Farewell, Austin: Kalyn here checking in for Wheelchair Sports Camp and Company's last night at SXSW! Grab a cup of coffee -- you missed a lot since our last check-in: We took our precious time getting out of our RV park home yesterday and loaded in our gear to The Jr (Emo's) at 6 p.m. On the way, I spotted the magnificent Aja Black (The ReMINDers) from afar, but never got the chance to link up with my favorite CO family... Anyway, we got our shit loaded in, and Isaac got some busking in on his ukelele, while Frank Kwiatkowski hustled more art. They wracked up a few dollars and a three foot sub sandwich...random? not at SXSW.
Jennah and I left the freaks and rushed our asses over to the Shady Music Showcase. Unfortunately, the Foodchain was already done playing, and some fool took the stage who had a quarter of the skill of anyone in the Foodchain :( I sat there for about ten minutes, looking for my Shady man, but couldn't handle one more song of shit rappers who rapped over their pre-recorded rhymes. I was close to blowing my brains out. So, I gave up and headed for the door when boom! My main man Riggs (Shady A&R) ran right into my little ass! Yes, Tebow still plays during the off season!
The Photo Roadies weren't allowed in with all their equipment, so Riggs made sure to let them right in! While I was waiting for them to get back, an entourage of macho men walked passed me, when a tatted white boy asked to take a picture with me because of my awesome punk shirt (Udown). I agreed and asked his name... Sure enough, it was Machine Gun Kelly, who I've never had the opportunity to hear, but am up on game enough to know the name. I passed off my new CD to my man Riggs plus a shirt for 50 and Eminem, who, I was told, was waiting in the back for a surprise appearance. Left as soon as I got the chance and didn't even have blow my top!
We headed back for our venue when we were stopped by a fabulous queen for another picture op! She loved me so much that she bought the whole crew and I round of shots. We popped in for five wet pussy's and were back on track! Played our hearts out for our second official showcase, which had the worst sound EVER! There were a good eight waves of people who came in and out plus a good fifteen folks who stuck around for the whole show. The few people who bought merch from us bought everything they could with the money in their pockets and once again Austin showed us unconditional love. Our new pal Doug Funnie from Ft Worth showed face, and we hung tough at Emo's.
That is, until the worst noise music duo ever took the stage. It takes a really amazing musician to make noise music sound good, and the wanna be Lady Gaga who played put me into a bad acid trip quick! I left and tried to catch Blackalicious around the corner, but it was at capacity, so home we went.
This morning was a whole different ballgame. Not only was it St. Patrick's Day, but it was also the sixth month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The crew dropped the girl and I off at the capitol for the 7th annual Million Musicians March, which was joined by Occupy Austin. We got to chill on the lawn of the capitol for a few hours and enjoy the much needed break.
The march kicked off around 3 p.m., and we took to the streets. This was, by far, the most incredible march I've ever been able to be a part of, and it was the PERFECT way to spend my last day at SXSW. The march grew in numbers quickly as we occupied 6th street filling the corporate festival with sounds of independent peace. It was beautiful. We made it to CIty Hall, where we played a short set right after Onus tried to ruin my St Patrick's Day. Luckily I'm so Irish that it's virtually impossible!
Next up, I got my much needed daily dose of tacos, and we finally got some band busking in. Boy, oh boy, am I glad we did! We played for a good forty mins, made about $200 (in mostly $1s), did an interview for a Houston news station, got a few big wig contacts and drew a crowd bigger than all four shows we played this week combined! It was hard to stop, but I HAD TO SEE EL-P!!
The good taxi man Isaac dropped Jennah and I off at the hip-hop party, while Abi went to see William Elliott Whitmore. Got to see my hero Busdriver for the second time this week and was able to sneak on stage to watch the legend do what he does best: Melt faces! His set was short, sweet, and full of sour power rhymes and beats that left the crowd begging for more.
