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SXSW: rambler tour.

MAYBE IT WAS Shane In Blood ollieing off the stage, or maybe it was Jake smashing cups of beer with his skateboard, or maybe it was Shane Bergman telling the bar's owner to "fuck off," but that's the last thing I heard before our collective posse, containing the majority of Night After Night, Walken, and Hightower, yelled a harmonious "fuck you!" at the chunky bartender with a stereotypical dye job and her crony bouncer after 86-ing us from their shithole establishment. I mean, come on, Austin has been home to SXSW since 1987. You'd think that dealing with drunk assholes would be their forte.

At one point, SXSW was about not having a label and being able to play for a large crowd. That concept is history. Inevitably things changed, and SXSW has mutated into nothing short of a music industry tradeshow, laden with wrist bands, press passes and record label showcases. Luckily, that wasn't our deal. Our lecherous band were basically the cold sores of SXSW. Uninvited, unruly, and under the influence. Sure, none of these bands really had anything resembling a real label, but Night After Night, Walken, and Hightower did have one distinct advantage over the 1,400 bands vying for attention. Thanks to the beautifully demented mind of Night After Night's drummer, Tina Gordon, "The Rambler" led our charge into the fortress of SXSW. Though the dull gray exterior of this old Chevy box truck is unimpressive, its belly holds a force to be reckoned with. We dubbed The Rambler "a Decepticon with an Autobot's heart" because of its uncanny ability to literally transform into a stage, complete with cabinets, generator, and an audio set up that would put most bars to shame.

With a vehicle like The Rambler in their corner, the trio of bands had the freedom to put on shows wherever they pleased. But with any amount of freedom comes an equal amount responsibility, the majority of which was shouldered by Tina and the rest of Night After Night. Booking, set-up, sound, and promotions for approximately 50 bands were all handled by the borderline wasteoid crew of The Rambler and company. For all the beer and party action that was soaked up over the SXSW weekend, everyone involved earned it in spades because, as Shane Baker put it, "When I really think about it, we're putting on our own little rock festival and it's a lot of fucking work."
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Author:Furtado, Ryan
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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