SXSW: And Now, In Local News

AUSTIN - I'm in the parking lot of a vintage clothing store but I may as well be at the Black Cat.

Le Loup is on stage, playing its accessibly quirky brand of banjo- and french-horn-driven indie-pop. Georgie James (performing as a duo) preceded them and six more D.C. bands follow. The venue is a few miles from the main drag so there's not a whole lot of walk-up here. But there are writers from Express, DCist and Washingtonian ... and, of course, all those D.C. band members.

Middle Distance Runner flew down here just for this show and will be playing exclusively on borrowed equipment. That's either admirable commitment or serious fiscal irresponsibility. Georgie James quickly shuffled off to the second of three gigs today. (Though not before Laura Burhenn checked out some of those vintage threads, of course.) Le Loup - which is finishing up its impressive set - and These United States both have other showcase appearances with big name acts such as Ra Ra Riot and the Raveonettes.

So if it's just like being at the Black Cat, why am I here when there are hundreds of bands to see that I can't see every weekend? Um, good question.

And now it's off to the Other Music party with Mika Mika and Jay Reatard, both of whom I'll be writing more about later.

By David Malitz |  March 13, 2008; 3:56 PM ET SXSW
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"So if it's just like being at the Black Cat, why am I here when there are hundreds of bands to see that I can't see every weekend? Um, good question."

The narrative of wasted opportunity that is unfolding in this "series" would be laughable if it weren't doing such a journalistic disservice to readers of the Washington Post.

Rather than rhetorically asking yourself why you're spending any part of your time in Austin as if you "may as well be at the Black Cat", why not attempt to break the pattern of your apathy and intertia and actually answer that question for yourself. Why ARE you watching bands you could see anytime in DC?

Furthermore, since you are in fact watching those bands, why don't you actually write about their performances. The closest you come to any kind of actual blogging here is to call Le Loup's set "impressive."

Wow. Perhaps your next assignment will be to travel to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam so you can tell readers that it was "neat-o."

Yesterday I happened to skim over some of the blog posts on SXSW by Pitchfork Media writers. It is safe to say that on Wednesday, any one of the Pitchfork writers saw more bands--and wrote substantively, sometimes critically, sometimes humorously--in a single day than you've seen all week.

You may want to read a few of those posts to see what you've been missing at SXSW. Hopefully Washington Post readers will do the same.

Posted by: MRK33 | March 14, 2008 10:26 AM

You make some valid points MRK33, but, in David's defense, it makes sense that he'd check to see how some local bands are doing; this paper has a local bent to it (in theory). Having said that, I don't understand why he needed to see Jay Reatard twice. -E

Posted by: Jet Age Eric | March 14, 2008 4:53 PM

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