I plan to use these entries as my official documentation for what I will heretofore refer to as: The SxSW Bender of 2005. I like these posts to be long. So they are.
Day two is behind me now. Actually, it is still all over me. My lungs feel as if I was huffing soot. I feel like a hefty bag full of cold, sweaty ass right now. The air conditioner at my office is so unbelievably loud to me right now. My eyes are the color of butter right now. I am surprised that I am capable of typing this right now. Right. Now… But, yesterday!
My friend Kim picked me up from work yesterday, and we headed to see Ceeplus at Factory People. Kim is one of those friends that you have, and you always secretly wonder, ‘why does this person bother to know my dumbass?’ She’s gathered, she’s ambitious, she always plays the mother role, and she’s always in control. And then there’s her husband, Ceeplus, who is ridiculously ambitious himself. But he’s an extremely creative character. He is constantly searching out new forms of expression and artistic interpretation of his own existence. And his taste in music is brilliant. He’s the kind of guy who knows no trends because they happen in his rearview. You’ll be wherever he is today, three years from now. Rare couple, Kim and Cee.
We got to Factory People. Prince Klassen was on the decks instead of Cee, and the place was completely devoid of humans. It was just us, the music, and an ass-load of overpriced hipster-kitsch. Cee was talking to this big, shaven-head white dude and he introduced us. Turns out, this cat is from New York, and he used to date my friend Clara (well hello Clarisse…). I hung out with the guy a couple of times when I went up to NYC for visits. Went to some bars and a magazine release party, which was overrun by GAP models. Seriously. They were everywhere, and they were dumber than a box of hair. We got to watch two of them break out into a fight at the bar, which is always cool to watch. Runway squabblers. Good times.
So we leave there to go to the Fader party. Free Red Stripe. Fuck yes. But Ben is there to promote his magazine (Beautiful Decay – badass, check it out), so Fader is not going to let him into their shindig with a stack of his own magazines under his arm. Plus, he’s not on the RSVP list. So we’re standing there, at the head of the line, blinking at each other. Here is where I had to make a decision which would get the ball of dumbassery rolling full-speed by the end of the night. Standard devil-angel-shoulder argument with myself. Do I stick it out with Ben, outside the party, while he makes two-dozen phone calls to all his ‘connects’ and ‘peeps’ to finagle his way in? Or do I just go in, give a ‘good luck’ salute, and leave him to his own devices?
I took the douche-bag route and abandoned him like nail clippings. I like the guy. He’s cool and all, but the sun has set on my dwindling budget and in order to continue with my six-day bender, I need that free beer like I need to find my life-purpose. Dead serious.
I went in, met up with The Big O, and V-dog. Kim and Cee soon showed up. Then Ben walked in. Sweet! Ben got in! My conscience is cleared! Let’s drink several gallons of free booze!
Nah. Ben didn’t talk to my abandoning ass for the rest of the evening. I don’t think he rightly appreciated my need to fulfill my plan for free beer this week. And that’s okay. I was on a mission anyhow, and pleasantries are a luxury I cannot afford. I can, however, afford fists of free Red Stripe. Their system is fantastic. They REALLY want you to drink. It isn’t like most free bars where they hoard their booze and you have to wait in a long line and whisper a fucking pass code to get a drink. Oh hell no. They are practically throwing the bottles to you AS YOU APPROACH the table. You never even have to pause. Everyone just files by the table and gets one more container closer to drunk. It is a thing of beauty. Pure and true.
I only got three before they stopped serving though. Bastards.
DJ Chicken George was spinning between the band sets. He’s good people. I never see him when I’m sober because he’s a DJ. If I am at a club of any kind, I am probably pretty tight by then. So he always sees me at my best/worst. But last night, I was completely sane and lucid. So that was nice. Also ran into another DJ, Dave, who is with the badass Parakitachi crew. Weird how all of a sudden, everyone and their cousin spins records on weekends. It’s almost as if there was some weekend, three years ago, when turntables must have been free somewhere out on the internet, and boat-loads of twenty-somethings took advantage. Pow. Now everyone is a DJ. Greaaaaaaaat.
Luckily, Dave, Klassen, Cee, and Chicken George are honestly good DJs. There are plenty of shit peddlers out there, but these guys are the genuine deal.
Enough boot licking. Back to the night.
So the free booze train came to a screeching halt, and it derailed all over my sober ass. To call me disappointed would be to undercut just how deep-down sad I can get over this type of loss. I mean, I had some really good plans for all their free beer. And now those plans are nothing but a dream. Just a list of shit that I couldn’t do. Damnit. So our group, now swollen to include some chicks who were non-stop pimping the Myspace bus as if God was the driver and everyone who got on the thing experienced continual orgasms for the entirety of their trip. Cee is a power-user of Myspace, so he has a vested interest in kicking it with these ladies. So it was me, V-dog, The Big O, now-silent Ben, Cee, Kim, and two Myspace chicks.
