Category: Capital of Texas

Waterloo Records acquires huge classical collection in estate sale

Capital of Texas

Russell McCullogh, the classical expert at Waterloo Records, mentioned the store had recently acquired an extensive classical and jazz collection from an estate sale. I stopped by Waterloo last night and browsed through some of the classical offerings. (They’re laid out on a pair of tables in the back corner of the store’s north section.)

Russell mentioned most of the collection includes 20th Century tonal composers, and while I did see a smattering of Krzysztof Penderecki and Arnold Schoenberg — with a Mahler and a Beethoven here and there — the collection had an impressive diversity. I managed to find a number of albums I owned on cassette but never upgraded to CD: orchestral works by Joan Tower and Tobias Picker, as well as Kronos Quartet’s recording of Witold Lutoslawski’s string quartet.

But if you’ve been reading The Rest Is Noise by New Yorker writer Alex Ross, a lot of the composers in that collection will sound familiar: Max Reger, Bohuslav Martinu, Paul Hindemith, Alan Hovhaness, Samuel Barber, Ned Rorem, George Perle, Morton Gould. I went to Waterloo thinking I’d just pick up the new Ex-Boyfriends album and be done, but no … I spent half an hour sifting through that collection, and I didn’t even scratch the surface.

I don’t know if any of the jazz offerings are out on the floor, but the classical selection includes a lot of tempting titles. I should be greedy and not mention it, but really — fans of this kind of music ought to check it out.

aGLIFF program now available

Capital of Texas

The program for the 2007 Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is now available. Actually, it’s been available since last week, but this past Friday, tickets became available for non-members. This year, ticket pre-sale is happening only online — no station at Tapelenders, sorry to say.

I spent part of the afternoon leaving printed programs around south Austin, so if you want to pick one up, you can find a few over at Jo’s Coffee, Guero’s, Curra’s, Ruta Maya, Cafe Caffiene and Amy’s Ice Cream next to the Westgate Theatres. If they’re already gone, well, I’ll see what I can do about getting more. You should be able to find the printed programs throughout town.

It looks like this year’s festival is heavy on international films and documentaries. The films I’m planning to see are The Bubble (Israel), Boy’s Love (Japan), Eternal Summer (Taiwan) and Semper Fi: One Marine’s Journey (USA).

Austin Music Hall might actually live up to its name now

Capital of Texas

The Statesperson is reporting (registration required or not) the Austin Music Hall is being torn down and renovated to the tune of $5 million. The renovations will expand capacity to 4,000 and add a restaurant.

Thank diety. I’ve been to exactly three shows at Austin Music Hall, and I’ve hated every one.

The first show was the Community Service Tour in 1999, featuring the likes of Crystal Method and the Orb. I didn’t know what to expect, so imagine my bemusement at being packed like cattle into a warehouse. The sound was awful, and the view of the stage wasn’t much of a view. The second show was Weezer. OmarG had an extra ticket, and I wanted to see what the whole Weezer fuss was about. A frat boy made me spill my beer on me, and he had the nerve to tell me to watch it. Also, I ended up not liking Weezer. The third show was the Smashing Pumpkins. It wasn’t a bad experience, but I enjoyed seeing them at Pink’s Garage in Honolulu ca. 1992 way, way more.

The Austin Music Hall was just a bad idea. Plop a stage in a warehouse, call it a music hall and stash as many bodies into the pit till it’s a fire hazard. Uh, no.

Bands I like don’t tend to play at the Music Hall, so avoiding the place hasn’t been much of an issue. Even if I did like a band, their booking at the Music Hall would be the dealbreaker. "Yeah, I like you, but not that much …"

So, good riddance, Austin Music Hall of Olde. When the renovations are finished, perhaps then I can enjoy a show there.

Timing is everything

Capital of Texas

Waterloo Records holds a store-wide sale twice a year. It’s been a while since went to the sale as a customer instead of an employee, so I’d forgotten about a strange phenomenon that occurs when I try to shop at that time, which happened again this past weekend.

So far, with little failure, the following things occur when I go the Waterloo Records store-wide sales:

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Have fun at ACL? Is that even possible?

Capital of Texas

I’ve seen numerous blog entries and articles about how to survive the ACL Music Festival. Here’s my advice: don’t go.

I worked at the very first festival, and it scarred me for life. My perception of the festival is perhaps colored by the fact that in the three years I’ve gone, I was never there to have fun. I was there to make sure drunken assholes and juvenile delinquints didn’t take five-finger discounts.

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Nuevo Taco X-Press

Capital of Texas

Have you been to the new Taco X-Press? It’s been open for the past two weeks now.

Although the interior is new and comfortable and spacious, the decor is still every bit as funky as the original shack. Just … cleaner.

Of course, "spacious" depends on the time of day. I try to get to Taco X-Press right when it opens, when the line is at its relatively shortest. I couldn’t manage that this past weekend, and the line threatened to snake out the door. Every table inside was practically taken, and the ambient noise from all the customers rang throughout the high ceiling.

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Yes! No! Yes! No!

Capital of Texas

Between the fliers in the mail and the spam on my answering machine, I’ve actually gotten curious about the brouha over Propositions 1 and 2 in the upcoming city elections.

When the screed hits the fan, I usually just tune out. Nothing turns me off faster than a political pissing match. Thing is, Proposition 6, which repeals a prohibition on domestic partner benefits for city employees, is on the ballot, and I’m making sure I vote for it.

So I can’t very well vote for one proposition without knowing about the rest.

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Shout out

Capital of Texas

I just want to give a big, warm FUCK YOU to all the drivers who made this morning’s commute to work feel like fucking Lord of the Flies. That is all.