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sxsw2014 Sun Mar 16 2014
Archie Powell, oddly enough of Archie Powell & the Exports, brings us back to the beginning to round out the week's updates from the band. Here's hoping the boys' livers have weathered Austin intact!
"Well, we've gone and done it, folks. We've ruined the show."
I exclaim at our Good Land Records showcase yesterday after a particularly climatic and in-your-face bridge from our new record apparently destroys the circuit breaker and renders our microphones and amplifiers useless. Here's panic mode, for those of you not accustomed to purposely making an ass of yourself in public. When there's pervasive feedback and buzz saw vibes coming from all the speakers, at least you're acting the fool in a way you've rehearsed. These people have got to watch something for the next thirty minutes, though, and it's not their fault that you only got two and a half full-mast tunes in before the power went blooey.
Playing solo acoustic is definitely outside my comfort zone, especially when it's something that makes its necessity known under extreme duress. Good thing I don't take myself seriously, or this may have been more of a problem. I guess it's kind of like getting naked in front of all your friends, but I did that for real outside the Burlington on my birthday two years ago. Sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches. The power eventually came back on ("Mr. Hammond, the phones are working...") and we finished out our set with a Judas Priest cover. Just keeping it real, man. The whole thing ended up being a great hang.
Suds and buds: technical difficulties yet again fail to ruin the party
After that eye-opener, we made tracks for our session with the friendly folks at Jam in the Van, a live music web series whose concept is little more than the name implies. For the first time since we arrived in Austin, we're not rushed to do anything besides grab a beer and some home cooked tacos and load in our gear "Whenever you feel like it, man. It's all groovy" (it should be acknowledged that the slogan for this series is "Heady Vibes". When it was all said and done they gifted us a case of Lagunitas and a pocket-sized vaporizer).
Jam in the Van. Really. Right here in this van. It's not just a clever name.
Chicagoans unfamiliar with this series can liken it to a miniature Audiotree session without the interviews, or like a Daytrotter experience with professional quality video. We burn through three songs from our upcoming third LP Back in Black, re-congeal what semblance of brain matter we have left (it's seriously 100 degrees in that van), and return to our home base proud to know other people who are devoting their young lives to what appears to be little more than a labor of love. It just goes to show that it's all just rock & roll, man. Keep on chooglin', don't be a dick, and things will probably work out eventually.
Heady vibes. Exports feel great and look an absolute mess. (Photos courtesy Archie Powell)
Thus concludes Archie Powell & The Exports' play by play of SXSW 2014. It's been real. If you'll excuse me, I've got plans to hide in a dark corner of my bedroom and consume nothing but kale and mineral water for a month. Gotta rest up for next year's soiree, right? No time like the present.