Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday in Austin

posted by Majestic Ape at 11:53 PM

I sleep like shit.

Jeff and I are sharing an L-shaped couch. Breck is sleeping on the loveseat. Erick is sleeping on the bare cement floor next to Adam’s room. He wants to sleep as far away from us as possible, even if it means snuggling with concrete.

My sleeping pills aren’t working as well as they did in the beginning. I’m also starting to drink tea later in the day again. Dumb. Don’t be dumb, Kleiny. Don’t do it. BREAK THE CYCLE!

We shower and head over to the Wheatsville Food Co-op for some fine hippie grub before our first SXSW show at the Hole in the Wall. After we make our purchases, we go outside to eat. Jeff and Breck sit on a bench. Erick and I share a table with a girl already sitting. I watch Jeff’s breakfast burrito fall apart. There is salsa all over the bench, the ground, and on his little plate. Out comes my camera. Snap! Snap! Ha Ha!

We drive over to Hole in the Wall. I park in the alley right next to the bar and hope that no one asks me to move the van. Monotonix and Kevin Guthrie are already inside. There is a screaming blond girl on stage.

I head to the rear of the venue and discover a patio bar out back. Kevin sits with me outside and we converse. He tells me stories from the time in his life when he was actively a stand-up comedian. I imagine its much more challenging to be a comedian that a musician. There is no music to hind behind. It’s just you and your voice and the faces of your audience, and either the sounds of their laughter, or the sounds of their jeers. The scariest sound of all is the sound of their silence.

Kevin tells me a bunch of his jokes. I make cracks back at him. The sun feels great and the weather couldn’t be more perfect. I go inside to watch a band called, “The Health.” I draw a picture of their drummer, BJ, while they play.

When Monotonix go on, they set up their equipment on the floor and gather the audience to stand on the stage. The next 45 minutes is utter chaos. Ami is rolling around in the trash can. Ran does a crazy drum solo. Ami is climbing on the bar. Yanathan plays guitar laying on his back. Ami is taping someone’s mouth closed. Ami drinks beer from a shoe. I enjoy their songs and the combination is very entertaining.

After clean-up, it’s our turn. I have pondering topics for the pre-show chat. What I planned was lost immediately. For some reason, I tell a horrible pedophile joke. Then I sing a song from “Evita”. I also ramble some other nonsense. Without the voice changer, this speech would be pretty pathetic. By the time we start to play, there is a great crowd of new people that have arrived. They seem to be genuinely into the music.

When we finish, our friend, Divya, gives me a ride downtown and I meet a few friends for a pre-dinner snack. I have been invited to a State Club dinner. I’m not exactly sure what this means except that I have been told that the attendees are the most important people in the music business—owners of major labels, licensing attorneys, and some very special venture capitalists. I was also told that other guests would include Bob Dylan, and guys from Talking Heads. Again, this is a very un-Apes like event, and I’m going alone.

The dinner itself is being held at a steak restaurant on 6th Avenue. When we arrive, we are lead upstairs to a private room with one very long table running the length of one side of the room. I sit with my friends but I see a few other people I know. Its not really awkward, as I thought it may have been. I have no problem talking to friends or strangers. I just wish I had name tags for everyone who was at the dinner. I met several people and don’t know for sure if any Talking Heads were there. I think Bob Dylan missed his plane. After dinner, I go with this group to a few of the showcases. We end up seeing the entire set of Dengue Fever at Emo’s.

My band mates are also at Emo’s. It feels odd that I don’t leave the venue with them. I end up going back to the bar at the Hilton and sip very expensive Bourbons with my friend. We engage in very stimulating conversation. When I am offered lodging for the evening, I accept.

At 1:00 am, I get a text message. One of my best friends, Evan, just arrived in town. He had gotten an unexpected ride to Austin with band friends from Chicago (where he now lives). This is an expected treat because we don’t see each other often. Wahooooo!!! The fun will continue tomorrow.


Blogger Unicorn said...

the musician's life sounds eventful, at least during sxsw! i wish i could sneak into a giant trunk in the back of your guys' van vannie so i could "secretly" tag along. too bad bob dylan wasn't there at the dinner party. could've led to a conversation... on par with the limo driver? who knows.

12:24 AM  

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