Tour Diary: Austin (US / Day 5)

Ranking Cheese Doodle: H-E-B Intense Cheese Flavored Puffs* – Excellent   H-E-B is chain of supermarkets and these were their store brand. And finally a good damn doodle.

Texture: Good – Rougher than a Cheeto, but not enough to abuse your delicate mouth-branes.

Flavor: More salt than cheese but we destroyed this bag. I had to pour bottled water over my fingers to get the orange off. You know what I’m saying’?

Idiocy from the Van: Square Bob Sponge Cake and his best friend Pee-C-Pee-Oh

The drive from Dallas to Austin is fairly short but we dicked around enough to make it seem as endless as a normal day. We went straight to Torchy’s, which is a small chain but is so good. Migas and fried avocado tacos with a side of street corn for me thank you very much.



We went to the club but they weren’t going to be ready for us until 9:00. As Olie was quite keen to see a bit of Austin we went downtown. It was just so hot and parking was its usual nightmare, but when we finally cowboy walked our way to 6th street we heard an Athena level skull splitting racket and whiffed the sharp smell of exhaust. We turned the corner and just like that, a biker rally for Olie! Can’t get more American than that. 6th street was lined on both sides with every kind of chopped crotch hog you could imagine.


The street was blocked off and there were two rows of orange cones down the middle of the street allowing the bikers to promenade in small groups in front of their two-wheeled peers. Mostly this involved revving their engines to create the maximum noise and smell. It was neat to get to see all those people and all those bikes, and I love the sense of community exhibited, but it wore thin pretty quickly for a non-aficionado like myself. So we went inside a fancy hotel and had wee chocolate cakes and éclairs.

Then back up to the Spider Ballroom. The Spider is divided into two sides, the ballroom, which is a standard rectangle with a stage, and the café, which is a series of mostly open to the air spaces with a hodge-podge of weird junk scattered around. I liked it.

My delicate and shame-filled northern sensibilities began to understand the desire to wear as little clothing as possible in this heat. As usual there were hours to kill. It’s too boring to just hang in the club, and you can’t just sit and drink outside with all the sweltering people because of the slippery slope to shitty shows and alcoholism. So I cajoled Olie into walking to the Buffalo Exchange vintage clothing store and Antone’s Record store. Both were fine, I didn’t spend any money, and an hour had passed quite nicely. I took a left out of Antone’s and walked up the sidewalk in order to find a quiet place to call my already-trothed. With my head down I came to the end of the building and found myself surrounded by approximately 100 naked people on bicycles. I froze, turned around like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers, and walked back the way I came as if that was what I had intended all along. Almost immediately the group left the staging area and whooping and hollering rode en masse right passed me on the street. There were as many wangs as tangs, as many guts as gunts, and a relatively wide age range, although they were oddly almost completely homogenous in skin color. Not that it matters a whit, but I have no problem with anything promoting body acceptance; although I was concerned about the bicycle seats. I find them uncomfortable enough to start with without them actually touching my prostate. And how did we get to the point in western culture where something as functional and beautiful as the human breast has become so sexualized that a mother can’t breast feed or young women have to learn how to ignore ogling before they’re out of high school? I’m as guilty of it as the next, but it really is time to cut that shit out.

Residual Kid opened up the show back at the ballroom. They were a trio of youngsters playing pop-punk and they have a good-sized following of their own. I can easily envision them blowing by us in their solid gold bus while we spin our wheels in the ditches of apathy. AWA played even better than the night before. As for us, it was lovely to see such a nice crowd, seeing as we played to five people our last visit to Austin. It was fun. We played a few songs we hadn’t played in awhile, and said goodbye to the small group who had followed us from Tulsa to Dallas and then Austin.

We had had sweaty goodbye with AWA and that was that.


Tomorrow is a drive day.


*Spanish lesson for the day. Botana de Maiz = Cheese Flavored Snack. At least according to the bag. My rudimentary Spanish would indicate that it says snack of corn though. So maybe Hispanic customers are drawn to corn and gringos want cheese?