A bar, located at 421 East 6th St, in "the live music capital of the world", Austin, Texas, with one of the most self-explanatory titles of all time. It's a piano bar - a dueling piano bar, in fact! And the "Pete's"? I have no idea who Pete is, sorry.

The bar has a somewhat unique layout: It is a rather long rectangle, with the actual bar part (ie, "where you purchase alcohol") at the end of the building by the entrance, the stage containing the two pianos on the wall, in the middle, bleachers (labelled "bleacher bums", or something... dangit! I can't remember - someone who has been there recently please remind me what it actually says) on the far wall, and a balcony running about half the length of the building, opposite the stage (for V.I.P.s, or something). The main floor is filled with tables and chairs; nothing special there.

But that's really not very interesting is it? The real attraction is the raucous popular music, played/sung by two (or three) people on two grand pianos, with percussion consisting of the piano players opening, then slamming closed the piano face plates, people clapping, and maybe a tambourine or two. And the whole crowd sings along too, of course! The performers take requests - no matter how oddball the request, usually someone knows the song and will attempt to play/sing it, and depending on the obscurity, they will butcher it to various degrees. There are also quite frequently bidding wars for which songs get played; a popular one is when there's a request for some school's fight song or another. Texas, and Texas A&M, have a good rivalry going between them, and the guys at Pete's are more than willing to cash in on this. Heckling of the audience and other performers abounds - this is often more entertaining than the songs that it punctuates!

So anyway, it's quite wild, although I must confess that I don't really frequent bars, and I've only been there once, while interviewing with Trilogy.. if you're ever in Austin on a Tuesday-Saturday night, and are looking for a boisterous experience, give Pete's a chance! On a less upbeat note (no pun intended), things are not all rosy for Pete's - In January of 2001 (I think), Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) filed a lawsuit with seventeen claims of copyright infringement, due to performer's frequent usage of songs like "Piano Man", "Brown Eyed Girl", "Free Bird", and the like. (Accursed vultures... BMI, that is.)

They do have a website, but it's "under construction", and there's nothing really there: http://www.petesduelingpianos.com/

Thanks to all of the websites that I found through Google for the factual info, to Google, for allowing me to find said websites, to VT_hawkeye, for correcting my claim that UT and TAMU were both in Austin, and to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

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