Remezcla en SXSW: Friday, March 14

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Another day in the weirdest city of Texas, Austin prides itself in how different it is from any other Texan city. Their unofficial city motto is “Keep Austin Weird”, and they manage to do it with events such as SXSW! You can see what you think is a homeless person taking a nap under a bridge, but it turns out to just be a dirty singer from a UK band! Solo pasa en Austin!

Day 3 has to have been the most challenging of the week, for there were at least 10 bands I had to check out. My first stop had a punk/ska band from the UK called The Slits, and they were not in the best moods to play, probably hungover, but still managed to deliver a decent set of 20 minutes. The singer has a peculiar voice, but you could tell she was tired. Right after them, the suave electronic beats of Australians Cut Copy mellowed out the crowd, but then it was time for me to leave…

…to the Batanga early showcase; which had Niña, Allison, Monte Negro, Ceci Bastida, Grupo Fantasma, and the Aggrolites. I made it on time for the last few songs from the Aggrolites, and caught a couple of songs from Monte Negro. I talked to a few people there and they said that Niña had a great set. I made a mental note to try to check them out later during their second performance.

Two good shows, and they were both free! Day was going very well so far. From there, it was time to get something to eat and hang out with some friends. We were all waiting for Emo’s to open so we could go see Heartsrevolution and Crystal Castles. It was then that my luck ran out, since the cover was $20! Insane, but still had to pay it. I was glad we got there early, because the line to get in was crazy, it easily covered a whole block eventually. While we waited, we saw one of Los Amigos Invisibles walking by and asked him what time they going to play. 10pm. Nice, it gave me time to go check them out as well.

Once inside Emo’s, Heartsrevoluion took the stage and went straight to what they do best: getting people to dance. They are a very visual band, using images projected behind them as an aid to enhance their performance. Crystal Castles went next and they were the main reason people paid to get in. As soon as their music began to play, the crowd sang along and moved to their beats. Very cool band to catch live–don’t miss them if they come to your city. Then some bad news came my way; I got a text message from a friend telling me that Los Amigos were going to play at 9 instead of 10…

With those news; I left soon after Castles finished, and headed to Vice to see if I could catch Lies in Disguise, but they had just finished playing. Another blow to my night! Next stop: Dirty Dog for the Gibson Guitars showcase with Hey Besala, Album, Thermo, Niña, La Gusana Ciega y Panda. $15 to get in…Thought about it for a moment, checked my schedule of bands performing and saw a name that caught my eye: Aux Raus (they’re from the Netherlands but are part of Nuevos Ricos).

Their show began at 11 PM at Karma Lounge, so I skipped the Gibson showcase and walked 8 blocks to see Aux Raus. The first act was Adept, another band from the Netherlands, a very weird band, influenced by Joy Division but with an electronic twist. I liked their set; it was not something you get to hear everyday. And speaking of things you don’t hear or see every day…Aux Raus showed me why they are part of Nuevos Ricos. The lead singer ended up naked at some point of their set, all while playing loud and fast. These guys were there to raise hell and they managed to get a very small crowd (20-30 people) to pump their fists in the air and head bang like it was going out of style.

After their set I was ready to collapse and fall asleep, but I was with some friends and they had to go pick someone else up at the Gibson show. We headed there and the first thing we see is an ambulance right in front of the venue. We asked what had happened and turns out a girl was moshing to a La Gusana Ciega song and she ended up with a twisted ankle that got swollen right away. I got to talk to a couple of people I knew there, and they said that both Niña and La Gusana played a fantastic show.

Panda was up next, but I had no interest whatsoever in hearing or seeing them. I was just about to walk to my car and head home, but another friend happened to walk by and he said “we’re going to go check out Todosantos, a Venezuelan band, do you know them?” Next thing I know, I’m walking 10 blocks outside downtown Austin into a very shady area, full of cantinas and dark alleys. And at one of the cantinas, Club Oriente, we saw a bunch of hipsters outside, and knew we had found the place. We made it just in time; Todosantos was just about to begin! This NY-based band’s set was fast and full of good energy–they had the place upside down by the second song. It was the best possible way to close the night, with a secret party and a surprise appearance by one of my favorite electronic acts.

Viernes en la noche! Fiesta, fiesta, fiestaaaa!