Tag: songwriter

Texas Tamarindo: BettySoo Loves Tehuacan

Texas Tamarindo: BettySoo Loves Tehuacan

For those of us who are obsessed with bubble water, the same water in a different delivery is different. It totally changes the character of the bubbles, like how long it stays fizzy, like all of that stuff changes.  —BettySoo, Texas songwriter who loves Tehuacan Tamarindo mineral water

Traveling as a musician means going places and experiencing a lot of things at once. Texas-based BettySoo and Sloane Spencer discuss what it means to travel on the road, tamarind candy and its uniqueness, plus BettySoo’s favorite carbonated beverage, Tehuacan Tamarindo, which derives from her love of tamarind candy.

There’s kind of a unique cultural phenomenon to the Austin residency, and I think part of it, honestly, is that we have so many venues.

Beyond a shared love for carbonated water, they talk about the Austin music scene and what makes it special to be a musician there, how hard it is to get even nonalcoholic drinks shipped across state lines, and beloved Jewish deli sodas.

I love the connection like that, something that seems so simple as a flavored bubble water, is part of that whole experience.

List of links

Beverage mentions

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DISCLAIMER:  These comedy episodes are for fun and are based solely on personal opinions of the host and/or guest, and do not claim to be fully factual or anything other than a belching good time.

AI Transcript, Good for a Few Laughs

Sloane Spencer: [00:00:08] Hey, y’all, this is Sloane Spencer, and you found us here at Bubble Bottles, one of our two new podcasts. This is where we chat with music folks about their favorite carbonated beverages. I’ve got a special guest with me today, somebody who I have been following — literally following — at shows around the country for several years now and have actually gotten to catch several times. And I guess the plus and the minus of the pandemic is that BettySoo has done a pretty cool online event that bubbled up during all of this experience as well. But it is a Texas songwriter involved in a lot of different projects, not only her solo career but also her trio Nobody’s Girl who has a new album coming, by the way. I’m sure we’ll talk about some of that and happens to be a designer of planners, so I am obsessed with planners and full disclosure: I purchased the planner and I use it regularly, so I know that’s not really what we were planning to talk about, but I felt like I should put that out there. So BettySoo, welcome to Bubble Bottles. [00:01:07][59.1]

BettySoo: [00:01:08] Thank you so much. It’s great to be here. [00:01:10][1.8]

Sloane Spencer: [00:01:11] Oh my pleasure. So give us a rundown on what you’ve been doing musically. [00:01:15][3.9]

BettySoo: [00:01:15] Well, you know, Nobody’s Girl. We released our record a year after we thought we were going to release it because we had planned to go on a big tour in 2020, like so many other people. And of course, that didn’t happen. In fact, our 2021 plans got kind of kiboshed by the Delta Surge and everything. But but we still got to do our CD release and, you know, got to celebrate it in some cool ways. So that’s kind of been the focus for the last few years. I’ve got some cool projects coming up for 2022 and beyond. I’m talking about making a solo record with Will Sexton maybe doing a duets record with Michael Fracasso and touring again. So lots of cool stuff to come. [00:01:57][41.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:01:57] That is super exciting. So I’ve had the pleasure of seeing you as the side player for a number of folks and as solo as well as with the trio. So really, you’re an incredibly versatile, not just songwriter, but player and performer as well. [00:02:13][15.1]

BettySoo: [00:02:13] Well, thanks so much. You know, honestly, my very favorite part about making music is collaborating. Singing harmony is really my favorite musical task, so. So it’s been fun to kind of scratch that. It’s a lot over the years, and I feel really, really lucky to have been able to do it. It did make the past year and a half for almost two years now extra hard because harmony was like one of the few things we really couldn’t do. But I guess it’s like absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m looking forward to doing it even more. And you know, at least I got to do a lot of harmonies on albums because you can always record separately from me. [00:02:49][36.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:02:50] So you also have been doing a pretty cool online series on your Tuesday evenings. [00:02:55][5.2]

BettySoo: [00:02:56] Yeah, yeah. I have a show that was it wasn’t intended to be a livestream. It was intended to be an in-person residency show in Austin called Nobody’s Happy Hour, and it was supposed to kick off March of 2020. Oh my goodness. Yeah. So I had a ton of guests lined up to come and do the show with me in person, and I was really grateful every single one was willing to switch to being an online guest instead. And, you know, I think I took like one month off this summer. And other than that, we’ve gone every single Tuesday since last March and have so many different guests. And it’s just been so cool because it’s kind of a half song swap show and half kind of an improv show with all these songwriters tasks. And so I really love it because I feel like I get to show off these like super magical skills that my friends have, and the audience is always blown away by all of these talented people. So, you know, it’s fun to be the person who gets to share them. [00:03:55][58.9]

