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Music, Pop Culture

Lady Crush of the Day: Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins

Sad fact: I typically don’t gravitate towards female singers. Their voices often sound too perfect- too clean– and in the great words of David Byrne, “The better the singer’s voice is, the harder it is to believe what they’re saying.”

Only the ladies with stories to tell in their voice and lyrics such as Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks, or the ones who challenge gender norms such as Annie Lennox and Patti Smith, or the ones who are just as gritty as they are beautiful such as Deborah Harry and Chrissie Hynde are of interest to me. As for the the Gwen Stefanis, the Beyonces and the Taylor Swifts: I will not argue their talent, but their music does absolutely nothing for me.

To me it is all pop drivel.

It has been a very long time since I had a contemporary female music idol.

I wasn’t very familiar with Nicole Atkins’s music until recently. Why? I’m not sure, other than that I’m really bad at checking out new music (side note: Nicole Atkins is not new new; her first full-length (more…)

Austin, Film, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

Has SXSW Music Gotten Too Big For Its Britches?

SXSW crowd



Well, SXSW is over.

We all survived.

We had a busy week with our film, Loves Her Gun. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’re interested in reading reviews, awards etc. that the film received, check out our Facebook page.

Participating in the film portion of the festival spoils you. It’s contained and organized, no unofficial events surround it and you casually run into peers and friends within the Austin film community and beyond. It is always a pleasure and a treat to experience this part of the festival.

I could tell the second that SXSW Film and Interactive had ended and Music began when we tried driving out of our neighborhood. Living on the eastside now means you co-exist with official and unofficial music events. No longer do you have to live a couple of blocks east of downtown to experience this; you can live as far as a few miles away to feel the effect. The story I’m about to tell you I already shared on my Facebook (more…)

Austin, Music, Pop Culture, Writing

RSVPster: Revolutionizing the SXSW festival going experience


Have y’all heard of RSVPster, yet?

How could you not with their recent FREAKIN’ AWESOME Forbes interview and all.

This brilliant service created by one Austin woman, Jennifer Sinski, is revolutionizing the festival going experience.

So, we all know how insanely Godzilla-like SXSW has become, right? All the unofficial parties, shows, taco face-stuffing contests and free swag that is open to us is often hard to keep up with. Sinski, who was already the go-to party RSVPer for her friends, came up with the idea in 2011 to have a concierge service that does the SXSW RSVPing for you- all for a mere $40. Not only will RSVPster get you on the list of every open, unofficial party and event at the festival, they will also send you a full calendar of dates and time to update to your iCal or Google Cal.

In its first year, RSVPster proved to be popular and Sinski brought on business partner, Miles Dahmann. Word of mouth spread quickly and the site gained customers and press. Now in its (more…)

Austin, Music, Pop Culture

An Open Letter to John Aielli

via KUT Flickr page

Dear John Aielli,

A few weeks back, I saw you for the first time out in this strange and beautiful world. I was walking into the alley below UT’s School of Communication as you were shuffling out.
A smile was playing on your lips– not a smug, pretentious smile, but a smile of someone who appreciates life, the birds in the trees, the geckos on the sidewalk and the clouds above our heads.

Seeing you smile to yourself made me smile to myself– you were exactly how I pictured you (this is bordering on slightly creepy, but something makes me think you’d appreciate “borderline creepy”).

When I first arrived in Austin 4 years ago, you were the jovial “is he drunk or isn’t he?” uncle figure that welcomed me to the city with your weekday morning program “Eklektikos” on KUT.

I’ll never forget the first time I felt the uncomfortableness of your dead air and the sounds of you mispronouncing a band’s name or accidentally playing the same song over again, even though (more…)

Film, Music, Pop Culture

All I Really Needed to Know I Learned From Rocky Horror Picture Show

The most exciting part of getting ready for our pumpkin carving party last Sunday was not the thought of running my fingers through mushy pumpkin guts or stuffing my cavity-filled mouth full of sun-melted, then asymmetrically reformed chocolate- it was the careful compiling of the Halloween playlist.

