AUSTIN — If there was any doubt that I am now immersed in SXSW Music, it was put to rest yesterday thanks to Loud Village– an entity that encapsulates both alternative music and alternative comedy. So, in other words, the hipster dream. Loud Village offered a showcase yesterday featuring traditional stand-up, ensemble comedy, musical performances and a live DJ.
As a side note, I’m unforgivably disappointed that the DJ didn’t spin a mix of “Private Eyes” by Hall and Oates. It’s my jam. Buuuut moving on.
The show kicked off to an odd start in part because the club, for whatever reason, left the curtains behind the comedians open, so the performers’ backdrop was a rather raucous Sixth Street punctuated by the occasional passerby peering in to see what the hell was going on at Esther’s Follies. The happenin’ backdrop reflected the audience’s disposition, too: the crowd was populated by a few rowdy folks who had probably done a bit of day drinking out in the Texas sun. I have to give mad props to the folks who got an early start on their partying. Procrastination is something we all struggle with, so nice work beating the odds. That energy, however, made for quite a compendium of solid stand-up sets at the show. Karl Hess kicked off the proceedings with a well-received discussion of the perils of getting a medical marijuana card and a Netflix streaming subscription on the same day. Speaking of procrastination, good luck getting anything done ever again, my friend.
Hasan Minhaj, the host of MTV’s new show Failosophy, drew some inspiration from the Hobbesian state of nature that is Sixth Street to lament how difficult it is to tell whether folks are hipsters or refugees. Austinites go through that struggle on a daily basis. Solidarity.
After a musical interlude – I’ll return to that in a moment – Kyle Kinane took the stage with some winning self-deprecating humor, also accurately rebranding “South by Southwest” as “South by Barfwest” (see my recap from day 5 for more on Kinane’s substantial experience with puking). Unsurprisingly, the final stand-up of the night, Hannibal Buress, yielded the heftiest audience response. Buress similarly riffed on the pandemonium of SXSW Music, noting that a cab driver refused to take him down to Sixth Street because it was “crazy down there” (where did he end up? Seventh Street). Much of his material centered on music and performance in some way or another; Buress closed with a hilarious story about hustling his way into free Eddie Griffin tickets by pretending to be Donald Glover’s agent. Hoaxed!
Speaking of music: Okay. I know the show is all about alternative comedy AND alternative music. And I know SXSW right now is all music all the time. Nevertheless, the comedic musical interludes felt incongruous against the stand-up performances, at least for yours truly. I don’t know, maybe the beats were just too loud and rockin’ for my sensitive ears – but throw some Hall and Oates my way and I’m in.