Searching for the Soul of Austin

The neo city on the hills is a far cry from its cheap pot, cold beer and low-rent former ways.

Searching for the Soul of Austin
John Anderson

From the outside, nothing about Eddie Wilson's near-north Austin bungalow would indicate that a prime architect of the city's mystique lives inside. Once through the door, though, the whole fantastic story becomes plain as a giant javelina sucking on a six-story jug of tequila.

Over the fireplace, in the living room where Wilson jokes that prior to remarrying his ex-wife he spent five divorced years cavorting as Austin's "fat Hugh Hefner," there hangs a painting of the Armadillo World Headquarters, the venue and "beer garden of Eden" he opened in 1969 and sold to a partner in 1976.

More so than any other place in the Texas capital's history, the Armadillo was where Austin got its merit badge in cool. Just for starters, it was the epicenter for the rise of redneck rock, the sacred place where cosmic cowboys like Waylon and Willie united the hitherto-warring tribes of rednecks and hippies. Next to the painting, on the mantel stands a Day of the Dead shrine to Doug Sahm, another Armadillo regular and perhaps the one man who truly mastered every single style of Texas music from gutbucket blues to conjunto. To the left is the 'Dillo's old piano, played by everyone from Fats Domino to Johnny Winter to Mose Allison to Van Morrison.

Author Joe Nick Patoski holds a relic from the tail end of Austin's glory days: The Soap Creek Saloon was the soul of Austin's scene while the Armadillo was the heart. Today, Patoski believes that Austin has the same big-city problems of Houston and Dallas, while the two larger cities have both gotten less suffocating.
John Anderson
Author Joe Nick Patoski holds a relic from the tail end of Austin's glory days: The Soap Creek Saloon was the soul of Austin's scene while the Armadillo was the heart. Today, Patoski believes that Austin has the same big-city problems of Houston and Dallas, while the two larger cities have both gotten less suffocating.
Eddie Wilson helped shepherd Austin cool from the hippie era to the dawn of punk, and his Armadillo World Headquarters was the epicenter of cosmic cowboy redneck rock. Now a sterile office building stands where the 'Dillo once was, and Wilson is wondering where his legacy still lives on.
John Anderson
Eddie Wilson helped shepherd Austin cool from the hippie era to the dawn of punk, and his Armadillo World Headquarters was the epicenter of cosmic cowboy redneck rock. Now a sterile office building stands where the 'Dillo once was, and Wilson is wondering where his legacy still lives on.

The idea for Austin City Limits—the brand name that indelibly stamped Austin as the "Live Music Capital of the World" to a generation and counting of PBS viewers, and the driving force behind Texas' largest music festival today—was hatched at the Armadillo. Indeed, ACL's raucous Gary P. Nunn theme "London Homesick Blues" famously choruses "Take me home to the Armadillo..."

While you are taking this all in, Wilson is regaling you with tales of this bygone Austin. He explains how people were able to smoke weed with impunity there; powerful men like Bob Bullock liked to ogle the coeds in their halter tops and faded cut-off Levi's. And Wilson also shows you a picture of him goosing a youthful Ann Richards. The heat wasn't gonna come down on the fat cats' playhouse.

In the study, amid thousands and thousands of books and Burton Wilson photographs and psychedelic Jim Franklin posters and other lore, hang five paintings of giant armadillos prowling rolling bluebonnet prairies amid towering Lone Star longnecks. Yep, Wilson's club inspired that whole National Beer of Texas, "Long Live Longnecks" ethos too.

"Cheap pot, cold beer and cheap rent," Wilson says in his courtly, old-school Texas rasp of a voice. With his snow-white mane and goatee and piercing eyes, he looks for all the world like a potbellied Mark Twain. "That's what got it all started here and now we're running out of all of it."

Well, maybe not the beer, but the point is well taken. Eddie Wilson's Austin, the one people flocked to from all over Texas and the nation to come join, where people could share $60-a-month rent houses and while away their lives hanging out down by the water and partying, is buried, if not dead.

