Aftermath is pretty familiar with local music fans these days, so on Saturday at the HPMAs, we tried to talk only to people we had never seen at shows before to get a feel for who was enjoying what and what the showcase should try to do next year (besides not set the stages 20-something blocks apart, of course) and this is what we came up with.
Chad Sawyer and John Jordan - above, with their girlfriends - came to see the Sideshow Tramps and, when we talked to them at about 4 p.m.; they had seen Plump, Satin Hooks and Runaway Sun. We received an emphatic "Hell yeah!" when we asked if they were having a good time, and they shared with us their thoughts on Houston's music scene.
"There's not enough of it," said Sawyer (left). "Well, there is, but it's just concentrated in too few areas."
"I lived inside the Loop for about ten years, and now I live way out in the fucking suburbs," Sawyer said. "So I don't make it out to near as many shows as I did when I lived in the Heights."
"There's a little bit of everything here, if you know where to look," said Jordan, a 36-year-old Houston native, whose one complaint with Saturday's show was the lack of AC. But hey, that's Houston.
"That'd be my one bitch," he added with a laugh.
Jordan feels that our music scene doesn't get the credit it deserves, and told us he's tired of hearing about how much better Austin's music scene is.
"I think there's more cool shit in Houston; you've just got to know where to look," he said.
Both Sawyer and Jordan hope to see The Mighty Orq, Trey Clark and John Evans next year.
Monica Rogers and Katy Viele, whom we ran into at Kobain, came to see Jonathan Tyler and Matt & Kim. Viele just moved to Houston last week, so she was a bit too unfamiliar to comment on the local music scene, but we were glad to see that she was taking an interest so early after her arrival here.
So far, the two had seen Espantapajaros, though they couldn't pronounce the band's name (but to be fair, neither could we).
"I like the variety of music in Houston," said Rogers, who hopes to see Eleven Finger Charlie next year.
"It's not all the same stuff."
Rogers' friend Ryan, who wouldn't give us his last name, came to see Matt & Kim and wasn't too familiar with local bands, but enjoyed the showcase's festival atmosphere.
"I don't know any of them," Ryan said of the local acts. "It surprised me, because I thought I would know quite a bit of them, but apparently not."
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Ryan told us he likes the feel of live shows and isn't too worried about the genre of music being played or how famous the performers are. If it's a live show, he told us he'll do his best to get there.
Candace Claunch and Marcel De Chermont came to see Hollywood F.L.O.S.S. and, after his set, were enjoying a drink while conversing on the back patio of The Drinkery. They declined having their picture taken, but were happy to offer their opinions.
"Any time you can drink during the day is a good time," Claunch said with a smile. "But I just don't think we have enough live bands playing in bars."
While Claunch hopes to see the music scene venture outside of the Heights/Montrose area, De Cermont feels that it already has.
"The Montrose area is famous for the bands and the artists and the open-mike nights and all that stuff, while the Washington area is more famous for the douchey people," De Chermont said. "I think they're trying to change that, and I think they're doing a good job."
"Austin has bands - even if no one knows who they are - playing 24/7 in the bars, even though they're douchey bars," she said with a friendly glance at De Chermont. "They're still [playing] there, and people go there to enjoy the drinks, but they also get exposed to a variety of bands."
De Chermont and Claunch likewise hope to see the Mighty Orq next year.
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Crystal Derkowski, also camera-shy, made her first trek out for a Houston music festival.
"We do Austin City Limits, and we do other independent music festivals outside of Houston," Derkowski said.
She too told us she would like to see Houston mirror Austin's music scene a bit. Though she saw Fat Tony and Trae perform, she didn't like either performer's set very much because she "didn't know any of their songs."
"I don't know," she added. "I guess I'm not a Trae fan."