Luv Doc Recommends: R.A.W. Fridays: DJ Kelly's Vinylogical Warfare
Chain Drive, Friday, February 18, 2011
Yes, there are bears in Austin. You might see one wading through the waters of Bull Creek or maybe hiking through the greenbelt, but if you really want to see bears in their natural habitat, your best bet is the Chain Drive on Willow Street. So maybe they're not the type of bears you were hoping to see, but they're much less dangerous. Plus, the bears at Chain Drive can dance, drink, and hold intelligible conversations. They also sport plenty of fur, if that's what you're into. Of course, Chain Drive isn't just about bears … or cubs or grizzlies or otters or ewoks or wolves or gorillas; it's about being comfortable with who you are, even if you're a jock, a twink, or a queen. There's some leather too. In fact, Chain Drive might be the closest thing Austin has to a leather bar, but on any given night you can probably find more leather at the Broken Spoke. (Hint to PETA activists: Google that shit, but make sure you roll strong.) That doesn't mean you shouldn't rock those assless chaps if you're so inclined, just know that you'll probably be rocking them solo if you do. You could probably do the same at the Spoke, but it's doubtful you'll make it past the door unless your butt fur has the density and color variation of a palomino pony – and really, if you're paying your stylist that kind of money, you're probably not hanging out at the Chain Drive. Why? There's nothing high-dollar about it. It's dingy, poorly lit, and has a Goodwill design aesthetic. There's no dress code, valet parking, or stalls in the bathroom. And it's perpetually rumored to be closing. In short, it's exactly what every Austin bar used to be back before the trust-funders and condopolitans started taking over. Yes, they would love the Chain Drive … just enough to suggest maybe cleaning it up a bit, giving it a new paint job, and having a really good interior designer come in and adjust the feng shui. Pretty soon you have a valet stand, a douche in a headset with a list, and a roomful of people trying desperately to impress one another. More importantly, you're paying $4 for a beer and $8 for a cocktail. Ew. It's enough to make you want to start growing chest hair and wearing leather. Fortunately, at Chain Drive you don't necessarily have to … and well drinks and beer are no more than $2 … some nights even less. That's crazy affordable. Just remember: They don't take credit cards, and parking is a bit of a bitch. Then again, if you want to party Downtown, parking is always going to be a bitch. Don't be a hater; be a celebrater. Celebrate the fact that Austin still has a few remaining unpretentious establishments that, instead of hiring a designer to create a weathered look, actually have a weathered look. Woot! This Friday night you can enjoy some unpretentious fun at the Chain Drive with D.J. Kelly's Vinylogical Warfare, a dance party that features classic rock, Eighties pop, and trash disco spun from original vinyl by a real, live bear! Cheapo drinks and old-skool dance music? Grrrrr!