Strip Down to Texas Tour - Day 5: El Mercado

The day started characteristically enough...I woke up a little bit before noon, took a quick shower whilst everyone else slept (except Stuart, the only one who gets up earlier than me), made some coffee in Vic's one hitter machine (I had to acrobatically lean over the air mattress and its occupant that consumed most of the kitchen floor to accomplish this), and decamped to the shade of the back porch to drink said coffee and squeeze in my 15 minutes of daily meditation.

Vic went out and bought a metric pantload of breakfast tacos for everyone. It was exactly what everyone needed and it hit the spot (we love you, Vic!).

Stuart and I decided to walk downtown to scope out the SXSW musical action on 6th Street. It was about a 30 minute walk, and much needed exercise. When we got downtown, we went into an Irish pub that was showcasing Australian musicians and stayed for a couple of acts. The rest of the SUNSPOT crew had taken the van downtown and were waylaid by bad traffic, but we eventually caught up with them at Touche Bar. The group walked a few blocks up 6th to the Star Bar where Roy Elkins, CEO of Broadjam, was hosting a small social. Broadjam is a Wisconsin based company that specializes in music licensing, such as soundtracks for film and TV.* I was surprised to see the ex-guitarist, Joe, of now defunct Madison glam metal band TIGER CLUTCH bartending at Star Bar. I miss that band.

Mike of SUNSPOT had Broadjam duties to attend to, and the rest of the band needed to prep for their show at El Mercado tonight, so once again Stuart and I branched off and ended up at Darwin's Pub where a surly goth looking waitress served us gyros, our lunch. She passive aggressively switched Stuart's and my orders, which we didn't detect until we had taken a few bites, but that was rather inconsequential to us getting some grub into our bellies.

Stuart was coordinating to meet a friend downtown, but I was eager to keep moving and get more exercise. So I hoofed it back to Vic's, mostly uphill, stopping at El Mercado on the way to check out the venue for tonight's SUNSPOT show. The other band staying at Vic's, GLASS MANSIONS, was also on the bill, so I was looking forward to finally getting to hear them rock.

Phase 2

My buddy Brad, who lives in Austin, met me at the El Mercado Mexican restaurant, which is only a block from Vic's house. We ate some pretty grubbin' food before heading into the attached music venue, called Backstage at El Mercado.

The second of the six bands on the bill had just finished rocking and SUNSPOT, who were playing next, were loading in their gear. I helped Mike set up his Twitter livestream and then Brad and I watched SUNSPOT's great set. The venue had great sound and lights, which made it even more impressive. The bands that followed SUNSPOT were all rocking too. GLASS MANSIONS played great music that I will describe as heavy techno synth pop with grungy guitar overlaid on top. It was sweet. The last band was J AND THE 9s, fronted by an energetic chick singer named Jeanine. All the bands had at least one female member, which was cool, though I am unclear on if that was accidental or by design.

Broadjam was the primary sponsor underwriting the El Mercado show and Roy Elkins gave a presentation about Broadjam and its services for musicians and songwriters, offering discounted memberships for those supporting the El Mercado performances and its organizer, Music Madness ATX, which is Vic's company that promotes musical happenings around Austin TX.

After the last band, everyone came back to Vic's for an after party. He had bought a keg and some sandwich trays earlier in the day. It was been reported to me the next morning that the party continued until the break of dawn, but I went to bed long before that. The party was still going strong when I did, so the reports were likely true.

Here are some overflow pictures from the day.

*Broadjam.com is a global community and resource for musicians and their fans with a library of 500,000+ songs and 150,000 members. Broadjam helps musicians promote their tracks and has music licensing opportunities to get independent songs in films, TV shows, and ads.

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