Just a lone man on a stage with a bit of a combover and an electric guitar. He was a singer/songwriter in essence so the electric guitar was different – his sound was loud as well, almost to the point of distortion, which I blamed on the kid sound man diddling on his iphone. But it also spoke to the performer’s boldness, and really lack of singer/songwriter-ness. I really liked his deep voice. He immediately reminded me of Red House Painters – that kind of melancholy rumble. Interesting lyrics too that make you want to pay attention. After the first song, he asked the audience if they had any questions – unusual and cute. A guy raised his hand and said, “Edward or Jacob?” The only reason I got it was because my niece had asked me the very same question the week before – David Bazan totally didn’t get it, and good for him. He rallied, debated the merits of the two names, and picked Jacob because of his “Christian background.” The question asker was polite and didn’t call him on it. His Christian background came up several times (he said it like he was no longer Christian?), but I attribute the blend of passion and restraint in his music to that background. Another audience member asked him what he thought about the name Jacobo, and he didn’t get that either. Then I was starting to feel embarrassed for him, but finally he got it: “Oh you mean how people in other languages say Jacob…” I didn’t like the second more rocking song. The songs I liked the most kind of had a Songs: Ohia sound, but he performed them in the way Songs: Ohia could never pull off live (damn that band for disappointing me so many times). I couldn’t figure out why people were slinking across the floor trying to get close ups of him… I’d looked the show up and given it a thumbs up in my little black book, but then promptly forgot whatever I read. Pedro the Lion! They were The Band one SXSW – I don’t know them or didn’t like what I heard and forgot about them – but any band deserves a second chance, especially when their “lead singer and creative force” put on such an interesting show all by himself. He asked for questions after his second song too, and then it was really endearing because it seemed he was serious instead of going for an effect – and especially because he was willing to risk it after the first question session. The Jacobo guy asked him a long muffled question that Bazan repeated as whether he wrote offensive lyrics because he was trying to live up to his image…. Or… basically why? It was a great question and he gave a great answer. Basically that this is art, it’s the kind of art he likes, he immediately related to punk music when he first heard it, still loves Fugazi, and so he feels he can push people in his music in ways he wouldn’t in real life. Someone else asked what he’d be doing if he wasn’t a musician. He thought about it and said that he would probably be a junior high teacher, because it would be the sort of job with levels of humiliation comparable to touring every day. And then I really liked him – he was kind of deadpan comedian. He reminded the crowd how lucky they were to have a music store like this, how rare it is, and it’s true. Waterloo will always be number one in my heart, but Cactus Music is pretty all right. Speaking of, I particularly like the monument on one wall to two great Austin bands, Black Angels & Trail of Dead – although I think it’s more the label they’re both on than a monument to Austin – I’ll believe what I want. I also love the two cloth murals that portray Johnny Cash and Ray Charles (El Rey Charles) as day of the dead skeletons – new Texas personified. Driving out of the parking lot, I passed two people sitting at a table outside a restaurant of some sort, with a bag of Chiclk-Fil-A and martinis on their table – and that’s Houston for you.