Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Post-Pancho's Depression and More SXSW Notes



Firstly, let me thank everyone for the outpouring of sentiment regarding the closure of Austin's only Pancho's Mexican Buffet. Particularly my singing/songwriting Uncle Mark, who generously offered to take me to Pancho's in Houston to keep the cold turkeys (or enchiladas, as it were) at bay. I'm sure some folks find it hard to understand the allure of all-you-can-eat Tex-Mex slop, but when you're introduced to Pancho's as a young child, it's a hard beast to shake. The fact that Pancho's played the same escape valve role in my adolescence and young adulthood as the diner in Diner made the mark that much more indelible. One of these days, I'm going to write a book about Pancho's. Or at least a really long pamphlet.

Turning back to SXSW for a moment, my online review of the UNCUT showcase with American Music Club, Willard Grant Conspiracy and Micah P. Hinson (among others) can be found here. A full review of the showcase is slated for the June issue. I also wrote a boatload of stuff for the Austin Chronicle daily issues, including reviews of KVRX'S day party at Cream Vintage, the 13th Floor Elevators panel, The Grates, the Brian Wilson/SMiLE panel and The Crimea. If these reviews seem a little slapdash, it's because they were written in an hour while wanting to get back out on the streets as soon as possible to see more music.

I'm pleased with how my interview with Van Dyke Parks turned out. I wound up with more space to work with, which enabled me to include a bunch of his recollections about the L.A. music scene in the mid-Sixties. At last Friday's panel, I believe it was David Leaf who referred to Parks as "the Tennessee Williams of rock." That just about gets it.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

according to a friend of a friend who plays with AMC, eitzel was hell-bent for leather to give himself a heart attack the night of that showcase. reports say that he had 10 beers, 8 shots of tequila, and a number of bumps before taking the stage. i'm surprised he was conscious for their disaster of a showcase.

Anonymous said...

Although I don't really remember much about the food at Pancho's, as a kid my mom would drive me out to the one in Pasadena, to their behind-the-restaurant take-out-only section, and buy me their dayglo orange "queso" by the pint.

Don't know what it was about that stuff, but I'd usually have downed half the container before we even made it back to the house (Pearland). Haven't had their "queso" in over 20 years. Don't know if Ii could still stomach it, but I'd like to think so. Ah, fond memories...

~ Spare E

kathy said...

did latter-day Pancho's still offer souvenir glasses full of jello cubes? there's always still Patio in the freezer section. . .

and make UNCUT spell your name right in print!

Greg said...

Pancho's quit doing the Jell-O thing years ago, but I have a set of vintage Pancho's glasses I break out for company.

And I'll be getting the name thing straightened out in UNCUT. I didn't endure being referred to as "Greg Beets-Off" throughout adolescence to wind up like this!