Charleston pop-rock band The Explorers Club rolled into the South By Southwest Music And Media Conference (SXSW) in Austin, Texas last Tuesday afternoon, played two shows Wednesday, and big showcase on Thursday. Here is an update from organist/pianist Stefan Rogenmoser:

South by Southwest (SXSW) 2008: Wednesday March 12, 2008

[image-1] Went to Convention Center to get Neil’s wristband. Inside, it was humming with many voices from crowds of seemingly endless lines. Played Little Radio’s day party at the Red Eyed Fly just a little after noon. In the parking lot of Red Eyed Fly, we helped move a car that wasn’t supposed to be parked there. A man used his pickup truck and tied a rope to pull the little car to a place where it could be easily towed. Hippies, mods, rockers, punks, and freaks parade the streets, but the “indie” crowd was by far the largest in attendance.

[image-2]Our Little Radio show was outdoors and well attended. We rocked hard: Jim did a back-flip and I stomped on my piano with my boots. Brothers & Sisters played after us and they kicked major ass. We got to hang out with our manager Scottie Diablo. I was also interviewed by the Charleston City Paper’s own Susie Kampenar while Brothers & Sisters played. Two journalists writing for the same paper —­ and we did an interview with each other!

We had a whomping good lunch at Star Seeds. We took some gangsta Chola pics in front of a low rider. We drove to the Beso Cantina around 5:30 p.m. only to find out we were scheduled to play at 10:30 p.m. Five hours early. All of us but Jason hit up the downtown Austin scene but there were no shows that really caught our ears, which is a little disappointing at a music festival of this size. This was the first official day of SXSW, but there were several pre-shows as early as Monday.

We arrived at the Beso Cantina at the correct time and met Nick from the Spinto Band and his girlfriend Catherine. I’m quite certain they were the only two people there to see us. Our show was mindboggingly horrible. The stage was tiny. Two of the vocal mics were off during our first song and the sound on stage was atrocious. At some point, Jason and I started whaling on every song and Dave hopped on top of the bar and walked down the entire bar during our last song. I turned every knob on my amp all the up and started banging on top of it until it made laser sounds.

Thursday March 13, 2008

Our Dead Oceans/Secretly Canadian showcase is tonight at 10:30 p.m. at Mohawk on 912 Red River Street [more to come…].