Sloane Spencer: [00:03:55] Absolutely. So I definitely recommend checking it out. It is called Nobody’s happier if you’re not familiar with that very specific Austin experience of a residency. When things are good for you to personally make some travel and venues are ready for you, residencies are really special experience in that Texas music scene. In particular, it’s not the same as it is in other places. Even though other places say they have residencies, there’s something special about it. [00:04:20][25.0]

BettySoo: [00:04:21] I think you’re right. I think you’re right. There’s kind of a unique cultural phenomenon to the Austin residency, and I think part of it, honestly, is that we have so many venues. And so, you know, in other markets, you might have a few venues. And so when you have the residency, it’s kind of like filler between traveling shows. You know, just saying that because we’re not saying they’re not special shows. But in Austin, where you are a music destination for people from other places, it’s like people are really going there, not just to experience, Oh, I just want to see some live music or, Oh, I want to see this person playing. I mean, those are part of it. But it’s also I want to experience what this whole Austin life music thing is. And so I think in all the residencies, you get kind of that flavor in there. [00:05:05][43.9]

Sloane Spencer: [00:05:06] That is a perfect segue. Way into something, also a Texas theme that I didn’t really anticipate with bubble bottles. I want to steal the thunder too much. So Betty Sue. What’s your favorite carbonated beverage? [00:05:17][11.9]

BettySoo: [00:05:18] I’m a fan of almost every carbonated. I’m a big bubbles person. But you know, this past year and a half, I’ve fallen in love with this mineral water from Mexico. The brand is telecon and they have unflavored version. They’ve got a lime. They’ve got a grapefruit. All three of those are delicious, but they also have this tamarind flavor like tamarind, though bubble water. And it is amazing. It’s so good, which I don’t know if anybody else like me grew up with tamarind candy, which is it’s just the seed of the tamarind fruit coated in like a giant glob of sugar. And I like to say [00:06:03][44.4]

Sloane Spencer: [00:06:03] it’s one of my favorite candies, and I’m not a candy person, so that’s hilarious. [00:06:06][3.1]

BettySoo: [00:06:07] Yeah, it’s it’s super sour, tangy, but obviously sweet because it’s this glob of sugar, but I grew up just loving that. And the amazing thing about this bubble water is that it doesn’t have any sweeteners in it, but it somehow conveys both that sweet and sour tanginess of tamarind candy for me, and I cannot get enough of it. It’s so good. [00:06:30][23.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:06:31] I did do some research and see if I could get this where I currently live and I’m in South Carolina and in rural South Carolina. This is not readily available. I can’t get the unflavored one, however, but it’s magical because to me. So for me, tamarind candy specifically comes from my favorite Indian restaurant locally, and that’s you always get it there. And so I associate those two things together. So when you mentioned tamarind bubble water, I was like, Whoa! Mind blown from some. Well, wait a minute here. So now it’s like the mission of as soon as I feel comfortable traveling and am able to make that happen, I am driving to Texas. So so that’s why I it’s the one and kind of the peachy gold bottle. I did do my homework for you all. [00:07:15][43.5]

BettySoo: [00:07:15] Yeah, yeah. It’s got this like kind of mustard yellow label. And I know in Austin you can get it at Central Market, which is a specialty shop of H-E-B, which is a big grocery chain in Texas. But you can also get it at like there’s a Mexican food meat market like really close to my house called La Michoacan. And I can get it there too, so I feel extra lucky. So brag, brag, brag about Texas. I’m so obnoxious. [00:07:41][26.2]

Sloane Spencer: [00:07:43] There is something about bubble water for my Texas musician friends. They’re the first folks that told me about Typekit Chico before we could get it here. And then when we couldn’t get it here, I was like, Oh, what is this magic? Because I know that we basically have, you know, grocery store off brand non flavored seltzer, and we didn’t have other options, right? [00:08:02][18.8]

BettySoo: [00:08:02] Well, and you know, I will say in New England, I’m a big fan of Poller, and part of it is that Topo Chico Polar take on their super carbonated. Yes. Yes. You can’t go very far into the bottle before, like the deep burps start threatening to go. [00:08:17][15.1]

Sloane Spencer: [00:08:18] And let’s be honest, it’s really satisfying. [00:08:20][1.7]

