Perez Hilton last night in Austin. I really did, if only because its timing conflicted with the Big Star/Alex Chilton tribute show I’d hoped would close out my SXSW 2010, and because corrosive snark is after all Perez’s own stock in trade. (That and doodling on photographs of famous people.) And yet, when I made it past the insane lines into his shindig — which journalists were asked to identify as SWAGGSM Presents. Perez Hilton’s “One Night In Austin” — I found said warehouse reverberating with huge beats that JD Samson was throwing down from a laptop. I had no choice but to admit it: Say what you will about Perez and his blog’s role in our culture, any party where a member of radical feminist icons/terrific musicians Le Tigre is the between-sets DJ is legitimately awesome.I wanted to snark on the massive warehouse party hosted by gossip lord
Earlier in the evening, Perez Hilton himself had raved to me in an interview about the off-the-charts stage presence exhibited by Marina and the Diamonds. The set the Welsh firecracker gave Perez’s party a few minutes after I arrived proved him quite right. Marina has dance-pop hooks galore, a dramatically swooping voice, and very real magnetism. Whether you know it yet or not, she’s a star. I scored another point for Perez in my mental tally.
At 12:30 A.M., Snoop Dogg arrived wearing a Kevin Durant jersey and shades to run through a few songs you may have heard of, including “The Next Episode,” “Gin and Juice,” “Sensual Seduction,” “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” and “I Wanna Rock” — nearly two decades of West Coast rap classics condensed into half an hour. Again, inarguably pretty cool. (Snoop’s set also included House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” which is just random. Apparently this is something he does regularly.) Still perched in the elevated DJ booth, JD Samson mouthed along the words to several of Snoop’s hooks, a sight worth seeing. Snoop shouted out “my main man Perez Hilton” (twice) and requested, “If you love Perez Hilton, make some motherf—ing noise.” Turns out everyone in the warehouse loved Perez Hilton. Snoop encouraged us to adopt his ideal morning routine, which consists of three easy steps: “Brush your teeth…thank God…SMOKE WEED.” He departed.
Estelle was next up, for a three-song set that didn’t last long enough to build up any momentum. The beautiful people grooved on to Samson’s between-sets jams.
Still later, Courtney Love and the latest incarnation of Hole took the stage as promised, if a bit after schedule. Whitney has already written more eloquently about Love’s SXSW than I can. But one song I don’t think Love played at either of her new/old band’s prior dates this week is Big Star’s holy “Thirteen,” an acoustic cover of which opened her Perez set. It’s a delicate tune, and believe it or not, she did it justice, bringing an effective measure of voice-cracking ache to the late Alex Chilton and Chris Bell’s words. It was after 2 A.M. I had gotten my Big Star tribute after all, in a way. I stuck around long enough to hear a Rolling Stones cover (“Sympathy for the Devil”), an old Hole song (1994’s “Miss World”), and a couple new ones (“Skinny Little Bitch,” “Someone Else’s Bed”) before leaving the revels and heading back to my hotel at last.
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