South by Southwest Travel Diary, Part 5: Guilty Pleasures

guilty pleasures

The Chuggin’ Monkey is an Austin 6th Street institution. I was introduced to it during my first South by Southwest conference back in 2008. During non-SxSW times, it’s a cheesy college bar specializing in inexpensive cocktails of the sort that are shot glasses of liquor “depth-charged” into larger glasses containing even more liquor. During SxSW times, it’s the same thing; it’s just that SxSW attendees displace the college students.

Austin fun trivia fact: An Austin local by the name of Brad Womack owns the Chuggin’ Monkey. Brad is better known for being the namesake bachelor from the 2007 season of the reality TV series The Bachelor.

I was walking down sixth street with my developer evangelist counterparts for the US, Abby and Kyle, when we heard some raucous music blaring from the Chuggin’ Monkey’s front windows. The Chuggin’ Monkey’s stage is right by the front windows, so it was easy for us to walk up and get a better look at who was playing. When Kyle and I discovered that it was an all-girl band wearing snug firefighter outfits, we decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to go inside and check out the show.

Here’s a taste of what we caught:

We soon found out that the band’s name was Guilty Pleasures, and they’re a fun-to-watch cover band. Among their covers were Bad Reputation, No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Call Me and Summer of ‘69 (which they dedicated to me after finding out I was Canadian).

Fun lifehack: Want to get an all-girl band who like to project a bi-curious image to interact with you? Bring an accordion, get their attention and lick it. Works every time.

I tweeted that I was watching Guilty Pleasures play. In response, Brittney Gilbert, whom I know only online, tweeted back, saying that she knows Kat, the vocalist. A quick “Hey, Kat! Brittney Gilbert says hi!” confirmed that. Kat said hi back, and I tweeted that back to Brittney.

For their second-to-last number, Kat wandered offstage and took a perch on the bar, not far from where I was. They started into the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, which I know how to play (dirt simple: the basic chords are Em – C – B). I simply walked up to Kat, played those chords, and she let me solo for the better part of a minute, putting her vocal mike up to my accordion grill.

I know the Great Law of the Internet is “pics or it didn’t happen”. Luckily, Abby got some great shots:

with the band 1

with the band 2

Playing with the band

with the band 4

And that, folks, is why I tend to take the accordion out as much as possible. It’s a device for converting music into adventure!

One reply on “South by Southwest Travel Diary, Part 5: Guilty Pleasures”

WOW I so happy to see pics from that night! I canNOT believe I stumbled upon this. I’m Megan, the drummer of Guilty Pleasures. Here and there I google our name to see what has been posted about us. THAT WAS SUCH A BLAST having you play with us! You were awesome. I do have to correct you a little though, our singer is Amy-but I presume there are many cover bands out there named Guilty Pleasures… so alas, I shan’t judge 🙂 Definitely come back and see us, and always have that accordion handy!


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