High culture, low culture, no culture all co-existing uneasily in another installment of On the Streets. As always, read at your own risk...
Letters (to the OTS Penthouse Suite)
It was a slow week for mail, though thankfully a busy week (or two hour period) for fotographs. First Friday and the Final Four combined synergisticaly and alliteratively. I'm still not sure what happened with Kid Rock.
But first, to the letters...
From Austin reader Michael came this announcement with the title "My Imaginary Band"...
You may or may not be aware, and you may not care all that much, but I am very proud to announce that the new Monroe Mustang record, Monroe Mustang, the Imaginary Band, Regretfully Declines, was released this week on JagJaguwar
A free mp3 download of the opening track – "The Other Side" – is available here.
This is the first album by Monroe Mustang this century. Keeping with the times, this "record" is a digital release – you can purchase it here on the iTunes music store, or at Amazon
Believe it or not, we will play some shows this summer in Austin, Texas, and we have some more surprises up our collective sleeves.
We are committed to continuing forward at the glacial pace you've never heard of, come to conveniently forget about and/or not expect.
Be our friend and please help us spread the word.
Thank you for your attention. Pardon the intrusion. And don't forget to say hello if we haven't emailed in a while.
Here is where to read about the album.
The youtubes uncovered this fan-made "video".
OTS Insider "Tops" emailed with this update about the Main Plaza opening...
"Sorry to see I missed out on the Highlife Ride last week, but I'm a little drained from overtiming. Main Plaza opens this weekend (Sunday evening) so after than things normalize a bit. You should come on out for that.... I'll send out an email soon enough."
For information about the Sunday night Main Plaza re-opening party check out this.
Normally, it's all about the letters coming in. On occasion, however, a letter must be sent out. This would be the first time. One can imagine it must have been important.
Yes, we're talking about a letter to the Mayor. It involves the recent prediction for cannibalism and related topics.
Meet the New OTS Correspondent: LA Chris
This is quite a score for On the Street. With "offices" in La Paz, San Luis Obispo, Denver, and now Los Angeles, the OTS news desk has expanded considerably.
LA Chris is gracious to share his inside knowledge of the Hollywood film scene. Here, he helps OTS clarify some issues from a few weeks back regarding Leprechaun 5: "Lep in the Hood". (To recall, the Leprechaun series was created by another Mark Jones, aka doppelganger #2 of OTS historians.)
Here is the ground-breaking interview.
The Absinthe Front
And still the bottle sits. It isn't easy to find time for an absinthe tast testing party. Soon. And possibly around the time of the Current's notorious Best Of party coming up in a few weeks.
(OTS historians will quickly notice the Top Chico bottle hovering in the background. Recall December 07 and "The Intrigue of the Stolen Topo Chico Glasses".)
In front of the amazingly vined El Mirador I ran across this mini-protest en media res.
Before getting into it, I am constantly amazed at the berber carpet-like vines on the exterior walls, which is not too belittle the protest that was occuring, but how many times do one get to discuss vines?
Horace Mann. Travis School being closed. A community asserting its voice. That was the initial reading of the signs.
Here is a video that helps explain the situation...
I like the kid in the middle.
Here is a flyer from their website...
I ran across Johnny Walker on the streets going by Bluestar.
Normally, he's on a fixie but the moped threw me for a good loop. For the last few years I've been too busy riding a bike (and observing the North Side's infatuation with Vespas) to notice the moped resurgence that's been occuring underneath the surface.
And what to think of this moped rap? Unlikely cultures coming together...
100mpg sounds pretty good about now.
Carrot and Wine
My passage through the galleries was as quick as possible. Light was falling outside. There was work to be done. Consider all that follows as nothing more than a visual riddle for someone else to solve.
3 Walls was closed but I went next door to Cactus Bra to see Briceno's show. That branch would unknowingly be referenced, so to speak, at another show at the Blue Star main gallery.
Wonderment was the name of the show. This piece made me think of Alice.
If the last few years of the art world was an exploration of anthropomorphism, then this has been the year of "The Garden", so to speak. Branches, blades of grass, scenes of backyards...you know what I'm talking about.
A patron listens to a discussion of the work.
In the back of the Joan Grona gallery I came across this cactus. I suppose I'm giving myself away if I admit it reminds me of a U2 album cover.
From the front room at Joan Grona. I'm not saying these images reinforce my hasty thesis, but I'm not saying they don't either.
Zip ties printed on vinyl. I didn't have an immediate reaction but I was in a hurry. I wasn't sure what was going on here. A contradiction is implied yet closeups seem to draw unneeded attention on the craftsmanship of the zip ties, which doesn't seem to be the point. What do I know?
When one is moving quickly, an image like this hits you like an 18 wheeler. This was a huge portrait and yet she was still constrained by it. This is like the IMAX of portraits.
Most people don't read things like this but I thought I should allow people the chance.
This altar gave pause to many who walked by.
If there ever was one vantage point that has defined On the Street, then it would be this one. Each First Friday a snapshot is taken from this same spot for some reason. One time an underage drinker was vomiting on the ground, another time someone was riding a bicycle around in a seersucker suit, another time, an off-duty cop leaned against a pillar...
The glare from the lights was distracting but added an interesting touch.
This electric style reminded me of Alex Rubio.
I was still reminded of it. I suspect there can be high expectations with portraits, and for some, a negative attitude towards them. The branches (or dendrites and capillary network) around her caught my eye.
The strict verticality of this painting defined it but contained it as well, and not in the same way as the "IMAX" painting discussed earlier.
In the side room, a branch on a wall. I'm just saying...
The back room was a celebration and investigation of travel.
Freeways can be both inspiring and depressing. I suppose steel and concrete often is.
This vast model under a macro-lens view. Short shutter times and shaky hands don't go well together.
Turkey Leg and Beer
The street scenes on S. Alamo served as a transition between the galleries and the Final Four party by La Villita.
At King Willies some kids rocked out on some AC/DC covers. Hard rock in SA operates as an informal guild system where innovation is frowned upon, however copying the Masters is celebrated. I'm not saying there's a union that gives the title Master Rocker when one passes a certain board or registry, but there could be.
Luminaria Part Two.
Walking north on Alamo Street one immediately noticed projections and buildboards everywhere.
This sign for BEER reminded me of the generic labels in the film Repoman.
Moments earlier a guy from Kansas had a discussion at me about bicycles. It was more at me because the noise level prevented me from understanding a word he was saying. Nonetheless, it was a great exchange of ideas.
I'm not sure who this guy is but I'm positive he's familiar with Weezer.
KENS lamp operators look on heroically.
The metalwork in the middle of the frame kind of ruined my shot. Photographing the Tower is difficult. It doesn't seem to go well with other things - and I'm not referring to the new hotel changing the cityscape but it's not out of the question.
Our editor mentioned her husband has involvement with this restaurant. I suppose I shouldn't mention it because of the rules of journalism I never learned at the journalism school I never attended. Web-logging is able to celebrate personal connections. And this is all to say I'm curious to check it out. It has an amazing location. That's always a good start. The word enoteca is intriguing enough.
The sun was almost down and it was time to go, at least for me. The Roots were up next, and though I wanted to stick around, it was time to leave.
A shot for no reason of one of the AT&T buildings by St. Mary's street. Hours earlier, at this spot I rode by some ambulances after a head-on collision. On the way back all evidence was gone. And life goes on.
And so goes another week on the streets of San Antonio. As always, to be continued...