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Saturday, July 18, 2009

I spent a lot of time in the office this week. We're really winning hearts and minds with our efforts. Ah, finally, after 2 and a half years people are finally understanding the benefits that my skillset has to offer. By Friday, going to see a concert was exactly the kind of reward I was looking for. What better concert to go to than one of my favorite local bands, The Mercers. It was a CD release party for their EP, "Hovercraft". Not sure what the title has to do with the collection of songs but, it's a title. I sent out an invite to about 30 people but, nobody responded to the e-mail. Strange. Anyway, Cory showed up at the house after I got home from work. We had dinner with Matt, who went to the bar on River Road for a concert with Nate who came down from Dallas for the show and some campin' and some toobin'. Matt has to work tomorrow... um... today but, he didn't want to have to drive back to Austin too late so, he took a sleeping bag.

Cory and I got down to the concert at The Parish about an hour before The Mercers went on so, we hit the bar next door. Daddie's, I think it was. I chatted up the waitress but, she acted too busy to talk to me. I never know if I'm being entertaining or annoying. Judging from most waitstaff that I've tried it on, I'm about half and half. Once the baseball game was over, the bar cranked the music again. Just in time to go back next door and watch the show.

The Mercers played a few random songs, then the 7 songs from the EP and about 3 more songs. I only recognized Disco Nixon (from the EP) and Un-America from their previous album. About halfway through the set, some chick ran her fingers through the hair on the back of my head but, when I turned around she had either run away or decided to blame the prank on her friend. I kept a smile on and gave her a "yeah, right" nod. I think she was tired of standing behind two 6-footers that were nestled up near the stage. I get that a lot.

Towards the end of the set, I scanned the audience looking for "shorties" and spotted Chris Stutsman who was a friend of Bo's and formerly the drummer of the band former known as Choking Ahogo (now The Mercers). I see him at Peter's and Brian's (and Eric's and Evan's) shows about 90% of the time. He had brought his wife (who's name escaped me then, and continues to elude me). I pointed him out to my brother and he waived them over. Cory, Chris (who is also over 6') and I were now a wall of meat no doubt pissing off the crowd from the stage back to the bar. I'm not as concerned as I used to be. If we hadn't started the show at the front, there would have been a huge gap between the stage and the crowd. I practically did them a service :P.

After the show ended, we headed back down 6th Street, which by now had been cordoned off so drunks can walk into the street without fear of a beat down from the bike cops. Most of the way up the block a group of concerned Christians were carrying signs about sinning and belting out dogma through a megaphone. Damn annoying. Worse still, the signs were condemning "drunkenness", which is kinda the point of 6th Street. Clearly, they missed the *point.

*I'm not asking for commentary on how I shouldn't be annoyed by concerned Christians, so don't bother.

Cory and I finally made it home, cracked open the last Coca-Cola from the fridge and split it into two glasses with Treaty Oak Rum, which made a nice night-cap. We both fell asleep on the couches in front of the TV watching Brendon Frazer in George of the Jungle. This movie is better with your eyes closed by the way. I woke up around... now, and decided to start blogging again. Not sure why but, why fight it? It's fun to do when I have the time and when I get inspired.

I'll try to get in a few words each day this week to cronicle my time in San Diego.

Hopefully, I'll be overhauling my site soon so I can post more pictures and incorporate other social-media crap-ola on the front page. Until then, enjoy more of the same.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Last week was a blast. It was spring break, so most of my office was out on vacation. This allowed me to work from home and stay off my ankle. Once the work week was (essentially) over, I did a lot of concert hopping for SXSW. On Monday, Matt came into town to hang for a few days. So Tuesday night, I met Matt at Opal Divines on West 6th and we bar hopped all the way to the beauty bar where The Mercers played. Of course, since this was a SXSW show, they were on a short time schedule so they didn't play long. I can't wait until the guys get into the studio and put the songs that they are playing live onto a album. At the end of our route we met up with Mariah and Laura on East side where Todd P was hosting a very non-SXSW concert.

