With more Minnesota bands than ever scheduled to play South by Southwest this week, it was no surprise a few of them got the early jump Tuesday. Two bands that joined the kickoff festivities were the 4onthefloor, playing a middle-slot at the non-SXSW club the Red Fez, and Trampled by Turtles, who headlined a sanctioned showcase at the Bat Bar. TBT’s SXSW showcase manager was none other than Minneapolis-to-Austin expatriate Lori Barbero, who gave them (and everyone) a warm welcome. The Babes drummer marveled at the number of other Minnesotans she had already encountered.
It took us all of 10 minutes to run into the Doomtree crew, which was driving its rented RV up Red River Street near the convention center looking for a place to park. Dessa and her boy friends looked exhausted, having tore through some East Coast dates “on their way to” SXSW. It took them about 10 minutes just to go two city blocks in downtown Austin, and they had no idea where to park their home for the week (they wound up getting pointers via the 4onthefloor, who found a place to stow their full-size, shady-looking school bus). Rolling along with Doomtree was P.O.S., whose Gayngs crew has been in Austin since last weekend, when it played a non-SXSW gig at Stubb’s. Arriving early really is the new cool.