See the previous day
2:00, somewhere in Suburbia. One of the old Austin's hallmarks is that anyone could have a large party at any time, and no one would call the cops so long as you never broke 120 decibels. This attitude is in full effect at the P2 Bar-B-Q. I don't think anyone here knows just what the heck P2 is (I sure don't), and no one cares. There's free meat and free beer and free music. Neko Case and her Boyfriends are up next. Neko's trailer trash, and damn proud of it - she's braless and drunk on Maker's Mark. My allergies are going ballistic, but I hang around because the music's great and Neko is vowing to have very pleasurable sex with each and every member of the audience right after she gets done kicking the ass the following band (Calexico). Sadly, she doesn't follow through (on the sex part - I see Calexico play later and the bassist has bruises all up his arm).
As I leave the barbeque, a cop car rolls by. The cop inside watches me for signs of drunkenness before smiling, waving, and driving by the throbbingly loud party. Nice.
3:30, Waterloo Records. Robert from the Apples in Stereo is playing a solo set. It's not that great - his skills lean more towards orchestration, so the one-man-and-his-guitar rendition of Apples songs is a bit lacking. Maybe I'm just too used to the albums. He's followed by the British band of the moment, Gomez. Back in the Kingdom, they're wildly popular - an opening slot at Wembley Stadium popular. In the States, they're reduced to playing a record store. But they put their all into the show, easing through the radio single 'Hangover' before covering Smokey Robinson. It's good, but you're caught wondering if the music will stand up to time - so many critics labelling them as the blue-eyed soul for the next decade - are they right?
4:30, 33 Degrees. Back here to check out Calexico. Neo-country, the 'Austin' sound, I suppose. I just can't get into it, but then again, I'm tired and hungry and ready for this adventure to be over. But that will change once I get a gyro in my belly.
8:30, Emo's (again!). Why do I always come back to this joint? There's gotta be, like, 500 music venues in this town, and I tend to stay at Emo's. Not that that's a bad thing tonight. There's a band on stage called The Mooney Suzuki, and they RAWK. Get past all the moddish posturing and you'll find kick-ass music and a kick-ass show. Lots of Marshall-stack climbing, guitar-playing-in-the-crowd style action. I missed a few other shows just hanging here.
9:15, The Elephant Room. So this is what passes for a jazz club in this town? It's a hallway, folks, a HALLWAY. But, it's a hallway with a bar and tables, so I'll hang around. The Blue Noise Band is playing, and it's a bit abstract for my tastes. When it comes to jazz, I've stuck to the hard bop, and I have no developed sense of what's good when it comes to the free jazz stuff... so this is just like noise to me. Maybe it's noise to everyone, but some people (mostly 50 or older, natch) seem to be digging it.
10:45, Waterloo Brewing Company. After hitting two powerpop bands that were somewhat notable, Kissinger and Kitty Gordon (not bad, but built for the radio single, I thought) I assumed my position stageside for the Poster Children. Ah yes. Geek rock at it's finest. Rose Marshack came out early to set up; I started up on a very pleasurable two-day crush on her. They're going through the song 6x6 right now (a song about staying in a small room, surrounded by machines, never leaving, and liking it... again, geek rock at it's finest). The Poster Children never dissappoint; they sink heart and soul into every song on stage.
11:30, Waterloo Brewing Company. This could very well be the showcase of the festival. Legendary Seattleites the Fastbacks are on stage right now. More powerpop, but so bright and catchy that you're swept up in all the noise. Good Stuff. I tried to catch Eric Mingus's show at the Elephant Room, but no dice, the place was packed. I guess more people than me wanted to see if he was as good as his father. Back to the Fastbacks. Back to pure pop goodness. I could stay here for a while.
This node is still under construction. It will soon be followed by SXSW 2000 : Friday - stay tuned.