We are in the thick of Austin Fashion Week 2013, and the fabric is flying. It seems the designers this year are bringing looks that are a little more progressive than in years passed. One local designer who really stands out to me is Priscilla Barroso, founder of the Crowned Bird label and recent contestant on NBC’s Fashion Star.
While Priscilla’s outfits are boyish, they flow with femininity and playful sexuality in a way that reminds me of the Great Gatsby or Vintage French Fashion. She also uses bright colors and exotic, natural fabrics that evoke a sense of wonder and whimsy. In fact, it’s hard not to smile when you see them.
For the photo shoot, we chose Austin socialite Mark Mueller’s historic compound on San Antonio off West 7th St. With it’s turn-of-the-century grandeur, it complimented the garden party vibe of Priscilla’s look. And his eclectic interior design blending ethnic art with contemporary found objects gave us plenty of inspiration to photographically pair with Priscilla’s one-of-a-kind fabrics.
The pictures, below, only show a fraction of the beautiful looks Priscilla has for this season. If you want to see more, you’ll have to wait for the big reveal of her collection at her Runway Show on Friday night. She’s been trotting the globe to find unique fabrics–you won’t want to miss it.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 – Friday, May 10, 2013, Doors Open: 6:30pm; Show Begins: 7:15pm
La Zona Rosa
612 West 4th St.
Austin, TX 78701
The ACL Fest Lineup came out today–and I have to say I’m pretty excited about it. Not only are some of my favorite big touring acts performing, but this may be the largest selection of Austin musicians ever at ACL. Check it out:
I know a lot of folks are excited about Depeche Mode and the Cure (two of my favorite bands when I was a kid), I’m actually most excited to see so many of my favorite Austin bands/buds on the lineup this year. I think it might be the largest selection of locals ever.
[UPDATE: Not all bands will be playing both weekends. Here's the full list of those only playing one weekend.
My Faves: Psych rock superstars The Black Angels have the highest billing for a local act, followed closely behind The Bright Light Social Hour, who will be playing new music off their upcoming album. Two of my favorite stompy tonk heros Whiskey Shivers and Not In the Face, one-man band Shakey Graves, dance happy rock band Bobby Jealousy, bloghouse buzzman Max Frost, plus indie faves Okkervil River, Dana Falconberry, and White Denim.
My favorite headliner this year is Atoms For Peace, Thom Yorke's electronic supergroup. Other bands haven't seen before but would love to see are Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar, Electric Six, Foxygen, and Grimes. And of course, it'd be nice to see Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, the National, Franz Ferdinand, Toro Y Moi, and Local Natives again.
The biggest diamond in the rough, however, is Shuggie Otis. One of my favorite 70's soul singers, he's a bit of a pioneer. When you listen to his classic record Inspiration Information, you can hear the proto-sounds of electronic and hip hop beats n the 80s and 90s. In fact, that album has been sampled more times than I can count.
Take a listen to his hit Strawberry Letter 23, below, and tell me how many samples you can find!
Tickets for BOTH Weekends,October 4th-6th and October 11th-13th, go on sale at 10AM. Get 'em here.
A few weeks back on the Republic of Austin Facebook Page, I posted the new single, “White Lies,” from Austin’s Max Frost. Since then, it’s been burning up my playlist. And as of this morning it’s sitting at #1 on Hype Machine’s charts. In fact, everyone I know who hears it, loves it.
It’s hard not to resist White Lies. Something about the song harkens back to Motown’s 60′s pop heyday. Maybe it’s the fun handclaps and the slick bass groove. Maybe it’s Max’s soulful vocals dropped over the driving beat. Or maybe it’s the playful lyrics about a lying lover. Whatever it is, it’ll have you dancing your way into summer.
On Wednesday, I hung out with The Bright Light Social Hour and watched them rehearse new songs from their upcoming album (read about it next week!). While driving to their studio on Lake Travis, I was horrified to see the effects of the drought. Turning a corner on the road towards Hippie Hollow from The Oasis, I was so stunned by a panoramic view of the dry lake’s moonlike surface that I nearly drove off the road.
