Monday, March 30, 2009

Current Financial Priorities

I'm in the trenches of unemployment. My only income for the last month has come from a small handful of published stories and restaurant reviews. Otherwise, I'm living on piddly savings and the kindness of friends who give me food.

But I know a job is just around the corner. I'm not using this as my personal pity-party venting mechanism. What I will whine about, however, is that there are several albums that I desperately want to buy but cannot afford at the moment. I decided after SXSW that I want to support the artists I love, so I'm going to purchase albums. For now, anyway.

Here's my wish list:
  • Bishop Allen - Grrr (Dumb title but I love them and want to give this new album an unbiased shot.)
  • M. Ward - Hold Time
  • Neko Case - Middle Cyclone (This one can be streamed online at, and I've listened to it a few times. It's so beautiful that I want to own it.)
  • Balmorhea - All is Wild, All is Silent
  • The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love (They played the new album in its entirety at an official SXSW showcase, which was also streamed on NPR. I've listened to it, but this concept album demands more of my time.)
  • The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • Emmy the Great - First Love
  • Hey Marseilles - To Travels & Trunks

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life is Absurd, and Yesterday I Noticed

I love the absurd. Strange things happen to me fairly regularly, and I should record them. All this happened yesterday:

It was about 10 a.m., and I heard a soft knock at the door. I figured it was the Jehovah's Witnesses because they're the only people who come by at 10 a.m. Sure enough, it was! But they were Spanish-speaking-only JWs. When I answered the door, they immediately started speaking Spanish to me (and I understood a good bit of it). Finally, one of them stopped and asked me, "Do you speak Spanish?" I answered with an enthusiastic "No!" They handed me two tracts (in English) and went on to the next house.

I received my Berry Alumni magazine in the mail yesterday, and tucked inside was a copy of the Spring 2009 newsletter for the United States Sports Academy. We get a lot of mail for the house's previous tenants, so I thought perhaps it was for one of them. No: It was addressed to a woman living in Philadelphia. It was post-marked out of Macon, Georgia, which is strange because the return address is in Alabama. My theory is that somewhere in Georgia, the Sports Academy newsletter slid into my Berry magazine and never saw the light of day until it reached Austin.

Finally, according to the Austin Chronicle, Danny DeVito will be in Austin tomorrow to sign bottles of his Limoncello liqueur. I texted most of my friends in Austin about it. My favorite reactions:
  • Gloria: If that isn't the bottom of the barrel, I don't know what is.
  • Dave: Weird. I love that butterball of a man.
  • Kev: Man, everybody's coming out with their own booze these days.
  • Leslie: Crazy I didn't know he had a liquor. What is it Wild Turkey?
And if you're interested in getting a bottle of Limoncello signed by Mr. DeVito, he'll be at the Twin Liquors at the Hancock Center tomorrow from 11 to 1.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SXSW: RIP (Until Next Year)

Well, you'd had never known there was financial crisis going on, based on the annual insanity that is South by Southwest. Here are my highlights:
  • Paste magazine's free showcases. Free beer (in the morning), more free stuff, and lots and lots of great, free music. I could be in love with a publication.
  • Spotting Joseph Gordon Levitt at a party at the Mohawk. (Remember him? The kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun and 10 Things I Hate About You)
  • Au Revoir Simone. They are cute and endearing and so very Willaimsburg-hipster. Anslee and I met them on the Sixth Street Thursday night. We told them we loved their set at the Paste show, and they introduced themselves and talked to us for a little while.
  • Speaking of Williamsburg, if I had a dollar for everytime someone said, "I'm from Brooklyn but I'm thinking about moving here" I wouldn't be job searching right now.
  • That said, I don't want any Willaimsburg hipsters moving here. Being invaded once a year for a week is enough. We have enough of you skinny-jeaned, pretentious, pasty New Yorkers. Stay where you are. (Clarification: The ones I met were lovely people. I'd just rather they stay in New York. Texas is too hot for them anyway.)
  • The Round. Started in Seattle and transpanted in Austin courtesy of my friends at the Space12 community center, this gathering of artists was one the best events at SX this year.

Bands I saw (keep in mind I never paid a single cover):
The Wooden Birds
The Sad Accordians
Loney, Dear
M. Ward
Bishop Allen
The Wrens
The Avett Brothers
Little Boots
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Motel Motel
J. Tillman of Fleet Foxes
Laura Gibson
Loch Lomond
Hey Marsailles
King Kahn and the Shrines
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Vivian Girls
The Thermals
Explosions in the Sky
And I know there are more but I can't remember right now.

Conspiracy Theorists, Prepare

Yep. The apocalypse is comin.

Also, a SXSW recap is coming.