Saturday, March 15, 2008

day 34-35: austin part 2

I loooove Austin! Pretty much every 5 minutes the thought of "I could totally live here" crossed my mind.

Then it occurred to me that I have actually lived in Austin... although I don't think it counts, since it was in the early '80s and before I turned 4 years old. If only as a toddler I would have known the vast treasure of music to be discovered and enjoyed in the great capital city of Texas...

When we first got to Austin I experienced culture shock. Well, I'm pretty sure that's the best way to describe it. Why? Probably because it was hot outside both days we were there (92 degrees, anyone?) and because there were people ev-er-y-where. Definitely a far cry from the majority of our tour stops in the last month. (ie: Camden, AR - where we saw 0 people)

Our first day, we made sure to stop by some of our favorite locations: Sno Beach (if snow cones could be gourmet, this is the place to find them) and the Hula Hut, which is right off of Lake Austin:

Yeah, this is a stolen picture from the internet... but since I'm just now recharging my camera batteries, I thought some form of picture would be better than none.

Later that night I was supposed to go to the Blender party with my cousin "Jonny Hey" (which started at midnight and went to 4am), but unfortunately was not feeling well. Bad timing!!!

SXSW ("South-By-Southwest" for those of you not music-festivally inclined) is one of the largest music festivals in the US. This year there were 1,700 bands playing in the span of a few days. Literally, everywhere you walk down the street, there is live music - not only in bars, but restaurants, alleyways, and even hair salons. Absolute craziness, I tell you!

So it's only fitting that our show turned out pretty crazy...
We played at a place called Guero's on a little outdoor stage:

(Another lame picture from the WWW. And I know it looks just like us, but that is not The Autumn Film you see pictured.)

So anyway, there is a little "window" in the back of the stage to load and unload all of your gear through - we had a total of 45 minutes to unload, set up, sound check, play our set, and load back up. After 20 minutes, nothing of my violin equipment seemed to be working. We were unplugging and re-plugging cables, trying out different amps, switching between computer gear and non-computer gear - all to no avail. The only sound I could produce was an annoyingly piercing buzzing sound. Time was wasting away and everyone was getting anxious, so I just decided to play all my violin parts on my keyboard. Problem solved. It felt odd with no violin, but I was so anxious to play that it didn't matter as much. We gained some new fans and sold even more T-shirts (apparently Texans love the cotton) so it was worth it. Jonny Hey took some pics, so maybe he can send them to me to post later.

After unloading everything out of the trailer to change a tire (another missed photo-op), we got back in the car for the 3 hour drive to Houston... as we had a last minute request for an all-day playing gig the next day. It was hard to leave Austin so soon, but the trip back was one of my favorites so far - I was driving with Juli doing a fine job DJ-ing it up - and a massive sing-along


Terese said...

Love the updates! Michael and I had a blast in CO last week...but sad we didn't get to see you! Looking forward to the pics from Jonny Hey :)

Matt Mikalatos said...

Hi (insert secret name here)--

It's Matt! I just added a link to your blog on mine. I wanted to let you know before you got swarmed by my lackeys. :)