An Idiot’s Guide to SXSW 2011: DFA 1979 Chaos, Kanye in a Power Plant, Screeching Weasel Assault, and More


We know you hated us, and at this moment, we hate ourselves too. Since you probably (definitely/rightfully) blocked all the spirited gluttony and gleeful ignorance cluttering your Twitter feed about SXSW, let’s just accept that a few things happened in Texas that you will see frequently referenced and should probably know about for the sake of conversation, along with many displays of bad behavior. Our highly subjective, largely exhausted, and mostly humorless primer to the thing that just happened in Austin.

  • Kanye West held a G.O.O.D showcase in an old Power Plant. We’ve been through this before, New York, and the numbers in your cell phone were again your entry badge. But unlike the Bowery Ballroom episode, Ye brought out a marching band for “All of the Lights” and Jay-Z. As Breihan put it, this was a show that “could headline virtually any festival in the country, and people would go home happy.” If only they got to see it.
  • Death From Above 1979 reunited, chaos broke out, cops on horses arrived, even an idiot already read the rest.
  • Fader Fort is usually reliable for comfortable surprises, and this year, Cornerstone gave us Puff Daddy, who came out to introduce Lil B, then returned for a few verses and an Odd Future shout-out. (When Diddy Dirty Money says “SWAG” . . . ) Other guest appearances included Erykah Badu sauntering out during Matt & Kim’s “Lessons Learned” and an Asher Roth cameo during the Cool Kids, which is kind of like finding a cockroach in your minestrone. At least there was a Roberta’s booth and Fiat-sponsored ice cream.
  • Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel punched a female audience member at the Scoot Inn. His reasoning? She spit something at him. He’d already whined about only getting paid $250 for the SXSW showcase, fired his management from the stage according to one eyewitness, and bragged about getting $25,000 guarantee the next night in San Antonio. Later, the San Antonio show was mercifully canceled.
  • Trash Talk will hurt you. At the Fader Fort, the band’s hardcore-scumbag frontman climbed on the crowd to get a beer from the bar, threw it at someone, then proceeded to spit on a kid. At least he didn’t punch a girl.
  • Pitchfork put on church shows, Fool’s Gold threw an afterparty in a mall, and Tricky Kid staged a show in a gym boxing ring. The Death Set got kicked out of said boxing ring by the gym’s owner for “too much rough housin,'” despite the fact that the event was called “2nd Annual SXSW Brawl for All.” This is unsurprising and an improvement from last year, when front-spaz Johnny Siera puked on a girl.
  • This festival might’ve been a big one for our beloved MNDR, but Amanda Warner came down with viral laryngitis and had to cancel her three shows.
  • Boston band Bodega Girls crashed Dirty Vegas’s set at the particularly uninspired Perez Hilton party and got everyone kicked out.
  • Bun B headlined the party on his birthday, and did
  • Status Ain’t Hood is still famous.
  • Jack White performed in a parking lot.
  • Rachael Ray was in the photo pit at her own party
  • Five bands with guitars you should have opinions about after this thing, supposedly: the Vaccines, Yuck, the Joy Formidable, Weekend, Dirty Beaches.
  • Odd Future. Now we’ve all seen it up close.
  • Village Voice Media had a party with Wu-Tang Clan, YelaWolf, and Wild Flag. You could say it was well-attended.