Another day of three shows. The first was Peelander Z's showcase outdoor at the Grackle. We played this venue three years ago and played in front of two dudes and a pile of gravel. Now the place was full of show goers. What a difference a Z makes.
The next show was outside at Barbarella with Minneapolis's the Sleeze, and Manatees from Memphis. This was put together by Rubberneck magazine, a great photo journalism zine created by fantastic people. A fun show.
The third show was a last minute addition to the Slovenly Records showcase. We were the only American band on the bill. We played with a one man band called King Automatic from France. Guitar, kick, snare, hi-hat, keyboard, and some other mystery instruments that came in. The guy was phenomenal. He would make the world's best administrative assistant because of his ability to multitask. Instead, he's the world's best one-man band.
The best discovery of this whole trip, though, was a band from Amsterdam called the Anamolys. Three super tall blonde dudes, two guitars, and a stripped down drum kit. They are wilder than mountain scenery. It was truly not rude when I shoved the drummer and guitar player to get back on stage to play one more. It was in the name of justice. No way should those guys ever stop playing. During their encore, they entered the crowd and took over the tables and somehow made it back to their starting point at the perfect time in the song. Amazing band. Great people. I understand, maybe you don't dig tall, handsome blonde dudes, but if I was able to get past it, so will you. The Anamolys!
Three shows on this day. The first was at Trailer Space Records, the best record store in Austin for punk and garage type music. Awesome show. Played with Thee Open Sex from Indiana, Marriage from Austin, Spray Pain, and Useless Eaters.
After that we hopped a cemetery wall to get to our show at Sailor Jerry's. Dave forgot his jacket in the cemetery and had to go back right before we played. Luckily, people don't typically pick up and wear coats they find in cemeteries. That show was great, too.
We finally had a chance to catch some bands while waiting for our 1am showcase at the Volstead. Caught Thee Oh Sees, Destruction Unit, and Ex-Cult. All amazing bands! Even though it was late by the time we played, the room was packed with people who really held their liquor well and managed to keep from devolving into droopy-faced confession dispensers. Everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed. It was our most fun and intense show yet.
Played a day show at Beerland with amazing bands for Gerard Cosloy's showcase. It's worth anyone's time to check out Golden Pelicans (Orlando), Obnox (Cleveland), Spray Paint (Austin), and the Unholy Two. We love those bands! We're so happy people were able to come and see us at 2pm. An excellent show. It was also great to see Minneapolis' Tom Loftus, who runs Modern Radio Records. After he heard the news about our van, he threw cash at us and wouldn't have it any other way.
In news from back home, our drummer, Dave Roper, invented a drink called the Ajax for the Amsterdam Bar (where he works) and it made the City Pages drink of the week! Regular Ajax could be useful here in Austin, though. It's starting to get sloppy and it's not even the weekend.
Had a phenomenal show at the Volstead in East Austin with Los Vigilantes and Las Ardillas, two Puerto Rican rock/punk bands. Lots of folks were right up front all night getting sweaty. Such a blast. And just when we thought the night couldn't possibly get any cooler, it didn't. Some suckers broke into our rental van, stealing a Fender Bassman 100, a Music Man head, a baritone, and a brand new, homemade guitar cab that was only used once.
I get it, blame the victim, right? "Why did you leave stuff in the van? Why didn't you walk it the one mile to the venue even though the venue said not to bring any extra gear because there was nowhere to store it?" Um, you just answered your own question on that one, son. But I will hold you (meaning society) to the "blame the victim strategy" when I find the dude (lets be honest, it was a male) responsible. "Oh my gosh! Why was this poor thief cooked and eaten?" Well, any good hunter eats what they kill. And he was steamed. Get your facts straight. They real question is, why was he dumb enough to get caught? See, we're blaming the victim now. Good. Back on track. Oh, and why is there a gimp in my car? Too many questions. They key here is we all learned a valuable lesson here. And THAT'S one to grow on!
Yesterday was a huge party in what appeared to be an outdoor greenhouse in the middle of a residential neighborhood called Tillery Park. It was like a little forest where you can buy the plants and trees. The show was put on by Panache Booking to release this mixtape we were lucky enough to be a part of. Bands like Thee Oh Sees, Reigning Sound, Ty Segall, and Red Kross have tunes on it. But the cassette tape doesn't fit in the rental van's CD player, so who knows, maybe the whole thing is lame. Maybe it's just audiotape of all the biggest rejections in our lives and will cry when we hear it. One big set up to humiliate us. Or maybe it's pretty good. We have no way of knowing. The cover art was well done, though.
The Mallard (SF), OBN III's (Austin), and Outer Minds (Chicago) played excellent sets. It's really sunny down here, so it's exciting to see everyone cook in the sun. After the show ended, it looked like a pink race of zombies stumbling out of the woods and into the neighborhood. Why aren't there more murders committed by Austin residents? Excellent self control, that's why. At the beginning of March, I'm guessing they have a town hall situation, sort of a Q and A, where they reckon it's within the towns best interest to tough out these couple weeks. But who knows how politics work?
Our first show at SXSW was on the Monday before the music festival officially started. It was on a boat on Ladybird Lake with Outer Minds, Milk Music, and Fat Tony. The upper deck was packed. During our set the boat pulled by this little kid and his dad in a canoe. The kid went nuts to the songs. He stood up and rocked out while his dad paddled like it was Deliverance so his boy wouldn't miss a song. It made me stop and think... in a few decades, that boy will put that man in a nursing home. Good times.