Gift Horse at SXSW '09

hey there.

here's what we did at SXSW 2009:

Friday, March 13th: Play a really fun set at Caledonia with two of our favorite bands, TwinTigers and A.Armada. If you came to see it, thank you very much and we hope you had a great time. I, for one, think it was an unbelievable bill and all three bands were well worth the price of admission. See the 3/13/09 video from the previous post.

Monday, March 16th: Drive like hell.

Tuesday, March 17th: Drive some more. Brandon turns 27. He crosses the Mississippi River for the first time. We randomly run into Twin Tigers at a gas station in east Louisiana. We say hey and then roll out. They proceed to catch up with us and then smoke our asses on I-20 and beat us to Dallas, where we are playing a show together on the way to Austin. We arrive at the illustrious Hotel Lawrence in the historic East End where the elevator makes us whimper with fear. When we get to the room we realize that we can see the Texas Book Depository sixth floor window, Dealy Plaza, grassy knoll, and spot where JFK was shot out of our window:

The view from the hotel

There's an "X" in the road where JFK was shot

Vaughan maps out a conspiracy theory

The grassy knoll is grassy as hell

Much grassier in real life

Book Depository

The half-open window on the top right side of the building is where Oswald allegedly fired from

Hunter and I "keeps it real"

(our freaky ass old hotel in the background)

We spend about thirty minutes there and collectively agree that there was another gunman on the knoll. I'm convinced. Twin Tigers inform us via phone call that they are "post knoll" and at the venue guzzling beers. So we head off to find City Tavern. We are fed some delicious food and then Twin Tigers plays a ridiculously good set, as always. Immediately after the last note we are informed that it "was just too damned loud" and we share a laugh. Our set consists of our entire upcoming album in order. Things go well.

Twin Tigers are very very good

They played first...

...and then we came on

"Just too damned loud for Texas!"

Special thanks to City Tavern for being so good to us. Eat there and get a drink next time you're in the Big D.

Wednesday, March 18th: Get up early and grab breakfast at the Lawrence. Hit the road and make it down to Austin just in time for our first show at Cheers on 6th Street. Things are hot, crowded and crazy. The load-ins are insanity. I finally find a spot to park the van, run 19 blocks in the Texas heat and jump on stage. We play. Things go well again. We find the locals who are letting us post up at their place and relax. A few of us go see a good local band called Sunset.

Thursday, March 19th: Get up and shake off the sore muscles. Play another day set at Cheers and get to see L.A.'s Red Cortez. They were damn good and lots of fun. Later that afternoon we randomly run into our friends Ben and Nick from Arizona. We hang out with them on 6th street for a second and watch this kid on the sidewalk playing French music. He was awesome. Check out Arizona's SXSW 2009 recap for Blender. We head up Congress St. to Homeslice Pizza where Dead Confederate plays a killer slot to a grand crowd. I think they played three encores. On the way back we notice that the Texas state capital building is enormous:

Insert lame "everything's bigger in Texas" caption here

There are also a thousand people on a bridge at sundown waiting for a bunch of bats to fly out from under the bridge. Crazy. We play a night set at Agave's on 6th street. Arizona, being the cool dudes that they are, come to see us. The crowd is awesome and a bunch of people watch us on the street. I ran 19 blocks in record time once again.

Friday, March 20th: Take the day off to go see bands. Matt and I find Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Peter, Bjorn & John and Dinosaur Jr. on 4th street. We miss Dinosaur Jr. but decided that we were going to see them at the upcoming 40 Watt show with Dead Confederate anyway. So it's cool. Peter, Bjorn and John were my official "surprise of the week" and they put on a hell of a show. I think this is the night that Brandon saw Black Cobra, who rocks face. Pics from the Cedar St. Courtyard show:

Beach House

Grizzly Bear

Saturday, March 21st: Get up way too early and head to Side Bar to set up for the 40 Watt day party. We run the sound, and the following bands play the indoor stage: Dancer Vs. Politician, Venice is Sinking, Quiet Hooves, Pride Parade, Gift Horse, Dead Confederate, Twin Tigers, The Dumps. The Dumps play without a doubt the best set I saw all week at SXSW. There is blood, spit and beer cans flying. Outside stage: A.Armada, Maserati, Modern Skirts, Holy Liars, The Winter Sounds, Gentleman Jesse, Still Flyin', and Mean Creek.

