I’ve never seen so many attractive people in one place. People of every different color and variety in an endless parade down 6th Street. Music wafting, echoing, blaring from every window, every street corner, every parking garage, every backyard. The whole city of Austin had transformed into a party, and it was real and it was good. You could mix it up and have yourself a great time. You could see The Pains of Being Pure of Heart play a professional show on an elevated stage with a sound system and a light show, and then you could go listen to the blues from the most excellent street musicians you’ve ever found. I saw a bearded black boy crooning in a dress accompanied by a girl with bushy armpits playing the accordion. Somebody gave me a ride to a house show two miles on the outskirts, where a Los Angeles punk band named Wounded Lion played a nearly empty living room while five of us jigged back and forth merrily. I saw a DJ that had 3-D glasses handed out to everyone in the audience so that we could watch the 3-D projections on the screen behind him. Taco Bell workers weaved through venues, distributing free bean burritos. I saw my old friend Danny Zott, whom I grew up with the Michigan. He’s playing in a band now called Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. The Darwin Deez gang dug on their band pretty deep. It’s so cool to see how much Danny has grown, in his sound and visually, too. He’s a true creative soul. We watched Cole play drums with Nardwuar and Andrew WK (the latter whom I used to idolize), and in a surreal and glorious moment, I watched Cole play a song that had once changed my life, Party Hard. Darwin did some interviews with Filter magazine and American Songwriter, He couldn’t stop talking about The Strokes, whom we had seen the night before. Darwin was offered an array of free designer clothes, upon which, in classic Darwin style, he stocked up exclusively on socks. Das Racist would then incidentally walk by down the street. We ate Mexican food until we became it. We hung around with our old tour mates from the fall, Little Comets, Geordies who were getting their first taste of the USA. I went to Hoek’s, a legendary pizzeria in Austin that keeps the restaurant yuppie free by blasting death metal year-round. We accidentally walked by an Owen Pallett show, listened for a few, kept walking. Accidentally walked by a Duran Duran show and did the same. Ran into our photographer friend Anika, whom I had last seen 3 weeks ago in London from onstage at Koko, wielding her camera in the security trench. I saw my roommate, Shilpa Ray, Happy Hookers in tow, rock the roof off. The entire Darwin Deez crew and Stephen and Michael from Lucky Number topped off our week by rallying together at Lustre Pearl to watch Little Dragon. Everyone, that is, except me. I was across town, laying on my back in a windy park, stargazing. Everyone else was elated by the Little Dragon show, I kind of regretted missing it, but then… you can’t see it all, can you?
At this point, it was 2 AM, and after so much mayhem, I was wiped out, but Darwin and co. had linked up with Mystery Jets and The Black Lips, and were dead set on partying. After nearly a half an hour positioning and repositioning ourselves near the expressway ramp, we finally accomplished the impossible and hailed a taxi. Barreling into the night, the cab driver unleashed a diatribe about the 6th Street party people that infest Austin the other 51 weeks of the year. He dropped us off at a suburban house where a handful of rock ‘n roll people were spread out on the lawn. Darwin talked for a long time with Blaine from Mystery Jets, who seems like a real sweetheart. Greg was zoned out on mushrooms. I finally got to see that guy Cole from Black Lips, the one with the mustache, and I can confirm that he really does possess an uncanny resemblance to our Cole, Zachary Cole Smith. Aziz Ansari from Parks and Rec showed up. One of the cast members from that show The OC did coke. A mammoth Red Bull tour bus pulled up in front of the house (I never did figure out who was inside of it…). I guess the whole scene was pretty wild. But, you know, the funny thing was, I was exhausted, having been completely saturated by SXSW, and, despite my best intentions, I started feeling grumpy. It was 4:30 AM, our plane was taking off at 10 AM, yet there were no signs that any of Darwin Deez was going to budge. So I scavenged a blanket and decided to be that guy. The guy who’s sleeping on the couch in the middle of the party. And so I did. The end.