El Milagro: Rosie the Tech called around noon and talked to Liz about me coming in at 2:00 today. Meanwhile, we're cleaning house and listening to Folkways on KUT... and lo and behold, Hot Club of Cowtown* is there to play a live set on the radio.
When I arrive at the center and weigh in at 76 Kgs, and find my corner chair again. Rosie cannulates me and informs me that the person who got the "risky" kidney is doing great... she reported to Rosie that they told her that it was a high risk kidney... from an IV drug user... and that one person had already turned it down. Rosie's face gives away that she is really thrilled that is working out well for the recipient.
As she finished setting my machine, Rosie asks that we have a PAC meeting in August; to which I remind her that she should make that request in triplicate to the committee. She laughs and replies that she wants to talk to Pete and Germaine about it, but hopes we can meet on the second Wednesday in August, in the morning.
As I am flipping off the TV to hook my earphones to my radio for more Folkways, I notice Joe Ely singing and watch him finish... and then before I can switch it off, all of a sudden there is Joe Nick Patofsky talking about his book about Willie Nelson, sitting beside Paula Nelson on stools, along with Willie and a few muscians. She sings one of her songs and then Willie sings "You don't think I'm funny anymore", the quintessential song for guys who are worried their women are getting tired of their boyish behavior. This song is great and you don't hear Willie sing it very much, so it is a delight to hear it this afternoon. BTW~ there's a U-Tube of Willie singing it at the Luck, Texas fair.
Even tho I mean to read my Bush Book, the TV Travel Channel draws me away from that pursuit by making me watch a show about Mega-Yachts and then I actually drift off into dreamland for awhile. Liz wakes me up by vibrating my phone and explaining the dinner and music plans. When we heard Hot Club on the radio today I called Larry to see if he wants to go, since tonite is the nite Liz & Jen are celebrating his birthday... of course he says OK so we are meeting at El Rey for dinner, and then off to Threadgill's to hear Hot Club of Cowtown.
While I'm on the phone, Rosie comes by to report that I only have 5 more minutes so I tell Liz I'll meet them at 7 and order me some tacos.
I get off the machine, weigh out at 74 even and hurry over to El Rey. When I arrive I face a dour looking group... the orders are wrong... the service is terrible... and the food ain't much better. I sit down, look around and notice the bar is empty! "What's up? I query. Well, it seems like our old restaurant ain't no more and the new restaurant isn't getting started very well. The waitress forgot part of Larry's order, brought Diane the wrong thing, forgot Shayna's Jarrito twice, and who knows what else. Plus, there is a flat screen TV on FOX reporting a story about murders and rapes... I wolf down my tacos and we split, agreeing that El Rey is off the list. Suffice it to say that this present review doesn't end with a recommendation for this NEW El Rey. It's too bad cause we've eaten there for years and really liked the old Arizona owners that brought their Sonoran recipes to South Austin.
Threadgill's World Headquarters, South**: We settle in two rows from front and chat for three quarters of an hour while waiting for Hot Club to play. They are in great form tonight and all three play like they've never been apart. Elana James is really HOT on her fiddle and I remember her really expressionistic face as she rips thru her repertoire. She and Whitt play really well together and I am sure he's playing a beautiful old Gibson Les Paul.*** This guitar has a clear, bell-like sound that goes well with the jazzy western swing the band plays... and boy can Whit whittle down those frets. He and Elana play well together and yet tonite it seems the audience is particularly crazy about Jake Erwin's pounding stand up bass... based on the whistles and applause every time he takes his turn.
As last time we were here, the audience reminds me of all the old Austinites who'll show up for an early evening, outdoors show.... and Elana is gracious, polite and frequently expressing her happiness about being back in Austin, playing for a home audience, and playing where she can see the parking lot of the Long Center, which she opened several years ago. These folks are as tight as ever, and aside from one "live" false start, they sound as good as they did when we heard then at Gruene Hall a number of years ago (with Wayne and Barbara). Elana also tells a few stories about going on the road with Bob Dylan. And so they play all their signature songs ("I got it bad", "Goodbye Liza Jane", some new ones, and finish up with Orange Blossom Special.). I wonder what Larry's Music Report will report on this show?
* Hot Club of Cowtown, online at http://www.hotclubofcowtown.com/
** Threadgill's World Headquarters, online at http://www.threadgills.com/history.cfm
***Turns out I am wrong! Now (Sunday) I think it's a beautiful old Gibson ES 175 Florentine, like the one at http://www.12fret.com/usedSoldGallery/gibsonES175jm.jpg