Duo moves from intimate Sessions at the Hideout to One World
“The smell of this theater is slowly becoming like Christmas to me,” says Lauren Bucherie, 25, stepping into the intimate theater hidden away at the back of the Hideout Coffeehouse on Congress Avenue. “It’s just one of those warm feelings.”
Bucherie’s ties with the Hideout are young but extensive — along with CJ Vinson, 28, a fellow graduate of Austin media production school MediaTech, she’s used the space since April 2009 for the Sessions, a showcase for local singer/songwriters. With five performers per show — each given equal time and billed in no particular order — the Sessions have regularly taken over the Hideout and made it into one of Austin’s best listening rooms. Intimate sets range from soul man Dan Dyer to folk songstresses Dana Falconberry and Erin Ivey to acoustic pop maestro Matt the Electrician.
Tonight, Bucherie and Vinson expand the Sessions for the first time to a larger Austin venue, commandeering the One World Theatre for a show with the Americana-influenced Cowboy and Indian, dance outfit L.A.X. and New Wave pop connoisseurs the Black and White Years.
“We wanted to experiment with a bigger theater and see what we could do,” Vinson says. “We always try to set a bar and exceed it, and that’s what this is about. Bigger theater, bigger bands, more people.”
Vinson and Bucherie met through MediaTech but conceived the Sessions after wandering into the theater in the Hideout during an open-mike night. They began booking shows in the room with the idea of crafting a unique listening experience to match the venues they’d enjoyed in other cities.
“CJ had lived in L.A. and New York and I was from Vegas, and all those places have certain venues that are notorious as great listening rooms and songwriting rooms,” says Bucherie. “We basically wanted to make a space in Austin that was like (famous Hollywood music venue) the Hotel Café.”
The Sessions also features painters creating works of art on stage — a clear indicator of Bucherie and Vinson’s adventurousness, which also expands to taking some of their musicians on tour and booking a lineup at the One World Theatre that defies the pair’s usually acoustic-oriented modus operandi.
“We just wanted to make people say, ‘This is totally different from what you usually do. What the heck is going on with you guys?’ ” says Vinson. “It’s a summer dance party. Last summer we threw a bunch of shows that were nice and quiet, and we loved it, and we’re still going to do that, but for this? We were like, ‘You know what? It’s summertime, we have a big theater, let’s dance!’ ”