Sunday, July 16, 2006

'Bout the break of day.

My third "One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer" show had no real theme. It did feature multiple tracks from three CDs: Stax: We'll Play The Blues For You, Blues in the Mississippi Night: The Alan Lomax Collection, and Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways. Here's the actual playlist from earlier this evening.

BSB Intro
John Lee Hooker, "Boogie Chillen"
Big Bill Boonzy, Memphis Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson, "Stackalee"
Irma Thomas and the Professionals, "Hitting on Nothing"

Mic Break

Jimmy Reed, "Honest I Do"
Guitar Slim, "I Got Sumpin' For You"
Elizabeth Cotton, "Vastapol"
Lonnie Johnson, "Drifting Along Blues"

Mic Break

Muddy Waters, "Honey Bee"
Big Joe Williams, "Don't Leave Me Here"
Little Sonny, "Don't Ask Me No Questions"
Howlin' Wolf, "Evil"

Mic Break

Guitar Shorty, "Red Hot Mama"
Little Brother Montgomery, "Vicksburg Blues"
R.L. Burnside, "Going Down South"
Willie King, "That's What The Blues is All About"

Mic Break

Memphis Slim, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sonny Boy Willimason, "Life is Like That"
Elmore James, "It Hurts Me Too"
Little Milton, "Tin Pan Alley"
Joe Hicks, "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out"

Mic Break

Otis Rush, "My Love Will Never Die"
Albert King, "Blues Power"
Bobby Blue Bland, "Turn on Your Love Light"
Johnny Copeland with Albert Collins, "Black Cat Bone"

Mic Break

Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon, "Beer Drinking Woman"
Big Bill Broonzy, "Black, Brown, and White Blues"
Ois Redding, "Send Me Some Lovin'"
Mable John, "Ain't Giving It Up"

Mic Break

The Bel Airs, "Hi Line"
Mississippi John Hurt, "Nobody's Dirty Business"
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, "All Your Love"
Big Joe Shelton, "MS Night"

Mic Break

Albert Collins, "Conversation with Collins"
B.B. King, "Everyday (I Have the Blues)"
The Staples Singers. "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"
Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, "Old Jabo"

Mic Break

Jr. Wells, "'Bout the Break of Day"
Henry Townsend, "I Asked Her Ifg She Loved Me"

Monday, July 10, 2006

Deep in the heart of Texas.

My week in Austin fast comes to a close. Believe it or not, I'll probably have my first BBQ meal at lunch today. Driving south on Lamar toward Barton Springs, I'll stop at the local hangout Green Mesquite. I may or may not wander on to campus then and do the prints section of the Blanton Museum, which I skipped during last week's first visit. Tonight, Isaac and I might eat at the University of Texas Club, ensconced in Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium. Tomorrow it's back to the grind in Starkville, taking an evening flight out of Austin to Houston Hobby and then on to Jackson followed by the drive back to Starkvegas for a 6-9 pm MCAT class Wednesday.

Looking back to my last post, let me pick up the thread where I dropped it. Friday I spent the morning taking a nice walk around the entirety of the Clarksville and Castle Hill neighborhoods. Then I headed south of the Colordao River/Town Lake to check out South Congress Ave, the famous urban bat colony, and the local outsider art scene. I stopped at yarddog and admired Eric Bellis AKA Rico Bell's portraits of this year's Rock + Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. yarddog also supplied my John Langford Elvis by way of Pollock portrait, also known as a copy of the album cover art for The Mekons' "The Mekons Rock 'N' Roll".

MS mitosis and Langford's Elvis ala Pollock

I then strolled down the block for a nice lunch at Guero's Taco Bar, a personal fave of former President Clinton. That afternoon, I spent some time in Austin's largest bookstore, BookPeople. Older than Barnes and Noble or Borders but similar in style though it never cashed in by franchising, BookPeople is not the great independent bookstore you might expect in a huge college town. Instead it has a nice space, lots of seating areas, but relatively bland book sections, and weak and dated staff selections. A real disappointment in a way given the high expectations Waterloo Records and Video set for the local cultural commerce market.

That evening, Isaac and I had a pint on the back covered beer garden at the Dog and Duck and then an outstanding Indian meal at the Clay Pit restaurant.

Saturday we spent much of the day out. After a quick drive around some of North Central Austin, to let the rain pass. We stopped at the Kitchen Door and picked up chicken salad sandwiches for a picnic. Then we drove south of Town Lake parked next to the Parkside Community (Montessori) School and began a hike around Town Lake, which started on the Barton Springs Creek tributary, then headed east along Town Lake until we crossed at the Lamar Avenue Footbridge and headed back to the west. We stopped about 2/3 of the way down at a nice pergola with lake view for lunch. Here are some of our fellow hikers on the trail:

Town Lake Trail

Then on past Austin High to the MoPac footbridge with a stop at the water stations provided by Run-Tex. We marched on to Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park, where we swam and had a nice cool down before returning to the car.

Here are shots of the pool and the spring mouth in the upper pool.

Barton Springs Pool

Spring mouth at Barton Springs

On the way home, we caught the tail end of the Germany Portugal World Cup 3rd place match on the back patio of the Shoal Creek Saloon replete with a small pitcher of Miller Lite.

Sunday morning we drove around the western and northern hill country of Austin adjacent to Lake Austin, taking in Mount Bonell, the Laguna Gloria art museum and grounds (formerly an Italiante mansion from the teens and now a center for art classes and education) and a quick stop at the County Line BBQ on Ranch Road 2222 for some iced tea and to watch the turtles get fed. Got home just in time for the World Cup final preview. Not the greatest match and a moment of madness from Zizou or perhaps the French who outplayed the italians throughout might have won. Too bad a magical month of futbol is now done for another quadrennium. off to the 'cue!


