Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If One More Person Says Keep Austin Weird...


“Oh no, I forgot to put flowers on my grandparents grave this year.” - Chuck
 Long pause
“Have you ever?”- Lisa
“No “- Chuck

“Kenny G blows the horn of my soul.” – Chuck

“It’s Satan’s taint hot.” – Door guy at The Mohawk

Fauna: Palmetto bugs, Ramblers

I was to join back up with the band at 3:00 for our in studio at the KUT radio station. The load-in got pushed back to 3:30 so I had a little time to check out the campus of UT. (In the 106 degree heat) So when my friend dropped me off and pulled away I turned around to get my bearings and received a small punch in the gut when there right in front of me was the Clock Tower from the horrifying 1966 massacre. It’s not like I dwell on that particular dark chapter of our nations past, but to have the most indelible primary image from that tragedy suddenly appear causes a lurch in your soul. I had just forgotten it was on that campus. I knew there was a memorial somewhere around there so I went in search of it. It turned out to be a lovely, peaceful garden with a small pond filled almost to capacity with moss-covered turtles. I offered up what insufficient prayer I could muster and walked back to the studio trying hard not to think about all the kids running around campus looking so damn young. I can deal with a lot, but the things humans to do each other has the greatest capacity to break my heart.

KUT was a much quieter place than KEXP, but they had a generously appointed studio with good gear and a good sized room. Cliff the engineer and Matt the host were super professional and nice. We played some songs, engaged in some on-air banter, took some pictures and went on our way.

Our show that night was at a club called The Mohawk. Getting to play The Mohawk the first time in town (SXSW doesn’t count) is a pretty good thing; a lot of national bands play there and all that.

(Camera zooms in slowly, pastoral music rises. We see a young soldier place a four-leaf clover in his Bible to mark the place. As he begins to thoughtfully compose a letter to his girl back home the camera slowly pulls back as the music becomes minor key, ominous, until a single violin is left playing)

Something had gone wrong with the club and we still don’t know what. We couldn’t get them to list the show on the club website until a week before the show. They didn’t list it in the local papers. Carl had trouble getting press because no one could confirm the show was happening. Everyone was cool when we got to the club and the vibe was fine, shit like this just happens sometimes. Who knows? (I mean someone knows, but I'm not going to sweat it) They turned the whole upper floor over to the band so we had our own private pool table, dart board, bathroom. It was sweet. But as of 9:00, no one was there. 10:00? Still no one. We were thinking of arranging the dead crickets in a line in front of the stage and naming them, but it’s not like we haven’t played a hundred shows like this. I just always pretend I’m in The Police for their legendary first show in New York where almost no one showed up and now hundreds of people claim to have been there. (I'm Stewart Copeland because he has supple wrists) By 11 when the opener Jason Ludwig was playing about 10 people had wandered in. Some old expat Cincinnati friends began coming in and the mood began to lighten. By the time we went on we played to around 25 people. I thought we played well, Joe thought we sucked, but it ended up being a good night.

I finished the night at a 24 hour bakery/restaurant called La Mexicana where I ordered a Raton de Chocolat. It was like a home-made Hostess cupcake but in the shape of a rat and about a hundred times more dense. I also ordered a vegetarian potato and bean taco that they added the meat to for free.

Tomorrow is Dallas. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to miss this blog when it's over.