Live from Squaresville: A SXSW Odyssey in Multiple Parts (Phase 2)

I will not judge people based solely on their appearances.  I will not let a stupid haircut dictate how I feel about a stranger.  I will not mock.  I will not sneer.  I will not shake my head or slap it with an open palm.  This is my mantra.  SXSW is officially underway.

The Happen-Ins

The Happen-Ins

Live from Squaresville: A SXSW Odyssey in Multiple Parts (Phase 1)

SXSW-2014And it has descended upon us again, the yearly carnival, debacle, fanfare, clusterfuck that is South by Southwest.  It’s that two week period when Austin damn near consumes itself in commerce, excitement, food, drinks, and bitchiness.  I’m all for it.  Sure there are aspects of it all that drive me crazy…the influx of people everywhere, the traffic, the veritable police lineup of ridiculous looking characters, and the cold and flu disease-ridden aftermath that we all lovingly refer to as “South By AIDS.”  But on the other hand, I take a week off from work, catch some cool free shows, drink some cold free beer, and generally take in the circus atmosphere like its some kind of cleanser.  And every year it just gets bigger and bigger.  It’s not all music and film anymore.  There’s a tech side, an interactive side, an education side, and I can only imagine beer, food, and puppy dogs waiting in the wings for their own slice of the expo.  So, there is literally something for everybody here.

35 Albums in 35 Years: 1986

In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it.  Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.

 

petergabrielso1986: Peter Gabriel’s So

Like so many people my age, I first became aware of Peter Gabriel through the fantastic and weird video for his hit “Sledgehammer” on MTV.  I have been a sucker for animation of any kind since I was a little kid, and the video’s almost jarring use of live action animation was just amazing to me.  I loved it.  It seemed to be in a perpetual battle with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” for best video of all time back in the 80’s.  Dancing zombies versus quirky animated sequences…a war to end them all.

Southern Gothic TV Hour: True Detective

truedetective3Let it be known that I am not a cheerleader for television.  It doesn’t get me excited.  I’ll occasionally find an episode of South Park deserving of praise, but other than that, the well-written, well-acted, well-produced shows that everybody rants and raves about do not get the blood pumping for me.  In fact, the crazed and never ending over-hype usually turns me off of loved programs regardless of how good they are.  Nothing ruins a piece of episodic entertainment for me more than people who won’t shut up about it.  Your adulation is nothing more than white noise to me.  I ignore it.

35 Albums in 35 Years: 1985

In an ongoing attempt to bleed my opinions all over your computer screen, I’m selecting one album from every year that I’ve been alive that has some sort of significance to me…and then writing about it.  Welcome back to 35 Albums in 35 Years.

 

tomwaits1985: Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs

Some years seem to generate so many more albums that hold special places in my heart than others.  It becomes a challenge to not only pick one to write about, but to even narrow the number down to a manageable level to begin with.  1985 is one of those years.  I kind of agonized over which record to choose.  In the end though, there was really only one direction to go in.

Underrated: Marilyn Manson’s “Mechanical Animals”

marilynmansonI’ve decided that I don’t care about your opinions on Marilyn Manson.  I don’t want to hear them, so keep them to yourselves.  But here’s mine.

Let’s just throw it out there: Marilyn Manson’s 1998 album Mechanical Animals is vastly underrated.  There.  I said it.  And I meant it.  Though it was a commercial success, the record seems to take a lot of slag because of Manson’s waning popularity, his propensity for douchebaggery, and his later and ongoing lackluster output.  It suffers because its creator has become the butt of so many jokes.  Forgotten because, you know, the 90’s.  So, let’s revisit it.  Let’s put make-up on, don a suit of prosthetic, nipple-less breasts, curse and sneer, and give Mechanical Animals another chance.  It deserves it.  And so do we.

The Sunday Song Poem #3 Dick Kent ‘Octopus Woman Please Let Me Go’

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Safety Reminder:

As with beaches everywhere, beware of possible hazards, including slippery rocks, crumbling cliffs, and sneaker waves (large waves that seemingly surge out of nowhere). Our clean clear waters are cold (52-54 degrees Fahrenheit) so wetsuits are essential for swimming, surfing, or diving. Keeping children (and dogs) out of the water during big surf days is just good commonsense.

“Be Swept Away by the Beauty Not By the Waves” – Mendocino Coast Water Safety Coalition

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