After a breakneck beginning, Ghostland Observatory took time off to recharge. For the band’s caped keyboardist and laser light wizard, the fallow season has been fertile.
It’s the early eighties and this flamboyant dude in Minneapolis is singing about fruit cocktail, banana daiquiris, sex, and raspberry berets. People don’t quite know what to make of him, or his mix of funk, dance, and rock rhythms, but they are riveted. “People think he’s a freak!” Thomas Turner says, obviously delighted. Prince is that increasingly rare thing—an utterly unique industry game changer.
"Austin is still a place where people can pursue crazy ideas and turn a passion into a paycheck,” says James Taylor, the general manager of Holy Mountain, a bar and live music venue in the heart of downtown’s Red River Cultural District. Between sips of Pearl Snap, we are chatting about the breakneck speed of Austin’s growth. With his buzz cut, plaid shirt, and crisp, dark denim, Taylor has the retro charm of a 1950s comic book hero. But he’s firmly committed to the future of his favorite city.
“Our rich history means that many other music communities around the country and world are looking to see how the creative class will address this growth,” he says. “Can Austin stay affordable? Can the cool that entices companies like Google and Facebook and X Games stay relevant, so those industries stay? We’re at a pivotal time with the opportunity to develop a model that works here and for other creative cities.”
From a sprawling vinyl collection to a home music studio, these three Austinites have created musically-minded spaces to call their own.
Rooms speak volumes about the people who inhabit them, and in the creative spaces of manager Sam Shah, musician Ian Orth and ACL Live talent buyer Jack McFadden, music takes center stage. Whether it’s a coat closet full of records or an office lined with treasured guitars, these three musical havens offer a place for their owners to explore, create and bring the music home.
What does a former coat closet filled with 2,000 records look like? Awesome, if it’s anything like ACL Live talent buyer Jack McFadden’s vinyl collection, located at one end of a modern living room in the South Austin home McFadden shares with his wife and two children.
It only makes sense that the “Live Music Capital of the World” should have its fair share of blogs dedicated solely to the best and brightest that this city (and the music industry at large) has to offer. Austin Writes Music, Austin Bloggy Limits and Covert Curiosity are just that — online outlets and resources that provide both blogger and reader a place to explore Austin’s unique music culture.
The “senior” blog of the bunch, Covert Curiosity (covertcuriosity. blogspot.com) started carving out its niche as a trusted source for local music information in July of 2006. “There weren’t really any specifically music blogs in Austin at the time, and I wanted a place to expose some of the interesting things I was getting into and discovering,” says Lawrence Boone of his blog.
By Day: He’s the cofounder and CEO of SpaceCraft, and she’s the owner and creative director of popular entertaining blog CamilleStyles.com.
How They Met
Camille says: I worked at Adam’s former company, Springbox. The first week of my new job there, I was in a car accident that put me in an ugly gray neck brace for the next three months. It’s funny to think that we actually got to know each other when I was feeling less than attractive; of course, Adam likes to say that he just got to know my inner beauty first!
By Day: Founders of the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (beyondbatten.org)
How They Met
Charlotte says: We met while we were living in Paris. Craig was working for a company based out of Houston, and I had started a business exporting antiques back to the States. We met among a group of friends. Americans have a way of finding each other when they live abroad, and particularly since we are both from the South. Craig likes to say that I was the only other one who understood his French!
By Day: He’s a novelist and UT professor, and she’s an assistant attorney general.
How They Met
In the kitchen at a mutual friend’s house.
By Day: He’s an executive recruiter with the Innovar Group, and she’s a jewelry designer and owner of FALK Jewelry Designs.
How They Met
She was an undergrad, and he was a grad student at UT.
Kerrin says: My dad always emphasized the fact that it is important to meet someone while doing something you love to do...and I love going out! It was actually a particularly special night, though… I went to a Tim McGraw concert with my sister, where she met who would be her future husband. Dave was at the concert that night too, but we hadn’t met. After the concert I begged my sister to go to the Aquarium [a favorite Sixth Street watering hole], and that’s where we all met up. Nothing better than sisters marrying friends.
It's summertime and the livin' is easy in bold color and prints with a little bit of prep mixed in.
Location: Hamilton Pool
Models: Breauna, Chloe Jayne, Christian & Matt of Wallflower Management, Hair + Makeup by Franchiska Bryant of José Luis Salon, Styling Assistants: Linda Harrold + Avalon McKenzie
I will not shake martinis. I will not shake martinis. I will not shake martinis… This was the lesson of the day at Bar Congress, that — judging by the neat script on the chalkboard — at least one employee failed to learn. “When you shake a martini it gets cloudy, and one of the coolest things about a beautifully made gin martini is its crystal clarity. It should be so still and so clear that after a hard day’s work, you look at that, and it just calms you down.” This is bar manager Adam Bryan’s romantic philosophy behind his rule. He is one of the growing number of bartenders in Austin serious about their craft.