Day three: The decision was made(post pill and taco cocktail) to plow through this flu with the finest cheap elixirs Austin had to offer...mainly copious gulps of Lone Star beer staggered between water spiked with Emergen-C. My theory was simple: like many a sad cowboy, lovelorn hobo poet or telemarketer...drink to forget. Forget the oft dreamt up scenarios where an imaginary black cloud follows me in destiny's fashion, like a cotton hoodie on a wet day. An oscar winner once said "Gotta keep on livin', L-I-V-I-N." With that slogan in mind, I was dropped off at my first event of the day..The Converse/Thrasher magazine Death Match at the Scoot Inn, starring a line up of beefy, caterwaulin' metal bands.
The first was the always thrilling, mostly terrifying Savannah band Black Tusk. When the bass player has a neck tattoo of a revolver pointed at his ear and the guitarist and drummer look like the highlights of their lives might be their most recent dumpster dive, then back the fuck up, son. Grimy, blistering blasts of riffs and rhythm escorted to the wind behind high fireball vocals was what the hungover skater crowd was treated to...it just about blew their wheels off the trucks.
I took a break to chortle down another cold one and go watch the skate punx do their bizness on the ramps Thrasher magazine set up on the site. Sort of a hypnotic bad idea watching a steady line of crash and burns as a buzz meets antibiotic cloud kicks in...I hung around enough to catch a song or two of the mighty Kylesa's set and as the tinnutis set in even through obvious infection, I decided to ramble.
One of my favorite venues in Austin is Beerland. Their no frills, couldn't give two shits about your stupid showcase attitude works. It leads to drawing great bands with the same attitude in to this little hole in the wall for packed chaotic shows, and little space to breath let alone have enough room to bring beer to lips over and over again. I caught the tail end of a set by a band that took me by surprise the crushing shoegaze whirl of Nothing, from..surprise no.2 Philadelphia. Its no doubt that there is a hissing cassette of MBV's Loveless on the back seat floor of frontman Dominic Palermo's car somewhere..this great noise-gaze quartet's sound is akin to the whir of spinning chainsaw that dissolves into mist. They reminded me why I have to dig deeper on the mean streets of home and stop denying that there is a scene, if not several in Philadelphia. I could barely make out a face on the stage and was led around by the glint of the blurry headstocks and blunt force trauma of the drums knocking me back even 8 rows deep in the crowd.
I went around the corner and decided to give it a go in waiting in line to see the Hold Steady at Red 7 and after 25 minutes, realized the pitiful absurdity of my actions...the wait was so slow that a cabal of nerds behind me actually sent one of their buds to order vegan noodles somewhere and they were still comfortably dining when I said fuck this-very much and skedaddled across the street to Empire Control Room. I stumbled across yet another great northeast band, the scrumptious hardcore of Brooklyn's Cerebral Ballzy, armed with twin leads doing the chords of 80s hardcore proud and fronted by an extremely charismatic sinewy black frontman (with one of the best stage names Ive heard since Stiv Bators), Honor Titus. If you ever need a band for your hardcore basement wedding reception or DIY bakesale who can cradle a crowd in their hands at four fucking o' clock in the afternoon, contact the management for C. Ballzy. Huge highlight.
With a body in obvious shock, awe and overload yet fighting the fumes of exaustion, I wandered over to the convention center to check out the always extraordinary Flatstock Poster Show which showcased these artists this year. This is one the most incredible arrays of present day concert poster art one could ever see and all for sale. My problem was that I'm such a collector that I was overwhelmed with the possibilities and all of my choices for purchase combined with a bum rush of anxiety canceled each other out and I bailed with nada. I scurried over to the Flatstock stage which was a large room with lounge chairs in front of the stage and was blown right away with this teenage power trio called Residual Kid. They are Austin bred and for sure had to get notes from their moms(or managers) to miss school and do this gig. It was well worth the exposure since badges were heavy and aplenty in the audience. They brought a slightly honed edge to a grunge tinged super tight mix of melodic hard rock/punk. These guys should be on your daughter's bedroom wall's and not those over- gelled assclowns from None Direction. Get with it people.
Coming soon...Part 2 of Day Three..Party at the Pool Hall