BettySoo: [00:08:21] It’s super satisfying. Like any of those three, you could probably leave uncapped on your bed stand, and when you wake up, they’d still have bubbles like it would still have that like crisp, dry. I mean, to be honest, they’re probably not the greatest thing for singing because of that super dry feeling in the mouth, but you just deal with it because it’s so delicious, so funny. [00:08:43][22.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:08:44] So you said that you’re kind of the connoisseur of a variety of carbonated beverages? I’m the what got me into this was when I was in high school, I did my first cross-country tour. That was our whole thing was finding all the weird local carbonated whatevers at the gas station, and I’ve pretty much been obsessed with this concept ever since. Oh my gosh. So you all are perfectly located to get a lot of things that maybe are not distributed further because there’s enough of a market right there in Texas. [00:09:09][25.5]

BettySoo: [00:09:10] Yeah, yeah, that’s true. I mean, Togo Chico before it was bought by Coca-Cola and stuff. I mean, we in Austin, I mean, I’ve lived in Austin for about twenty five years. And I want say most of that time, we’ve been pretty familiar with Topo Chico and and it’s been popular. It’s true. It’s like people would come in from out of town and they’d be like, What is that? And you’re like, Oh, are you ready for this? I don’t know if you’re ready for this, [00:09:34][24.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:09:35] so I’ll use that one as an example because I’m more familiar with it, but I want to use it as comparison’s sake. So like the bubbles in turbo Chico are teeny tiny, and there’s a zillion of them so compared to like Polar, where the bubbles are bigger. [00:09:46][11.4]

BettySoo: [00:09:48] Yes, I think that’s true. So Polar has that same zingy ness on the tongue, but the bubbles feel bigger and topo it does have those super tiny bubble feel. I think telecon is kind of closer to TOPO, but a little bit in between. A-ha. Is it all has that kind of tongue attack, but it’s not as sharp, but it is. No carbonated, [00:10:07][19.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:10:08] you know, try to describe a taste with words here is probably a little bit outside of my vocabulary skill set because I’m not a food and beverage person, but less. But it comes from a glacier peak in Mexico, and that’s where they bottle it. So is it more mineral or is does the tamarind flavor buffer that? [00:10:25][17.4]

BettySoo: [00:10:26] Yeah, I would say in the unflavored one, you get more of that mineral flavor and I think in the lime, grapefruit and tamarind, though, it’s there, but it’s because it has flavoring. You don’t it’s not as promised. It’s not as forward. Now I will say, I have heard tell that to a gun is available in cans and plastic bottles. I have never had it like that. I’ve only had it in glass bottles. [00:10:51][25.3]

Sloane Spencer: [00:10:52] Oh, OK, so I am here for the glass bottles, for all beverages, folks. [00:10:56][4.2]

BettySoo: [00:10:57] And as we know, for those of us who are obsessed with bubble water, the same water in a different delivery is not is different. It’s different. It totally changes the character of the bubbles, like how long it stays fizzy, like all of that stuff changes. [00:11:12][15.4]

Sloane Spencer: [00:11:13] So, yeah, so if you’re not an expert yet, trust us on this one. That is absolute fact. You have to go with the glass bottles and it needs to be really cold. [00:11:22][9.1]

BettySoo: [00:11:23] Yeah, yeah. Speaking of really cold, I have not had it to work on so cold like you’ve probably had with the TOPO when it’s partially frozen. It looks like it’s not frozen and then you open it and it slowly starts to freeze. [00:11:36][13.1]

Sloane Spencer: [00:11:37] I didn’t even know that could happen until I experienced it. [00:11:40][2.8]

BettySoo: [00:11:40] It’s the coolest thing. It’s a little bit scary to me. When it’s perfect, it’s like you’re several sips in and then you start to notice there’s a tiny bit of like ice in there, but I haven’t had that with the token yet, but that’s just because I’ve been drinking it like I think I discovered telecon or, you know, actually, you know who told me about it. Now I’m remembering, is Rosie Flores. Flores told me about Tolkien. She had the unflavored kind at her place, and we did like a porch hanging early in the pandemic. And that was that was my introduction to it. Now I’m remembering that. Yeah, so but since since I learned about it, like at the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve only had it at home. So I haven’t had that like freeze or anything. [00:12:23][42.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:12:24] So Rosie Flores, for those who don’t know, is an absolutely legendary songwriter and performer who if you get a chance to see, you must must go to the show, of course, check out all the online music that’s available. Rosa Flores is. [00:12:37][13.1]

BettySoo: [00:12:37] Yeah. She’s like a guitar goddess hot pick in early. I mean, she was part of that whole like California Americana rockabilly ish movement with like the Palomino club and, you know, just like that whole thing. And she was the girl who could hang with all the guitar guys. [00:12:51][14.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:12:52] So, oh yeah, yeah, she’s really cool. I don’t know her personally, but I have met her in a professional setting. She’s also just super cool, so she’s super nice. [00:12:59][7.5]

