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Austin, Film, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

A Comprehensive List of Austin’s Best Blogs

(Update: I wrote this blog post in 2012 and just updated as of April 28, 2015)

There are an ass-load of awesome blogs in Austin, Texas.

(I think) I read a statistic somewhere that Austin has more bloggers per capita than any place in the country.

Since I have zero proof that Austin has the most bloggers of any place in America, one fact I do know is that Men’s Health Magazine labeled Austin the #8 most socially networked city in America.

Since we boast such awesome blogging talent, I wanted to create a comprehensive list of Austin bloggers for those interested in the Austin scene. We have amazing writers who cover everything from lifestyle, music, food, humor, travel and dating. Take some time and get to know these great Austinites.

If you don’t see one of your favorite Austin blogs listed that may be because a.) I’m only listing blogs that have blogged within the past six month and blog more than once a month and b.) I’m a jackass, I didn’t know that the blog existed Continue Reading

Austin, Fashion/Design, Film, Music, Pop Culture

12 Austin-Themed Halloween Costume Ideas

Hey, Austinite!

Still need a costume idea?

Well, I gotta list for you.

Check it: all Austin-themed costumes.

I’ve got costumes for people of all races, ages and genders. Some costumes poke fun, while others are meant to honor Austin’s greatest heroes.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Matthew McConaughey
Top: Just Keep Livin’ shirt featuring words of wisdom by McConaughey (these babies can be found at Dillards)
Bottom: Shorts
Shoes: Flip flops
Accessories: Bongos, sunglasses
Notes: Clothing optional

Matthew McConaughey bongos

source

Romeo Rose
Top: A Renaissance or “Purple Rain” shirt from the Halloween store
Bottom: Printed pants- the more garish, the better
Shoes: Pointed cowboy boots
Accessories: Buck teeth, necklace of your initials, a rose, smarm

Romeo Rose

source

Jeremiah the Innocent (a.k.a. the Hi, How Are You? Frog)
Top: White t-shirt with “Hi, How Are You?” written in scraggily writing
Bottom: White pants
Shoes: Paper mache frog hands and feet
Accessories: Headband affixed with pipe cleaners Continue Reading

Film, Music, Pop Culture

In Defense of Relatability in Storytelling

Scarlett O'Hara

This week, I noticed a number of film acquaintances and friends sharing a New Yorker article calling the “rise” of the expectation of relatability in creative work a “failure” of society. The article’s author, Rebecca Mead, believes that by us viewers expecting relatability in whatever work we are observing, we are creating a “reductive experience” for ourselves.

The thesis begins with Mead chastising Ira Glass for tweeting “Shakespeare sucks” and bemoaning the classic author for his unrelatable story and characters in King Lear, and goes on to list several instances where critics have relied on the term when championing or lamenting creative work. Though I don’t disagree that that was a poor choice in wording from a man very much respected in the world of storytelling, I find that Mead gives a very narrow definition of the word “relatable” and misses out on the necessity of an empathetic core.

She cites critic Virginia Heffernan’s 2004 comment that relatability is Continue Reading

Music

Interview: Nicole Atkins on her new album, Slow Phaser, and what it’s like to be Springsteen-approved

nicole-atkins

pic via Bowery Boogie

For some magical reason, one of my favorite musicians, Nicole Atkins, did an interview with me for my blog.

As some of you may know, I’ve gushed about her before with a blog post titled “Lady Crush of the Day: Nicole Atkins.

I guess that post didn’t scare her away (or she hasn’t seen it yet), and she was kind enough to talk with me about her brand new spankin’ album, Slow Phaser.

Slow Phaser is fucking awesome.

And I as I told Nicole is our email exchange, I’m not one to use superlatives. It truly is a work of art that just keeps knocking your socks off, song after song. How can album inspired by Peter Gabriel, Ennio Morricone, Morphine and King Crimson not be? Slow Phaser is a delicious stew of musical genres from the past four decades; it’s guaranteed to blow your mind.

You can get a sneak peek of the full album over at Paste right now. Listen from the beginning to end; every song is magical, but if I had to pick three or four (which is Continue Reading

beetlejuice
Film, Music, Pop Culture

12 Signs That You’re a Female Child of the 80s

Traveling back to my childhood home is always difficult for me because it reminds me of how far away from my hoodI am. This bittersweet nostalgia always propels me to search the cellar for spoiled dessert wine my mother bought on a wine tasting trip ten years ago and get loaded. Or as loaded as one can get on spoiled dessert wine. It’s like instant hangover.

About halfway through my visit home, I typically sludge up any number of childhood relics from the closet and begin playing with them, much like I did as a lonely, lonely only child.

I will pull out my old Mall Madness board game and drunkenly sing the Ghostbusters theme while weeping; my mother will run from the couch to see if I’m OK, only to find me sprawled on my bedroom floor, clutching my Alf doll in the fetal position. She’ll roll her eyes and I’ll scream back, “I MISS MY CHILDHOOD, CAN’T YOU SEE?” and then I’ll stare at the starry night of my glow stickers on the ceiling and pass out.

