Festival draws music lovers to West Campus co-op shows

The talents of local bands, including some St. Edward’s University students, were showcased at a pre-South by Southwest event that drew a large crowd with diverse musical tastes.

Bands played at House of Guys Co-Op, 21st Street Co-Op, and Eden House in West Campus on Feb. 26 and Seneca Falls Co-Op on Feb. 27 at an event called West by West Campus.

This was the second year the family of co-ops had hosted a pre-South by Southwest event, according to Tessa Hunt, one of the founders of WXWC.

“There’s nowhere for (local bands) to play. And it’s February—there’s nothing to do. I felt that this needed to happen,” Hunt said.

Some bands included members who attend St. Edward’s, including bands such as The Eastern Sea and Lost Catz.

Lost Catz is comprised of sophomore Jess Buie on guitar and vocals, sophomore Jonathan Cantu on drums, and St. Edward’s graduate Manny Codina on vocals and keyboard.

Buie said Lost Catz found out about WXWC after attending last year. They e-mailed Hunt with some demos and were approved to play at the event.

Other bands came from cities surrounding Austin, including San Antonio-based band Kites. Frontman Jesus Pizaña, a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said his band was asked to play through Austin-based band Sorry About the Mess (formerly known as Whale Watch) because the organizers of WXWC needed a band with strings.

A goal of WXWC was to provide a diversity in genres, which can be heard while walking in between the co-ops on the street.

“It’s really, really incredible to witness all of these musical acts that are entirely different. You walk across the street and see something that’s not even in the same realm of music,” Jacob Weber, a member of the Austin community, said.

Diana Naya, a resident of 21st Street Co-Op, said each co-op featured a particular style of music.

“Eden House has the indie rock, House of Guys is more hard rock and 21st Street is funk and party music,” Naya said.

Bands playing at Eden House played in a small room outside of the co-op’s kitchen, and fans stood in an adjacent living room to see the bands through the doorway. Twenty-First Street Co-Op, the largest of the three main co-ops, had the largest dancefloor, with House of Guys having the most energetic atmosphere.

“Playing at WXWC was a great experience,” Buie said. “They treated the bands very cool — gave us a green room to hang out in and gave us all this free stuff to eat and drink, and a secure place to keep all of our stuff in…we had a great time playing there. The whole festival was put together and run really well.”