Talking about Busby Marou, the Australian folk-pop duo that plays Cactus Music at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, owner Quinn Bishop sounds a familiar tune for this time of year.
"Who knows when they'll ever play Houston again?" he says.
Actually, Busby Marou also plays the Australian American Chamber of Commerce's Down Under Sounds http://www.aacc-houston.org showcase at Warehouse Live later on Tuesday, with Sparkadia, The Art, Sleepmakeswaves and Bonfire Nights. But the Cactus Gig makes an ideal warmup.
"Houston has lots of Australians here because of the oil and gas industry," says Bishop. "This is a good way to get them to come out and have a beer."
But the Australians are just one of three acts passing through Cactus today alone, part of an eye-popping 14 in-stores between last Friday and Tuesday, March 20. The store is adding performances right and left; Cactus announced three more since last Friday in what Bishop calls an act of "unprecedented nuttiness."
Although he gives a shoutout to Super Happy Fun Land's SXSW Overflow Fest, which continues through next Thursday and also capitalizes on advantageous routing for artists bound to or from the Austin music festival, Bishop says this year's Cactus' artists have their own reasons to make the trip.
With one or two exceptions, "this time out everybody's got a new record," he says. Bishop adds.
He does see fewer what he calls "travel shows," where artist would book a show at Cactus because they had flown into Houston - especially from overseas - because Austin now has a legitimate international airport now. But that hasn't slowed the pace of Cactus bookings this year.
These artists can only hope their Cactus in-stores go as well as Philadelphia's Dr. Dog this past weekend. Since the band's show at Fitzgerald's Saturday night had already sold out, they played for an hour instead of the scheduled 20 minutes. Bishop says the band's manager, traveling with Dr. Dog, drew a direct line to their previous in-stores and the current size of their local fanbase.
"We had to lock the door there were so many people," he says.
CACTUS SXSW SPILLOVER SCHEDULE
Tuesday, March 13: Busby Marou, 4 p.m.; Southeast Engine, 5:30 p.m.; Nate Nelson, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 15: Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, March 16: We Are Augustines, 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 17: Wendy Colonna, 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 18: Nneka, 1 p.m.; Patrick Sweany, 3 p.m.; the Belle Brigade, 4 p.m.
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Monday, March 19: Good Old War, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 20: Jessica Campbell & Sarah Beck, 5:30 p.m.