Here’s the view of Lake Travis near the Oasis:
Close up of the island:
It’s hard to see the full effects of the drought in the pictures, below. However, this line graph of the water’s level for the last three years shows that, despite all the recent rain, Lake Travis is even more empty than it was this time last year. Part of me wonders if it will ever be full again.
Lakes Travis and Buchanan, the region’s water supply reservoirs, depend on rain to feed the rivers, creeks and other tributaries that fill them. But because of the prolonged drought, the amount of water flowing into the lakes, called inflows, has been historically low over the past two years. Inflows in 2011 were the lowest in history, at about 10 percent of average, and inflows in 2012 were the fifth lowest in history, at about 32 percent of average.
Unfortunately, 2013 has also been dry:
- March inflows were 10,888 acre-feet, which is about 12 percent of March’s historical average of 91,373 acre-feet;
- February inflows were 8,949 acre-feet, which is about 10 percent of February’s historical average of 85,739 acre-feet; and
- January inflows were 15,258 acre-feet, which is about 23 percent of January’s historical average of 65,597 acre-feet.
Here’s a past/future table, also made in April:
So folks, if you aren’t already practicing water conservation, now might be the time to start. Here are some tips to help you get started that Ari wrote during the 2009 drought. The city also has resources to help you conserve water.
Will the water ever come back to Lake Travis?
2 years after the tragic death of cyclist Andrew Runciman, have Austin’s streets gotten safer for bikes?
It’s been almost four years since I started this site. During that time, I’ve written 723 posts. I’d be lying if I said I could remember all of them.
Two posts, however, affected me in such a deeply personal way that I will never forget them. One is the horrifying loss of Esme Barrera. The second is the tragic death of Andrew Runciman. Both were beautiful human beings who died way too soon.
Last week marked two years since Andrew’s death. On April 23rd, 2011, Andrew was struck from behind by a dark colored SUV at 11.44PM while biking in the bike lane on South Lamar. He was taken to Breckenridge Hospital and pronounced dead upon arrival. I’m not going to rehash what happened. It’s hard enough to revisit the original post without bawling.
At the time, it was the most tragic bicycle accident I’d ever heard of. The circumstance and details of his death, the fact that we ran in the same circles, and the location of his death hit really, really close to home. His passing unified the community, with one of the most beautiful memorial rides and Ghost Bike Dedications I’d ever seen. It also inspired me to write a post with 14 tips to help cyclists and drivers coexist.
A lot has changed in two years. In 2011, Andrew was the 17th traffic fatality of the year, with a record-breaking 53 traffic fatalities in 2011. 2012 upped that record significantly with a total of 80 traffic fatalities. And this year, we just had traffic fatality number 28, 4 more than this time last year. It’s enough to make you go numb.
In fact for me, last year was my breaking point. After biking for more than 10 years in San Francisco, Berlin, and even New York, good ole Austin finally spooked me, and I bought a car. That’s not to say that I completely changed my transportation habits–I bike about 85% of the time–but now if i’m going somewhere at night and I’m not traveling in a bike gang, I’ll drive out. Call me a chicken, but I don’t want to be hit and be left to die alone.
Even after Andrew’s death, the bike lane on South Lamar is no more than a shoulder. It’s barely large enough for the width of my bike. And folks rushing home after work, often on their phones, have a tendency to drift into the lane and almost knock cyclists off the road.
More upsetting is that the particular stretch on South Lamar where Andrew was killed, right by Red’s Porch (look for the Ghost Bike), is STILL dark, rough, and as dangerous as it was two years ago. Factor in the construction work, and you’ve got a situation that might even be more dangerous than it was two years ago.
For me, the city needs to create more protected bike lanes or dedicated bike streets. Yes there are plans, but two years to get 3 blocks of protected lanes completed? At that breakneck speed, Austin’s streets should be bike-friendly just in time for my grandkids to bike, supposing I live that long.
