Friday, March 18, 2005


I think I am going to die. Right now. My eyelashes hurt.

Sweet Jesus. Last night never ended. Until the morning came, which I met with a can of champagne in my hand. That’s right. A CAN of champagne. What the fuck? My work day has NEVER been worse.

Let me explain, as best I can, in my current crippled condition.

I left work yesterday and headed to the Fader Magazine party. Free Red Stripe fits my budget nicely. So I got there, hung out by myself, and drank a six pack of those little dudes. The bands were okay. They were British, if that has any credibility that I am not currently aware of. I hung out by my lonesome for a good hour or so, just kickin’ it with complete strangers. I was a bit hungover from the previous night, so I uttered not a whisper to anyone. I just had my beers, listened to the bands, and graded all the awful haircuts that surrounded me.

The jury has reached a verdict, and it appears that Austin has been invaded by all the really, really, really mentally disturbed from L.A. They all look insane, with pieces and patches shaved from their head, a semi-mullet on *just* the left side, and one sideburn (either side). Guys and Gals. It looks like they have a ragged squirrel pelt glued on to the left side of their balding heads. All of them are rocking the same crack-head haircut from ’28 Days Later’. At least that guy had a legitimate reason for looking schizophrenic. I mean, he WAS in a hospital for some sort of head trauma. That’s why his wig was all jacked-up. He didn’t choose and pay for that. But these douche balloons, in their late twenties, are still cashing checks from their parents. The least they could do is pay to have the shaver dragged ALL THE WAY over their head. I mean, fuck. They all look like they lost a bet. With a keg-based fraternity. Douche. Balloons. And the Fader party was lousy with them.

The Big O met me there, and we had a couple more bottles each. Just to wet the whistle. As usual, there was no plan. And I wasn’t trying to formulate one either. My only mission was to get more Red Stripe than I got the previous night. The list stopped there.

Rivas showed up right when they shut the beer table down. I was outside with O’s wristband, handing it off to Rivas when the announcement of dead beer arrived. So we left to meet up with Kim and Ceeplus at a shop called Gomi, where Cee was spinning. The owner of Gomi is quite possibly the most fascinating personality in Austin, outside of Leslie ‘the shopping cart guy in a t-back with heals’. There was a free keg, great art, and an ice sculpture from one of the guys with Aerosol Warfare from Houston. Really cool cats who have really cool exhibits and brilliant talent. We hit the keg numerous times, gazed at the art, got a bunch of promotional items, and then headed back to the heart of SxSW to see some Latin band. We left my truck there, between Gomi and Factory People, and caught a cab to met up with The NYC Couple and a bunch of other friends who also wanted to see the show.

The line almost caused me to have an aneurism. It didn’t move. It was inert. Static. Still. And it was absolutely pushing me to rip out clumps of hair (maybe that’s how the hipsters end up with those douche balloon haircuts) and punch the pavement. The Big O walked right in with his goddamn movie badge. So I went around to the back alley to find some good spot for him to pass that bad boy out. The place was well fortified, with posts fully manned. I recommended that someone should cause a diversion, preferably one involving the airing of genitalia, and then we could just slip in while they called the real police.

No takers on that plan. So I got back in line with the little people.

After what felt like three months, we decided that whatever show we were trying to get into could never be worth the wait. And rather than join the eventual riot (that I really hoped would occur) which would inevitably happen as a result of everyone feeling really stupid for waiting an eternity on 7th street to pay $15 for a show that the SxSW commission had no intentions of allowing anyone into. If that situation does not call for a riot, then I don’t know what does.

We went across the street to The Side Bar, which opened up last year, but is always covered by hordes of homeless people, so no one even knew it existed. Not a bad place. I had a beer, argued with some stranger about the identity of a painting of a person on the wall (he won the argument, it was indeed Tom Waits) and started to realize that all was not completely well with me. The beer tasted really harsh, and my head felt fully inflated. It was last night’s buzz, coming full circle, and it was out for blood. The hangover arrived with the subtlety of a landing 747. It was lightning fast, focused, and acute. In fact, it was on my forehead. Dead center. Pounding me with a hammered ice pick. I should have gone home, but the bender told me to stay and see it through.

I’m starting to wonder about the intentions of this bender.

We left The Side Bar and headed to Bull McCabe’s, the same Irish bar where we got Car Bombed the night before. The Big O and I played darts for beer, and I started to feel like a human being again. I got to talk to Rachel, a good friend from Houston, which is always good. She’s one of those people who has the wit equivalent of a Samurai sword. Fucking sharp, and much quicker than anyone around her. We chatted while I won a free round from O by way of winning darts. It pays to have dart skills (bow staff skills, nun-chuck skills... girls like guys with skills).

