South By Southwest is drawing to a close, with only one night of debauchery left to survive here in Austin. We’ve seen a ton of bands (check out our PopWatch blog for daily recaps), heard a bunch of industry chatter, and done a lot of walking. Here’s a sampling of some of the sights and sounds we’ve experienced during the festival.
Buzzing: Manchester’s The Ting Tings, Memphis’ Jay Reatard, Cincinnati’s Bad Veins, Philly heroes Dr. Dog, newcomers Los Capesinos! and bands-of-the-moment MGMT and Vampire Weekend.
• The aforementioned Vampire Weekend at the Spin party. "They came off cocky," said one audience member.
• British sensation Duffy, who played two day gigs on Friday, "Kind of eh," remarked an exec who had believed the hype.
• MGMT at the Playboy party. Railed one angry fan: "They didn’t play ‘Time to Pretend’—WTF?"
No shows: The Lemonheads skipped out on their afternoon set at the Fader/Levi’s fort. No explanation was offered.
Cover-worthy: Israeli singer Yael Naim, whose song "New Soul" is featured in the latest Apple campaign, broke out a dark and jazzy rendition of Britney Spears’ "Toxic" at the ASCAP showcase Friday night.
Production notes: The Decemberists’ Chris Funk is working with fellow Portland rockers The Builders and the Butchers on their new record.
Rumor of the night: Britney Spears to make a surprise appearance at Stubbs for N.E.R.D.’s Friday night headlining gig. She didn’t show.
Rumor of the year: The perennial conference gossip—will there be a secret surprise show by the Beastie Boys? Answer: nope.
Raves: Perry Farrell rocking out to X from the crowd, after introducing the band at the Spin party. "Listen to that, that’s Zeppelin!" he declared to anyone within earshot.
Slightly disorderly: While making his way down 7th Street, somewhat inebriated singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt mistakes an Austin homeless shelter for a yoga studio and proceeds to bang on the windows. (For the record, Harcourt has actively campaigned for homelessness awareness over the years and told EW.com that he genuinely felt bad about his mistake the next day.)
You show me yours, I’ll show you mine: Sire Records head
Seymour Stein and producer/Runaways co-founder Kim Fowley comparing
schedules in the lobby of the Driskill hotel before heading out for a
full day of shows.
• Members of Yo La Tengo having dinner with their press team at the
Driskill hotel restaurant. A couple tables over: Swedish duo the
• Lou Reed enjoying a round of iced coffee with longtime pal,
producer Hal Wilner, at the Four Seasons, then traveling outside of
Austin City Limits for some even finer dining at Jeffrey’s.
• British newcomer Kate Nash clearing her Friday night schedule so
she could see boyfriend Ryan Jarman and his band The Cribs play
• Steel Train singer Jack Antonoff holding hands with girlfriend Alia Shawkat, Maeby of Arrested Development fame, in the alley behind Spiro’s Ampitheater.
• Daryl Hall, Perry Farrell and producer Steve Lillywhite forming an
impromptu panel for Steve Jones’ radio show Jonesey’s Jukebox,
broadcasting live from Austin.
• Carson Daly chatting up Pharrell Williams, then sharing a table—and a cheeseburger—with Perez Hilton at the Eastsport Lounge in the
• My Morning Jacket checking out Dr. Dog’s stellar set at Cedar House.
• Spoon singer Brit Daniels making a special trip to the Driskill’s Victorian room to see LA’s Let’s Go Sailing
Cashing in: Popular south Austin late-night,
breakfast-around-the-clock spot Magnolia, whose owners are looking to
top last year’s South By Southwest tally of $90,000. "That’s an awful
lot of eggs," said our Tuesday night waiter.
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