Brett Dennen at UT’s TX Union Theater 05.03.19

It’s storming on a Friday night in Austin but I’m out solo tonight to see Brett Dennen, the tall redhead who rocked my socks off at ACL years ago. That show was also in the rain so maybe it just fits that it’s pouring tonight.

Raina Rose opened. She’s an Austin staple. A female folk singer who’s paid her dues. She’s the real deal and if you’re into singer-songwriter female warbles, this might be tour jam. She sounded great tonight and told a story about her porch at her old place on e 9th was built from tombstones.

Brett took the stage and sang all the hits with stories and reflections peppered between. I sat near some of his high school buddies and these bros had so much love for their guy. It was sweet.

It would have been cooler if they hadn’t been dipping and spitting into water bottles. The guy sitting next to me actually offered me a pouch. He really honestly did and I don’t think he was aware of what was going through my head. I just calmly said no thanks and that’s kinda gross.

Anyway, the crowd was great. Full of love all around and in this small of a theater, that can really make a performance a show. The sound was beautiful and interaction with the crowd was heightened. Nothing like you might have in a dark, former porn theater, as Brett suggested to the audience.

Go Pray, It’s Sunday (aka Reverend Hylton @ Hotel Utah)

I should have posted this sooner, but then as Andee and I were ending our call, she asked who I was going to see today and I said Reverend Hylton and she said ‘Oh yeah! Go pray. It’s Sunday.’ and we both laughed and that inspired me to FINALLY write this post.

The last time I saw Reverend Hylton, which was also at Hotel Utah, he was opening for Gill Landry and I don’t know what it was, but I really liked him. I mean, I often like the opening band, but this was different. This was like when I saw Darrin Bradbury and felt like he knew me because he knew where I came from, both geographically and culturally.

I bought Reverend Hylton’s CD while we were talking to him after his show. I’ve been following him ever since, though I haven’t seen him perform again. He’s made in near SF a few times, but hasn’t made it back here until now. I’m all in!

The show starts at 6 pm and he’s the first performer. I don’t even know if I’ll stay for the other bands. To be fair, this is my last weekend before leaving for my annual NYC/PHL journey and I have much to do, including cleaning and packing. Daylight’s wasting! See you at 6?

Telekinesis with Sun Talk

@3Ten 4.24.19

Tonight was a real treat. Sun Talk was awesome. It’s hard for me to put it into words. A little Jeff Tweedy with the lead singer talking about songs and deep lyrics coupled with Jim James or ??some other smooth, slightly greasy rock and roll crooner… this was great. Definitely worth your time if they are in your town. They’re touring with Telekinesis right now so catch em while you can.

Sun Talk

Telekinesis put on a great show. It was harder rock than I was expecting. The lighting was dark, with a projection screen behind the band playing psychedelic images and other trippy things to keep the audience entertained. Really though, the band was enough to keep me engaged and I enjoyed it.


Sweet Spirit Tonight (4/2) at BotH and Low Cut Connie on Sat (4/6) at GAMH

Killing two birds with one stone today cause I need to tell you about these amazing bands that are playing in SF this week and I also need to work (so that I can make the money required for this rock-n-roll lifestyle)

Sweet Spirit hails from Austin. TX. Andee had told me about them when I visited for her birthday in 2017. She asked Alexa to play ‘The Power’ for me (many times!) and we would dance around the house shouting ‘I got the power here inside of myself’ which is a great girl-power anthem. ‘The Power’ has been a lead tune in my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist (which is really just female voices, but sometimes there are anthemic songs like this one).

So I got back to SF, added them to my ‘What I’m Listening to Right Now’ playlist (because it was before my ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ playlist was needed) and realized that they were playing in SF 2 weeks later at Brick and Mortar. I convinced Rod that we needed to go see this band. (It didn’t take a lot of convincing…)


It was a great night at Brick & Mortar. I still have no idea who the opening band was, but they were so much fun. The dude put on this giant rabbit head towards the end of the show. When I was looking through my pics, I couldn’t understand why they were all out of focus, and then I realized they were all photos of the rabbit head on stage (and not the band).


Then Sweet Spirit took the stage. They killed it. Sabrina Ellis, the lead singer, is a cheerleader on stage, but she’s a cheerleader that you would like.  She’s the bad cheerleader…

As for Low Cut Connie… I’m going to ping back to my original post about them.  It’s short, sweet and to the point… you don’t want to miss them.  They are always a good time and I love me a good Philly band!  Plus I think we might have a crew for this show!

