Friday, July 10, 2009

road trip to austin

my sweetie 'n' i just got back from an overnight trip to america's live music capital (R) which we were able to accomplish entahrly with found money (amex reward points paid for our hotel, and my pocket change from the curious george bank supplied our walking-around money).

stayed in the sumptuous hilton garden inn, which was within two blocks of both of the places where we planned to do stuff during our stay, which meant that my sweetie could drank a li'l more 'n she usually woulda if she'd been driving. first stop was casino el camino, one of my fave watering holes on earth, run by an eminently hip gent of the same name who was called something else when he was a teenager on lawn guyland and i sold him records.

casino's bar has the best burgers on earth and my sweetie got her first taste of one (an l.a., hold the sprouts; myself, i always go for the chicago) and pronounced it "tasty." casino's been in austin since '90 and his bar's been open since '95. during sxsw, he used to host the best parties there, with live music including some of the best shows i've ever seen in austin (the nomads, the mooney suzuki, and the immortal lee county killers on one occasion, the dirtbombs on another). joe lifto from the jim rose circus still tends bar there. we got comp drinks, t-shirts and stickers from the bar on casino's generosity and invited him and his new bride to visit us the next time they're in the fort.

went back to our room for an afternoon nap (because we're old homebodies and lazy that way) before walking another block north on 6th to lovejoy's to see t. tex edwards and out on parole. the stage at lovejoy's is tee-tiny and there are six musos in out on parole -- three gtrs, two electric and one acoustic, in addition to bass, drums (played by expat fort worthian mike buck) and t. tex his own self -- so they were packed in pretty tight. they opened with an instrumental, showcasing a reverb-drenched sound that straddles surf, rockabilly, honky-tonk and psychedelia, before t. tex hit the stage, singing a selection of songs from their great pardon me, i've got someone to kill cd plus covers of songs by syd barrett and john entwistle (!) because t. tex says, "you can't just sing murder songs all the time."

joe dickens got a piercing sound from his semi-hollow guild and spelled t. tex, singing a good ol' trucker's lament, while big jeff keyton played an f/x-laden, bigsby-modded telecaster, and mike buck demonstrated (as he always does) his mastery of no-frills, propulsive timekeeping. i told him that i saw him play the first weekend i was in texas, with the fabulous thunderbirds at faces on lemmon avenue in dallas. buck and another expat fort worthian, jim yanaway of "finger poppin' time"/amazing records/legendary stardust cowboy fame were of the opinion that might have been the weekend when jaco pastorius sat in with the t-birds (on keith ferguson's left-handed bass) and denny freeman and bill campbell sat in for jimmie vaughan. i don't remember any of that, but there's a lot of stuff from around that time (30+ yrs ago!) that i can't remember so well. 'twas good to see jim and hear him talking about his current gig refurbing houses and the trip he's planning to the pac northwest with his dog, smiley.

went back to the room and watched the tv (something we never do at home) before hitting the rack. in the morning, we stayed in the room right up until checkout time watching a multi-part episode of law and order: criminal intent. my sweetie 'n' i agreed that while the appointments at the hotel were fine, we like our own bathroom (and water pressure!) at home better. fell by waterloo records but i was so glutted from recent outings to hpb and doc's records here in the fort that nothing i saw really caught my eye, so we stopped at whole foods to grab something to eat on the go before heading back to the fort, la casa, and the cats. a nice li'l road trip; we'll have to do it again once we can accrue enough reward points.

tomorrow i'm attending my ex-lead singer's funeral in the morning, closing at the market, and then playing at lola's 6th with hentai improvising orchestra -- which, this time out, won't include jon teague, who's recording with the great tyrant, but will include clay stinnett, fresh from recording with the boom boom box, along with zanzibar snails' michael chamy, trombonist marcus brunt, billy wilson on theremin, and whoever else terry was able to shake out of the trees. should be a hoot.


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