Tuesday, March 31, 2009


After the turmoil and topsy-turvy fun that was SXSW 2009, we return to our regularly scheduled programming here at 2g1k...Tilly and Thom's favorites of the week!


PASSION PIT! They are beyond catchy, but with a substance and likability behind the sound that should propel them frighteningly far in the world of electro-indie music. It seems bands like this are destined to end up as background music in commercials (and they are), which is a complement to those of us who like this type of music, since it subliminally sucks in consumers with its pure awesomeness. So be loud and proud with these Passion Pit tunes!

"The Reeling" - Passion Pit
"Sleepyhead" - Passion Pit


One of the great things about taking pictures at SXSW was that I got to discover new music through my assignments. A band I heard about but never listened to, Grizzly Bear, was quite wonderful.

Their voices were very soothing, a nice escape from the frantic SXSW haze I had been in that week.

"Cheerleader" - Grizzly Bear

Another band that I saw was Hurray For the Riff Raff.

From New Orleans, Riff Raff is bluesy and smooth and delicious for the ears to hear.

The lead singer sounds like a mix of Zoey Deschanel and Regina Spektor. They all have a certain kind of voice that feels out of place in the year 2009, but not in a bad way. Rather, it is a voice that would coax a person in the 20s to venture into the dingy jazz bars of New York City, drifting through reefer smoke and bootlegged alcohol to a stage, our heroine in the spotlight singing her heart out.

So yeah, listen to those Riff Raff scamps.

"Junebug Waltz" - Hurray for the Riff Raff
"Bricks" - Hurray for the Riff Raff

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Timid Tilly's brush with [adorable!] fame

Rounding out the end of SXSW 2009, Tilly and Thom attended the Saturday evening premiere of the adorable indie flick 500 Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb and written by Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber.

The director, writer, and stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt made an appearance right before the show began and at the subsequent Q&A. Tilly was a bit nervous about actually getting so close to these famous people, especially since she is a teensy bit obsessed with Zooey Deschanel (see the evidence). Armed only with a crappy phone camera, she was too embarrassed to ask to take a picture with her indie idol or her super-cute counterpart, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The lead actors are apparently BFFs, as they said in the Q&A. Way cute. It helped to make their performances in this quirky, sweet and hilarious film believable and thoroughly charming. When 500 Days of Summer shows up in regular movie theaters on July 24, we urge you to see it! It also has really great music, which doesn't just adorn the soundtrack but permeates the film in the best possible way. Check out the tracks below!

"Us" - Regina Spektor
"Sweet Disposition" - The Temper Trap

Rorschach's journal: We Have Band

Thursday March 19, 2009. 4:05pm. South by Southwest. Urban Outfitters back patio, Austin, Texas.

Two girls enjoy British indie trio We Have Band. Thom takes pictures. Small crowd dances awkwardly. Embarrassed. Then unicorn-headed man dances exuberantly, revives crowd. Unicorn-headed man stands in back, drinks free beer. Tilly and Thom have no beer. Tilly and Thom are under 21.

Band member declares "This is hottest place we've ever played!" It is 78 degrees. Tilly and Thom laugh.

Bass. Synthesizers. Kick drum. Snares. Tambourine. Human voices. We Have Band makes good music.

"You've Had Band" - We Have Band
"Oh!" - We Have Band

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is this what L.A. is like?

Before my assignment on Monday I went to a party because I heard there was free food. When I got there were people smoking hookah, getting henna, and there was even someone rolling cigars. I imagine this is what L.A. parties are like, but with more celebrities.

After this I took pictures of Sparhusen one of the greatest bands to ever come out of Sweden.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cutthroat Red Carpet

On Sunday I took pictures at the Adventureland movie premiere. It was my first experience being a paparazzo.

I had been standing for a position right in front of the carpet, when a much taller photographer cut in front of me. Another photographer and I teamed up against him, making faces behind his back and eventually I got my original position back. It was pretty intense.

Eventually Bill Hader and Greg Mottola (director of Superbad) showed up.

Bill Hader looked directly at me when I said, "welcome to Austin!"

Bill Hader poses with a reporter from News 8 Austin.

Adventureland Q&A

"Roll Up the Red Carpet" - Doll and The Kicks

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Parties and the Bees

Today was my first day of officially working for SXSW. Before I began my assignments I had to get my badge and camera tagged at the Austin Convention Center.

This took an hour longer than I thought it would mainly because the convention center is gigantic and I got lost easily.

Since I will be volunteering about 70 hours during SXSW I got a Platinum Badge to use during the conference which allows me to get into just about every interactive, film and music event. I need these credentials in order to get the photographs they need for SXSW.

What I didn't realize until later was how much my badge was worth. If it didn't have my name or picture on it, well, I would definitely consider selling it.

