Thursday, April 5, 2012

South By Sort-Of Report: Day 3

Friday March 16, 2012

Finally found myself downtown in the SXSW maelstrom Friday evening. ETB set time 8pm, and Rob was already there to play with Street Light Suzie right before us. Quick set change, nice!

So Eric and I make a pass by Headhunter's to recon load-in situation. Most downtown streets are blocked off to some degree, which can often help or hinder musicians trying to get gear into the clubs.

SO we pull around to Headhunter's on 8th Street/Red River, when so help me God, we snag the Holy Grail of parking spots for not just Headhunter's, but in all of downtown that night. We were beside ourselves with our good fortune. Usually parking and getting gear to the club was a clusterfuck and a half. But now, not only are we parked, but we can leave the gear in the van until we are ready to load in. Brilliant!!!

And we load in soon enough, cause Street Light Suzie finished about 20 minutes early. Wha wha WHAT?!? A multi-stage venue during SXSW with bands all day and night, and the show is actually running AHEAD of schedule? Holy shit, maybe the Mayans are on to something.

So we leisurely set up, as Rob's drums are already onstage and the show is way ahead of schedule. Then launch into an unrelenting 45 minute set that quickly fills the place. Great set, great crowd. Ripped my strings off and everything. Then we loaded the gear in the van and hung out for a bit.

Eric and I got caught talking to some drunk guy at the bar. Always interesting to hear the career advice from fans or hobby players to actual working musicians. This guy was in a band, and he told us for about 30 mins of all the things we were doing wrong and what he thought we should be doing. My reaction was mild amusement at first, then slight offense, then pity.

Him: "You guys play WAY too much! You're oversaturating! You should play maybe 4 shows a year! My band has been waiting a year to do a show, make the fans wait!"

Me: "Oh really?" (Mild amusement)

Him: "SERIOUSLY! Why do you guys play so much?!? You should stay in a practice to get it tight, then do only a few shows a year!"

Me: "So... what do YOU do for a living?" (slight offense)

Him: "Oh, I work with my brother..."

Me: "Well there ya go" (pity)

Him: "But my band is the #5 Metal Band in Austin!" (according to ReverbNation, but he didn't say that, and I had never heard of them. He pointed out the sticker on the wall and the logo was illegible)

This went on for a half hour.

So we go outside to maybe have a High Life on 6th. Wow, who set up the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show out here? I bet with the money used for that they could have trippled the size and effectiveness of HAAM. But that would help the Austin musicians too much rather than the tourists that will post pics of the lasers on their Facebook. But the streets were absolutely CLOGGED with people.

Anyway we came back. I thought about crashing the Small Stone Showcase (I wrangle my way in every year somehow), but I had some life things to attend to and alas was not able to make an appearance. Plus the streets were already crazy packed. How would they be at closing time?

Well, let me tell you:

Tia Carrera, whom headlined the SS Showcase, was loading their gear at the end of the night. When who else but actor Bill Murray pops his head into their van and asks what they're up to. They are loading gear, they ask if he wants to help. He said sure. So Bill Murray himself helped Tia Carrera load their van after the show.

His cameo appearances in real life trump his cameo in "Zombieland" apparently.

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