It's Saturday and as the music festival activities are winding down, the corporate product push is being stepped up big time. As more and more "natural tobacco" cigarette packets are pressed into the hands of those entering the cloudy Smokin' Music venue on Trinity (where Blue Rodeo held court Friday night), the poor sods decked out in goofy mascot suits promoting record labels and consumer goods mingle with with the masses of delegates back and forth across Sixth Avenue. Meanwhile gorgeous young women in halter tops strapped with cooler packs filled with free beverages are working the venues up and down Red River.
The aspiring spokesmodel types hit the stuffed Red-Eyed Fly club while Steve Earle's son Justin Townes Earle is twanging through his own Hank, Sr. derived honky tonk numbers during the well-attendedBloodshot label showcase at Red-Eyed Fly on Red River.
"Would you care to try something new?" queries the skilled pitch person suggestively, offering me a chilled can. "It's half beer, half energy drink -- so you get the best of both all in one!" When Isay "no thanks," she looks slightly confused and then fires back, "it's free," as if that would change my mind.
When I shake my head no, she smiles and moves onto a group of already well-oiled fiftysomethings on a music biz playa's version of a spring break bender who can't believe their double good fortune ofhaving three smokin' hot babes cozy up to them bearing cold refreshments. They eagerly take a can apiece and call over their friends to join in the free sample bonanza. In a flash, the smiling drink dealers have reloaded and are onto the next group of marks. They've got a lot of product to unload in a very short time.