by @kelsocks

Tag Archives: austin

Zilker Park Kite Festival 2012

Some photos from Zilker Park’s Kite Festival. It was a beautiful day.

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Dr. Dog @ Stubb’s 2011 (photos)

This past year Dr. Dog played Stubb’s and it was a helluva good time. They’re coming back around this spring, so in anticipation of what will no doubt be a great show, here are some live photos I took last time.

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Ben Kweller/Pete Yorn @ Stubbs 2011 (photos)

Last year I had to take some photos of a Pete Yorn w/ Ben Kweller show at Stubb’s for a music magazine.  Unfortunately the weird pass I received would let me bring my DSLR into the venue but not into the photo pit. Got a few good ones regardless.  Side note, Ben Kweller is delightful!

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I Love Arcade Fire (photos)

Arcade Fire is easily one of my favorite bands.  They make the kind of music that perfectly encapsulates the sentiment of a generation, they’re aesthetically complex without being inaccessible, and they know how to make cohesive albums.  Anyway, the point of this blog isn’t to convince anyone of how good they are (that would be a waste of time), rather I just felt like posting some of my best concert photos with the occasional comment.  These are from their performance at The Backyard in Bee Cave, TX in May 2011. It was the first time I saw them live and it was a hell of a show.  So throw on some Sprawl II and enjoy!

[Click to enlarge]

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Good Ol’ Stubb’s

Perhaps the Austin music venue closest to my heart is Stubb’s, located between 8th and 9th on Red River.  I can’t count how many shows I’ve seen here, but some standout performances (in my experience, not historically) include Rilo Kiley, The Dead Weather, Flogging Molly, and Portugal. The Man.  I even had my first legal beer at Stubb’s during a Spoon show.  Needless to say, I’ve had some good times on this red dirt.

Stubb’s is an icon.  The Waller Creek Amphitheater setup is perfect for the beautiful year-round weather.  Even in the blistering middle of summer, once the sun goes down and there’s a slight breeze, it’s hard to complain.  I also love the size of this venue because it’s big enough to attract successful performers while still providing an intimate experience for the die hard fans.  The indoor stage is a good time, too.  I’ve seen a few shows get crazy in there, perhaps because the smokers and schmoozers can segregate themselves outside from the serious dance party people inside.

Like all venues, drinks are overpriced but not exceptionally bad.  The economical drunk might consider their Texas Tea or  a few 24-oz Fosters (if you’d like to be extra gassy).  Did I mention the delicious barbecue?

I’m certain I’ve spent at least a day’s worth of time standing around looking up at the white canopy of Stubb’s between sets.  It always makes me think of being swallowed by a giant shark.  But maybe a friendly shark… like a whale shark.  What a perfect mascot for Austin.

And while waiting for Modest Mouse last night, I drew it. Chomp!

Why Austin Is One Of the Greatest Cities On The Face of The Mother Fucking Earth

This post is entirely redundant for anyone who lives or has been to the city of Austin.  I would like to take this opportunity to explain to those who have never been or have negative preconceptions about this here town, the capital of the Lone Star State.

Part 1: Texas

Texas has a bad reputation.  In fact, the only people who seem to appreciate Texas are Texans or fans of cowboy movies. But there’s a lot more to Texas than just George W. B.

First, Texas boasts (as it tends to do) one of the most consistently strong economies in the Union.  Why? An emphasis on hard work and free market economics might have something to do with it.  Our natural resources might have something to do with it, too.  Regardless, people in Texas have jobs (for the most part) and we get shit done.

Texas is also in a weird transitional area between the deep south and “the west.”  As a result, there is the best of both worlds.  We have the southern hospitality that makes notherners gasp upon return from vacation “Everyone is so NICE!” yet not nearly as much racism or shitty accents as Alabama or Mississippi.  We also favor the more liberal tendencies accepted in the west. [the Texan favoritism toward Libertarianism should be an indication…]

Fact is, Texas has some of the largest, most modern cities in the country.  Yes, there are a plenty of shitty backward towns in the middle of nowhere but really? Dallas? Austin? Houston? 4 of the top 15 biggest cities in the country are from Texas.  We’re ready for the future. Bring it.

Part 2: Hippies

Ok, Let’s be honest: hippies are disliked in a lot of circles, almost as much as Texans. Whether my conservative relatives want to admit it or not, hippies are super nice ass people.  They are sweethearts and that is undeniable.

Austin is full of hippies. Result? Austin is full of super nice people. Come here and experience it.  Cut someone off in traffic? Instead of someone honking their horn and threatening to murder you, chances are you get an apologetic wave. You just need to walk around here for a few hours and experience those miniscule moments to realize “Hm… everyone is nicer here. WHO KNEW?” I knew.

Aside from being nice, what good are hippies? Non hippies can be nice… But you know what? Hippies are good at preserving the environment.  As a result, Austin is one of the greenest, most environmentally conscious cities in the country.  Bikes, parks, farmers markets, and so much more.  With a river running right through downtown and dozens of parks scattered throughout, Austin has managed to be technologically advanced while remaining environmentally conscious (and beautiful).

Part 3: Food

There’s a reason Texans are known for being fatties.  There is so much good food here, and Austin combines the delicious traditions of barbecue and Tex-Mex with organic/free range/etc.  Magnolia Café, Salt Lick, Shady Grove, Stubb’s…. not to mention the delicious local/Texas chains.  Come to Austin and eat yourself to sleep, you will not regret it.

Part 4: Artists

Austin is full of artists. Musicians, film, studio artists, writers, designers… you name it, we got it.

Part 5: Shit To Do

You cannot be bored in this town.  There is almost too much to do. From festivals, themed karaoke, bars, improv, outdoor activities, dog parks, athletics, exhibits, performances, gatherings… There is always something going on down.

Part 6: Diversity

There are all kinds of people in Austin.  Like all big cities, there is a melting pot of cultures and ideas.


FINALLY AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY.  Austin is the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world.  It’s a bold claim, yes, but it will not disappoint.  One can’t walk more than 15 feet on Red River without hearing a kick drum.  Besides the fact there are multiple live shows per night, often free or under $5,  Austin has fantastic festivals.  ACL Fest is one of the biggest tent-pole fests in the country (Outdone only by SoCal’s Coachella, Chicago’s Lollapalooza, and TN’s “We really wish we were at Woodstock instead” Bonnaroo.)

Other than ACL’s ten year old, 3-day fest, South By South West (SXSW or “South By” as the cool kids call it) is one of the most important industry weeks in the country.  If you’re in the music or film industries, you’re bound to have an eventful week.  If you’re not, there’s still the option of RSVP’ing to one of the dozens of free entry/free booze parties across the city.

In sum, there’s a reason Austin is an obligatory stop on cross-national tours.  It’s one of the best places for music, food, and people.  For those of you from/in the area: Congrats and enjoy it.  For those of you who have never been: make a stop here. It’s cheap and I guarantee a good time.