Green Mesquite BBQ

I did end up having a nice meal at Green Mesquite: BBQ sausage tortilla wrap, side of hushpuppies, and ice tea.


Tonight, we hit one of Austin's finest, Wink, instead of the UT Club. After a pleasantly invigorating walk from home to the restaurant featuring a 300 or so foot drop in elevation, we settled in to a 5 course degustation menu paired with wine. Almost four hours later, we emerged to complete the great circle route along Lamar to 6th and back up Blanco. An evening to savor and remember for a long, long time.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The eyes of texas.

I'm spending a week in Austin, Texas visiting friends from back in the Stanford day who like myself have migrated around and ended up in the South. Their route was Chicago-New Zealand (with side trips to London and Sydney) and then finally the heart of Texas. Had a decent Southwest flight out of Jackson except that Houston Hobby (kinda sounds like an aerodrome for flying those remote controlled planes until you realize Hobby is someone's surname) shut down due to bad weather just as we arrived a few minutes late for our 12:50 pm gate time. We circled at least an hour and then low on fuel diverted to Corpus Christi for refueling, which took a while because several other diverted planes beat us there and we had to wait for a gate etc. Arrived back in Houston eventually at 4 pm. Then almost immediately reboarded the same plane to Austin. Made it in time for a 4th backyard burger BBQ with Isaac, Janine and their daughter Madison plus Janine's fellow UT Austin English colleagues Liz and Doug (whom I know through the Shakespeare grapevine and from past SAA conferences) and their daughters Madeline and Claire. Pleasant food, drink, and convivial conversation. Then we headed out to the street in The Barchae's Clarksville neighborhood and looked south down the hill to watch the Town Lake fireworks display.

My first full day here, the 5th, I spent the morning with Janine and Madison touring the UT campus, dropping by an exhibition at the Harry Ransom Humanities Center that Janine helped coordinate, and taking a quick spin through the new Blanton Museum of Art. After a lite lunch, we watched France defeat Portugal for the final World Cup final spot. That evening we walked down the hill to 6th street and a block up to the famous original location of Z' Tejas for dinner. I had nice wild mushroom enchiladas. Later we took a walk around historic Clarksville and looked at the 6 Austin landmark houses on Blanco, the historical fire station, and one of Austin's remaining Moonlight towers in the area.

Here are my pictures of the Castle Hill Moonlight tower in the afternoon and at night.

Moonlight Tower Day

Moonlight Tower night

Thursday, we took in Central Market, Cavender's Boot City, Waterloo Records at 6th and Lamar, and a traditional Texas icehouse.

Thursday afternoon Janine and Madison said their farewells to Issac and headed out for a month in Holland with Janine's family. Here's a family portrait prior to the trip to the airport.

Barchas Family pre-Holland trip

Later this weekend, we'll hit the famous downtown music scene, wander the local green belt, and watch the World Cup Final— all of which I'll blog upon my return to Starkville.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Eisenhower blues.

Show 2 of The Juke's "One Bourbon One Scotch One Beer" happened tonight (Sunday, July 2nd) from 8:30-11:00 pm CDT. My primary theme was Post-WWII Urban Blues. Here's the playlist.

BSB Intro debuts
The Big Three Trio, "Juicehead Bartender"
J.B. Lenoir, "Eisenhower Blues"
John Brin, "Gary Stomp"
Curtis Jones, "Wrong Blues"

Mic Break

Dr. John "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'"
Elmore James, "The Sky Is Cryin'"
J.T. "Nature Boy" Brown, "Blue Blues Boogie"
Little Sam Davis, "1958 Blues"

Mic Break

Howlin' Wolf, "Who's Been Talking"
Ernest Lewis, "West Coast Blues"
John Lee Hooker, "You Ain't No Big Thing"
Albert King, "(Be On Your) Merry Way"

Mic Break

Robert Garrett, "Quit My Drinkin"
John Brin, "Tough Times"
Big Mama Thornton, "Let Your Tears Fall Baby"
Ike Turner, "You're Driving Me Insane"

Mic Break

Little Papa Joe, "Lookin' for My Baby"
Johnny Lewis, "Jealous Man"
Dusty Brown, "Yes, She's Gone"
Sunnyland Slim, "Going Back to Memphis"

Mic Break

Baby Boy Warren, "Santa Fe"
Willie Egan, "Wow Wow"
Little Willie Foster, "Falling Rain Blues"

Mic Break

Ernest Lewis, "No More Lovin'"
Eddie Hope and the Mannish Boys, "A Fool No More"
Muddy Waters, "I Feel So Good" and "I've Got My Mojo Workin' Pts 1&2" (Live at Newport)
Lightning Hopkins, "Automobile Blues"

Mic Break

Jimmy Reed, "Take Out Some Insurance"
Magic Sam, "All Your Love"
Baby Boy Warren, "Mattie Mae"

Mic Break

The Burnside Exploration, "All Night Long (Intro)" and "All Night Long"
Louis Brooks and His Hi-Toppers with Earl Gaines, "It's Love Baby (24 Hours A Day)"
Louis Jordan, "Saturday Night Fish Fry"
B.B. King, "Sweet Little Angel" (live) from King of the Blues

Mic Break

Jr. Wells, "Hoodoo Man"
Willie Dixon, Back Door Man"
Otis Rush, "Groanin' the Blues" (Take 3)
Little Sone Joe, "A Little Too Late"

Mic Break

Baby Face Leroy, "Pet Rabbit"