Sure, you can still find vestiges of that magic in places like the Continental Club on South Congress and the Saxon Pub on South Lamar, and Wilson's own Threadgill's restaurants, and the other pockets of freakiness that dot the city from the North Loop to deep East Austin, not to mention in farther-flung outposts like San Marcos and Martindale, but by and large, Austin is coming more and more to resemble places like Dallas and Houston, the cities so many adopted Austinites fled in disgust.

And at the same time, Texas' larger cities are getting cooler and more livable, much "less suffocating," as Wimberley journalist and Willie Nelson biographer Joe Nick Patoski puts it.

As Wilson approaches 70 and battles lung cancer, he is wondering what will happen to his legacy and the city he worked so hard to craft in his image. It's been 30 years since the Armadillo met the wrecking ball. Wilson says he watched as a loader tipped remnants of the old stage into a dump truck. He swears he saw the glitter Doctor John once tossed in the air twinkling among the foam, dust, floorboards and mortar, but nowadays that seems less like an omen of great things to come than a coda to an era that will never return.

Today, where once the Armadillo rollicked, there squats an utterly sterile, suburban-looking, glass-sided office building. It's as if Austin had declared an official intent to abandon its good-timing days, sober up and get in the hamster wheel with the rest of the rat race, to mix rodent metaphors. Austin officially decided to barter its imagination for a bid at Houston- and Dallas-sized stacks of cash.

"What's even more ironic is that was initially a bank. And it failed," Wilson says. "That piece of real estate was the first flip in Austin, and I believe it flipped twice or three times before the thing got built and failed."

MORE: How is Gentrification Affecting Austin's Music Scene?

From a distance, Austin still looks as beguiling as it must have appeared to its earliest settlers, even if today's western hills—so exquisitely violet in the setting sun—are studded with McMansions. Austin is easily Texas' most outdoorsy city. All over town, cyclists whiz past in far greater numbers than anywhere else, and at least on the south side of town, many suburban neighborhoods mesh well with the surrounding hills and thickets. Greenbelts and rocky, shaded creeks streak the city like veins of precious ore, and huge nature preserves and state parks are minutes from town.

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89 comments
facebook-1194655997
facebook-1194655997

I'm over 65+ and I'm also an 8th generation Austinite. I loved Austin back in the 1940s and 1950s before any of you young people were born. Nowadays Austin has been identified with the "Music Scene". What? For those of us who have called Austin home since 1836 (yes, thats 1836, my ancestors came here when there was literally *nothing*) you writers and hipsters constantly ignore us and belittle us. We're just the Democrat, liberal voting people who smiled and welcomed your parents and grandparents when they moved here in the 1960s and 1970s.

You young people need to stop identifying every city by what effing music the people around you like. Besides, you are only showing that the people you surround yourself with, are not very good reflections of you OR Austin. Have stupid friends? Well, maybe it just might be because YOU chose stupidity. Don't be generalizing to all us Austinites who have already been here for over 150 years, OR to some kind of "music" scene you judge Austin by. That's so childish.

I caught on about this article in the FIRST paragraph, when he actually thinks he's in Austin asking questions about Austin's "soul" so he interviews, who else? Eddie Wilson and people like that? Excuse me? You readers might be interested to know that none of us native Austinites ever walked into any of his joints. Never have. Never will. I have nothing against him or anything, just know that HE is not Austin. His joints are not Austin.

Why is it always that people from other cities insist on thinking of Austin as the Armadillo Headquarters, either before or after, pre- or post.??

Hey why don't you people really be cool, really be hipters and come to a city looking to put something INTO it, instead of coming here only to get something OUT of it? Huh? I'm your grandmother, answer me.

