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Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 76.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Screamin' Cyn Cyn from SXSW 2008: The Crustacean Records showcase
We don't have any shows today, so we're out enjoying the summer weather and checking out the music.
Credit:Screamin' Cyn Cyn and the Pons

After starting out Thursday with coffee and smoothies and salads, we went to Ms. Bea's to see Ponytail, a band sounding something like Deerhoof. We followed this musical aperitif with a hike down the street to another party, where we met up with Prizzy Prizzy Please and my dear longtime friend Rowan. We grew up togther, and I was really happy to see her.

Before too long, it was already time to load for the Crustacean Records showcase, so we went to our hotel and got our gear and brought it to the Molotov Lounge. After sitting around at there for a long time, we ate at Wahoo Taco, which must be one of the direct inspirations for Tex Tubb's Taco Palace. The Droids Attack robot started wandering around shortly thereafter, so we knew the show was about to start.

Shane and I got into our show clothes a little early to try and entice people to check it out. Droids Attack was fierce and awesome. The Gusto played a great set. Then it was our turn on stage.

For the last few months, my subconscious has been reminding me that I should be nervous about the showcase. I have this recurring dream in which I look down at the set list and see some songs that I've never heard of. I turn to Shane to protest, and he gives me a withering look and says, "We just wrote that, Cynthia." Christian tries to show me the chords as he plays them, but I just can't pick it up. I fee proud to say that this scenario did not play out last night. Take that, subconscious.

We played a great set, with only minor sloppiness and tuning issues, which are really par for the course. I was very pleased and not at all ashamed of our performance, meaning I have officially achieved all of my SXSW goals.

Then our good friends Matt, Christy, and Charles of Ouija Radio rocked the showcase. Watching Christy play guitar always inspires in me a mixture of awe and depression. Awe because she is so incredible and talented, and depression for the same reason. It's like we play completely different instruments. Birthday Suits played next and they are always amazing. Both of these bands are from Minneapolis, but they play Madison fairly frequently; please come see them next time they're here.

There was a big Madison contingent in the audience, including an ex-pat proudly wearing his O'Cayz shirt for recognition. Smart guy. There were too many people to mention individually, but thank you, thank you, thank you, to all the Madison people who came out for the show.

Madisonians made sure that there was no prevailing hipster too-cool-for-school attitude. Madisonians know how to have a good time. We ain't no snobs.

The premise of the showcase was the split 7" from Birthday Suits and Peelander-Z that was just released on Crustacean Records. Peelander-Z is this really crazy punk band with lots of pageantry and costumes and chanting; right up my alley. At one point during the show, two of its members left the bar through the giant open window, ran across the street, and hopped in the bed of a parked pick-up truck. There they jumped up and down and shouted, running back in to complete their "human bowling" stunt. They led the crowd in chants of "How do you like your steak? MEDIUM RARE!" and "Mad Tiger," and taught the crowd to make a giant Z motion with their hands to complete the phrase "Peelander..." Then the band replaced themselves on all their instruments with volunteers from the crowd and passed out washtubs and pots and pans for a crowd percussion section. I love them.

I also took a bunch of photos of people doing "The Crab," a new Crustacean Records secret dance so we can recognize each other on the street.

After the showcase, we hustled back to the hotel so we could make it out to a party put on by Yarr PR. There was a fire, along with a visit by the video crew from Hinckley Design. We did the usual after-party thing, and finally made it back to our hotel in time early this morning for the free breakfast. I had a premonition when we checked in that the only way we were going to make it to breakfast would be if we were still up. And so it was. We made waffles in the shape of Texas and went to bed with the rising sun.

We don't have any shows today, so we're out enjoying the summer weather and checking out the music. It will be fun to not play during the official SXSW portion of the day, and give us the chance to see some more great bands.

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