Archive for January, 2006

Rude Mechs’ GYWO Extended

The previously mentioned Rude Mechanicals production of Get Your War On has extended it’s run. It will now go until February 11th instead of February 4th as originally planned and they’ve added a second 10pm show on some nights. These all appear to be selling out, so you’d better get moving if you want to see it. I’ve got tickets for Friday night and will report back to you, faithful Metroblogging readers, on Saturday.

Valentine readiness

In the interests of research and in preparation for Cupid’s big day, it’s possible to have your romantic relationship scientifically analyzed with the results presented graphically (that’s in the form of a graph, people!) for your education and improvement. Not only that, but if you’re smart enough to get through the maze of questions without being booted out, no doubt you’ve got what it takes in the love department.

It should go without saying that the science involved here is social science. The more senior researcher is described as a professor of human development and family sciences who has studied romantic relationships for over a quarter of a century. Whether the field work involves more than questinnaires isn’t stated. The associate is described as having interests that “include the development and evaluation of education programs for the enhancement of romantic relationships, how people form dating relationships, changes in the meaning of dating, and the role of dating in mate selection.”

The notion that there is such a thing as family sciences, plural, is a bit alarming, but these are your tax dollars at work, and the investment has produced a good conversation-starter at least. Tyros in amorology may click the button labeled “About Relationships in General.” All is anonymous and participants must aver that they are 18 years of age or older.

You can be a star!

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Last Comic Standing, the NBC reality show, will be holding open call auditions in Austin on March 2. Take your best 3 minutes and show up at the Capital City Comedy Club on Highway 183 at 10:00 a.m.

They’ll be trying to fill out the list for this year’s show. If you think you’ve got what it takes to make people laugh and represent Austin, go for it.

Saradora’s shutting down for good?

I don’t make it up to Round Rock very often myself. Hell, if I didn’t work just north of 183 and Mopac, I’d probably never make it above 2222, but I digress.

It appears that Saradora’s, the downtown Round Rock coffee shop, is closing. You’ll recall that Saradora’s hosted a drag show back in September, something that caused a much larger uproar than I ever would’ve thought in this day and age. There I go overestimating my fellow man again. You’d think I’d have learned by now. Amy of Amy’s Ice Cream apparently has her eye on the location, but she says “I don’t know if Round Rock’s ready for us”.

Yeah, all that crazy hat wearin’ and ice cream throwin’ is a little to out there for Round Rock. Best just to welcome Baskin Robbins and their plan for domination of the local ice cream market. Good luck with that.

Serious wreck on 183 North at Mopac

I don’t know what happened, but there’s a Chevy Cavalier-looking grey car with it’s trunk bashed flat and a smashed front-end in the left northbound lanes of 183 at Mopac. It was there when we went to lunch over an hour ago and it’s still being cleaned up now. The passenger compartment looks pretty much intact, but the people inside are almost certainly at the hospital right now. Hope they’re ok.

The Year of the Gourds

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Sunday’s Statesman may have told us that we’re entering the Year of the Dog. But could it be that we’re entering a different year here locally – the year of the Gourds? Could it be that an Austin band that has been fostering a slowly growing worldwide cult comprising long-in-the-tooth beer drinking good old boys, over-testosteroned 20-year-old college jocks and Whole Foods moms will be able to transcend their cult this year and stick a toe into more mainstream waters?

One of the first signs that this might occur came when I read Michael Corcoran’s all encompassing feature on the band in the XL a couple of weeks ago. As he noted, the Gourds have been somewhat taken for granted in their hometown. While other lesser Austin bands have gone on to take their place in the spotlight, the Gourds have been touring the world, writing hundreds of songs and still taking the time to work on side projects while also raising families.

But here’s where I share the major travesty. Since “Austin City Limits” has married itself off to the fortunes of Capital Sports and Entertainment and their yearly music festival, I’m sure some people have been questioning whether we should change the name of the television show to British City Limits. Where’s the Austin? Sure, it’s featured Tift Merritt and What’s Made Milwaukee Famous recently, but how is it that it could overlook an Austin gem like the Gourds? Aren’t these guys are considered the Beatles by Dutch folks?

I have to admit that I myself have been guilty of the same crime. I’ve been going to Gourds shows so long that I’ve forgotten just how good they are. It didn’t occur to me what an oversight Austin City Limits had made until I read the following letter to the editor in the Statesman:

Why aren’t Gourds on ‘Austin City Limits?’

Re: Jan. 19 XLent cover story, “Gourds, ripened with age”:

Michael Corcoran’s long overdue, superlative praise of The Gourds raises the question that’s bothered most of their fans for a long time: Why have The Gourds never appeared on “Austin City Limits?”

