All posts tagged "Local":

SCOUTED | #poolhunting

#poolhunting | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

I’m excited to share something today that is truly cool: an art project born out of a friend’s whimsical summer pastime. Production designer Andrea McAlister has lived in Austin long enough to know that the only way to pass the blazingly hot Saturdays of summer is in a pool. She began counting how many different pools she could visit in a single summer. Can I beat last year’s number? Do you know anyone who lives at the W? Can we sneak in? The sport became even more fun once she started documenting it on instagram. The hashtag #poolhunting was born. And what was once simply a numbers game was now a visual one as well — which pool was the most unique? The most exclusive? The grungiest? With an impressive collection of photos of pools from all around Austin and beyond, Andrea has finally unveiled the official poolhunting website. I’m kind of in love with it, and think that it is (much like it’s creator) cool in a rare and genuine way. Scroll below for a sample of Andrea’s work. And check out the poolhunting website for the entire existing collection of photos and to follow the fun as it unfolds this summer.

Want to join in the fun? Instagram a shot of your favorite pool with the hashtag #poolhunting for a chance to be re-grammed by Andrea’s offical @poolhunting account!

#poolhunting | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith#poolhunting | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith#poolhunting | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith#poolhunting | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith#poolhunting | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

TAPING | Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

emmylouPicI’m not going to lie. I dragged myself out the door to this taping after a long week of work, mostly out of duty and respect for names I grew up hearing. I did not know it would be it one of the best shows of my life. I did not know that Emmylou would bring me to tears, that both she and Rodney Crowell are two of the finest songwriters in country music, and that they’d be backed up by the tightest honky tonk road band I’ve ever seen. “Thanks for letting us come out here and play y’all some country music. Some real country music,” she announced, with her mane of white hair and trademark smile flashing under the hot stage lights. Turns out that “real” country music is a little bit like mainlining whiskey (which may account for the soggy state of my commemorative program.) In any case, it was the kind of show you didn’t want to end — when you realize how special it is while it’s actually happening. And this is why I go to concerts. A lot of concerts. In hopes that one out of fifty is like this. Maybe you only get a few. But you can live off those moments for a long time.

Emmylou is still impossibly pretty, so let’s get that out of the way first. And she’s done something I’ve never seen a woman do before — used the aging of her voice to her own artistic advantage. She’s breathier now, wiser, more road-worn. And when she’s telling you a story — say, about Pancho  –  she gives you no choice but to believe her. Over forty years of experience have turned both Emmylou and Rodney into the great living masters of ballad delivery. They tell many stories, but it’s undeniably the best when they’re telling their own. Two back-to-back songs, about halfway through the set, were the two I can’t stop thinking about: The first was Emmylou’s “Red Dirt Girl” chronicling the hard knock life of a girl from Harris’ home state of Alabama. And the second was Crowell’s semi-autobiographical story of abuse and salvation, “Rock O My Soul”. They came as a one-two punch straight to the gut, and pretty much knocked the wind out of me. I’ve yet to recover.

But there were happier stories, too — mostly shared by Emmylou and Roger between songs. Like how lead guitarist Jedd Hughes spent his youth practicing guitar in a garage in the 50-person town of Quorn, Australia (I swear to you, people, that is the only way you get that good. I have never seen anyone shred a Telecaster like this guy does.)  And the fact that drummer Jerry Roe is a third generation ACL performer. His grandfather was Jerry Reed and his father, Dave Roe, was the bassist in Johnny Cash’s band. She dedicated “San Antonio Rose” to the much beloved Texan songwriter who penned the tune, Susanna Clark (Guy’s wife). Anyways, it felt like being introduced to this larger family or network — the artists and songwriters who make up this sort of great quilt of Americana music. And just knowing that Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and The Band were very much a part of that quilt, too, well… it just doesn’t get much cooler than that. Friday night we heard songs by Townes, Roger Miller, Matraca Berg, Kris Kristofferson, and Gram Parsons in addition to songs by Harris and Crowell. It was, in the words of ACL producer Leslie Nichols, “a set list to end all set lists.”

And did I mention that the band kicked ass? There’s just something about a brushed drum behind smooth pedal steel… throw a smoking hot telecaster in the mix, and that’s a guaranteed good time. Which brings me back full circle to what Emmylou calls “real” country music — and to me that means traditional country instruments backing songs crafted with integrity about American life. If you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to real country music performed by seasoned musicians, then please do yourself a favor and tune in to this taping when Season 39 airs. I know I will.

