My post this week isn’t very pagan-y. I’m still stoked about my vacation and wanted to share some of it with you. I spent last week frolicking with my niece, Samantha, who is about to be a senior at Auburn University.* She is a newly minted “real” adult as she recently turned 21. She has visited me several times before, but this was the first time we could legally consume alcohol together. And so we did.
This was also the first time we could hang out together in places that legally serve alcohol. And so we did. But alcohol was not our main motivation for going to such places. We were going for the live music. Austin has a lot of live music — our official city slogan is “Live Music Capital of the World.” You can hardly throw a stone in this town without seeing a show. And so we did. (See a show, that is. We didn’t throw any stones).
I have really grown to love Austin music, but I am bad about going to shows. I’ve long wanted to enjoy and support local music,** but tend to chicken out when I can’t find someone to go with me. Samantha’s visit presented the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and into some clubs. This is where we went and who we saw. I’ve included videos from each musician for your listening / viewing pleasure. 🙂
This is a (mostly) weekly gig for Bob Schneider. We didn’t arrive early enough to get a seat, but we did wriggle our way to the sort-of-front of the standing-room-only area. [Much to this dismay of the woman next to us (who complained about everyone, frequently). Sorry, honey, Fortune favors the bold!] Mr. Schneider knows how to deliver for a live audience. He’s funny, raunchy and playful. Playful in that he varies instrumentation and genre when he performs. So, you hear songs you love, but not necessarily the same way you grew to love them. I’ve enjoyed following his career. It’s neat to follow a musician who continues to evolve, but still maintains a genuine and unique sound. Mr. Schneider is also a poet and artist, but I haven’t closely followed his work there. He was outside of the club when we walked out after the show. I almost walked over to compliment the show, but I chickened out.
Toni Price is grand hostess for the Tuesday “Hippie Hour” at the Continental Club. She is Austin incarnate: laid-back, sincere, talented, and lovely. And she has a wonderful twang – one that makes you feel Texas. Samantha and I arrived a little late, but were early enough to grab a seat. The show was on hippie-time, so we didn’t miss anything. I’m not really sure how to describe Toni Price’s show, so I’ll leave that to NPR’s John Burnett, who described the scene as “something like a holiness revival and a Harley rally and a Phish concert and an Appalachian wedding party.” That was in 2002. Last week, the show still had that same vibe. It was a damn good time and damn good music. Ms. Price was walking around the club before she started her first set. I almost went up to her to say how much I love her style, but I chickened out.
Blues on the Green is a biweekly venue at Zilker Park in the summer. Marcia Ball makes frequent appearances at BotG. If the announcer spoke truly that night, she lives in Austin and BotG is one of her favorite venues. How cool would it be to learn Marcia Ball is a neighbor?! Marcia Ball is a force to be reckoned with – a badass blend of Texas and Louisiana music. Samantha and I met my friend Jeanette at the park. We ate some burgers and chilled out on our beach towels. Jeanette brought a misting fan, which was might nice out in the hot Austin evening. As the sun went down, we saw some bats in the sky. Poor little things seemed confused by the music vibrations and were flapping around in circles. After the show, we went to Sandy’s for some dipped ice cream. Hot music and a cold treat. Another great day in Austin!
[Thursday — Sea World in San Antonio — No show that night]
Lisa Tingle performs regularly, but not always in the same place. The bar wasn’t very full when Samantha and I arrived, so we were able to find seats up front and order our drinks easily. This marked the first time I ever saw Lisa Tingle live. I have been a fan for years, but never made it to a live show. Fan fail. It was worth the wait, though. That voice. That strong, soulful, sinuous voice. *sigh* I heart Lisa Tingle. She gives all the passion and range you hear on her CDs in a live performance. It was amazing to see and hear. Before the show, Ms. Tingle was hanging out by the stage. I only know this because we bumped into each other – me with margaritas in both hands. So. Embarrassed. I didn’t even think about trying to talk to her after that. [BTW, those margaritas were fantastic.] After the show, Ms. Tingle was hanging out by the stage again. I thought about going to talk to her…and so I did!! I didn’t chicken out! I told her I was a long-time fan and that I loved her performance. I almost asked her to take a photo with me for the blog, but then…I chickened out.
I was introduced to all of these musicians on a local station when I moved to Austin 12 years ago. When I first moved here, KGSR played a lot of local music. It was pretty cool.§ I think these artists are terrific and I hope you like them, too. Most of them have won numerous awards at the Austin Music Awards over time. You can also listen to other Austin artists at Live Music Capital Radio.
What about you? Who are your favorite musicians?
* Samantha has made a guest appearance here before! She was the first person interviewed in our “Finding the Faith that Fits You” Series.
** Jax posted a wonderful article about frith a while ago. She likened responsibilities within social groups to the rings of a tree. I consider my city and its music one of my outer rings.
*** I’ve linked to the Wikipedia entry here because it looks like her personal site isn’t maintained.
§ Don’t get me wrong, KGSR is still cool — they sponsor Blues on the Green (among many other great events), but they have had to change their format to stay financially viable.
+ Featured image is a mural at the corner of Annie and South First Street, photography uncredited. The mural was painted in 1997 by Rory Skagen and Bill Brakhage. You can see more of Rory Skagen’s mural art here.