All of that said, I still love riding my bike. When I bike down a hill on my way to work in the morning, I feel like a little kid. I feel free. I can experience everything. If I go a day without biking, I start to feel restless and I can’t sleep well. Biking keeps me healthy and makes me more self-sufficient. I also love the camaraderie of biking with my buds at night and on the weekend when we go out. Just like my grandfather, I’ll be biking till I’m old.
Today starts Bike Month. While the city launches their big PR campaign to give Austin a glossy shine, we’ll be talking to a diverse selection of real people who bike. People who experience day-to-day what it’s like to run with the buffalos on their morning commute. And people who bike occasionally to go out. Not Statesman Transportation Reporters who don’t even own backpacks (really?).
Andrew, you will not be forgotten. You are with me when I bike passed a Ghost Bike. And I’m gonna make sure that your voice is still heard.
Ride Safe, my friends.
Do you think Austin’s streets have gotten safer for cyclists?
Why do Austin’s fatalities continue to rise?
Last night, we met up with Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg in jail. She let us video this EXCLUSIVE apology. She also attempts to appeal to Longhorn pride to win folks back. Check it out:
Just kidding. That’s obviously a joke. But over the weekend, DA Lehmberg posted an apology from jail on her website. Take a quick look, and we’ll regroup at the end.
To the citizens of Travis County:
I understand many have commented both in support of and against my returning to office. I would like to speak for myself and this is the only form of communication available to me at this time.
I apologize to all of you. There can be no anger directed at me – or disappointment in me – greater than my own. And, I neither believe nor expect that any words written or speech given can possibly convey the magnitude of the shame I feel for breaking the law and therefore, the trust with the people I serve and the community I love.
My sincere apologies to the arresting officers and to the entire law enforcement community with whom I have worked side-by-side for 37 years and for whom I have always had great respect. After my arrest, I failed to act properly and I failed to show the respect that those law enforcement professionals deserve. For my misbehavior and disrespect toward them, I am truly sorry. I appreciate greatly their patience, civility, and professionalism.
I also owe an apology to the staff at the Travis County Jail. Their jobs are always difficult, and some of my behavior that night made their jobs even more difficult. And, while I have received no special treatment while in jail, I have been treated with respect and courtesy.
My apologies to those who have supported me in the past and through this very difficult time. I have been fortunate to have the backing of both Republicans and Democrats. There is no room for partisanship in the District Attorney’s office.
And, most of all, my apologies to this community. My life, like yours, is full of victories and defeats, highs and lows, joy and sadness, shining moments and stunning mistakes. I think you know where this moment lies.
Last, my sincere apologies to the staff of the District Attorney’s office. I know this experience has created anxiety and concern, but I also know them to be dedicated public servants who consistently put their own needs aside to serve the greater good.
It was both my choice and responsibility to plead guilty and to accept the punishment meted out by the court before I took any other action. To do otherwise never occurred to me.There are three things I want you to know.First and foremost, I take the offense of driving while intoxicated seriously.
There are hundreds of reasons that lead up to a single event in our lives – but no excuse for driving while intoxicated.Secondly, upon my release, I will continue to seek professional help and guidance.
I know that I need help understanding and treating the cause of this behavior. For that reason, I am making arrangements for further professional assessments and pledge to follow all recommended treatment as soon as I have served my jail term.And, third, I must deal with the civil issues facing me.
Some of that situation is out of my hands. But I can assure you I will address the issues in a forthright and honest manner.
As others have stated, I have never planned to seek a third term and will not. It is my hope to complete my term in office to complete the work we (my dedicated professional staff and I) started four years ago. I am proud of the work we have done from this office over the last 37 years and I hope to have the opportunity to continue that service.
I offer my deepest regret and most sincere apology and seek forgiveness from the people of Travis County.
First off, everyone makes mistakes. We get it. But we’re not all public figures who’ve sworn to protect the public safety. This letter does a great job at apologizing for her behavior towards the officers–but the section to the community is, in my opinion, seriously lacking.
