Archive for March, 2007

Original Alamo is Moving!

draft houseI just read a huge post on the Alamo Drafthouse blog. They’re announcing their 10th Anniversary celebration and the original location on Colorado between 4th and 5th is moving to the Ritz!


I knew they were having trouble at the current location because of increasing rents. They started Heroes of the Alamo program last year looking for donations to remain at the current location and I guess it just wasn’t working out. It sounds like they had a lot of help in working out a deal to move to the Ritz. It’s hard not to sound gushing and stupid about this, but it’s so damn cool. The Ritz has been around since 1929 and has a long history in Austin as a theater, concert venue (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Big Boys and other have played there) and bar. Its future was in doubt (at least for me anyway) since the pool hall era ended last year. The fact that both can come together to preserve a location important to Austin and one of the best local businesses is just too great. You can’t help but pull for Tim and Karrie.

It sounds like they expect to move sometime this summer, so if you want to experience the old location, you’ve only got three months or so.

Update (03.21.07 09:31 CDT): I traded e-mails with Tim League. They mistakenly posted the announcement yesterday. It was supposed to go up today. They’ll start construction on April 1st and plan to blog the progress with photos and updates.

SXSW Friday: Dog and Duck, Emo’s Annex and Habana Calle 6

PCP party @ Dog n Duck

My SXSW Friday kicked off with a continuation of the parking karma from Thursday night. I hit the Dog and Duck around noon for the Pop Culture Press party and scored an unmetered spot right around the corner. They were running a little late, so I found a few friends and settled in for The Figgs. I’d never seen or heard them before, but our bass player is a big fan, so I thought I’d check them out.
They were good stuff, catchy songs, great start to the day. I caught a few songs of Graham Parker before heading back to South Austin to pick up some sticks at Tommy’s Drum Shop on South Eighth.


SXSW Saturday: Trophy’s, Mastodon and PUSA


I’m having a hard time getting it together to post my SXSW recaps, so I’ve decided to go in reverse order with the most recent event first. We’ll start with Saturday and work backwards to Sunday. I’m sure to confuse myself in the process.

After our showcase Friday night at Habana Calle 6, we had a day gig at Trophy’s for Whoopy’s Second Anniversary Day Party. The band before us was It’s Over from Kansas City. They reminded me a bit of early Beatles. I googled them this afternoon and found an amusing mention of their lead singer.


Easy to suspect

Gibson Guitar busIt’s only one bus, but it seems to be all over town this week. The other explanation would be that it has cloned itself. I’ve seen it several times every single day, but one bus is the total. The Gibson guitar people are very much present for SXSW. Here’s the remaining Gibson-related schedule. This was today’s most recent sighting, on South Congress, about a block away from the ME TV offices. The “all game received at rear” sign wouldn’t fit in the picture. Neither would the guy dressed all in green including a Cat-in-the-Hat topper.

Sweet and tasty

tangelosI got away with this one. I got away with taking a picture of the giant blue cow atop the cheese case. Then I failed to capture the next shot. “It’s against the policy to allow taking pictures and videos in here,” she said. But she didn’t confiscate my toy camera that has no flash and she didn’t make me dump out the pictures. Central Market is definitely on the tourist itinerary but it’s not new to me and I try to stay away from the cheese aisle since the olfactory presence of one of my least favorite foods does not please. I love the handmade signs, though. This beauty seems to have been done in colored markers (water-soluable for re-use of the banner?) on plastic. I’m unrepentant and glad that I preserved a record of this ephemeral beauty before its inevitable disappearance.

