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John Maus
Screen Memories

Communist Daughter takes SXSW: Part 2

Mar 16, 2017

I spent the first day of SXSW, Monday 3/13, trading shifts riding and driving Communist Daughter's van, Jolly Green, from Lexington, KY to Dallas, TX. The band had packed up the night before after playing an intimate living room show hosted by our friends Sean and Stephanie Gannon. It was a fairly early start for a day of driving: wheels up at 8am (more like 8:20 or so and 8:40 if you count the time it took to stop at the local donut shop). We took I40 most of the way stopping in Nashville to get some hot chicken at Hattie B's and again for food around 8pm. We finally got to Dallas around 11:30 and crashed out. Yikes, those long hauls are taxing.

We left Dallas for Austin at 8:15 and stopped just outside of Waco to get puffs and kolaches at Little Czech Bakery. I highly recommend this place. This magnificent photo of a half eaten ham and cheese puff should be ample advertisement.

Our first destination when we got to Austin around noon was the load in for our first showcase at the Blackheart happening at 3pm.

They were lathing (cutting the music) our first single, Roll a Stone, from our latest release, ‘the Cracks that Built the Wall’, onto plastic Dixie plates. Fun stuff.

Next: Off to the Austin Convention Center to check in and get the appropriate credentials.

... And back to the Blackheart to eat our weight in free Clif bars and play our set.

The set was a bit of a half hour blitz consisting of 6 songs with little banter between songs. (Holdback, Oceans, Roll a Stone, Keep Moving, Balboa Bridge, Ghosts) After the set there was no time to waste loading off stage as. I was prepping cases so I could just drop the pieces of my rig into their appropriate places. It was tight quarters with limited space to move gear around. I had to kindly ask some folks who were having conversation right in the line of fire between the stage and struck cases to 'please make way'. One of the fellows, an older guy who seemed as though he knew he might have some right or entitlement to stand wherever he wanted, stopped me to congratulate me on a great set. He asked what synths I was using for what. After telling him in as abbreviated way as I could think of he said, 'you had some pretty wild sounds, my synth player uses a Korg MS20, not the reissue, but the real vintage model.'
'Oh, Awesome! No flimsy pots (knobs) there. Cool, so who do you play with?' I asked
'My name is Robbie, I'm from Modern English. Nice to meet you.'
'Wow, no way. Your band is totally rad! I'm Dillon. Thanks for saying hi.'

  1. '78 Fender Musicmaster 12" combo amp
  2. Kustom Defender 10" combo amp
  3. Black G&L SC-2 guitar and hard shell case
  4. Amplifier stand
  5. Double tier keyboard stand
  6. Single keyboard stand
  7. 1981 Yamaha SK-30 synthesizer in black transport bag
  8. Grey pedalboard case with
  9. Korg microKORG synthesizer
  10. Boss SD-1 overdrive
  11. Behringer 12 channel mixer
  12. Tech-21 Rotochoir
  13. Korg Monotron Delay
  14. Digitech Digidelay
  15. Alesis Microverb
  16. power strip and power supplies
  17. Ludwig glockenspiel
  18. Black pedalboard bag with
  19. EHX Octavix fuzz
  20. BBE Orange Squash compressor
  21. Boss SD-1 overdrive
  22. ZVEX Instant Lo-Fi Junky
  23. Boss DD-5 delay
  24. Boss momentary foot switch
  25. Danelectro Cool-Cat vibrato
  26. Alesis Microverb w/ defeat foot switch.
  27. Grey Korg instrument tuner
  28. Two angled 20' instrument cables
  29. Black backpack with
  30. 3 Power strips
  31. 4x20' instrument cables
  32. 2x8' instrument cables
  33. 2x9v batteries
  34. Miscellaneous 1/4" patch cables
  35. picks
  36. Purple sack with
  37. Soldering iron & tools of the like
  38. 2 Ernie Ball volume pedals
  39. Blah blah blah....

(The above is a copy and pasted itemized list of my personal gear for the Canadian Government necessary for our crossing into Canada weeks earlier)

Then we finished packing up, watched TEMPLES and headed south of Austin to the folks' place, Rodney and Robin, who are putting us up for the week. Yeehaw!

Stay tuned for more exclusive SXSW 2017 coverage throughout this week!

Keep up with Communist Daughter on www.communistdaughter.com. You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Their latest record The Cracks that Built The Wall is wicked cool--check it out here.