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…and we play Rock’N'Roll

Posted by Mick on March 19, 2010 – 12:10 am

Pancho needs your prayers it’s true,
But save a few for Lefty too
He just did what he had to do
Now he’s growing old

I’m not at all sure why I’m leading off with that tonight.  But there was no doubt in my mind that I would.  Perhaps you needed to hear it.  Perhaps it simply needed to be heard.

Austin, my Austin.  I may have grown up somewhere else, but you are my home.  Sweet city, I love you dearly.  But we have to talk.  This… this thing you do every March.  It has to stop.  I know you think you need the money it brings you, but you’re better than that.  They may spend their money, but they don’t respect you.  They use you.  They degrade you.  And every time you let them do it, you lose a little bit of your soul.

I’m talking, of course, about the SXSW Music Festival.  The film festival is big and busy and honestly a bit of a nightmare if you’re not actually doing it, but the film folks are for the most part really cool, and even the worst ones are only mildly irritating.  And then Music week starts.  Hipsters and douchebags descend on the town, in a way reminiscent of a swarm of locusts.  Did I say swarm?  I meant plague.

I was reminded of this tonight when I braved the music crowds to catch a screening.  Yes, even though the Music fest has officially started, the film fest is still going.  And tonight was the final screening of Clay Liford’s Earthling.  I had read an early version of the script, and have been following it closely ever since, and not even the nightmare of negotiating downtown SXSW Music traffic and being surrounded by throngs of drunken wristband wearers was going to keep me away.

I fully realized the danger I was in.  I’ve built this film up in my head, I’m breaking my SXSW 2010 fast for it, during Music week no less.  Clay was going to have a hard time living up to my expectations.

And damn if he didn’t do it.  Earthling is a damn fine film.  It is totally, completely, and un-apologetically Science-Fiction, with a distinctly “Indie” vibe.  It may have been made in Dallas, but it smells more than a little like Austin to me.  It also begs for a second viewing.  Expect a full review, and expect it soon.

One final note – I’ve been noticing a distinct spike in the number of Motörhead fans lately.  With the release of the new Lemmy documentary, I’m seeing even more, including some of my fellow film fans.  I do not at all begrudge or resent these… Lemmy-come-latelys, but I want it on the record that CyberMonkeyDeathSquad was down with Kilmeister in the before time.  Some might say “when it wasn’t cool”, but they’d be wrong.  It was always cool, you all just didn’t realize how cool it was.

The first draft of this little piece contained a line that I’m a little bit ashamed of writing.  I was too ashamed of it to leave it in, but I’m not ashamed enough to keep it to myself.  “Austin, you don’t have to put on the red light”.  When I look at it on the screen, it really doesn’t work.  But in my head… in my head it’s wonderful.  You just have to imagine me singing it, in my best mocking-Sting voice.  Using my cell as a faux-microphone.

Awwwwwwwww-stin . . .  you don’t have to put on the red light.

Be good to each other.


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