Let's get to some local stuff: Phunk Junkeez, who were foolishly overlooked by SXSW, scored a nonconference gig that I happened across on my way back from Laika. At that late hour, the club was near-empty, but its trashed state indicated a successful Junkeez performance. On Friday night, the Refreshments took the stage at a rather cavernous club named the Steamboat, but you'd swear it was the Yucca Tap Room. I could barely get in, and when I did, the 'ments were weaving their mystical Tempe spell over the masses, the first row of some 30 or 40 kids actually mouthing the words. I don't know whether the band's loyalists made the road trip or what, but it was an impressive sight for a group that has rarely played out of the Valley. By Saturday, the final blowout day, I was approaching a glowing, zombielike state, yet that didn't stop me from sitting as an official panelist on the "Local Media's Responsibility to the Local Music Scene" discussion and stunning the crowd with penetrating insights and piercing bons mots.
That night, I saw a perfect set by the Liquor Giants, then was turned into a drooling heap by the masterful showmanship of the one and only Roy "Teenage Head" Loney. The original singer for the Flamin' Groovies looks like a dwarfed version of Eric Burdon--if such a being is possible--and must be near 50, but moved and sang with more energy than any two members of Green Day put together.
I stumbled back to the Driskill, said my prayers and fell asleep.
South by Southwest. What does it all mean? Maybe I'll find out next year.--Peter Gilstrap