Thursday, March 14, 2013

Piñata at SXSW: Part 2

 Trevor E checks in again, with sound guy insight and Midwestern grace.


Hey there, folks!

Here is a rundown of Day 2 in Austin (Day 4 on the Road).

Started out with afternoon breakfast at Rio's Brazilian Cafe. I had a BBP (Brazilian Breakfast Pocket). So good. My crew (Jade Bove, Ginny Herman, and Black Diet's Jonathan Tolliver) tried to rent bikes for the day, to no avail. So we hit the town on foot again. We stopped in at The Grackle for the Portland Party. We saw Bike Thief and Sallie Ford & The Outside Sound. I liked both bands just fine. The sound was struggling at both spots. As a sound guy, I understand how hard all-day events can get. So I will try not to be too critical of that aspect of SXSW. Next we hit up Gypsy Lounge and caught the end of Rad City's set. Keyboardy indie-rock. Not bad. They covered up the O L & N on their Roland keyboards. I thought that was nice. Then keeping on our leisurely trip down 6th St we stopped in at Cheer Up Charlie's. Also, this would mark the 3rd place in a row we walked in to see a band's last chord and got front-row seats for a changeover. We caught the end of Papa's set. I poked my head in on the indoor stage to see Hindu Pirates. They were great. Sweet energetic garage-rock with a 12-string guitar. We also saw the beginning of Poolside. They were fun and dancy.  Then down the block to the Shangri La. It was great to see the not only The Melismatics from Minneapolis but also some friends from the bus ride down. The Melismatics were in top form. Best I've ever seen em. The Capsules on the other hand were bored. And they did a slow and drony cover of "I Will Survive". I had to leave. That, and the margaritas were getting to me. We hit a great little taco truck down the block. 2 Carnitas and 1 Pastor for myself. After about an or so of dilly-dallying, phone charging, bathroom finding, and more snacks, we finally crossed the freeway into downtown.

 We tried to head to a party that we RSVP'd for online. The line around the block forced us to head next door and go to the upstairs party. Once again we heard a cool band and once we got in they were done. We saw a band from Hawaii called Kings of Spade. I liked what they were trying for. Dancy R&B with an edge. Maybe it was the fratty downtown crowd, but I just couldn't feel it. Or the pink mohawk on the singer or that they were all wearing their own band shirts. From there we stopped in at the Jackalope. We tried roaming around to find something that moved us but we gave up on downtown and headed back to 6th Street on the other side of 35. We found some outdoor live music still going on at 11:30 back at Cheer Up Charlie's. I didn't catch the band's name, maybe I will remember. Hipster band that seemed like they were terribly inconvenienced to be playing music for us. Not bad though. Stayed for as long as we could handle it. Hiked back to St Roch's for a rescue from Jade's roommate Benji. It was getting late and the locals were getting either rowdy or too friendly. Made it home and ready for my floor bed. Good night.

Musical Side Note: A thing I have noticed a lot of is drummers with headphones on. Lotta backing tracks. I have to say, it's hard to make that sound good in an event like this with little PA's and short change overs. Just saying. I saw a few bands today without that and they all stood out for me.

Flavorful Side Note: I ate amazing Chicken and Waffles from Wings, Waffles, & What. Freshest of both I've ever had from a food truck. So good. Also, stay hydrated. It's great to get your buzz on, but keep it at that. Don't get hammered in the daytime. You're toast by nighttime. This is about longevity not party party. Learning everyday.

P.S. I can't wait to get home to sleep in my own bed with my beautiful wife, stinky dog, and gigantic cat.