This article was written by: 1) a young person with no sense of history prior to 1960 or 1980; 2) is from someplace else in Texas (sounds like Dallas he's in love with) and 3) is just jealous and really has a mental thing to try to prove that us Austinites are not as great as he thinks we think we are.

Okay I'm going out on a limb and say something really NOT liberal, not progressive. And it's this: If you are coming into Austin looking for music, listen to your precious music, don't criticize the rest of us, and leave. If you insist on living here, please contribute something to life here BESIDES YOUR MUSIC because in our everyday life of hard-work and raising kidsd and grand-kids, guess what? Your music is not squat!

And stop bragging about Houston/Dallas the next time you write a stupid article, cuz you're giving yourself away (red flags all over the place) that you're jealous.

Aaron
Aaron

Yawn. The whole "Austin used to be cooler, dude" old timers rant has been going on since the mid 80's. Austin is still the only place to live in TX and if the old hippies don't get the new scene... Well... That's what happens when you get old.

One thing we can all agree on-- Dallas is the true armpit of TX. Gotta be the worst town for natural beauty in the U.S. Big hair and trashy glitz. Downtown Dallas sux. No one would ever hang out there on a Saturday afternoon. Downtown Austin is vibrant and full of activity anytime of the day or night.

st4rk
st4rk

But do they know this? They spend considerable amount of time pretending to be Portland, of all places. Kind of makes you wonder.

st4rk
st4rk

What "quant jock" makes in the high 5 figures? Sounds like Austin is full of third-string quants to me.

Iatehoffa
Iatehoffa

Lived in Austin for 12 years, and I say most of this is hogwash with peaks of truth

Goscott
Goscott

This article is very accurate. It's what I've been sensing that has been articulated very well in this piece. When I moved to Austin 5 years ago for a career move, I begin to find that there is this elitest vibe I (and many of my friends) have felt from many people here that communicates "I'm really better/cooler/smarter/etc, than you" but I will be civil and be polite and tolerate you (but you're not really on my level). Austin is a great town in many ways (the festivals, music, activities) but also very cliquish which is disappointing. Coming from the east coast I thought it would have that Texas southern hospitality vibe but not really so. I know that I lot of people love it here but I'm soooo happy to be moving out the area next month.

txnomad
txnomad

Comparing the traffic in Austin to Dallas is ridiculous. Even on the worst days, I'd take driving across Austin in rush hour to trying to get around north Dallas. And now that construction is about to start for the LBJ project, it's going to get far worse. I spent almost 20 years in Austin before moving back to the metroplex, so I've spent plenty of time on the roads in both places. Having also spent time driving around Los Angeles and around the Beltway (DC & Northern Virginia), hearing people in Dallas talk trash about traffic in Austin really makes me laugh.

Andrew Hime
Andrew Hime

Two things: can we please stop going to Jeff Liles? Isn't there anyone else you guys can talk to?

And for someone over the age of 50 to not get the Octopus Project is not a shock. Sure, it sounds like it could come from anywhere... because it doesn't sound like the Austin of the 70s. The problem is, old people get stuck in this mode of thinking, and if something new comes along, well, it doesn't sound like the old thing, so what's the worth of it? Octopus Project have been making fresh and exciting music for what, 12 years? When they started, they were the only band that did what they did and now there are tons of bands trying (with less successful results in a lot of cases).

Sure, I love Monahans (and I loved Milton Mapes), but they're not somehow more relevant to Austin because they "sound Austin". Explosions In The Sky sound like they could have come from anywhere and they are still very much an Austin band.

Interview someone who actually knows what's going on, shit...

Andrew Hime
Andrew Hime

Really? I think nowhere now is like it was in the 70s or 80s. Things were cheaper then and we didn't have computers.

As for the Continental being some sort of paragon of down low Austin culture, you guys really should cut that shit out. It's utter nonsense. The definition of a scenester locale... and yet everyone points to it as if it's the be-all end-all. Just make sure you have the right hairdo and tattoos or the rockabilly types might make you feel unwelcome. Talk about a place that has outlived its usefulness and coasts on reputation.

