Our friends from Pennsylvania, Toy Soldiers, are here in Texas for SXSW and playing a quick SA show with my band We Leave at Midnight (now on Spotify!) and another band I play with, Black Magic and the Full Exposé. BMATFE is led by Alex Wash, who lends his considerable piano talents to my primary band, Bad Breaks. I’m really pleased with how the poster came out — I wanted to work in the state of Pennsylvania somehow, and the flag solution is almost subliminal. Looking forward to this show, should be a good one. Here’s a video of Toy Soldiers:
Posts Tagged ‘SXSW’
As somebody who drives to Austin roughly once a month to see a touring indie band, the topic of why cool, relevant artists don’t play San Antonio is one that is near and dear to my heart. Everybody has their own opinion as to what’s wrong with San Antonio (and some people probably think nothing’s wrong, bro), but to me it’s basically a perfect storm of many, many reasons.*
So, how do we get more indie shows to SA, instead of the same old, stagnant radio-rock and metal we get stuck with? I don’t have a definitive answer. But I think, like with most problems, one solution that almost always works is to throw money at it until it’s fixed. Somebody has to shell out the cash to upgrade their venue to a first-class, can’t-miss place to see shows. Somebody has to stand up and fight a little harder (read: pay a little more) to bring new, different independent artists to town. And if those bands come to town, people — myself included — must vote with their dollars and support them.
At least one local promoter stated that, by driving to Austin for shows, I and others are somehow hurting San Antonio. I have to call bullshit on this. Let’s say that I want to see a particular movie, but the only theater in my neighborhood plays lousy mainstream films (many of which are simply older movies still playing). And sure, that theater’s cheap and in my neighborhood, and sometimes it’s fun to see a movie there. But their screens are small, there’s no surround sound, and the seats are ratty. So if I really want to see this movie, should I wait for it to show at my neighborhood theater, when it most likely won’t? Or should I pay a little extra to drive across town to another theater where my movie is playing, and where the screens are bigger, the sound is better, and the seats aren’t mysteriously stained? Seems like a no-brainer to me. If I have to choose between seeing a great show or missing out in an effort to support “the scene,” then my vote — and my money — goes toward the great show. Those are dollars that could’ve stayed in town if only SA promoters were savvy enough to nab that tour for themselves. I’d much rather save gas and mileage and see a band like St. Vincent at a nice venue in San Antonio instead of in Austin. But instead, SA is getting Insane Clown Posse. Again.
I sincerely hope San Antonio gets its act together. In the meantime, I’ll keep driving to Austin if I want to see a good show.
* I started listing them, but this post became alarmingly long and preachy. If anyone really wants to hear why I think SA has virtually no indie touring shows, I’ll post another blog. In the meantime, read Music Editor Enrique Lopetegui’s take here. And if you have an opinion, post a comment — tour bookers are listening.
SXSW 2011 is here, and I’m headed up to Austin to take part in all the musical madness. Still finalizing my schedule, but I’m definitely going to check out Mexicans With Guns (aka Ernest Gonzales, left) and Piñata Protest (right), two local San Antonio acts that are getting national attention and have a few SXSWs under their belts. I did interviews with them for our SXSW(XSA) preview — you can check out my Q&A with Mexicans With Guns here, and my interview with Alvaro Del Norte (lead singer/accordionist for Piñata Protest) here. Keep an eye out for more coverage and blogs from SXSW at blogs.sacurrent.com.