As much of an East Austin institution as it is, the Scoot Inn is no stranger to an empty house. I'm here now, watching Do the Right Thing with the sound engineer, the bartender and the door guy. There's nobody else here. It's quiet as hell. We can all hear the movie.
Did everyone just get sick of the Scoot Inn? Is that what happened? They've thrown some great shows here. There was that time last year when Dana Falconberry, Dan Grissom and Adam Hilton brought the triple-pretty melancholy for triple-sensitive people, or that time in 2010 when Fresh Millions and Fat Tony played the outside stage with that band that Michael Cera was in.
The final show at the Scoot Inn is tonight, August 31, which is a shame. I always did like the wallpaper.
I guess the place isn't closing, really — the name will even stay the same, says new owner and downtown hamburger magnate Casino Eighmey (Casino El Camino) — it's just ducking out of the live music game. Sure, sure, SXSW, ROT, tourism stuff, that'll still happen. Music will still happen there.
The Scoot is only really closing its doors to local music, which, I mean, let's face it. Local music just don't fill the ledger, am I right or am I right?
Admittedly, there's no law on the books that says every bar in Austin has to be a venue. Also admittedly, the Scoot Inn has existed in the same spot for 141 years and has had a PA system for only a tiny percentage of that time. Supposedly it was a junkie den in the '80s? Maybe sometimes change just happens.
The fact of the matter is that the Scoot Inn says goodbye to local music tonight with Sons of Fathers, Hello Wheels and God only knows who else (the Hickoids? people are saying the Hickoids), so you should go by and see if Mr. Cat is still around.
Do you figure he'll follow the owners to this new place out in West Campus? Somehow I doubt it.