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The official Space City Rock Blog, featuring news on local Houston musical happenings and occurances, random venting about various things, and fervent ravings on the wonders of music, art, film, and anything else.
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Austin Dispatches Day 1: Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig [3/18/2009 01:07:00 PM]:
Hello, dear devotees of Space City Rock. My name is Lance Higdon (Grammaticus in my professional high-school-Latin-instructing life), itinerant drummer and laptopper for Tambersauro, Golden Cities, Narreme & Wall With One Side respectively. The Editor-In-Chief has asked me to contribute to the stream of information trickling out of Austin and back to our own beloved metropolis. I'm also a humble drone of Houston label Esotype records, which in turn is part of the 1 Day 1 Hour Indie Coalition, comprised of ourselves, Mia Kat Empire, Soda Pop Sounds, Natrix Natrix Records & Stikibel NY. With that full disclosure made, it may come as no surprise that most of my observations will revolve around our involvement with the Human Party Virus day party series that is running all week. Nonetheless, i intend to roam the flyer-littered, single-digit streets of Austin and relate whatever weird or wonderful things might cross my path.

And so i shall begin with yesterday's events. After successfully negotiating a tire blowout about thirty miles outside of Austin, i drove into downtown for a Golden Cities set during the "Houston @ SXSW" day party, thrown jointly by Matthew Wettergreen of Caroline Collective and Grace Rodriguez of Ayn Brand. As i arrived on St. Patrick's Day, i was unsure whether the verdant masses crowding every crosswalk were stragglers from the Interactive portion of SXSW or simply Austinites eager for their share of green Budweiser.

Whatever their intentions, said revellers guaranteed that parking was scarce and costly; i paid 10 dollars to secure a spot that remained open mostly because of the horrible parking skills of the adjecent parkees. Happily my bandmates were able to secure my gear at the door of GRUV, a bar with the unfortunate lack of foresight to stock up on Guinness and Bailey's in anticipation of the holiday (to their credit, i didn't see any green beer either). Matthew was playing selections from Dave Wrangler's Houstonocentric mash-up mix Heads Up Houston, bringing together the likes of Jay-Z & Biggie Smalls with Tha Fucking Transmissions, Beyonce, and even the fleeting wobble of a dubstep bassline. I'm holding out for B L A C K I E to make the cut on volume 2.

"Houston @ SXSW" purported to get the jump on the music portion of SXSW (which seems to have passed from an abbreviation to a shibboleth in its own right) with a clutch of Space City's finest. Friendly faces from The Western Civilization and Wayside Drive dotted the room, along with a cadre of cheerfully tipsy ladies shaking their collective leg to Wrangler's mix. We were preceded by Houston-by-way-of-Buenos Aires rock en espanol band named Espantapájaros ("Scarecrow" for us Spanish illiterates), who cut their Santanaesque jams with a healthy dose of blues-seared Texas swagger. Golden Cities' set was beleaguered by guitar malfunctions and poor monitor mixes, but was well-received.

After tearing down, i wandered the block for a few minutes. Aside line for the Decembrists' free show that wrapped around the block, it could have passed for another boozy night on 6th Street. We packed out and repaired with The Quietist's Wade Allen (now sadly relocated to Austin) to an undisclosed location for Irish Car Bombs, celebrating my blowout survival & the formal beginning of a week of unknown sonic delights.

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