When my stomach started to do back flips, it was time to weigh it down with food. Best Wurst. Fucking hell yes. Rivas, O and I got our kraut on, and then tried to find a new club called Barcelona where there was another party going on. I don’t know who was hosting the party, and it doesn’t really matter. It was in the basement of an older club, and Kim and Cee were supposed to be there. Kim and Cee were not present when we got there, but that didn’t keep us from buying Heinekens (green bottle, for St. Patty’s day, because we hate snakes) and dancing like fools to the pet sounds of this kick ass DJ who I do not know the name of. He had a ridiculous entourage though. They were all over the booth, hanging over and on it like it was peso bus in rural Columbia.

We danced a-lot. Laughed a-lot. And drank too much. Then two in the a.m. hit, and we got booted into the street. Now I had to work today, so that is when I probably should have called it quits and told the bender to clog its booze hole, but I’m just not that strong. I was awake, having a good time, and relatively sure that there was an after party at Factory People for Nylon magazine. I was not on that list, I was certainly not invited, and the line (more goddamn line? Fuck.) would probably wind all the way back to my house. But, my truck was there so it was the direction I had to go regardless. The Big O caught himself a cab, rickshaw, hot air balloon, whatever, back home. Everyone else checked out too. But Rivas and I were not going to give up so easy.

Catching a fucking cab during SxSW… man, you have a better chance of curing cancer through shock therapy than catching a cab on Congress during the festival. Christ. We ended up walking six blocks to the Radisson by the river, where I just walked up to the bellhop and requested a cab. Like I was staying there or some shit. Only he watched me walk up to him from the street, visibly drunk and confused. I even had my lie locked and loaded. I was going to claim room 213, and that it was in my stepfather’s name, and I hate him, because he’s a dick, so I don’t know his last name, but I need to catch a cab to South Congress in order to locate his loathsome self, to get the room key, so I can come back and piss in his bed.

Lucky for Rivas and I, this stupid piece of idiot-fiction was unnecessary. The bellhop informed me that cabs were rare, and that we had a better chance of curing cancer through shock therapy. Real original asshole, I already thought of that. But he was willing to hijack the hotel bus for a few minutes to do the job himself, which was very thoughtful of him, and very convenient for us. So we got dropped off in front of the Nylon party in the Radisson’s extended van-shuttle-thing. Seven bucks got tossed at the driver, and we got in line.

Oh, the line. Line. Line. Line. Line. Line. At this point, I am so unwilling to deal with lines that I might have to shoplift for a week. Not just because I’m broke. But mainly to avoid dealing with any more lines for a while. Fucking lines. So we get in the line, and some woman comes around, yapping about ‘vip’ this, ‘RSVP’ that, and ‘get your badges out if you want to get in’. Listen crazy lady, I am on a genuine bender here, I have to go to work in six hours, I see free booze in there, and I just dropped off here in a handicapped van. Badges, smadges. RSVP my nut sack.

Once again, I cased the joint, going around the back to see if there was an emergency exit. There was. But it was behind what appeared to be a for-real silverback gorilla. So I peed on a tree and kept walking. Rivas was holding down the line while I made desperate phone calls. Cee and Kim were not, as usual, answering their phones. It would not surprise me to learn that they abandoned the idea of answering my calls because I’m just – too – much – fucking – trouble to bother with. Cee answered eventually, and came through with two badges, deliver to us in line. Fuck yes. Cee, you rock like a hurricane.

While we waited in line, all the douche balloons with the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest haircuts from the Fader party were just marching in there like they lived in it. The cops at the door were as flaccid as wet rags with everyone but those of us in the line. Fucking lines. And it was cold. A cold, hipster-full line. No love. None. At. All.

While in line, some guy got out on the balcony above Factory People and shouted to his boys below, amongst us of the line. Two dudes, answering the call, marched themselves right through the line to where Rivas and I were. Someone ahead of us stopped them dead. Where the fuck are you guys going? Inside. Really? Yes. No.

