Missives from SXSW: Exene Cervenka on How Her Week Ended

Categories: SXSW, Tour Diary
Most famous as a punk rock icon and artist, Exene Cervenka (front woman for X, Knitters and Original Sinners) is documenting her adventures for Heard Mentality on the way to Austin's South By Southwest, the country's biggest music festival. Check out her complete tour diary archive here.
Raven Lorthos
Exene at Red Eyed Fly
Saturday morning: Lay in bed. Saturday afternoon: Hung out and lay in bed. Saturday evening: Played Bloodshot showcase at Red Eyed Fly.

Twenty-year-old Lydia Loveless opened the show. She has a unique voice,and is a powerful singer. Maggie Bjorlkund, steel player from Denmark, is next. Cello, upright, steel . . . very beautiful, strange music with wispy vocals. 

Raven Lorthos
Cindy Wasserman and Brady Blade
​Then me with Will Sexton, Brady, Cindy and Maggie. It was a packed, open-air room. Really hot and humid. Thankfully, the sound onstage was good, and out front, people said it was great. Yay! 

Then about 15 of us went up the street to Stubb's BBQ. You gotta go there at least once while here. The supermoon was something else. 
Raven Lorthos
Today, I have a photo shoot that is really gonna be fun. There are more shows today and events I am going to check out. 

Sweet Relief is having a show, and tonight at the Continental Club, Alejandro hosts the SXSW closing gig, which is all gonna be amazing. I couldn't get in to see Yoko Ono; I would have liked to have seen her. Most people are leaving, but we are staying. I am so lucky to have almost two weeks here. Because I love Austin. 

Yesterday, Sunday, was the last day of SXSW festivities. We went to Joe's, a coffeehouse on Congress. There's a big, open space next to it, and they have a stage and local vendors. We saw Austin's Lil Capn Travis. Their set was very soft and pretty at times. A little psychedelic. A beautiful day to just mingle with folks, mostly Austonians. 

Then we drove out to the big party I was looking forward to. GXGG! (It stands for Gay By Gay Gay.) In a field, with a big stage and lighting, food booth, beer . . . there were a lot of peoiple there--at least 1,500. 

Raven Lorthos
The No Means No Girls
​It's not an official SXSW event, but the cool people find it. So many beautiful people dressed up in their own imagination. 

Fashion at GXGG is fascinating--everyone is an indivdual. Lots of life-lovers and proud lesbians, handsome men shakin' it. The first band we saw was Poor Richard. All about the fun and the fun. Gals, mostly. 

Then we saw Butch County Line, a hard-rockin' outfit fronted by Katy, who is super-tough and can really belt out a tune. One of the guiarists reminded us of a cute, young Joan Jett. Both bands were really good. Ran into some friends there and called it a night when it got dark. Can't argue with darkness. Got groceries and went back to the room. 

The media has shifted our attention away from Japan by throwing missiles at Libya. Heard there were snow flurries in OC. I have four days off until my tour starts here in Austin. 

I am really fatigued from walking in the sun and carrying that guitar everywhere! And I'm glad it's over. It's important to come here to meet the music warriors who are keeping live music alive.

Thank you to everyone who came this year. We didn't get to see a lot of bands, but that's not the reason to come to Austin. It's to make musical and spiritual connections with new friends and old friends. It's a lot like the old punk scene--all about fighting for something good and love and celebration. So it was a good one. Keep Austin weird.

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