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A Remarkable Debut

A Remarkable Debut
The hipsterati were out in full force Sunday evening for the debut of local dry-rub barbecue mogul Mark Fagan’s new band, the John-Pauls, a threepiece alternative ensemble featuring Fagan on guitar, Phillip Niemeyer on guitar and vocals, Mikila Zaorski on drums, and the prophet Elijah on bass, who was on loan from his other gigs with Black Pistol Fire and the White Stripes. Nonetheless, there was a remarkably thick low-end to the band’s sound that was underpinned by Zaorski’s thunderous skin-pounding. Not only was Zaorski crushing it musically, she was killing it fashionwise as well, resplendently attired in a faded vintage Gilley’s T-shirt purchased from a local thrift store some 13 years earlier. As we have pointed out many times in this column, Austin fashion isn’t about obscene credit card limits and Tribeza advertorials, it’s about vision and commitment, and Zaorski gets it. Expect style school to be in session anytime the John-Pauls have a gig.

Speaking of style, the Chronicle’s own Style Editor and rapacious socialite Anne Harris played gracious host for the evening, opening her beautiful Hyde Park home to an eclectic menagerie of Austin music lovers. Harris’ living room created an intimate performance space that allowed listeners to interact with the musicians on a personal level. As the John-Pauls’ sonic tsunami washed over the audience, blowing back untethered hair and rippling facial skin in rhythmic, tear-streaked undulations, rose-cheeked, sweaty toddlers gyrated across the hardwood floor in a euphoric, trancelike daze that resembled either Club Foot, circa 1981, or an epileptic ward on angel dust. Hearts were broken. Memories were made.

Fortunately just a few yards away in Harris’ lovely, spacious kitchen, mnemonic equilibrium was being maintained by an obscenely overstocked bar – exactly the type of happy hunting grounds where good memories go to die. We killed a few by alternating shots of Jameson whiskey and Herradura tequila with Chronicle proofreaders Josh Kupecki and Danielle White, after which we stumbled out to the party’s secondary attraction, Harris’ above-ground pool, which was quietly nestled behind a wooden privacy fence and guarded closely by a vicious hedge of Ligustrum and well-hidden sprinkler head.

The pool itself had a brilliant emerald hue due to a recent algae bloom and perhaps the lingering effects of a couple of bong hits, and though we were appropriately outfitted in a pair of Desert Storm camo swim trunks that we stole (metaphorically, at least) from the Salvation Army for only $2.49, we made an uncharacteristically responsible decision not to sully the splendor of that aqueous art piece with a drunken, chubby, middle-aged cannonball, so we went back inside and finished off the Jameson. A perfect evening.

Need some advice from the Luv Doc? Send your questions to luvdoc@austinchronicle.com, or check out the Luv Doc Archive.

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