hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

east 5th street

I just love this pairing I caught yesterday afternoon in front of Progress Coffee. I hope everyone made it out for some of the East Austin Studio Tour this weekend. The gloomy overcast weather was perfect for art-ing around town, and I was really happy to find myself living in the midst of such a thriving, quirky, little, artist community!

the greatest show on earth

Friday November 21st at Stubb's in Austin, TX.

...and then my heart melted.

I'm pretty sure that's how tomorrow's recollection of this monumental evening will sum up. For tonight is the night that The Felice Brothers and Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band team up for one hell of a showcase at Stubb's.

The Felice Brothers - Waterspider

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band - I Got A Reason #1

photos by Annie Ray

Over the past few weeks I've managed to get involved with a few local projects. I'm contributing to a couple of start-up magazines and interning with a new gallery. It's like I just created my own version of grad school, finally putting my undergrad work in journalism and art to use.

For the most part everything is a crazy whirlwind and I'm just trying to figure it out as I go along. Of course everything happened at once and my daily tasks had me recalling Christina Applegate's role in Don't Tell Mom the Babysitters Dead. You know, I was all, "I'm right on top of that, Rose," frantically figuring out how to be the hub of the communications department.

While deadlines are keeping me crazy, it's the perks that make it all worth while. Soon the rewards will be the whole seeing my name in print thing and getting paid. But for now, there's the joys of working with good friends and networking parties with free drinks & fun photo booths. Local photog, Annie Ray took these at Rare Magazine's grand opening event at Red River Flats last week.

seasonal reflections

As the afternoons grow shorter, and the early evening drives us home to complete our chores, we are reminded of the shortness of life, and become more pensive, at least in this twilight of the year. We are prompted to make haste and finish our work before the night comes.

-- Henry David Thoreau, Journal

Months ago, when autumn fell upon the great northeast my mother met my request and mailed me a colorful collection of leaves from our front yard. She told me she picked a couple particularly pretty ones and soon found herself a half hour late for work with a bulging bag of deciduous droppings. Sometimes when the wind gusts through my window, the leaves will rustle on my dresser and a couple will dance softly to the floor.

We're finally experiencing a fall onset here in Austin. Today is a rare occurrence in that it's overcast. The fading colors and calm breeze creates an unequivocally comforting change. It's not quite the autumn of my childhood, but a pleasant variation all the same.

After the longest summer of my life, I've finally put away my summer shorts and am happily reunited with my favorite combination of jeans and t-shirts. I'm excitedly reintroducing boots and scarves into my everyday attire as they become increasingly appropriate accessories. And yes, I know, I live in Texas now, but my reality is still skewed by 24 years of long grueling winters.

Is it just me or does your musical appetite shift with the seasons?


go VOTE. seriously.

a pumpkin perfect saturday

that sh*t was bananas!

Yesterday afternoon I witnessed the darnedest thing while driving home.

In my red light space out, I found myself admiring a good looking man at the corner to my right, mainly because he was dressed so originally in a midnight blue suit with a colorful button down peeking through. Sassy, yet sophisticated. It worked, for he totally won my attention without any further statement. Naturally, I watched him cross the street in front of me and took immediate notice of the traditionally dressed businessman crossing from the opposite direction, thinking what a contrast the two represented. Then something completely unexpected happened.

As they met in the median my boy in blue bumped into the businessman's briefcase, knocking it unhinged and releasing a bunch of loose bananas onto the ground! (I'm DEAD SERIOUS.) Before I could even process this strange occurrence it got even stranger. A man in a gorilla suit suddenly swooped in to collect the bananas and continued across the road and west on 15th Street.

This all happened during one red light.

As the light changed and I continued on my way, I couldn't quite wrap my brain around this random event. All I know is that I am so glad to have been a witness. How crazy is it that I found myself in attendance for such a private performance? I guess you know what they say, "Keep Austin weird."

it's all happening!

"this is so great I had to share it with you" //an explodingdog image

In one big burst it seems so much has happened and my confused path has returned to goodness.

I think it all started when I impressed my mother by joining my local library, which is so awesome I don't know why I waited so long in the first place. Or maybe it was two weeks ago when I saw The Walkmen and was just four human bodies away from Hamilton Leithauser's sheer awesomeness? Let me just say for the record, that man is a tall drink of water.

