July 22, 2005

“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies–all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.” – AH

It is the plight of the wanderer, I suppose–of the troubadour transcribing his travels–that some juncture invariably presents him with feelings of disappointment or dissatisfaction. In spite of the brilliant lights and flow (without ebb) of music on 6th Street, I am here, in Austin, for a purpose. My intentions were to capture perhaps the quintessential music city through the eyes of the bands, record labels and venues that proudly reside here. What fate has conspired, though, seems to be something of a disaster. Eight different entities were contacted in advance about my sojourn into Austin and the project that I have undertaken. At the moment, I have no appointments scheduled. Andrew Kenny from the American Analog Set is right now in Brooklyn. I spoke to him today and he promised to meet for a drink when I make it home. Charles Attal, the booking agent at Stubb’s is in Chicago. Craig Stewart, co-founder of Trance Syndicate and co-organizer of South by Southwest is on a week-long vacation. Ben Dickey, tour manager for Spoon and part of the Post Parlo Records family, is in North Carolina. The only two people who are in town right now are Philip Crowley, who books shows at The Parish, and Graham, who books Emo’s. I’ve left messages for both, I am awaiting returns. Heartbroken isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

To that end, I spent today visiting the AMoA (who had a great Annie Lebovitz exhibit that focused on musicians) a few blocks from my hotel, then drove to San Antonio, where I tried to clear my head and quell the inner monologue that begs to mock my failures. The Alamo and Riverwalk beckoned. I closed my eyes and jumped in. The Alamo rests on a few acres in the heart of San Antonio. Since it’s a shrine, zoning laws prohibit any nearby buildings from casting a shadow on the national landmark. The complex is filled with some beautiful flora. Mighty oak trees and sundry other greens, as well as relics from the historic battle grace the shrine. There’s also an acequa (aqueduct) running through the grounds.

I spent most of the day exploring Riverwalk. I walked as much as I could in the 100 degree heat, and then spent a half-hour taking one of the tourist-y boat rides through the river. The whole concept is amazing. I was afforded with various attempts to capture the beauty I witnessed firsthand. I don’t think I could come within a mile of reproducing the experience. There’s an amphitheater, restaurants (2, 3, 4, 5), waterfalls (2), dams, hotels, a medical center, monuments and disparate cose belle. Time stood still. I ceased to comprehend how it moved, inextricably bound to the area.

Craig Stewart called to tell me that I should get in touch with him tomorrow and we could “get some coffee or somezing” (to quote The Saint). It brightened my day to hear from someone and receive a semblance of positive news. The drive back to Austin passed quickly. DRIVE WITH TARENTEL. I showered and dressed before heading to 6th Street for the night. I had a pint at The Library, which, by the time I left, boasted a line that stretched at least half a block. The area was basically blocked off, with people pouring out from clubs and bars consummately flooding the streets. I walked down to Woodrow’s (where they play The Cure, Depeche Mode and Tears for Fears like it’s their JOB) for a few pints of Lone Star and Guinness before I started to feel exhausted. Tomorrow is my final day in Austin, I leave on Sunday.

car music:
Yume Bitsu – Auspicious Winds
Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat
Clinic – Internal Wrangler
Tarentel – From Bone to Satellite

pastel-colored heart candies, and hershey’s hugs and kisses.

1 comment

  1. Jen

    Envy isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind. But seriously, I’m immensely enjoying reading about your travels and looking forward to your arrival in SF.

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