Can someone explain to me why Texas remains the go-to state for ridicule?
Sure, its provided a handful of terrible politicians, and people claim they pollute the vacation world with bad driving and ignorance, but Id argue every state has offended another state in one way or another with the way people vote, the way they drive and the way they look.
I like Texas. I like the fact that its big. I like getting a steak in Texas. Texas has given us Townes Van Zandt, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings, The Bad Livers, Spoon, the Big Boys and more. And I like Austin, one of the best musical cities on the planet. Its home to tons of bands of all varieties, and home to superb musicians.
On Wednesday, the Abbey Theatre will present a double bill of Austin-based roots rock when Band of Heathens returns along with Micky and the Motorcars. Micky and the Motorcars played here numerous times in the early aughts when the now-defunct Storyville was Durangos showcase for up-and-coming Austin bands.
Micky and the Motorcars are a roots-rock band with members who are an Austin legacy. Brothers Micky and Gary Braun, who share guitar and vocal duties, are siblings of members of Reckless Kelly, and sons and nephews to professional musicians as well. Joining the Brauns are Mark McCoy on bass, Kriss Farrow on guitar and Shane Vannerson on drums. The Brauns were raised on a healthy dose of country rock, favoring everyone from Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash to the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Byrds. It reflects in their sound and the songwriting of Micky Braun. Its crying-in-your-beer, two-step-with a pretty lady kind of rock
The band started in Idaho, but quickly moved to Austin. The guys were looking for a bigger city to set up as base, and Austin was chosen mainly for its central location, from both a musicians and fans perspective.
In Austin, theres a lot of this rootsier country rock going on, and its also a great town to see any kind of music, said Micky Braun earlier in the week from his home in Austin. But its a great place to tour out of; being centrally located you can get to the East and West coast in the same amount of time.
And tour they do. Another awful quirk of the music industry is that record sales mean nothing unless you sell millions. Very few bands sell millions. Most great bands make their below-middle class living on the road, like Micky and the Motorcars, chalking up 200 to 250 dates on the road a year. Unlike many other bands from Austin that tour just around Texas and maybe into Oklahoma and the mid-South, the Motorcars favor the West.
I like the vibe in the West, everyone listens to the music and they enjoy it, Braun said. People make an effort to come out, no matter what night of the week it is, or how far of a drive it is, they make it out and have fun. As a result, we have a great time playing.
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and station manager of KDUR-FM. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.