Yesterday we officially unveiled the first tangible copy of Blurt at the Bloodshot Records party (co-sponsored by Blurt) at the Yard Dog Gallery on South Congress. It’s good to be back, and we think you’ll like holding our (initially) skinny little volume in your hands. It has the look and feel of our original incarnation, HARP, and it’s like comin’ home. Or getting back on the pipe after a lengthy and forced stay in a rehab facility. Ah…
We celebrated accordingly, guzzling free Shiner (Blonde and Bock – do we know how to party, or what?) and checking out the fine roster of Bloodshot artists including the legendary Mr. Silky himself, Andre Williams. He showed us why among septuagenarians, he’s the “Bad Motherfucker.” Not that Charlie Pickett, Dexter Romweber, Exene Cervenka, Justin Townes Earle, and I’m Not Jim (The Silos’ Walter Salas-Humara) aren’t bad mofos in their own right.
We detoured to the Austin Convention Center to check out the Proclaimers, who really are more than the one song which, while great, will not be mentioned here. Forget about it temporarily and just go buy their classic album Sunshine on Leith. Listen to it alone the first time and you’ll get it. ‘Nuff said. Except, y’know… the show was, as Scots say, “geh-RAYT!”
Hamell on Trial was the next stop. Soho Lounge, tiny room, tiny guy–big crowd, big presence. The man is a god. Sorry. That’s breathless. But it’s true. One little forty minute show is almost a festival worth of music, comedy, and education. For example, we learned that when Barack Obama asked Michelle out for the first time, he said, “You should date me because one day I’ll be president.” So she did. Then, according to Hamell, everything in marriage is a negotiation. So when Barack asked Michelle if she’d do anal (this is after they were married, Puritans), she said, “When you’re president.” And Hamell, ever a fount of information, said that on election night, when Obama took Ohio, Michelle “must’ve been like, ‘Oh, fuck.'”
We didn’t even try to get into the Metallica show. Well, we stopped by. The line had been moving and a couple of ‘tallica songs would’ve been cool. Then the line stopped so we skedaddled over the Rusty Spurs to catch Bigelf. You must see them at your earliest convenience. Even if it’s not convenient, and you have to get time off work and a babysitter or donate plasma to afford a ticket, just do it. Easily one of the best things Blurt had the pleasure of seeing at SXSW 2009. Huge psychedelic classic stoner rock with a frontman who looks as if he might blow zombie dust in your face then roast you on a spit, all the while humming melodies from the Beatles songbook.
Last show of the night was the comedy showcase at Esther’s Follies. We heard the last half of Marc Maron’s angry-hilarious set from the lobby, and spotted Doug Benson and Janeane Garofalo. Then Mr. Even Keel, Todd Barry played to an estimated 37 people (crowd’s guess may be arbitrary) and his made-for-self-hypnosis voice and is about as comforting as Hope Sandoval’s singing voice. Only she’s not nearly as funny as him. Howard Kremer, whom you may recognize as various psycho characters from the Sci-Fi Channels Scare Tactics–or from the old MTV series Austin Stories, closed the night with his wacko Dragon Boy Suede raps and reciting random song titles by crappy bands who foist CDs upon him on the street. Much funnier than it sounds. See him if you get a chance.
Finally we met another comic, Ruby Collins, in the lobby. Completely random. Nice little conversation. Listened to her on MySpace today and watched a couple of her videos. She’s worth a look too, and we’re bummed we missed her set. So go here now: www.myspace.com/robothands.
(Photos: Randy Harward)