"Informationalist & Gonzo Alt-Media Proprietor"

Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

Raiders Of The Lost Archive – KUT’s ATXplained Covers the Mysterious Warehouse that is part of my fantastic Day-Job

Raiders Of The Lost Archive – KUT’s ATXplained Covers the Mysterious Warehouse that is part of my fantastic Day-Job

Imagine my surprise driving to work the other morning and hearing a familiar refrain on the radio during KUT’s latest ATXplained project episode as they began to describe the warehouse in which I used to work in terms of the secret warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was a nice little audio episode but I was disappointed at not hearing them mention the portion of the facility that is a part of my day-job: The Talking Book Program. They focused on the front facing facility, State and Local Records Management, but ignored (at least in the audio portion of the program) our fantastic service’s circulation operations located in the back of the facility. Well, at least they mentioned us (and our space’s use in the opening scenes of the 2006 Mike Judge movie Idiocracy) in the online article.

– SMiles

There is another building next door, which houses the Texas Talking Book Program, a federally funded program that provides books on tape for people with visual impairments across the state. (It was also featured in one of the opening scenes of the 2006 Mike Judge movie Idiocracy.)

As we leave, I can’t help but think back to that Raiders scene when government officials squirrel away the Ark of the Covenant in a similarly expansive warehouse. Did we really see it all?

“Well, I don’t think we saw it all,” Eric joked. “Maybe four floors below here – they didn’t take us in. This is all a cover! All this we saw here … this is all just an elaborate ruse to cover up what’s in the basement. That’s my story.”

Source: Raiders Of The Lost Archive: Is This Building Off Shoal Creek A Top-Secret Warehouse? | KUT

Saw José González and Bedouine at the Long Center last night

Saw José González and Bedouine at the Long Center last night!

Bedouine was great! Hadn’t heard her before…

José G is a fantastic acoustic guitar player… He didn’t say much between songs but acknowledged “Doomsday people cults” as inspiration for one of his songs. He played some great tunes and closed out his encore with Teardrop.

“Where José’s previous albums, “Veneer” and “In Our Nature,” might have sounded sparse and barren in parts, “Vestiges & Claws” has an altogether new feeling to it, at once warmer and darker than before. He talks about how he’s found inspiration in sprawling ’70s Brazilian productions, American folk rock and West African desert blues this time. And how he’s decided to waive the principle of having everything on the album reproducible in a live context.

Bedouine | The Long Center for the Performing ArtsOpening for José González is the Syrian musician Bedouine, touring to promote the release of her eponymous debut—sixties folk meets seventies country-funk with a glimmer of bossa nova cool. Sweeping and hypnotic with a nomadic heart, the music of L.A.-based Bedouine is impressionistic, with careful words and striking, cultural conviction.”

The Long Center and KUTX present José González plus Bedouine, Saturday, February 3 in Dell Hall. Read More ›

Source: José González – Long Center

 

SMiles Lewis

SMiles Lewis at La Feria 2015

Pic of me by my wife at South Austin Tex Mex restaurant La Feria.

You shall know us by the weird trail of our past publications…

rockstar-magazine-sept-2014-pg-25

Congrats to Russell Dowden on a year of publishing Rockstar Magazine!

Check out the 2-page spread on page 25. It’s a flashback retrospective on the long-strange trip from producing the conference program for the ill-fated 38th annual National UFO Conference slated for September 14-16th, 2001 and the launch of Austin Para Times, which became Weird Magazine, which got bought by Alex Jones, and morphed into InfoWars Magazine, and ultimately led Russell to briefly publish Paranoid Magazine and now for a year, Rockstar Magazine.

http://issuu.com/rockstarmagazine/docs/rockstar_sept_05b3706603846d/25?e=9192827/9210105

Art Blondin of Artz Rib House fame has passed away

I just learned of Art Blondin’s death. I probably first met him back in 1990 when I was working downtown at the main branch of the Austin Public Library. One of my friends and coworkers had a roommate working for Art when he was based out of the BBQ Caboose on West 5th Street. The coworker and I would go there for our lunch break and climb up into the cupola to eat our food. Art and his wife “Z” were always so friendly to me and my young freak friends.
The good food and good memories continued on to the South Lamar ArtZ Rib House and Live Music venue.
It wasn’t until running into Art & Z at Gino’s one night that I became aware of Art’s musical side; seeing him get up on stage and play bass guitar with the rotating musical guests.
I guess the last time I saw him I was having dinner at El Mercado on South Lamar, probably a Monday night musical shindig.
Farewell Art.

Very sad news to pass on. Art Blondin of Artz Rib House fame has passed away. He was found at 10 a.m. this morning at his new barbecue joint in Florence by an employee coming to work. Florence police chief Adam Marsh said the cause of death is under investigation. I met Art as a bass player for Jon Emery. His Rib House on S. Lamar Blvd. was always a music-friendly venue until it closed a couple years ago. Just stunned by this news.