The line Gestapo at the front didn’t give two shits about these two guys, or anyone else in our line for that matter, and really didn’t want to hear about how ‘my friends are already in there and I have really bad diarrhea and my bag is in there and I have a rare health condition which will kill me by sun-up tomorrow, blah-blah-blah I’m too good to wait in line blah-blah-blah’. So they got to wait in line with Rivas and me. Then the line moved just enough for Rivas and one of the two dudes to get in. My spot. He got in when I should have gotten in. But no. Fate had put in a request to have me standing outside in the cold, surrounded by riotous nobodies for another hour or so.

Fuck you, fate. Fuck you and your lines.

I was first in the line of people-who-just-don’t-matter, so I got to deal with all the usual dumb-asses with their failed attempts to bum-rush the door. They would just walk up without a badge, wristband, or whatever else was needed, and just keep trying to walk in. Repeatedly. The cop would have to reach for his gun before some of them would desist. So where do these wonderful trust-fund baby miscreants go? Right to the head of the line. My line. After their rejection at the door, they would just wander up to me and stand right in my face. It was amazing. Audacity is not a good enough word. If they had any idea how psychotic the lines have been making me, they probably would have just continued to chance it with the armed bouncer instead. After some slight nudging, shoving, and soft-spoken recommendations, they cleared out of our way. Out of my way.

Side note:

I'm sure someone else has already said this, but I feel the need to speak my piece/peace.

Open letter to anyone from/in L.A.:

I have never been to your great city. And I don’t have any plans to go anytime soon. But I really want to assume that your population does not consist homogenously of megalomaniac fucktards who labor under the misinterpretation (of the reality the rest of us actually work in) that they are somehow at the top of some imagined caste system-list which the rest of us were born to the bottom of. Stop sending us your me-me-me assholes and shit head self-importants for SxSW. This ain't no summercamp for assholes, and we don't make good babysitters (I'm on a bender, remember?). No one likes them. And I’m sure that’s why you send them here, so that you can catch a break for at least one weekend a year, which I would totally understand. But just quit it. You’ll have to kill them yourself. Stop pawning your problems on to the rest of us.

And if indeed you are all self-absorbed dick-pretenders with no real substance beyond your two-minute trend threads and Poison cowboy hats, then I hope you have another riot which just, completely, erases your existence. Because contrary to what you and your androgynous friends might want to believe, you don’t matter. Okay? Thanks for letting me bend your bejeweled ear.

No go to the back of the fucking line before I set you and your fake cowboy boots on fire. Seriously. Real flames and shit, ‘bro’.

So after an eternity in the line, the Gestapo begins to feel sorry for me and lets EVERYONE in. All at once. Fwooooooosh! We stampeded into that bitch. I must have pushed my way past at least thirteen idiots in Members Only Jackets with PBR mesh-back hats to get to the free bar. Four vodka and grapefruits later, and I am out on the dance floor while the guy from LCD Sound System did the DJ thing. It was packed, and the Red Bull they were serving made good fuel for the party fire. I was dancing with this couple who I met while in line. Those fucking lines… the survivors of the lines feel like they’ve shared a real hardscrabble experience with one another, so they bond throughout their time while in whatever venue tried to kill them with the line in the first place. They made an impression on me by knowing the words to “Shake Your Rump” from Paul’s Boutique. Everyone knows the song, but few know all the words. They did. They rock. So we danced until Craig needed a refill.

No more vodka. Only Lonestar and whatever was in these big, plastic, ice tubs with various and sundry cans of stuff therein. The tubs were spread out all over the place, and the cans looked like fruit juice cans. Oh, but no. These cans had champagne in them. Canned bubbly. Sweet Jesus, what a concept.

I filled my pockets with cans of this newfound booze product and wandered up to the roof terrace to smoke. Like crackheads, the terrace was lousy with smokers but NO ONE HAD ANY GODDAMN SMOKES. No one but Craig. So I supplied, drank, and talked shit with everyone up there. Good times, good times. I was on autopilot at that point so I have no clue what I talked about. That’s okay though, because they were all drunk, high, or strung out so they weren’t listening to my mad chatter anyhow.

I finished all the cans o’ champagne and went downstairs to find Rivas. Fools were fucking sleeping on the chairs down there. Sleeping. Not napping. Not passed out. Asleep, in as close to fetal position as they could manage.

That’s when I decided I should go home, seeing as how I am trying to get to work on time while managing a six-day bender. Fuck. I just completely lost myself for about five minutes after I typed that sentence.

Long story long, it was six in the goddamn morning when I finally got home. I was late to work (really? No shit? Craig was late? No fucking way!), I can only focus on things if I squint really tight, and I think my boxers are on backwards.

Damn you cans of champagne!