SweetParty UtopiaFest Day 2

I slept pretty well and made it up in time for yoga. It was a nice, relaxing class taught by a local Utopian. Perfect way to start my day!

The weather is cloudier, windy, and a bit cooler than yesterday. The weather isn’t bad, we just need more layers.

SAPD… bagpipes 🙂


Jenny Parrot

Ley Line

Shane Cooley – we missed this show accidentally while hanging with these friends. It happens!

Sucka Please!


The Deer




Ley Line @ Good Times

Kelsey Wilson @ Good Times

Sweet Party 2019 Day 1

So my partner decided he was going to Sweet Party in Utopia to support Utopiafest.

Here I am on my way to Utopia Texas.

Cowboy Iris

What a lovely band to open! I like that fringe vest!

She opened with some nice versions of Patsy, then Dolly.

We took a walk up to the camp GoodTimes where fully acoustic shows start at midnight. They have a solar powered neon light that says shhhhhhh!

DJ Mr Rodgers played the Bahamas blended and their doowhop was all I needed to hear.

He played that Lucas Nelson song, Just Outside of Austin. It was perfect. Wildflowers blooming, perfect weather, nice humans. I ran into some of my brothers friends and made some new ones!

It’s so beautiful here. Approaching 76 and sunny with a few clouds. There is a rainbow kite flying high along a strong breeze. It’s a damn Utopia.

We missed a band.

Then this guy, Sid Fly.

And a really adorbs puppy named Bella.

I’m sure Sid is cool but he seems a little dickish. He was mad about bad sound, mouthed off to the sound guy, and then figured out that he needed to adjust his own equipment. His sound was notably better. The sound guy was ready for his set to end.

It’s hard to maintain Utopia. The suns come out and it’s a little warm. Bella bit a human. I mean, she’s a puppy, but also, no dogs, right. She’s fucking cute tho. As our bartender friend says, “Dogs are fucking cool.”

Sid showed us his year 2 t-shirt. Street cred. Their sound is good. It’s sounding a little Jimmy Buffet to me but I’m not totally sure if that’s the sound or the BYOB situation.

There are very few rules here but in Utopia people do what they should… it’s Utopia.

Wood & Wire

Gravel Tooth

Utopia Players

The Eagles Nest where DJs and single member artists make sounds.

Trouble in the Streets

This band was awesome. Great sound and a super fun performance!

Wood & Wire up at the Good Times stage

The Deer

So beautiful and special in this all acoustic silent setting. I wish I wasn’t so sleepy.


Driftwood (and Red Wing Roots)

I know that I talk about the Red Wing Roots festival all the time. I can’t put my finger on what makes it such a special festival; I know, for me, the women that attend the festival with me contribute strongly to the feelings. I started attending the festival with my college roomie and we’ve grown our group of regulars. I also have met some super amazing people there who I consider a part of my group of regulars. In particular, two women — Rayn and Susan. They are fun and funny and they provide me with hot water for my coffee (and sometimes coffee and other goodies too); they are also local and can provide insight on the smaller local bands that we really shouldn’t miss.

They introduced me to Driftwood and it was love at first sight. I’ve seen Driftwood perform at RWR twice now, both times on the smaller, tented stage. This band gives an excellent live performance! Claire Byrne fronts this band with a violin and her vocals.  I’ve seen the drummer perform on her violin with her.

Both times that I’ve seen the band, they have owned the crowd. The first time, I have to give some of the credit to Brad, who Rayn introduced me to. He was a dancing fool and managed to get pretty much the entire tent up and dancing with the assistance of a handful of young girls dressed like Brandi Carlile. Let’s just say that Brad knows how to bring the fun! It may be fueled by alcohol, but it is fun! (I’m trying to find my pictures from that year.)

This was all a long story to tell you that Driftwood will be performing at the Hotel Utah this Thursday night, March 28th. I plan to be there. You should too! I expect it to be every bit as good as the past performances that I’ve seen. I’m super glad they are finally making it to the west coast.  Let’s make it worth it for them!!!

It was also a nod to the fact that Kuinka (Saturday night’s show) was also a Red Wing Roots find and they are FUN!!! Check out the video clip posted on I/G.

SXSW 2019 Jammies Awards!

We saw over 50 bands play in 16 venues. (Andee saw 70 in 19 but it isn’t a contest, is it? Or is it?!?)