Berniecejackson
Berniecejackson

How pathetic is a town that has to "advertise" how weird it is. Man, that is really weird. Like, weirder than hippies who are millionaires.

Sames123
Sames123

Threadgill's has really bad food and is known in Austin as a tourist trap.

napkins
napkins

easily the dumbest article ive seen in the observer in a long time. pete, keep your nose where it belongs, up calhouns ass.

Donnaschmidt14
Donnaschmidt14

This sounds like a jealous rant of a jilted ex-lover. I've lived in Austin for 22 years. Has it changed? Yeah, but I, and apparently, a hell of a lot of other people still LOVE Austin. To each his own. Yeah - that's right, it's a terrible place. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee - stay where you are - more of Austin for those of us who choose to live and love here.

Peanut
Peanut

I live in Austin and it is a terrible place. You guys are lucky to live in Dallas or Houston. Really.

Guest
Guest

1. You misquoted London Homesick Blues. The line is: "I wanna go home with the armadillo."

2. Threadgill's is a "pocket of freakiness." Really? Have you been to Threadgill's?

3. "Now the city's skyline declares that Austin is really about flipping condos." - Those high rise condos were built in the last 5 years. They aren't only enough to be "flipped."

4. Austinites are in "denial" about traffic. No sir, Austinites know they could go live in Houston or Dallas and presumably have delightfully short commutes to work. It's not worth it. That's a choice, not denial.

"To them, Austin is better, smarter, friendlier and utterly unlike everywhere else in Texas." True.

Ianreddy
Ianreddy

That's right, Austin is horrible...please tell your Dallas friends!!!

headhunter
headhunter

I completely agree! Please please please... whatever you do, just stay in Houston and leave us alone - you won't like it here!

Penny
Penny

Um. The Armadillo closed more than thirty years ago. This is as tired as tired gets. Lazy piece of journalism.

Dallas? HAHAHAHAHAHA
Dallas? HAHAHAHAHAHA

this is a prime example of why I try not to read anything from dallas... it's a bunch of crap... i know people in that neighborhood in oak cliff, it's not far from duncanville, it sucks, dallas sucks, i was in the deep ellum scene in the 80s and that sucked too... i just don't like 'scenes' anyhow, so i don't care if austin's isn't what it was, scene wise... the river, the outdoor life, the university, the young people, the liberal/democratic mindset, the alamo drafthouse, bookpeople - the largest indy-bookstore in the country, the closeness to the hill country & the ocean, the bbq, the food trailers, the soccer scene, the fact that the aggies and the republicans hate us, the fact that you can see music or go to a festival or whatever, those are all things i enjoy... barton springs, zilker, and the river are just incomparable...

the author really cherry-picked his demographic facts as well... austin is minority-white now, and the latino population & asian population has surged, but he chose to focus on east austin's gentrification and continued low black population as proof-of-whiteness.... still plenty of minorities in east austin, and almost all the black people... maplewood is like 1/3 white, 1/3 black, 1/3 hispanic... and the violent crime being so much lower is a comfort to anyone who wants to have kids & live here... traffic would suck if you lived in the 'burbs and commuted through it, but living centrally you don't have to... i don't like sixth street anyhow, and it seems like the article is mainly about how sixth street isn't as cool as it was... who cares? i've been on the river at sunset the last two nights, and had it to myself out on the big water over the dam on pleasant valley... houston boasts the world's most polluted waterway and dallas boasts the trinity, a giant sewer...

figure the author had an agenda when he wrote this piece, and it wasn't to make austin look good...

StillHappyinAustin
StillHappyinAustin

Extra Extra, read all about it, Dallas Journalist takes a poll at area retirement home and discovers that there are NO COOL PLACES LEFT IN AUSTIN

high expectations
high expectations

i remember the first time i went to austin, i was pretty disappointed. i expected it to be weird, edgy and interesting like all of the hoopla, but found that everything was trying too hard. and amen on the whole foods bit.

