Hipster Robots began its life as an annual SXSW day party showcase of a bunch of amazing musicians from Washington, D.C. That show actually pre-dated us by a number of years, and was organized by, among others, our friends Merideth Munoz and Val Paschall.
Then, one fateful evening in early 2011 after a Dismemberment Plan reunion show at the Black Cat in D.C., Val asked Steve and Dan if they wanted to get involved in helping the show. They did, and, well, they did, helping to host D.C. showcases at the now-departed Lovejoy’s in Austin (R.I.P.) in 2011 and 2012, and then helping to co-host the D.C. vs. Austin showcase at Side Bar (we love you, Side Bar) in 2013 with SideOneTrackOne. Steve also brought in our friends from Fredericksburg All Ages — a great all-ages music education and performance space in Virginia — as a lead sponsor.
It was about this time, though, that Steve and Dan — who had both moved away from D.C. years earlier — began thinking about a show that went beyond D.C. It was also at this time that Micha got involved, first spearheading the support of CHIRP Radio for the D.C. vs. Austin showcase, and then as a full-fledged member of the team. And so in 2014 the team organized D.C. vs. The World at the New Movement Theater in Austin, hosting both bands from D.C. as well as from all over the world, including Vaadat Charigim from Israel, Hospitality from North Carolina, and of course The Coup from Oakland, who fucking burned that motherfucker down in a way we’ve never seen. Seriously, it was awesome — even without the involvement of any horse-man mutants.
After taking a well-deserved year off in 2015 (honestly, we were just lazy), the show roared back in 2016 re-branded — regretfully — as Make SXSW Great Again, thinking at that time in early 2016 that this was a wonderfully funny joke that would be forgotten by the time 2017 rolled around. Even robots can be wrong sometimes. The good news, though, was that we were back at Side Bar and had one of our favorite shows to date, with bands like OBN IIIs, Steve Adamyk Band, Sonic Avenues and The Blind Shake among others. Yeah, we were really into garage rock that year.
Then, after taking yet another lazy-ass year off from doing a show, we came back as Hipster Robots Suck in 2018 and 2019, doing our biggest and bestest shows yet. I mean, seriously, did you see the fucking Riverboat Gamblers set at our show this year? Or Radioactivity? Or Trail of Dead or A Place to Bury Strangers last year? Or Pkew Pkew Pkew both years? OR LEE BAINS AND GLORY FIRES???? Seriously. Our shows have rocked thanks to a collection of our favorite bands in the world who have been wonderful enough to grace our stages.
And so that’s basically our story. Someday we’ll return to the D.C. thing when we host Fugazi and then we’ll quit doing the show altogether to go raise sheep or some fucking thing. But until then, we hope you’ll join us whenever we congregate, that you’ll wear protective ear wear, and that you’ll tip your bartenders.