Thursday March 15, 2007

Trip Start Mar 12, 2007
Trip End Mar 18, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday March 15, 2007
We arrived at Threadgill's way early this time for Roky Erickson's Ice Cream Social and found a parking place on the second row. Having lots of time after paid our entry fee, we walked down South Congress to see what was going on down there. 
We got to the Yard Dog Folk Art just in time to see Elvis Perkins and his band Dearland. Wild young guys. Elvis is the son of actor Anthony Perkins and photographer Berry Berenson who was on board one of the planes that flew into the World Trade Center. They are a rocking quartet whose drummer sings at times while playing a marching band drum. Lot's of fun to watch these guys. We would have liked tom see more but we needed to get back to Threadgill's for Roky Erickson's Ice Cream Social
From a CAEST press release:
"The Ice Cream Social is co-sponsored this year by the Coalition for the Abolition of Electroshock in Texas (CAEST). Many artists have been hurt over the years by the labels and biological treatments of the mental health system. Roky Erickson, Townes Van Zandt and Jim Franklin are Austin music legends who suffered from psychiatric electroshock, also known as electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT. Families Rock Productions is also a co-sponsor. Roky and Townes' son, J.T. Van Zandt, are among the musicians who are now publicly declaring their desire to protect future artists from being hurt by electroshock, calling for genuine asylum and compassionate care of artists and other citizens who might be having a hard time in life. Says Roky of being subjected to ECT treatments: 'I wish I hadn't had it and it didn't help me.' J.T. Van Zandt, whose father also received ECT treatments, says that electroshock should be abolished: "Is it necessary that human beings destroy all things which they do not understand, including the unique mind of the artist. Would it be possible for us to examine our past, learn from the mistakes we have made and actually make positive changes in our behavior. How long does it take to discontinue practices that have been proven to be absolutely detrimental to society and produce only negative consequences. Let us unite to put an end to the barbaric practice of shock therapy.'"
Sumner Erickson and  guitarist for The Texcentrics opened the show, which was  MC'd by Jack Blood, a controversial radio talk show host.
J. T. Van Zandt is so much like his dad that it's spooky. I had seen him play at Kerrville a couple of years back.
Powell St. John, former Ghetto resident and founding member of the Waller Creek Boys and Mother Earth, played a song about another Ghetto resident, banjo player John Clay, who was in the audience. Powell also performed his song Bye Bye Baby that was made famous by Janis Joplin.

Robyn Hitchcock and Peter Buck they were OK, that's about it. Robyn said some very strange things between songs. I liked his records, but his performance was pretty lackluster.
Black Lips were next. We missed those guys, because we went inside to see Jo Carol Pierce with David Halley. Saw Cleve, Mary and Lissa of the Greezy Wheels in the audience. I'm sorry we missed Tommy X Hancock. I heard he was real good and I've never seen him.
We went back outside and it was probably about this time we saw James "Big Boy" Medlin, screenwriter, ex-Austin Sun columnist, and former softball teammate of Doug Sahm in the crowd.
Stuart Braithwaite of the band Mogwai played next. I wasn't too impressed with this cat or Spoon who followed. I hear they're real big and they took home a stack of awards from the Austin Music Awards last year.

Michelle Shocked was again backed by the John Gaar Band and delivered a smoking set of up tempo arrangements of her songs slowing down only for 'Memories of East Texas' 
Michelle told of how she never intended to be a singer and how it was thrust upon her when someone recorded her without her knowledge and released the recording without her permission. She also spoke of being committed to a mental hospital by her mother and enduring ECT until the insurance money ran out and once there was no financial incentive to keep her there she was released.
Roky Erickson and The Explosives with Cam King lead guitar, Freddy Krc drums, and Waller Collie on bass. Roky looks better than ever! He's a totally free man now and has big gigs lined up in the immediate future. I'm not sure of the order but songs played included:
Don't Shake Me Lucifer
Creature With The Atom Brain
Starry Eyes
If You Have Ghosts
I Think of Demons
Cold Night For Alligators
Two Headed Dog
White Faces
Home to Stay
'You're Gonna Miss Me'
Encore:'I Walked With A Zombie'
After the show, we went inside to eat supper and were shown to a table across from Waller Collie and Cam King of the Explosives and their families. They looked very normal in this setting and one would never guess that they had just stepped off of a stage playing wild, high energy psychedelic music with one of the genre's pioneers.
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