Thursday, March 17, 2005


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.

Moving on.

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.

Fucking Jager.

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.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

SxSW - Day ONE

So. Day one of the SxSW experience is under my belt. It was a weird one, for me, on a strangely personal level. Not that this should come as much surprise, as most of the things on my personal level are quite strange.

Neither here nor there.

I started the evening with a brisk jog. Well, more like a protracted jaunt of half-trudging trudgery through and along the pathways surrounding scenic Town Lake. (My, my. What flowery language we have today) I ran the whole trail this time, so my legs are killing me today, and before my evening began last night I was already a bench-warmer for team dehydrated. And I think that’s how things got left of me.

There were two free shows I wanted to hit up, but like the complete jackass that I am, I neglected to give two shits about WHO the bands were. Mainly because I already looked over the rosters, and nothing caught my eye. So I applied the Cheshire Cat mentality and said to myself, ‘self, it matters not where we go if we do not where it is we want to be’. Well, that kind of ass-logic does not play well with others. Namely: my friends. So when I started making all my calls, seeing who wanted to join me in my night of blinded band-watching, no one was willing to bite.

[me]: Yo whuddup! You want to kick it tonight? Free show at Emo’s!
[them]: Who’s playing there?
[me]: I have no idea. It’s free.
[them]: Yeah, but so is hitting my head with a brick.
[me]: That would cost you a hospital trip, at the least. Deductibles aren’t free.
[them]: Right. So WHO is playing there? WHY do I want to go?
[me]: I’ll be there! You know, chillin’. Probably drinking Lonestar.
[them]: Wait a minute, you hate Emo’s…
[me]: Oh, yeah, right. That’s true. It’s dirty, there’s that really fucking obnoxious door guy with the glasses who must have been beaten up a-lot in the locker room because he’s a complete and utter douche balloon. It’s always too loud to hear the vocalists and I can never tell the difference between the paying customers and the vagabonds from The Salvation Army down the street. And I think people crap in the urinals. Seriously.
[them]: Uhhhh… so you’re going to Emo’s, a place you really hate, to see bands you have never heard of, all by yourself?
[me]: I won’t be alone if you come with, right? Right!
[them]: ……….
[me]: Right! Thas whut I’m talkin’ ‘bout!
[them]: ……….
[me]: Come on, I was kidding about the shit in the urinal thing. But seriously, I did pee on something pretty suspicious last time I was in there. It might have been a wall though. I was really drunk.
[them]: Good bye Craig.
[me]: Damn…

So I cycled through my entire phone. Like a true believer, convinced that SOMEONE would see my genius in this. Someone would join my Tuesday – Sunday bender. SOMEONE would see the light. But no. No takers.

Maybe it was the dehydration kicking in, or the moon was full, or I had just had a double-helping of idiot pie… I decided to go out anyway. I mean, I already promised myself. You can lie to your mom, to the priest, and to your parole officer. But never make promises to yourself, which do not intend to keep. So I bucked up, put on some threads, and drove myself downtown. Alone.

It was all very humbling. As if I were punishing myself for being myself. Going out alone can be fun, but this felt more like I had lost a bet or something.

I get there, park, and make my way to Deville. Big surprise. Honestly, I have no idea why I went there. Maybe to see a friendly face? Take a whiz in a familiar setting? To drink out in the cold breeze amongst strangers who are only talking to each other about a) why they are worth fucking, or b) why someone else is not worth fucking. I certainly hope my subconscious was searching for the third option, because that’s all I got. An hour of it. Some dude from L.A. really wanted to beat the stuffing of some biker chick from Chicago. He had all these really stupid smooth lines too, but I don’t remember any of them due to brain damage I suffered later in the evening. The biker chick totally disregarded the L.A. guy like an AA meeting recommendation. He was persistent though. Eventually he got her to laugh at his jokes, so maybe his effort paid off. Good on him for trying.

The place was packed with ultra-chic hipsters and drunken 40 year-olds. More dudes than a Maxim convention. Tents were being set up for SxSW on the patio, so it was a mess out there. Some of my favorite bartenders were working, so I tried to get in there to be chatty. Impossible. The crowd was thick, and the bartenders were busy. So no chit-chat. I was all by my lonesome. Me and the odd-ball couple, with their push-n-pull conversation. It was the only empty seat I could find, and it was always empty when I returned from the bar. NO ONE ELSE wanted it. Whatever.

I don’t know what I was waiting there for. No one was supposed to show up. No one planned on meeting me there. No pot of gold. No wishes. Not even the hope of free Budweiser key chains. NOTHING to wait there for. So I decided to make good use of my future lost-time and started calling all the people that I had made a mental note to call. I got about halfway through that list and decided that it was probably best that I not try to call too many people for real conversation while sitting at a loud bar. Not so brilliant.

I decided to concentrate on drinking instead. Even more brilliant.

Three Sky Orange and tonics later, I was outta that piece. When I first left Deville, I seriously considered calling it a night. I mean, Emo’s really is a shitty place.
-It has the acoustic properties of a paper-mâché cave.
-Their hand-stamps always say something ‘whimsical’ like “sand paper” or they are a picture of a dead ladybug or some shit. I love irony, but I’m not sure about dead bugs bleeding all over my pillow case.
- The floor is always Bangladeshi-open-air-market filthy.
- And yes, I seriously believe someone shat in the urinal that one time. But again, I was obliterated, so it may very well have been my shoe I was peeing on. (call it a *slight* exaggeration, if anything)

But something deep inside, something in my core, told me to ‘see it through’! The voice of my very soul wanted me to continue with my evening. Or, it was the vodka talking. Tomato, tomato.

So I persevered, and got in the brief line at Emo’s to see some free shows, all by my lonesome, damnit. And there I stayed, for nearly an hour, without a single friendly face to shoot the shit with, and NO MUSIC. It seems that bands, when they play for free, really don’t give two shits about a ‘schedule’ or anything. I don’t blame them.

I sucked down three Lonestars and watched some crazy-assed show where the contestants have to answer questions while being body-slammed by wrestlers, or while they’re naked, or some Lee Press-On chicks drag their wares across a chalkboard, or… you get the picture. It was called Distraction, or something of the like. Close-Captioned for the Lonestar impaired. The Daily Show came on too. I miss watching John and his cohorts. Best. News source. Ever.

I made small talk with the bartenders, pilfered the club for every demo-CD I could find (got a really good VICE one with GO! TEAM on it), and took a picture with some strange girls who were hanging out in the men’s room (they were pretending to pee for a posed photo and I just walked up and started peeing next to them). It was all very tame. Very quiet (still no fucking music). And very… damn I drank a-lot of Lonestar. You can always tell how much Lonestar you had the night before by noting how much your ass burns the following day. Jesus Christ I drank a-lot of Lonestar. I am currently hovering over my chair at work. Damnit.

The first band who came on was The Arm. Whoever they were, they sounded like Green Day during their Dookie phase. Not bad. But kinda uninspiring. I might be stepping into music critic territory here, where I certainly do not belong, but I don’t believe that sound is old enough to emulate yet. It needs to marinate some more. Put it back in the oven for a few. Let that chicken thaw before you try to fry it. Know what I’m saying?

Soon after their set was over, I was comfortably numb. No, I was fidgety drunk. I was wandering around, without a place to sit, standing in other people’s photos, and wondering who the hell let The School of the Eternally Disenchanted’s ninth grade into Emo’s for the night. It was like a pep rally for Satan or some shit. They were all ghouled-out. Dudes with black fingernail paint. It was all very… rebellious, I would guess, if I were their parents.

I peed a couple hundred times (Lonestar runs through you like a saline enema) and then some of my friends showed up! All at once, it seemed. I was rather soused by then, so I don’t know what time it was, or how their arrivals were spaced apart, but it all seemed like it happened near the end, simultaneously. Like, I was considering wandering off to another venue due to boredom, I blinked, and BAM! Rivas, The Big O, The NY Couple, Gentry, and this girl Yvonne all appeared from absolutely nowhere. I was ecstatic, and talked everyone’s ears off because I had felt so friggin’ lonely over the previous three-four hours of self flatulence.

The meat of that part of the night is real fuzzy. I remember several more Lonestars being thrown my way. I remember someone talking about a VH1 pilot. I believe someone’s husband was hitting on some other chick who was there, and she was livid at his audacity. I remember some bouncer from Houston who must have been yay-ed up because he was speaking so quick that it sounded more like the cycling vibrations of a pool pump. Drunk folk CANNOT have decent conversations with anyone using hard stimulants. The drunkard hears every sixteenth word, and the stimulated filters NOTHING for sake of brevity. And their stories never have a point. They just ramble and ramble and ramble. Kinda like this post.

