This was the final day of South By Southwest. As far as official events were concerned.
I woke up at the Villa around noon, I think. I wandered around on the quiet morning, killing time well enough. That had been my last night there, and this was the real farewell morning after. Paul gave me an English muffin, and I had a bagel. I gathered any food I had left laying around and I packed all my bags. John had invited me to stay with him that night, and since I was to be connected to him the next day, that seemed the most practical.
Typhoon had two shows that day. We drove into town listening to Mitch Hedberg and laughing heartily stuck in traffic. We arrived in the shit storm of the final day, with all the streets around 6th St bustling with bodies. The traffic thick as shit, and we were half an hour late to Dirty Dog.
After loading in – and being berated by a cop who said we’d been told not to pull into the back alley – Kyle instructed Matt Ross and I to find a place to park the van. I figured that parking anywhere near downtown Austin was going to be impossible, so we headed out East and just ended up circling a bit. We were looking, but the spots were residentially zoned. So we sat in one spot, ready to drive off at a moment’s notice if we were caught. We talked about directing and music videos and John and New York City. It was pretty swell. And eventually it was time to go back.
I was sad that I missed a Typhoon show, but in perspective, it was one show out of six, so it wasn’t really a crippling defeat. After a real pain of waiting and Matt Ross having to loop around in the shit traffic, and talking to that fucking cop again, we finally pulled the van in where it needed to be and got loaded up.
Some of Typhoon were sitting around getting drinks at Dirty Dog, but Paul said there were free massages in the Convention Center, which was right over on 4th St. So he, Devin, Matt, Shannon, Ryan (I think?), and I went in there looking. We found that the service stopped at 4:00 and, somehow, it was almost 5:00. In hindsight, that much of the day slipping away blows my mind a little. We ran into this girl Gina on our trip, and she returned to the van with us.
Some folks were talking about heading back to the Villa, since the next show wasn’t until midnight. They were first going to go to Home Slice for more free pizza. Devin, Norah, Gina, and I stayed downtown. We went to Carrob’s Cafe on Sabine St, but the venue looked too boring (and disgusting) for me to drop $7 into. Luckily and coincidentally, I had a banana from the Villa and an apple from Four Seasons in my bag. So I ate that with them.
Norah went off to her truck, Devin and Gina went over to Cheer Up Charlie’s, and I stayed in the area because John, PJ, and Paul were to be arriving at Barbarella’s imminently. And so it was. They had Jeremy and his boyfriend Nick with them, and it was very nice to see them. I had a lovely reunion with John, and it was great to see PJ and Paul again. And I found out that Barbarella was right next door to where Typhoon was playing that night – Swan Dive.
After some sitting in the venue bemoaning the lack of cell phone reception, I wandered out front around 8:30 or so to find Typhoon’s van parked out front. They were about three hours earlier than I expected. I hung around and heard Paul exclaim to me loudly how much he fucking hated South By Southwest and what a fucking idiot everyone was. He asked why the hell anyone would want to come to this, to which I responded by looking deeply into my own soul.
Kyle came around and Shannon was there too, though I don’t know if she came with him. I took them both into Barbarella and introduced them to John, which was very sweet. Back outside, Jen came by. We talked about encounters with crazy people (mine involved one eating off of me at South By Southwest – ooh la la). Mike and Eric from Y La Bamba came upon us and hung out for a bit. Everyone I knew was just coming and going.
Liana and her roommate Michael, along with Sarah Mayfield showed up and said they were going to go get something to eat. Devin joined us and we got some Boca Burgers about a block away. I went back speedily to catch some of Dark Dark Dark’s set. But I ended up talking to Matt Ross and Alex in the shitter about what exactly Matt did to his arm. It was in a cast. He said he punched a thing that measured your strength. Or something?
After sitting around with them for a bit, I helped Typhoon load in. I met the other Matt outside while standing guard around the gear. We talked about this and that, then went in to see Typhoon play.
It was their final set, and was appropriately climactic. It was cathartic, and I had a moment of summing up the value of this entire trip in my mind, and how I wouldn’t have reason to be there if not for them. After their set, I helped them load out. That was the last time for that. Kyle and I sat by the trailer watching the throng and lasers and commerce and heard the din. We talked about Typhoon being a part of that – a recurring discussion over the past 10 or so days.
Then it was time to go. I put my head in the van and told everyone I wasn’t joining them to the Villa so this was the end. I said I loved them all and was happy to spend the time with them. And I hugged them all. And they drove off.
I walked around town and called my brother AJ and found some food. Then I met up with John back at Barbarella. The night was basically over. I met up with PJ and Paul, and the “groupie” Danny, and Nick and Jeremy, who was wasted. We gathered our things and I drove everyone back to the house they were renting just west of downtown. As everyone geared for bed, Paul and I had some berries and I had this vegan yoghurt that couldn’t be beat, along with some almond butter and some chocolate.
There was a pig pile. Then the day was over, and so was the festival; at least, in an official capacity.
–for Saturday March 17th, 2012