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SXSW ’08: The Rock Never Stops

Lyndsey Parker
Maximum Performance

All righty, here are the Wednesday night highlights, in purely chronological order:

1) First, I was utterly charmed by the keyboard-pop stylings of indie boy-girl duo Matt & Kim at the On Networks party. (On Networks? As in those subscription cable-box doohickeys people used to attach to their rabbit-eared TV sets in the '70s? I dunno.) A superspecial shout-out goes to Matt himself, who went out of his way to help my non-guestlisted friend gain access to this soiree. Of course, at the time I didn't realize he was THE Matt of actual "Matt & Kim" semi-fame; I just thought he was a nice stranger with an extra plus-one. But either way, it was an awesome random act of kindness. So Matt, if you're reading this, you rock--both figuratively and literally.

2) Next, over at the NME-sponsored showcase at Stubb's, I was highly amused by the sassy ramblings of a comically intoxicated Lily Allen, who actually spent a good portion of her set slagging off her sponsors (she called the folks at the British music mag NME a bunch of, um, "spineless c u next Tuesdays," if ya catch my drift).

3) I was then thoroughly rocked by Razorlight, whose frontman gave off an oddly compelling Leif Garrett/Frampton Comes Alive vibe with his tighty-whitey jeans and impeccably feathered coiffure (all that was missing was a thatch of '70s chest hair; see, Jonny's about as hairless as a newborn hamster).

4) Finally, the Bravery made their triumphant return, and though I was sort of bummed to see that the bassist is no longer wearing his trademark Adam Ant warpaint, it was otherwise a perfect synth-rock spectacle. And mark my words: Their new single "Time Won't Let Me Go" will be a MASSIVE crossover smash. Rumor has it even the Bravery's label prez, the almighty L.A. Reid, thinks it has top 40 potential, and he ought to know.

OK, so after all that rockin' like Dokken, I return to my room, eager to unwind. But there's no escaping the rock at SXSW, a convention where bands are literally gigging in the baggage-claim area of the Austin airport. Case in point: the JPEG above. It's a photo of the card-key to my room. Sheesh. I half-expect that when I go to bed tonight, I'll see an Amy Winehouse one-sheet on the bedsheet. Or maybe some Peter Bjorn & John chocolates on my pillow. But you know what? I don't care. I'm so tired that I just need to go to bed, period.

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