Meg and Laura Get Lost in Austin: Secret Shows, Cutout Couture and Mass Appeal
Before taking on Day 4 of SxSW, Meg and Laura headed to the hotel cafe with the SxSW Bible and a highlighter. As they spent all the money they do not have on pancakes, they went over their plans for the day. They took their last sips of coffee and fought against time to make it to the Day Party at The Tap Room to interview David Wax Museum. To their annoyance , the venue turned out to be +21 and the band’s publicist did not put the eighteen year olds down for media passes.
Heads down low, the two marched down Colorado Street in an attempt to shake off their collective disappointment. They hailed a bus to the Hampton Inn for their next appointment, an interview with the Estonian singer-songwriter, Kerli. As the two reached the hotel, they were ushered up to Kerli’s hotel room by her manager, Bruce. “Kerli’s getting ready for her show, so if you girls don’t mind coming up for the interview, that would be great”. Meg and Laura happily agreed, knowing it would be a great experience actually watching the performer prep for her show. “Watching Kerli get dressed is sort of like watching a cartoon explode”, explained Bruce. Intrigued, the duo, stepped inside expecting to find the synthetic made up Kerli who could easily pass off as one of Gwen Stefani’s harajuku girls in her videos but instead found a real person: a barely 5’1″ blond girl with her face clear of makeup and her wet hair in a messy bun. Baroque shaped styrofoam cutouts outlined with neon shoelaces were strewn all around the couch and coffee table. A pair of astounding 7″ platform shoes with the same pattern stood on top of the bureau. On the floor was the singer herself, putting the outfit together as she answered their questions. The Estonian native came across little and belittled as she talked about her childhood experiences and her transition to the U.S.. She discussed how young love was nearly was the death of her and how she used it as a motivator to strive harder for her dreams. “You know how hard it is being 18”, to which the duo chimed in in response, “Oh yes, do we know.” Kerli then stepped out of her role as an interviewee and bonded with the girls over well, being girls. She commended them on their perseverance, giving them props for sticking together in the midst of a catty jungle where women hide behind their oversized shades and fake smiles stuck in lipstick. “Just wait till you turn 25 and hit the quarter-life crisis. You start examining all your accomplishments and wonder if you’re successful enough,” joked the singer. The duo wished her luck on her preparations for the show and made an exit.
As Meg and Laura watched the sun set on their bus ride back to the convention center, they agreed that this recent experience was one of the more interesting adventures they’ve had, and for those of you who don’t know, these two don’t embark on your average everyday adventures. Back on Chavez, the happening ladies were faced with the daily challenge: which show to go tonight? As they made their way across downtown Austin, en route to the venue walk-through before shows started, a distinctive synth-y noise surfaced in the air. They stopped and exchanged enchanted looks. Could it be? They crossed over to the Myspace Showcase and interrogated the bouncer; “Is that Sleigh Bells?” And of course, it was. There was no way these audiophiles could confuse the sound of Infinity Guitars for any other. The bouncer let them in on the fact that they were soundchecking and told them to be back at the venue to line up at 7pm if they wanted to get in. They took the tip but since it was still early they continued to venture around the wild Chavez until then.
Dodging drunk bullets and catching some talented street performers along the way, when the clock struck 6:30pm they headed back to the line outside the Myspace Showcase where they found that a swarm of Austin Sheriffs armed at the doors of the venue had replaced the friendly bouncer. Nervous that they wouldn’t be able to work their wits through this one and that they’d miss another great show in the process, the duo decided to resort to plan B: The Mass Appeal Ice Cream Official SXSW Social Showcase at the Austin Music Hall. Despite their doubts, this show was far less guarded and the two made it right in. In the day and age of incessant social media updates and overworked iPhones, the girls took some time to charge their cells while opening rappers Rockie Fresh and Roc Marciano took to the stage. With 100% battery they hit the floor and squeezed their way to the best spot in the house: The front of the stage near the VIP entrance where they caught glimpses of Hip Hop legend Pharrell while they waited for the one and only Kendrick Lamar to take the stage. When he finally appeared, the wild crowd he opened with “Hol’ Up” and followed with “ADHD” and kept up the energy with “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”. Just when everyone thought it couldn’t get better, he brought Ab-Soul onstage for the track “Terrorist Threats” and later blew minds when he brought out not only ScHoolboyQ but T.I. as well. The show ended with a performance by Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon and the duo walked home in a musical stupor. So out of their minds that Laura drew parallels between Destiny’s Child and Wu Tang.