The Show Is the Rainbow

One half of the Rochester contingent was at the Continental Club in South Austin on Saturday afternoon. It was 90 degrees and sunny. We had walked across the bridge over the Colorado River which runs right through Austin. Not that Colorado River, I was told. Without an atlas handy, I had to believe it to be true.

The line to get in the Continental Club was fairly long. We had probably already missed the Mother Truckers whom I had looked forward to since last year, and Steve Poltz, who I found out later was someone not to miss. Rather than wait in line, we continued walking in the sun.

We got all of one building away before stopping right next door at a newer restaurant, Botticelli’s. There was music all afternoon on their patio out back, and seats available. We began what would prove to be the most surprising series of shows that weekGina LeeGina Lee.

Texas two-step, honky-tonk was on. Gina Lee and the Brisket Boys, A husband-wife fronted Austin band, with twin newborn babies in the audience. Their very own Brisket Babies.

Heartbreak, cheatin’, rattlesnake songs. Folks danced, good dancers, too. That little cowboy swing style. It was Texas, after all.

Rainbow DanceRainbow DanceSunny patio, pleasant music, good beer. Then an announcement that the next band cancelled, BUT a good friend of the MC's from Nebraska happened to be there, and agreed to do a set. He began to assemble his screen at the front of the stage. Two sectional poles supporting a very wrinkled sheet.

His little Mac computer was on a picnic table behind him. Opened and ready. He never really appeared as ready to go as his computer, fiddling in a nerdish kind of way. The sunlight doomed the idea of projecting images on the screen from the start, so down came the sheet. The kids in the crowd may have doomed it as well, since he was a bit out of his element in this classy restaurant courtyard. Families with kids. Much of his show, including the fundamental use of projected animation, would need to be scrappedRainbowRainbow.

He threw himself into the unknown, and took us with him.

The Show Is the Rainbow. Rants and rambles, gibberish and clarity, rap and ballad. A recorded soundtrack for each song he cued up on that computer. Comedy, music? Can’t really decide. A stand up whose routine had been turned upside down, trying to be family friendly, stripped of boundaries he stood on tables, moved into the crowd in a most low tech way. No wireless microphone, pulling that cord everywhere. Glasses, long ringlet hair. Soft around the middle. A cross between John Candy and Roger Daltrey.

He ripped off his shirt to reveal a new Star Trek tattoo.

Without really knowing what it was, it was the most curiously entertaining hour of the four days (for more on The Show Is the Rainbow, see Kate’s Take Day 4).

Sarah Hughes followed. But the courtyard wouldn’t be the same.