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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

>>_AT SXSW 2006 (CONTINUED)

(Left: Beasite Boys do an open Q&A session. Photo by foresmac)

When the music portion of the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference began I made sure to catch the open Q&A session with the Beastie Boys. I wish I could say the audience questions made the most of the opportunity, but with comments like "I grew up with your album...you know, the one with 'Girls' and the airplane on the cover..." (Ad-Roc replied "Uh yeah, I know that one") it lacked a little depth. The fault wasn't entirely on the audience, in the entire hour only one or two questions got a serious answer from the Beastie Boys. It was a little heavy on the sarcasm, topic-changing jokes, and one-word answers. But, it was the *Beastie Boys* in *person* so I must worship without judgment. I for one welcome my rapping overlords.

In recent photos I have gotten the impression that Mike D (pictured center) has looked sickly. Seeing him in person I definitely stand by that. I hope I'm wrong and wish him well! MCA (left) on the other hand was rocking a wicked wonderful beard and Ad-Roc (right) looked like he has hardly aged a day since the group first went big.

The sneak preview of V for Vendetta definitely delivered. I felt the movie was a pretty faithful adaptation of the graphic novel. Most movies use an original book or graphic novel as a starting point for their own ideas--that was kept to a minimum in this adaptation. I recognized many scenes, and even specific lines, exactly as they were in the graphic novel. I went with two friends who weren't familiar with the story and they both also enjoyed the anti-establishment messages, dark styling, and unique story. I hear it's now the #1 movie in the US. Excellent!

On my last day at the festival I was lucky enough to see the documentary The Refugee All Stars. The movie tells the true tale of West African refugees who form a band that creates and plays deep and joyful music even as they struggle to forget the horrors of the civil war raging in their home country. The song lyrics capture the day-to-day issues of life as a refugee and reflections on the nature of war. Just as importantly, their music rocks! A blend of reggae and West African rhythms. Good stuff. Check out the samples on their site and buy a copy of their CD. I did!

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