Our group was slow-moving, and I needed to meet up with Rivas at Club Deville, so The Big O, V-dog and I broke away from the pack. I never saw nor heard from them for the remainder of the night. As previously stated, I have no wristband, promotions badge, or street cred, so I am dead-weight to them. I am the limiting factor for their fun and amusement potential, because I can get into all of like, two bars in Austin right now. Every goddamn coffee shop and tattoo parlor in this piece is for SxSWers ONLY. The rest of us are chopped liver.
But I refuse to go down without swinging.
So V-dog and I run into a new hotdog stand while walking to Deville. Always up for pork products and kraut, we bellied right up and got fed. Not nearly the quality of Best/Wurst, but edible. The Big O left us behind and went into Deville. Rivas called to say that even Deville is a SxSW ONLY venue, and that he is stuck in the parking lot waiting for us. The Big O has a badge for the FILM portion of SxSW, but not the MUSIC portion. However, no one checks the detailed fine-print on the badges, as it is too dark, third-world crowded, and most of the SxSW ‘help’ doesn’t know that there’s a difference anyway.
So O is inside, calling me, V-dog and Rivas to ask why we’re just hanging out in the parking lot with Dave the DJ. Because SxSW is obnoxious, that’s fucking why. I mean, I am a MAJOR contributor to Deville’s bottom line. I’m practically a sponsor of the place. I don’t like to be excluded from it. It felt like I lost my rights to see my own kids during a divorce proceeding or something.
Dave takes off, and V, Rivas and I head to the Irish pub down the street. Irish Car Bombs all around. An Irish Car Bomb is a half-pint of Guinness in which you drop a shot that is usually a two-part combination of Bailey’s and any Irish whiskey. You have to drink it quick though, because the mixture curdles within five seconds of you dropping the shot glass in. So you have to chug them before they start to smell/taste like spoiled milk. The effects of the Irish Car Bomb are sneaky, as it always has a slight delay in reaction with your system for the first thirty minutes. Then BOOM! You’re fucked up.
We did two of those. In quick succession. I had two pints of Guinness on top of it, just to nod at Dublin. V-dog congratulated me and my planned bender, then took off. The Big O finally showed up. Him and his pretty badge. Fucking badges. We decide we should check out a show at The Parish that Cee was talking about. Some group called Enon or something similar sounding. His music taste is impeccable, and I kinda hoped to run back into that group. So we struck out for The Parish. When we arrived, there was a little line by the door. Wrist bands only, but fuck that. I got right in line, without regard to them and their damn signs. But then we heard a small, obnoxious voice, yelling in our direction. It was some SxSW minion, standing in the street, yelling at us to get the line behind her. We were at the FRONT of the line. And my, my, my… what an impressive line it was. It was a genuine A Christmas Story moment. “Hey kid, the line ENDS here, it BEGINS back there,” in Terra Haute. Fuckmenuts. There’s no way The Parish would fit that enormous crowd, so they were doing the whole one out, one in routine. Which pretty much means there will be a fight in the line at some point, between two people who have no business fighting, but simply cannot contain their complete and utter frustration at the situation. They’ve already invested X amount of time in the line, and they don’t want to waste that, but they’re worried that they’ll end up wasting XX amount of time before the damn club shuts the doors and turns off the lights. People go apeshit under those conditions.
We didn’t wait around for the inevitable awkward fight. We went to Jackalope! I hadn’t been yet, so it was my maiden voyage to the place. Big. Ass. Bar. That’s all the place is. With a patio out back, which I had been told connected to the back of another bar called Zero Degrees. But one of the bar-backs assured me, while being the biggest dick he could muster, that Zero Degrees was a block away. He was absolutely correct. He was absolutely a dick about it. But that’s cool. If I met me, I’d probably act like a dick to me too. Hell, he was probably mocking my efforts at being an indignant, drunk, dick. If so, he did really well. Spitting image.
We drank Jagermeister at Jackalope, with an Amstel Light to help it down. Ooooooohhhhh, Jager, how you beat my ass like a trailer park girlfriend. Sweet Jesus. In an effort to help illustrate how Jager and I get along, I will describe what would happen if I were stuck in a field somewhere remote, next to a fencepost, with my own 250ml bottle of Jager for twenty hours.
[hour 1]: I stand around, kicking at the dirt, taking pulls from the bottle, thoughtfully ignoring fencepost.
[hour2]: A quarter of the bottle is gone, and I am starting to get suspicious of this fencepost.
[hour3]: The bottle is half empty. The fencepost has been given a stern talking-to, and warned that its malintent has not gone unnoticed by me.
[hour 4]: I drink the remainder of the bottle, and I am running circles around the fencepost, singing show tunes.
[hour 5]: I make out with the fencepost and eat the label from the empty bottle.
[hour 6]: Get in protracted argument with fencepost over Cambodian bombing campaign which results in protracted vomiting campaign, all over base and center of fencepost.
