SXSW Diary - Miles Anthony Benjamin Robinson

Transgressive singer keeps an account of his trip...
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Transgressive newbie Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - he releases his self-titled debut UK album on May 18 – strutted his stuff in Austin t’other week for South By Southwest.

And, kindly, the Brooklyn-based singer (“His songs are given flesh and blood in a way that most rock music now doesn’t allow time for,” says TV On The Radio’s Kyp Malone) kept us a diary of his exploits, which we’re chuffed to present right here. Get more Clash SXSW coverage by clicking right HERE.

We’re sure you’ll agree that the man has a way with words…

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We begin on DAY THREE

Playing three shows in a day is stupid. I'm stupid.

Started the day off with a Transgressive showcase outside. Lovely people, free beer, dick sound guy. I love when sound guys give me attitude and act like I have no idea what I'm talking about and then proceed to do a TERRIBLE job. Like, wincing and grimacing audience who responds in unison with an unholy zombie-like wail when I ask them how it sounds out there. Listen, Mr "I shit gold records", it’s not my fault your wife left you for a fifteen-year-old from her afternoon world history class. Just trying to play a show for free that yr getting paid for. I also do this at least a hundred times a year, in all sorts of venues, with all sorts of variables. Is it entirely inconceivable that I might have the tiniest fucking idea what I'm talking about? No? Okay, I guess you’re right. I'm just an idiot musician who definitely doesn't have a background in audio engineering. It's not like I used to do your job. And better than you do it.

Second show was better, another “whatever crazy musician, I’m a pro” vibe from the sound dude but he eventually realised he misunderstood me and apologised very graciously during the set. Now that's pro. Which is supposed to be short for professional, not pouty rude orifice. Mr Baby Amazing spied me doing a photo shoot and started texting me that I looked like a dork. So I went across the street and beat the shit out of him. Or drank a margarita and ate his chips... hard to remember.


Third show was the "official” SXSW showcase. Played after a big Arcade Fire-style band. (I feel like giant bands with accordions, percussionists, a vaguely costume-oriented aesthetic and 'transcendent group shouting moments' based around pretty standard indie song structures (via the Modest Mouses) get really pissed when you point out that they are totally an Arcade Fire band. At least pop-punk bands get stoked if you mention the Descendents or Ramones. Indie kids are dicks.) Show was pretty good -
The band went to go see Outkast and I tried to meet up with C Bear to see Beach House but missed the set. Then they stopped serving beers and I felt awkward standing around while everyone finished theirs so I went walking outside. Weird to be out and sober late at night, especially at SXSW. Feel like everyone is way more psyched to be here and I am just kinda a fearful dude with a camera phone. Wish I had more Twitter followers so I would 'never be alone again'. Never found my band so I went and got the van and drove back to the hotel listening to ‘Tusk’. Feel like a travelling salesman. Too bad booze makes it so I can never remember my 'nights to remember'. Hate sober reality.

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Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson ‘BuriedFed’


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DAY FOUR

This night could last forever. Had the exact same free hotel breakfast for the fourth day, Micachu likes to make waffles. Had the hotel to myself because the band went to party at the Redbull Mansion (which is actually the Redbull McMansion), felt kinda bummed, thought about my dad on the road when I was a kid. Stand-up comics don’t have bands so I bet he felt this way a lot, probably why he started dragging me out on tour. Drove down to the Radisson to do a 'Black Cab' session. Kinda hilarious how many bands are doing photo shoots along the street; maybe in 2010 they'll start posing with little kids like at Disneyland. "SXSW, a magical land of make-believe"... "I wanna get my picture taken with Donald... Fagen." Black Cab session was pretty mellow, had a smoke and jumped in the Radisson pool after. Kinda jealous of all the couples walking around; bet they're having great hotel sex. Wonder if I'll ever go on vacation to an 'important and relevant' media conference with a girlfriend? Definitely starting to lose my voice, think I got black lung from a motel comforter in Hattiesburg.

Played my last SXSW event at the Other Music party. It was at the French Legation Museum, but at no point was anyone able to explain to me what French Legation is or why there should be a museum dedicated to it. Wavves played a solo set before me and it was pretty sweet although I guess he usually is 'more noisy'. Wish I was a cool San Diego ‘tween two. Wish I made 'hip, cool, blogburners' instead of 'meaningful, serious, trad-rock'.

Had a pretty serious talk about video games afterwards.
Finally saw Crystal Stilts; pretty sure them and Vivian Girls mean the ‘90s are back y’all. Those bands are kinda like if you split Beat Happening in half and put musicians in the band. Which is rad. Finally i got to see a band I really hate to close out my SXSW experience. I think King Kahn and the Shrines is maybe the worst band ever. If 311 and Third Eye Blind formed a trip-ska band the end result would probably bum me out less than that bullshit. Sub Svenonius screaming combined with bad 'krazy funk band kostumes' and a sluggish horn band with a too loud 'garage-rock' guitarist. This is how I know people don't like music. On the other hand I played a show with King Khan and BBQ in Nashville and I loved it, even with the krazy kostumes. I think that the full band maybe just takes the pastiche to a level of seriousness that I find really grating (and pointless). Everyone makes music for different reasons though, I guess. I guess it's not the end of the world that so many people do it to get girls / have 'meaningful group associations' in their lives coz they were bad at sports (but wanted to be good). Maybe I just OD'd on throwback garage-rock, soul, authentic rock ‘n' roll bands in about 2002. Think I'll move to Portland, start a soul party night and live the decade over again. Wouldn’t it be crazy if bands started ripping off Joy Division (probably never happen coz Ian Curtis is too obscure). Wish I had come to SXSW four years ago.

(And the final paragraph unedited, for a flavour of the man’s writing without ‘corrections’…)

Evry1 was going to after parties and evn though part of me really wanted to believe something amazing would happen if i went 2 one, there's a much more annoying part that knows it prolly wont. Wish i was a suburban tween who only has to worry about how 'there's nothing 2 do' and 'life sux' while I hang out a the 24hr IHOP with my frenz. Of course, these days, maybe angsty tweens just read blogs about SXSW n get themselves for 'their time 2 shine'. miss the boat, don't miss the boat baby, miss the boat.....
L8rz.

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‘Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson’ is released via Transgressive on May 18. Find the man on MySpace HERE.

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