Monday, March 17, 2014

Piñata at SXSW 2014: Black Diet Does That Thing They Do, and Real Friends are Real.

Trevor's still been kind enough to report on his adventures. I like to think he's writing notes on his arms like in Memento. Here's Day 4:

Addendum From Yesterday:
Macaulay Culkin was at the TGNP show. Everyone was freaking out about it. It didn't phase me much. I respect his early work, but haven't seen much of him since that movie were he was dating Mila Kunis. Regardless, it wasn't very good.

Hey Folks,
I'm starting to feel it. Feet and legs ache from walking and standing. Body aches from having beers all day. Forehead aches from sunburn.

Yesterday was a big day. Black Diet made their SXSW debut at Holy Mountain. They killed it, despite a few sound humps at the beginning. The outdoor tent area was filling up and moving to their sweet soul sound by the end of the set. I gave out a stack of Piñata Hit Parade Sampler discs to a bunch of BD-hungry folks. They asked me where their next showcase was. I think these guys will be back next year in force.

After Black Diet, Jade, Marvel and I tried to catch Blind Shake next door at Red 7. We missed them but caught the end of a set by the Entrance Band on the inside stage. Really revved up dancy rock. I hear tougher louder Talking Heads. Back to the outside stage. I saw Together Pangea. Awesome. The Upset, made up of members of the Vivian Girls and Patti Schemel of Hole. They were great. Short fast songs. Shouts choruses. Next was Off! Featuring Keith Morris. They were also loud fast and extra punk. It was awesome. During their set a woman complimented me on my busted-ass jean jacket. I guess she works for Levi's. She took my picture and gave me her contact. She's going to send me a new jacket.

At this point Jade and Marvel have broken off. I'm all alone so I head back to Holy Mountain for Sonny Knight and the Lakers. I'm a little early. I catch the end of Cloak Ox. My third time seeing them in 9 days. I love Cloak Ox now. They are really good. I stepped out into the tent area and saw a little bit of Tugg. Wisconsin college reggae band. Talented dudes for sure, but not what I wanted to see. Sonny and the crew did not disappoint. They looked amazing and sounded even better. After their set I hung around chatting with music friends and got a few songs by John Mark Nelson.

I headed back up 6th to Hotel Vegas to meet up with Mystery Date guitarist/frontman Johnny Eggerman. Johnny is a well-seasoned SXSW traveler, but this year he traveled to Austin with his Dad. The 3 of us see Glits, Coachwhips (backyard on the ground), and Warm Soda. They were all on Johnny's handwritten agenda on graphing paper. We try to catch Tyvek out back of a cafe on Cesar Chavez, but we just miss them. Back up to 6th. By now i am pretty tired, I've had a lot of beers, and am growing increasingly sore. Jeff, Johnny's dad, has been telling me about these ladies from KC (where the Eggermans are from). So we had to get to Shangri-La. Midcoast Take Over. I see the last chorus of the last song by John Velghe and the Prodigal Sons. Head inside to the acoustic stage with Jeff. A seat is a rare thing at SXSW. So we take the 3 front seats.

We see Kasey Rauch with Betse Ellis. Good folk country. The next set is Betse doing her own thing with her violin. Johnny says, "This is gonna be some Kansas-ass shit". I didn't care it was amazing. Betse turned the little stage into a hoedown. A mix of traditional and more modern influences. She covered "Don't Worry About the Government" by Talking Heads and closed with "Straight to Hell" by The Clash. I sang out loud. It was awesome. Jeff had to go back to the hotel and turn in. Johnny wanted to go to Beer Land. I need to charge my stupid phone. We all parted ways. Jeff Eggerman is the coolest. Sometimes you go to a music fest hoping to meet some record exec and get famous, but you end up meeting someone way more important.

Feeling a certain buzz from hanging with good folks and hearing good music, I headed to St Roch's for a charge and a few beers. Jade was bartending. After a few I decided to end on a high note. Headed home to fall asleep 15 minutes into Alien Vs. Predator.

Musical Side Note:
I kept seeing a long blonde haired drummer ripping drum solos on different kits and in different parts of town. Either there are tons of skinny long blonde haired shirtless street drummers in town or he is the best hardest working drummer ever.

Flavorful Side Note:
We ordered pizza. It came an hour and a half later. The middle of the box was crushed. Squishing the lid into the cheese. Do they not have those little plastic pizza protectors down here? I thought that

hasn't been an issue since the 80's. Thanks for the room temp Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers.