"I'm goin' down to Austin, Texas...
...I'm goin' down to save my soul, get that BBQ and chili, eat my fill and come back home" - Texas Cookin' by Guy Clark. Such a good song.
Yesterday we woke up in Oklahoma City and hung out with my Aunt Maggie a bit before headin' on down to Austin. It's about a 6 hour drive, so we made sure to leave early so we could get here and load up our stuff. The drive was pretty uneventful. Oklahoma is amazingly bare, but once you get over the Texas border, it's suddenly filled with humans. We passed through Fort Worth in order to get to Austin, and everything they say about Texas is true; Texas really is huge.
Friends, Pizza, Falling in Love
We got into town around 6pm and had a couple hours to load our stuff into my sister's friends' apartment. We had plenty of time to go down to the venue, load our stuff in there, and then go exploring in search of food. My brother has been to Austin seven times now, so he was more than happy to show me around in a tiny car tour. The venue, Beerland, is on Red River St right near 7th street, and 6th street is THE street of Austin. That's the street that's completely closed off to cars during SXSW, and going down that street, my heart felt so full. Music venues, strange cuisine and tattoo parlors were everywhere. The whole energy of the city is so friendly and infectious, I absolutely love it. We were gonna try grabbing some more substantial grub before the show, but ended up at a pizza joint right across the street. Totally awesome. We even went for seconds after the show.
Beerland is the prettiest little dive bar there ever was -- disco ball, old elvis statues, a shag carpet that's been so run down that it feels like concrete and a pool table. What was so cool about this show was that I had come across Cari Q and Chris Strand through friends of friends and they were gracious enough to put on the show with me. Lucky for me, too, they were amazing. Cari has this really cool modern-day texas swing pop sound going on, and Chris's songs were so gorgeous I thought I was going to cry. The whole night was such a treat for me, and the folks were super kind and friendly to me and Adam during our set.
I'm Getting There.
Being in Austin really is a quick way to heal the heart -- this is exactly why I came out on tour in the first place; to see cool places and meet nice people and to play music. There are definitely some moments when I think about how I'd like to be sharing these experiences with certain people, and there are definitely moments where I miss my dog. But right now, I am happy to be in Austin.