These are the types of things that happen at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. But luckily, seeing a hamburger-promoting clown was far from the highlight of my day.
A band called Calliope Musicals was playing outside, so I had a look and was caught off guard by seeing small kids dressed as tigers and unicorns dancing with balloons. It was cute but I wasn't into it and made my way to the convention centre to walk around the trade show for the remainder of the afternoon.
It was pretty tech-driven and there wasn't a lot that interested me, but I was invited to the Canadian Blast stand where the Ontario Media Development Corporation was having a small reception. I caught up with some Canadians I hadn't seen for a long time and chatted with people from Germany and England while having free beer, wine and sandwiches. I also got free beers from the New Zealand, Austin and Denton, Texas stands.
After the performance I was interviewed by a reporter from Dong-A Ilbo, whose business card said it was South Korea's leading newspaper, about The Barberettes. I'd appreciate it if all of you dedicated Dong-A Ilbo readers would save me a copy of any article you might see my name in.
I paid a visit to the washroom on the way out and Blondie drummer Clem Burke urinated beside me. He's playing with BP Fallon for SXSW and I hope to see him on Sunday.
The Breakout West party featuring bands from Western Canada was held at The Majestic and I arrived in time to see Mise en Scene, a Manitoba act with a female lead singer/guitarist and drummer and a male bassist that played a rootsy and sometimes slightly bluesy version of alternative rock that hit a lot of the right spots.
Free mini bratwursts and nachos were served and I was given four free drink tickets which I converted into a Shiner Bock and a triple rum and Coke, which seemed like a good idea at the time.
I walked across town to Stephen Easley's condominium, where he was hosting his traditional SXSW kick-off party poolside. The prominent attorney works in the technology and music fields and represents the estate of Buddy Holly as well as current artists, some of whom played this year's party. He's an excellent host and also manages the Mixed Media Mongrels, the softball team I play for in the annual SXSW tournament.
Edison Chair is a young pop-rock quintet from Austin that I can see growing into something more than it is now, which is still pretty good. You wouldn't know that lead singer Rachel Thompson only recently joined the band.
The Statesboro Revue is another young and very rootsy band that adds touches of country and blues to its rock. Their original material was solid, but their cover of Holly's "Think It Over" left me with the biggest smile.
I left the party to meet my friend Tom from Seattle, who I hadn't seen in a year-and-a-half, and we walked east to Hotel Vegas where I had hoped to see Protex, The Oh Sees, Paul Collins Beat and The Sloths, but there was a pretty long line and since it was an unofficial SXSW event, our badges wouldn't have got us in any quicker so instead we planted ourselves at a bar across the street where we could see and hear some of what was happening while enjoying some better quality beers than we could have got had we actually made it in to the multi-staged venue.
I didn't see as many acts as I normally would on Tuesday, but I was okay with that since hanging out with friends is another reason why I come to Austin.