(Brother J.T., Trailer Space, July 5, 2015)
It was reported a few days ago that A Giant Dog’s new album is coming out on Merge. Great news for a terrific band and a terrific label, and I don’t mean to suggest for instance, that said union never would’ve happened without Trailer Space. But given the store’s role in the band’s live development and that of their peers, we’ll never know for sure, right?
Spot Long confirmed to the local weekly what’s been whispered for a few weeks ; that Trailer Space is going Operation Shutdown at the end of the month. Hands up if you thought East Side Pies would shove out Trailer Space before the new $750,000 houses on Rosewood Ave. Much has already been written about Trailer Space’s clubhouse vibe, about Spot & the store’s cast of characters, and some of it’s even halfway accurate. What’s a little off, however, is the implication that while Spot had a pretty casual booking policy, this was in some fashion a lesser venue in the pantheon of Austin music. Sure, it’s no Saxon Pub or Strange Brew (thank fucking god), but there’s a reason why Trailer Space over the years hosted shows by Fucked Up, Wizzard Sleeve, the Barreracudas, Fred & Toody Cole, Digital Leather, Brother J.T., Unholy Two, Cheater Slicks, Obnox and countless other touring heavyweights. There’s a reason why almost every Austin band worth giving a fuck about ever the last 7 years did a lot of teeth cutting at Trailer Space (including several who eventually found themselves making real records and going on real tours, if not being lionized by Curtin’s colleagues).
(The Blind Shake, Trailer Space, March 15, 2013. Video by Ángel Delgado-Reyes)
Kind of funny how despite having a booking policy that’s compared (by Spot) to open mic night, Trailer Space still managed to host more good shows a year than countless “real” clubs with “real” bookers. That wasn’t nearly as much of an accident as you might think.
(Spray Paint, Trailer Space, March 30, 2012. Video by Ángel Delgado-Reyes)
With the possible/obvious exceptions of Max Meehan and Randall Stockton, no one’s done more to foster a sense of (gasp) community and, y’know fun for the town’s newer, better bands than Spot and the crew at Trailer Space. It’s one of my all-time favorite places to play, one of my favorite places to see a show, one of my favorite places to have someone drunkenly talk my ear off (and I’m not referring the proprietor, not exclusively, anyway).
Measuring the loss of this venue/shop is hard to calculate. Spot’s done his share of the heavy lifting, now it will be down to others to make similar sacrifices/gestures to prevent the creeping creepy Quiet Companization of The Entitlement Capital Of America. It’s absolutely hilarious that while some professional appeasers/p.r. dopes sing the praises of alleged band “incubators” (great training for Star Search, if not the launch of Quiet Company II) an actual, real fucking life incubator was baiting year-round at the corner of 11th Street and Rosewood Ave. A toast to the baiters, believers and those who got their hands (and other parts) very dirty at Trailer Space.