While the details of that time escape me entirely, I do remember going to eat at Katz’s with The Big O. We talked film, and his desire to write a screenplay (I senselessly critiqued the piece he is currently working on, which I had no right to do, but I did, so there’s that), which I fully support. He stated that our friends are up to their cowlicks in untapped talent. Whether it is true or not, I haven’t a clue. But I certainly agree with him. Ridiculous talent lurks amongst my cohorts. Ridiculous amounts of the stuff. I’m glad he said it.

I’m glad I stayed out. I’m glad I was forced to hang out with myself for a few hours. I’m glad my friends did show up, eventually. I am glad I got to watch The Daily Show. And I am really glad that I didn’t have to speak with Dennis Quaid, who was having a drink at the bar in Katz’s during our meal. I hear he’s a real dick. I bet he's fun to drink with though. Innerspace? LOVED it.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I will be relieving myself for the next hour and a half. Or, until it is time to re-start my bender. WORD.

Damn you Lonestar!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Fuck the Wristband.

This year, there will be no struggles with wristbands, jumping fences, or sweet talking sweaty biker-dudes into letting you in the back where they load the kegs. Fuck all that. And you know why? Because you're big fucking time, that's why. And you know how?

Well, you better tell me if you figure it out. In the meantime, here's a good start to all the cheap and free events happening here in A-town. I plan to be as far-gone as I can get, as fast as I can get there, listening to some crazy-assed neo-hippy mumbo-jumbo from nowhere places like Ballnuts, MT. Why would I do this to myself, you ask? Because it's free. And 'free' rhymes with... freedom, or something like that, so I am exercisin that freedom to get Free stuff and drink FRee things while eating FREe BBQ and listening to FREE neo-classical-god-rawk-quasi-punk-o-matic... ness. Or whatever. For fucking free. Yes.

Word be bond. You down?

ADJUSTED Cheap/Free SxSW PARTY SCHEDULE (abbreviated, with details below)

-- Tuesday 15th
8:00pm – to whenever – Tambaleo party
***8:00pm – to whenever – EMO’s (MOVED FROM WEDNESDAY)***

-- Wednesday 16th
3:00pm – to whenever – Levi’s/Fader party (RSVP)

-- Thursday 17th
Noonish – 8:00pm – John Mueller BBQ party (FREE BEER & BBQ)
Noonish – 7ish – Emo’s Tag Team and DIW party (in and out stages)
1:00pm – 7:00pm – Scion party (RSVP)
3:00pm – to whenever – Levi’s/Fader party (RSVP)

-- Friday 18th (take your pick, or go to them ALL)
12:00 – 6:00pm – SUPER! ALRIGHT! Party
12:00 - 6:00pm - Jane pool party MUST RSVP
12:00 – 11pm – Gallery Lombardi party: Denton Music Show
1:00 – 6:00pm – VICE party (RSVP)
2:00 – 7:00pm – Vans/Anthem Magazine party ($2.00 entrance, FREE BEER)
3:00 – 5:00pm – Starbucks party
3:00 – to whenever – Levi’s/Fader party (RSVP)

-- Saturday 19th
11:00am – onward – Porchlight Pop Fest (FREE BEER? Yeah, at 11am maybe)
During the day? - Longbranch Inn party (Free beer… I don’t know about that)
12:00 – 4:00pm – Scion party (RSVP)
1:00 – 8ish – Porchlight Pop Fest (FREE BEER? Maybe)
1:15 – to whenever – Levi’s/Fader party (RSVP)

-------- TUESDAY 15th ------------------------------------------

8pm and beyond
Shearwater, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Lemurs, Papercuts, This Will Destroy You at Tambaleo (302 Bowie – Behind the Powerhouse Gym on 5th, starts at 8pm)

8pm – who the hell cares
On the big stage, the 70's meets garage meets indie rock of Those Peabodys, the japanese garage punk of Electric Eel Shock, the rock n roll of The Good Looks, the Scratch Acidish, Good Times Crisis Band and touring band, Thieves. On the small stage: Space rock of Experimental Aircraft, the indie noise of Attack Formation, the post punk of The Arm, the emocore of Svengali and more!

-------- WEDNESDAY 16th ----------------------------------------

FADER party
On 6th, between Red River and I35
3pm and on and on and on...
There is usually FREE BEER to be had at these events. Who knows. Check the bands!
Make sure to RSVP at: with first/last NAME, Company affiliation (for networking purposes) – telling them which days you want to go to the party (I will be claiming all four days myself). I have no idea if anyone will be able to get into this party. I plan to make my ‘company affiliation’: “Culloughfull Track Production and Mastering.” Hell yes. You can too!

