Southbound and Down: One Last Best and Worst of SXSW '09 | DC9 At Night | Dallas | Dallas Observer | The Leading Independent News Source in Dallas, Texas

Southbound and Down: One Last Best and Worst of SXSW '09

If all goes to plan (which never happens, but we'll see), we should have a few more belated dispatches from bands who played SXSW popping up in the next couple of hours and/or days. (Speaking of which: Do yourself a favor and read The O's' dispatch. Trust me).

In the meantime, as far as DC9er commentary goes, this, mercifully, is the last we'll speak of all that Austin-related shitstorm for a while. So, without further ado:

Top five performances (not counting Metallica's incredible "secret" show), in no particular order:

  • Asobi Seksu, whose sound is far more crushing and immeditate than its name, which translates to "casual sex", implies. Hope you caught these guys at Rubber Gloves on Sunday, Dentonites.
  • At the Mohawk on Thursday night night, Akron/Family not only got the crowd dancing hippie-style to its world-folk rock, but also showcase the first--but not the last--stage dive I'd see at this year's fest. Saw this elsewhere (forget where) so I can't claim it as my own insight necessarily, but rest assured: At SXSW '09, the stage dive returned in a BIG way.
  • France's Yelle, if only because she was able to turn the beer-soaked, sweaty, dirty confines of Emo's Main Room into the kind of all-out dance party you only see in movies. Also: Loved her Jane Fonda dance moves.
  • Dinosaur Jr's "secret show" at the Mohawk, which was not only great, but was loud as fuck. The secret: The four full-stack amps set up right behind J. Mascis on stage. Yep, that was more equipment than Metallica had on stage during its show the next night on Stubb's far bigger stage down the road.
  • And, lastly, Passion Pit, who proved on Thursday, at its first SXSW performance, that its incredibly catchy dance music comes off quite well live.
Worst performance: Gil Mantera's Party Dream, whose members should probably start rehearsing without mirrors from here on out.

Lamest Celebrity Spotting: Former *NSYNC member Chris Kirkpatrick, who, I crossed paths with at an afternoon performance. Without having too much to say to the guy, I complimented him on his work in VH1's reality show Mission: Man Band. "That show was pretty fun," I caught myself mustering. So maybe I'd had a few beers. Big deal. "Eh," he responded. "That show sucked." Indeed. Nice guy, though.

Best Day Party: The Paste Magazine/Brooklyn Vegan event at Radio Room, which I hadn't planned on attending, but couldn't pull myself away from. Sweet lineup.

Biggest Diva:
Solange Knowles, who can't seem to make it to performances on time. And, according to reports, doesn't know how to leave the stage either. Which leads us to...

Best Song Dedication: Black Joe Lewis, who reportedly opened his post-Solange set with the Honeybears by saying "This is for Solange, who doesn't know when to get off stage," before launching into "Bitch, I Love You."

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman

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