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March 21st, 2007 12:00 am Amy Mccullough | Riff City

Austin City Limits

Exhausted Portland bands share stories from SXSW.

wasting away in margaritaville: ?dave depper (of norfolk & western) and laura gibson?at SXSW
IMAGE: Cory Gray
Every year, Austin, Tex., is host to literally thousands of bands during the giant annual press conference and music fest that is South by Southwest (SXSW). This year (like most), a good assload of those artists were from Portland. Here's what they had to say:

Bill Niese, The Misfats (a prediction): We will awe [Austin] with our ninja-trained, über-secret gastronomical technique as applied to barbecue consumption. We will drive their women love-crazy with our sexy, jiggly, fish-white bellies.

Fred Thomas, Saturday Looks Good to Me: This year, focused more on the sense of general mayhem and lawlessness that goes [with] trying to organize and control something as ridiculous as 3,500 bands playing simultaneous shows for tens of thousands of music-industry weirdos and suits, not to mention innocent music fans. Every show I've gotten into has been by what we call "pulling a move": pretended to be the bass player for Beirut (I had to get onstage) and pretended not to speak English so I couldn't understand the doorman yelling at me for running into a fully sold-out Deerhunter show.

Arrington de Dionyso, Old Time Relijun: Today we'll have meetings with publicists and a cable-access TV show where I will do karaoke versions of Lionel Richie with a Muppet.

Laura Gibson: When I go to parties, I usually hang out in the corner by the snack table. SXSW is the biggest party I have ever been to. There are no snack tables, just really long lines for pizza and hot dogs. During my initial walk down 6th Street, I felt like a librarian navigating an MTV spring-break special.

Matt Sheehy, Gravity and Henry: I met David Byrne [and] almost soiled myself. I learned what it means to have something done "Texas style," and I don't like it.

Michael Dean Damron: I was in the van with Steph [Smith] from Kleveland, and some rock star threw garbage on [her] lap. She got out and said, "Now you have my undivided attention, motherfucker," and tore into his ass. We've been yelled at, "Go home!" and rushed on- and offstage like cattle. Austin is a great town. It's just SXSW is a waste of time.

Joe Haege, 31Knots: Austin is very reminiscent of Portland. People bike around and eat healthy food. They have a pedestrian-only bridge; however, I will take no humidity in place of a pedestrian bridge any day! [Austin] is also home to Whole Foods. I was quite excited to go there because I like food that is not going to give me more forms of cancer than I already have coming to me. Then I remembered I didn't have any money. [Overall], people were nice—and there was pizza with jalapeños!

Read more reports from SXSW (which took place in Austin, Tex., March 9-18) written by Portland musicians at LocalCut.com.
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