Seeing The {{{Sunset}}} From The East Side


Adding to the “I’m missing everything” feeling provided by the fact that during SXSW every bar with 10 square feet of space turns itself into a temporary music venue is the ever-growing number of day parties, which are hosted by PR companies, blogs, hair products, and anyone else who wants to promote themselves along with the music they love. In this installment, we follow former Austin resident Andy Beta to a Daytrotter session and a visit from the Ice Cream Man.

The afternoon finds me back on the east side, where wider spaces and better parking abound. I take in a Daytrotter session over at Big Orange Recording Studio off East Fourth Street. (In the interests of full disclosure, I made some ambient noise in that studio space two years back with a fellow from Voxtrot as well as one of the fellows in the band currently playing out in the neighboring tin-lined shed.)

{{{Sunset}}} is a six-piece plying some ramshackle country rock rendered on twelve-string, Vox organ, and homemade tape loop that runs across the ceiling’s two-by-four. The Vox comes in handy when these locals cover yet another local legend’s tune, Sir Douglas Quintet’s “Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day.” Considering I presented a paper last year on SDQ and am obsessed with Doug Sahm, I’m particularly smitten. Perhaps the Daytrotter session brings that out, as the following band, with the unfortunate name The Physics of Meaning, unfortunately covers Joanna Newsom with its most ragged Palace Brothers impression. I stay as the Ice Cream Man has finally shown up, meaning a healthy lunch of cookies and ice cream sandwiches.

I then catch wind of free Vitamin Waters being handed out next door at the Scoot Inn, and walk on over to chug some dragonfruit-flavored water. The cleverly named Scoot Inn is not some recent arrival on the gentrifying wave that is inundating East Austin. In fact, it is the exact opposite–it’s the oldest bar in Austin, dating back to the days of the Texas Republic. It looks it, too, all ancient wood and corrugated tin. Their outdoor stage has red cedar walls and banners from sponsors like Barefoot and Redwood Creek wines.

You’d think that their stage set-up would feature some snap-button jean shirts and local alt-country or something that your stepdad would dig, but instead, Parisian electroclash trio Thieves Like Us were there with their electric drums and darkwave synths. It’s hard to imagine a worse context for these guys, since they shouldn’t be allowed out in their Alan Vega costumes until nighttime. Don’t they know how sweaty you get under your Michael Jackson leather jackets in the Texas afternoon sun? How you shouldn’t mix scag with wine you can buy at Trader Joe’s? But perhaps I’m not in the proper mindset; rather than follow the suggestion of their single “Drugs in My Body,” I instead have B-12 flowing through mine.

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