Jesse
Jesse

I am new to Austin (3 years), and I feel that Austin has a great soul. There are a lot of new faces in this town, and there will be many more. I don't think any of us came here for: cheap rent, smoke weed at the bars, wild fun days of old Austin. (I like the stories)The Paradigm is/has shifted. This is the most beautiful city in Texas "A true beauty queen", and I think all Austinites and Texans would be very happy to keep/enhance it so. I definitely don't think Austin should try and catch up to Dallas, San Antontio, and Houston as far as being a large metropolitan. We should exploit our beauty. I would love to see light rail as a common mode of transport here. Yes it would cost an amazing amount of money, but like the article said $$$ is coming to this town. Venture Capital is coming to this town, Technology is here/coming to this town. Let's make Austin a "world city". As an american I hate to say it, but Austin would thrive to mimic a few European cities (Barcelona, Frankfurt). Yes we are the largest city in the USA that does not have a pro sports team. You have 8 professional teams NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB within a 3 hr dive max. Again Austin would be fools to try and catch up and compete. We are getting a Formula 1 track, this has me very very excited for the city. For one weekend, people from around the world will look at our beautiful city. I don't see why Austin can't try a bid for a really nice MLS stadium. MLS is not as big/profitable in this country, but I think it will do well, especially a city that prides itself on being "weird/ different". The level of high education and the pride of hosting a world sport (F1), might catch on with a pro soccer team. Germany and China are leading the way into the 21st century. Austin has the resources to help lead our country on something that it could be proud of.The other day I saw elec. car refueling stations at Barton Creek, just another reason to be proud of this city. If you bring your A game, you can afford to live downtown. This is not the best answer for those looking for a laid back cheap rent lifestyle, but its those "A" gamers that will transform this city into something that we all can be proud of. A place with a great Soul..Jesse

Wja4507
Wja4507

Really? "Searching for the Soul of Austin? Really? Let's all jump in the way-back machine and ruminate on the never was. Btw, get this right: it was not "Take me home to the Armadillo..." It was "I wanna go home with the armadillo." Did you even bother to check that?

Mark Bishop
Mark Bishop

The trouble with Austin is the police chief Art Acevedo. There are cops on every corner, spring loaded and ready to arrest anyone who wants to go out and have a good time. Time was, Austin police were ready to give partiers the benefit of the doubt. Now they are cyberclone vampires who want to grab you and force you to submit to a blood test. No wait-that's happening all over the country! Austin is just a microcosm of a national trend of revenune based law enforcement to make up for the shortfalls that are the results of the no tax the wealthy bankster economy!

JameswMiller
JameswMiller

I used to live near a $25MM apartment complex in Plano. That is when I knew I had made it to the big time. I moved to Frisco by a golf course. That beats the pants off of Austin.

Wordem
Wordem

Hey John!

It's Stephen R. Johnson from high school. I go by "Wordem" now. I spend my days tronning, battling, and EMC. If you want to say hi, stop by teampanic.org and give me a shout!

Tex Tradd
Tex Tradd

This is an interesting essay that gets it about half right.

I have lived in Austin since '94. There is still cheap rent (say, $400/month) on the deep East Side or further south or far up north. All the good or great roots music you would want is happening just about any night. The jazz world here punches under it's weight considering the thousands of highly technical players that are around, and the creative/art end of the scene is underdeveloped, but with some diligence you can tap into high quality performances. And while Lomax has a point that the bigger rock bands of recent years do not sound distinctively Austin (which is to say rootsy) there are dozens of hard-to-categorize interesting, exuberant, distinctive and memorable bands around (off the top of my head: Dan Doyle, Horse + Donkey, Eastern Sea, Reverse X Rays, Soft Healer).

