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Dan Murphy

The Total Man Package on SXSW: Out With The GEEKS & In With The COOL People
by Dan Murphy

May 2003

The SXSW Independent Music/Film Festival is now over and like many of you who attended I'm Exhausted. I was at the Austin Convention Center when all the Hotshot Celebrities/Filmmakers/Music People moved in and when they moved out. My tired state isn't from Partying all night with Drugs, Alcohol and Groupies (Damn IT! I wish it was), but it was due to staying up all night.

You see, most of these Film & Music types think their SXSW Success depends upon things like Contracts, Media Airtime, Advertising tools, etc. All of this is negligible if they can't get into the Convention Center to Register, set up their Booths, give lectures etc. Their Success is determined by one major factor they're overlooking: it's really more dependent upon whether or not a Temporary City Employee Yard Guard Monkey (that's me) lets them in the EAST GATE of the Convention Center or not.

Once again, the fate of Austin Public Entertainment is determined by My part-time job. I also spent 5 nights working overnight at the SXSW Registration Desk at the Convention Center guarding the pricey SXSW Passes, Computers, Promotional Material, etc.

SXSW really kicked off when all the Top Geek Physicists of the world attending the American Physical Society Convention at the Center left and SXSW moved in. The center went from people studying the "Compositional Analysis of Diamond-like Carbon Nitride Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering" who rarely have groupies to guys saying Dude all day and 72-year-old Movie Stars (like Robert Duvall) with 31-year-old trophy girlfriends.

Duvall was in town to screen his movie "Assassination Tango." I didn't get to see Robert Duvall at the Center, but my friend Larry did. Larry was checking to make sure people had the proper badge for the Plush Platinum SXSW Room (Registration Fee $775) at the Center. Duvall showed up without a pass and Larry didn't recognize him at first. Then Larry realized who he was and of course Duvall was allowed in without a Pass. So much for the "You Must Have Your Pass Rule" to gain access. Yes, Fame has its privileges. Side Note: According to the Austin Chronicle, Duvall also tries to mix non-actors with professional actors and be as lifelike as possible. Hello, I'm available. Please give me a call.

BB King was also in the House, but I didn't get to see him either. Robbie, one of the catering guys, told me he was very friendly and signed some autographs for people. He also mentioned that King's health may not be that good because he was in a wheelchair.

While staying up all night guarding the SXSW Registration Stuff, I got to kill a lot of time reading the numerous flyers for bands and movies that were showing. To my surprise, I spotted a flyer for a movie called "Screen Door Jesus." I was an Extra in this movie and didn't even know it was playing at SXSW. So, I had to go see it at the Paramount Theater. I am on camera approximately 3 Seconds. By the time I pointed to my friend who was with me to say, "See there I am," I was gone.

The movie revolves around the image of Jesus appearing on a lady's screen door. The movie was shot on High Definition Video, therefore the color quality was excellent. The scenes were shot well and there were some comedic moments, but the various plots were detached. All in all, it was an excellent debut for Writer/Director Kirk Davis.

SXSW also had a Japan nite (this how They spelled it, Okay?!). I found one really funny flyer for a band called Dagashi-Kashi. They had an English translation on their flyer which said, "We are Dagashi-Kashi We Are Poison' rock band from Japan. White painted face, kimono, and loud sound. These are all about Dagashi-Kashi. Once you see us, you will go to the hell. You can come, but never be released. We won't let you go." That's exactly how it was written. They left out the, "Our parents didn't ah huga us enougha" part. Their makeup looks like the Joker from the first Batman movie. One of their members looks like the Bald Bad Guy Leader of The Superman II movie.

Man, I not making this stuff up. I was going to list a link for their website, but I just tried it and it doesn't work. So here is a SXSW link:

It really doesn't do justice to the picture on their flyer, but it will give you an idea what they look like. I also got to hear one of their songs on the SXSW Japan nite CD. It sounded okay, but every time I listen to it I feel like I'm being taken to HELL and they will never let me GO! On my way home from the Center I saw one of their Band Members outside Club Elysium on Seventh and Red River waiting to get in. They were playing there that night.

Last year I had a run-in with a rock band from China. I got called from the Control Center to go to the front of the building on Trinity Street and tell these Asian guys to stop throwing a Frisbee around the front of the building. When I got home and flipped on the local news, they were doing a report on China's biggest rock band (I don't remember their name) and it was the guys I told to stop throwing the Frisbee around. At least they weren't throwing TV sets off the second floor like American rock bands.

I also ran into a couple of friendly guys from the group POPPIES 3 of St. Louis. They said they had a good time and got some great exposure at SXSW. They found out that they were kind of like "Spinal Tap" in South America. They were getting a lot of airplay down there that they weren't even aware of. I didn't get to sample any of their music because they were out of CDs. You can check them out at:

Next year I'm running my own cheap knock-off SXSW Show on the balcony of my efficiency apartment in Austin's Hyde Park neighborhood. The sound was sooo loud from downtown that you could hear it at my apartment and I live approximately 4.33 miles away according to Mapquest.

In order to draw a crowd, I realize I'm going to have to offer a unique experience. So, I'm not going to have any weirdo, underground, alternative bands. I'm sticking with a more mainstream theme. That's right, I'm sticking with the basics: 80's Hair Bands & Pro Wrestling.

I'm going to have 80's Hair Bands Like White Snake & Dokken (who just played Austin about a month or so ago). I'm even going to draw a demographic SXSW is seriously lacking: the Rednecks. They hate this SXSW Alternative music stuff, but who do they LOVE? That's right! I'm bringing in the World's Greatest Redneck Band of All Time: Lynard Skynard. FREEBIRD BABY!

For the film side, I'm going to run Wrestling Videos and Wrestling Documentaries in the parking lot on the big screen. This will also help me to draw College Kids and Teenager Demographic as well as the Rednecks. Instead of Japan Nite, where going to have Redneck, Mullet Mania Night.

Robert Duvall better not show up to my event without his badge or my REDNECK Security is goin' to trash him. Yeah, they're going to Trash him whether he has a pass or not.

I'm not going to decorate the Parking Lot with Swank Furniture like the Platinum Room either. I'm going to get the Rednecks to bring the Car Engines and other Junk they've accumulated in their front yards over the years and use that as decorations. Oh Yeah, it's going to be a SELL OUT!

Remember, SXSW isn't The Partridge Family, but I heard HANSON played there. Also, if you're still reading this YOU ARE POISON! I WILL TAKE YOU TO HELL! YOU CAN COME BUT NEVER BE RELEASED BECAUSE I WON'T LET YOU GO!

Talk to you next month. Take Care!


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