The next day, Matt left for home. I worked from home again. At the end of the day, Cory and I went over to Mariah's for some drinks on the patio. On Friday I took a half day, saw The Mercers at the show at Antoine's and caught back up with Todd. By Saturday, I was pretty burnt but, I still managed to get out to Waterloo park where Cory and I met up with Marilyn and I got actually burnt on my neck. Later, we met up with Marilyn's friend Laurie and I went to one last SXSW show at the Lucky Lounge for some good rock and free drinks (until the free drinks ran out).

By Sunday, I was ready to put some work in on the house. So, Cory and I attempted to finish up the first French door install. The trim went in beautifully with very little trouble but, the extension jambs (which are required on an out swing door, since the frame sits a few inches outside of the house) had to be cut at strange angles to match the sheetrock on the inside. All that's left to do is caulk the trim, fill the voids with low-expanding foam and select and install the trim for all the doors in the house. The selection of the interior trim will have to wait until the walls and ceilings are prepared for painting. I'll post pictures once I bring in my camera.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Angels and AirwavesOn my way back from The Flying Saucer, Tess called me up to invite me to see Angles and Airwaves. I had already planned on going to see the aftershow with a Mariah (a new friend!) to see The Mercers. So, all that was required was for me to buy one ticket and everybody would be happy (no problem). Fortunately there were extra tickets at the box office. I had to ride the bus home becuase, by 6:30 it was already dark.

I got back home and watched an episode of This Old House and an episode of Shin Chan while Tess got ready. Tess dropped by and drove me to Stubb's where we met Mariah (for the first time!). I had alreday bought an extra ticket so we went up a block to Club deVille for a quick pint before the show. The show was pretty good but, I've only heard Angels and Airwaves from a distance at Fun Fun Fun Fest. I don't even know if they've ever got any airplay. So we waited out the concert and went inside where The Boxing Lesson was already playing. I'd never heard them before but, they were good! Tess took off because she wanted to wake up early and run.

Erik, Peter, Ethan and RayMariah and I went up to the second floor to watch the rest of The Boxing Lesson's set. As we watched, I really noticed the drummer, Jake just going crazy. Sweeping his arms through the air between hits, closing his eyes tight and head banging to the music, and really just having an awesome time. Man, he played the drums like a 2 year old wailing on pots and pans. I would definately go see that band again.

Finally, The Mercers got on stage and played about 6 songs. I only recognized two but, the rest were really good. How much longer do we have to wait for the new album? (I know, I know. Going out to see The Mercers two times in one week? That doesn't make me a groupie)

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Friday, February 01, 2008


Cory and I met Jen (a different Jen) out at Woodrows around 8. Jen had finished a half-marathon over the weekend and had recovered enough to join us for a drink. We cycled through a few beers then went down 6th to get to the Parish Room to see The Mercers play. The first band was already playing when we got there. They sounded a bit like Unrest which was good.

While they were tearing down their equipment, Jen asked when the The Mercers were going to play. I wasn't sure, so I looked around the room for Ray, Erik or Peter (sorry Ethan, I still don't know what you look like behind all that drum equipment) and didn't see any of them. I said as much as Peter walked up and greeted Cory and I. We figured out they were going on after the next act, who were setting up as we talked. Peter excused himself to grab a beer before the show and we moved a little closer to the stage. Jen

The next band was decent but, I was really waiting for The Mercers to hit the stage. We inched a few feet closer to the stage as the second band tore downs and were replaced. The experience was short (only 5 or 6 songs) and only one song was off the current album (Unamericana) but, all of it was awesome. Peter still has blindingly fast strumming and clear loud lyrics, and Ray still holds down some killer baselines. Erik now has two keyboards, and switches to second guitar seamlessly and Ethan keeps every song together with expert drumming.
The last new song was really good. I can't wait until the new album comes out.

