Local Music

To SXSW and Back: Austin, at last

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Rusty Maples
Photo: Corlene Byrd
Max Plenke

Las Vegas band Rusty Maples is touring its way toward Austin, where an official showcase at this year's South by Southwest festival awaits. Drummer Max Plenke, a journalist who frequently contributes music content for the Weekly, checks in with a series of reports from the road.

Day 4: Arriving in Austin We arrive in Austin in time for the desperate lurch of SXSW Interactive visitors getting in their final bar crawls, followed closely by the street corner cowboys working overtime to empty their pockets on the straggling marks. I’m told by our host for the week that we’re heading to Dirty 6th, the main drag of bars and the stale gummy center of SXSW’s decadent and depraved Blow Pop.

For our three-odd hour reintroduction to the city, we’re swept up in a small contingent of Downtown Las Vegas folk for a short but thorough bar crawl, including a fire-breathing bartender and a snap-on wristband that acts as a secret handshake for extremely prompt drinks. It's not until 2 a.m. that we realize our first showcase of the week is 12 hours away. But it's too late. Already recognizing it as futile, we use our last wristband wink/nod to order a round of waters.

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