I’m combining my blog’s for Friday and Saturday because it’s been a packed few days personally. Some of you who are close to me know that my girlfriend Katie and I are in the process of buying our first home. This was a super sudden decision for us. We decided on a Sunday we’d like to live in a home, got pre-approved for a loan on Wednesday and put an offer in on what will hopefully be our new home Saturday. All of that came about after I had already committed to doing this crazy-awesome-ridiculous music challenge for myself.
I know none of that has anything to do with with this 30 days of music, but it’s why I’m combining my nights together. Saturday, yesterday, I spent the day showing our current apartment to potential renters, because like I said above, this all came about so suddenly that we still have a bunch of months left on our current lease. Luckily we live in a pretty sweet apartment, in a pretty awesome part of town, so my inbox got destroyed and by the end of the day we’d found someone to take over.
Alright, time for the music. Friday night I visited two different venues, Geraldine’s (Which is located in Hotel Van Zandt) and The Sidewinder (Formerly known as Red 7). My first stop being Geraldine’s to catch my friends Daniel and Jenna Watters band, The Watters. I had met them a few month’s back through my work with the Austin Music Foundation. They’re two really great, phenomenally talented people. They’ve been playing music together for 11 years, writing 8 years and collaborated on six albums. All that time together shows in their chemistry on stage, and the ease with which they play together. They’ve got a new album out called “Great Unknown” that you should give a long listen to. I’m going to throw some hotlinks at you to make your life infinitely better. Where to see them – HOTLINK1, Where to listen to them – HOTLINK2.
Stop #2 was The Sidewinder for Ovrld‘s “Femme Fatale” show, which was billed as a big party celebrating women in Austin music. Because I started my night at Geraldine’s, I was only able to catch a 3rd of the 9 bands/musicians on the bill. The first of them being a local rapper named KB the Boo Bonic. I had heard of her before and was super pumped to catch her set. If Austin lacks musically in an one area, to me, it’s in support of the hip-hop scene. There are a ton of great hip hop artists and groups in Austin that don’t necessarily get the same level of attention as other genres. One of them being KB. I heard about 20 minutes of her set and came away really impressed with her flow and rhymes. The crowd wasn’t big, but she bounced on and off the stage, interacting with us like the room was packed. Whenever I see an artist perform to a smaller crowd with that kind of enthusiasm, I feel a little lucky for being there. Like it might be one of those shows where I look back in 5 years and tell people I was there with a handful of other lucky souls. To me, putting on your best no matter the crowd size, separates the successful from the washouts. You should check her out HERE.
After KB was Löwin, a rock band founded/fronted by my good friend Sara Houser. “Taking their moniker from the German word for “lioness”, Löwin’s sound can be described as a balance between masculine and feminine soundscapes with loud guitars and bombastic arrangements coupled with delicate melodies and textures” you can read more about them on their site and watch the video for their new track “say say” here. I’ve seen them live several times and it’s always awesome. This time especially so because I was able to score one of their badass new shirts!
The final musician I saw Friday was a woman that, on stage, went by Ruby Fray. It was just her and her electric guitar that night, but I believe normally there is a full band. Her sound was very laid back with almost haunting vocals. Sh kept with the unofficial theme of the night; Every new band or musician must sound completely different than the previous.
One last thought on Friday Night and reason number 80 billion why I love Austin: The Sidewinder played “Jaws 3” in it’s entirety above the bar throughout the night. If you’re unfamiliar with Jaws 3, it stars a young Dennis Quaid and basically Jaws attacks a 70’s version of Seaworld. It’s amazing and probably the inspiration for the 1999 classic “Deep Blue Sea”. This pic sums it up pretty well, way ahead of it’s time with it’s use of 3D.
Saturday, thanks to an invite from my friend Rakefet, I found myself at The Sahara Lounge listening to musicians playing instruments with names like Marimba and Mbira. Rakefet is the program director for the Rattletree School of Marimba, a school here in Austin where anyone can take classes and learn how to play those awesome instruments. I had never been to The Sahara Lounge or heard traditional African music live before, so both were new awesome experiences. For those like me that have never been to the Sahara Lounge before, do yourself a favor and stop by. Walking in, it feels like a real part of Austin. Not that other newer venues aren’t part of the scene, but the Sahara Lounge looked and felt like something that had been cobbled together over the years. The back courtyard has dozens of tables, chairs and ashtrays; none of which match but when looked at as a whole, fit perfectly together. I felt welcomed by the staff as soon as I stepped through the door and for my $8 cover I got a buffet of food and some of my favorite music on this journey so far.
Listening to music is an emotional experience for me. I touched on that a bit in my Day 1 blog, but it’s the only way I know how to experience live music. I take in what’s being played and the emotions the musicians are giving off. It’s rare that I go to a show and don’t feel something. Saturday, from the moment the first Marimba was struck, I just felt joy. Not just from the music, but from the people playing it and the folks that came to dance. It was a feeling I wish I could bottle and keep for the rougher days.
The first week is just about done. It’s been fun, crazy, packed and the beginning of something that I think I’ll carry with me fondly for the rest of my life. I’m already grateful and I can’t wait to see what’s next. As always, thanks for reading!