More generally, most of what people who miss the old Austin complain about (high rent, bland chain stores) materialistic strivers, ex-frat boy mass-culture dullards) can be avoided or ameliorated with some effort. You do have to bring your A game if you want to live downtown, but twenty or thirty years ago almost noone did as there were almost no downtown residences. UT is now hard to get into and competitive, but if you don't need a degree, the campus is pretty open and public-friendly, and there is a night school with cheap a-la-carte courses. If you want to make a weirdo sub-scene with art freaks and fringoids, you can still do that in one neighborhood or other.

The old Austin spirit lives on at the Broken Spoke and Hole in the Wall and Continental, but the proportions of people who live here are different nowadays: more UNIX admins and quant jocks making high five figure salaries, fewer houses full of beautiful losers and psychedelic rangers. There are more guitar wizards and science nerds than ever, more Sanskrit scholars and paranoid ultra-libertarians, but less in the way of central city not-quite grad student, not-quite bohemian, take-a- decade-to-figure-it-out types.

Rick Carney
Rick Carney

Is anything the way it used to be? I moved to Austin in 86 with a hard core band. I played music nationally while keeping my day job at the Texas chili Parlor (can't get any more old austin than that place) and now I run the Austin School of Rock. Since 86, its DOUBLED in population and rent has tripled. It is as good as it used to be? No. Is it still better than most places? Yes. BTW, to compare the Austin music scene to Dallas and Houston is absurd. Ask any touring band, which of the three cities they would rather play.

MamaHolt
MamaHolt

"people were able to smoke weed with impunity there; powerful men like Bob Bullock liked to ogle the coeds in their halter tops and faded cut-off Levi's. And Wilson also shows you a picture of him goosing a youthful Ann Richards."

Oh, YEA, I really "miss" THAT Austin.

Stop whining about what was and try to enjoy what is. There's plenty of old Austin left and the new Austin is great too if you take the time to stop whining about what you don't like and get out there and enjoy it.

bolognavest
bolognavest

There's some truth to this. It would probably ring even truer with regards to Houston's and Dallas' relative individualism if this same story were not on the cover of both the Houston Press and Dallas Observer on the very same day.

When your alternative weekly is owned by a media conglomerate out of NYC (or is it Phoenix?), it's kind of hard to take pot shots like this.

Kindjustice10
Kindjustice10

I hate Austin, Texas: racist bigotry and gang stalking are big there.

Indigorcush88
Indigorcush88

I remember rents of $249 in Central Austin--we could actually afford to live on less than $25,000 a year, but that was over 20 years ago. We left because housing got too expensive, I could make more in Dallas and actually afford a cool, little home. Do I miss Austin? I miss the old Ausitn--the new Austin, you can keep it.

Liles
Liles

We have the Octopus Project coming to The Kessler in October, Andrew.

headhunter
headhunter

Wait... I meant, Dallas... yeah, stay in Dallas... or Houston... or whatever.

st4rk
st4rk

The largest indy bookstore in the country is not in Austin. It's in the city which started the "Keep ____ Weird" which Austin oddly keeps claiming as its own. Posers...

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

Right law enforcement is total bullshit 1. Speeding is ticketed while any asshole can text and drive and backup lanes and lanes of traffic

2. DWI is very illegal and very expensive, but you can text and drive and swerve all over backup traffic, almost miss your turn, then cut acroos two lanes of traffic and nobody does shit to you because well thats not so easy to prove in a court of law

cm
cm

james you have got to be kiddin..........frisco........pardon me while i throw up........

Texasbubba2
Texasbubba2

...really? So....do you like Austin, or not? LOL! Austin sucks! Dallas has a much better music scene and is a much better choice. Austin is only kewl when there is the Bike Rally or SXSW. Other than that...it's full of snobbish people with bad 'tudes...and unhappy faces. I'm so glad I moved back to Dallas...where people still smile and will actually look at you in the eyes. (oh ya...what was the, "I'm not gonna look at anyone" attitude in Austin???????)

