March 21, 2006

SXSW Report #9: The Chalets @ the Parish

Once Luminous Orange's set finally ended, I walked to the Parish to catch the Young Knives. When I got there, I found out that they were to play an hour later than advertised, with unnamed “special guests” assuming their original time slot. These “special guests” were a quintet from Ireland called the Chalets.

The band was fronted by two impressively dolled up women: a blonde named Peepee and a brunette named Pony. They sang honeyed harmonies and occasionally played xylophone and keyboard. Of course, all of the photographers (including myself) paid more attention to Peepee and Pony than they did to the three guys in the band.

However, the guys provided rousing backing vocals and formed a hard, driving rhythm section that provided a necessary counterpoint to the girls’ stereotypical tweeness. My favorite song of theirs was “Two Chord Song,” which lived up to its name and threw in some sarcastic lines about how easy it is to form a band. The band’s Betty-Boop-meets-the-Fall sound won me over quickly. The only reason why I didn’t buy their CD Check In was because they were selling it for a ridiculous $20.

It was during the Chalets’ set that I had my week’s first encounter with an obnoxious drunk. The guy next to me kept extending his hand to Pony, shouting “f*ck you” to her every time she refused to shake it. He then saw the notebook I was writing in, and decided to give me some suggestions.

“Are you a writer for a magazine? Well, here’s something you should write: SXSW SUCKS BALLS FOR LOCALS. Why? ‘Cause if you go outside to smoke a cigarette, you can’t get back in without waiting in a long line!”

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