Our favorite:

2019 Jammies Award Winner: The Artisanals

Winning with great sound, amazing performance, and also for being nice guys who talked to us before (and after) the show. These guys have professional rockism! They put it all out there on the stage for us before 3pm on a Wednesday at a bar on the corner of 5th and Congress. During their final song, shirts were taken off, glam rock knee bends were happening and we were smiling ear to ear. Our only complaint is that there are no women in the band… but that is a sad fact for most bands, although we do see it changing a little. Way to go guys! You rocked us hard!

Others in consideration:

  • Sweet Crude was a top contender! They rocked the little stage at Lucy’s Fried Chicken! And they had a woman in the band too! I wanted to give it to them, but I couldn’t get The Artisanals performance out of my head!
  • Darkbird (not eligible because Jenn didn’t see them) but a great female-led band that is reminiscent of Sweet Spirit and Heart
  • Stealing Oceans – a very close second. This was a very special find while we mistakenly tried to see a show a day early at the bar across the street. You really can stumble upon some of the very best shows at sxsw. There was angst! There was dancing! There was audience participation! They really had it all! watch the video here!
  • Illiterate Light – When did everyone decide light-theme band names were the thing this year? These guys, complete with the drummer’s bare midriff, were fantastic. They didn’t have the crowd; it was too early in the day and there weren’t enough audience members, but that didn’t mean we didn’t enjoy them with our spiked Topo-Chico’s
  • KOLARS – They won last year, but in our hearts they keep winning!!! They performed an excellent set in the Fairmont Rules & Regs bar for pretty much just us. We loved it a lot! They also performed a rocking show at Rachel Ray’s daytime party. It was phenomenal!!!
  • The Beths – sad and crying, but still rocking. This very popular band from New Zealand held it together after learning about the mass shooting back home.
  • Duncan Fellows – The crowd wasn’t there yet but we were digging this sound and hope to see more of this local Austin band.
  • Star Parks – this is another local Austin band that we would like to see more of. Jenn missed them play so we hope they make it to the Bay area soon or that she makes it back to Austin to see them.
  • Other honorable mentions would definitely include:
    • Hayes Carll — He’s amazing!!!
    • Matthew Vasquez Logan — He might have been a contender if he hadn’t taken the state directly after Sweet Crude rocked us hard!!

SXSW2019, Wednesday March 13th

Update: Congratulations to The ARTISANALS for their 2019 Jammy Award!

After seeing more than 50 bands/shows this week, it’s been decided. The Artisanals are the band you should listen to right now. Good ol’ fashioned mid-American rock sung by a guy who looks like Jesus. These guys look like they are having fun while also sounding great. They “brought” the performance with a shirt-off-on-your-knees ending, winning them this years Jammy Award! Congratulations fellows.

The Artisanals at the Shiner Saloon started us off and boy, did they!!! This was Rob’s #1 priority for the day and I’m glad we tagged along! They sounded so good and they played like the place was packed and they weren’t the opening band in a day-show line-up. With a knee dropping jam at the end, I was not sure it if it was 3am or 3pm when they were done with us. They were a really good-time and head-banging Jesus (aka Johnny Delaware) hugged me after the performance and thanked us for coming. Now if we could only get Alexa to recognize the request of playing The Artisanals.

Following The Artisanals, we got a nice surprise and got to see The Brother Brothers. This showcase was curated by a Bay Area nonprofit, Conscious Immaturity whose mission is to bring music to schools. I will say this line-up should have probably been reversed, as The Brother Brothers are quiet and mellow and beautiful (and yes, Andee, they are brothers) and The Artisanals were loud and rocking and totally brought it!

Dogs are fucking cool! Yes, dogs are fucking cool!!! Things you learn from the bartender….

Then we tried to decide about food… one of us mentioned hanger, so we ate at the food trucks and then we walked to Hotel San Jose for SXSJ2019.

On the way, we stopped at Yeti and saw Jackie Venson. I liked the Yeti store, but I didn’t like the people at the Yeti store. The crowd was there to be seen and that’s not my jam, so we moseyed onward to SXSJ.

Robert Ellis entertained us in his white suit sitting behind his piano. At some point, he sang a song about Topo Chico’s and lime and then sprayed the crowd with a Topo.  This was much preferable to the time I saw him open for Deer Tick when he sprayed the crowd with a beer. At the time, the bro crowd loved it; I did not, but I guess that’s the price you pay for liking Deer Tick. They attract the bro’s. (See Trampled By Turtles)

The Black Pumas (with Adrian Quesada)

These guys and gals jammed. We were tired but they still had us on our feet dancing.

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