (here)

LONGSHOTS
Look at the lineup. Plan to arrive early to claim your patch of grass

In case you don't get into that party that rhymes with Mader Mort, this is close by. Be warned, people love their GZA. Details behind this (link).