September 18, 2006

Austin Has City Limits

Filed under: rock — sparkrobot @ 11:28 pm

Sweet BusinessIn Austin last week while I was in town for the Flash Forward Conference, I took an evening and met up with my brother-in-law and his wife. We went out and had some Cuban food and decided to tool about a bit to see what we could get into. After some deliberation, we decided to stop at the Club De Ville on Red River. When we arrived, there was only the barkeep behind the counter and another guy ordering a round. Dude mentions to bartender, “Kinda quiet around here tonight, huh?”. This overheard I jump in, “Now that we’re here it’s not.” Nothing like an empty bar room to drop a sweet ass bomb like that.

We talked for a few minutes and after clearing up some confusion about the festival(s) we each were in town for, he introduced himself as Jacob [Valenzuela] from the band Calexico, and was in town for the ACL Festival happening the next weekend. I said “Hey no shit? We’re all from Tucson.”. A bit more small talk, I mentioned a couple of their recent records I quite enjoyed but didn’t really want to hold him up in fanatical chatter. “Nice meeting you man, good luck with the shows. Enjoy Austin.” When Bloody Mary returned she goes “Who was that?”. Me and Brandon replied in stereo, “Calexico.”.

We took our beers out onto the patio and found several more members of the band and their friends/entourage were the sole inhabitants of the patio as well. When they saw us come out, they invited us to join them. (Couldn’t really argue with that.) When I went to sit down, the color splash flash unit I had (loosely obviously) attached to my Lomo fell off and broke. Totally annoying, 100% borrowed. (I ordered a replacement later from the hotel) We sat and bullshat with the group for a while, talking about Tucson, bands, the road, etc. At one point a homeless guy wandered in and started a less than stellar performance of an Al Green song, complete with beer belly-tapping, off-tempo drums. Um okay. After some serious eye-rolling and fucking total awkward silence, we kicked down some coins so he’d bail. No offense, but Cinderella wuddn’t invited to the ball. He insisted on doing one more song, though we all tried to refuse. Stones on the box, it was a duet with Mick Jagger—albeit complete shit—in a off-key mash-up style.

When we were all leaving, there was mention of tickets to see the taping of their Austin City Limits performance on Wednesday. Phone numbers were exchanged at we hit the road thinking if nothing else, that it was pretty cool just to hang out and have a few rounds. If the tickets never materialized, meh, whatevs. Wednesday afternoon I got a call from BM saying they actually had called and we had tickets on will call. Fuckinay, fantastic.

We jumped at the chance to hit the taping. I’ve watched this show on PBS for years and evidently, it’s difficult to obtain tickets in the first place. The sound was phenomenal. The lighting was outrageously cool and they also gave us free beer. And it was the cold kind. At first I thought aloud, this Zeigen Bock is awful. I was quickly reminded just how free and just how cold it was and rethunk it:

. o O ( Yeah, I should just shut the fuck up right now. )

They played a lot fo familiar material from the older records and some incredible stuff I hadn’t yet heard from their latest relase, Garden Ruin. The highlight for me being Just Like Stevie Nicks from the Feast of Wire record from 2003. The performance was right on and featured an extended dynamic bit through the middle. Crafty stuff. They’re musicianship was spot on. Hopefully they picked this song for the show that airs November 13th on PBS. Super cool.

So, I guess if this post sounds like I’m bragging a little bit, well, I am. Thanks for reading it… suckehrrrrrrh!

1 Comment

  1. Here’s some blurry lomo action from club de ville, including an awesome shot of the serenade.

    Comment by sparkrobot — September 22, 2006 @ 10:37 am

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