We jetted out as soon as he was done and headed back for some more busking. This time, we played about thirty minutes and made another $175, while Frank Kwiatkowski hustled over $150 in prints! This round of busking, we were spotted by America's Got Talent people, but would we ever? NO! Well... at least not anytime soon. Don't worry. BUT!!, we did take the opportunity for a Source Magazine interview in five hours before we head home! Being 190 percent independent has NEVER felt better!
Austin, thank you soooo goddamn much for inviting us back and being such an embracing city. Although this years festival tried to force feed everyone corporate sponsors and shitty bands, the diamonds were still everywhere! They were just a little harder to find, which I think makes the SXSW experience even more fun. I heard a lot of complaints from folks, especially Austin natives, but I couldn't have asked for a better time. Truly.
Final Thoughts: Who needs showcases, venues or sound systems, when you can play in the street, with a bucket, megaphone and sax, where the real heart is? Who needs art galleries when you can hustle on the corner, share your techniques with the public and interact with people on a one on one basis? I sure do dread the day we are offered to play on a Dorrito vending machine stage and plan to play way more corner shows next year!
Everything's in it's right place.
Side note: Onus still hasn't brushed his teeth this trip, Frank still hasn't taken his shoes off, and four of the nine crew members have serious feet blisters.
*Follow us on twitter to hear about our trip back home and where to celebrate my birthday at when we arrive! @wcsportscamp
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Yo, yo, yo!! Last night was the Sports Camp crew's first night in Austin, and boy did it kick off with a bang! We're staying in an RV park a few minutes outside of town and finally showered and grounded ourselves. None of us slept over a few hours, so the crew was pretty grumpy and ready to stab each other. Abi lost her voice, so Jennah was force feeding her herbs, pricking her with acupuncture needles, and she didn't talk to anyone until it was time to play :) With the help of alternative medicine and a few shots of whiskey and lemon, Abi rocked Austin's socks off, and no one could even believe she lost her voice. We played our first official showcase at Club 606, and I can say with a bias, it was a great set!
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After our set, Abi and Isaac's fabulous uncle Phil stuck to tradition and took us out for a good meal. We headed to the Fake Four showcase after dinner to meet up with our peoples Chris Ferrone of the Boston-Phoenix. I got to meet one of my favorite rappers of all time, Busdriver, and got to chat it up with the main man himself Ceschi. After finishing a joint on the patio, we were 86'ed from the club and had to hear the rest of Busdriver's set from the curb outside. Needless to say it was a hell of a night!
Today, we met up with the best damn Canadian to have ever lived... Nardwuar the Human Serviette!!!! Not only did i luck out with some great old school vinyl, we also brought him loads of gifts including a personalized cone cut from Frank Kwiatkowski. There's too much fun to explain, so you'll have to wait till the interview is posted. Stay tuned.
On our way to catch my Denver favorites, I ran into good pal One Be Lo of Binary star and Zero Star out of Columbus, whom I haven't seen since I played with him and Illogic many years back... By the time we got to the GirlGrabbers and Whygee showcase, there was a line out the door, plus a massive staircase, plus we were already running late for our show, so we weren't able to make it :/
But i should note, the soundtrack for this year's trip has most definitely been the new Biggie by Qknox. What a damn album!!! We rushed over to play an Occupy Austin event at a church outside of the chaos, and it was the first time I've ever played in a church and ever cussed into a microphone in a church. It was quite a liberating experience.
Us ladies made the RV drop us off to try and catch Fionna Apple, but the venue was at capacity, and the line was wrapped around the block. :( We waited around for a bit, got a chance to catch hometown pals Catch Lungs and Take To The Oars and headed to get in some world music.
I have been so excited to see the Columbian band Duran live, and boy am I glad we did! They brought the sexiest damn dance party I've ever been able to witness! With plans to check out a bunch of other great shows after, we pooped out and met Frank Kwiatkowski on 6th street cutting cones and hustling prints. The bitches love that guy!
