Posts Tagged ‘The Victory Bar & Grill

25
Mar
12

SXSW: Bounced in Austin On A Thursday With A Splash Landing Into Miles Davis House

As I sped down the road towards Austin away from Sherman in my rented red Ford Focus. The mile peeled away under the cloudy sky, clouds like white pillows or cotton balls rallied around me, billowing out in all directions under the wide open spaces of Texas: through the greenery of rolling hills of North East Texas, the towers and tangled express ways of Dallas that then gave way to Highway 35 and the arid flat lands of South East Texas that eventually opened to Austin. To say the least it’s a long drive to the largest Interactive/Film/Music convention in the world. The traffic thickened after Waco making it more a challenge to reach my destination in a timely manner. This was my third year at SXSW. Foursquare called me a sophomore, not knowing of my first outing 3 years earlier when I stayed with my gracious host Mary Kate. This year’s event loomed large and rather intimidating for me with over 120 RSVPs locked in and 5 artist I wanted to catch while I was “down in it” in Austin for the weekend.

I was fortunate enough to network through Christine, a social buterfly from Dallas, I had the pleasure to meet while having sushi in Silverlake with Doug and Johnny. We had made contact originally through Facebook. It so happened she popped in on us while she was visiting LA when we dined on tasty Sushi and enjoying multiple sake shots together. She’s a marvelous ball of fire and quite the conversationalist. I was working a number of Austin options that appeared to be on the fade when Christine came through and introduced me to Mike. Mike had opened his home to me for the few days I’d be staying in Austin. I would come to know as time passed and as this story unfold that Mike and I share some similar connections that go back to Dallas a city I lived in for 2 years. I arrived in Austin with all the deets to crash at Mike’s place and set up camp.

I set out from his place to find The Victory Bar & Grill where Karen organized and set up Miles Davis House. I finally deciphered the layout of The Victory Bar & Grill. Among the distractions set before me I decided to head down a long hallway that led into a large back room. It was dark and I immediately saw the stage to the left and booths to the right. I nested in the booths. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before I saw some familiar faces. Earl E. Gibson III (an exceptional photographer) and Erin Davis (Miles son), both came up to say hi and made me feel at home. Soon Karen was in the mix. We visited for a while and Vince Wilburn Jr. came up to give me a big old hug. Vince always puts a smile on your face. It was good to see him. Karen pointed out that Left Over Cuties were playing at the moment. I was amazed how much they had improved from the summer at El Cid and Sunset Junction party. I had arrived late and I had missed the only viable time to catch The Magnetic Fields, a band I yearned to see and the prospects for Fiona Apple were looking grim. While these unsatisfied expectations were on the back burners at the moment I couldn’t resist exploring The Victory Bar & Grill before I headed out. I landed outside where I met 2 young and talented musicians Alexandra Lee of Alexandra and the Starlight Band and Zachary James of Zachary James and the All Seeing Eyes. We all had a great little chit-chat. I got them to pose for a few shots and then Stuart Johnson, the drummer for Left Over Cuties, jumped in to add energy and kookiness. From there on the group shots explored their interpretations of Metal poses with all the gravitas of Rock gods. After all this passion I took the time to shoot a few shots of Vince and Erin outside The Victory Bar & Grill before I jaunted over to see Fiona.

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I left the Victory Bar & Grill to arrive near  the Austin Texas Central Presbyterian Church where a host of showcases were taking place besides Fiona Apple’s. One of the brutal truths of SXSW is if you arrive too late for a show, YOU ARE TOO LATE! No badge, no connections, no begging will lift you through the threshold to magically transport you to the center of the action. I came upon the badge line first. An exceptionally long line to arrive at 10 minutes after 8pm. Fiona was on at 8pm. I knew all was lost. But to make sure I cruised over to the wrist band line to see my hopes utterly dashed upon the steps of that Presbyterian of the church. This was a tough blow, although, I think of Fiona Apple as a nice second to say The Shins or The Magnetic Fields. Having 3 and 1/2 hours sleep under my belt I decided not to squander my flagging energy waiting in a line: a line that I’ll never see the virtue of being inside the sanctuary to see the barefoot chanteuse. I decided to hit South Congress to do something more than snack as I had The Boiling pot earlier on my arrival. I love downtown Austin but I’ve longed over the last few years to get a grip on what South Congress is all about. So I headed to yet another axis of the SXSW experience on South Congress. I wanted tacos! I found a spot near Home Slice Pizza and Güero Taco Bar. Güero’s is always crowded and that’s year after year at this time. As I walked to the corner to cross the street bands were blazing out the Rockin noise at Home Slice with a Boho crowd clustered around the popular pizza joint listening to music and eating copious amounts of pizza. Once across the street and inside Güero’s I found the place full but the bar area was available. After some thought I figured it was in my best interest, time wise. to plug into the bar. I sat next to 2 gentlemen in the middle of their meals and waited to be served. One of them decided to ask me if I were press. I was surprised by the question because I always try to keep that stuff on the down low. Then it dawned on me that I was wearing my Fader Fort Presented by Converse Press wrist. So I admitted I was press. We spoke in between my ordering and eating about his love of Punk Rock. He told me he followed the Ramones like a deadhead would follow The Grateful Dead. His friend to the left of him endorsed the comment and I laughed at the idea. Our conversation continued in-between my bites. The tacos were nice Tex-Mex fare, the red beans were, well, red beans and the Mexican rice was the worst I had ever eaten. So I passed on the rice. The guys bid their adu and the weight of possibly missing Semi-Precious Weapons were taking their toll in my mind on my drive to catch some new exciting bands.

