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:
Pretty bouquets created by Roseship Flora…
And super cool organic-inspired pieces from jewelry maker, Catherine Nicole. I’m in love with those cuffs!
Handcrafted artisan chocolate from Arte Y Chocolate
She actually prints designs on the chocolate itself!
All 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.
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
click to listen
click to listen
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
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.
Maybe 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.