Thursday started off with a 1 p.m., show at Joe’s Coffee on South Congress. Chris Ware is playing a set with Dan Dyer. The locals call this area SoCo (like SoHo in Manhattan). Congress is one of the main north-south routes into Austin proper and runs through the area known as South Austin. Funky little shops and restaurants are everywhere along here, and Joe’s Coffee is one of them. It always does a brisk business but today the line wraps around the back of the building. We got in at around 3 a.m., last night and this coffee is needed.
Joe’s is basically a corner stand with a covered picnic area next to it. There’s a large open area behind us with a huge Rising Sun symbol painted in yellow on the pavement. That’s where the stage is. A totally solar powered stage. Yep. There’s a trailer next to it with all the panels and transformers.
As I wait I do a little people watching. Lots of SXSW lanyard badges prominently displayed. There’s a four or 5-year-old boy sporting a full Mohawk. I see a guy walking a little pig… must be a local. People are everywhere. Traffic on Congress is crawling as festival goers meander across the 4 lanes. I get our coffee and head around back to check out the stage. There’s a little market/bazaar thing going on back here too, T-shirts, vintage western wear. While we’re looking around we run into Jeremy Nail, of Jeremy Nail and the Incidents, who we will be seeing later in the day. Dan Dyer and co. take the stage and after chatting with Jeremy for a bit we head back to the car. We saw the band last night and so don’t feel too bad about leaving.
We have to go into the heart of the festival at the convention center and pick up a wristband for Leticia. This is going to be my first day actually driving in downtown Austin, and I’m a little apprehensive. I learned to drive in Boston, so I know I can handle it, but it’s been awhile. Sure enough, it’s Times Square at rush hour. Bumper to bumper and six inches a minute. Tish gets out, and I circle the block. Three circuits, 10 text messages and 45 minutes later with wristband attached we are good to go… go six blocks west to another show!
We are at the Molotov Lounge to see Jeremy Nail and the Incidents. Lots of people here for the 3 p.m. show. The music started at 11 a.m., here, and the club’s two stages keep the break between acts at five minutes or so. There’s a small buffet with some really good soft tacos and rice. While filling up my plate I see a schedule, and The Black Diamond Heavies will be playing this club tomorrow. I can’t find a show time, and no one seems to know. That’s too bad. I’d love to see the set. We’ve got a pretty full day tomorrow, and getting around takes twice as long as you think it should, so planning is important.
Jeremy Nail’s set is impressive. This is a good band. Tight, well rehearsed and confident. I won’t try to describe the music, as that leads to some of the worst cliché’s and hackneyed phrases ever uttered. I will say this; it’s got some Texas in it and some Southern Rock and it’s not rap. MySpace Jeremy Nail if you want to hear them.
It’s 4 p.m. and time to hit Club Gruv several blocks east to meet up with Mark Hornsby, Nashville producer. He’s working with Leticia on some new demos and wants us to meet an artist from Dallas who wants to trade some shows between Texas and Tennessee. It was less than impressive, so I won’t go into details. We grab Mark and head back to South Austin to see Dead Confederate. They’re doing a set at Trophy’s a few blocks south of Joe’s Coffee, where we started.
Very dark and very loud. Dead Confederate’s set was pretty good, nonetheless. They have a unique blend, and it’s not hard to see why they are one of this year’s “Buzz” bands. Look them up and give a listen.
About 6, we meet up with Chris and grab some of the best tacos you will ever eat. Torchy’s is a string of Airstream style trailers at several locations around Austin. The Trailer Park: fried chicken and pico, The Republican: grilled sausage and cheese and The Brush Fire: marinated pork with mango and Diablo sauce are some of the menu items. Fantastic.
After cooling down a bit at the hotel we spent the rest of the night wandering down Sixth Street. We ended up at the lobby bar of the Hilton, surprisingly free of the relentless crowd that was Sixth street. After a pair of expertly prepared martinis and a great little cheese plate, it was time to pack it in for the night.
Stay tuned for more!
Dead Confederate, Trophy's, Thurs. March 13
Dead Confederate, Trophy's Thur. March 13
Jeremy Nail and Leticia Wolf at Joe's Coffee, Austin Texas, Thurs. Mar 13
Jeremy Nail and the Incidents, Molotov Lounge, Austin Texas, Thurs. March 13
Jeremy Nail, Molotov Lounge, Thur. March 13
A small boy with Mohawk, Joe's Coffee, Austin Texas, Thurs. March 13
Sixth Street from the roof of Maggie Mae's. Thurs. March 13