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SXSW Metal Report

[Read my recaps of Day OneDay Two and Day Three. -Ed.]

No Austin excursion for me and Kip is complete without another round of savory, tasty meat courtesy the Salt Lick, but due to our inability to find a ride out to Driftwood we had to get our BBQ on elsewhere. Rudy’s just outside of town came highly recommended by this trusted guy, so we piled into two cabs and headed out to… a gas station.

A BBQ joint at a gas station? Sure, why not. The line was just about out the door so we figured we couldn’t have gone wrong. After some deliberation, we settled on the following for the 6 of us:

  • 2 pounds of extra moist brisket
  • 1 pound of St. Louis Ribs
  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 1 link japeno sausage
  • 2 links regular sausage
  • creamed corn
  • potato salad
  • cole slaw
  • beans

And a round of delicious, cold Shiner Bocks. As we started to eat, a serious case of meat high set in. I don’t know if other people experience this or it’s just because we’re so happy to once again be eating delicious Texas BBQ, but we giggled uncontrollably like children for the next 45 minutes to the dismay of the good Christian families seated around us. It happens every year Kip and I make our Texas BBQ pilgrimage. That a member of our party left the table for a half-hour bathroom break didn’t help matters… poop jokes = always funny. Sorry man, we really felt for ya. Sounded painful.

I’m no BBQ expert… people have gotten on my case for saying the Salt Lick’s the best I’ve ever had. But this was some fucking EXCELLENT barbecue. The brisket, indeed, was extra moist and had a nice pepper crust that wasn’t overpowering. It’s cliche, but the ribs were indeed “fall off the bone” and super-succulent. The creamed corn was a huge win; our cab driver had actually suggested it and he was right on the money. The sausage fell short, but you can’t win ’em all. Rudy’s was fucking fantastic; a close second to the Salt Lick I’d say, and definitely a suitable replacement.

But we suddenly found ourselves in a pickle. It was 9pm and all the Austin cab lines were busy. How were we gonna get home? After an hour of trying to get through to cab companies, sending requests on their websites, even calling limo services… waiting, waiting, waiting,… jamming to Chromeo on my iPhone speaker… we ended up striking a deal with two high-school students who pulled into the gas station with a giant SUV. We ended up paying that mofo $10 a head so he made a killing, but it wasn’t much more than we would’ve paid for cabs and he really came through for us. Plus, he even made a pit-stop for us at our drug-dealer’s house! Total win!

Oh… right, this blog is about music.

The final show of our 2011 Austin adventure featured two NYC hometown heroes, Hull and Batillus (both of whom have free songs on Volume 2 and Volume 1, respectively, of our downloadable NYC Sucks comps) with one of our favorite Texas bands, Pack of Wolves (who have a new shirt design). But not before the grumpy door guy at Shiner’s Saloon turned this bearded buffoon away for having an expired license. You kidding, dude? Had to go all the way back to my hotel to get my passport. Bastard.

But Hull crushed, as they always do… it’s like their songs always feel like they’re about to end but they just keep going and going, which makes for an absolutely epic performance every time. Batillus played an abbreviated set because the club was running behind schedule, but they delivered an incredibly powerful performance nonetheless. At one point vocalist Fade Kainer seemed so legitimately angry he was visibly trembling with rage. And Pack of Wolves… I just love those dudes. They kicked our asses at our own CMJ show back in October, and they did so once again in their hometown. They headed out on a little southern mini-tour following SXSW and are working on new material, so it really seems like they’re picking up steam. Definitely keep an eye on these guys; big things are on the way.

And thus concludes our coverage of SXSW 2011 (unless Kip or Corey or Satan Rosenbloom decide to pipe in with their own takes). Our bodies were bruised and broken, our livers enlarged and poisoned, our minds beaten to the ground from 4 days of 14+ hours on our feet boozing it up. This past week has been refreshingly restful, and 5 days after the fact I’m still not feeling fully recovered. But it was all worth it. Always is.

See you next year, Austin.


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