SXSW Travelogue: A. Tom Collins discovers that Texans evidently have a thing for the eyes of Coloradans

Friday, March 18

Morning: 1000 miles and over eighteen hours in a van with five man children. Our trip from Denver began at 5 a.m. yesterday with packing, grumpiness, excitement. Aaron puked at 7:10, and at 7:20, Aaron and Andy had a tickle fight in the back seat of the van, followed by other annoying a.m. antics. I discovered that Vaughn's van starts with a screwdriver, and the realization sets in that this trip will most likely be one big, annoying, rock and roll tour cliche.

We arrived in Amarillo nine hours later to bikers, antique stores and plenty of fine, friendly Texas hospitality. We played one of the more solid sets in A.Tom Collins history to a rabid, unabashed good time crowd. Paper Bird then promptly showed us -- and everyone else -- how it's really done. Vaughn realized their brilliance and observed, "The funny thing is, almost very dude here thinks they have a chance with someone in this band."

Esme told me that after the show, a couple of fellas came up to Jenny and Sarah and dropped the line "do all women in Colorado have such beautiful eyes?" To which Jenny replied, "Actually, no women in Colorado have eyes."

Another ten hours in the van the next day, several missed exits and aimless circles in small Texas towns, and then some g'damn fine BBQ in Sweetwater. Then everyone but Andy passed out while Vaughn was driving. The curse of technology. Three iPhones in the van, but instead of navigating, Andy was launching virtual pigs at virtual birds. He called it "a game."

We rolled into Austin around 10:30 p.m., got our sleeping arrangements in order, and caught an epic metal show at a warehouse party. Various substances were consumed, all of which are legal... in Colorado.

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Exited my tent at 10 a.m. to the grotesque sight of the swollen eye of saxophonist and recording engineer extraordinaire Andy Wild. Texas spiders apparently have a thing for Colorado eyes too. Breakfast burritos and mimosas to begin what promises to be a delightfully debaucherous day in the clusterfuck of SXSW Austin.

All week, various Denverites will be checking in from Austin with travelogues about their trip to SXSW this year. Read the various exploits of Brian Frederick, The Epilogues, A. Tom Collins, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, the Photo Atlas, Air Dubai, Take to the Oars and Wheelchair Sports Camp.

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