Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SXSW is here...

And I plan on sitting this one out.

I've been doing the hustle for almost 12 years, playing up 7-8 shows with 3-4 diff bands. One year Shandon Sahm did 4 gigs in one day. I could go downtown and schmooze/hustle, I have a new solo album and its now re-printed precursor. I could go and see a bunch of great music and see a bunch of great people whom I haven't seen in awhile, prolly since SXSW last year. I could try to get some exposure for myself and every band I play with, sniff down some label options for myself and ETB.

But I'm tired and need a break. ETB wound up not getting accepted to the SXSW festival, even with David Cotton and Susan Antone in our corner. We've only been busting our asses for the last year here and on our 99-day summer tour. This is all we do, we support ourselves by playing music for a living in the Live Music Capital of the World. Altogether the three of us have put 30 years + into this music community.

And like most other local Austin talent, they took our $30+ submission fee put our presskit into the "local" pile, which they open after the out-of-towners and big names. Remember when the SXSW Music Festival was all about showcasing Austin indigenous unsigned talent? Yeah me neither.

Anyway, end rant. Hope I don't come off as bitter, tho there is a difference between that and simply telling it like it is.

So yeah. I am taking this SXSW off.

No official gigs, no unofficial showcases (the festival is very particular what is and what is not an OFFICIAL SXSW showcase, tho 1000+ bands and who knows how many folks coming into town is still called SXSW as a general blanket term... again, just saying). I missed the tuesday free kickoff show at Red Eyed Fly which I go to every year. I could have seen a buncha great people and a buncha great bands. But I just felt like staying home, even tho I could have taken a cab to avoid the parking nightmare downtown. I was going to miss the Small Stone Records showcase (go every year, have reviewed in past for Rank and Revue mag) in favor of another firewalk with Triniti, but looking online it is Friday and not Saturday. Ok, that's pretty cool, but again see how I feel. I could wheel and deal and stay visible/promote my records, but at the same time it'd be more to let people know what I have been up to rather than looking for a record deal.

And I may make appearances at the Whoopsy Magazine party(s), have played that in the past with Shandon several times, and now Trophy's is in walking distance.

In the meantime I am trying to type with my thumb in a splint and my forefinger wrapped up. Looks much worse than it is, but have these nagging and constantly shifting joint pains/issues in my pick hand. Thought my forefinger was on the mend by a guy shook my hand onstage Monday night and the knuckle screamed back to life. That and constant random motions aggravate the tendons on top of my thumb. Immobilizing the whole works feels great so far. Maybe it's also good I'm sitting this SXSW out, as I'd be shaking a lot of hands...

But let's see: ETB's Monday residency was cancelled this week due to Friends being boooked for a private party (see above paragraph about SXSW and local artists), but they booked us at their sister bar Agave instead. It is long and very narrow, I was not very happy when we first got there (but that might have also been from carting our gear around the block due to the barricades). But regardless by 9pm 6th Street was packed like midnight on a weekend. That is a good sign. So we blew into our set not worrying about noise ordinance violations of if we were too loud for a venue that was about 10 feet wide in front of (and including the width of) the stage.

Turns out that is always the best course of action. Few songs in and we had the place packed with a crowd outside as well. I will say this, small places are easy to pack. They loved us and we were on fucking fire, good God that was an awesome show. And a fairly profitable night, people were dumping their wallets into the tip bucket. And laughing at my stupid jokes about "Wow, it's pretty packed downtown for a monday... is there a convention going on or something?" Heh.

Good times. Looking forward to enjoying my time off. And waiting for my CDs which should arrive today.

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