My SXSW

By Mike Scott

My SXSW

It's hot in Austin, and after landing at our hotel, Wickham and I go for a stroll in our shirt sleeves. Denny's and Starbucks are across the street. No contest. After our coffee and croissants, we stick our noses into Denny's anyway and smell the cooking fat. It's the tang of the Fifties, I imagine, and it's reassuring, in a kinda comforting-cum-bonkers way, that it still exists somewhere.

Later, we hook up with my Twitter pal, Austin's own Kathy Valentine, for an Italian meal, and go from there to the Continental Club, where Kathy's playing a three-song set with her band the Blue Bonnets. Before they do, a Nashville trio called the Howlin' Brothers takes the stage. Banjo, 'monica, and upright bass. They're good. Damn good. The banjo player has a sweet voice and looks like Ezra, the Waterboys' American drummer.

I'm digging the Club with its old-school decor and funky shack atmosphere; a real love grotto for live music and good times. In the deliciously scuzzy poolroom that doubles as a dressing space, Kathy introduces us to her Blue Bonnets bandmates, and then they hit the stage in an explosion of retooled Chuck Berry-meets-punk riffs. Kathy and fellow guitarist Eve trade machine-gun-burst solos. Singer Dominique, a one-woman charisma army with a smile calibrated to waste every male heart in the room, drills to the center of the Earth with her bass, while skinbasher Christie gives the drums the thorough hiding they deserve.

As I listen and look around me, I'm struck by how incredibly American the scene is: club, band, sound, songs, the feeling in the crowd. The real America, or at least some sweet, souped-up, fun-hungry version of it, is right here – right now.


11am, Yahoo! Music taping, Brazos Hall (badge holders only)


1pm, Industry of Music presented by Blurt & Dogfish Head, Ginger Man (free and open to the public)

Artist / Band: Mike Scott

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
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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