Moon Tower


Party at the moon tower. Everyone’s invited.

Austin, Texas is the only city in the world known to still operate a system. The towers are 150 feet tall and have a fifteen foot foundation. This type of tower was manufactured in Indiana and assembled onsite. In 1894, the City of Austin purchased 31 used lighting towers from Detroit. A single tower cast light from six carbon arc lamps, illuminating a 1500 foot (460 metres) radius circle brightly enough to read a watch. In 1993 the city of Austin dismantled the towers and restored every bolt, turnbuckle and guy wire. The 17 remaining towers were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and are therefore protected from demolition. (read more…)

The Parish

not the parish

Living in the live music capitol of the world will make you spoiled and even jaded when it comes to seeing shows. The to-much-effort-to-park-downtown-I’ll-see-them-next-time-they-roll-through attitude. Last night as we rolled up to sixth street I was having that moment. Excited about the show but less than thrilled with all the bullshit I was about to have to tackle (yes I’m turning into a cranky old fart).

The parish is something else though – step through the door, climb the over sized antique stairwell to the 19th century industrial loft space – This place is a music venue first, with a soundboard to rival most opera houses and a broad planked wood floor that bounces just little bit when crowd is getting into it. What Made Milwaukee Famous put on one hell of a show playing a mix of old and new with a fervor and pump that was shaking bricks out of the walls and setting up mildly alarming oscillating vibrations in my nostrils (I have a big nose, this happens when i stand next to large speakers).

There are a multitude of places I could live and be happy. Shows like that – performances that physically and creatively blow the doors off a venue that does it’s level-best to support and embellish their endeavors  – that’s why I live here.

Google Transit

Google Transit – Google tackles rapid transit.


Every good place I’ve ever lived has a 24-hour convenience store within walking distance. It provides valuable sustainables to the world, namely Doritos, peanut butter cookies and lonestar beer at odd hours of the day. These places should be like hospitals – a service to the community mandated by law. Anyhow the Quix in my ‘hood has the added feature of random murals on the front of the store. The one above has always reminded me of Katharine Hepburn running away with a sixer natty-light.

City Lights

I’m sitting at Café Mundi on the Eastside, seeing a show when the whole place goes dark. A line of thunderstorms is dropping out of the hill country bringing a fair dose of wind, lightning and mayhem. Suddenly jerked from an experience of musical immersion into a whole different reality. Like flipping a switch.

A darkened city is an interesting thing to behold. You jam so many of us into one place – there’s a certain kind of madness to it. A narrow band of societal norms and municipal amenities hold us back and allow us to coexist right on top of each other. In the dark, a piece of that’s gone. City blocks black as wilderness, lit only by cars headlights and the spectre-like glow from downtown. In the absence of the shackles of propriety that the light bulb provides people are nervous. Everyone leaves, citing the weather as the culprit. Dogs to attend to. Homes to save.

To his credit, Andy continues his set anyways, which is pretty impressive for a guy who makes most of his music by singing over a playback loop. The wind starts throwing the rain into the porch area of the coffeshop, taking wild potshots at the windows. I stand there just watching the trees get pounded by the wind as the last stragglers flee to their cars, their homes (or for a few back to the music – a different and comforting world in it’s own right). Cold Canadian air swirls and alternates with its balmy Gulf cousins to creating a confusing, exciting medium, like traveling to a different place while standing still.

Then its over. Some quirk in the way the city sits at the base of the Hill Country means the storms never seem to hit us for too long. The moment is past. The lights are back on. The show is finished.

Mr. Vance does something cool

The Blue Lapis Light Production company has put together a pretty spiffy show over at the unfinished Intel building downtown. Former Trebuchet co-conspirator Alan Vance did the ropes and got to have fun using a pneumatic hammer drill on structural concrete. The show runs for the next two weeks, and is well worth your time.