Luv Doc Recommends: “Live at the Nutt” with Matt the Electrician and Southpaw Jones
Nutty Brown Cafe, Saturday, May 22, 2004
Several years ago William Jefferson Clinton, America’s greatest living president, said in a speech at UT that we should, “expand the definition of ‘us’ and shrink the definition of ‘them.’” Sage advice from a true American patriot, no doubt, especially coming from a former resident of Arkansas, where more than likely such a sentiment is merely encouragement to marry someone other than your first cousin. And yet, here in Austin we would do well to heed the words of the first porn president. Somewhere inside the bow-chica-wow-wow aura of the great fellated one lies an actual noggin, something sorely missing from American politics in recent times. The truth is that as the geographic boundaries of Austin inch their way towards far-flung, exotic places like Volente, Neiderwald, Dripping Springs, and Waco, the definition of “us” must necessarily; begrudgingly expand as well (though Pflugerville stays “them” until “they” pick an opening consonant and run with it). Austin is no longer the exclusive dominion of Hyde Park hipsters or Travis Heights trustafarians. Our tax base runs from Jollyville to Hand-to-Mouthville, from Onion Creek all the way up to Cool River (which might as well be Dallas). It’s a huge spread geographically, culturally, and ideologically, but in the big picture we’re all just the same ink spot on the map. In the immortal words of Bono (he of the knitted brow and the Betsy Ross jean jacket), “We’re one, but we’re not the same. We’ve got to carry each other.” OK, Bono is no Slick Willie (Clinton has actually been seen playing an instrument and he parties like a rock star), but he does have a point. We’re all Austin – yes, even the fat cats up in Rob Roy – and we need to represent. KGSR has taken a huge step in expanding the definition of “us” by sponsoring “Live at the Nutt,” a new concert series at the Nutty Brown Cafe out on 290, a few miles shy of Dripping Springs. Technically, the Nutty Brown is outside of Austin – in Cedar Valley to be exact – but spiritually it’s as Austin as the Backyard – not to mention naming a cafe Nutty Brown takes a lot of moxie, especially for a place without a poo-poo platter. The important point is that every Saturday evening at 7:30 you can check out great Austin musicians for a paltry sum, even by East Austin standards. This Saturday features two of Austin’s most innovative and entertaining songwriters, Southpaw Jones and Matt the Electrician. Southpaw is a lefty, some would say politically, but he’s actually left-handed, which means he plays the guitar all wrong and upside down. He writes incredibly ingenious, lyrically dense, humorous tunes and serves them up in a wailing farm-boy tenor that could easily land him a spot on Hee Haw, were it still around. Matt the Electrician is right-handed but left-brained in a big way. Yes, he’s an electrician, but he’s also a terrific musician, a prolific songwriter, and a fascinating storyteller. He’d be a pop star if he weren’t cursed with an abundance of intelligence and wry wit. Matt delivers the goods through a sly, tight-lipped smile – as if he just sucked in a huge hit of pot and is on the brink of an explosive coughing fit of giggles. What he’s really doing is waiting for you to catch up. Both of these guys are worth the gas money, even at nearly two bucks a gallon; or maybe you’re one of “us” who lives out that way and can just bounce on over on your mule?