Haley, the blue-haired backup vocalist, is with us now. She rode 17 hours straight to Austin with Wowser Bowser and crawled onto the bus around 5 a.m. and slept on the floor next to Trevor. As expected, there’s a bunch of Atlanta people hanging out at the showcase. People from Little Tybee, Sealions, Mermaids and Abby Gogo, among others, watch the Back Pockets’ mid-afternoon set. Justin Sias of Starfighter is here snapping photos as fervently as I am. Jason Travis (Sealions) and some other professional photographers are doing the same. A girl behind me—presumably not an Atlantan—says she loves the show and she’s videotaping.
We travel (on the crazy cloud bus) to the Blue Theater next, where they play outside in the venue lot. There’s under 20 people here, but they’re receptive. The closing song is the culmination of the set—it’s when the drumsticks are passed out, and that’s when it’s obvious whether or not the crowd’s into it. This crowd, like every other this week, is happy to drum along. They sit cross-legged in a half-circle before the band, everyone leaning forward and banging the pavement.
They play “Chaindrive” a second time at 7 p.m. People from last night are there, plus a bunch of new faces. The happiest to see the band, though, is Gretchen—a middle-aged woman who spent some time talking with David the night before. She really enjoyed the band, and told him she “love[d] how stinky it got at the end. The smell just rised [sic] up.” I smelled it too, but I didn’t think anyone would consider it part of the performance. After four days without showers, I guess the nose hair-burning stench sort of is at this point.
Eric, the owner of Aurora and Criminal Records, is at Cherrywood. He opens a tab for the band and after their somewhat mellow performance (not counting the theatrics, obviously), everyone relaxes a bit.
But before we can leave, Gretchen swings halfway onto the bus. She missed the show—it would have been her third in two days—because friends were in town, but wants them to know how “alive” their music is. “It’s happening there,” she says. She means onstage. She rambles for a bit about adventure and danger and “a certain edginess” before reminding them that she’s given them a vinyl copy of her band from the ‘80s.
“I love you all,” she says with a slow, wide wave. Everyone cheers with delight as she leaves.
We examine the record on the way to a friend of Haley’s, where we’ll sleep tonight. Her band was Lesbians on Ecstasy. The album is Meat Joy, and a label on the sleeve names contributions from Le Tigre, Scream Club, Tracy and the Plastics and others. She told me earlier that she leads an improv disco act. We don’t get to hear the album at Haley’s friends’ place because its owner has a baby, and he’s sleeping (it’s after midnight). But the house is absolutely charming. Old as hell, built when the roads were still dirt, she tells us. It was her boyfriend’s grandmother’s house, and it’s practically in the same condition as she left it. There are trinkets and old paintings all over. I sleep in the finished attic. The steepest stairs I’ve ever climbed reveal a log cabin-like room with a bed and a couch where, between other dusty and endearing items, records (Johnny Cash and the Willie Nelson and Leon Russell collaboration) and a box filled with several tiny, tiny tea sets.
In the morning, we fill up on a homemade breakfast, courtesy of our benevolent host. Carnivores are playing at Cherrywood, so we go. Next up—a brief trip to the Barton Springs pool, then Houston, for Super Happy Fun Land. I’m told by the band that it’s run by a wild schizophrenic dude, and that visually, it’s an acid trip. I once called the Back Pockets an acid trip without the LSD. I’m a little bit nervous about the combined powers of the two.
*Christ, Lord sorry
"Punk" style like this seems like it is the polar opposite of punk. Bradford Cox…
They're kind of starting to look like a joke of themselves. Song's good though.
All 80s movies want you...
Their show with Chris, Lord about 3 years at the Unicorn was the best.
I am a connoisseur of this real soul music like the comment above I'm glad…