My SXSW

Hayes Carll
Hayes Carll

7am: The boys all gather by the van to head down to the Four Seasons for a KGSR performance. The sun hasn't risen, and neither has the drummer, so we wait in the car listening to the radio. I contemplate drafting a "no predawn shows" clause in my rider and then decide against it. When we arrive the hotel is packed with more than 500 early risers, many of them hitting the lobby bar. Daylight saving time has thrown everything out of whack.

8am: I start off the set with a song about a three-way because, well, what else do you play in a hotel lobby this early in the morning? The crowd seems well-oiled, and I figure maybe some lucky indie rocker will benefit.

9am: Head downstairs to do an interview with a Philadelphia paper. I regret once again that I forgot to create a more interesting backstory for myself. "I'm from the suburbs, have no felonies or major addictions, and I really like Ray Wylie Hubbard, etc." Boooring.

11:30am: Off to a quick show for the people at GSD&M. Children were evacuated by the second song. I didn't read the part about it being an all-ages show, and by the time I notice the strollers, it's too late. Everyone is nice, and I get to look at some great Daniel Johnston artwork in the lobby.

3pm: Head to the Swan Dive for the Billy Reid/K-Swiss/American Songwriter party. I walk in the door, and someone gives me free shoes! Hell yes! I've never really gotten musician perks before, but things are looking up. As if that wasn't enough, there's an open bar for the performers. I generally don't start drinking before 6pm, but ... everyone else seems to be drunk, so why not?

4:30pm: We take the stage. I have five fans, and they're all exceptionally bad dancers. Their enthusiasm inspires me though, and I drink more whiskey.

6pm: My band has all left to go play shows with other lead singers. They've kept their career options open, and it annoys me. I don't feel good. I've had no food since my morning bagel, and I feel hungover before the sun has set. Lots of people talk to me, but I'm not sure I trust any of them to help me escape. I wander onto Sixth Street in search of food. Like a tourist at Mardi Gras, I'm steered into a bar where all the waitresses wear bikinis. It's called Bikinis. I'm uncomfortably aware that I'm in the coolest city in the world during the biggest event of the year where most every musical hero I've ever had is within a mile radius, and I'm at a knockoff Hooters. How did I get here?

6:30pm: Bar manager is a fan and comps the meal. I feel better about Bikinis. Now if I could just line up an 8am show here.


Tonight's Hayes Carll Lost Highway SXSW showcase: 9pm, ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
George Strait
Honky Tonk Time Machine (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, May 3, 2019

Texas Platters
Dale Watson
Call Me Lucky (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, May 3, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Hayes Carll

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle