Will Johnson is not only one of the kindest dudes we’ve ever met, but he’s also undoubtedly one of the most talented. His musical pilgrimage is astounding (see his current solo albums or his past work with Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel, Monsters of Folk, Overseas) his love for his family is boundless and his dedication to his art is inspiring. Not to mention he is so darn humble it makes you just want to be around him. That said, here’s a chance for you to see and purchase some of his ever popular baseball paintings and meet him in person! We’ll be hosting his art opening and show at the HELM Store with drinks provided by Susto, Twisted X, and Rambler. See you there!
If you know Sylvia Plath then you know The Bell Jar, possibly her Pulitzer prize winning poems, and even her letters. Ending her own life at the age of 30 drew an ominous veil across the staggering and struggling beauty of her writing. That is one reason that this newly discovered never-before published story resonates with such power. It stands on its own and is remarkable for its symbolic, allegorical approach to a young woman’s rebellion against convention and forcefully taking control of her own life. Written while Sylvia Plath was a student at Smith College in 1952, Mary Ventura and The Ninth Kingdom tells the story of a young woman’s fateful train journey. “Lips the color of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like ‘guilt, and guilt, and guilt…’ these are a few of the things Mary begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom. “But what is the ninth kingdom?” she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. “It is the kingdom of the frozen will,” comes the reply. “There is no going back.” Described as “Sylvia Plath’s strange story of female independence, written not long after she herself left home, [it] grapples with a reimagined state of mortality.” Fan of Mrs. Plath or not we deem this dark tale a good one.
There are some incredible performing arts in Austin that can sometimes be overlooked due to the enormous commercial music, film, and tech festivals, so we’re here to champion the other long existing forms of creative performance (i.e. - we saw Carmina Burana at the ballet last week and it was superb.) The world renowned guitar player, Niño de Pura, is coming to play in Austin thanks to Austin Classical Guitar and Long Center. Pura started playing guitar professionally at an early age while accompanying his brother who was a professional dancer. A pupil of many highly esteemed masters of guitar, his most influential teacher was Manolo Sanlucar, an iconic flamenco musician, educator, and guitarist in Spain. Now a master in his own right, Niño de Pura continues to internationalize his art, appearing on stages across the globe with some of the worlds greatest known guitarists. Arrive early and you’re in for some pre-show Flamenco fun!
EAT | DAKZEN | SOMMERVILLE, MA
When we’re travelling we always ask our local friends where the best joints to dine are, and our Boston buddies all said that for Thai food, DakZen is the go-to. It’s not just Thai, it’s “street food” Thai. That’s right, “street food thai” in Davis Square. It speaks as non-American Thai food that’s not full of sugar and oil. We’re told that everyone hits DakZen for their Khao Soi (a Northern Thai curry noodle soup), but our friends come here for their Sai Ua (Thai style sausage), that Dakzen is known to have popularized. These two choices are now top of our list. On the menu you pick your dishes from the Street Snacks, Street Noodles or simply Street Food. The portions are not overwhelming so there’s room for the Boat Noodles, the Gyoza and the Pad Thai or the Pad See Ew - all must tries. We’ve had our share of Thai and there’s nothing quite like DakZeN. Their mission is to, “Bring back the authentic Thai tastes,” and they’re darn well doin’ it. The right ingredients, all fresh, plus fewer dishes prepared with more care and time - you can tell it’s the real deal.
WATCH | IGGY POP’S PUNK DOCUMENTARY
Punk rock. What was it all about, what did it become and what is it now? This documentary tries to define that, and whether you’re into the punk past or not, this is a must-see for your musical education. Fans of MC5, The Stooges, The Ramones, the Sex Pistols or any punk band there and in between should watch this 4-part series that shows that, “Each generation is looking for its own voice.” Brought to us by Iggy Pop (punk) and John Varvatos (not so punk) you get multiple on-the-couch discussions and flashbacks from some of the greats of the “original” punk era. According to Marky Ramone, that era punk rock was more about having fun. Dave Grohl says it was, “About that explosion of heart and mind.” We see and hear what Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Flea (RHCP), Billy Joe Armstrong (Green Day), Mike Ness (Soical D) and more have to say about that generation in music. Punk kicks off in Detroit, tracing the late-’60s origins of the mighty MC5, and from there into the well-trod post-apocalyptic wasteland of ’70s NYC, where the New York Dolls fomented a rock ‘n’ roll revolution and the Ramones helped turn the downtown rock club CBGB into what became hallowed ground. So many stories, so many opinions, so many bands, and almost too much history to even attempt to put into such a short series. We think it’s a good one and worth the ride. Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) says it best - “If you were into punk to make money then you were in the wrong business.” Check it out.
GET | HELM SOCKS
Shod your feet with the socks of HELM! A long time coming, we designed them with much scrutiny and many, many rounds of sampling from multiple mills before we had what we feel is now perfection for your tootsies. Marled in solid colors (dark grey, light grey, red and blue) or Color Blocked (black, greys, and blues), both styles are constructed of the finest materials and made to have extra cushion in the footbed. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention that they’re made with pride in the US of A! North Carolina to be exact. They'll be on the website soon, but they're already in store, so if you're in Austin then go check them out. If not, keep an eye on your inbox - you'll be able to snag your pair soon!