The Train from Austin, TX
only spent two action packed days in Austin last week but it was enough, and aside from all the fabulous merge artists who played (multiple shows) i got to see a couple great things outside of the merge sphere....ok firmly within the merge sphere and perhaps the most affecting thing i saw all week was Lambchop -- down to two members for this show, Kurt and William Tyler -- with the Tosca String Quartet. odds were against this working: outdoors, incredibly quiet and competing seemingly with 3 or 4 other nearby shows featuring flailing drummers and chest-thumping drum machines, the stripped down 'Chop not only pulled it off but had folks weeping in the tent off 7th st.
beyond that, an afternoon set by Robyn Hitchcock with sideman Pete Buck and guest vocalist guy-from-Harvey Danger was a welcome diversion and i went out and got a latter period disc at Waterloo that i didn't have. also, got to see Mary Weiss of the Shangri-La's (see bad phone pic) play later that night at Red 9 (what do all these clubs do the rest of the year!?) after, and with, the Reigning Sound. this show was great! i'd never seen the RS and they played some of my faves including "If You Can't Give Me Everything" and then after a break Mary Weiss came out with the band and did some songs from her new record, and then they played "Train from Kansas City," one of the greatest girl-group moments of all time. she was cute and mom-ish but also seemed pretty comfortable after what i take it to be a long break from "the stage". she took a drag of Greg's cig and after "Train" i felt like my SXSW was complete.