As humanity progressed past huddling around fires, and the general tomfoolery that comes with the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, architecture met function with the development of the courtyard. Sources of heat could be centrally located, but no longer had to involve the carbon monoxide-related wackiness of indoor fires. Courtyards have proved to be an ideal venue for kings and peasants alike, a haven for jesters and even a hub for business. While the purpose of central heat is a tad vestigial, with the Texan sun bearing down more fiery than a medieval conflagration, their use today is deeply rooted in community and jovial celebration. It is no surprise, then, to read of a local courtyard being heralded as a pivotal Austin institution, complete with fans to foil the sun’s plot to melt us all.
Cedar Street Courtyard opened its doors some fifteen years ago, with its sights set on fun and musical showmanship. Consequently, it has served as a bastion for SXSW activity and diverse acts from across the nation, as well as a hotspot for festive locals. Stepping off of West 4th into the cool seclusion of Cedar Street evokes a sense of crossing through the wardrobe (if Narnia sported perfectly mixed cocktails; think Martini over Aslan). If one were to step further into the venue, and continue with an already faltering metaphor, it would be obvious that the Pevensie children look a bit more… Spazmatic.
Where Las Vegas sees residencies such as those of Cher and Elton John take root, Cedar Street opted for a true 80′s classic: the Spazmatics. If one were to coalesce the musty essence of Bon Jovi’s hair with the concentrated sweat from Bret Michael’s doo-rag, the product would be terrifying and far less fun than the nerd-meets-new wave show that the Spazmatics bring to Cedar Street every Wednesday night. Covering 80′s gems isn’t easy, or at least you wouldn’t think so upon viewing the showmanship of these Texan icons. With chances to see them for free, along with many other headliners, those few who have yet to experience this Austin classic are running out of excuses faster than the Running Man hurried our hearts (and Keds). Radical!