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts

Ask any touring band? Sorry, I don't buy that. Do bands want exposure at SXSW? Of course? Would they like to be included in the ACL lineup? Understandably so.

But the DFW-Denton music scene is experiencing a Renaissance and is on the ascent, while Austin has been on the decline for a great while now. Our own festivals (35 Conferette and Homegrown DFW, to name two) are not established in the way that SXSW is, but what each of those have done in less than three years is nothing short of incredible. They show unbelievable promise for future growth. Where does SXSW go from here?

With the reinvigoration of Deep Ellum, and with the rise of excellent venues such at the Granada Theater and the Kessler in Dallas and the Modern in FW, bands from the Metroplex just don't see much reason to re-locate to Austin in order to "make it big" anymore. And with our larger venues (Nokia, Gexa, Cowboys Stadium) and others that "fill in the gap" (mainly, the House of Blues), just about any touring act of any size will find both an appropriate venue and a welcoming audience.

Texasbubba2
Texasbubba2

I moved there for 2 years and HOW Austin is coinced "Laid Back"...is really beyond me. I moved back to Dallas as fast as I could. People were very hot tempered and snobbishly rude as if I couldn't notice it..."ummm, excuse me, but I am from a real city...I can see right through'em".Dallas may be on it's way to becoming another LA, but at least we are kewl...and the rock venue here is better too. If Austinites would heed there own messages and be more open-minded...they may discover the "new" Dallas.

Goscott
Goscott

I have to agree. I am very outgoing and love people and had similiar experiences in Austin and thought it was just me. In the stores, malls, in general, people will refuse to even acknowledge your presence and smile and say hello. Very strange. Dont get me wrong, I have met some very nice friendly people here every now and then but they are in the minority. Not Austin bashing or anything because in many ways it is a great place but is very cliquish (sp?). Kind of has this Melrose Place or Beverly Hillls 90201 vibe to it. Guess that comes with the territory when you have an influx of affluent, yuppies, UT crowd

Iatehoffa
Iatehoffa

Wow. I lived in Dallas for a year and found everyone rude and self serving, outside of the device industry; whereas I've never struggled to make a friend in Austin. Maybe you're just a douchebag? At least your typing would suggest so. And also, what Dallas music scene? Traveling acts at the Granada are all there are to see. The Toadies can only reunite so many times.

Tex Tradd
Tex Tradd

I love Austin! Not everything about it...but get away from 6th Street or meat-market bars. Hit the coffeehouses (say Thunderbird, Flipnotics, Cherrywood, or Quackenbush) or one of the pubs, set for a bit, and odds are good that you will meet so many interesting or creative or folksy people. I mean, what the article doesn't tell you is that there are really talented, well read, urbane people flocking to Austin who mix quite well with the base of good-natured, gabby, music-loving, sociable natives. You have a party, and the physicist from Eastern Europe ends up jamming with the old hippie/redneck singer lady, and much wine and telling of tales ensues until way too close to dawn. You see them again six months later at a reception for your mutual friend who's film is coming out....

Dallas has some things going for it: DART rail, museums, the job market, a healthy skepticism about PC approaches to politics and culture, the historically influential blues and country music scenes, the friendly eggheads at the University of Dallas, the leading edge science at UT Southwestern....and much besides. And I would like to know about the Dallas music scene nowadays, hook me up someone with the hot new or old bands!

GusMitchem
GusMitchem

People that think the Granada is a great theather baffel the hell out of me. Nice maybe, sound is way over rated and as in Dallas in general no one will shut the fuck up and listen to the music. Its way more important to catch up with friends than listen to a musician that traveled here to play. Touring acts know that Dallas crowds are chatty!

The fact that you even mention Nokia and Cowboys stadium says a lot about your POV

Iatehoffa
Iatehoffa

Service industry that is. Those people are nice because they have to put up with all the pricks.

 
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