Abi and I went to the comedy club to get the RV keys from Onus, and Abi was brought into the comedy show with the assumption that Onus must have kidnapped her. While waiting outside for Abi, I could hear one my of my favorite classic Snoop Dogg songs and sure enough, Snoop was playing right next door on a Dorrito vending machine stage. Only at SXSW, I tell you what!
We all got some much needed rest, and now it's time to get pumped for our Showcase tonight! We might even get in some street busking before, but 11 p.m. at the Jr. (Emo's on 6th). Better ask somebody!!!!!!
T minus Katlyn (Kalyn)
*if you need to follow more closely... Get on Twitter @wcsportscamp
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With this year's South By Southwest going down this week, a grip of Denver acts have made the trek down to Austin to showcase their wares. We've tapped a bunch of them to keep a travelogue and share all their antics and observations from what always ends up being one the most memorable times in music all year. Keep it locked here on Backbeat. We'll be posting their dispatches all week as they come filtering in. First up, the T minus Katlyn tells us about Wheelchair Sports Camp's trip out to Austin. Spoiler alert: Nobody got arrested this time.
Hey there, hometown, Kalyn here from Wheelchair Sports Camp, checking in to tell you about all the crazy shit we're getting ourselves into on the way to SXSW for our second year! No... we haven't been arrested (wood knock), but we did bring the Denver circus to mess with Texas in a seriously hilarious way!
After playing our favorite historic theater, the Oriental, at home Friday night, we packed up our seven person rental RV with nine Denver clowns and headed for Albuquerque. Roll call: The Wheelchair, Sports & Camp, me, Isaac and Abi, the best band handler/girlfriend ever, Jennah, the handsome cousin Photo Roadies, Adrian and Ryan, the godfather of traffic cones, Frank Kwiatkowski, the documentary doctor, Chris Bagley, and the only man to ever survive thirty years of rocket fuel abuse, Onus Spears!
We left town with all our summer outfits and were greeted in Albuquerque with snow and one of our favorite bands to play with, Bigawatt. We stuck to our tradition and left with bellies full of Frontier's signature green chili, ready for the Texas rodeo ahead of us.
With no time to waste, the Photo Roadies drove through the night, and we made it to Fort Worth in no time... well like ten hours of time, plus the hour from daylight savings, plus another hour from the time change. But Fort Worth surprised us and showed us mad love. We even managed to make some new rapper friends -- Doug Funnie and Kyeote.
Monday, we had to take off and investigate who broke the rules and shit in the RV toilet. After only five minutes of interrogation, Onus confessed, we kicked him out, and picked up a replacement hitchhiker in Houston. It was him, so he's back with us now ;)
Today, we made a trip to the gulf, got suckered into a tourist trap, and played the best D.I.Y. venue in the country for the SXSW Overflow Fest! Super Happy Fun Land isn't only the best because of the giant cabbage patch kid and raggedy anne colony, but it is also home to my favorite yellow tricycle and I found a perfect fitting one piece clown suit!
Once again, we played with some great bands from across the country we would have never known about, and had a super happy fun time! If you're ever in Houston, you have to see the place for yourself to understand it's magnitude of greatness. As for the bands you should also now know about: The Loom (Brooklyn), The Back Pockets (Atlanta), Cheers Elephant (Philadelphia), Lily And The Tigers (Atlanta) and Magic Milk (Chicago).
All that super, happy, fun, excitement is still in effect, and here we are, 4:41 AM about an our outside of Austin, awaiting year two of SXSW madness! We'll play our first official showcase today, Wednesday at Club 606 at 8 p.m.! Our motto is still the same.... NO... SLEEP.... TILL AUSTIN!! Hopefully we'll see some of you cow towner's there, but for those of you who couldn't make the trek this year... stay tuned, we'll keep you updated!
- T minus Katlyn (Kalyn)
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