It’s been my tradition since first coming to the South by Southwest Music Festival to cross Town Lake to the South Congress neighbourhood and the Yard Dog Gallery for the Bloodshot Records party and margaritas across the street with the Waco Brothers. It’s a tradition that was continued this year and I don’t see it ending as long as all the involved parties are in Austin.
I arrived at the Yard Dog at 3 p.m., where I caught Lydia Loveless’ last song. I would have liked to have heard more, since I’m a fan, but luckily I caught her in Toronto a few months ago.
Lagunitas IPA was selling for three dollars, but it was just a buck if you kept your cup for refills, so I ordered my first beer while waiting for Luke Winslow-King to begin at 3:15 p.m. He sang and played guitar and was accompanied on vocals by Esther Rose (who added percussion with both a rub board and by striking a horseshoe with a screwdriver) and an upright bassist. The trio had a rootsy, folky, down-home sound that was nice, but not particularly inspiring.
I went inside the gallery to check out its great collection of folk art and then back outside to the Bloodshot merchandise table where I bought both a Bloodshot work shirt and bottle opener for just five dollars.
I then went to Guero’s and bellied up to the bar for margaritas and conversations with old friends, new friends and all of my friends in the Waco Brothers. I was going to briefly check out and go down the street to Jo’s Coffee to see The James Hunter Six, but Wacos drummer Joe Camarillo had already bought me another margarita so I stuck around and chatted more until just before 5:30 p.m. when the band left to take the Yard Dog stage.
I don’t know if you’ll find a more entertaining rock and roll band than the Wacos, and this set featured a fiery set of original songs and choice covers. Jo Walston from The Meat Purveyors jumped on stage for George Jones’ “White Lightning” and Jon Langford reciprocated by jumping into the crowd during Johnny Cash’s “Big River,” but the boys were generally better behaved than at past Bloodshot parties. And yet another Friday at SXSW tradition was upheld when Craig Laskey kept drinking my beer.
I made a pitstop back at the condo before it was time to go to ACL Live at The Moody Theatre to see Green Day. You can read my Spinner review of that outstanding show here.
When Green Day had finally finished after playing for more than two hours, I dropped my laptop off at the condo and went across the street to The Ginger Man to see The District Attorneys. Some friends are working with the band, and they should because it’s really good. The relatively young Athens, Ga. group features two guitars, drums, bass and keyboards, plays melodic alternative rock, and goes down fine with a pint of IPA. I’d be happy to be in court with these guys.
|The Specials' Terry Hall|
The Specials were playing again at Stubb’s at 12:30 a.m., and I got there early so I could grab a tallboy of Lone Star and get right up front where hopefully I’d encounter more real fans of the second wave ska kings than I did the night before. A few people spotted my Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice T-shirt and waved me over to join them. It was a similar set to the previous night, with perhaps a few more songs thrown in, but I was too preoccupied with moshing and skanking to take notes. The Specials once again left me on a high on the walk back to the condo for the usual socializing and debriefing.
Amount of money spent on food during SXSW thus far: $0.