Hamilton Leithauser being amazing

Whatever set this trend of good fortune, in a whole new and totally amazing turn of events it has somehow been confirmed that I am not a complete derelict. I am on my way to becoming an actual, legit writer. I was granted two new opportunities in the local scene that I have already begun working on! Very exciting.

So yeah guys, this page may suffer (boo) as a consequence, but will more likely become completely nonsensical to compensate for the actual writing I have to do. For instance, today's last minute, deadline-driven assignment writing a full feature on high-end shopping in Austin made this rambling entry so incredibly necessary to even the score.

OH and in the spirit of good cheer, this is so good my heart nearly exploded with glee when I found out -- Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band will be returning to Austin on November 21st to play at Stubb's with THE FELICE BROTHERS! Life is beautiful.

the femi-stache trend

mommy's little hipster?

Moustaches are funny. Period. This is because in some cases they make people uncomfortable. To my knowledge, the moustache had it's hayday in the 80's and has since been the making of jokes, dares and bets between friends. Lately the moustache has seemed to gain attention as an ironic trend for guys, and now it seems I keep hearing about how ladies are getting in on the joke.

I have to admit I'm no stranger to the phenomenon, though I didn't recognize it's scope. I had no idea how big of a trend I was participating in when I recently went to a moustache and fedora party. But shortly thereafter I read an article in Nylon Magazine that brought my attention to a site dedicated to the fingerstache and moustache necklaces, like the one pictured below (my favorite from their showcase).

the ringmaster // ach ach liebling

Last week sarahspy noted the moustache trend in her weekend round up noting that runway models have been sporting this accessory right up on THEIR FACES (WTF!?!). Now my roommate will tell you that it's a confidence booster. She barely hesitated to bring sharpie to face for the party we attended, while I opted for the fingerstache. But I kinda wish I'd thought of this:

that's just classy

I guess this would be a good time to confess that there is currently a face-level moustache on the full length mirror my roommate and I share. Trend or not, it's just funny.


landscape architecture by Gustafson Porter

As I've randomly stumbled upon these various projects, I've become fascinated and inspired by what I see as a central theme of environmental (political and social, not just trees and flowers) knowledge, forward thinking and resourceful creativity. I've been encompassed by these ideas, especially considering the political and economic climate that seems to create a disconnect between people and the big picture, and thought I would gather some of the more compelling components to share here.

"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness... And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." -Howard Zinn

"We have the concept of throwing something away, but in reality, we're just tossing it over our shoulder and forgetting about it," says David Chameides. "It wouldn't be so funny if it was really just in your backyard."

the skipwaste project

photos of the Danish Island of Samso, which is 100% sustainable

In Samso, "100% of their electricity comes from wind power. Everyone on the island owns a turbine or is a share holder in some turbines and on top of the domestic turbines, they have an offshore windfarm. 70% of the island’s heat comes from solar power and biomass energy, and they are working to get that up to 100%."

"hang in there" via hunter made it

Marfa, Texas

go west

Vizcaino Park

flowing fields of the Chinati Foundation

grazing antelope & the "Monument to the Last Horse"

a weekend wonderland: ACL recap

The thing about these Austin music festivals is that there is always so much going on! Free shows, parties, ticket giveaways, after-after shows, promos galore and oh yeah, that three day festival. What I've found is that these events are really just a calculated game of selectivity. Of course there is no one way to play, but I'm pretty sure I won big this year by scoring a last minute ticket to Sunday night's after show at La Zona Rosa with M. Ward, Jenny Lewis & Conor Oberst.

I played it safe by opting for The Cool Kids performance at the Mohawk and avoiding the festival altogether. They have a really unique, dance inducing, fun sound. Their beat heavy songs give them an old school hip-hop sound, which is reinforced by rhymes about sneakers, Sega, bikes, and their keen fashion sense. Make no mistake though, The Cool Kids deliver. We knew to strategically plant ourselves front and center for the inevitable dance party. A solid set for sure. I'm excited to see/hear how these guys develop as I predict some serious stardom.


We eased into the festival just in time to park ourselves on a friend's blanket for Erykah Badu's laid back set. Her attendance at this years festival was a big draw for me. I spun Badu in heavy rotation throughout my high school and college years. Inevitably her music is highly reminiscent of those glory days. I find her style to be consistently uplifting and poetic. Her performance at ACL was no exception, a sweet breeze on a hot and lazy afternoon.

