SXSW 2007

I will agree with a good friend who said: "Every year South By Southwest gets more expensive and crowded, yet the talent seems to take a slight dip each year." There's little question that I wasn't as excited about the bands this year as I've been in years past, but this is Austin in March and that means memories abound.

The Highlights:

APOLLO SUNSHINE: Without question, the best live band in America right now. I caught them twice and was absolutely floored each time. I can think of but a few acts that inspire me the way AS do (Marah in the late 90s, Wilco in the mid-to-late 90s and Springsteen). What they do onstage is beyond explanation. I get chills just thinking back on these shows.

OKKERVIL RIVER: What a fantastic set. The new songs were amazing, the older ones were unbelievably moving and the night was just perfect.

GLOSSARY: Thank you to Sir Dewey for keeping me from leaving after The Drams. What a great band.

THE DRAMS: I still miss Slobberbone, but The Drams have come a long way. And when you get "Dunk You In the River" to close, well, that's a night to remember.

TIM EASTON W/TWO COW GARAGE: Their raucous version of "Dear Old Song and Dance" may have been the highlight of SXSW.

BUZZCOCKS: What great guys and what an absolute blast.

THE BLACK ANGELS: The songs kinda sound the same, but they all sound great.

The Lowlights:

PUBLIC ENEMY: I was so excited for this, but it was definitely a mild letdown. Chuck D. remains the shit, but Flavor Flav's become a complete sell out. Half of their set was filled with comments about his damn VH1 show and asking the crowd to buy their ringtones. Weak.

KIIIII: I can't believe there was hype for this band. This was one of the worst performances I've ever seen. Japan's gotta bring more than this.

THE STOOGES: Just didn't seem genuine. Iggy Pop does very little for me.

THE CROWDS: Just too many lines.

Overall a wonderful time again. See you in 2008, Austin.