[hour 7]: Make out with fencepost again. With my pants off. Pee on fencepost twice.
[hour 8]: Profess my love for fencepost, and pass out in my mud surrounding the base of fencepost.
[hours 9-19]: Sleep violently, breathing only from my mouth.
[hour 20]: Wake up and shuffle away with my pants still around my ankles, praying for swift death.
So, Jager and I… we have a healthy relationship. One built on trust. Trust, in that I trust that evil substance to turn me into a blithering idiot with a bullet-proof success rate. Bullet. Proof. 100% probability of success. Ironclad guarantee. Word.
From Jackalope, we headed back to Deville in an attempt to get in, old-school style, by passing The Big O’s movie badge through the fence. Piecemeal. It probably would have felt REALLY stupid to be trying to sneak into a bar where I practically have my own barstool, but the Jager was fortifying my resolve to crack the no-badge puzzle.
It didn’t work. Rivas could not get in. For reasons unknown, they got detailed on him when he tried to get in, called him out as a cheat and fraud, and let him know that under no circumstances would a movie badge gain anyone entrance into Deville. The Big O had skipped in and out of the joint with the exact same badge like a hooker and their favorite free clinic. So there, bitches.
We were down but not out. Next door is The Velvet Spade, and they are reputed to have some really good shows coming through this year. Again, it is a badge-wristband venue. Whatever. O and his movie badge walked right in, went to the fire exit, opened it up and in Rivas and I went. Like butter. Again, I probably would have felt like a complete loser for sneaking into a bar, which on any other night, I would avoid like it was a herpes factory. Wait, most bars ARE herpes factories… hmm. So, we got in and what did we do? Jager shots to celebrate. And two Amstels to wash it down. We wandered to the upper patio where I ran into friends, made some friends, probably made a couple hundred enemies, and then WOOSH. The band disappeared, the crowd evacuated the area, and the three of us were standing there, almost alone, talking smack to each other. I honestly don’t know how long we just stood there blabbing away. I didn’t note the end of the band’s set, the moving of the crowd or anything. For the drunk, the passage of time, if considered at all, is only an indicator of proximity to last call. For me last night, time would have been an ungraspable concept. Besides, when you’re truly blasted, the only thing you want to do is laugh, and time is not inherently funny. So the topic is avoided.
The Velvet Spade went from live to lame in record time, so we jettisoned. Feeling brash, and drunkenly persistent, we decided that it was imperative that we find SOME way to get Alan into Deville. It became that drunken-moment’s mission. There have been many, many, maaaaaaany untold drunken-moment missions in my life, and they have all been erased by their boozy muse. They probably involved fire, impossible gymnastics, duct tape, and a stolen car. While this mission probably is not as interesting as any of those I’ve forgotten, it is a mission nonetheless.
So Alan went first, with the same badge he got busted with not but an hour ago, and walked in like he owned the joint. Unscathed redemption against the SxSW bar monopoly regime. Hooch fascists. Dick-weeded douche balloons.
Sorry. I needed to vent a tad. I still have Jager coursing through my system. I know the SxSW people do not intend to turn me into a raving lunatic whenever they do their thing. In fact, I am completely certain that my feelings were never part of any calculation their music coalition ever made. And that’s fine. Good on them for giving all these bands such a great marketing festival. How else would small bands find the opportunity to play for peanuts to crowds of collegiates and collegiate wannabes? Oh, wait a minute, they could do that ANYWHERE. Really? Yes. No shit.
Bar thieving fucktards.
Enough of the mindless ranting. We all got into Deville by passing the movie badge through the fence. Very, very funny. And sad. And sadly funny. So we did Jager shots with Joe at the back bar to celebrate our victorious entrance into the bar that I haunt on a weekly basis. The Big O ended up hitting on (he’ll call it ‘chatting’, but that’s so not the case) this girl Misha. Or Meesha. Or I imagined her altogether. Honestly, I might have been all alone at that back bar, The Shining style. Who knows.
O got her number, and then drove us to Katz’s for yet another late night meal. I’ve taken to the fried pickles and kosher breakfast tacos. The combination is unstoppably delicious. Irreverently tasty. Fantastically scrumptious. Then it was bed time. 3:30 in the am. And I was at work this morning before nine, mindlessly plodding through my job like a robot.
Like a robot named… Bender. What a great drunkard-robot name.
The Simpsons is still his most genius work though.
So, for those who enjoy lists and recaps, here is my booze consumption in chronological order:
3 Red Stripes
2 Irish Car Bombs
2 Guinness Pints
--- enter the booze oscillator of death ---
1 Jager shot
1 Amstel light
1 Jager shot
2 Amstel lights
1 Jager shot
2 Miller Lights
And I fucking HATE Miller Light. Now the High Life is a whole ‘nother story.
Okay. I should take a nap for lunch, because tonight might be more of the same, God willing. (See that, God, I capitalized your name, twice now, so I should get points or frequent flyer miles or some shit for that. Damnit.)