Tour, Day 20 – Flipnotics

Zilker Park

Zilker Park

Taco Stand

Breakfast Tacos!

One of the things crammed in the trunk of my car is my soccer bag, complete with a couple of pairs of socks, cleats, a ball and a pump. During the past 3 weeks, I’ve had the most meager level of physical activity and outside of pulling the ball out once for a very brief juggling session by myself, I’ve not used any of it. Today, I finally did some exercise! I arrived to Austin in the morning and found this massive, beautiful park – Zilker Park – not far from tonight’s venue. I kicked the ball and ran around like a maniac for a couple of hours. Something about seeing such a large expanse of grass like that pictured at left completely releases me. I love it!

Miles Driven: 245
States: Texas
Lodging: Camping at South Llano River State Park near Junction, Texas


Baristas at front of Flipnotics

Coming out of college, I got my very first “real” job in Houston, Texas. During my year living there I went to Austin a number of times and had the opportunity to meet a musician, Matt the Electrician, through a friend. I have been following Matt ever since. One of the places I saw that he plays regularly – in addition to frequent trips to the Netherlands and Denmark – was a bar/coffee house/music venue called Flipnotics. I thought the name always sounded interesting. It was one of the few places I approached about a gig in Austin.

Thinking about this day makes me laugh. I show up at the venue a couple of hours early. It’s a coffee shop, so I figure I can do some work for a while before I play. I show up in (quasi-hot pant) soccer shorts and a t-shirt, the sweat barely dried from romping about in the park. There are a few girls in the main room studying. I come in to the room several times loading in my equipment. It’s a real mess piled in the corner. Then I go back out to the car to bring some clothes up. I go into the bathroom for about 10 minutes and come out with my full-on show kit: boots, jeans, a button-down, doused in deodorant and cologne to try to hide the fact that, not only am I sweaty, but I haven’t showered in four days. Despite my Clark Kent, none of them stuck around for the show.

Bluegrass Jam

Monday night bluegrass jam at Flipnotics

Nonetheless…this was a great night. I had to run sound for myself – I waited around for a while until I finally asked if/when a sound guy would show up. “Oh, no, you do that yourself.” No problem. I end up playing for nearly 2 hours, pulling out just about every original song I knew. The crowd wasn’t large at all, but they were dedicated.

After I was done, a truly awesome set of musicians came in for the Monday night bluegrass jam session. I was really blown away by their set-up and chops. They put one condenser mic in the middle of the stage and all played like mad, taking turns to approach the microphone to sing or solo. If you are in Austin on a Monday night, I would highly recommend it.

One thing that was a bit different this night was that a violinist approached me about sitting in with me. I would have absolutely loved that but I had just come off the stage. He misinterpreted my response and asked if I was afraid to play with him. He suggested we go jam outside for a while and told me afterward he was going to sit in with the bluegrass band. His braggadocio was all a bit weird. The funny thing in the end was that it turned out his girlfriend also played fiddle. They ended up both jumping in the bluegrass jam – she was wonderful and completely stole the show while he struggled to follow along. I wasn’t surprised a bit.

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