After Lawrence, Denton, and Bastrop, we rolled into Austin on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 17th.  After checking into our hotel, we made our way down to the massive Austin Convention Center and picked up our wristbands, loading passes, booze coupons, tote bags, and the like.  Wednesday night, we took in the expected assortment of incredible shows, including Basia Bulat at the Rough Trade showcase, before hitting the sack to rest up for our assortment of shows which started the next day.

Thursday afternoon, we did an interview with Scottish journalist and blogger extraordinare Ewan Spence before heading to Cherrywood Coffee where we played the Real Fruit Smoothie Party and saw a most interesting duo called Gay Science, which featured a chick who can play a wicked trombone, as well as monster rock trio The Gary and gossip-rockers Hollywood Gossip, which now features one of the dudes from early ’00s traveling punk troubadors Silver Scooter (as seen at the Cog Factory back in the day).  This last development was much to the delight of several Thunder Power members.

Gay Science

The next afternoon, we played the RVCA/Goorin Bros./PF Flyers/Stag day party at Doc’s Motorworks on South Congress Street.  Here we met several more awesome bands, including The Burning Hotels from Ft. Worth and The Pretty Black Chains from Oklahoma City.  We were also able to do a serious wardrobe upgrade courtesy of the sponsors.  The venue also had the stupidest bar game ever, which could be popular in Texas for all we know but certainly isn’t in Omaha.  It’s this weird thing where you pull back this ring on a string and let it go in an effort to try to get it stuck on a hook on the wooden frame that supports the whole apparatus.  We just wanted to check it out, but somehow Alex and I ended up not only playing it for way too long but also sucking at it horribly.  We were beaten by numerous challengers, but since the game isn’t really any fun, they just hooked the ring after a few tries and left, leaving us to haplessly swing our rings like some type of homo erectus awkwardly attempting to familiarize with the basic usage of crude tools.  It’s not like pool, etc., where the winner holds the table.

 

The Burning Hotels

 

bar sport fail

After that, we headed back down to Sixth Street for another round of shows, the highlights of which included The Mynabirds and UUVVWWZ at the Saddle Creek showcase at Maggie Mae’s as well as Nive Nielsen at the Hilton Garden Inn 18th Floor.  She had originally been scheduled to do the same CMJ showcase as us last year but had to cancel, so it was nice to finally get to see her in person. 

Check back soon for SXSW, Part Deux.

-Ian

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