Photos by Sean Gonzalez
Life on the road is highly romanticized. Luckily, one of our writers Sean Gonzalez is about to be wed to that idea soon thanks to Hodera, a rock/folk outfit out of New Jersey. Expect lots of fun and scares from his adventures as he embarks on a six week tour to SXSW and back with the band.
It was time to get out of Florida. But, the show in Tallahassee was awesome, maybe cause I mistakenly (not) drank a pitcher of beer before the show and Doug (thankfully) allowed me to chip him a few more bucks to continue drinking at the show. We met up with touring bands Creepoid, Leggy and Pet Sun. All three dazzled our senses with their sets and we immediately befriended them. Once the final goodbyes were said (and the last pull of whiskey), the van ended up in Mobile, Alabama outside of a 24 hour Wal-Mart. I slept during the drive, or passed out, or just don’t remember any of it.
We had a day off in New Orleans where we witnessed and were apart of a St. Patrick’s day parade. Between the amount of green I saw and the alcohol, all of the members of the band fell victim to naps. While I, the little rebel I am, met with Community Records owner Greg Rodrigue (p.s. thanks for the tapes) and walked six miles up and down the parade route. After resting up, the band headed down to Bourbon street to see what it’s like – most of us not having been to New Orleans before. Everyone proceeded to become an adrenaline fueled dance partner before I woke up the next morning in the van the next morning to the natural kiss of the sun and was baffled at how amazing life really is.
We headed west for the show in Lafayette and I blasted Creedence Clearwater Revival while looking at the swamp high rise water levels. It felt natural, although someone didn’t really enjoy it, so we bought a bluetooth car speaker. As we arrived in the town we played Hacky Sack for a couple of hours before the show, and then rocked yet another night in Louisiana, this time on the attacking end with Hodera’s instruments soaring into the night sky. We spent the evening in Beaumont, Texas before we unraveled ourselves at the heart of one of the craziest festivals on earth, South By Southwest.
I will be bringing a more enhanced version of the day by day coverage of the festival early next week, but so far this has been one of the best experiences for both Hodera and myself. Between meeting incredibly gifted musicians from the likes of Julien Baker, Sorority Noise, Donovan Wolfington, JANK, Kississippi, Sinai Vessel, Prawn, All People and The Cardboard Swords. It has been full days of music and incredible meetings between like minded open hearted people invested within the same groin of the industry that I find myself writing in. I also met another Tour Diary writer for AbsolutePunk, which will be interesting to trade viewpoints as the rest of the tour settles. It’s funny, I thought the staying put in Austin for a few days would hinder my nomadic soul, but between the endless hikes between showcases and the 10-11 bands I see in a day, my mind is full of erratic scheduling that feels like being on the endless roads but without my books constantly puncturing my eyesight, soon.
Hodera’s first set was magnificent, the group is continually climbing the ladder and making their presence known. It is incredible to see their shows being watched by some people we as a band listen too and even admire as individuals. Calling these people friends is an even more humbling thought in the infinite cosmos that is this universe. The band smiled the entire set (actually I find Alek smiling all the damn time while playing) and as the final words of ‘She Knows Because She Read It In A Book Once” crashed through the Love Goat, the reality set in that this is South By Southwest and we really are doing big things in small steps surrounded by gigantic circumstances that appear to be smiling with us, instead of at us.
For now, we are still waiting for the rest of the showcases to happen. I’ve forgotten that is Thursday three times already, we have two great showcases today and another one tomorrow. Let’s keep this high ball of energy rolling.