My first assignment was to take pictures at a party for a company called Razorfish. I went to the club it was held at called The Madison and had to show my badge to bouncers in order to get in.

There was an interactive touch screen where the guests who had registered could place a card on it and it would bring up their facebook profile.

Besides the oddity of accessing someone's profile from a touchscreen, it was even weirder since all the guests were about 35 or over.

After taking pictures at the party I wandered around downtown and took pictures from the roof of the Austin Convention Center.

My last assignment for the night was a film premiere of 'The Last Beekeeper,' a documentary about bees pollinating almonds in California, and how the bee population is rapidly declining.

The director created buzz about the movie. Seriously however, by the year 2035 there may be no more bees in America causing serious problems for our economy and ecosystem. A very scary thought, a world with no bees.

"The Party's Crashing US" - Of Montreal

Friday, March 13, 2009

SXSW absurdity

I will be taking pictures for SXSW this week. Last night I helped out with the SXSW bag stuffing, an event required for all volunteers. The process was a fascinating experience, a social experiment waiting to happen. I would grab a tote bag, then walk down a long row of about fifty people whose job it was to put various materials into the bag, a human assembly line. I met hundreds of people in a matter of minutes for a duration too short to create awkward small talk, but too long to not say anything at all.

Throughout all of this a DJ serenaded us with a variety of tunes from Love Shack to Reach for the Sky. In a room with over a thousand people working monotonously, it was weird to see people randomly dancing as they sorted iTunes gift cards or placed condoms in the tote bags.

After we finished stuffing 27,000 bags the room erupted into applause. There's nothing that unites a group of a thousand strangers more than completing a highly repetitive and inane task. It was amazing.

I have decided, fellow readers, that besides covering my required assignments for SXSW I will try to show you the underbelly of the SXSW beast through the unbiased lens of my camera. Yes, it is an efficient commercialism machine which floods the streets of Austin. And yes, it is a seemingly endless stream of drunkness and meaningless parties (which sadly I am not old enough to enjoy until next year).

Over the next several days on this blog I will try to capture the essence of South By South West, forever searching for the wealth of creativity and artistry that lies at its core. Or so I hope.

"Photograph" - Weezer
"I Turn My Camera On" - Spoon
"The Film Did Not Go 'Round" - Nada Surf

*there's a new SXSW poll btw!

Monday, March 9, 2009

...And the hipsters danced all night

We, Tilly and Thom, were among the many happy dancing hipsters at Australian band Cut Copy's show at Stubb's on Friday, March 6. We agree that it is very refreshing to see so many people crazy dance who might normally stand pretentiously still.

And it was exuberant! Matt & Kim, a poppy, energetic duo from Brooklyn who consist of only drums and synths, was a fun and cute opening act.

"Good Ol' Fashioned Nightmare" - Matt & Kim

Cut Copy really got the hipsters going, though. Skin against sweaty skin, everyone bounced, jumped, twisted, and undulated to the hypnotic Cut Copy melodies (a lot like Matt and Kim you see above!). We don't know about you, gentle readers, but that's how we here at 2g1k like it. The sweatier the better.

"Sands of Time" - Cut Copy (someone made a sparkly gold banner for this new song! awwr.)
"Far Away" - Cut Copy

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We need to talk

I just want to let you know that this is just as embarrassing for me as it is for you. However, it's what's best for you. I certainly wish my parents had discussed this with me sooner.

We need to talk about protection.

Hearing protection that is.

You're inexperienced, going to a lot of a concerts thinking,
hey, I'm young and virile, why would I need to wear hearing protection?

Well, if you've ever had ringing in your ears after a show, you may not realize it now but your ears have been damaged. It only takes one night without protection to do some harm.

I know earplugs are not, as you kids say, 'hip' or 'cool' to wear, but they really are important. And they're really not too bad, you just need to give them a chance.

I wore Hearos earplugs to a few concerts. They were ok but the sound was a little muffled; also, they were too big and would sometimes slip out of my ear canal. When you're at a concert you don't want your protection slipping in the heat of the moment.

Recently a friend suggested these Etymotic earplugs to me:

The sound quality is much better and I plan on testing them out at the next concert I go to. Any person who uses these earplugs certainly values both protection and pleasure.

Before your next music outing it would probably be a good idea to put them on just once, you know, for practice. Also, buy another pair and give them to a special friend. I'm sure they'll thank you for it.

See, that conversation wasn't too awkward was it? I think we've all learned a little bit about each other. I just want you to be safe.

Below are a few bands I saw live and were a bit too loud. I wish I had worn protection back then.

Ringo Deathstarr - "Sweet Girl"
Ghostland Observatory - 'The Band Marches On'