SXSW 2009 blog: Day Two

Every March, hoards of label bosses, bloggers and music fans all descend on Austin, Texas for South by Southwest (SXSW), an industry-based music festival where 1800+ of the hottest new bands vie for attention over four days.

This year, we've sent intrepid blogger Steve Turner to sunny Texas who's reporting back on the coolest bands, the hottest tickets and the snowballing lack of sleep that's already troubling what's left of his frazzled brain. Let Day Two commence…

So many bands, so little time…

Day two

"The temptation on the first night of any festival is to overdo it and, of course, last night was no exception. A good breakfast should see me straight though.

"My bleary-eyed carcass isn't up and hobbling about until it's midday and any hope of a stale hotel croissant is long gone. There's just chance to scribble down the day's huge itinerary before heading downtown again on the SXSW shuttle buses that run 24 hours.

I knew we should've turned left at Albuquerque…

"There's an incredible number of venues at SXSW. Every club, pub, bar, restaurant and street corner is a makeshift stage and navigating all this for the non-Austinites requires a map. One of the more common sights to behold at SXSW are packs of lost hipsters trying to recall where the hell Stubb's BBQ is exactly on Red River Street.

"Fortunately, I already know where the Presbyterian Church is and hotfoot it over there early enough to get a pew to see the very hotly talked-about Grizzly Bear play. The Pope himself wouldn't draw a crowd as big into this little church and then command as much hushed anticipation.

Joined at the 'fro: Our man Turner (right) meets his evil alter-ego

"There's still a queue as I leave but outside, the crowd know the show's over and now they wait for a glimpse of the New York-based band to leave.

"Night falls and the streets heave with kids trying to make their way to the next hot thing. There's a tremendous amount of hair on display and I find myself sucked into some 'fro-on-'fro loving as I make my way to the Radio Rooms to catch Handsome Furs.

Hot new band alert: Boston's Pretty and Nice

"However I'm stopped dead in my tracks as four great looking kids in tie-dye T-shirts are making the most exciting noise I've heard so far. Pretty and Nice are razor-sharp witted, thrilling and know the value of playing at speed while pulling shapes and/or faces.

City-lovin' husband and wife outfit, the Handsome Furs

"I've forgotten all about the Furs and have to leg it across to make the encore song - ironically it's Hate This City! How could anyone hate this city?"

Come back tomorrow for regular updates from SXSW.