Halloween music holds a special slot in the nostalgia portion of the heart. From Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Dracula inflections in “The Monster Mash” to Warren Zevon’s howling in “Werewolves to London”, Halloween tunes evoke a very strong and specific memory of childhood days planning out the perfect costume and walking from neighbor to neighbor, carefully keeping a mental check of the beautiful bounty accumulating in the trick-or-treat bag and quietly judging those who gave you Tootsie Roll Pops and non-brand name candy.

I carefully selected songs that reminded me of this special time in my life and anxiously awaited for our guests to arrive. Every time I thought I heard someone walking (more…)

Austin, Music, Pop Culture

Nothing Says Halloween Like a Karate Rock Band Wearing Prosthetic Limbs

My boyfriend has a band.

They’re called The Karate Kids.

They sing about the Karate Kid movies including the ill-advised remake starring Will Smith’s son.

They wear prosthetic limbs and perform each of their songs in the kicking crane position.

If this doesn’t sell you on them already, check out some of their songs. Side note- my boyfriend can’t sing. I will never tell him this and I hope you don’t either. It is a fact that he already knows and he doesn’t care. This is what I love about him: the determination to never give up and keep creating. Since he can’t sing, he ends up sounding like a cool higher-pitched Lou Reed/Leonard Cohen-hybrid.

Nicole Atkins (see below) played in the band for a few shows. Sissy Spacek likes them, and Bill Murray told them that he would go to one of their shows, but in truth, HE LIED and didn’t show up.

The Karate Kids are playing Halloween Night 9:15PM at East Austin’s non-douchey, two-steppin’ hipster hangout, The White Horse.

Details are here.

Hope (more…)

Film, Hipstercrite Life, Music, Pop Culture

The Attack of the Frank Zapp-o-lantern

Geoff and I had a pumpkin carving party!

Everyone’s pumpkins looked awesome, except for mine. Mine looked like ass.

I was trying to make Frank Zappa pumpkin, but as my friend Don pointed out, it looked more like an abstract painting. I think it looked like an orange pile of shit.

I almost threw my pumpkin out in a fit of childish rage.

When it came time to light the pumpkins and bring them outside, I was embarrassed to add my pumpkin to the group. Geoff had this awesome Nick Cave pumpkin, Ludwig had a great Pee-Wee Herman pumpkin and Don had, well, a Don pumpkin.

I lit a tea light, plopped it inside of Frank’s head and begrudgingly carried my pumpkin outside. As I walked past my friends, theirs jaws dropped. Something magical had happened- the pumpkin actually looked like freakin’ Frank Zappa…or George Harrison, depending on who you are. The spirit of Frank had guided my hands to make his likeness out in a giant squash.

I spent the evening rejoicing by hitting repeat (more…)

Fashion/Design, Film, Music, Pop Culture

How to Make A Pumpkin Look Like Your Favorite Pop Culture Hero

I’ve created for you pumpkin stencils of Frank Zappa, Pee-Wee Herman and Ryan Gosling, and by “I”, I mean, I started creating in Photoshop and then got extraordinarily frustrated to the point where I had to prevent myself from spitting at the computer in a fit of rage and then asked my boyfriend to finish for me with the promise of buying him lunch.

If you click on the image, then click on it again, it will be a nice large file for you to print and use!

Happy Halloween!


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

Hipster Halloween Costume Ideas For the Hipsters in All of You

I have NO clue what to be for Halloween.

Halloween is my favorite holiday and the amount of stress I put on myself to have a good time and a GREAT costume, always leaves me full of anxiety and agita.

Now that I have a boyfriend, we’ve discussed going as one of those annoying couples who do a Halloween costume set, but we can’t think of anything. Well, Geoff thought of something, but I’m not sure I’m on board with it yet. He wants all of his friends to be a part of a “Star Wars pun” costume collection including: Hans Solo (Han Solo dressed in lederhosen), Prince as Leia (exactly what it sounds like), Uncle Ben Kenobi (that one got left on the cutting room floor) and Jewbacca (Chewbacca with a yamaka). Though I appreciate my boyfriend’s creative ideas, I’m a.) not a fan of Star Wars (YOU HEARD ME!) and b.) the costume I was assigned, Prince as Leia, requires me not only to find a Princess Leia costume, but a Prince costume and that is way too much work and money. Typically being more (more…)