I can tell she understands the magnitude this incident has had on her career, her working relationships, and her potential to get reelected. She also follows Celeb PR Crisis 101 and name checks counseling. But to me, she still doesn’t realize that she could have killed people–both cyclists and other drivers, the very people she has sworn to protect.
This really hits home. We have lost so many cyclists and pedestrians–especially last year. And while these folks lost lives or were severely injured, the perpetrators were not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This is the DA’s job. Instead of curbing the increase in fatal traffic accidents, she could have potentially contributed to the numbers. And I don’t think she understands that.
Does DA Lehmberg’s apology do enough?
[UPDATE: 103.1 iheartaustin DJ Chris Mosser emailed with some additional comments, which I've added at the end of the post]
Do you ever have moments in a relationship where you question your commitment?
Let’s say you’ve been with your partner forever, you love everything about them. One day you’re at Central Market, and as you pass the wine section, you notice this Grade A hottie by the chocolate. You acknowledge that s/he is cute, and you continue shopping. You’ll never see them again.
That weekend, you’re on the East Side. She smiles and flips her hair at you at the White Horse. He takes a sip of his beer and then winks at you at Cheer Ups. As you smile back, you blush. You’re partner is RIGHT THERE and you’re worried that s/he caught you, so you turn around and try to make like it never happened.
The next week you see your hottie everywhere. He’s at TuezGays sluttily grinding and winking at you from the dance floor. She’s at the Mohawk on Wednesday seeing that kick ass chillwave band that nobody knows about but all your friends love. It’s like you were meant to be.
A couple more weeks go by, and this muthafugga will not get out of your life. S/he’s everywhere. It’s like the universe is trying to put you together.
And then one night you see the hottie’s picture on ulovei’s stream. It’s tagged. You have a name. Your heart races.
That night, after your long-time partner goes to sleep, you sneak out of bed and get back on Facebook. Your hottie has been running through your head all night long. You have to know more. You check out her pictures. You compare mutual friends. You cruise his Instagram feed and LinkedIn profile. The more you discover, the more guilty you feel. And although you find some things you don’t like, you seriously consider adding them on Facebook.
But then you stop, take a couple shots of Bulleit, and then drunkenly text your best friend, confessing everything, asking for advice.
Well, y’all are my best friends. This blog post is a drunk text. KUT is my long-time lover. And 103.1 iheartaustin is that fresh, new hottie.
It started right after SXSW. I was riding in a friend’s car, and I kept hearing new song after new song that I loved. At first, I thought it was Spotify, but after noticing the screen flashing a radio station, I asked what he was listening to.
“It’s a station SXSW set up. It plays music from all the bands and artists performing at SXSW. They haven’t taken it off yet.”
Due to the assumed short-term life of the station, I didn’t note the station’s frequency. I listen to KUT.
Over the next few weeks, when riding in cars with friends, I kept hearing this station. And the more I heard, the more I liked. And although the music on the station is diverse, every single song was exactly intune with what I listen to when I’m not in my car. It seemed like the perfect fit.
So this week I finally noted the stations frequency and name–and last night I stalked it online. Here’s what I found:
- Although it’s tagline is “celebrating the live music capital of the world,” 103.1 iheartaustin is owned by Clear Channel, the megalithic corporation that owns the largest percentage of America’s airwaves. You may remember that they banned the Dixie Chicks for making anti-war statements. In Austin, they also own: 96.7 KissFM, 102.3 The Beat, KASE 101, KVET, and The Zone.
- On Monday through Friday from 10AM-7PM, two DJs in LA host.
- Weekday mornings until 10AM, Chris Mosser from KVET hosts. From 7PM-Midnight, Anne Hudson from KASE hosts.
- The music is preprogrammed.
Last night, I reached out to Anne Hudson via Facebook. Here’s what she had to say about preprogramming, working with DJs in LA, and the format transition from KASE’s country to 103.1′s indie:
The music is preprogrammed, but the programming of the music is a team effort. We all make recommendations about bands and they get put in the playlist. I actually encourage listeners to make request through social media and I take those request and research the music, if I don’t already know it.
