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  • Writer's picturebutter eater lad

Monday, the best/worst day

When Buttercup first began playing, so many years ago—we had a regular gig at a hellhole called “Tequila Mockingbird”. It was located right off the San Antonio riverwalk, but behind a short labyrinth of stuff, and thus somehow hard to find. The venue, in its infinite parsimoniousness, paid us $100 to play for 4 hours of music and gave us the worst night possible: Monday. At the time, I would joke that if it was within their power, the club would have invented a worse night, somehow situated smack dab between Sunday and Monday and would offer it to us at a reduced rate.


These early gigs were a blessing, though. The pressure was very low, and we got to hone our teeth and our songs. The crowd was consistently drunk, tourist and rude. This made us stronger. I recall multiple occasions that an inebriated Canadian or German wanted to 1) sit in with the band on harmonica 2) have us play George Thorogood or Foreigner or something equally repulsive 3) touch my hair. Under this kind of consistent harassment, we began to build songs as if to fight a war. Our songs grew more compelling and our stage tactics more fluid.


Grackle Mundy at Three Walls Gallery 2005

Grackle Mundy on a float, Kenji and Jamie on drums, 2004

As odie says, “we fired Tequila Mockingbird” and left for art galleries where we decided to continue to play exclusively on Monday night, but on our own terms. These concerts we called “Grackle Mundy” and they were a wild blend of performance art, music and general silliness. We strived to make each show unique and playful—I remember continually daydreaming and brainstorming, seeking out new themes for our weekly shows. Some of them were fantastic, some utter follies, but all were certainly a boatload of fun.


show dissection journal 2004

I used to keep a journal where I recorded what worked at a certain gig, and what failed. Thankfully, as we became more consistent and comfortable in our skins on stage, I began to write less about the negatives. And the full-on train wreck became a rarity. Though the beat-down show still can rear its gnarly head—where the sound system goes haywire, or the power goes out, or our best-laid plans just wither on the vine. In fact, we had a tough gig but a week ago at Fiesta—I was getting shocked by the microphone, had to take off my socks to fashion a sort of microphone condom. It reminded me of the inspiring chaos of the early days.


You might be asking, OK what’s with all the navel gazing, Buttercup? The point is that we’ve had a longterm and special relationship with Monday evenings. So, this Monday we will once again play, but in an environment so much loftier than the old vomitoriums--in Sternewirth, the Hotel Emma Bar. Like those old Mundys, this show has the power to reset yer week for the better, starting off with something unusual. Sternewirth has great vibes, excellent cocktails, and a lovely fragrance. Luxurient couches and soft nooks to bury yer head in. Buttercup will dress up, assume a jazz quartet type formation, and reach back to our sweetest songs. We'll take some notes on what works and doesn't and we will write it down. Oh, and this show is absolutely FREE.


Buttercup at Sternewirth Tavern in the Hotel Emma

Monday, May 6

7-10p Free

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