While most of my friends scurried off to catch MGMT on the other side of the park, I stuck to my gut and camped out for Conor Oberst and Beck who both performed at the AT&T stage, respectively. I heard MGMT was a good set, but super crowded. Regardless, we scored a great spot for Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band who performed a beautiful showcase, which was accented perfectly by the setting sun. Not to mention Conor was absolutely charming in his blue suit. I'm kind of in love, but who isn't? I got on the Oberst train a little late in the game and while I find his earlier emo-tales to be heart-wrenching and endearing, I have to say I'm really digging the good-time jams and energy of the Mystic Valley Band. Conor seems all grown up with a renewed confidence and charismatic stage presence. He seemed really relaxed, especially when he encouraged the crowd to sing and dance everyday (aw!).

Here's a new song - so new it's not even on the new album:

Beck was the night's headlining act and as we remained stationed on our blanket for the break between sets, we were thankful for our forward thinking as we sprawled out in our lush spot watching the crowd swarm into every possible crevice available. My love for Beck goes way back to Mellow Gold. I was lucky to catch him during his epic Odelay tour and I think it's safe to say not much has changed. He was ahead of the curve then, and he still is. He's an amazing, multifaceted musician. The night ended about fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, which was a disappointment for sure, but the show was still incredible. Beck threw down hits spanning all of his major releases, and dude played TWENTY-TWO songs, seamlessly. I was bummed about the shortened set, but I was really happy with all of his selections.

The "Hell Yes" remix was definitely a crowd favorite:

I don't know why I slacked on purchasing a ticket for the La Zona Rosa aftershow, but somehow relying on scalpers to compensate for my indecision worked out just fine. (Plus I was really proud of myself for scalping a ticket and cutting through bullshit all on my own!) Though I feared fraud as I waited in line, I had no problems. I met my friends from Houston as M. Ward
took the stage. The only song I really knew was "Chinese Translation," but it was a really sweet, mellow set with his finger-picking guitar riffs. David Rawlings and Gillian Welch accompanied him on stage for his last few songs, which became a theme for the night.

Jenny Lewis came out next. I'm a big fan of early Rilo Kiley and I was on the fence about what to expect from this performance. She really brought it home with some sultry blues songs mixed with a few soft acoustic, folk numbers and a back up band that suited her very nicely. I hadn't listened to much of her new solo release,
Acid Tongue, prior to the show, but I'm definitely getting into it now.

"Acid Tongue"

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band delivered a dynamic show. Their sound was full and rambunctious. Like a true gentleman, Oberst was humble and courteous with the crowd, persistently thanking his adoring fans for coming out despite the exhaustive weekend. I was mesmerized as Conor danced around the stage and awestruck as they launched into a cover of Dylan's "Corrina, Corrina." The M.V.B. proves to be a quality ensemble and I'm quite sure each man hold his own. There is obviously a lot of respect and kinship on stage. It works. Their vibe and energy is contagious. I was so captivated by the performance that I found myself clapping incessantly for the encore. It was an involuntary reaction. Conor came back and closed the show slowing it down and playing a few duets with M. Ward.

"O'Brien/O'Brien's Nocturne"

The best part, or maybe what made the show so magical, was the aura it emitted. It all felt really sweet and intimate to see all these musicians join together and share one night. It's natural enough as they're all of the extended Saddle Creek family and friends, but it set the tone of a family affair, a special holiday in a far off cabin. I say cabin because of the consistent presence of Americana/folk/rock that my mind associates with rural settings and simple living. Not to mention the ever-present abundance of flannel and denim. Obviously intoxicated by the night's show, I later told a friend I wanted to meet a lumberjack with an amazing iPod mix and a library card. Hey, ya never know.

picture perfect, ACL

My ACL weekend went a little something like this:

Friday night @ The Mohawk


Chuck // The Cool Kids

Mikey // The Cool Kids

Pants Party @ Paloma & Leah's

Saturday @ ACL

Erykah Badu // photo: TK

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band // photo: TK


Sunday night @ La Zona Rosa

Jenny Lewis & Friends

Conor Oberst (the most beautiful, slightly ugly boy in the whole world)