Hearsay: Wednesday, March 20, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
I Like Fort Worth

Holy blackout, Batman. You’ve never seen so many black-clad, tattooed dirtballs vying for space along Sixth Street in Austin as last week during South by Southwest — the dirtball population is normally pretty high there regardless, but, during this SXSW, it was particularly runneth-ing over. Made your creative columnist and fellow traveler Ken Shimamoto get all savvy and think up a couple of new marketing campaigns for our “Live Music Capital®.” Here’s one: “Austink: Bathing Optional.” And another: An image of Clifford Antone, looking confused, next to the words, “Got Booze?” Jay-zus. Somebody needs to tell these people that if individuality is a worthy conceit, then tattoos and black clothes ain’t the way to go.

HearSay’s dismay could have come from getting stuck in Emo’s too long, or at least long enough to catch a performance by Texas death-metalheads Unearthed. It’s not that HearSay necessarily needs to understand the meaning of lyrics, but being able to make out a few of the words would be nice. All your columnist caught coming out of the lead singer’s bone-rattling mouth were “Your credit card won’t lie,” “I like Fort Worth,” and “Go ’head to Six Flags.” Whether or not this is what he actually said doesn’t matter. The imagined reality is almost always better than what’s really there, no?

HearSay still has the same ol’ complaint about SXSW: Record label folk no longer go to the annual showcase to actually scout talent; they go to have their tastes validated. Case in point — the Supergrass show at Stubb’s. Nearly every person milling around the huge backyard amphitheatre was a “badge” (meaning, these people wore the badges that granted open access to all shows and SXSW-related events). Weren’t these industry folk in Austin to find hot new talent? What the fuck were they doing watching Supergrass, one of the biggest alternative-rock bands in the world?!? HearSay was at the show for two reasons ... two local reasons: openers MossEisley (from Tyler) and The Polyphonic Spree (from Dallas and environs). No, as much as HearSay digs Supergrass, your faithful columnist only hung around to see the two aforementioned local acts before stealing away to Sixth Street for two of the worst fucking cuts of pizza imaginable.

MossEisley, now called simply Eisley, basically chilled out with their vespertine emo-pop, and Polyphonic, while very entertaining, sounded kinda thin and pale. The winner of the entire weekend was, for HearSay at least, Flickerstick. They packed the amphitheatre at Spiro’s (a place known more for booty shaking than hard rocking), the day before Supergrass. There was a moment in the middle of one of the band’s new songs when the drama had built to a boiling point. Then, BAM!, the quintet landed on one note at the same time — the place went nuts. Of course, there weren’t any raven-haired punks or badges around to legitimize the cathartic moment. Just yours truly, who, as you know, is never, ever enough.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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