Subtitle: Earnest Hipster Laptop Hobo Overload and some damn fine music
Oh well let’s see now. What did I do yesterday? Honestly, the days are kind of starting to melt together and it feels like I’ve been here a month. Not that that’s necessarily a BAD thing…
So Day Four started with a trip to Cuvee Coffee. I’d heard good things about it, and really wanted to like it. When I walked in I got the Standard Hipster Coffee Joint vibe – wood counter, stark interior. I couldn’t tell what kind of espresso machine they use, because it’s one of those under-the-counter deals. It was all women behind the counter, they were super nice. They were fast. They had Kalita pour over drippers on the counter. I really wanted to like it even more.
I sat down, looked at my coffee, and took pictures of it. Yes, I feel like a TOTAL DORK when I do this, but I figure hey, I AM a total dork so it’s ok. And it’s research. So too bad if I look like a dork. At least I don’t put ALL of the photos on Instagram.
As I took my first sips I realized I had made a big mistake. I had brushed my teeth 30 minutes beforehand with the Super Strong toothpaste. You could have served me orange juice with dirt in it and I’m not sure I would’ve noticed. Even so, the coffee tasted just a tiny bit sour. Not bitter / burned like it was overextracted, but sour like it had been underextracted. I tried to drink it really slowly. I admired the cool artwork all over the huge back wall. I looked longingly at the cool t-shirts and other merch. I even bought some house blend beans to take home to make drip coffee with. But still, my overall impression was: meh. I also spent the hour writing notes in my little coffee journal about the meh coffee and it must have caused some sort of mini existentialist crisis because I wrote “Why am I here? Why is there any need to see anything different?” See what mediocre coffee can do to you, people?
Coincidentally, my friend Bruce suggested we meet for lunch one building over. So after an hour staring wistfully at my coffee cup, I went over to have some lunch. Bruce asked me what I was doing at Cuvee. I said, naturally, “having coffee.” He then asked me what I thought of the coffee and I told him that I wanted to like it but truthfully I was pretty undecided. He then admitted he didn’t really care for it either. I would trust Bruce in most areas. So there you go.
Bruce plays bass with The Resentments (who I posted about yesterday) and also for Bob Schneider, an iconic Austin musician who plays and tours regularly. I’ve known Bruce for a few years, and we manage to say hi to each other every so often between Tulsa and Austin. My opinion is, he’s a good person to know. So we had a nice lunch (even though the restaurant was way too loud – if you want to visit with someone, don’t go to the Counter Café on 6th around noon). I told him I was planning to come out that night to see Bob Schneider and Lonelyland at the Saxon and he said he’d get me in. Score!
The very best part of that lunch was the end. (Wha?) As we were leaving, Bruce ran into someone he knew and introduced me. His exact words were, “This is my friend Andrea, she’s a writer.” This made me extremely happy. I have arrived.
So after lunch, what to do? I decided to be daring and go for latte number two. At the suggestion of my host Michael and the interwebs, I headed to Wright Bros Brew & Brew on San Marcos (all of these places, by the way, are 7-10 minutes from where I am staying, according to the Google Maps Lady). I ordered a latte from a very Earnest Hipster wearing a straw hat and high-waisted wool tweed pants. I couldn’t get into this latte, either. Perhaps it was the Fugazi that was playing. When I didn’t recognize the music, I Shazamed it, discovered who it was, and thought, that is crap. I’ve never listened to Fugazi before, and have no intention of ever doing so again. The latte wasn’t crap, but it was just OK. They serve coffee roasted by Flat Track here in Austin which, as it turns out, is right across the street from where I’m blogging from right now. But I’ve already got my latte here, which you’ll read about tomorrow, and I learned the hard way yesterday that TWO LATTES IN ONE DAY IS ONE TOO MANY.
At Brew & Brew I worked on my writing and Michael stopped by for a few minutes on his way home from work. By then the music had changed to Santigold – much better – but it was time to go. I spent the evening hanging out with my hosts, and then headed back to the Saxon for the Bob show.
I had to park across the street from the Saxon, and jaywalk across Lamar which seemed kind of risky to me, so when I saw someone else doing the same thing I thought, “safety in numbers!” and tagged along. We walked in together and his friend who met him at the door thought we were together. Uh, no. He was a nice guy though – pretty young, tall and lanky, and friendly. I guess I could do worse. Anyway, I thought Bruce was putting me on the list but he hadn’t, but they let me in anyway and later he explained he was planning to meet me outside and walk me in. I never caught that set of instructions. Whatevs. I got in. The place was packed! I’d never seen Bob at the Saxon before, and didn’t know it was reserved seating and that tonight had sold out. But I met 2 nice “regulars” – apparently these women go see Bob every Monday. Their 3rd friend was not in attendance and they offered me her chair. Awesome! “I’ve had a lot to drink,” one of them explained to me several times. But she was super cool and every time Bob would play a new song she would inform me that “this is new.” So I felt very in-the-know.
It was a great show! Bob is awesome. And he’s really funny. And his band is awesome. And of course Bruce is super-awesome. (Before the show I got to say hi to Conrad, Bob’s drummer, I told him he was super-awesome, and he told me I was super-awesome. How awesome is that.)
After the show I stood around for a minute until I could go say goodbye to Bruce. As I was waiting, the guy I walked across the street with before the show came over and started talking to me. He’d never been to the Saxon before, he said. He’d just moved to Austin in September. He asked if I had seen Bob a lot and I said yes and rattled off some of my Bob knowledge. After a few minutes I kind of sort of almost got the feeling that maybe he was trying to pick me up? I don’t know. I’m bad at these things. Maybe he actually thought I seemed nice and matronly. He wasn’t creepy or anything, in fact he was super nice, but it still made me a little uncomfortable so finally I just said, “well I’m gonna go say goodbye to the bass player now, see ya.” And that was that. Of course part of me hopes he WAS trying to pick me up and that part of me is a little more than slightly satisfied by this.
I said bye to Bruce, I guess I won’t see him again before I leave. He’s an amazing musician, an interesting person and creatively inspiring because he makes his living using his creative talents. I like that.
I jaywalked back across Lamar and went home to bed.