Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I wrote this for the Omaha Reader's article about SXSW. Picture by Jason Fisher

Monday, March 16 — We pack and head to Denton, TX. Folks there have organized “House by House Fest.” Two house shows a night during their Spring Break, getting all the bands they want to see on their way to SXSW. We’ve never played Denton but have heard nothing but great things from other bands. About 50 or so pretty wild kids arrive and the show is a blast. Everyone we meet is great and we sell a few records. We’ll be back to Denton.

Tuesday, March 17 — We don’t have a show today. Clayton and my grandmother live about 30 miles from Denton and we plan to spend the afternoon with her. We get to her house. The town paper has a story about SXSW. She’s excited about it and cuts it out for her scrapbook. We eat lunch, look at photo albums and play some pinochle. Pretty rock ‘n’ roll, huh? We end up driving to Austin that night. Our friend Sara has offered to let us stay at her house. We arrive about 3 a.m. and crash out pretty hard.

Wednesday, March 18 — We’re playing a show sponsored by a public access TV show, “New York Noise.” The show’s organized by the people who booked us at the Market Hotel in NYC a couple months ago. I’m excited; all the people involved are super-rad and there are quite a few bands on this bill I want to see. We play at 6 p.m. and have a good time. Clayton and Dave take off. I stay for the Beets and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They sound a lot like the bands on Postcard Records, a Scottish label that had a lot of “jangly” indie pop bands during the ’80s. We head back to Sara’s and get some What-a-Burger on the way.

Thursday, March 19 — We are playing at Austin’s Moose Lodge tonight but get over to the show early because a few of our friends are on the bill. Brimstone Howl play and are great. Next comes Thomas Function, a pop band from Alabama that reminds me of the Modern Lovers. We go to dinner and return to the Moose Lodge around 10 p.m. The show has gotten behind schedule and the crowd seems frustrated. Play the show and turbo-load the van, we’ve got one more thing tonight, we play two songs acoustic for an overnight BBQ put on by the folks that did the show the day before. We play at 4 a.m. and I’m surprised by how many drunks are still out.

Friday, March 20 — We play at Beerland, our usual Austin club. Most of the stuff we’ve done so far is a little off of the main SXSW events, but Beerland’s in the middle of it. It ends up being ton of fun. All the bands are good and the Beerland staff are always great to hang with. The Ladyfinger guys show up, so does Marc from One Percent. Nice to see some hometown faces. I meet some friends and spend the rest of the night looking for bars that aren’t having shows. I drink to much Lone Star. I am ready for bed.

Saturday, March 21 — I spend most of the day in our friend Sara’s backyard drinking coffee and nursing my hangover. Clayton and Dave go to the “Mess With Texas” free park show and watch the Circle Jerks. Tonight is the Goner Records showcase at Red 7. We load in and I spend a few hours wandering around on the street. I hear quite a few complaints about waiting in line and all the hipsters. Whenever I hear the word “hipster” I think of beatniks. I like the idea of standing in line with a bunch of folks in black turtlenecks, playing bongos and talking jive. When I get back Dave tells me that Keith Morris from the Circle Jerks is at Red 7 and bought a record from us. We geek out for a while and start to set up to play. Clayton is starting to lose his voice but makes it through the show. The crowd is pretty fun and we meet some nice Canadians. We load up and get What-a-Burger one more time before the 14-hour drive home!