Sunday, March 16, 2008


So, the Baron (a.k.a. Scott) and me finished up the film portion of SXSW with a documentary about (and named for) George W. Bush’s favorite cynically selected folksy backdrop...I mean, uh, vacation spot, Crawford. The film profiles the titular town and its residents from just before the future commander-in-chief's arrival (he bought his ranch there around the time of the 2000 presidential campaign, back when he was governor of the state) through the Decider's recent reversals of fortune. The film was interesting, though less moving and more preachy-to-the-choir than Full Battle Rattle, and taught me the following things about Crawford:

  1. The town is small, but not really as dusty and rural as the president would have you believe. In fact, in one of the doc’s best moments, the filmmakers reveal how dozens of different TV news crews use the same farm equipment as a backdrop for their reports from the "Western White House," while carefully framing out the modern high school adjacent to the folksy rustic hardware.

  2. There’s a pretty wide, purple-state range of opinions in the heart of "Bush country"...and, in fact, a “peace house” was sitting smack dab in the middle of Crawford even before Cindy Sheehan and the Camp Casey crowd showed up.

  3. Once the novelty wears off, having your small town crammed with reporters, protesters and secret service agents gets old pretty quick.

And so, with the film portion of the festival done, Scott and me turned our attention to the other two legs of the South-By Trifecta, namely music and barbecue. First, we trotted over to The Side Bar to check out some former bandmates of Scott’s friend Hayden in their new incarnation as the Dexateens from Tuscaloosa, Alabammy, along with a pair of bands from Athens, GA (Modern Skirts and Mouser) that Hayden’s son, Abe, thought were very loud.

Next it was on to Club de Ville, where I unexpectedly discovered my new favorite Swedish chanteuse, Lykke Li, who sounds like a cross between fellow Swede Nina Persson of the Cardigans and the Motels’ Martha Davis, with a sprinkling of Bjork’s growling, bouncing performance style along with Tom Waits’ percussion and megaphone fetish. Lykke’s music sounds wilder live than the studio stuff featured on her website -- and, no offense, but girlfriend needs a stylist (the white Soccer Mom shorts were at odds with the rest of the Eurosexy package) -- but I sure hope an American label signs this lady pronto before I wind up dropping $35.00 (plus shipping!) on her import-only debut CD Youth Novel.

And finally, after all the music (and crazy-hot sunshine), the day ended with some damn fine barbecue at Stubb’s...

...then, over breakfast tacos this morning...THE COPS FOUND SCOTT’S CAR!

To Be Continued...

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