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

My phone buzzed a few times and I picked it up. It was my phone reminding me of The Mercers show at Trophy's. I tried to convince the group to go but, only ended up getting Cory (mostly because I was his ride home). As we walked through the door, I saw Peter standing in front of the bar on crutches. We stopped, said "hi" and shook hands. After Cory and I nabbed a few BLs we talked with Peter for a bit. It was a little loud so I missed the answer to Cory's question about how Peter had screwed up his leg. It got quiet enough to hear Peter talk about the last time we caught up with him at Antoine's and it occurred to me, he was talking about some the details from that incident that I had blogged about. I figured that my blog was pretty small press and would mostly go under the radar but, Peter had read my blog. At the end of the show, we ran across Ray (who had apparently also read my blog) and he asked if I was going to blog about the show and (as you can plainly read) I did.

The Mercers - half of the band sitting downArtsy image of The MercersThe set The Mercers played was mostly new stuff again, which is fine by me. At least there were a few in there which is more than you can say for Battles who play nothing that has ever been recorded before. The show ends up being a big disappointment for anyone who dug a few tunes from the CD (or digital media) and expected to sing along at the concert. Not that Battles has much in the way of lyrics from what I could tell (see tomorrow's post). As you can see, Peter had to play the entire concert on a chair, which reduced (but did not stop) the rocking. They played for about an hour but, since I'm writing this so long after the event, I can't remember much about the music other than it being good (as usual). Cory used his camera to record one of the new songs and it ended up with pretty high quality audio. I'm looking forward to the new tracks up on the website but, judging from how long it took me to blog this event, I can't complain. Sadly, I missed the next show last Thursday at the Beauty bar, and I'll probably miss the next show in San Angelo. Well, it's good that they are getting so much stage time here in Austin. The music is really good.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

The Mercers played a set of about 9 songs and only 3 of them were off the current album. A few of them stuck out in my mind and I can't wait to hear the studio versions. A very good, however short, show. When we got there Peter (lead singer) was standing outside in front of Antone's. Since Cory and I have been going to Choking Ahogo (Peter's previous band) and The Mercer's shows since 2002, he recognized us immediately. Bo had introduced us to the band since he worked with Chris "T-Bone" Stutsman who was the drummer for Choking. Chris introduced us to Peter and Brian who comprised the rest of Choking Ahogo. We shook hands and started to talk about the show.

I mentioned that I was listening to the current album almost non-stop and before I could tell Peter that it was because I only had 3 CDs in my car and a 1/2 hour commute to work, some tallish bespeckled guy rolled up on us and started asking rapid fire questions. "Is this band any good?" "What's your name?" "Are you in a Band?" "I work over there" "I just moved to Austin" "Are you in a band?" "High Five?". It got old quick and Peter made a quick exit.

The guy stood so close I could feel his body heat which made him slightly out of focus and made me very uncomfortable. I thought we ditched him when he made a move for the ATM and we ducked into the club but, he followed us in and quickly located us. I tried to be mean to make him go away but, I guess I'm too nice a guy. Cory tried to make a few cuts on the guy but, during the windup he would cut you off and point out the chick across the bar that was spilling out of her shirt. He blabbed about getting his shoes shined on his way back from the bathroom and I tried to ask if that was a euphemism but, was cut off again and ignored. Real bad conversation with a really irritating guy. I really wanted to tell him to move to the woods and live deliberately but, found it best to ignore him. Fortunately, he could not hold his beers and disappeared about 3/4 way through the the time that The Mercers were on stage.

After the concert we went across the street to The Ginger Man for a few pints. They were out of St. Arnold's Oktoberfest, so I changed my order to Optimator. After our second beer and moving from the deck to a booth to a cozy couch corner, someone played The Police on the jukebox and we thought it was a pretty cool song to exit the bar to, so we left.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm planning on seeing my favorite local band The Mercers at Antone's tonight. Hey, since I have such a huge fan base in Austin, you could use this opportunity to meet Alien-e in person at the concert. How cool is that? It will be like real-life where's waldo, except I don't have a red and white striped shirt, or glasses.

Oh, Duffy, The Great American Drink Fest, uh... Beer Fest is not until next week. There's still time to purchase tickets! I do plan on going next year, and the year after, and forever until I don't have any more friends that live in Denver or I somehow lose a taste for Beer.

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