March 14th, 2012
Her is head on my chest, her left arm across my body, and the sound of her breathing is musical. It’s the first time we’ve spent the night together. I look around her room at the dresser, the closet door half open, the previous night’s glasses of Merlot, both still half-full, on the night stand next to the clock, the opened condom wrapper on the floor.
“What time is it?” she asks.
“5:30. I should leave soon since I have a plane to catch.”
“Damn. I forgot you’re going to South by Southwest … bastard.” She smiles, lifts her head up.
“That I am.”
“What, a bastard?”
“Funny … South by Southwest.”
“You want some coffee?”
She gets up still naked and leaves the bedroom while I lay and stretch so in the spaciousness of her king size bed. It’s true, that bit about me going to Austin for SXSW. I’ll be staying with, hanging out with, watching and listening to a few Seattle bands on the indie Seattle-based label, Critical Sun. They’ll have four or five gigs over the course of the week (details here), the most promising of which apprears to be the March 14th show at the Jackalope where there will be seven bands (Furniture Girls, Sightseer, In Cahoots and more) and, from what I’m told, free beer. That bears repeating, FREE BEER. With 4271 (as of this writing) on the Facebook RSVP list, it looks like it’ll be a packed house, and certainly a good time.
SXSW is by all means the place for bands to be seen in the month of March, and it makes me wonder how many of these bands, if any, will make it, which of them will make any significant splash, and which will continue on, splash or not. Many of the best bands I’ve ever seen have been bands that never made it past being called “local”, bands that went unheard by the masses, bands who moved me in some way and so from my point, though never famous, they did make a splash in my life and the lives of a few other locals, bands like The Lollipop Factory from Columbus and Busker Soundcheck from Chicago, bands, sadly, that you’ve never heard but that I remember years and years later. That’s the great thing about SXSW, a national stage for local music, a chance to be heard.
She comes back into the room, hands me a cup of coffee, climbs into the bed resuming her previous position. I sip the coffee. It’s strong. She knows my tastes. “I’ll give you a ride to the airport,” she says, “if you promise to bring back stories and sunshine.”
Such a comment could almost make a man not want to go to Austin, could make a man want to do nothing but lie naked in bed sipping coffee and listening to the musical sound of breathing, but then, it makes me want to go even more, gives me something to look forward to, two things actually, all the music to be experienced in Austin, all those deserving but as yet unheard bands, and then afterward, the telling of those stories.
I get up and pop the Sightseer CD into the CD player, climb back into bed, into the same position again, and again, sip the coffee. The music starts, mixes with her breathing as I think of rides to the airport and spending a week buried in “local” music in Texas.
“This is good.”
Who: Critical Sun bands: Furniture Girls, Sightseer, In Cahoots, The Januariez, Darrius Willrich, Rob Marcus, Seeing Blind
Where: The Jackalope
When: Wednesday, March 14 12:00 – 6:00
Cost: Free, including beer!
List of Seattle bands at SXSW 2012