Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Weekend at the College

I planned on taking it easy last night, but it didn't quite work out that way. It's a good thing the Chinese don't own sleep 'cause I'd be as in debt to them right now as Our Great Nation is.

The Cactus Cafe had Kathy McCarty and Gretchen Phillips on tap, so I parked in West Campus and made my way toward UT. With a lot of the student body doing the Texas/OU thing, it was a good weekend to be over there.

Nothing in West Campus looks the same anymore. Les Amis is a Starbucks and the Slacker house is a Quizno's. Hell, even the Double Dave's Pizza on West 24th has changed. It's now called Mustache Pete's. Nothing makes me hungrier for pizza than thinking about some guy's crusty 'stache.

Kathy McCarty and Gretchen Phillips were both excellent. Their respective bands, Glass Eye and Two Nice Girls, were two of the first Austin groups I really got into when I moved here. Glass Eye bassist Brian Beattie is in Kathy's backing band, and they played a handful of old Glass Eye tunes, some Daniel Johnston numbers from Dead Dog's Eyeball, and songs from her solo album, Another Day in the Sun. I hadn't seen a full set from Kathy since Glass Eye broke up, so the whole thing had me beaming.

The thing I like most about seeing Gretchen Phillips play is the spectrum of emotions she conveys. She has an amazing voice and she takes you from nearly-unbearable sadness to doubled-over laughter in just minutes. Gretchen's working on a disco record right now, of all things. I cannot wait.

At night's end, Kathy transformed into her "David Monikker" persona (Glass Eye occasionally played out as a metal band called Monikker) and Gretchen donned a Nashvillian wig for some duets. They did Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" and Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." It was hilarious.

On the way to the Cactus, I had glanced at the Hole in the Wall marquee and noticed the Dead Motley Sex Maidens were doing Karaoke Apocalypse. I served as their "guinea pig vocalist" at their first few rehearsals, so I had to duck in for that.

The Maidens sounded great as they plowed through Stooges, Misfits and Quiet Riot hits. The audience was well-boozed and gave spirited performances. In particular, one guy sang Dio's "The Last in Line" with the feral intensity of a street preacher people jaywalk to avoid. Great stuff.

I wound up singing KISS' "Calling Dr. Love." I kinda messed up by doing the single version while the band was doing the album version, but the DMSMs have spent a year time backing the hopelessly inebriated, so they didn't miss a beat on me.


jennifer said...

FYI, the "street preacher"-type who sang Dio was none other than Johnny Rat, AKA Control Rat, the local legend who put out punk 'zine Xyphoid Process in the '80s. You might also know him as the "Kennedy Conspiracy" guy at the book store in "Slacker." He was in town for the Biscuit memorials...

Greg said...

I once had a long phone conversation with Johnny Rat about buffets during my all-you-can-eat days. I didn't even recognize him!