The Worst Things About SXSW 2013

Categories: SXSW

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Photos by Marco Torres
Somebody somewhere really did not want us to see Smashing Pumpkins at SXSW.

This year, our sister papers at the Houston Press music blog Rocks Off and Dallas Observer music blog DC-9 at Night teamed up to bring you only the choicest moments from last week's SXSW madness.

See Also:
-The Scene at SXSW: Here's What You Are Missing
-SXSW 2013: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Spain, Ivan & Alyosha and More: Review and Photos


Security and Cops Gettin' Wild: Look, I get it. Every drunken dickhead in town "knows someone" or thinks he has pull at the door, but that doesn't mean the hammer goes down on everyone. I was stopped by two cops who didn't want me to walk 50 yards from where the Smashing Pumpkins would be playing an hour hence, for unknown reasons.

And then when you want to play the whimpering "I have a SXSW badge, though" card, you feel like a choad and don't. I don't know what function preventing people from walking in the middle of a closed street had, but I hope it somehow saved thousands of lives. CRAIG HLAVATY

All the Garage-Rock Acts: Should just pool their beer, weed, and cigarette money together and start sending the Black Lips royalty checks. I steered clear of every obnoxious surf-, fuzz-, buzz- and ADHD-plagued group I could, and still some of it made its way into my earholes. I would say I am ready for the next big movement, but what if it involves garage and dubstep? What then? CRAIG HLAVATY


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Marco Torres
Note: This is not the Flaming Lips.
The Constant Noise: Did you know there is a lot of live music in Austin during SXSW? There is a lot. So much, in fact, that the din reaches a sufficient pitch as to drown out the more feeble buskers. I saw a tired dude playing acoustic guitar, muted completely by the nearby patio stages and the distant rumble from the monolithic vending machine or whatever and the hundreds of people rushing by, talking loudly on their cell phones. KIERNAN MALETSKY


The Flaming Lips: The Flaming Lips are one of my favorite bands, so naturally I knew I would have to see their set at SXSW this year. The psych-rockers closed out Friday's free Auditorium Shores show, making their mark by playing their fantastic new record The Terror in its entirety.

So why is this in the "worst of SXSW" post? Teasing. Just before playing their anthemic "Do You Realize?" to close out the show, Lips front man Wayne Coyne began to tease the crowd relentlessly that Justin Timberlake would be joining them on the song. He then ran backstage, ostensibly to bring out JT.

Most of us were unsurprised, despite some glimmers of hope, when Coyne showed up with a decidedly heavier-set man in a green mask. Coyne pulled the mask off to reveal that it was instead My Morning Jacket front man Jim James, who had played an uninspired opening set earlier in the night; a cruel, yet ultimately hilarious joke. COREY DEITERMAN


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