04.21.18—Barracuda, Austin, TX. (Screaming Females, HIRS, Hey Jellie)

Woke up too early, and immediately began packing up the sleep gear. Emily greeted us with some very cute pets. No bath (Siiiiigh) but I did get to check out the tub, which might be worse than simply walking it all off. The bath is gorgeous, jets, side faucet, and a giant mirror for scandalous selfies. A shame.

Oh well, out the door I go with my “Cool Cig,” in search for coffee. We are quick on the move as we have drive in front of us. During the drive, I find myself thumbing through instagram to pass the time. In the “Stories” feed, I see a post from a friend: “Looking for a roommate to live with myself and a friend in Oakland. Femme centered, no bros/no cops.” Fully expecting to get rejected, I reply. “I’ll bite—Far from bro, not fond of the cops, tired of living in Chicago and have been looking for an in out west for years. I know I’m not the ideal candidate, but what do I have to lose?” I get a response within an hour—“Hey! I’m actually really into this idea, can we find a time to do a facetime interview tomorrow? We have some interviews today but tomorrow we are free.” We find a time, and I start freaking out. When the band offered me the tour dates at the beginning of the year, I voiced my concerns about where I’d be after tour. I was fully expecting to lose my job at the bar for taking too much time off, and expressed that to both the band and my boss. Boss assured me, “No, the job will be here when you get back, but also don’t let that be the deciding factor in what you want to do with your life.” The move in would be for June, which is much earlier than I was planning, but here we are—you can’t control these things when opportunities present themselves. The rest of the drive, I’m distracted by possibilities of moving, and changing my life in a big way. Changing it in a way I haven’t since 2001. Big leaps, big fears.

We get to Austin and immediately head to Otherside Deli. Otherside is a food truck owned and operated by the bands longtime friend from NJ, Connor. Parked behind The Back Lot—a dive bar on the west end of Austin—Connor busts his hide making delicious corned beef and pastrami sandwiches (amongst other things—lots of veggie options, and some of the best waffle fries I’ve ever had.) Chillin in the patio, my mind can’t turn off this development. It’s freaking me out, and yet I’m also preparing myself for more rejection. Connor is a sweetheart, and feeds us dank veggie sandwiches, and one of the best Reuben’s I’ve had. Probably the best one, to be honest. You won’t lose if you go to the Otherside. Get there.

Roll up to Barracuda, and we do a quick load in. Lots of table space for merchandise. We finish the soundcheck quick, and are handed some delicious local seltzer—perfect for such a muggy afternoon. Marissa decides to take a nap, so Mike, Jarrett and I go for a walk. We have no idea where to go. Up and down 6th street, we are looking for…”something cool.” I can’t stop thinking about this possible life change but I try to keep to myself about it. We text our friend Edan who lives here, and he recommends The White Horse Saloon, a honky tonk bar down the street from Barracuda. We’re psyched. A block away, I tell the guys “Here’s how it’s gonna go…we’re gonna walk in there, there’s going to be a country western band playing. They’re gonna be playing ‘Mama Tried,’ and we’re gonna get three Pacificos.” I don’t know what kind of crystal ball I was on, but sure as shit, we walked in and a country western band was tearing up ‘Mama Tried.’ THREE PACIFICOS, please!

Walk back over to Barracuda, and we meet Hey Jellie which is members of Erase Eratta. They’re chill, and funny. I saw Erase Eratta summer of 2002 at Fireside Bowl with Grand Ulena and Lightning Bolt. It was an afternoon show, and it was wild. I absolutely loved that band so I’m stoked to see this new project tonight. Screamales fan Erin from Houston drove up for the show with some friends, and it was a joy to see her. My old friend from Chicago, Christine showed up and we catch up. Things are tough and we’re trading war stories of survival in such shakey conditions, but I’m truly confident she’ll be okay. Oh hey, what’s up Ted Leo. Ted’s in town for a comedy fest, and he rolls through. I also spy the wildly talented Annie Alonzi from Austin. They’re an incredible tattoo artist, and I compliment them on their work. I’d die to get some work done by them. I’d be remiss to leave out the homie Pablo, who also drove up from Houston for the gig. He came through with a big bag of snacks and treats, for us. Thanks Pablo. We chew the fat over some hard times; things are tough! But we all gotta push through.

Hey Jellie kicked things off with rhythm heavy, dance-y set complete with Black Sabbath and Grauzone covers. Very very cool. HIRS get the crowd lit with their brutal pummel. People are a-freaking out, and Jenna is tearing the stage apart—literally throwing the stage rugs towards the merch tables! Wild. Screaming Females—I don’t know man, I personally thought they ripped it, but I know they felt like they were struggling. I’m not sure what happened, and the crowd was going legit buck. Everyone’s their worst critic, and I try my best to cheer them on but I’m on the outside. I get the way when I think my band is hitting clams up there, so I get it. Just hard when—on the outside—I’m hearing rippers and jams, and seeing people bug the hell out but you know your people didn’t have a good time with it.

Load out, and part ways. The band is going to crash with their old friend Ben, but I’m crashing out with my old bud Amy. We rarely get to see one another, so we head back to her pad for beers, a late night meal, lots of gabbing and an early morning screening of that Elvis documentary on HBO. Crash out on a comfy couch before the sun can come up.