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Music & Film Mon Mar 19 2007

SXSW Tour Diary - Catfish Haven Final Entry (Reviews/mp3's of The Black Hollies, Vietnam, and The Black Angels)

sxswtourdiary.jpg

Here's the last post from Catfish Haven on their adventures at SXSW. The last day they were involved in the two most infamous events at this year's fest — the collapse of the balcony at the Vice party and the police closure of the IHeartComix party. These guys sure have a nose for trouble.

"I awoke Saturday morning feeling possibly the most hung-over I've felt ever. Catfish Haven drinking usually occurs in the evening but a day of free alcohol at SXSW means you can drink from noon to 4am and we did. In the drunkenness of Friday night we had lost two members of the Catfish Haven SXSW 2007 army – our 2nd guitarist Mike Lust and Timeout Chicago writer Leah (who had jumped in the van with us at the last minute the day we left Chicago and soon became one of our band of merry pranksters). I contacted Lust first and luckily he answered his cell. He had ended up partying Hot Tub style at a random Austin Texas Apartment with Chicago band Sybris. George and I went on the mission to retrieve him from the Wendy's and while we were waiting for him had to give in and eat a large Wendy's meal 'cause at this point we felt like we might die if we didn't eat. Leah's cell phone was dead but we sent her a myspace message. We know she's resourceful so we assumed she was fine and later when she finally called me we found out she was actually doing great and was at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Austin. She had crashed on the floor of documentary filmmaker Ron Mann who's most know for making the movie "GRASS" a film about marijuana that the catfish crew had coincidentally just watched at like 3 in the morning in Fayetteville, Arkansas earlier in the week during our tour down to Texas. George and Ryan met Ron on wed when we first arrived in Austin and he was a cool guy and gave them a private lecture about his film so we knew Leah was alright and we planned to meet up with her later.

This whole week we've been staying with our friend Caroline's house and she and her friends were throwing a SXSW backyard BBQ party with a bunch of bands including Saturday Looks Good To Me, Mittens on Strings, and us to name a few. Hung-over and hazy we rocked the backyard around 3pm and by the time we left to head to 6th street around 5pm the keg was dry, the food was eaten and the neighbors were sending noise complaints which are all the general after effects of a BBQ done right!

[mp3]: The Girl's Distracted - SLGTM
[mp3]: The Most Complete Skeleton Ever Found - Mittens On Strings

We cruised downtown to the Fader Party made it too late to catch our friends Ladyhawk play but we did make it in time to double fist free SOCO drinks. The Port-o-Potty line was gigantic so after checkin' out the band Vietnam we decided to flee the scene before Redman played with our publicist Abe and go to a chill hotel party he knew about with Ladyhawk and a few of our friends from the Austin band The Black Angels. We didn't really know whose room it was at first but it was an awesome suite and there was free beer and wine so we weren't complaining. We hung out for awhile drinking on a sweet balcony patio until the liquor ran out. Ladyhawk had to go and load their gear so we all took off. The nighttime showcases hadn't started yet so we sought out food at the fish taco place on 6th street where I discovered that a seafood burrito isn't as scary as it sounds and is actually pretty tasty.

[mp3]: War - Ladyhawk
[mp3]: Welcome To My Room - Vietnam
[mp3]: The First Vietnamese War - The Black Angels

We separated from some of our crew after fish taco meals and David, Ryan and I headed over to the Ernest Jennings Records Showcase at a bar called Uncle Flirty's Loft. Our good friend Pete is the owner of Ernest Jennings and it was great to see him and his wife Kara who is coming our with an awesome cookbook soon called "Food Tastes Good" which it features recipes submitted by bands like My Morning Jacket, Devendra Banhart, The Hold Steady, Catfish Haven and like 100 other bands. We stuck around for some drinks and a rockin' set by The Black Hollies. Next we headed to Mohawk for the KEXP showcase. We unfortunately had missed our friends from Louisville Wax Fang but we did make it in plenty of time for The Black Angels who delivered an awesome set. We got to see our friend's Shannon and Cheryl from KEXP and met a cool new Seattle band called the Blakes.

[mp3]: You've Been Gone Too Long - The Black Hollies
[mp3]: Sweet Bloody Murder - Wax Fang
[mp3]: Don't Bother Me - the Blakes

We left Mohawk and headed for the Vice Party where 2 members of our crew Mike Lust and Adam Fitz were. You need a pass to get into the vice party and we didn't have passes but we weren't too concerned since there's usually a way to sneak in. The party was pretty far from 6th street. We finally found a parking spot and walked up. Mike said he had 3 passes for us but that he had to throw them off a balcony to us. We walked up on the place and sure enough he was on the balcony with a ton of people and he threw some passes down to us. We grabbed them in the grass with a choir of drunken partygoers cheering us on from the balcony above. We walked over to the entrance line with passes in hand and then everything got crazy. See there was this balcony with a concrete overhang and big metal railings and as we were waiting in line staring up at the party people on said balcony we saw the railing and concrete overhang collapse and fall onto the grass
yard about two stories below. This was the path we had just walked under just like 5 minutes before. So yeah luckily and amazingly no one got hurt at all and we got the fuck out of there 'cause when something like that happens you know the party is gonna be shut down.

On our way down the driveway and out to the street we witnessed Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha walking towards the party with his posse. He was unaware of the wall falling and some drunken guy yelled to him and all the other people approaching the place that the "party was over 'cause a fuckin' wall just broke!". It was a crazy scene for sure and we got out of there as soon as possible. We knew that no one was hurt for sure when we received a phone call from Mike Lust so although it was crazy at least the only thing damaged was some concrete and not any people. With that news we continued on our after party quest.

We had rsvp'd to an Iheartcomix event at a place called the Blue Genie which was pretty far away and when we arrived we discovered that that party had shut down prematurely as well. Not all was lost though 'cause we had a few beers with us as we stumbled into a theater/art gallery space called the Humdrum that is located next door to the Blue Genie. Inside the humdrum we witnessed the art damaged electro-pop sounds of a band from LA called Bubonic Plague. They were quite entertaining at 3:30 am and the set erupted into a dance party reminiscent of the Chicago public access show Chic-a-go-go. Bubonic Plague ended their set after a few encore songs. I thought they were done but then the music started up again. At first I thought they were doing another encore but then I noticed that a few of the drunken party goers who were dancing to Bubonic Plague moments earlier had rushed their musical instruments and had started improvising some drunken jams of their own. We found it kind of funny and kind of fitting that the last band we saw at SXSW was one that spontaneously formed on the spot, was fueled by alcohol and dance party vibes, and would never exist again after the people running the club finally turned the lights out on them and pulled the plugs on the amps. All in all Saturday was great and we went back to Caroline's in one piece feeling very satisfied with our time spent at SXSW '07. See ya in Austin next year!"

 
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