Treasure MammaL's "Real Talk Diaries" Chapter Three
See also: Treasure MammaL's "The Real Talk Diaries: The Road to SXSW"
Fort Stockton is one of those small towns that takes you completely by surprise with its personality as you drive through it. The kind of place that makes road trips special.
We drive out of town and toward Lyndon B. Johnson's birth town, blasting Hot Chip remixes, and pass a neo-hippie van from Oregon, packed with bongos, guitars, and sexy, unshaved indie youth. Our passengers wave to one another. A cute girl with dreads and a nose piercing lights a cig without rolling down the windows. Maybe we'll all meet again in Austin, but probably not.
After several hours of lazy driving, we stop to take pictures at an emu and buffalo ranch. Reinvigorated, we continue to Austin, mood bouncier and radio music louder.
Entering town, we pass a promising-looking Goodwill, kabob shoppe, and "Counter Culture Frozen Yogurt" (because FUCK MAINSTREAM FROZEN YOGURT! THIS IS AUSTIN MOTHER FUCKERS!). Traffic is terrible, but it's fun to look into windows of neighboring cars ("Is that a Sikh?"). We pass the Oregon Indie Youths again--twice. Abe tries to honk at them, only to realize now that the horn doesn't work on our rental. What the fuck is going on?
As Abe winds through Austin side streets, the rest of us take in the kooky neighborhood architecture and cyprus trees. Abe improvises some lyrics: "No more grid format/in this city/hipster on a fucking bike/I wanna see my friends/I wanna see my friends."
We're crashing the whole week with an longtime buddy of Abe's, who we'll call J. It's an old white house with overgrown-but-luscious grass, a guest loft and sparse retro furniture. We can't enjoy the "Welcome to Austin" moment for long, though, because our first show is supposedly in less than an hour. We unpack, suit up at J.'s and head out immediately.
On the ride over to Club 1808, packed six to a car, we ask our host J. if there are any bad parts of Austin.
"Yeah, just one ... the one we're going to now."
It's true, the perimeter of Club 1808's block is flanked by centurions of crackheads, but they seem to appreciate our style and even cheer as we walk the block from our parking spot to the venue in spandex and western wear. That's a good sign, right? I think to myself. Crack heads have got to be harder to deal with than indie youth ... right?