Day Two was a pretty warm one in Austin--made warmer with hordes of people crammed into venues to check out the day-time parties. For Austinites and hangers-on, it's the lack of badge-holding preferential treatment that makes the day parties a big draw; anyone can get in if they're willing to wait in line. But don't any of these people have day jobs? WTF? These shows were filled with people. Oh well...
Band: Old 97's Where: The New West Records showcase at Club de Ville What It Was Like: Partying it up with some old friends. Mike Snider of AllGood Cafe was there; the Drams, too (they followed the 97's on stage). And the band even offered up its first-ever recorded effot, "St. Ignatius" to the crowd. So there you go. Verdict: Well, Rhett looked especially...um...pretty today with a red shirt on to match his sunburnt face. But the band played too much of the stuff off its new, upcoming record for my tastes. Still, the crowd was enthusiastic about it, digging new songs "Dance With Me" and "The Fool"--the latter of which, I have to admit, sounded pretty great. Random Note: The New West show was a big draw, but not even close to the biggest on its block. The big crowds made their way down the street to the Clipse show, or across it to catch Motorhead.
Band: Cloud Cult Where: Free Yr Radio Stage, outdoors on the corner of 7th and Red River. What It Was Like: A beautiful heat-stroke induced dream. Cloud Cult's very short set was mostly songs off it's upcoming disc--although the band did treat the crowd to some older songs during its soundcheck. Still, it was a great soundtrack to match the beatiful afternoon weather. Verdict: Not the best performance the band's ever put on, but pretty good nonetheless. Random Note: As part of the Free Yr Radio Stage schtick, the band was interviewed pre-set for the audience in a piece that was broadcast simultaneously on a local radio station.
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Band: Tapes 'n Tapes Where: Emo's What It Was Like: A sauna party with a great iPod playlist. No joke--it was steaming in there. Even vocalist Josh Grier was struck by the heat. "It's great to be back in Austin," he said, "but I forgot how hot it is in Emo's. At least we're not playing here tomorrow when it's 90 [degrees]." Indeed. Verdict: A great set from Tapes 'n Tapes, although, again, the set was pretty much all new material from these guys, too. But this stuff sounded good. Real good. In fact, Tapes 'n Tapes' show was the best of the three good ones I saw today. Random Note: This showcase was put on by The Onion and a table by the main entrance was handing out free copies of the new Human Giant: Season One DVD. Score. -- Pete Freedman