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MARCH 15, 2007
SXSW Day 1

It's 2:30 am. I just got back to my hotel room -- and I'm definitely ready to rest up for the next couple of days. Today felt like one big summer camp reunion -- people from all walks of life popped in and out of the day. Friends from SF, NY, LA, Chicago -- some who I haven't seen for years -- all descended upon Austin for the Holy Grail of music festivals. We started the day with a brief stop at Emo's for the kick off to Metro's 25th Anniversary -- congrats Joe Shanahan for having one of the most incredible, influential music venues in the world. Then we headed to the Levi's/Fader Fort -- a pop-up Levi's store-cum-music venue with tight, eclectic lineups all weekend long. Today we caught a roaring set by David Vandervelde, one of my favorite new singers from Chicago who relives the sexiness of T Rex and Roxy Music. Vandervelde followed a rousing Brit-pulsing set by Foals and a hot interlude by Hot Club de Paris, which was cut short for a fine fine Tex-Mex meal at El Chile (thanks iser!). Heading back Downtown, I met up with friends at Stubb's, where I caught Jamie T, a garage-edged Arctic Monkeys vocals-sounding crowd-enticing young singer (who I first got turned on to in London last October). This NME showcase then featured Lily Allen, who totally drew in the crowd, but I've seen her so I bailed and caught the last two songs of Tally Hall before what will likely go down as one of the hottest sets of the weekend -- San Francisco's Birdmonster. While from the Bay Area, this hot foursome has a New York edge with a British thunderous vibe -- but without any bullshit or pretense. They rocked out so freakin' hard -- and the few industry smarts who were there definitely knew what was up. The night capped off with a righteous hell-raisin' set by spoken word artist Saul Williams whose music is set to an eclectic backbeat of electronic sounds, including his new stuff which is heavily steeped in drum 'n bass with a big Nine Inch Nails influence (which makes sense since Trent Reznor is producing his new album). But now it's time to go to sleep. Mas manana.

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