Before making our way to Austin for this year’s round of South by Southwest festivities, we made a stop in Denton, TX where we played a nifty little festival called the NX35 Music Conferette.  It could be thought of as a kind of precursor to SXSW, but with The Flaming Lips headlining this year and Steve Albini delivering the keynote speech, it is definitely a worthy event in its own right.  We played at a coffee shop called Jupiter House with a number of very cool bands, including Eurorockers Drive Like Maria and the Florida-based Stranger’s Family Band, whose vintage-psychedelia-inspired set included the use of an electronic tanpura, making this the first show we ever played with another band who also used one.  It is worth noting that theirs was the Raagini, which is the primary competitor to the Radel Saarang series, which is what I have.  However, I must say that the Radel wins out in this epic Ford vs. Chevy-style clash of the titans.  Also playing the festival were our amigos Icarus Himself from Madison, WI, with whom we did a show at O’Leaver’s earlier this month.
Thunder Power membership has its priveleges
Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square, across the street from the center of NX35 events

We also had the privelege of attending the grand opening of the Eight Track Museum, a repository and archive of some of the rarest eight track tapes from around the globe.  We met founder Bucks Burnett and got an up-close-and-personal look at the extremely rare Lou Reed eight track pictured here.

Bucks "Ochotracko" Burnett, founder of the Eight Track Museum

During NX35 we stayed at the Comfort Suites near the University of North Texas.  Normally, this is the type of thing that no one would give a rat’s ass about, but I thought I’d mention it because the hotel features an excellent combination of spaciousness and affordability which makes it a great choice for bands on the road.  We were all able to pile into one suite in relative comfort and we didn’t have to break the bank in order to do so.  We may well look for Comfort Suites in other towns on future tours.

-Ian

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