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international librarian of mystery

Friday, March 18, 2005

My name's Wayne

<andrewjthomas>i want a bumper sticker that says "my metafilter account can kick your slashdot account's ass"
<allaboutgeorge>Olsen is trying on an Aussie accent
<leia>whoa whoa whoa
<allaboutgeorge>It's trying, all right.
<steve_at>stynxno: lol
<allaboutgeorge>AND THE WINNER IS:
What's New, Pussycat?
<leia>chuck sings the winner
<leia>no one present to accept...

...actually, I'm sure either of the other finalists present - Daniel Boud or myself - would have accepted on shauny's behalf, given half a chance. But no, the Bloggies were over in a flash: the above internet relay chat was broadcast in real-time on a big screen over to the right of the stage and, depressingly, was the only real entertainment during the rushed mid-day ceremony.

At least I lost with a smidgen of style. The yellow satin ruffles of my World dress cast a luminous golden glow onto the jeans and workaday shirts of all the guys there. I fidgeted nervously with my shoestring straps, and had to walk extremely carefully in my very glittery but extremely precarious blue high heels I had found at a second-hand clothes store in SoCo in the day before. My self-conscious fidgeting was partly due to the fact I had worn my best glad-rags when a lot of other people hadn't bothered to dress up for the event at all, but mostly because I had a two-person documentary team in tow. Jenny was safe and sound behind her camera, and Bruce - one of the American Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe production team who had volunteered to drive us all there and do sound. Bruce, a boy I have discovered who has a mischevious sense of humour, made sure the long furry microphone-sock was constantly on the edge of my peripheral vision.

Anyway, many congratulations to Shauny over at What's New, Pussycat? Her writing of late has been great stuff, with the icing on the cake being her most recent post about her marriage in Las Vegas. Classic.

With the big event behind me, I've been trying to take in as much of the SXSW Festival as I can. The Music Festival has hit town now, with hordes of black-shirted rock and roll boys mostly, but not entirely, displacing the bearded, tie and hat-wearing film and interactive geeks.

Which makes for much better star-spotting. They're everywhere. I was having breakfast at Las Manitas in a booth at the front of the cafe, when I saw Wayne Coyne, of The Flaming Lips, looking around for somewhere to sit. I had a whole booth to myself, so, without really thinking, I waved him over. He spotted me, raised his eyebrows in an 'are-you-sure?' sort of way, and I nodded assent. He sat down. I sat there, dumbstruck.

"Hi, thanks," he said.
"Hi, um, no worries, I umm."
"My name's Wayne."
"Oh. Oh, I know. I'm Natalie."
"Hi Natalie. Are you from Australia?"
"No, New Zealand."

At which we lauched into the usual Lord of the Rings, beautiful country, cute accent conversation. I told him I'd seen the Lips play at Big Day Out at the start of 2004, and he recalled the gig vividly...

"That was the strangest gig," he said, "I thought everyone hated us. The crowd were really muted, and no-one really moved or danced."
"Ahh, that's just the New Zealand way," I explained.
"So people told me," he went on, "I just couldn't believe it. I was dying up there trying to get you guys to enjoy it, and it turns out everyone was!"
"I loved it," I said. "It was one of the best gigs I've ever seen."

He laughed, and asked what I was in town for. I gave him quick story of the blog and the Bloggies, which he seemed to find fascinating. I made special note to not retell the Cliff Curtis breakfast-stealing incident, which I had, in a moment of stupendous brainlessness, told to an obviously appalled radio journalist and her listening audience of several million people while being interviewed for a Texan radio station after the Bloggies.

Having listened intently to my story, Wayne asked for a copy of Artemis's script, which I gladly handed over (I've had to make more copies, in fact, so popular have they proven). He asked if there were any of the New Zealand acts he should make an effort to get along and see, and I recommended the Mint Chicks, who were playing at the Blender Balcony later that week.

Thankfully, I didn't see Wayne there, as the Mint Chicks got into an onstage fight with a local muso whose borrowed gear they'd started mistreating about five minutes into the set. Mayhem and the spilling of blood ensued. We slipped away, to another random gig, of which there has been no short supply of over the last few days, and happened to bump into NME editor Conor McNicholas and his wife. Amazingly, without even seeing my nametag, Conor remembered who I was, and we had a nice chat about our respective times over the last couple of weeks since our meeting in Wellington.

And so on. There was brunch with Lyle Lovett. And tequila shots with the Wilson Brothers after the premiere of their new film (they got Artemis's script too). And a nice chat with the very polite and extremely attractive Stephen Malkmus at another gig. And, honestly, even with those stories told, I'd be just a tenth of the way through my SXSW story.

But, as 2005 Best Australasian Blogger Shauny of What's New Pussycat wrote recently...
To be continued! When my brain works!