BettySoo: [00:13:00] Yeah, she’s the sweetest. [00:13:01][1.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:13:02] That is the best. I love the connection like that of how, you know, something that seems so simple of a flavored bubble water, you know, as part of that whole experience, especially as our experiences have been so strange in the last couple of years. You know, it’s like, Oh, here’s this little memory to have. [00:13:18][15.5]

BettySoo: [00:13:18] Yeah, yeah. So thank you, Rosie. Thank you. [00:13:21][2.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:13:23] So, so this is super fun. I’m enjoying learning about a new beverage that I am looking into seeing how I can have it shipped to me because apparently there’s even with nonalcoholic beverages, there are weird rules about what can be shipped and what can’t be, which I did not know. I thought that it only applied to alcohol across state lines. [00:13:39][16.2]

BettySoo: [00:13:39] Oh my gosh, beverage distribution is like one of the most confusing has ever had. No idea there must just be like crazy lobby money spent by the few distributors, because think about how many, like restaurants are whole lives that were like, Why can’t you serve this kind of soda? And it’s like all because we get our soda from this company and the distribution is all locked up and it’s like, it’s stupid. It’s stupid. [00:14:04][24.8]

Sloane Spencer: [00:14:05] Yeah, it’s really, really weird. And I had no idea until I really, truly started looking into all of this, and I was like, Wow, so like, I can’t get water, OK? [00:14:13][8.4]

BettySoo: [00:14:15] Yeah. You know, what’s so funny is I was actually just my partner, Charlie, and I were talking last night. He was we were reading these articles about celery soda. Do you know about this? [00:14:24][9.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:14:25] And so I do. But but I don’t know where you’re going with this story because I got obsessed with this over the pandemic as well. [00:14:31][5.8]

BettySoo: [00:14:33] And so we were trying to figure out why backgrounds are different. Yeah. Dr. Brown, it’s a Dr. Brown’s drink and why he totally associated it with Jewish delis in New York. Yes, we read last night that until the 80s, that was the exclusive distribution point for celery soda. [00:14:49][16.2]

Sloane Spencer: [00:14:50] Oh, no, I didn’t know that. So I also associated with that with Jewish delis in Atlanta, where I’m from. In fact, that was the only place we could get Dr. Brown’s right. [00:14:57][7.6]

BettySoo: [00:14:58] Dr. Brown’s. I mean, Dr. Brown’s in general, like they had an exclusive distribution deal with like Jewish delis basically until the 80s. [00:15:05][7.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:15:06] So that would be my era. So, yeah, that’s crazy, I did not know that that was part of it. But that is one hundred percent. My experience, how I’m now, I have to go. Read more about it. [00:15:16][9.8]

BettySoo: [00:15:16] I know we were like, Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, we were just like freaking out. So you’re not the only bubbles nerd. And oh my [00:15:24][7.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:15:24] god, this just makes my day. This is fantastic. I took French in school, which is my biggest regret because it’s not nearly as useful as Spanish would have been. So I don’t want to butcher the name of this particular beverage. Would you say it for me again? [00:15:38][14.0]

BettySoo: [00:15:38] Sure. [00:15:38][0.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:15:39] Token Joaquin Moreno look for it. If you were able to get it wherever you are, you can find them online. They have a super cute website and great Instagram and just makes me want to be there and enjoying a wonderful, nice ice cold beverage. [00:15:51][12.8]

BettySoo: [00:15:53] Totally. And you know, if you can’t find out where you are, just come visit us in Austin. [00:15:57][4.6]

Sloane Spencer: [00:15:58] That’s right, there is still plenty of fantastic live music to catch, and you absolutely don’t want to miss out on that experience. So Betty Sue, not only of your solo work under the name Betty Sue, Betty y se o dot com, you can also be found with your trio at Nobody’s Girl. That website is We are nobody’s girl dot com. All right, sweet. Thanks so much for joining us on mobile bottles, y’all. Check out all of it. If you want to support us, that’d be super cool. You can find us on Patreon. A patron uncommon slash bubble bottles. Take it easy. All Bubble Bottles is a comedy podcast. We’ve done slightly less research than your average Wikipedia contributor or loose with the facts, and your mileage may vary. Thanks to Jacob for our theme music. You can find his catalog at Jacob Fur Dot, Bandcamp CNN.com. That’s Jacob. If you are not Bandcamp NJ.com, thanks so much for our graphic design and logo from Keith Brogdon. You can find his work and thinking out loud design dot com. Our show notes are crafted by freelance writer April Blake, who you can find at the April Blake Bukom. [00:15:58][0.0]