Mondays can really suck if you want to go watch live music, even in a music town like Austin, but I rarely have the free time on a Monday to see a show so usually it's not a big issue.
This Monday it was a gray drizzly day, and I actually found myself with a free evening. Just as I was trying to decide if I wanted to suffer through another night of microwave dinners and re-runs of the Simpsons, a MySpace event invite popped into my in box from New Disaster inviting me down to the O Cabaret to catch their set.
Honestly, the last time I can remember going to a gentleman's club, in fact I think the last three times I went, were all for bachelor parties celebrating my three brothers' marriages. Don't get me wrong, I like girls (er, women), A LOT, I am just not big on the whole strip club scene in general. When I went in the past I usually spent my time at the bar sipping a coke and hiding the fact that I was blushing, trying not to break eye contact with the staff, or look.
Natchet Taylor of New Disaster photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
So although usually an invite to a cabaret results in a polite "maybe next time," I had some settings I really needed to test on my cameras, and no one else was inviting me anywhere on Monday. I decided it would be a good opportunity to work out the kinks, so to speak. After confirming with the band that it would probably be ok to bring my cameras, I packed up the vista cruiser and pointed it south through the rain, intermittently coming down now in buckets.
By the time I made it to the club, introduced myself to the manager and got his approval, the band was setting up. I parked my bag in the corner, and was then confronted by the first of many awkward moments when I turned around to find a dancer hot on my heels. After assuring her I was only there to take pictures of the band and that I was working, she moved on to find greener fields or at least better prospects.
I like the band New Disaster a lot. They had really impressed me the first time I saw them with both their sound and their look. Opening for Broken Teeth with a metal audience at the Red Eyed Fly, they did well with the crowd. Here, they were a bit, uh, distracted sometimes. It seemed that Abel Idle's fast flying fingers, and Rob Williamson mashing the skins in back were least impacted by the scenery. Bassist Mark Johnson and lead vocalist Natchet Taylor were not so lucky, but were good sports about it (although sometimes they did seem to wander a bit). Still, the stripper pole in the middle of the stage seemed to present more problems than the girls themselves, and I am sure the guys appreciated the $1 tips too.
It's unfortunate that Austins hard rock scene is not as prominent as, say, its "indie" scene, because these guys and a couple of other local bands with a harder edge based here are great and yet seem to be unable to break nationally or even attract the attention of a Roadrunner or Metal Blade. Dangerous Toys did but that was soooo long ago.