-------- THURSDAY 17th ------------------------------------------

Scion Independent Music Showcase
Helmet, MF Doom, DJ P, Haul & Mason, DJ Chicken George
Thursday March 17th, 1p-7p
Located at the RCC
305 West 5th Street, Austin, Texas
RCC in on 5th Street in between Lavaca and Guadalupe

John Mueller’s BBQ party
Noonish – 8pmish
America is Waiting (7pm), Conner (6:30pm), AM Syndicate (6pm), The Winter Pageant (5pm), Loxsly (4pm), Dirty on Purpose (3pm), Voxtrot (2pm), Die Princess Die (1:15pm), Stories From the Frontier (12:30pm), acoustic sets by Reflections and Diamond Caverns between sets at John Mueller's BBQ (1917 Manor Rd., free show, free beer and I highly recommend their BBQ)

EMO’s Tag Team/Devil in the Woods party
American Analog Set (5:20-6:00pm), Tegan & Sara (4:15-4:55pm), Pedro the Lion (3:10-3:50pm), Stars (2:05-2:45pm), The Wrens (1-1:40pm), Adem (12:25-12:50pm) at Emo's (outside stage)
Skeletons (5:20-5:55pm), Midnight Movies (4:25-5pm), The Sights (3:30-4:05pm), Dr. Dog (2:35-3:10pm), I Am Kloot (1:40-2:15pm), Apostle of Hustle (12:45-1:20pm), Inara George (12:05-12:30pm) at Emo's (inside stage)

FADER party
On 6th, between Red River and I35
3pm and on
There is usually FREE BEER to be had at these events. Who knows. Check the bands!
Make sure to RSVP at: with first/last NAME, Company affiliation (for networking purposes) – telling them which days you want to go to the party (I will be claiming all four days myself). I have no idea if anyone will be able to get into this party. I plan to make my ‘company affiliation’: “Culloughfull Track Production and Mastering.” Hell yes. You can too! .

-------- FRIDAY 18th ----------------------------------------------


Friday, March 18th
Elks Lodge
700 Dawson Road @ Post Oak St.
Austin, TX

> > THE LINEUP > >
12:30-1:10 PM Elkland
1:25-2:10 PM Robbers on High Street
2:25-2:55 PM The Pierces
3:10-3:50 PM Boy
4:05-4:45 PM Diamond Nights
5:00-5:45 PM Tegan & Sara

James Iha, Har Mar Superstar, Sune of the Raveonettes, Buck 65, International Playgirl

RSVP: to



For Friday, March 18th:

Vice Magazine party free with rsvp to

VICE Magazine/XLRecords/[adult swim] BBQ
The Victory Grill (1104 E 11th St.)
M.I.A., Ratatat, Diplo, Cheeseburger, Long Stick Go Boom (creators of Aqua Teen Hunger Force), Hot Chip, Deathclock free with rsvp to

Vans and Anthem Magazine party
Club Deville 2pm – 7pm
$2.00 to get your ass in, drink all the brew you can drink, but you better get there early for three reasons (I was at a Deville show like this last year): 1) they run out of beer. Seriously, they do, and it is really fucked up. 2) the line is fucking long, and they run out of beer after you’ve been waiting in that long-assed line, which will turn you homicidal. 3) I will be there kinda late, and I will be obnoxious and I plan to drink all the beer and act a fool in front of you and your cool friends. So get there early and you’ll avoid: empty kegs, long-assed lines, and my drunk-ass being all stupid on you.
Band highlights: American Analog Set, I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness, Controller Controller, blah-blah-goddamn-blah. Free beer, so shut up.
Check the link, punk.

FADER party
On 6th, between Red River and I35
3pm and on
There is usually FREE BEER to be had at these events. Who knows. Check the bands!
Make sure to RSVP at: with first/last NAME, Company affiliation (for networking purposes) – telling them which days you want to go to the party (I will be claiming all four days myself). I have no idea if anyone will be able to get into this party. I plan to make my ‘company affiliation’: “Culloughfull Track Production and Mastering.” Hell yes. You can too!

