EXPERIENCE | AMAZING GRACE
You don’t need to be a church-goer to appreciate this documentary. You don’t even have to be a fan of Aretha Franklin or believe in the “grace” that this song is about. But once you see this film, you just might. In January 1972, the Rev. James Cleveland welcomed Aretha Franklin to the stage of his modest New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles. “I’d like to remind you,” he said to a packed house that included his usual parishioners, a camera crew and many excited music-lovers (including a trying-to-blend-in Mick Jagger), “that this is a church, and we are here for a religious service.” Sydney Pollack’s unfinished documentary, unearthed and reassembled after nearly 50 years, is a priceless gift not only to music fans but for a younger generation who might not have yet experienced the value and influence of the great “Queen of Soul.” We sincerely urge you to take in this priceless, powerful, and mesmerizing treasure of a film.
ATTEND | LEVITATION FEST
Founded in 2008 by members of The Black Angels and friends, this independent event has sparked a movement, inspiring the creation of similar events across the globe. LEVITATION was named in honor of Austin’s psychedelic rock pioneers, The 13th Floor Elevators, who reunited and performed at LEVITATION 2015 for the band’s 50th anniversary. Even though it’s not until November, we’d suggest grabbing tickets now. The acts are far from obscure, but these bands are a touch more “alternative” in comparison to chart topping radio acts that headline many of the other national festivals. Angel Olson, Deafhaven, John Cale and Kurt Vile are just a few of our favorites - oh, and of course Dinosaur Jr. See you there!
CAFFEINATE | GREATER GOODS COFFEE ROASTING
Greater Goods has accomplished a beautiful, clean, and well-lit finish out of an old house in East Austin. Clean lines of metal and concrete are balanced by natural woods and high white ceilings. A perfect place to have a convo or get some work done. The space is a cafe, roaster and coffee learning center where you can up your coffee game! Join them for a tasting, take your brewing skills to the next level, or learn to pull espresso like a pro at their in-house, SCA-certified training lab - and it’s all under one roof! Their tag line is, “Coffee with a splash of kindness,” because with each bag of coffee purchased, they make a donation to a Texas charity. Food & Wine Magazine voted them the Best Coffee in Texas, but Greater Goods advises that you should probably judge for yourself, which says a lot about their desire to be the best for their customers. So go check ‘em out, and put the best to the test.
There are and have been soooo many of these post American Idol-like singer/performer shows over the years so we’re not gonna lie, we know of this one and are a bit biased because Maelyn Jarmon is our founder’s cousin. That aside, her voice is amazing and her covers so far are simply spectacular. We were entranced by her performance of “Mad World.” If you watch then go give her a vote! (PS - here’s her audition where she sang “Fields of Gold.” So good!)
ADMIRE | CAROLINE WRIGHT
The simplicity of Caroline Wrights’s art is something that draws us in. You can almost feel the emotions through the colors, the sounds translated on the canvas. Light from the late afternoon or early evening, blended with the darkness to come. Her art recognizes the pure and simple fact that nature doesn’t know how to be beautiful, it just is. Not unlike life, her work is always moving into what is for her, unknown territory. This might be the same experience the viewer has, or it might tell a familiar story of a place we’ve already been. We get to decide, and therein is the beauty and freedom found in the abstract. You can follow her work here on Instagram.
GIVE | THE FLATWATER CHALLENGE
In 2015, the Flatwater Challenge series took a group to the SUP 11 City Challenge where their fundraisers paddled a marathon a day, for five days, through the canals of Friesland. In 2017, Flatwater Challenge set out to do what very few had done before - circumnavigate Lake Tahoe. Everyone completed this challenge, and in the process raised over $172,000 for Flatwater Foundation. Next up in the Flatwater Challenge series, Iceland! They’ll now attempt to paddle 100km of arctic coastline over 5 days (July 30 - August 3) to raise funds to provide therapy for families in need, touched by a cancer diagnosis. They’re about half-way to the $150,000 fundraising Flatwater Iceland Challenge goal, and can take part and donate here plus learn even more at FlatwaterFoundation.org.