There is something special Continue Reading

Dakota Johnson
Film, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

Why I’m Sick of Hearing About Celebrity Children Becoming Actors or Models

Dakota Johnson

Yesterday my friend Facebook chatted me to discuss the recently announced casting choices of  Fifty Shades of Grey the movie.

I have neither read Fifty Shades of Grey nor intend to, so she had to explain to me who the roles of Christian and Ana went to.

“I can’t believe Dakota Johnson is playing Ana!” she said.

“Who is Dakota Johnson?” I asked.

“She is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson,” she replied.

It made perfect sense. Why wouldn’t she be? Why wouldn’t she be the daughter of not one, but two famous celebrities?

It feels like every day I see a different headline boasting the stories of celebrity children becoming actors or models:

Ireland Baldwin Aims to Follow Parents Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger into Film

Hot Pics of Scott Eastwood on Buzzfeed

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Son, Patrick, Modeling for Hudson Jeans with Georgia May Jagger?

Look up any entertainment news section and there is a good chance that whomever graces the top Continue Reading

Music, Pop Culture

Forget Miley: How to Talk to Your Children About Their Shitty Taste in Music

Miley Cyrus Robin Thicke

There has been an abundance of articles circulating the web on how to talk to your daughters about Miley Cyrus or how to talk to your sons about Robin Thicke after their shocking performance of Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” at MTV’s VMAs, but the greater conversation still appears unspoken: have you talked to your children about their shitty, shitty taste in music yet? Or more importantly, have you talked to yourself about how you could let you children have such shitty taste in music?

While everyone is ranting and raving about Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s best impression of LeeLoo and Beetlejuice doing softcore porn, we should really be asking ourselves as a society how we’ve let such incredibly bad music seep into our homes.

Why do your children listen to knock-offs of Marvin Gaye? Why don’t they just listen to Marvin Gaye? Don’t you have Marvin Gaye records lying around, for crying out loud? Marvin Gaye sang about sex, but in a sexy way. Not in a rapey way. For example: Continue Reading

Fashion/Design, Music, Pop Culture

Dress Like Your Idols: The Replacements

replacements don't tell a soul

Currently, I have two fashion rules:

1.) Raid boyfriend’s closet.

2.) Continue childhood goal of becoming a rock star.

At 8 years old, I wanted to be Jerry Lee Lewis. At 11, Michael Jackson. Then, for some terrible, terrible reason, Elton John dictated my prepubescent years (thirteen is the year I learned want “dyke” means). In my late teens, it was the era of David Byrne, which has continued to shine brightly for the past twelve years. Occasionally I’ll fall in love with another (Warren Zevon, for example) and most recently, I’m fixated on The Replacements (where are the woman?!)

Um, how excited are you that The Replacements are semi-reuniting this year? I would make the trek to Chicago/Denver/Toronto to see them if I didn’t think they would mostly argue onstage.

The Replacements Live

I was a wee one when The Replacements had their heyday, so I’m kind of late to the game. These past few years have been an awakening in 80s alt-rock and luckily for me, Geoff has a plethora of enviable Continue Reading

Music, Pop Culture

Who is Your Creative Idol?

david byrne

I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to my creative idol.

Since I was sixteen years old, David Byrne has been my guiding light for creativity.

I first fell in awe when I watched the 15th anniversary DVD release of Stop Making Sense. Seeing him choreographically stumble at the end of “Psycho Killer” absolutely blew my teenage mind. I had never seen anything like it and I vowed that I would always approach art with such fearlessness (I haven’t always succeeded, but I continue to use this day as inspiration). Whether it’s music, film, art or literature, Byrne can’t stop creating, and the beauty of his work is that it’s not always great. Regardless of the hits or misses, Byrne will never give up. A rule that every artist should live by.

Like many wistful children from small towns, I often dreamt about a life in 70s and 80s East Village, New York City. I became enamored with the musicians and artists that came out of the scene: Talking Heads, Andy Warhol, Patti Smith, Basquiat, Continue Reading

Austin, Music, Pop Culture

If You Love Depeche Mode and Joy Division, You’ll Love Austin-Based Band Knifight

knifight

You know that special moment when you randomly walk into a bar, completely unaware of what musical act is playing there that night, and as you’re ordering your drink, you hear the most transfixing music pouring in from the back? You make your way through the crowd and find yourself planted in front of a five-piece band creating a sound conglomeration of your favorite musicians: m83, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, INXS, any wonderfully moody synth music over the past three decades…

I’ll never forget that night at Cheer Up Charlie’s when I first saw the Austin-based Knifight.

We were scouting locations for our film Loves Her Gun (Cheer Up Charlie’s makes an appearance in it!), and we fell so in love with Knifight’s music, that we asked if we could use one of their songs in our movie. The song we used is one of my all-time favorite songs by anyone: “Girls Don’t Get Crushes”.

If you don’t fall in love with Knifight after listening to that song (and the others listed below Continue Reading