I dig pulp, celluloid, and music. Cool posters out the ying-yang hanging everywhere, postcards plugging music and films, lo and high budget periodicals laying on record stores floors for the taking, what better place to overstimulate the senses in all those areas than the annual South-by-Southwest, a.k.a. SXSW, film-music confab in Austin, TX. Extra-sensory, to say the least. The Boudin Barndance is here as of yesterday (Friday the 13th) and the senses are already bubbling over. Austin greeted with spitting rain and temps barely in the 40s on Friday. Today (Saturday), the rain ceased but the overcast skies had temps in the low 50s. Heck, still better than the Northeast. Anyway, film is up first and with $70 film pass in hand (need to see 7 films to break even!) caught two showings on Friday night. Alamo Drafthouse South was the venue of choice and it is arguably one of the greatest joints to watch flicks in the land. First up was a music videos spotlight and while it had its moments, the overall feeling was that music videos are in their dying days. Victim of youtube and DIY? Out of one showing and onto the line for the next film which was an indie production called The Snake. The big draw for this flick was the appearance of Patton Oswalt who is helping push the film. I’ll give it a 3 on a 1-5 scale. About a guy who snakes chicks and usually seems to get bit by his own medicine in the end. While it had plenty of laughs, I’m thinking this one caters to the 20-something crowd.
Saturday brought a mid-morning visit to Waterloo Records (www.waterloorecords.com), Austin’s premier and one of the nation's premier independent record stores. You walk in and vinyl stares you in the face. Who woulda thunk it? By the way, Record Record Store Day coming up April 18 (www.recordstoreday.com). Have to say it was tough resisting vinyl purchases as they had loads of good shit (Andre Williams’ Detroit Soul, Mr. Luckee soul party comps), but I’ve got 8 days to let it eat away at me to the point of purchase. Did pick up the latest Numero Group (www.numerogroup.com) release (Local Customs: Downwater Revival) which chronicles Felton Williams’ stable of goods recorded in his Escorse, MI basement. Plenty raw and plenty good. Go get it!
Out of Waterloo and over to Alamo South for the first flick of the day. Speaking of pulp, it was a doc called Died Young Stayed Pretty (www.diedyoungstayedpretty.com) all about poster artists. Inspired by gigposters.com, it was a really cool look at the scene focusing on about 15 particular artists, including Providence’s own Brian Chippendale who gets major coverage in the film. A freewheeling and opinionated lot of talents. If you dig poster art, you’ll fawn over this. Scale of 1-5. I give this one 5.
Out of one flick and right into the next, a South Korean film called Day Drinking. You ever had one of those afternoons where a few drinks with friends has you making the plans of a lifetime (roadtrips! mutiny! et, al)? It sets the stage for this story, however, of the four guys making all them big plans, only one follows through (the other three are too passed out to even get up the next day to set the journey in motion). Suffice to say, this poor bastard makes one wrong turn after the other with the almighty booze (i.e, soju!) the instigator. The fact that it’s the dead of winter in South Korea only adds to the travails. I could literally feel this guy’s pain as he hitchhikes a mountain highway only in shirt & underpants (Long story - see the movie) after another day-drinking encounter imbibes him. Scale of 1-5. I give this one a 4.