Thursday, June 30, 2011

music to my ears...

Is it the lure, the mystique, the "live music capitol of the world" rep?  Just what is it about Austin that draws untold numbers of aspiring musicians?  For how many does the dream come to fruition? How long in the  trenches, playing small clubs and to scant audiences before the dream begins to fade? How long before hope dims and being in the scene becomes all there is?

Some might tell you this naysayer can't tell shit from Shinola and they'd probably be right in most cases, but I do know what I like.  This past weekend I had occasion to hear the Coffee Sergeants.  Even to this unpracticed ear it is obvious this group has the "it factor" in spades.

As I'd not heard the Coffee Sergeants play before I was curious enough to do a bit of digging. (okay I went to their web page  It seems this group of accomplished musicians and songwriters has been hanging around the Austin scene "for decades.". The Sergeants have released a goodly number of albums, have regularly scheduled gigs and so on; it makes one wonder how it is the Sergeants have failed to make it onto the larger world stage.  They've been favorably compared to Bevis Frond, the Green Pajamas, and Ghost (all of whom I also had not heard of before reading tCS's reviews but all of whom have apparently gone on to play before larger audiences outside Austin) yet the Sergeants remain largely a local wonder.

Something I read in one review may have hit upon why they have not gone on to wider renown.  They don't tour!  Eureka!  Those singular words, "don't tour" may be the very reason many extremely talented and entertaining bands simply die on the vine. 

Most every musician in Austin has a day job, or two, or three which they endure to support their aspiration to play live music.  It  can cost a butt load of money to tour but even if the money to tour was there, most employers-- even in the "live music capitol of the world", are likely reluctant to let an employee take off for months on end in order to tour the country trying to earn a larger following.

In the case of the Coffee Sergeants, the rest of the world's loss is Austin's gain.  If, like me, you enjoy hearing talented musicians meshing like they've played together for decades (and they have), singing interesting lyrics crisply so that even the hearing challenged can understand the story their telling (and they do), the Coffee Sergeants should be on a bucket list of groups to hear before the final curtain call (theirs or yours).  You can find them at the Carousel Lounge in Austin the first Tuesday of every month from 7:00-9:00 or at the Whip-in the second Friday of every month from 8:00-10:00.  For other play dates check their web page.

The above bit is brought to you in the name of the Krewe de Coeur Maudit (but without their fore-knowledge or approval, so don't blame them).  Check them out at  aio  

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