FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK :: The Road to Not-SXSW, Pt. 2

by Harvey Gold on March 17, 2011

We’re not being quite so expanded in our coverage as the place we’re staying has no WiFi. So we’re sitting in a great place called Kneaded Pleasures in Austin, grabbing a tasty pre-gig bite and doing a quick catch up.

Hand-painted chairs at La Hacienda, Hot Springs AR

We wrapped up our one-night-stand in Hot Springs totally determined to return for the real deal at the Arlington Hotel, see the crystal and diamond mines, and indulge ourselves in a little southern happiness. What we did do this time was have dinner a La Hacienda. Not drinking yet, but it brags of  having been voted the Numero Uno Mexican restaurant in all of Arkansas every year since the mid-80s. Well…other than a GREAT warm salsa (served with a standard salsa and green chile salsa) it was pretty much good quality Mexi. But not the CHAIRS: hand-painted, awesome…we want a whole set for our house!

Now to Austin. We got here, went to a great little Honky Tonk, Ginny’s Little Longhorn, saw some sweet playing and singing, and had my first Lone Star. Sort of your Texas Bud/Miller/PBR kind of standard low ABV American lager. This has never been my cup of tea but it didn’t offend, quenched my thirst and allowed me to say I’ve had a Lone Star. Not a bad experience at all , to be filed under “When in Rome…”

Yesterday, we went to a party at The Dogwood on W. 6th St. where one of the many SXSW parties was being held. Austin is pretty great so far, nice people, music lovers everywhere – some music BIZ folks, but you can spot ’em from a mile away based on how they move through the crowd, and they, so far, seem to be behaving as warmly as the rest. We saw my old friend Syd Straw do a three song set accompanied by Austin legend Gurf Morlix on guitar. No one (there were capable guys on bass and drums) knew the songs, to some degree Syd included! When we were talking about 20 minutes before she played, she told me she was going up onstage alone and had no idea what she was going to do! And then the Pros from Dover rode in. But everyone played well, there was a ton of love, and Syd, ever the actress and performer, charmed, made everyone laugh A LOT, and at one point had me in tears.

At this event, I tried a Buckethead, a really fine a IPA from Thirsty Planet Brewing here in Austin. Very clean and balanced. Perhaps brewing something like this in a place like Austin tends to lead a brewer to think about quenching thirst first and foremost. I could’ve drunk this all day standing out in the sun. Good thing I didn’t, as it carries a solid 7.25% IPA. Yikes. Things are getting dangerous here in Texas.

I played a little three song set with Sally Spring at The G&S Lounge last night and will be doing a full band set with her tonight as well. More to come when we can manage. In the meantime: Yee Haw!! Gotta get me some Shiners and stuff!!!


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