I sped over to The Victory Bar & Grill just in time to catch Semi-Precious Weapons in search and destroy mode. I don’t think I’ve seen more action on stage since Wendy O’Williams of The Plasmatics or Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks. Thankfully, Justin Tranter can’t lactate like Wendy did: although, he played with his nipple while on stage. But the show was amazingly messy. Everyone in the group was jumping , crawling, crashing, playing , singing, spewing liquids as if they were a bunch of crazy monkeys on speed. I said on my Facebook fan page  as a comment they put on a show, show, show! The fans, yes the fans, were  as out of control as the band blew up and played off the crowd. You could honestly say their fans were as much of the show as the band. The fans were giving out the energy and the Semi-Precious Weapons were giving it right back at ’em! This eclipsed into over 20 minutes of magical mayhem of performance by the group. Later I headed outside. Semi-Precious Weapons geared up for  more photo opportunities with Erin and Vince by Earl. Karen and I had time to catch up as the Semi-Precious Weapons were in interviewed by Beta Records TV. Karen with Erin and Vince’s help put together this ambitious all day event for Mile Davis Estates with a host of new talented acts. All the while interweaving the legacy of artistry and innovation Miles Davis represents and carries on by his son Erin and his nephew Vince with these new breeds of entertainers. Miles Davis House shook The Victory Bar & Grill for a history making SXSW inaugural that sets a great foundation for next year’s blow-up event in Austin. We sat there for a while and talked about the day at hand, when Greg my roomie from last year, pulled up on his bike and joined in the fun. It was nice to see my homeboy after such a long time. Then Karen then had to run. Greg and I had a bromance drinking beers and yakking about all that had happened in the last year. Greg still had party left in him but it was after midnight and the fade was hitting me pretty strongly. I had only three and half hours of sleep and a 6 hour drive under my belt I felt it was time to melt into my digs. In Austin you got grab your sleep while you can when you’re playing in the SXSW Hipster Olympics.

SXSW FlickrPhoto Gallery

17
Mar
12

SXSW: Tidbits To Tie You Over

The excitement of SXSW was palpable as I expectantly waited for it while I was staying with my parents in Oklahoma. I arrived in Austin exhausted and running late because of unforseen events like tight traffic from Waco to Austin, All the elements made me roughly 2 hours late. So for this outing I’m coloring the events briefly as high lights till I can muster for a full-blown report.  The Party got started at The Victory Bar & Grill where Miles Davis Estates through a party to build on the legacy of Miles Davis. Erin and Davis and Vince Wilburn Jr. along with Karen Sundell but together a bunch of talented buzzy and up and coming artist for this event the included  Left Over Cuties, The Furious Few and Semi-Precious Weapons. I cruised between parties and events as I was trying to get m sea legs after landing in Austin. The night went late but not too late!

The next morning I was invited to MyMusicRxevent by Fader Fort. It was a charitable affair with delicious food and an open bar. More on the MyMusicRx event is located in my blog “SXSW: Songwriters, Performance and Super Stars” . I got my drunk on as I networked, listen to 2 marvelous bands: LP from New York and Yawn from Chicago. The Fader Fort and Converse event had the totally good vibes going on as folks talked about the good work being done by MyMusicRx for the Children’s Cancer Association through partnership with i-Tunes. It warmed up the day and me got ready for all the activities that were lined up. I followed this up with the Morning After Party where I continued my gluttony and drinking as some blues Rockers provided the Austin style soundtrack.

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My next stop was to drift by the Victory Grill once again for another showcase of International artist. I thought I was through eating when I was offered some crawfish monica. Robert Singerman turned me on to the party and a bunch of talented musicians that included Tiffany Shea, Ashley Faith and Nanna Larsen. I had a great visit with Tiffany and was surprised she was a fan of Rhett Miller. I so inspired her she decided to go the Rhett’s show on 6th Street. Once I departed the victory Bar & Grill I was on my way to Rhett’s show when I stumbled upon the Google party line that was pen to all. The artist who were playing included Jimmy Cliff and The Shins. I had to decide then and there what my priorities were and that ment hooking up with this show. Because this was the last chance to see The Shins, a band I discovered around 2000, but had never seen.

Once I was upon the 4th floor of this parking garage I could take in the whole city of Austin. What a beautiful and dramatic view. Jimmy Cliff was half way through his set and the crowd was thickening. It was time for more free beers and an energy drinks. I ran into Alexandra and Zackary, two young talents, I met during the Mile Davis House event the day earlier and we chatted. While we were talking, Vince Wilburn Jr. jumped in from backstage while Black Star finished and we all hung for a minute longer before they went off to the Jack White’s showcase. I continued there till The Shins finished their set. The place was packed and the fan were crowding in to catch every moment of this rare experience. The Shins delivered a great and solid set. I finally got to see a band I’d missed for various reason over the years. From there I had asperations to catch Rhett Miller later but I needed to score some food by that point and headed over the Death Metal Pizza. I locked in the pizza but all that cheese and grease hit me like a cannon ball and dampened my desire to log in a few more hours of music. I decided to load photos and video and when that was accomplished the call of sleep was strong. I decide to nest back at Mike’s place to pick up the SXSW gauntlet for Saturday because the party never ends at SXSW.

SXSW Flickr Photo Gallery




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