Monday, March 22, 2010

SXSW or What I did when I wasn't blogging.

SXSW is over.

It was a long but fun and rewarding 4 days. We were really happy with all of our shows and I'll talk about that in a second. First, I wanted to note that this SXSW marks Tommy and I's 4 year anniversary of playing music together. Also, the Austin Chronicle Music Awards results are in and we made the top 10 in 2 categories. After 4 years of playing in Austin we finally placed 9th in "Best New Band." While I'm really, really excited to have placed at all, I'm sure that the fact that we just now made it onto people's radars enough to qualify us as a Best New Band says something about how our career is going. We also placed 6th in "Best Performing Band: Indie." You can see the rest of the results here. Thank you so much for voting, if you voted. If you didn't vote, what's your problem, ass?

So on Thursday, everyone but Jeff got off of work around noon and headed downtown to the METV building where we were interviewed and performed an acoustic version of "My New Year's Resolution Is To Cope With My Mortality." Jeff couldn't make it and Paul was stuck in traffic, so we taught their intern, Wes, the part and had him stand in for Paul, in case you were wondering who was holding the E in the video.

Afterward, we headed down to 6th St. to begin promoting our show with some free hugs and some free music.

We handed out about 400 3-song samplers and hugged hundreds and hundreds of people. This continued for a few hours and eventually, it was time to load in to the venue for our official SXSW showcase. After load in, we had some wings or burgers and began to mentally prepare for our show.

I was nervous about the show being a flop because the crowd at the venue had been fairly sparse all evening, but I was pleasantly surprised when it came time for us to play and the venue was packed wall to wall. We had a fun, energetic, and entertaining show, and if you didn't know anything about music, you might have even thought it sounded alright, too. Apparently, the sound was pretty awful. I couldn't hear myself singing on stage but I guess it was all you could hear in the crowd. The biggest problem was when Jeff busted a hole in his snare drum halfway through the set and there wasn't another snare to be found. It still sounded OK for a little while but by the end of the set it sounded like he was hitting a lose piece of paper with a stick. Which, essentially, he was. But the show was still good because we felt like we still connected to the audience, so, no real complaints. A lot of people online were praising the show so we were pleased enough.

My only real disappointment is that Bill Murray was at our venue after we played and I didn't get to even see him because I was off retrieving the van from its parking spot in a neighboring county.

The next day at work, I was tired. Really tired, and my computer was down for most of the day, so I was effectively worthless. After work, I headed straight downtown to the East Side Art House where we played the Red-Blue Records/Vital Signs showcase. It was a great crowd and probably the best sound we had all week. We all had a great time, and Leah even got to come see the show. One of my favorite things about this show was that we played early and I was in bed before midnight.

On Saturday, we had planned to go downtown and do the Free Hugs thing again, but after feeling how rough my voice got on Thursday and how difficult it was to control after a day of shouting over the din of the festival to hundreds of strangers, I opted to take the day and rest. The other guys were supposed to go without me but the weather got really cold and wet, and no one seemed to be able to build enough steam to go. So I had a lovely day of rest and relaxation with my beautiful family, took treats over to our friend's family and hung out with them a bit, put Harper to bed, and then went downtown for our 3rd show, the Music For The City showcase, where we were the headliner.

That show, which was the 5th most RSVPed event for that day with over 1500 RSVPs, was great for a lot of reasons. The lineup was great for starters and included our friends Jason Poe, and the Soldier Thread. Todd and Hollie were there as well, and I finally met Jason's wife, so I guess I have to stop telling people that he made her up now. Mitch from The Rocketboys also showed his glorious face there, but possibly my favorite memory of this show is how we chose to warm up beforehand. The show went great and I'm told that the sound was pretty decent so chalk up another win.

Sunday was a beautiful day, and when I wasn't hanging out with Leah, Harper, and Darcy, I was doing yard work and pulling weeds. At least until I noticed the giant gaping hole in my hand where a blister had formed, popped, and opened. After that I was done for the day. I left at about 7:30 to head down to the Hole In The Wall on the UT campus for our final SXSW show. The show was good and though the crowd was pretty small, I think we earned some new fans.

So now it's over, and I'm looking forward to a calm, relaxing night with my wife. Sometimes, I stop and think about how amazing she is, and it's so overwhelming that it really does get hard to breathe. I wish I were making that up because I realize how cheesy it is, but I'm not. So it goes.

I also wanted to make this a post about my brothers in Quiet Company. I count myself incredibly lucky to know and play with Tommy, Matt, Jeff, and Paul (Paul doesn't play in the band but he's part of the team, all the same).

Tommy has been with me the longest and I hope that I can still say that 40 years from now. Our partnership has been a hugely advantageous blessing to me, and I'm grateful for and humbled by his devotion to my songs.

Jeff is one of my favorite people, he's also one of my favorite drummers. I don't just mean out of the drummers I know, either. I mean he's one of my favorite drummers in the world. I love watching him play and I'm really honored that, while he could've played for any band he wanted after Ethan Durele broke up, he chose to come play with us.

Matt is another treasure that Craigslist has bestowed upon me. I'm not sure how many people know this, but Matt is easily the most talented musician in the band. After a year of playing together, I'm happy to say that where music and friendship are concerned, I really trust him. I know that I can rely on him to give 110% whether it's playing bass, recording, or just bringing the van and trailer downtown (a job he got stuck with far more often than was fair this week). I've never heard him complain. He is the consummate professional and I love having him in Quiet Company.

Paul is the driving force behind Quiet Company. When we first started talking about bringing Paul in to manage, I was really apprehensive because he's one of my best friends and I was nervous about mixing business and pleasure. As it turns out, it was possibly the smartest thing we've ever done. I know very few people that work as hard as Paul, and you know he does it because he has genuine faith in his friends and the music we make, because obviously we're not exactly raking in the dough.

So in summation:
1. SXSW was awesome and we live in the greatest city in America, possibly the world.
2. I love my wife so much it makes me, and others, sick.
3. I love my band


  1. Congratulations on a good week. That's really awesome.

  2. Very nice post! Congrats on a successful completion of SXSW week.

    P.S. - I think most crowds are forgiving about sound at SXSW shows, so I wouldn't worry about it. :)

  3. I couldn't do anything SxSW because I was in St. Louis, but I think your wife and your band are pretty fabulous. :)

    Also I just want to say that your positivity is something I respect and admire about you. I'm always telling people how awesome you guys are, and I'm super proud of your Chronicle awards and your awesome showing at SxSW.

  4. I'm glad you guys had a great sxsw. I often thought about ya last week and hoped that it would all go well.

    You are a lucky guy to have so many people around you that you love and love you back just as much.