The Boxer Rebellion's Piers Hewitt, who have been blogging for The Alternate Side at SXSW, not only made it through music festival madness, but the drummer and his bandmates also had the chance to transcend Austin fun with a more globally-relevant concern - the SXSW4Japan telethon benefitting survivors of Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster with R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, Hanson, North Mississippi Allstars and more.
So that was SXSW. On one hand, it feels like the longest week ever, on the other, I'm pretty sure I only just got here. Since Thursday we seem to have filled in more stuff than I thought possible, including two more shows, one for Baeble Music at The Phoenix on Friday afternoon and then finishing up at midnight outside at Cedar Street Courtyard for Steve Madden. Quality stuff, last night especially.
There have been quite a few highlights over the past couple of days. Seeing The Joy Formidable rip our ears off (in a good way) at Buffalo Billiards was definitely one. Them returning the favour and popping down to our show last night for one too many was also another. Lovely guys who, if you haven't checked out before, then you really should.
Also, we had a call rather late on Thursday to be part of something quite special that has occurred over the last couple days. The guys from Hanson (who are obviously a lot older than when I first knew of them but still look annoyingly young!) spearheaded an excellent fundraising idea for Japan. Everyone, not least us, have been touched continually by what has been happening over the last week or so, and it really does beggar belief every time I tune in. It's also very easy to watch the rolling news of events like that and feel very helpless, so we really did jump at the chance to get involved. So we popped down to the downtown studio they were occupying and recorded a stripped-down version of one of our songs.
Also popping in just after us was a certain Michael Stipe, and to stand there and have our picture taken with him under the umbrella of something so meaningful was a massive highlight for me and the boys. So get involved and donate if you can at SXSW4Japan.
Thank you, Austin, for giving us such a great week. We look forward to returning to the circus sometime.
-Piers Hewitt, The Boxer Rebellion