Hearsay: Wednesday, October 31, 2002
Sad Songs Say So Much

Good ol’ Darrin Kobetich has been holding it down at the Black Dog Tavern every Thursday, doing his solo acoustic instrumental thing, and while HearSay hasn’t made it down on a Thursday yet (yet!), your columnist has seen the native New Yawker in performance enough times (at least twice) to proclaim him Saddest-Sounding Dude in Tarrant County — and he doesn’t even breathe a word about chicks leaving him for brown-eyed men. The sadness is manifest in the sound vibrations in the recognizable pattern of bluegrass coming out of his guitar. His music is simply ... melancholy.

Intimating to Kobetich that HearSay thought he rendered sorrow wonderfully brought a smile to his lips. It was as if he and HearSay were both on the same cosmic page, ya know? The page that says, “Melancholy = good.” (The measuring stick of melancholy is Clarence Ashley’s version of the bluegrass standard, “The Coo Coo Bird,” which Harry Smith recorded for Smithsonian Folkways in the 1930s.)

Spooky pirate, that Kobetich. You’ve probably seen him around: muscular guy, bald head, pointy goatee, back pocket filled with business cards from his day job as a production guy at the Star-T. Kobetich apparently still plays in a reportedly awful death-metal outfit called A Million Pounds but has been concentrating on solo work while he and his bandmates search for a drummer (preferably someone who can do triple rolls with his feet on the double-bass). It’s HearSay’s hope that the drummer search continues ad infinitum. That way, there’s more of Kobetich’s death-bluegrass to go around. See him some Thurs. at the Black Dog. You’ll hate yourself and your small significance on this planet for going. Beautiful.

Austin + Music = HELL

What a wonderful world it would be if all the money in Austin would just, like, disappear. That way, snotty Sixth-Street bar owners and the better-than-thou Austinites who patronize these holes in the wall would have nothing to hold over visitors’ heads.

This rant, of course, is all a roundabout way of saying that South by Southwest is coming up, and local musicians who still think that there’s something worthwhile about this inane exercise in group therapy can send their c.d.’s and shit to SXSW Music Festival, P.O. Box 4999, Austin, TX 78765. Before doing that, though, you’ll need to retrieve an application from the festival via its web site, www. sxsw.com, or call 512-467-7979 and ask for an app to be snail-mailed to you. The final application deadline is Nov. 8, and a $25 fee is required. HearSay’s two cents: Save your time and money and play the Ridglea or something. And for that Austin feel, you can pay 20 of your closest friends to go to your show, stand in front of the stage with their backs to you, and chit-chat on cell phones to “friends” in New York while sipping on pansy martinis.

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