SXSWland Tales – Nick Cross

We didn’t go to SXSW this year, but a lot of people we know did.  We’ve thrown out the invitation for them to document their experiences here, in a little segment we’re calling SXSWland Tales.

Here’a another entry from our friend Nick Cross – tour manager for Asobi Seksu and co-host of the podcast Nick & Mat’s Infinite Shitlist.

Rollercoaster of a day.  My crew was cranky as hell (myself included) as we went to do the take away show for la blogotheque yesterday, but those things are always a pretty good time, and got the band back in a pretty good mindset for an afternoon of me rushing them back and forth to interviews and giftings.  I was able to score 2 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of sunglasses (free Ray-Ban’s? boom), and a pair of jeans.  Then we played the MOKB day party, which was packed and hot and sweaty and kind of awesome.  After feeling so miserable in the morning, we were all feeling good going into the evening.  That’s when bullshit started to take over.

After going home, getting a shower in, and eating some delicious Torchy’s tacos, we even scored a free parking spot downtown just 2 blocks up from Stubb’s, what could go wrong?  We headed towards Maggie Mae’s to meet our managers and see Other Lives and Twin Shadow, and started noticing the lines for every place seemed huge and out of control.  Normally the door guys are surly, but they were all starting to seem really aggro.  We got to Maggie Mae’s and there were only 2 people waiting to get in, but as we walked up, the jackass with crappy lip piercings and a mohawk working the door freaked out and started screaming that we need to form a line (really?  for 6 people?).  Within seconds, as if sensing they were missing out on something that must be so awesome the door guy can’t control it, 50 people were suddenly lined up behind us.  The door guy proceeded to lose his fucking mind and refused to let anyone else in.  A few other staffers came around and started separating “badges” and “wristbands,” and only letting in the people with badges.  Here we come to the crux of what is getting super fucked up here.  This year, instead of in years past, artists at the festival were only given wristbands that say “artist” on them.  While industry folk, and anyone crazy enough to spend the money, paid $900 for “platinum” badges.  Obviously they want these crazy people willing to give them tons of money to see bands who aren’t getting paid to get in wherever they want.  Not sure if regular people know this, but the bands don’t get paid to do SXSW, and their only real compensation is supposed to be entry to any showcases they want to go to.  So suddenly, there we sit, in line, a band playing the festival, not able to get in while people with badges are ushered in.  As you might expect from me in this situation, I got super pissed off, yelled at the mohawk dude to fuck himself, and decided to try my luck elsewhere.  I later found out that the rest of the band made it in, but only after getting someone inside to come out and lie to the door guy and say that they were playing there that night.  Ridiculous.

After that I wandered over to Lipstick 24 trying to catch our friends Brahms who had been touring with us the last couple weeks.  Again, stuck in a line.  The door guy was decent at least, and the line moved ok, and I got through in time to catch the last couple songs, and have a few drinks before the band, angry that they couldn’t get in anywhere else decided to head for home.  I was ready too, and we all met up and took off, bitching the whole way about being treated like crap.  Got home and watched Zombieland on cable though, and that made us all feel a little better.  Now, off to do 2 shows today and hopefully not strangle someone.  Here is a picture of happier times from yesterday…Torchy’s tacos = yummy.

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