|Lester Sterling of the Skatalites at SXSW|
A septuagenarian alto saxophonist at SXSW. Two genres, jazz and classical, are underrepresented at South By Southwest. This makes sense as they're not known as musical forms you can puke to. Ska and reggae are rare as well, but out under the tent on the carpeted patio of Stages on Sixth, the Skatalites -- led by original member Lester Sterling on alto sax and featuring cameos from singer and ska-hitmaker Doreen Shaffer -- threw one-last party deep into the last hours of Saturday night and Sunday morning. No one stood in line for the show and no one did the "Harlem Shake." Everyone danced, this exhausted writer among them, and we were all happy to be happy together one last time in Austin.
Postscript: KDHX and Twangfest Day Parties at the Broken Spoke. I began with an image from a notoriously done-with-SXSW-don't-even-ask honky tonk on the southern outskirts of Austin called the Broken Spoke. Even if you hate country music and, by your hipstertude, the people who listen to it, the Broken Spoke demands a visit. Filled with country-music history, the Spoke has hosted everyone from Willie Nelson to Bob Wills to Dwight Yoakam. After fellow South Austin venue Jovita's shut down -- something about black-tar heroin -- 88.1 KDHX and its festival Twangfest needed a new home for their annual SXSW day parties. The Spoke turned out to be a fine fit, with the aforementioned Laura Cantrell, indie twang-influenced band Mount Moriah, steampunks Murder By Death, St. Louis favorite Pokey LaFarge and Austin favorites Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis and Dale Watson all playing, yes, for free to over 1000 patrons over the course of two days. As a Twangfest volunteer, I was happy to be part of the venture.
|Pokey LaFarge at the KDHX and Twangfest Day Parties at SXSW at the Broken Spoke|
|KDHX staff and volunteers with James M. White (owner of the Broken Spoke) at the Twangfest Day Parties at SXSW|