 

 

Support my friend’s Recovery Fund: Author Stephen Romano Needs Our Help

The Stephen Romano Recovery Fund

Stephen Romano

Author Stephen P. Romano

One of my best friends was recently struck by a Ford F150 truck that jumped the curb, hitting him hard, sending him up and over the vehicle. Every bone but one was broken in his right leg and he is covered with bruises, abrasions, cuts, and road-rash. He’s lucky to be alive. My friend is Stephen P. Romano, a noted science-fiction / horror author who is one of the most creative people I know and one of the biggest inspirations in my life. And now I have even more to be inspired by in his amazing strength moving forward with his recovery from this terrible incident.

But he needs our help and so I hope you will consider donating to his Recovery Fund at

www.GiveForward.com

 

Some of my past acknowledgements of Steve’s efforts:

Local Heroes

One of my very best friends in the world has a brand new book out called Black Light.

I first met “Romano” while in my senior year attending Stephen F. Austin high-school. We were both dishwasher / prep-cooks at Magnolia Cafe on South Lamar. I quickly discovered he is one of the most driven writers I’ve ever met. I’ve watched him spend hour upon hour, day upon day, for months and years, writing by hand and typing into computers the myriad fantastic adventures filling his imaginative mind.

Our friendship lead us to work together on a variety of audio, video and print projects, as well as the odd event now and then. Steve has come a long way since my first meeting with that already accomplished writer, director and storyboard artist. He’s befriended and worked with

Stephen has a vast and rapidly growing body of work ranging from “Comic Book Soundtracks” to published (and unpublished) books, comics, teleplays, graphic novels, soundtracks, faux vintage retro movie poster art, and even package designs for movie related memorabilia. He has also created and hosted some of the most fun and exciting events I’ve ever attended. Check out the growing list (at the bottom of this post) of amazing projects and events that Stephen Romano has produced over the years.

Steve is the creator of several amazing works ranging from novels (The Riot Act, Black Light, and others), to TV & Movie Adaptations (Masters of Horror: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road and others), to comic books and digital art (Zombie, Shock FestivalHalloween Returns to Haddonfield, Masters of Horror: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road, and others) , to DVDs (StarCrash Special Edition and Shock Festival), as well as other artistic creations.

 

ELM-2-960x300

An Incomplete List of the Works of Stephen Romano:

  • MAXXIUM SOUND (Audio book/Comicbook Soundtrack),
  • SHADOWHAWK: THE SECRET REVEALED (Audio Book/Comicbook Soundtrack),
  • INVASION OF THE MUTANOIDS (Novel),
  • BATTLEJACK AND LAZERPUNK (Graphic novel. Unpublished.),
  • TO LUCIO FULCI: A SYMPHONY OF FEAR (Tribute album),
  • CANNIBAL FEROX/ZOMBIE (Soundtrack/tribute album),
  • THE BEYOND (Graphic novel/soundtrack),
  • LUCIO FULCI MEMORIAL FILM FESTIVAL (1999-2001),
  • PHANTASM-ANIA (Film festival),
  • PHANTASM: OVERMINDS (Comic series),
  • PHANTASM (Novelization, editor),
  • HALLOWEEN RETURNS TO HADDONFIELD (Comic/magazine/tribute album),
  • PHANTASM (Remake, screenplay, un-produced),
  • PHANTASM FOREVER (Screenplay, un-produced),
  • ESCAPE FROM FREAK MANSION (Screenplay, unproduced),
  • MASTERS OF HORROR: INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD (Teleplay),
  • THE RIOT ACT (Short story collection),
  • BUBBA NOSFERATAU: CURSE OF THE SHE-VAMPIRES (Screenplay),
  • SHOCK FESTIVAL (Illustrated novel),
  • REMEMBER THE ALAMO (Documentary, producer/director),
  • BLACK DEVIL DOLL (Novelization),
  • SHOCK FESTIVAL: THE DVD (Companion 3-disc set),
  • STARCRASH (DVD release, co-producer, commentator) … and much more to come,
  • BLACK LIGHT (Paranormal Sci-Fi Thriller),
  • RESURRECTION EXPRESS (High-Tech Gumshoe Action Thriller),
  • WAYWARD PINES: BEFORE THE FALL (Kindle Worlds),
  • ELEMENTARY (New Novel Coming Soon)

www.StephenRomanoShockFestival.com

 

More links:

 

Tx Veg Fest and Room 237

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Just enjoyed seeing the SynchroMystic documentary “Room 237” at Austin’s Violet Crown theater after going to the Texas Veg Fest at Fiesta Gardens.

What a great day!

William Gibson: Fortean!

Cyberpunk Fortean William Gibson

 “I’m Totally a Fortean!” (Audio)

“It’s always a pleasure to return to Austin, which in some weird way was definitely the epicenter of my literary career, such as it’s been.”

On Thursday, September 6th, I had the pleasure of finally seeing William Gibson in-the-flesh. Despite his being sick with a cold (he offered to infect any attendees with it who might’ve had such a Cronenbergian desire) Gibson read an interesting piece from his new book, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and regaled the audience with his observations on a few subjects including fashion.