Even Cupid goes to Rainey | Valentine’s Day shopping at Javelina

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

My old friend Craig hosted a fun event at his bar on Rainey Street the other night — a one stop shop for Valentine’s Day shopping! Rainey Street just has a really good vibe, especially when the weather’s just right, and Javelina Bar is one of the coziest little spots on the street. There were several really cool local vendors at the event, but I’ll be highlighting three of my favorites here:

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith
Pretty bouquets created by Roseship Flora…

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

And super cool organic-inspired pieces from jewelry maker, Catherine Nicole. I’m in love with those cuffs!

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Handcrafted artisan chocolate from Arte Y Chocolate

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

She actually prints designs on the chocolate itself!

Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithAll of these vendors are based in Austin, so if you haven’t done your Valentine’s Day shopping yet you should think about spending locally. Of course you could always just take your sweetheart out for burger and beer at Javelina! Sounds pretty good to me. Happy Valentine’s day, y’all.
Javelina Bar | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

HOLIDAY HAPPENIN’S | The Last Waltz Revisited, Breakaway Records

Susan George | SCOUT By Jennifer Rose Smith


Happy short week, everyone! The long weekend is upon us, and there’s a few fun things happening in Austin you should know about: 1. The old gang from Momo’s has teamed up to perform their reenactment of The Last Waltz again, but this year the concert will be held at Antone’s downtown. The show is tonight — doors at 7:30, show starts at 8:00, tickets can be purchased at the door or online here. General admissions is $12, or you can get a VIP table upstairs for $75. 2. Breakaway Records on North Loop is having a 15% off everything-in-the-store sale this Friday. Normally I would rather eat bark than even think about leaving my house on “black friday”, but I may make an exception for this. The sale is from 11am–8pm this Friday. Also of interest: Breakaway Records started a boutique re-issue label, Drop Shadow Records this past spring. So far they’ve produced one debut record featuring two singles originally recorded for the Wildcat label, out of San Antonio, Texas. Maybe I’ll snag one on Friday. I actually think they’re both pretty cool. Give ‘em a digital spin below. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

*photo of Susan George by unknown

Breakaway Records | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Drop Shadow Records | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

 click to listen

Drop Shadow Records | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

click to listen

COLLECTION SHOWING | Tennessee Hamilton

Tennessee Hamilton | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithTennessee Hamilton | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithTennessee Hamilton | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithTennessee Hamilton | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

With a name like Tennessee Hamilton you pretty much have to be cool, right? The LA-based designer did not disappoint with her new collection of clothing, jewelry, antique reproductions and originals on Wednesday evening. Austin’s really not much of a “fashion town”, so having a real LA designer drop in and bring us a little west coast style was pretty rad. The collection was previewed in suite 40 of the san jose, which is a pretty perfect way to do a small showing in Austin, if you ask me. Tennessee’s collection consists of colorful graphic prints, sculptural jewelry and some really gorgeous convertible evening gowns. I tried one on in “Jerry Hall red” and have not stopped thinking about it since! The whole collection had a real Maude Lebowski-vibe to it. Very edgy and artistic. This event turned into a pretty fun party and Tennessee was kind enough to give me an impromptu photo session modeling her amazing red and black blazer and pant set. Thanks, Tennessee and come back soon! To see where Tennessee will be showing her collection next, check her website at

OPENING | Sway Modern Thai

Sway | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Have you seen the mysterious neon flower on South First? The sign lit up months ago, but the website for the La Condesa team’s latest venture just went live today. Owner Jesse Herman and executive chef Rene Ortiz are opening Sway, a restaurant featuring a  “modern Australian style of Thai cooking” this December 9th. The venture is a not-so-subtle challenge to Larry McGuire’s Veitnamese success, Elizabeth Street Cafe, just one block over. The most intriguing thing on the menu? Moo Sway. “A family style feast that must be reserved ahead of time and is only available twice a day.  The meal consists of an off-the-menu whole slow roasted Thai-style pork shoulder, a dozen freshly shucked oysters and is served with bibb lettuce cups, jasmine rice and assorted sauces.  Moo Sway also comes with an assortment of other specialties from the regular menu to round out the meal.  Moo Sway serves 8-10 people.” Get on the list to reserve Moo Sway!

*photo by Jennifer Rose Smith

TAPING | Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

If there’s one thing about living in Austin, it’s that you start to get spoiled. And nothing — I mean nothing – will ruin you like a taping does. You’ll arrive thrilled to be among the “chosen”, and leave wondering how you’ll ever go to a regular concert again. The sound is perfectly engineered. The crowd is perfectly engineered (college kids and excited fans down front, donors in the mezzanine). The artists are almost always on a high to be playing there. There’s not a bad seat in the house. Nobody’s on their cell phone. And you probably got your ticket for free. Now this is how live music is supposed to be.

