Photo: Gavin PaulAnd so it was – another 250,000+ influx of people descending upon Austin, chasing music the great communicator. Word on the Official SXSW street is that Dave Grohl spoke of keeping a DIY ethos in order to honor one’s roots as an artist. The irony of such a thing is lost upon the blockaded streets of downtown, where the cost of being pure is relegated to a badge and a line. Once again, we the fringe, have won.

Day the fourth brought us a pirate booty of new jams and sentiments. From the mushroom tea, dream creations of a Fountain Square, Indiana’s Crys, mounting the coming of a Velvet Underground bass-groove trip with “Here it Comes,” to a young man in a balaclava – Glasgow Smile – improving distorted hate worth more than any therapy session could ever give the dude, the distilled pop-punk youth of Thieves and their teenaged superfans to a Johnny Cash lovin’ Texan duo – Rivertrain – in a Mexican restaurant, our final day of coverage had us falling for misfit lyrics something fierce.

Aside from Crys fontman Jacob Gardner waxing on a line about some existential hallucination, there was a moment we witnessed at a University co-op that eclipses Dave Grohl’s statement forever. It was written from a band who have a song called “Quater-Life Crises,” unfortunately. But there’s promise in those Thieves, and their purist track, “All I Need,” channeling a furious invincible fist in the air for all your basic music and life needs. To bleeding love and breathing air, y’all. Keep writing, keep playing everywhere and anywhere:

I’d lost my mind in my own self-doubt until I found
That these two things are all I need:
The love I bleed and the air I breathe

Photo: Gavin Paul

Crys @ The Green House

Photo: Gavin Paul

The Green House

Photo: Gavin Paul

The Inferior Meat House

Photo: Gavin Paul

Glasgow Smile @ The Inferior Meat House

Photo: Gavin Paul

Tapeage at The Inferior Meat House

Photo: Gavin Paul

El Mercado

Photo: Gavin Paul

Rivertrain @ El Mercado

Photo: Gavin Paul

Pearl Street Co-Op

Photo: Gavin Paul

Pearl Street Co-op

Photo: Gavin Paul

Thieves @ Pearl Street Co-Op