The Austin Chronicle

Live Shots

Reviewed by Michael Bertin, March 16, 2001, Music

Li'l Cap'n Travis

P2 Party, Thursday 15

Could you ask for a more beautiful afternoon? Well, sure, you could ask, but you'd come across like a complete ass if you did. The sunshine was ubiquitous as the warm sounds of a smattering of local (and even foreign) bands filled the back yard of a North Austin home for a shindig with some sort of vague but official tie-in to the conference. The whole affair had a time-bending 1989 Slacker feel, as it were attended mostly by locals with the sole goal of hanging out and doing nothing except taking in the day. Things were running about an hour behind schedule, but no one seemed to care. In fact, the biggest concern anyone seemed to have was if and when another keg would arrive. In the background, locals Li'l Cap'n Travis delivered an appropriately loose, almost giddy seven-song set, which had its own déjà vu vibe. Watching the Cap'n this afternoon was a little bit like watching the Gear Daddies at Lounge Ax circa 1992. Sure, there's more fuzzed-out strum and less bright jangle to the local fivepiece, but the two bands share the same wit when it comes to writing about trashy living. Moreover, they both have that loose, almost-silly stage demeanor that makes you think they're up there more for their own amusement than that of anyone who might be watching. Coincidence? Sure. But both bands do hail from towns called Austin -- the Gear Daddies being from Austin, Minnesota, don'tcha know? So after an opening instrumental, the Cap'n tore into "I Don't Want to Go Out Tonight" from a future follow-up to their brilliant self-titled debut. Clearly the same mind, here Christian Braflaadt's, that wrote "I don't want to go out tonight, always turns out the same. Go out and get drunk and in a fight with some punk with a wallet chain" could have as easily penned the Daddies' "I drank so much last night I just feel stupid." Set closer and white-trash anthem "Life in Amarillo" ("We got nothing to see and nothing to block the view") could easily pass as a rewrite of "Heavy Metal Böyz" ("The mobile homes, the simple joys"). After a fake-out intro into Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl," Li'l Cap'n Travis stepped off the stage -- er, porch -- but not necessarily back into the present.

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