The best band in the Live Music Capital of the World can’t get booked on that city’s namesake showcase? What gives, Terry Lickona?

KARL RICHTER

Yeah, what gives, Terry? Do these guys have to move to the UK to get on the show now?

But like I said, I think this just might be their year. KUT has called this Gourds week, and critics are calling “Heavy Ornamentals” their best album. There may be hope for that long overdue ACL appearance yet.

Related: Gourds’ bassist Jimmy Smith shares his favorite music.

Update: Courtesy of the “Austin City Limits” newsletter, I discovered this NPR piece by David Browne that addressed my above questions.

Fellow riders, rejoice!

We’re not just limited to core routes. The latest word is that Capital Metro is rolling today and that today’s schedule will be the customary one.

Seeking the self-unemployed

Those casting about for that perfect Austin-style job, the one that pays above minimum wage, that’s a full-time gig for a limited term, and that teaches something about life and politics, should check with the Travis County elections division.

Primary season means that more help’s needed. Van drivers will deliver voting equipment, signs, tables, and chairs and will perform other similar tasks as needed. Supply clerks are needed in the warehouse. Training troubleshooters will assist election officials and teach them how to conform with all laws, policies, and procedures. Technical troubleshooters will prepare the voting devices and equipment for delivery to the field and may be called to voting sites to assist and offer technical support. Also needed will be call-center representatives to respond to questions about polling locations and the like. Clerks will also be needed in connection with voting by mail. Depending on projected voter turnout sometimes additonal workers are needed for election night.

Sometimes these openings are filled almost immediately; sometimes they’re open almost right up to election day. An application may be picked up at and returned to the the county offices at 5501 Airport Boulevard. More information may be obtained by calling 854-4996 or sending e-mail.

Cap Metro To Strike Monday at Noon

If you ride the bus, make other plans on Monday. Cap Metro is getting all Norma Rae on Austin’s ass. Here’s the full press release:

AUSTIN, Texas, January 29, 2005 – The union representing Capital Metro’s contracted StarTran bargaining employees has announced plans to go on strike as of 12 p.m., Monday, Jan. 30, 2006. The ATU, representing 850 employees, announced plans to strike after negotiations on Sunday, Jan. 29th failed to result in a new contract.

Capital Metro is greatly disappointed that StarTran and the Union were not able to reach an agreement, particularly in light of the concessions made by StarTran in order to accommodate the Union’s wishes,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Fred Gilliam.

“Capital Metro recognizes the impact this strike will have on our community, and we are committed to doing everything we can to accommodate our riders on Monday, when Union employees walk away from their jobs,” added Gilliam.
Until further notice, the strike action interrupts transit service, beginning Monday, to Capital Metro Bus customers. UT shuttle buses will operate as usual, and the Capital Area Rural Transportation System (CARTS) will not be affected by the strike.
Some routes will be temporarily suspended. Weekend service may be cancelled and customers should expect delays.

The following modified routes will be available and Capital Metro may add additional routes as resources become available.

Routes
1L/1M North Lamar/South Congress
2 Rosewood
3 Burnet/Manchaca
7 Duval /27 Dove Springs
10 South First /20 Manor Road
15 Red River /16 South Fifth
17 Johnston
37 Colony Park
137 Colony Park Flyer
300 Govalle Crosstown
325 Ohlen Crosstown
331 Oltorf

These routes will operate from 6:00 am until 7:00 pm.

This scaled back system of routes will operate to provide coverage to Capital Metro’s highest traveled routes, as well as to major destinations such as hospitals, medical facilities, schools, the downtown business district, the Capitol complex, UT and other universities and major employers. Areas with high levels of transit-dependent riders have also been prioritized.

Special Transit Service will also operate from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. Reservation priority will be given to those riders in need of dialysis or other medical appointments, followed by riders needing transportation to work or school.
Capital Metro is urging its customers to review the limited service options available, and make other transit plans if necessary. They can call 512-474-1200 for information on limited service available or log onto capmetro.org for rideshare options.

Beer Co-op?

black_star.gifI just read a story on News8Austin about the Black Star Pub. It’s to be Austin’s first community-owned beer bar. They began meeting earlier this month and are currently scoping out locations in East Austin. I’d be interested to hear more about how this might work. It’s still in the early stages if you want to get involved, although I’m guessing their membership just shot up in the wake of all this publicity. They’ve got a Google Group if you’re interested in participating. I’m sure the TABC will figure out some way to object to this. They always seem to make running a business that involves booze much more difficult than you’d think.

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