Sunday, August 28, 2005

Texas, Too Hot To Handle


over here and over here
we have we have


(Well, THAT didn't work! they were supposed to be on opposite sides of the page!)

It has been an exhausting weekend. I had made a mild promise to get up to Alice's Restaurant in Neiderwald today, but my head just won't allow it. Just as South Texas is getting an early taste of autumn in the air, the heat managed to give me another migraine. It is the price I sometimes pay for my music. I will stay quiet today, because there is always more to go see. I just have to stop trying to spread myself so thin. As it is, I am already working on my October schedule, adding back in a band I have yet to write about- E Muzeki. They are a gypsy duo (actually, now a trio)
from San Antonio who are playing the Texas Renaissance Faire that month. DC again is to blame for my hearing of them, and I am a dedicated fan of violin and bouzouki music now! but October is going to be a busy month all the way around.

Now, let's start with Friday evening. The day sucked royally, so I will try to forget about it and get on with the good stuff: Buttercup at the Hyde Park Theatre.

the one really neat thing Austin seems to have over SA is the number of smaller venues available. We go from too small to too big, with little in between. If one wants a more intimate setting, it can be tough down here. The guys in Buttercup seem to thrive on improvisation to some extent though. good thing!
They didn't have to do too much of that at the Hyde Park place, which has probably seen more intact days. It has obviously been redone inside more than once for various needs, with all the stuff from those changes hanging around out back.....along with the mangled 10 speed bike lashed to a set of burglar bars on a side window. ( I know there's a story there, but do I want to know?) It was a pleasant enough setting, and so intimate that those in the front row could've used the monitors as foot rests. Artist Robert Tatum was doing a live art show with both performers. Opening act was Billy Harvey, an Austin balladeer whose live performance tonight gave no indication of the intensity of his latest CD. When I have had a bit more time to digest it I will write on him. In the meantime check out his website Wild. And you can hear his sounds there.

The Cup came on in their unassuming way and started off what ended up being an amazing set. I can already say that they are going to probably surprise me everytime I get to see them. They seem to feed off the audience even more than most bands, which of course is going to make a diff. I will leave it up to them to put up the set list, as usual, on thier website. I want to relay the feeling.
This show was much heavier, in terms of music, than the last one I got to see. a stronger delivery, as well as stronger tunes. Everybody sang at least one tune, and the power in the delivery was tremendous. (And someone tell Joe he needs to use than voice more- yummy!;)
Headache under control.


damn, should have seen it!

Joe Reyes reminds me of Elvis. I think it's something between the eyes and mouth (like his nose, stupid?!) (Sorry, talking to myself again....) I just saw a photo of him I took the other night and it hit me. Better voice and smile though. And I don't think Elvis ever played guitar quite like that.

oh well. on with the show description. Note I don't say review? Opinions are as numerous as lower bodily exit points......
I can't say exactly why this show was so much stronger than the first one. Maybe because it was a Friday? The crowd? Planetary alignment? I'm not sure. I had a couple of Austin friends turn up to experience the guys. That made it fun for me. The crowd at these things seems looser, more open to letting the band be flexible. We are almost part of the performance, which of course changes the possiblities with each show. The fellow passing out shots of kool-aid flavoured schnaps probably didn't hurt the mood.... I since come to find that the idea of coming to the show with a communal mentality is encouraged. How many bands do you know that work to get their audience to relate to each other? It is a first for me, even in the art community.

It a sign to me of a group's skill when they can play less than 3 bars of a song we haven't heard before and set a mood instantly. When the band is seperated by being on a stage, apart from the audience, almost like they are in a totally different world, some members of the audience are likely to be unmoved. Perhaps it is our closeness to the band, or a differnce of mindset that would draw us to such a performance, that makes this audience unusual Even those back on the wall, a few feet further away from the guys, reacted to the songs. There was respectful silence when the song called for it, which means they were paying attention. there has never been anything so irritating to me to hear DC playing Perdename or Porque and people yakking loudly right over it, like it was a jukebox. Buttercup's crowd doesn't do that. Well, not the ones I have been part of yet. They come for the music, pure and simple.

And the music is simple. This is not to say it is moronic or repetative. Simplicity can be deceiving. That pregnant pause....that sustained note...that one finishing word held back until you can't stand it anymore. Some how, some where, this becomes the part of art that no artist can explain. I've been trying to capture it as poetry for 35 years. It is probably the hardest thing to put to words I have ever found.

I think that's why I enjoy Buttercup. They aren't trying to write Billboard 100 hits. They write from the soul and play some songs that touched theirs. And they enjoy doing it to do it. I come away from the shows happy inside for a little while, and so far it has been a blast to remember too. Another batch of enigmatic smiles I can't explain to anyone, save by playing them Buttercup. I think I will go find one now, while I uplaod the newest batch of photos.


DC gig will follow.

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