Here we is...40 Watt day party at Side Bar

After packing up we head off to Club Primos on east 6th for our last gig of the week. It's a latin dance club. We eat at a very good and very authentic roadside taqueria in front of the club. Delicious. Hunter brushes up on his Spanish and promotes "Tecate, Tecate Lite y Heineken" into the microphone. The set ends with about 5 minutes of us making noise and all of our friends coming up on "stage" and making noise with us. We scare the barflies. After the show Hunter went to go see No Age up the street.

Sunday, March 22nd: We get up, once again waaay too early and head back to Athens. But before we do, we say goodbye to our gracious hosts Caitlin, Maya and Lindsey. They put southern hospitality to shame, made the stay very comfortable for us and showed us a good time. We can't thank them enough. We left Austin at about 8 a.m. Central time and got back to Athens at about 4 a.m. Eastern. See y'all next year...

videos, videos, videos....

A few videos for your viewing pleasure:

Gift Horse. 1/23/09. 
Missionaries live at The Caledonia Lounge. 
Athens, GA.

Gift Horse. 3/13/09.
October House live at The Caledonia Lounge.
Athens, GA.

John Cougar TrainingCamp. 2/12/09.
Rat Faced Granny and A History of Bad Men by The Melvins live at The 40 Watt.
Athens, GA.
Members of Gift Horse, Dead Confederate, The Dumps, and Blue Flashing Light. Be sure to click the "HQ" button in the bottom right first before listening to any of the following JCTC videos...

jjdrums is the far right drummer and he provided all of the JCTC video clips. His drumming will also make you require fresh underpants.

John Cougar TrainingCamp. 2/12/09.
GreenSky GreenLake by Dead Meadow live at The 40 Watt.
Athens, GA.

John Cougar TrainingCamp. 2/12/09.
Indian Bones by Dead Meadow live at The 40 Watt. 
Athens, GA.

John Cougar TrainingCamp. 2/12/09.
Beeswax by Nirvana live at The 40 Watt.
Athens, GA.

John Cougar TrainingCamp. 2/12/09.
Smoking in A Minor by Officer May live at The 40 Watt.
Athens, GA.

John Cougar TrainingCamp. 2/12/09.
I'm Waiting For The Day by The Beach Boys live at The 40 Watt.
Athens, GA.

born into this

As, promised, here's the new official Gift Horse blog. Rebel Forces is no more, but every post from that site can be found in our archives. Obviously you may disregard any reference to the previous blog in the archives, but I wanted to leave them up here because I'm really proud of some of the stuff that was written. I've decided to call this one born into this after a line from my favorite Bukowski poem, Dinosauria, We. Extract whatever meaning you like from the title, but here's the poem in it's entirety if that helps:

born like this
into this
as the chalk faces smile
as Mrs. Death laughs
as the elevators break
as political landscapes dissolve
as the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
as the oily fish spit out there oily prey
as the sun is masked

we are
born like this
into this
into these carefully mad wars
into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
into bars where people no longer speak to each other
into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings

born into this
into hospitals which are so expensive that it's cheaper to die
into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty
into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes

born into this
walking and living through this
dying because of this
muted because of this
because of this
fooled by this
used by this
pissed on by this
made crazy and sick by this
made violent
made inhuman
by this

the heart is blackened
the fingers reach for the throat
the gun
the knife
the bomb
the fingers reach toward an unresponsive god

the fingers reach for the bottle
the pill
the powder

we are born into this sorrowful deadliness
we are born into a government 60 years in debt
that soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
and the banks will burn
money will be useless
there will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
it will be guns and roving mobs
land will be useless
food will become a diminishing return
nuclear power will be overtaken by the many
explosions will continually shake the earth
radiated robot men will stalk each other
the rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante's Inferno will be made to look like a children's playground

the sun will not be seen and it will always be night
trees will die
all vegetation will die
radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
the sea will be poisoned
the lakes and rivers will vanish
rain will be the new gold

the rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind

the last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases

and the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
the petering out of supplies
the natural effect of general decay

and there will be the most beautiful silence never heard

born out of that.

the sun still hidden there
awaiting the next chapter.

So, how are we feeling? From now on it's born into this. Not named after The Cult's 8th studio album, or the popular Bukowski movie of the same moniker. It's a popular poem though. Maybe you've read it before. Either way, you have now. And if you're like me, you are a better person for having read it.