Recap: Canned Acoustica II (11-M03-1)

Canned Acoustica I, back in 2010 December, set the expectation bar rather high for its second incarnation, as one may have inferred from my recap of that event. One would probably hope for and expect great musical acts, great food trucks, and great times the second time around, just like we had the first.

I didn’t arrive at Warehouse Live until around 8:45pm, right as Young Girls was wrapping up their set. What little I heard of this act did have me wanting more, to their credit. So, not long after arriving, I’m off to see what food truck offerings we were to have this time around.

Or, maybe I should say, the distinct lack of food truck offerings thereof. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but the original food trucks that were lined up for this event were unable to make it. To his credit, this was announced this on the Canned Acoustica Twitter feed not long after the nominal start time of the event, however, I wasn’t keeping my eyes glued to it for late-breaking developments (I was too busy getting a last-minute haircut and making sure I had canned food handy for my donation) and so I didn’t find out until after my arrival.

However, it wasn’t a total loss in the end; Frosted Betty was on hand for those in the mood for cupcakes, at the standard prices ($3 for regular, $3.25 for specialty). They also had canned sodas; over the course of the evening I had two sodas for $1.50 each, because I wanted to support them somehow even though I was simply not in a cupcake mood. Incidentally, their cupcake van sells at the City Hall farmer’s market as well as various announced locations, mostly in the Heights. I recommend following Frosted Betty’s Twitter account to keep up with their schedule. If you’re not a cupcake fan, please pass along the info to someone you know who is.

With that, I’m sorry if the rest of this is a bit light on detail. This is from minimal notes and what memory I have left of the event five days later.

After Young Girls, the following acts played, in order: Lee Alexander, Finnegan, The Southern Backtones (with a surprise appearance by Tyagaraja), Roky Moon (solo), The Tontons, and Come See My Dead Person. This would imply that Erin Rodgers and Poor Pilate played their sets prior to my arrival. I might add with the sole exception of The Tontons, I was seeing every act live for the first time.

The stand-out moments for me were Roky Moon’s set (I hope I can make it to another of his shows with the full band), hearing The Tontons go acoustic (a different sound, but still spectacular), some of Finnegan’s set (another great band I’m going to have to make time to see), and of course Come See My Dead Person. However, I will note I did enjoy all of it; the omission of particular acts from this list should not be taken to imply the contrary. In fact, there’s not a single act I wouldn’t want to see and hear again out of the entire lineup.

Other notable differences: There was no merchandise table set up this time (at least a couple bands had CDs for sale but it wasn’t at all obvious unless you were looking), and surprisingly, no promotion of Empty Bowls Houston also benefiting the Houston Food Bank, which is now (as of the moment I’m writing this) less than two weeks away. And also, the crowd seemed a bit thinner this time around, which may explain the lack of an announcement regarding the food donation total (rather inconspicuous unless you were expecting one, like I was). Not that there was a visible shortage of food in the donation bins, mind you. Even if the total fell quite short of the rather impressive half-ton brought in by Canned Acoustica I, I don’t think this takes away from the success of the event at all; Canned Acoustica I was on the verge of overcrowded, so a slightly thinner crowd could be seen as a good thing.

In summary, I am anxiously awaiting a Canned Acoustica III, and hopefully Mark Austin has started something big and this series will go on for some time.