Here is my blog about Sxsw back in 2010!! Gearing up for tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010


This picture was taken after the show last Wednesday. The SXSW energy started in the airport on the way down to Austin, thronged at 6:30 in the morning with people. Bill Murray was on the plane. Cliff Chenfeld told me he saw me at my first SXSW show in 96. No I’ve never been there before, I told him. No you’re wrong, you definitely were, and I saw you, he said, it was a great show, and once I got there I realized he was right as I remember walking with Mitchell down by the bridge where the bats live. We arrived and I shared a cab with Bob Gruen the photographer, and my manager to the hotel. Slept for a minute. Had dinner with Louis Black and a gang of his friends. Got to the venue and saw some of the opening acts. We were in a church, a sanctuary, to be exact. When we got onto the stage there had been no sound check and I felt the sound swirling all around.  Gerry seemed to be making a huge amount of noise. Especially during Blood Makes Noise but then I saw the YouTube clip afterwards and it’s really great. When it came time to sing “The Man Who Played God” I was hit with a powerful melancholy. Why? For a minute I forgot Mark Linkous was dead.  I tried to find that hopeful powerful feeling I usually get, but got the melancholy instead. Finished up and felt we got a good reception and all through the next 4 days people came up asking when I was playing again. I wasn’t. Lenny appeared and I was thrilled to see him. See above. We ran back to the Sheraton for a drink but they just had last call and refused to be accommodating so we just stared at everyone who had just been served dolefully and then trudged off to bed. The next morning I had an interview so I found my way to the Driscill. It was madness walking through the streets, music everywhere, voices, bass, drums, everybody in packs staggering around. Dangermouse told me he was doing 5 shows with James Mercer for Broken Bells including parking lots so I kept an eye out for him. Did my interview and did another one. Ran into Mikey, Missy, and Doug at the bar. They had just seen Bob Gruen in a panel and Lenny in another one. After a gin and tonic it became my life’s mission to find Nick who had designed the package for the Close-Up series who was here with his band. We walked around 6th Street. I couldn’t find his cell number. What was the venue? Did anybody know where Pulse was? Next day we learned it was called Plush. Couldn’t make heads or tails of anything so went for Mexican food which was great. Then off to another venue where I chatted with Dan, a guitar player who I knew in high school, and powered up my phone. Then went to find my manager but he had left that venue already. Couldn’t find him. Read a tweet saying Broken Bells were at the Encore Patio. So I went there. Everybody was waiting for Camper Van Beethoven. Decided to go back to the hotel which was a hike. Wished I had worn Cons instead of 3 inch heel boots. Ran into the guy who had been my agent back in the early 80‘s for a second in the alley. It was nice to see him and we talked about his current projects – he showed me an interactive game he was developing. Got back to the hotel. Collapsed on the bed. The next morning got up and had an interview with American Songwriter, with a lovely couple, really young and smart with 2 kids and expecting another baby. Then off to the radio to sing with Shelby Lynn and Citizen Cope. Citizen Cope asked how my mom was since we had shared a few shows in NY and she became a fan. I loved hearing him sing and made a note to try and catch his set later. Went to the University of Austin to do some research on Carson McCullers since I was right there. The quiet of the library was a shock after all that racket but it was nice and cool. Tried to get a cab back but none were available. Got the bus to 6th street and Congress. A couple of baby-faced Swedish blond girls were on the bus talking loudly and having an alternative attitude which contrasted weirdly with the locals. Had dinner with Liz, the lady running the digital panel I was on the next day. Talked about Twittering. Also with the afore-mentioned Nick who had finally gotten all of my frantic messages once he powered up his phone again. Nice to meet him!!! Then what? What to do? Citizen Cope? Hole? Or Broken Bells? First we walked to the Four Seasons to see what was going on there. Saw Rupert Hine who had produced Songs In Red And Gray. Chatted with him for a while. The band who was playing behind us said hi Suzanne! when we left, as my manager and I went to check out some other band he had heard of, some punk band  – we walked in just as they had decided to come down off the stage so they were in the middle of the floor singing songs we couldn’t hear, and didn’t know, while the audience bellowed along like some freaky sleep-away camp singalong gone amok. We thought, oops. Let’s go. I had just seen Courtney Love in New York, and so decided to try and catch up with Dangermouse and James Mercer. Hiked all the way down to some venue by the river. Throng of people outside. Called a number I was given. Right in front of me someone answered a cell. Hello? he said. Hi, I said. I’m right behind you. It was Dangermouse’s manager. We got in. Said hi to Mr. Mouse who kept telling me he needed to change into his Cons. The young security guy was making the most of his power, telling everybody they couldn’t duck under the rope, they had to leave the whole building, and walk all the way around if they wanted to be on the other side of the room. Saw the Broken Bells show again. Louis Black showed up seeming relaxed and totally cool with everything, not hyper-stimulated or tired like everybody else.  Chatted with Danger Mouse for a minute after the show and had a beer. Didn’t seem to be the right time to talk about anything deep regarding the DNOTS project so hiked all the way back to the hotel.  The next morning 10am meeting with my manager about scheduling for the rest of the year. After that the Rachael Ray party which was mayhem. All these little girls in sandals and filmy tops freezing in the 40 degree weather. Then the Stereogum party which was nice if a bit dark in some venue up off the street. Then on to Barnes and Noble for the in-store where I was sitting right next to Melissa Auf der Maur, who is as beautiful in her real life as she is in her photos, with Botticelli-esque hair. She gave me her Cd. Lenny came by again. Sat there for a while talking to people. One teenager came over – “Are you famous?” “Well that depends. But I am the mother of the MP3!” She went away looking confused. Got to the panel with seconds to spare – “Are artists getting a digital ass-kicking?” was the question. The other panelists were really smart and very entertaining and we spoke to a full room about all the ways to use digital technology. Afterwards went to the Hilton and tasted Chocolatini’s with a very funny entertainment lawyer who was at Columbia when I was at Barnard and saw the same Lou Reed show I saw in 1979.  We reminisced about him throwing lighted cigarettes into the audience. After a minute we were like best friends. Was planning to go to the Perezhilton party afterwards but got waylaid by a different party which promised dinner at which Evan Dando showed up then disappeared. Ended up having some long intense discussions with the folks there about the 60’s and the 70’s and crazy things that went on back then. My manager left because of an early flight and then the rest of us realized that Evan had to get to the Alex Chilton memorial show since Alex Chilton had died on Wednesday of a heart attack and his band was still going to play. Walked down the street with Evan Dando for a second then he disappeared again which was quite mysterious. The venue was packed. Really enjoyed the music including Evan Dando’s performance who eventually appeared again. Felt melancholy again though. Thought about my brother Timmy quite a bit this week who passed away in 02 – he loved big party scenes like this. Felt his spirit everywhere. At the end suddenly felt that I had to get back to the hotel and pack as I had a later flight on Sunday and it was 2:30 am. Said thanks and went outside. The air was cool. Walked a couple of blocks. Realized I had no idea where I was and that I was alone. Somewhere along the way I lost my hat. Where was everybody? Where was 6th street? Where was the Sheraton? Yelp was taking a long time to load. I called my husband who found me on the AT&T family map and guided me by phone back to the hotel. This has happened before so he wasn’t that surprised and besides he has insomnia. Got home safe the next day. That was my trip to SXSW. Can’t wait to do it next year.

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