I've been shirking this bloggity-poo for several days because I attended the big clusterfuck of hipster douchebags, aka South by Southwest, last week. I flew solo, sparing Mrs. Mystery the pain of enduring four consecutive nights of rock fever, bobbing and weaving my way in and out of the crowds and clubs like a graceful teenage swan. Oddly enough, for a man as socially awkward and hermit-like (or hermetically sealed) as the doctor of mystery, I ran into people I know every single night. I enjoyed the randomness of the friendly encounters, and I also enjoyed spending all that time alone, watching people and coming and going as I liked. I also spent over 100 dollars on beer. It would be hilarious if I did that at a liquor store, but, alas, the tally was reached by local merchants inflating their prices to gouge tourists, not through any massive consumption on my part. I'll probably write about the music later, but let's talk about douchebags and ephemera first.
1) The bouncers at the Exodus club are a bunch of fucking Neanderthals. I got thumped in the chest for standing on the stairs too long, people were thrown out for reasons as random as staring at the bouncers, taking pictures of the bands, or getting a little tipsy. One of these uber-douches, violently removing an intoxicated man, screamed at us to "get out of the way" though his path to the door was clear and slammed directly into us with the full force of his steroid-friendly physique. Those guys can straight up eat some dogshit. Oddly, the bartenders were excellent.
2) I had to stand in line for thirty minutes next to the two most repulsive women I've ever encountered, at least since last month. They were loudly giving a massively cliched hipster's guide to Austin to a couple of guys from out of town, probably unsolicited. They were apparently being controlled by the same puppetmaster because they were in absolute consensus on every absolutist know-it-all opinion expressed by either of their stupid faces. They even finished each other's sentences. How cute. I want to thank them for setting me straight, though. Apparently, my favorite place to see live music, Stubb's, is "the worst place to see live music in Austin." Is the sound bad, the out-of-towners reasonably asked. "No, the sound is good. Particularly if you stand by the tree. The sound is perfect next to the tree." Huh? "It's too dusty. Also, we saw LCD Soundsystem there, and it was too cold to dance." What's Austin like when SXSW is not going on? "It's a sleepy hamlet. Everyone is laid back to a fault." Where's the best Mexican food? "If you want to eat good Mexican food in Austin, the only place to get it is the east side." Is the barbecue at Stubb's good? "Stubb's is tourist barbecue. Again, the only place to get good barbecue is on the east side." Aren't these ladies precious? Eating exclusively in minority neighborhoods gives them a badge of hipster authenticity. We are so enlightened, so free. We are so down with black and Latino culture, as long as we can eat it. To be fair, the food on the east side is pretty damn good, but there's a lot of great things over there besides food, and a lot of great Mexican food and barbecue on the west, north, and south sides as well. But hipsters exist only in absolutist worlds, where the greatness of one thing negates everything else. Stubb's may be "tourist barbecue," but I think that phrase could be better used to describe the contents of the two women's brains.
3) Overheard conversation between two drunk guys, again at Exodus, while waiting at the bar for my drink.
Drunk 1: Dude, I'm trying to get some puss tonight.
Drunk 2: Drugs?
D1: No, not drugs. Puss.
D2: Ohhhh. Puss. Not drugs.
D1: No. Puss.
D2: Puss would be good. Drugs would be good, too.
D1: Yeah. Puss would be good and drugs would be good, too.
One hour later, I went back to the bar, and the conversation was still going on!
4) After Superchunk's set on Saturday night, David Cross sneaks onstage and says a few words. A completely baffled looking guy walks up to me and says: Was that David Cross?
Baffled guy, almost angry, intently staring into my eyes like I'm some conduit between David Cross and him: What's he doing here?
Me: Probably seeing some music.
Guy, shaking his head, still perturbed, but visibly relaxing a bit: Whoaaah!
5) My favorite moment, in the bathroom at Stubbs, when a world-weary LA hipster got schooled by a drunken moron. At the paper towel dispenser:
LA Hipster (after getting a paper towel from the motion senser dispenser): Man, I'm from L.A. and I've never seen anything like this.
Drunken Moron, visibly perturbed: What? You're from L.A. and you've never seen a paper towel dispenser like this one? You've never seen one of these before? You never have?
LAH (unaware he's being fucked with): Yeah, I'm from L.A. and I thought I'd seen everything, but I've never seen these before.
DM: All you do is move your hand in front of it and the paper towel comes out!
LAH: Yeah, but I've never seen one of these in L.A.
DM: Dude, it's not that interesting.
Celebrity sightings: J Mascis, the aforementioned David Cross, Beatle Bob, David Fricke (I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel with the last two)
Personal behavior that made me laugh but also disturbed me: While on my way from one club to another, I stopped for pizza, and then I stopped for tacos.