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2002-03-21 - 3:52 p.m.

Saraís SXSW Roundup! (aka sixteen movies, three instores, two shows, three afternoon parties, and one celebrity sighting later)

This best documentary in the whole entire world is called Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns). Even though I havenít listened to They Might Be Giants in years, I was still bobbing up and down in my seat, along with the rest of the audience. To top it off, they interviewed Ira Glass, and Sarah Vowell, and David Eggers. The only way this documentary could have been any better was if they had interviewed them naked.

Watching Journeys with George, you can almost see why half the country voted for Dubya. Almost. This film, actually, was much more about the filmmaker, a member of Bushís press corps for over a year, than about Dubya. And Iím a sucker for that personal narrative stuff. Highly enjoyable.

Who knew a documentary about the production of vinyl could be socially conscious and funny? If you get a chance, go see Blue Vinyl, a film about one womanís quest to convince her parents to remove the vinyl siding from their house. (Warning: spoiler ahead. She actually does convince her parents to remove the vinyl, but doesnít know of a safe way to dispose of it, as it isnít easily recycled, and burning vinyl releases deadly toxins into the air. So she has the vinyl cut up into small pieces, threads them onto Mardi Gras beads, labels them with information about the film, and passes them out at all her screenings.) Itís screening on HBO on May 5th at 10 pm (EST), in case you're interested.

I love me some beer in the afternoon, particularly of the free variety (Yard Dog on Friday, some record label party on Saturday, and Janeís birthday party on Sunday). Nothing beats getting drunk by 4 pm.

I actually did bike downtown for most of the festival, which was fun and exhilarating and only a little scary. I really should do that more often. Only takes me twenty minutes to get downtown from my house; I would have spent that long looking for a decent parking spot.

I finally met Sturge, and proceeded to run into him half a dozen times throughout the week. I hope he doesnít think Iím stalking him.

I saw Joanna at the Stylites show. Rather, I saw Joanna inside the show, while I was outside, peering between the bars of the wrought iron gate. Give me a break. They were charging eight bucks. You could see just as well outside as you could inside. And you could hear them a block and a half away. The Stylites were, as always, wonderful. And Iím not biased at all.

The Polyphonic Spree is the band every high school band geek with indie rock aspirations wants to be in. At least twenty people are in this band, most of them in the chorus. They wear white choral robes. Thereís also a trumpet, a trombone, a french horn, a flute, keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. They jump up and down as they play and sing in three-part harmony. They are infectiously fun.

I almost saw I Am the World Trade Center at Tower Records. Instead, I saw Her Space Holiday, playing at the same time next door, which was almost like seeing IATWTC: one boy, one girl, one keyboard, and one laptop.

I could say a lot about Dressy Bessy, but it would be all fangirl stuff, about how cute they are, and how the lead singer winks at the audience, and the drummer has the coolest mod hair, and they were all so hip and beautiful and crushable. But I hate being a fangirl. Joannaís way better at it than I am anyway. Instead, Iíll just say that they gave out some kickass stickers.

I saw Jason Schwartzman at Waterloo Records. Rather, someone pointed him out to me. Iím not sure I would have recognized him myself. Like most famous people, and all Internet people, he is shorter in real life than he is onscreen.

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