STARBUCKS PARTY (Kim Castillo, if you know her)
You are invited!
Join Starbucks Hear Music at our SxSW music showcase featuring Amos Lee and John Legend.
The show takes place Friday, March 18th from 3:00pm – 5:00pm outside of the 24th & Nueces Starbucks store (near the UT campus).
Admission is FREE so bring a friend!
Also check out our special SxSW spotlights on the Hear Music media bar in all Austin Starbucks locations and burn a custom mix CD. The Hear Music media bar now features:
• An exclusive John Legend track, Money Blown (remix)
• SxSW features such as Hear Music favorites at SxSW showcasing our favorite acts playing the festival
• Hear Music Showcase, featuring the best of Amos Lee and John Legend
• Plus Stubb’s BBQ, a look at our favorite artists performing at the legendary Stubb’s BBQ during the festival


Noon – 6ish
Dead Whale Tide (5pm), Single Frame (4pm), The Mean Reds (3pm), This Microwave World (2pm), Peelander-Z (1pm), The Octopus Project (noon), music videos from Super! Alright! at Elysium (free beer and food)


Gallery Lombardi
Off of Third st. near Lamar, behind Powerhouse Gym/Starbucks and shit
Noon to 11pm
Birth to Burial, Burnt Sienna Trio, George Neal, Hand of Onan, Hitler Hated the Moon, jetscreamer, Mugzu, Record Hop, S-1 Committee, Warren Jackson Hearne and the Merrie Murdre of Gloomadeers, Wild In The Streets, Zest of Yore at Gallery Lombardi (910 West Third St., noon to 11pm, free, free beer)


-------- SATURDAY 19th ---------------------------------------

FADER party
On 6th, between Red River and I35
1:15 pm and on
There is usually FREE BEER to be had at these events. Who knows. Check the bands!
Make sure to RSVP at: with first/last NAME, Company affiliation (for networking purposes) – telling them which days you want to go to the party (I will be claiming all four days myself). I have no idea if anyone will be able to get into this party. I plan to make my ‘company affiliation’: “Culloughfull Track Production and Mastering.” Hell yes. You can too!

Porchlight Pop Fest
Tillery Street Theatre
1pm – whenever man, whenever.
Earlimart (7pm), The Natural History (6:20pm), This Microwave World (5:40pm), Swearing At Motorists (5pm), Fivehead (4:20pm), +/- (3:40pm), Palaxy Tracks (3pm), The Winter Pageant (2:20pm), Secret Weapons (1:40 pm), Subset (1pm) at the Tillery Street Theater (701 Tillery St., free beer)


Church of the Friendly Ghost
Wherever the hell that is. FREE BEER, WHOO!!!!
11am to whenever bro. When the freckin’ hell ever, man.
Headache City (Chicago, 7pm), Macitajs on Acid (Latvia, 6pm), Invincible Czars (5pm), Pong (4pm), Opposite Day (3pm), Bee vs. Moth (2pm), Muppletone (1pm), The Stag Party (Chicago, noon), Awesome Cool Dudes (11am) at The Church of the Friendly Ghost (free beer, bbq)


Longbranch Inn party
They list no times for anything, the putzes. Who knows, it might involve free beer and food. I’m so in.
Little Brazil, Visqueen, Schoolyard Heroes, The Cops, Magnapop, Sonic Boom Recordings, U.S.E. (United State of Electronica) at the Longbranch Inn (1133 E 11th St., free, free food, beer)


Scion Independent Music Showcase
Dakah with Rahzel (from the Roots), Breakestra, Haul & Mason, DJ Chicken George
Saturday March 19th, 12p-4p
Located at Stubbs BBQ
801 Red River, Austin, Texas

Fingers Crossed.

Fingers crossed. So many directions, so many paths. There did not seem to be so many yesterday, on the way in. The leaves are dripping down now, amongst the exposed roots and rocky outcroppings. The sky has an ill humor today, and it just might rain, just to spite. Because that is what this is all about. Turned-ill-humor, and spite. As if the thicket understood today’s mark. The walk in the woods yesterday was nothing as it is in current: alone, in thought, somewhat repentant, somewhat indifferent. No, not at all. Yesterday the sun was telling a much happier tale. A tale of how tales should be told. A beautiful movement of situations along and amongst the trails. The paths. Those meandering lines which denote direction in an otherwise confusing and foreign place. That forest place. Where we were. Where we were wandering those trails yesterday, blessed by the sun's warming rays which peeked grinningly through the pine tree tops, down to the pine needle beds where we basked below. The pine needle beds where words were said. The pine needle beds at the end of yesterday’s trail. The trail of yesterday. Yesterday’s trial. A trial that has lead to today’s trail. The trail back out, back home, menaced by the denouncing sky above. It may take a lifetime to find my way out. To find my trail out. To find a path back home. Fingers crossed.