Live From The Living Room: D.I.Y. Venue Makes Triumphant Return to San Marcos Music Scene

todayNovember 8, 2022 273 6

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Avery Viers

Local Music Director

Live From The Living Room: D.I.Y. Venue Makes Triumphant Return to San Marcos Music Scene

On November 4, 2022, Earle’s Basement, the latest D.I.Y. venue to join San Marcos’ vibrant music scene, presented its sophomore production featuring local musicians The Trips, Arbordae, and Say So.

Initially established by Texas State University graduate student Ashley Farnie, I was thrilled to be asked to collaborate on the venue’s resurrection following its six-month hiatus. One amateur attempt at a booking agreement later, Earle’s Basement announced its official lineup one month ahead of hosting its “Halloweekend Pt. 2” performance on November 4th.

Black and white image features Zaborowski, Smith, and Wells facing the lens of an out of frame handheld camcorder. String lights are hung vertically on walls behind. Three posters can be seen hung on the right side wall. A keyboard is visible behind Wells as he holds wrapped cables around his right forearm. Smith waves at the camera.
Max Zaborowski, Sammy Smith, and Sammy Wells Rearranging Audio Equipment / Carolina Garza KTSW

Whether it was a lack of foresight or just plain bad luck, our initial plans for an outdoor show were challenged as the rare Central Texas storm rolled in above the heads of the evening’s first set featuring resident band, The Trips – composed of triplet siblings McKenna, Marshall, and Sammy Wells.

After a significant amount of fumbling, scrambling, and praying, the collective effort of friends, talent, and guests in attendance resulted in our impromptu staging arrangement in the spacious living room of Earle’s Basement.

Rain continued to fall as The Trips resumed their set once more; this time in a setting conducive to an intimate, music-in-the-round performance pleasing both audience members and the performers. A warm glow of the backdrop’s ambient lighting filled the eclectic living room and complemented the 21-year-old siblings’ performance.

The Trips completed their set by welcoming fellow San Marcos musician and friend, Sammy Smith, to the stage for a guest performance of “Taco Bout It;” an unreleased duet co-written by Wells and Smith.

Image features panoramic view of an onlooking crowd watching Sammy Wells on guitar, Marshall Wells on bass, and Mckenna Wells on drums.
Panoramic View of The Trips’ Set at Earle’s Basement / Carolina Garza

Our second set of the evening, the San Marcos three-piece Arbordae, successfully veiled the thundering storm with their Slowcore sound. Curtis Rowe, Ethan Lugbauer, and Caleb Alvarez delivered a captivating performance as Rowe playfully interacted with audience members during transitions between songs.

With silly anecdotes at the ready, Rowe’s engagement with the crowded room certainly made for a memorable and skillful performance.

If you’re interested in learning more about Arbordae’s presence in the San Marcos music scene, check out an interview I did with the band for KTSW’s Third Thursday here.*

Image features band members of Arbordae – Curtis Rowe on guitar, Ethan Lugbauer on drums, and Caleb Alvarez on bass, respectively. The indoor stage is illuminated by the purple glow of ambient lighting. Posters of all sizes decorate the walls in the living room of Earle’s Basement.
Curtis Rowe, Ethan Lugbauer, and Caleb Alvarez of Arbordae / Carolina Garza KTSW

The final band taking the makeshift indoor stage of Earle’s Basement last Friday night was Say So; a local San Marcos band hoping to make they’re return following a brief hiatus.

On lead vocals and rhythm guitar, frontman Logan West would release Say So’s first single, “Other Things,” just under four years ago. Now accompanied by Derek Russell on lead guitar, Adam Cicero on bass, and Evan Hamilton on drums, Say So has added six original singles to their discography including their recent 2022 release, “Looking.”

Image features band members of Say So; Logan West on vocals and rhythm guitar, Adam Cicero on bass, Derek Russell on lead guitar, and Evan Hamilton on drums, respectively. Members are surrounded by beams of yellow and purple accent lighting. West and Russell are dressed as iconic brothers Mario and Luigi.
Say So’s Logan West, Adam Cicero, Derek Russell, and Evan Hamilton performing live at Earle’s Basement / Carolina Garza KTSW

West and Russell were unmistakably dressed to theme as they began to play the evening’s final set dressed as the iconic Nintendo duo, Mario and Luigi. When combined with the specialized sound produced by Cicero and Hamilton, Say So finished out their night at Earle’s Basement with the familiar indie rock sound they’re recognized for.

The four-piece’s performance of their popular 2019 single, “Stop Signs,” ignited the energy of the room as the song’s upbeat sound captivated its audience for the second time since the band’s return to the local stage.

As our night at Earle’s Basement came to a close, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander as I began to conceptualize next month’s lineup. Saying my goodbyes to guests as they walked into the drizzle that followed the evening’s mini monsoon, I felt immense gratitude for the talent and community that San Marcos’ local music scene has to offer.

 Image features a hazy depiction of Curtis Rowe and Ethan Lugbauer (out of frame) moshing in the living room of Earle’s Basement during Say So’s set. Say So’s West, Cicero, and Russell are opposite Rowe. “11/4/2022 21:58” can be read in the bottom right corner of the image.
Arbordae Lead Vocalist Curtis Rowe’s Living Room Mosh / Ashley Farnie KTSW




Written by: Jordan Young

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