On the burger beat

The intention was to catch a bite at the Shoreline. Last we knew, it was serving lunch through the afternoon on weekdays, but such wasn’t the case today, so it was a quick step next door to the Cafe at the Four Seasons, since somebody had already sunk some bucks into underground parking at the complex there. We were some of the few non-industry people sighted in and around the hotel. Most of them, of course, were dressed in black and dining out of doors rather than inside. It was a pretty sight to see pilsner glasses in use, although more were imbibing wine. The afternoon menu was so-called “light fare,” available between the end of lunch at two and the beginning of dinner service at six, offering various salads, a selection of you-design pizzas, some sandwiches, and a few other items. Since Deep Pockets was paying, we ordered the sirloin burger plate for a big eighteen bucks. But it was very large and it was sirloin and it was grilled to order. The accompaniments were French fries, a toasted roll, cheddar cheese for those who wanted it, what’s perhaps the best bacon in town, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and small crockery cups of ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. The fries were in a square dish and all was served on a square platter. The truly busy place at the Four Seasons was the lobby bar, which now has a pianist who sings on Monday and Tuesday from 8 to midnight, another pianist-vocalist on Wednesdays and Thursdays who appears again on Saturdays from 9 to 1 in the morning, and a guitar duo on Fridays from 9 to 1 in the morning. Downtown is crazy everywhere. The cops on bikes were tending to traffic accidents all over the place, it seemed. We were glad to have taken refuge where we did.

SXSW Alternatives

If you’re like me and (gasp!) not that into SXSW, there are still plenty of fun things to do this weekend. For starters, there’s the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo, which includes my favorite sort of event this weekend, a barbecue cook-off. The rodeo is not only a fun time, but also a great cause. The rodeo provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money for college, which I didn’t know rodeos did until I moved to Texas.

There’s also everyone’s favorite Irish-American holiday/excuse for drinking beer, St. Patrick’s Day. Pretty much every Irish or Scottish pub in town will be throwing a St. Pat’s festival. My personal favorites on St. Pat’s are the Dog and Duck (I remember performing there one year with Leslie dancing down front) and Mother Egan’s. There’s also Opal Divine’s, BD Riley’s, and possibly others.

Have a great weekend!

SXSW Music: Last Chance for Wristbands

I just got the text message that the last round of wristbands are going on sale tonight at 7:30pm. It’s $175 cash only and they’ll insist on putting the wristband on you at the time of the sale.

You can get them at Bourbon Rocks, Buffalo Billiards, Elysium, Habana Calle 6 Annex, Maggie Maes, The Parish II, Lamberts, Momos, Opal Divine’s and Jovitas.

For the out of towners, the first six are on or near 6th street and east of Congress. Lamberts is west of Congress at 2nd and Guadalupe. Momos and Opal Divines are farther west on Sixth, almost to Lamar. Jovitas is the only location south of the river and they’re on South First.

Good luck with that.

Fancy and fresh fast food

Cafe Josie brings food to the table lightning quick. I suppose it’s because the sauces are made by lunchtime and so’s the soup and so are the beans and so’s the meatloaf, which was being ordered by many. Items cooked to order are ready in an instant and so those fried oysters, crab cakes, and plates of piping-hot fish are there very soon after you’ve requested them. The seasonal change from lobster cakes to crab cakes has already occurred. We saw only two obvious SXSWers there and of course that’s why we headed over that way, to avoid the crush. It’s too bad that Cafe Josie serves lunch only on weekdays, but what a weekday lunch it is!

Music by the slice

Home Slice PizzaWe just wanted to pick up our cleaning at Washburn’s but there wasn’t a place to park for blocks around, so it was the alley or nothing. This is an alley-side view of Music by the Slice in the parking lot next door. Closest is the EZ-Up selling Home Slice souvenir tee-shirts, including sizes for kids. Scissors for Lefty was just warming up. The four Port-O-Sans were getting plenty of use. This is the only time that South Congress has more people milling around than it does on Hallowe’en. The big old house whose roof may be seen in the background used to contain the Rent-A-Wreck branch that we patronized during car-free interludes when four wheels were suddenly required. We also used to sit on the bank in front of that house to watch the Aqua Fest land parade back when (1) there was Aqua Fest, (2) there was a land parade with floats from all over Texas, and (3) the land parade started south of the river. It’s a beautiful old place, now devoted to private residential use.

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