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I was finishing up my aforeblogged Tulsa adventure when Angela asked if I was up for a Friday night trip to Austin to see Saints of Valory for her third straight week - bonus points for Courrier being on the bill. I love Austin shows of any variety, and that drive up and down 290 got a little too easy for comfort this summer...I said "Sure, why not?"
So last Friday after work, Angela and I piled into my car and hit the road to Austin, arriving right at dusk. We had a wonderful dinner at Galaxy Cafe of the starkest contrasts - her, the Untuna Tuna off the behind-the-counter vegan menu, me the Brie burger, cooked medium - then headed downtown to the Parish.
Trying not to be nerd-early, we found ourselves in a nameless pub on Sixth Street, squeezing in tail-end happy hour drinks and listening to an all-girl band warm up - Covergirl to be exact. Every fiber of my being cringed when they started sound checking "Psycho Killer." We stayed long enough to listen to them trash the Cure before bailing for our show. I will give them props for the clever name though...it made me smirk. Or maybe that was the whiskey.
I have been dying to go to a show at the Parish since SXSW - I spent most of that Thursday at work streaming NPR's showcase at the Parish on my computer, and I fell in love with the place for it's vibrant sound and seemingly perfect stage.
That love was nothing compared to walking into the venue in person. Up three flights of stairs, you enter the venue from the back with windows overlooking Sixth Street, and it feels like an early-century saloon-turned-dance hall with Victorian decor. Wooden floor and bar paired with scrolled, wrought iron light fixtures and gigantic wall hangings of fleur-de-lis style paisley print; bare bricks painted a luxurious deep red and a wall full of mismatched mirrors. It took Angela and I all of 10 minutes before we started designing the perfect wedding reception in this place.
Despite the venue being fairly empty, the sound was just a good in person as it had been online. (If not a tad loud due to the lack of bodies.) Drinks are a bit high-priced for Austin, but that's what happy hour whiskey is for.
Oh, did I mention she's also about five months pregnant? Angela and I agreed - total non-cheesy girl power moment kind of took us over during her set. And she was a sweetheart when we chatted with her after her set - esp. when I told her we shared a first name. Us Miranda's gotta stick together.
|Saints of Valory|
Saints played a killer set and definitely had the largest crowd of the evening. Every time I see them, I fall a little more in love with their music. Cannot wait to see them play Quiet Company's CD release next weekend.
Musical needs satisfied for the evening, we headed a couple streets over to Lucky Lounge for Saints of Valory's after party. Cheap Shiner, fun people and good conversation. Around 1:30 a.m. Angela and I finally dragged ourselves out of there to make the trek back to Houston. It was 4 a.m. when I finally fell into bed.
Angela and I had plans to hang out a bit Saturday with friends. Within minutes of waking up, she texted me to meet. We dragged ourselves through Starbucks and headed off to meet up with everyone. And on the way, the following conversation ensued:
Me: So...you know who's playing tonight?And so our Saturday evening plans were born. Despite being dead tired most of the day (some serious zombie action was happening on my part), around 4 p.m. we hopped in Angela's car, her "Boy" in the driver seat so we could doze a bit, and we were on our way up the barren wasteland that is I-45.
Angela: Ooh, isn't Quiet Company in Fort Worth?!
Me: Yeah...and the band they're playing with, the Orbans, are really good too. I saw them two weekends ago.
Me: Would we be insane to make that drive? Cause I kind of really want to go.
Angela: Let's do it!
Upon arriving, we crashed Lori's table on the outside patio - which thrilled Angela to no end. She'd been dying to meet my infamous QC pal. We chatted through the first band and headed inside for Quiet Company. Between the five in our group, we dutifully made up half the front row...which made me feel like I was 19 and 20 again, going to see The Effects on a Saturday night at Boston's.
Sometime Sunday, Angela, her boy and I eventually dragged ourselves back to Houston - but not without road challenges. After running into stand-still traffic on Highway 6 just south of College Station, quite literally driving through pastures on county roads and running into wildfire road blocks, we finally made it home in time for me to crash promptly at 6:30 p.m. and sleep for 12 hours - and then spend the rest of my week sick from a myriad of things finally catching up to me.
But it was totally worth it. Isn't it always? And the best part - as I finish up this post, Angela and I are already contemplating our next adventure...
As the two of us like to tell each other now, courtesy of Saints of Valory lyrics, everything's crazy - just how it should be.