Friday, August 23, 2013

A Trip to Austin || Shenanigans || August 2013

It had always been on the list. Through the years I had heard many a good thing about the city of Austin.  Texas has never attracted me.  But their capital city has.  Solely due to the fact that so many friends who love music have told me about their adventures to Austin.  Mine was about to happen.

IMG_1762A good friend (who happens to be a die hard music fan) is getting married.  When asked where he would want to have his bachelor party there were only two choices; Nashville & Austin.  He chose Austin.  Fifteen middle-aged men piled into a flop house right on 6th and Brushy for a long weekend of booze, music and good times.  I felt like I had shed twenty years of life.

Rolling into town on a Thursday afternoon we got situated and staked out a game plan for the night.  One crew went boozing.  I was really torn, not because I wanted to go boozing, I was already boozed up enough.  A " new favorite" band was playing at the Parish on 6th.  I had seen Diarrhea Planet earlier this year back home in San Jose when the opened for Jeff the Brotherhood.  Both great bands.  But something drew me closer to DP.  Maybe it was the way they crammed so many goddamn guitars on the stage with out it sounding lame. Either way, I attempted to talk some guys into going to the Parish with me.  The another contingent, led by Adam spoke up about having a friend playing over at the Broken Spoke.  Some old Honky Tonk on the edge of town.  I knew DP would be back and I was up for something new.  I decided to head with those guys for some country music, Texas style.
I was not disappointed one bit.  The bar was an outstanding piece of history where good times are still flowing readily.  A true place for couples to intermingle and dance the night away to a real live band.  Maybe it is me, but that shit just isn't happening like it used to.  It was a thing of true beauty to see.  Not mention the band, Jesse Dayton.  This guy has a regular standing Thursday night gig at the Broken Spoke.  Seeing them perform I knew why.  They were a tight band that I would've of loved to have seen more of.  The next morning in the local ad-rag I read an article about the development surrounding the place and its life is being threatened for stucco-bomb condos and strip mall shit.  Let's hope it never happens because it is really damn hard to replicate 50 years of history. Enjoy it while you still can.

Friday night bOoze fest on dirty 6th.  Lots of bull riding and dj's.  Let's move on to Saturday.

Saturday morning started out at the Hula Hut, but quickly made its way to a South Congress joint called Guero's.  Outside in the 100 degree heat we sat under misters, drinking many 'o Tecate listening to some sizzling blue by seasoned pros.  These guys did not miss a beat.  The old adage rings true, to play anywhere in Austin on a weekend, you've gotta be good.  Paul Orta and The Kingpins ripped through some blues standards as well as some unfamiliar tunes.
A portion of the crew peeled off to participate in some true bachelor party activities, while three of us meandered under the hot sun until we found another bar. The Continental Club is an old supper club with a wonderful history.  They don't serve supper anymore, just booze and live music practically every day of the week.  Cornell Hurd was up on stage with his big band doing his thing that he has done for 40 plus years.  We sat in the back and dranks some beers soaking up the atmosphere.  With a mid-day buzz rolling we curbed our hunger and headed back to the crash pad for some rest.

That night a crew wanted to go back down to 6th street for some hard partying.  I had different plans.  I saw that this band, The Hex Dispensers, were playing that night less than a half a block from where I was staying.  Checking them out online I realized that it was my calling to go see this band perform.  How well I know myself.
When I showed up, the second band was setting up.  Crooked Bangs set their minimal gear up and then set the stage on fire.  Watch out for this band.  Damn, I would see them again in a heartbeat.  Snappy drummer, heavy bass and noisy guitar...what more could I ask for?  They sounded like a cross between early Kings of Leon and the Melvins. All but better.  A young band.  Once the bass player gets an Ampex SVT with an 8x10 cab and the guitarist get a vintage Marshall or fender and keeps rocking that jazzmaster the tones will only sweeten up!

I was satisfied.  Then the Hex Dispenser came out.  Hotter than hot.  They sounded awesome with no bass and intertwining vocals.  I didn't realize it with my preview but they were very reminiscent of my own band with two guitars, no bass and a woman drummer with screaming backing vocals.  See for yourself.

What a way to end a trip to Austin.  I hope that any and all bands come to the West Coast.  I will be there!

 Videos of The Hex Dispensers, Crooked Bangs and the ever gracious Jesse Dayton:

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