[road to sxsw] Days 4 & 5, Quilt in Memphis, TN and Denton, TX

As I’m finishing this post from Austin, TX, our 5-day journey to SXSW is now complete.  Our last two stops en route to Austin were Memphis, TN and Denton, TX.

On Monday morning, we woke up in Asheville. Shane and John went exploring for a bit, while Anna and I hung at the house – she made copies of some Quilt cassettes, I put together blog post about Fredericksburg, and we made Ezekial toast with kale. While copying the tapes, we realized that the new Quilt record sounds incredible when sped up super fast.

On the way from Asheville to Memphis, we listened to a lot of Beatles and Sublime Frequencies albums. After eight hours we arrived at “The Stash House,” a spot with baby blue walls adorned with white printer paper cutout stars, connected by little pieces of yarn to make constellations. They’ve been doing shows since September, about once or twice a month, with some 21+ nights and some all-ages night. This was an all-ages night and drew a younger, high school crowd.

When Quilt arrived at the Stash House, they were handed a time capsule left for them by their friends in Bird Names -- who played the DIY venue two days before. (Video, below.) Out on the porch, I talked to some kids about life in Memphis. They told me about a co-op down the block called the Court House that was also doing a show that night.

Ox Ice, a young experimental electronic band from Memphis, played first, set up in the corner of the room with the lights off, a smoke machine, and little red-and-green laser-lights filling the room. They played a sick set that reminded me of something that could fit well on a bill with Truman Peyote or Memoryhouse. After, Quilt played to a crowded room of kids;  here is “False Eto,” from their 2009 tape:

After Quilt’s set we hung around for a bit longer, but decided to prioritize getting a good night’s sleep instead of sticking around to a band from Atlanta called the Back Pockets. They were sounding awesome, dressed in really crazy costumes, and generally seemed like cool kids, but everyone was feeling a bit under the weather and we wanted to meetup with the girl whose house we were staying at.

In an awesome series of events, the girl we were staying with just happened to be seeing Quilt’s friends Lower Dens, who just happened to be playing at a bar down the block that night, and we just happened to walk in just as they were setting up:

The next morning (Tuesday), we woke up, stopped at a Walgreen’s for some flu remedies, and drove eight hours to Denton, TX.  In Denton, Quilt played their only non-house show of the tour (except for that detour with Sore Eros in Asheville). We were kind of confused when we pulled up to the address and it was a pizzeria, but it ruled! The show was actually in a big basement underneath the storefront. They gave us free pizza and beer. In Denton, Quilt met up with their buddies in the Great Valley, who they have toured with in the past. (The singer of the Great Valley also recorded the first Quilt cassette.)  Two other rad bands called New Science Projects (from Denton) and Blood Beach (from Portland, OR) played, too.

Yesterday around 1:30 pm, after an awesome whirlwind of a long weekend, we arrived in Austin. I still have Quilt’s “Cowboys in the Void” stuck in my head, where it will probably be for weeks.

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