The DJs from LA are amazing. We all worked together during SXSW and they knew a lot more of the music than we did. Plus, they have the connections to most all the bands, so we got great interviews. It’s been great having their knowledge and our knowledge combined. It’s this great team effort that we have, and it’s really cool.
I’ve learned a ton since iHeartAustin started. I was only familiar with about 20% of this music…. So now that I’m really getting to know it, I’m so much more excited about these bands that come through town. I hope that’s what the station is doing for the listeners as well, that’s what it’s all about.
And it’s true. The station does get me excited about finding and discovering new music. In that sense, it’s why I love Spotify and other Internet radios. And for Austin, 103.1 feels like a station that represents the musicality of this city. It feels fresh and hungry. In fact, it felt so much like Austin that I thought it was started by indie folks in Austin. So I was heartbroken to find out that it’s big and corporate.
And that’s my confession. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I have another confession.
KUT, I love you. I love Laurie Gallardo. I love David Brown and the whole Texas Music Matters crew. I love the KUT News site. I love the eff out of Paul muthafuggin Ray and muthafuggin Twine Time. And I love every. single. thing y’all do to help promote the local music scene.
But ever since you split the stations into KUT and KUTX, I’ve been a bit confused. I don’t know who are you any more. I don’t know which station to listen to. In fact, the more I listen to the all music station, the more I realize I don’t like all the music you play. And 103.1 has made me realize that listening to radio can be exciting–it can feel the way it did before the Internet, when I was young and every song was new and fresh.
I haven’t programmed 103.1 into my radio yet. KUT, I’m more loyal than my friends, many of whom now have 103.1 on all the time. If you want this relationship to work, it needs to feel fresh and hungry. It needs to feel exciting. And maybe it’s time to make some changes…
[UPDATE: Additional comments from 103.1 DJ Chris Mosser]
When the project first came up, I think we all planned for it just to be a short and fun SXSW-based project, and I gotta say it was awesome to literally hear SXSW come to life like that. Other stations represent of course, but this was a lot of really modern and interesting stuff that kind of added a facet to the whole thing for me. Like Anne said, a lot of this music was new to me too, though my original background is in rock music. So it was really exciting when it was decided to keep going with it…and I’ve been interested to discover how regularly these bands come through town, so the aspect of radio that I love the most – being able to promote and see cool live shows in town – is intact with this project as well.
What’s cool about this station for me is that it recombines the impulse for new music discovery with radio. I think a lot of radio is programmed for comfort and familiarity – it can be risky to push the envelope too far with bleeding-edge styles, it’s easier just to put Pearl Jam on again. I’ve begun to think of 103.1 as a concentrated format focused on Central Austin and the type of people who make the city core hum.
And I gotta take one issue with something in your post – there was never any organized blacklisting of the Dixie Chicks by Clear Channel that I am aware of, and I was here throughout that debacle. That band was rejected by the country audience, not by country radio. I say that as a fan of the band and a person who believes that they had every right to say what they said, but the notion that our company tried to bury them, outside of acting on the wishes of our audience, is not true to my knowledge.
So, friends, what do you think?
Should I consider an open relationship?
Will this newcomer push other Austin stations to update their music format?
[CORRECTION: The post originally stated that 96.7 KissFM, 103.5 BobFM, 102.3 The Beat, KASE 101, 93.7 KLBJ, 101X, KVET, and KGSR were all owned by Clear Channel. 96.7 KissFM, 102.3 The Beat, KASE 101, KVET, and The Zone are the only terrestrial stations in Austin. Emmis Radio owns KLBJ AM/FM, KGSR, BOB-FM and 101X. iheartradio, a streaming service owned by Clear Channel, also streams KLBJ AM/FM, KGSR, BOB-FM and 101X. The research from the original version was confused by this page on iheartradio's site.]
Photo Credit: Bjørn Giesenbauer (giesenbauer) on Flickr used under Creative Commons