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SXSW ’08: Q Is For Quality

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

By South By Southwest Saturday, four nearly nonstop days of styrofoam beer cups, poorly maintained port-a-potties and the long lines to access their fetid confines, eight-hour-old potato salad, and other such hazards of daytime SXSW soirees were really starting to take a toll on even the hardiest-partying conventioneers. Therefore there was no better place to be on Saturday afternoon than the highly civilized tea party hosted by the British music magazine Q.  

Yes, instead of styrofoam cups, Q's bash offered genuine crystal stemware. Instead of stale beer, Q poured champagne and premium herbal tea. Instead of greasy barbeque in tinfoil trays, Q served posh salmon/cream cheese/cucumber finger foods on porcelain platters (attended to by bowtied, impeccably uniformed waiters, of course). Instead of an asphalt slab baking beneath the mercilessly direct Texas sun, Q held its fancy-schmancy affair on the second floor of the historic, opulent, and amazingly air-conditioned Driskill Hotel. And perhaps most importantly, instead of gag-inducing Andy-Gumps, Q's party boasted access to perhaps the finest restrooms in all of Austin, complete with sunken marble sinks and stacks of classy monogrammed hand towels.

Such lovely conditions would have been reason enough to spend the afternoon at the Q bash, but this party's live-entertainment lineup was just as delightful. Along with quirky troubadour Lightspeed Champion (who interspersed his short-but-sweet set with covers of Vines and Weezer songs) and minimalist post-punks These New Puritans, the bill also featured the only SXSW performance by adorable U.K. indie goddess Kate Nash, doing her best to get in the Americana spirit by wearing a stars 'n' stripes sundress and cowgirl boots:

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And headlining the party were fiercely rocking newbies Pigeon Detectives, who put on such a grotty and gritty set that they practically transformed the elegant Driskill banquet room into one of those aforementioned dingy, port-a-potty-appointed rock 'n' roll dives:

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Q's party was in fact so refreshing, so fully second-(or third)-wind-supplying, that it was the ideal warmup for the far more taxing (and far less civilized) Perez Hilton blowout taking place Saturday evening. Watch this blog space for more on that...

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