The Austin music scene never ceases to amaze me. I headed out last Saturday night to catch the Hikes comeback show at Barracuda and walked up just in time for the show to sellout. Disappointed, I texted some friends and was convinced to hit up Empire for "some punk show." What it was turned out to be Austin legends The Hickoids playing with Conjunto/punk mashup Piñata Protest and local heros Cunto!
With massive shows all over town including Sam Smith at the Erwin Center, Run the Jewels at Float Fest and a Hikes comeback across the street, I feel like I found the true hidden gem of the evening.
A religious experience — Hickoids
I will not even lie. I had no idea. I texted my friend, Ashley, while Hickoids was setting up that "some dad looking band" was getting ready. Holy shit. I've done the research now. One of the first bands ever to mash punk with country, they started rolling through Austin in the early 80s and built to a big head of steam touring the US and elsewhere through the decade before breaking up in 1991. Hickoids reformed in the early 2000s to find more success, face the tragic death of a key member, set off on US and European tours and celebrate an Introduction into the Austin Music Hall of Fame and the release of new original tunes.
The Hickoids are a whirlwind of smoking, guitaring, showmanship and country-laced punk rock that feels so authentically Texas. Not the nonsense that folks from elsewhere always tend to conjure up. If I had to show someone from another country my Texas, I would show them the Hickoids. Half way through the set, Ashley found me and said "if they're dads, I bet they're horrible ones."
Meshing together traditional Mexican conjunto sounds of a button accordion with driving punk rock, San Antonio's Piñata Protest is a freaking riot.
Beer and Corn Chips: An evening with Cunto!
I didn't plan to stay for but a few songs from Cunto! But from go, I was fixated as a crowd laced with friends of the band began slinging beer cans - empty and full - and Cheetos at the performers as a slippery mosh pit formed and the drunken crowd's antics escalated along with the band's set.