Somewhere South of South-by Posted on Monday 22 March 2010

As befits a band of our elevated station we are staying on some anonymous freeway cloverleaf somewhere far south of south-by. Here the culinary options are limited, so every morning we hop like good little bunnies to the IHOP next-door for the best our pds can buy. Here even the “healthy” options to come with coronary alerts, but nevertheless we fill up with egg substitute omelettes and dishwater coffee ahead of our date with MTVu at the disused power plant close by the river back in town.

The location is frankly stunning, some gutted industrial monolith that would make a great location for the Hollywood remake of Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ (now there’s a thought).

It is in this concrete cathedral that we are expected to give an decent account of ourselves playing something original in under 60 seconds. We choose to butcher out the “exciting” bit of ‘Luna’ to satisfy today’s average lo-attention-span viewer. Anyway, the machinery of the shoot is suitably impressive and we are quickly done and dusted and thereby free to clamber around the slowly rotting and rusting carcass of the building.

After that, it’s back to insanity of 6th Street for load-in to the Paste party at the same venue as yesterday, only this time we are mercifully playing indoors instead of out. We are performing at 2pm so don’t have long to kick around before showtime comes around. The gig itself goes down as a good one, by Mr Mgr’s account three times better than last night, thanks mainly to the fact that the sound system doesn’t seem to be built out of cocoa tins and string. This solves the bittersweet feeling of the previous evening, a result from coming a third of the way round the planet to play to a thousand people and royally suck. On the contrary, today was a good day. We got on on time and played a full-ish set of 8 songs all with a modicum of competence. it was almost worth getting out of bed for.

After some more inane jabber to people with microphones about why we supposedly rule, our promo tormentors let us loose on Austin to do as we please, which turns out to be arguing about whether to go for BBQ or a nice vegetarian. This is an inevitable predicament whenever you a band and crew get together to spend some kwality time, but for once the vegetarians don’t play the trump card and we go, not for barbeque, but for burgers and chili fries at Frankie’s down by Barton Springs. We’ve been here before previous years, and while the kwisine is basic, the place is outdoors under huge spreading oaks, there are lots of interesting dogs to fuss over and you can throw some ‘washers’ into a dusty niche a few feet distant in some feeble display of machismo under the guise of a game. Wonderfully, tomorrow’s birthday boy Amos trounces all-comers and for once the meek really do inherit the earth.

After that, folks disperse to whatever far-flung corner of the festival takes their fancy, strong drink is taken and tomorrow is pushed from the mind. Amos gets his rox off to Gonzales before joining Leon who’s been queuing for an hour to miss Band of Horses but see Broken Social Scene, Simon swoons to winsome Danes Efterklang, Justin gets hard and horny and buys the t-shirt, at Goatwhore (pur-lease!), while Cathy nips off home before former Occupanther faves Midlake can persuade her she really ought to stay. Everyone retires tuckered out but happy. Aww. Big day tomorrow.

Le Fanfarlo