Monday, September 03, 2007

Another Weekend in Austin

The Home Alone weekend went fine, although everyone's routine was messed up (especially cats, who are almost Monk-like about doing things the same way all the time). It is nice to have MrB home again. I still worked every day but for only a few hours a day so I got in some downtime.

Saturday I went to the BatFest, which occupies the entire Congress Avenue Bridge. The main sponsor was Cricket, so maybe they were responsible for our being swarmed by crickets. There's been a cricket invasion here this summer, and the bright stage lights drew them in by the hundreds (thousands, more like), along with moths, ladybugs, and you-name-it bugs who enjoy the lights that the bats don't. The bands I saw were Maneja Beto and Del Castillo, who were dealing with the bugs very professionally. Both guitarists in D.C. had to get through hellacious solos while large crickets sat on their knees, gazing up at them (the guitarists sit in chairs). For a while, Mark had one perched on top of his head... like a little hat... and he knew it was there (he told us so later). Alex performed for a while with a moth planted right on the front of his trousers while we thought of puns that might be used to describe that situation. All in fun!

There were some kids on the front row by us, some girls maybe 11-12 years old... BIG fans of both these bands, and you would have thought the Beatles were playing by all the squealing and screaming, but everybody got a kick out of it... very cute. It was a great show, and the band let all us hard-cores go backstage afterwards to chat and exchange sweaty hugs, even though the show finished at midnight and they had to hit the road fairly early in the AM for Corpus. And with 1.5 million little bats emerging from under the bridge where we were located, I did not even see ONE. Maybe they gorged themselves on bugs and went back to ... bed ... or whatever.

Sunday, my concert-buddy suggested going to see Warren Hood at Momo's, so not much arm-twisting needed for that gig. It would take too long to describe Warren here, but he is quite beloved in the town for several reasons summed up simply (in no particular order) as:
  • lineage
  • musical history, bands, gigs, session work
  • loads of talent
  • really nice person

He has been a member of The Waybacks for a couple of years or so, but when he's not gigging with them he has his own outfit called The Hoodlums which could, on any particular night, include just about anybody. Last time I saw him, Cindy Cashdollar was sitting in. This time there was saxaphone in the band and Seth Walker sat in a bit. Also, Sasha Ortiz (daughter of soul-rocker Natalie Zoe), who I think must be barely out of high school and in a band called Blues Mafia, got up and belted out some fantastic soulful singing. Warren's music? Well, impossible to pigeonhole... always a little jazz, a lotta swing, some classical flavors, a little blues, a little bluegrass, Walter Hyatt, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana: put in a blender and serve.

Had no camera over the weekend, but if I had I would have taken a pic of Waterloo Records at night. Part of their neon sign is burned out, so that the only thing remaining lit is this:


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Mando Mama said...


Hm. Sends the wrong message.

It's nice to have some time alone and it sounds like you had fun, too.

Not one little bat? I'm so sorry! We do so love bats. The start of school always means early to bed for the little ones instead of sitting out and watching The Bat Channel until 9:30 or so.

The Waybacks swing through these parts now and then but I have yet to see them. Your blog always gives me the good backstory so that I'm more inspired to get my bucket out to see these folks.

Jojo said...

A plague of crickets! We delt with many of them at the UT game saturday night as well. I'm sure the players didn't care, but some fans were grossed out at the amounts in some areas.

Blueberry said...

It really is an invasion. Where did all these dang crickets come from?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I saw the link to your page from Del Castillo's website. I wish I was at the show last weekend. I am from NY and saw them perform in August here in NY for the first time and am a new fan. I was looking for someone who would actually fly to TX for the weekend festival (yeah, I can be nuts that way) but no takers. I've never been nor know anyone in TX so I wasn't comfortable going on my own.

The bug invasion sounds gross but seeing bats would have been cool.


Blueberry said...

Hi Maria, thanks for dropping by. I used to fly places for bands all the time when I could afford it (it's not nuts!). If you come down to see the band here, you will make friends at the gig! I promise!