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Daily Texan: Timbuk 3 gives Yabba Dabba Delicious show

BYLINE LEE NICHOLS

"Y abba Dabba Doo!" Fred announced as he took the stage at Hole in the Wall Wednesday night. Wilma smiled, and the pair deftly ripped through a set of rock and wit. Fred and Wilma? As in Fred and Wilma Flinstone? No, as in Pat and Barbara MacDonald. As in Timbuk 3. One of the most disappointing aspects of Austin music is that when local acts "hit it big," they're pretty much gone from the bars for good, and one's only chance to see them again comes in the more expensive concert halls. But on Wednesday night, the small crowd that jammed into Hole in the Wall was granted a reprieve, as Timbuk 3 returned to their old stomping ground for an "unannounced" visit. Playing under the pseudonym of Fred and Wilma, the pair seemed to enjoy the show as much as the audience. Despite the informal show's impromptu nature, Pat and Barbara played to the 100 or so "home folks" with as much intensity as if it were a crowd of thousands. Their desire to please old friends showed. This wasn't just some acoustic set or jam session - it was a real, live, full-tilt Timbuk 3 performance, with their powerful drum machine pounding out a strong rhythm as they ground out their trademark raw-boned guitar rhythms. They also previewed their upcoming album, which is slated for release this fall. If new songs like National Holiday speak for the record as a whole, Timbuk 3's fans won't be disappointed. While some of the Hole in the Wall regulars had learned of the show in advance, many others were pleasantly surprised. One fan simply came with his wife to see what "Fred and Wilma" were like. As the show went on, the fans got more and more involved, with the highlight coming on Pat's old tune Assholes On Parade. A recording of George Bush discussing arms reduction made for a new and appropriate intro to the song, and members of the beer-guzzling crowd jumped up and formed their own parade by marching and dancing in a procession around the tables. Timbuk 3 didn't just drop into town for a welcome-home show, though. Tuesday night they played in front of an overflow crowd at a benefit for the Austin Outhouse - under their proper name - and Friday they will tape an episode of Austin City Limits for KLRU. "We just wanted a warm-up gig for that," Barbara said between sets. "We booked it (the Hole in the Wall show) about a month ago. We advertised as Fred and Wilma because in the past, when we advertised as Timbuk 3, it was just too crowded to be comfortable." Surprisingly, there was no great buildup or feeling of expectation before the show. Pat and Barbara sat and enjoyed the charming opening act of country-folk singer Blaze Foley, and then calmly walked onstage without great fanfare. Perhaps that's only reflective of the natures of both Timbuk 3 and Hole In the Wall - "We're doing it just to play and have a good time," Barbara said. "The (size of the) crowd has nothing to do with it."

 

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