Music Festivals

SXSW 2011: Wanda Jackson, Dead Milkmen, Jeff the Brotherhood, and Ty Segall

​All week, everyone was talking, "Michael Cera's here, Michael Cera's there. Where's Michael Cera?" On the morning of the final day of South by Southwest, we headed to a little Mexican restaurant called Mi Madre's. After ordering breakfast tacos, there he was. Finally, Michael Cera, chatting with a young lady, ordering tacos. First celebrity sighting of the day.

After watching a few bands in the backyard of the house where we were staying, the world beckoned to us with some passes into Rachel Ray's Feedback at Stubbs where the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson performed. Ms. Jackson made our insides bubble with delight. This lady is still rocking at 73. She dated Elvis for Christ's sake!

After singing a few songs off her new album, The Party Ain't Over on Jack White's Third Man Records, she switched over to some of her classic tunes like the first one she ever wrote, "Mean, Mean Man." The crowd did a little twisting and turning, stuffed with Rachel Ray's barbecue.

A packed audience for the MWTX party at the Eastside Drive-In went on and on past sunset. We watched Davila 666 and Thee Oh Sees for the forth time each and loved it, then went over to see Dead Milkmen. The crowd was nuts. More stage divers than one could count, just throwing themselves on the crowd.

Kids were climbing speakers and most of the people in the front were stamped with Dead Milkmen tattoos. We literally saw a beer can fly straight into the air, probably 15 feet. Not long after, while trying to get back into the VIP area, Puff Daddy (or is it P. Diddy?) walked right by us with an entourage and cops to see Odd Future. 

Next, we went by the Panache party at Mohawk. It was great to see Strange Boys perform in their hometown, everyone appreciated the show. The Nashvillian bros of Jeff the Brotherhood didn't fail to impress either. Singer and guitarist Jake Orrall encouraged the crowd to stage dive, and then climbed about 10 feet up onto a speaker for a bit and then came back down saying, "OK, that was a bad idea." It's totally awesome music for both young and old lovers of classic '70s rock 'n' roll. The guy with the Chlamydia shirts loved them and he's not even 23.

Our friend said to us yesterday, "Do you really have to see Ty Segall again?" The answer is yes. Totally. After going to so many shows, enjoying some and disliking others, we needed to indulge a little in a guilty pleasure. Jumping around to Ty Segall was the perfect way to (almost) end a crazy week. One guy obviously harbored similar feelings since he climbed up to the highest speaker, jumping from above into the arms of people nicer and stronger than us.

Then we charmed the doormen who kicked us out and ended the day with a riot at the Death From Above 1979 show.

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy