Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shellshag at SXSW

Well, we played 5 shows and they were all killer!! Snake by Snakepit was the first one we played, on a beautiful sunny Austin day in the I Love Video parking lot. This party was curated by Ben Snakepit, the zine author, and had some great bands. We saw Ptiaradactyl and danced with thier dinosaurs; The Pharmacy and Wild America also rocked. Lisa M. soon arrived and made everything perfect for the following show at House of Commons. Our set here was probably our best, although they were all great, and this one was mostly made better by the enthusiastic crowd!! It was our last night with Street Eaters, and they were great also- we did a good cover of "Runners Legs", a song by John from Street Eaters other band, Fleshies. He sang it for us, as did the crowd on this and many other songs!!! Nice to meet the Pelly sisters after the show, super nice gals. I believe they wrote about the show for there many fans- thanks guys. The last day at SXSW, yesterday, was a triple header for us. We started off with Bloody Marys early in the AM before showing up at the Liberty to find our friends Nathan and Joan ready for a rockin day of bands from Portland Oregon. It was an honor to start off this day for these amazing bands, who were nice enough to have us folk not from Portland on their shin dig. It was quite cold, windy, and wet, but I believe we warmed it up nicely for these guys befor heading over to Spider House for show # 2. We met up with old friends Jonathon Toubin (DJ New York Night Train) and Michelle Cable (Panache Booking), who hosted this event. Bad luck with weather made this outdoor wind tunnel event more challenging than need be, yet still lots of folks braved the cold weather and wind to see some great bands. I especially enjoyed 70's rockers Note Killers set. A wall of noise and riffs unseen since 81', these guys were great. A ton of old friends that I havent seen in forever were at the show, which made it very special. My friend John Stubbe, who lived across the street from me when I was little, but moved to Singapore when I was about 12, came down to see us play and say hi. It was great to see someone I hadnt seen in so long- we havent even gotten a chance to know the grown up versions of each other- so it was really cool to see him and also kinda trippy- 25 years or so, wow! Also, as well planned by my great friend Mary Bruce, the Bench people were there in full force!! What's a bench person you ask? When I first started college at Southwest Texas State University, I found all my like minded, flamboyantly dressed new wave and goth punk cousins at this bench that was dead center of the campus action at the time. We all really stood out in the sea of more conservative folk- and since we were headed into enlightened times in the world, we were for the most part a positively received side show for the students to stare at in confused interest and amazement. We were all once written about in the paper and described as birds with colorful feathers and tails- hilarious. It was so great to see all these folks; You may or may not enjoy facebook, but for me it is great to have these people back in my life, and I guess thats due to facebook. We had a blast and everyone still looked so beautiful, and pretty much the same as before. Also, my best friends Niki and Karen were there too. 3rd show for Niki so she gets the trophy this year along with Bob Taylor who did 3 as well!!! Karen had on the old 50 million shirt that is like a jersey; it just has 50 for the number, and up top on the back where the players name goes, it says million. Probably the coolest rock shirt Ive ever been a part of makin- wish I still had mine!! The final show for us here was our official SXSW showcase, which took place at Jaimies Spanish Village. We learned this is pronounced Himeys spanish village- this place was killer! We were on the showcase of our good friend and Texas music legend Jeff Smith of the Hickoids label, Sauctex records, which houses great Tex Punk bands like Sons of Hercules and of coarse the Hickoids!! We had a great set here, and it was well attended, which suprised us a little because we played at 8, and thats usually a little early for a good crowd, but Sauctex knows there shit and they had people out early! Plus our friends showed up to see us play- so we did our part as well. Ian Meltzer was there filming the band with his partner. It was great to see our pal from Jersey down in Texas, thanks Ian. The highlight was the finale, made extra great with the help of 2 of 3 Vivian Girls, a really good band form back home, and really good friends as well. Cassie was not shy at all, and I was glad I handed her the guitar, because she came runnin on to the stage with it rippin through our gear and really made herself a part of the band; and made the finale really great with her unbridled energy and confident stage presence!!
It tooks us all a few minutes to get the drum tower piled up and get a good Vivian Girl drum head smashing to finish it off!!!! Friggin perfect ending! Im sittin out back at Bob Taylors house letting all the memories slide through my brain- I love being in Texas and already miss being here; although we dont have to start our 8 hour drive to the wild world of Tulsa for 2 more hours, Im already sad to have to leave so soon. Thanks to all my friends and family here for making it a great time this year!! Thanks to Ben Snakepit, Lew, Joan and Nathan from Riot Act, Jonathon Toubin, Michelle Cable, Bob and Cindy for setting up great shows, taking care of us, and being such good friends; see yall in NY!!

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