Such was the case last Tuesday, when my friend and I stumbled in to the Moody already pretty happy from oysters and cocktails at Clark’s (again, spoiled) about three minutes into the first song, “Man on Fire.” The energy was alarming. What the hell did we miss in the first three minutes? And why are they letting that homeless guy dance in the aisles down front? Oh shit. That’s Ed Sharpe. And he’s not wearing shoes.

The next hour was spent in a euphoric, communal celebration led by Alex Ebert and his oddly wonderful family of nine. Nobody seems to know for sure if this band is being “ironic” or not with their communal 60s influences. After seeing this show I’ll be the first to say I don’t care. This band has such incredible range — I never knew where they were taking me next. One drink in, my friend and I decided they sounded “like the desert.” I kept looking for a steel guitar onstage and then realized that the sound was coming from the smoothest trumpet I’ve ever heard. “I Don’t Wanna Pray” had me dancing like I was at some sort of deep south tent revival. And by the time Jade Castrinos belted out the painfully bluesy “Fiya Wata”, I was tilting my head back to keep the tears from rolling down. She’s like one part Hope Sandoval, one part Bonnie Raitt. All truth.

The crowd loved “Om Nashi Me”, which Ebert revealed came from silly made-up words he uses when writing songs. (He also claimed that by complete coincidence, it happens to be sanskrit for “Oh infinite nakedness”. You know the people loved that…) But for me, the show climaxed with “Desert Song” and it’s slow, haunting build to an almost Radiohead-like crescendo. Guess they did sound like the desert after all.

As for the sincerity of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros? It seemed that all the genres touched on during the set — from gospel to vaudeville to folk — served a purpose of community. You didn’t have to know the songs to be able to sing along. There’s no denying that they were having a blast up there, playing off each other and rolling without a set list. And by the end of the show it definitely felt like we had all experienced something… together.

*This taping set to air in early 2013.




LOVE THIRTY | Empty Courts

Empty Courts | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithEmpty Courts | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithEmpty Courts | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithEmpty Courts | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithEmpty Courts | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

*image sources top to bottom: tusla tennis club // perry guillot // matchbook magazine tumblr // procorm // west whiteland township

Empty courts have such an energy to them, don’t you think? Even though I found these images on real estate and country club websites, I think they’re art. Or maybe I’m just really jonesing for a good match now that the weather is cooling down… Either way, Austin has some great tennis facilities to choose from. Here’s a quick run down on some of my favorites:

  • Rippner Tennis (South Austin Tennis Center) – $4 a person for 2 hours, last time I checked. Anyone can play. Courts fill up fast on pretty days so call ahead for reservations!
  • Caswell Tennis Center – $4 a person. Limited number of courts. Anyone can play. This is the one on West Campus off Lamar.
  • Whitaker Fields – The UT intramural fields on Guadalupe. 40 pristine courts. You must be a student or staff member of the University of Texas to play here. MAN I miss that place.
  • Westwood Country Club – Members only. Tarrytown mom central! This place is tucked away behind Mt. Bonnell Road close to Laguna Gloria. Best thing about club tennis? Grilled cheese and fries after the match!
  • Tarry House – Members only. So old school they don’t even need a website. And you’d better get on the wait list now…

THE ART OF WINDOW DRESSING | The First Ladies of By George

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose Smith

Portraits by Mark Gagnon | SCOUT by Jennifer Rose SmithMaybe it’s just because I love shopping, or maybe it’s because I always thought Rhoda Morgenstern was really cool — either way, I’ve always had a sincere appreciation for the art of window dressing. Right now I’m loving the windows at By George in Austin featuring the work of artist Mark Gagnon. Designed by Justin Hancock, the windows feature Gagnon’s whimsical take on wives of American presidents. Between the South Congress location and the flagship store on Lamar, each of the 46 First Ladies can be spotted! While I wouldn’t quite call them caricatures, there’s a definite humor to Gagnon’s series of portraits painted with house paint on foam core board. I had fun picking out my favorites and seeing which ones I could recognize while taking these photos. I’m fairly non-partisan when it comes to my favorite First Ladies… Of course I love Jacqueline for her incredible style, but I also have a real soft spot for a certain chain-smoking librarian from Texas. Who’s your favorite FLOTUS?

*SPECIAL NOTE TO SCOUT READERS: Rock the vote! If you haven’t already done early voting, then please don’t forget to get in line on Tuesday. If you’d like to learn more about some of the local Austin issues being addressed this year, please check out the Chronical endorsements. Now get out there and pull some levers.