South-By On A Dime: Thursday and Friday

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Free doesn't always mean free, I've learned after striking out twice on the hunt for freebies Thursday before settling for a Reuben sandwich at B.D. Riley's.

The first stop was the Longbranch Inn on 11th Street in East Austin, where King Khan and BBQ Show, Past Lives and Tera Malos held court in a day party that promised free beer. As it turned out, the free PBRs ran out just minutes before I arrived. But as it turned out, I didn't end up paying for the two brews I enjoyed. All I did was accept a CD from Justin, of the band Smiley With A Knife; after a few minutes of conversation, my new buddy offered a beer I wasn't about to turn down. After that, another friend returned the favor from a beer I'd bought for him last weekend.

But paying a few bucks for brews would have been more than worth it at such a great free show. King Khan's awesome set of raw Chuck Berry-inspired rock packed in a sweaty audience that hung on every word. Considering how hard he rocked with just a two-piece, I can't wait to check out his big soul outfit the Shrines. Tera Malos and Past Lives both put on loud, aggressive sets. 

Next a friend and I headed to Sailor's Grave Ink. Devola, Me vs. Everybody and DJ Bradford were scheduled to go on at 6 p.m., but we were the only ones there at 6:30.

"Oh yeah, we put 'Free Food' and 'Free Beer' on the flyer to get people to come out, but it's more like bring your own food and beer," said an employee, laughing. Nothing against DJ Bradford, but I was starving and not in the mood to put up with lighthearted false advertising. Oh well, some hot corned beef, a Guinness and an IPA tasted quite nice after all the walking. 

Last night my freeloading has amounted to little more than a complimentary vodka drink and a long hike from my residential parking spot east of I-35. Hopefully today will prove more fruitful.

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