It’s weird, really weird reading any of this stuff because I never read any of it before. I never read it to an audience. These were written for magazine publication. The weirdest of these, I think, the one that is most mysterious to me is an essay called Dead Man Sings that I wrote in 1998 for ASAP, which is a Forbes magazine giveaway or something. … they got in touch with me and said ‘we’d like you to write something’ and I said ‘what’ and they said ‘it doesn’t matter … [write] what you feel like.’ I’d never really gotten that before … so I really took it to heart and I sat down and sort of channeled this thing I’m about to read you and with no idea where it was coming from or really what it was about. I realized, when I was going through all these pieces, this is the one I’ve gone back to more in my writing and as sometimes happens, I think that this thing which I wrote without understanding – I wrote it in a weird kind of trance – because it didn’t matter and it had given me permission to say whatever I wanted to say, which I had never had before in non-fiction. … So this thing just came out, what I’m about to read to you, and its probably the one thing in this book that I discovered more in, over the years, since I wrote it, I suspect in some way its been the program for a lot of the fiction I’ve written since.

The essay Dead Man Sings (published as “Dead Man Speaks apparently) that Gibson read for us that evening is certainly evocative of much of what makes Gibson’s writings so telling and important. Distrust That Particular Flavor coverThey grapple with the effects of technology on our culture and our experiencing of memory and history. It reminded me of a video I’d recently seen of him (filmed many years ago inside a moving car) in which he reflects on one of the details he mentioned in the essay, that is the invention of the sound recording and that period of time when there were still humans (backwoods Appalachian Americans in his example) who were being recorded for the first time and the fundamental difference (to his hears) of those recordings to everything since.

We live in, have lived through, a strange time. I know this because when I was a child the flow of forgetting was relatively unimpeded. I know this because the dead were less of a constant presence, then. Because there was once no rewind button. Because the soldiers dying in the Somme were black and white, and did not run as the living run. Because the world’s attic was still untidy. Because there were old men in the mountain valleys of my Virginia childhood who remembered a time before recorded music.

Dead Man Speaks

After the reading (and towards the end of his face-time with us and before beginning the autographing line) there was an opening for me to ask him a question that had been on my mind for a while… But before I asked the question I wanted to show my sincere feelings for the words he’d written a couple of years ago when he posted the following to his twitter feed:

“Very sad to learn of the death of @mactonnies. Whip-smart young Fortean surrealist dudes are too thin on the ground to begin with.”
twitter.com/GreatDismal/status/5096995349

As I began expressing my thanks the look on his face gave me the impression that he hadn’t understood what I was saying – perhaps it was just the idea of someone thanking him for a “tweet” (let alone one from three years ago) that struck him as odd. Once I’d shifted my comment to a question he gave a not surprising to me reply which I’m happy to add to the public record:

SMiles Lewis: I’d like to thank you for your 2009 tweet which consisted of kind words on the passing of Mac Tonnies. There’s things in your book Pattern Recognition and other books that make me ask this question: Are you now or have you ever been a Fortean?

William Gibson: Oh, I’m totally a Fortean! I’ve been a Fortean since I was… actually I’d have to find out. I’ve been a Fortean ever since Ace Books republished Charles Fort’s three great weird philosophical books about strange shit that he’d found in old old newspapers. And I continue to be … That’s Charles Fort for those of you who don’t know him. If you wanna have a really strange experience go find The Book of the Damned by Charles Fort which was published in the 1920s and has two sequels. It’s kind of the mother of all X-Files stuff.

 

William Gibson: Fortean! | Anomaly Archives.

Senator Cornyn Reading Letter from Sam Houston to Andrew Jackson

 

I had the pleasure of meeting and recording Texas Senator John Cornyn reading a famous letter from Republic of Texas President Sam Houston to former U.S. President Andrew Jackson.

Voices of Texas History

1844 draft letter from Sam Houston to Andrew Jackson regarding the annexation of Texas by the United States.

Read by United States Senator
John Cornyn on July 27th, 2012

Listen (MP3 file)

Read transcript (pdf file)

About the document

Sen. Cornyn reads sections of a draft letter dated February 16, 1844, from Republic of Texas President Sam Houston to former U.S. President Andrew Jackson emphasizing his support of Texas’ annexation by the United States. (Draft letter: Item 3362, Andrew Jackson Houston collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission). The excerpts read by Senator Cornyn highlight the most compelling points in Houston’s draft letter (the final draft was ultimately sent to Jackson).

Voices of Texas History – Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Senator Cornyn Reads Letter from Sam Houston to Andrew Jackson

 

Jellyfish Light at Thrice Cafe

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Cool jellyfish lamp / lighting fixture I saw at Thrice Cafe / Thai Fresh the other day.

Thai Fresh & Thrice Cafe
thai-fresh.com/Thai, Restaurant, Coffee, Cafe, Vegan, Gluten Free, Local, Organic, Sustainable …

Thai Fresh
909 West Mary St # B, Austin
Open until 9:00pm.