SXSW Entry #5: Charades, Delorean/Aguayo

Friday night at SXSW answered many long-pondered questions: Can I make it an entire day of just Chick Fil A and tortilla chips? (yes) Does chasing whiskey with Heineken leave your mouth feeling minty fresh? (no) Does Bill Murray appreciate random fans coming up to him as he tries to watch Fool's Gold? (no) Can a drunk quadriplegic have his wheelchair cited for drunk driving? (yes, although I'm sure you could weasel your way out of a citation by blaming the wheels in some way)

And with my brain now resting a bit easier, I can reflect on the actual music that I caught last night. I started the night at Mi Casa Cantina (which is neither a casa nor a cantina) to see the Spanish indie group Charades attempt to impress a group of stragglers. They seemed in fine form, as the songs on their recent Revolución Solar sounded just right during the terror twilight period. Of course, the consistent sound problems (which also plagued Los Amparito the night before) dulled a bit of the band's energy, although to their credit, they persevered and gave an ultimately worthy show.

From there, I kicked around in a hotel room (amidst a slew of e-mail and Twitter links from El Jefe Reyes) before going to Emo's Jr. for some techno grooves. First up was the Barcelona electro-pop act Delorean, who quickly went in for the kill by opening their set with their hit "Seasun." What was notable about this version (and really, the set in general) was how much more organic they sounded live than on record. It was also surprisingly how Spanish they actually sounded too. Believe it or not, there's not that thick of a line between Delorean and, say, Los Planetas--just a few instruments and some Resident Advisor-approved material. I will admit that the set began to meander when every song began to sound epic in that "the world's about to be swallowed in an ocean of unrestrained noise" kind of way, but by the end of the set, they began laying down some !!!-esque funk that got the crowd dancing and switching sunglasses among one another. And yes, that really happened. I have pictures to prove it.

Closing the night was another set from who's quickly becoming the MVP of SXSW 2010, Matias Aguayo. This show was a much more traditional house set than the day party from two days ago. The beats were more stacked, and the crowd was much more devoted and patient. Aguayo didn't deliver them the standard techno goods though--every track was accentuated with more traditional Latin rhythms, ranging from distinctive drums to maracas, which reflected the "sound of the border" that Aguayo has inadvertently evoked. Even while frantically searching for the right button, instrument, or sample (HE'S NOT USING A COMPUTER, PEOPLE!), Aguayo still found time to unleash his dance moves every so often...which made me dance...and the girl next to me dance...and so on and so on. I'm telling you, Aguayo is infectious!! The set concluded with the 1-2 uppercut of "Bo Jack" and "Rollerskate," which blended referee whistles, 808, and female-sung gibberish into a euphoria of house bliss. It didn't matter that we were approaching 2 am, it seemed like the party was only starting which, in the case of someone with Aguayo's M.O., may be the highest compliment I can pay.