Maud’s Bigger in Texas: Day 1

March 17, 2011

For those of us here in Austin, let's give ourselves a big round of applause. We made it through day one of The Time of Year A Lot of Bands Happen To Be In Austin, Texas. We're now letting out a collective sigh (or probably still asleep) before the madness of day two begins for real around 1 PM. Yesterday was a doozy. I did, indeed, wait in the line for FADER FORT by FIAT, and although I started to really lose it around hour two of standing, I got to eavesdrop on some awesomeness.

Behind me in line was a group of early 20's-ish dudes. Four dirty garage rock types and one slight poindexter. There's a camaradarie that exists among line-waiters, and after about half an hour you inevitably end up forming an unbreakable bond with those around you. You're all in this together. Fighting the good fight. Any way I guess the dudes were in a Flaming Lips cover band, and were trying to explain who that was to the poindexter. "We love Wayne Coyne," one of the dudes, clearly their leader as he had the most impressive denim vest, said. "Who's that?" asked the poindexter. "The lead singer of that band I was talking about, geeze" dude replied. They proceeded to tell war stories about Austin venues until conversation came to a screeching halt when poindexter said he liked the night at Beauty Bar when they play "Gay Music." "What's that, a genre?" denim vest asked, choking on his cigarette. "Do they play a lot of Donna summer?" The conversation was kind of over after that.

Unfortunately once I was let into the FORT, I had to quickly take care of business and run, as I had to check into my flossy Super 8 motel on the highway. Sick view of I-35! I saw this missing cat poster on my way there. Anyone who would have a freakishly skinny, allergic cat and name it Elbow rules in my book so let's find their cat.

Once I was settled and had checked the bed for gifts left by previous occupants I set out once again, this time to make the journey from East Central Austin over to the University of Texas, where Urban Outfitters was giving out free beer (lie—by the time I got there it was some kind of boozy fruit punch that tasted like high school and jolly ranchers, no thanks) and music. After walking for about 25 minutes I realized that not only were my legs and butt sore but also that I hadn't eaten all day, besides a cookie lovingly bestowed upon me by a FADER friend who's a real peach. It was about 4 PM at this point. I knew I had to do something or everything was going to fall apart.

The fates shined upon me in that Urban Outfitters, however, and Diamond Rings' John O was kind enough to let me beast on some gratis snacks in the green room. I swear if it wasn't for backstage cheese plates I would starve this week. Surveying the lavish spread of hummus and candy, however, I noticed something amiss. Something that was not only sad for hungry little me but also disturbing on a moral level. Remember how I said we're all in this together? Not in the band green room apparently.

What crime could be so heinous? I'll tell you: between the peanut and regular m &m's there was a bowl of Sour Patch Kids. There were a lot left, definitely so many that if you ate them all you would be ill. But there were only three colors. Where were the red ones? SOME BAND HAD COME IN AND EATEN ALL THE RED ONES. Maybe it wasn't one band all at once, but someone definitely did it. Who would do that? Leave some for the next guy! I've looked through the days line up and don't have any leads, but as an avid Law & Order fan (it's a sickness), I'm going to crack the case, mark my words.

Disturbed and saddened, I went down to watch Diamond Rings do his thing, which was spectacular as always, before heading east for the night's festivities. If you're keeping score, I had now walked approximately three miles that day, and was heading across town again. The things I do for Texas. Fast forwarding through a horrible walk down 6th Street during which I almost got vomited on and hit by a police bike, I arrived at The Brixton for #Megablaag, a meet-up of sorts, although I hate that phrase because it sounds like something you do at a Star Trek Convention, for bloggers. Thrown by the guys behind Ears of the Beholder, Yvynyl, and Ex.FM, the party was a name tag wearing schmoozefest, in the best way. At first I felt like a total loser, but then everyone was super friendly and told me it was ok that I only have 74 followers on tumblr. Thanks guys.

After that I went to another party but I'd missed all the bands I wanted to see. By now it was about midnight and my feet fell like bricks, but never to be discouraged, I wandered over to the Windish Agency showcase to see Cults. After much speculation about how the duo found so many long haired dudes for their backing band (Craigslist ad: "Must have flowing locks and play guitar"), I was sucked into Madeline Follin's soaring vocals and innocent but grungy sweetness. Major props, also, when during a slow number other audio began to play over the sound system. It was like some kind of David Lynch Cults medley. It was kind of rad, and also scary.

I was about done at this point, and ready to head back to my palace on the highway and prepare for day 2. It's a whirlwind. I'm so into it. Hope you are too. Feel free to say hi if you see me, I'll be the one housing the band's cheese plate, but always leaving enough for the next guy.

Maud’s Bigger in Texas: Day 1