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Such is the benefit of opening for the guy with the best gig in town, Bob Schneider.As his band, Lonelyland, tunes up, Schneider seats himself between bassist Harmoni Kelley and guitarist Jeff Plankenhorn.WAKING LIFE: Covers are always a dicey proposition: photo, illustration, or graphic art?In this case, Bob Schneider is as prolific an artist as he is a singer-songwriter – from illustrating his own CD covers to printing posters – so asking him for a self-portrait was a natural."People despised me, because I was drunk," acknowledges the singer. That was the real reason – I didn't want to be hated. As soon as I stopped drinking, I got really productive. "The thing I love more than anything is to make stuff, to make songs. The world and people and all that are scary, and I don't know how to deal with that.

Few musicians in Austin can boast the longevity and local history Schneider does.

As the hottest club ticket in town, sporting new powerhouse CD Lovely Creatures and a couple of post-40 wake-up calls, Schneider unsurprisingly – and perhaps begrudgingly – has morphed into the most popular singer-songwriter in Austin.

"I was 5 feet, 4 inches in my senior year, a total nerd. "While I was going to school, I heard about Austin.

Nobody knew who I was." Schneider sits, long fingers laced and hands folded on the dark-green picnic table, outside Casa de Luz on a breezy Tuesday. I did a show where I recruited a couple of friends, and we were Bobby Blue & the Basstones. So I thought: 'I can go there, and if it works out, it works out.

As he traces his earliest musical experiences, his even features are pleasing, his dark brown hair combed casually back, the indigo blue of his shirt matching his voice as he recalls the muse first tapping his shoulder. If not, I can always go back to art.'" Austin worked out for Schneider.

Few musicians in Austin can boast the longevity and local history Schneider does.As the hottest club ticket in town, sporting new powerhouse CD Lovely Creatures and a couple of post-40 wake-up calls, Schneider unsurprisingly – and perhaps begrudgingly – has morphed into the most popular singer-songwriter in Austin."I was 5 feet, 4 inches in my senior year, a total nerd. "While I was going to school, I heard about Austin.Nobody knew who I was." Schneider sits, long fingers laced and hands folded on the dark-green picnic table, outside Casa de Luz on a breezy Tuesday. I did a show where I recruited a couple of friends, and we were Bobby Blue & the Basstones. So I thought: 'I can go there, and if it works out, it works out.As he traces his earliest musical experiences, his even features are pleasing, his dark brown hair combed casually back, the indigo blue of his shirt matching his voice as he recalls the muse first tapping his shoulder. If not, I can always go back to art.'" Austin worked out for Schneider.Not since the mid- 1980s when Dino Lee & the White Trash Revue paraded onstage with 6-foot penises and near-naked women had Austin seen anything as irresistibly obscene as the Scabs. The success and appeal of Schneider's new act lay in the combination of its charismatic frontman, horn-laden powerhouse band, and danceably dirty songs.