If you don’t know who Daniel Johnston is, he’s the influential singer-songwriter and visual artist who painted Austin’s famous “Hi How Are You” frog mural on the Drag, and a whole lot more. He died last month at the age of 58, and this tribute show is for him and those who loved him. Johnston, who was raised in West Virginia and moved to Austin in the early 80s, counts 17 full-length albums of original music. His ongoing trials with schizophrenia and manic-depression were explored in the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. A close friend and later his producer, Brian Beattie, said that, “When we heard those tapes, Hi, How Are You and all those, there wasn’t any other music from my age group where it was so absolutely personal. The things he was singing about, it was almost voyeuristic to hear it. So, he really cracked open the kind of emotions you don’t understand yet. He was all about those emotions. He understood not understanding them.” His songs have been covered by Tom Waits, Yo La Tango, Beck, the Flaming Lips, Wilco and many more. Early last year, Johnston appeared at the Mohawk in Austin for the inaugural Hi, How Are You Day concert, which he closed with a curtain-call rendition of his most iconic song: “True Love Will Find You in the End.” That turned out to be his last performance. This tribute show will celebrate his life and so many lives that he influenced. The artists have yet to be named but you can expect a stellar line up including, but not limited to, acts in town for ACL.
Our very own Mallory (aka - the Rebel Stylist) is here to make your Fall wardrobe on point. In this post she covers 4 easy ways to make it happen: All Weather Outerwear, Add Light Layers, Make Cozy Pop, and Boots For Every Occasion. Give it a read and take notes. Trust her, she knows what’s up. P.S. Stay tuned for even more posts, because she’ll be mixing up her style recipes and serving ‘em up - thanks, Mal!
photo credit: Julia Keim
DRINK | FIX VODKA
Mick Jagger said, “There's no absolutes in life, only vodka.” Truth from a master of experience. Speaking of masters, FIX Vodka is the brainchild of Austin-based husband-and-wife team, Ethan and Maryn Miklas, and was founded with a purpose and a passion for making vodka with holistic intention. Longtime product marketing innovators, the Miklas’s spent the last several years working on the development of the vodka and the brand. The focus of their research was an obsession with finding the perfect water to make the spirit. The process starts with high-pH water sourced from deep Texas aquifers and then filtered 10 times through organic coconut husk charcoal. With a motto of “High pH, Low bS,” FIX is unlike any other vodka on the market. Did we mention that it’s proudly made in Austin, Texas? Did somebody say Texas Vodka? Yee-Haw!
EAT | RUSS AND DAUGHTERS
The late Anthony Bourdain was quoted as saying, "Russ & Daughters occupies that rare and tiny place on the mountaintop reserved for those who are not just the oldest and the last - but also the best.” For us, it’s a New York must, every time. Three true statements: R&D’s has New York’s best bagels and lox, they’ve been there for 4 generations (that’s 105 years), and we’re huge fans. Purveyors of the highest quality smoked fish, caviar, baked goods, and specialty foods, Russ and Daughters is a true New York experience, in the same spot on East Houston Street for more than a century. We’re not even going to try to describe the delectable experiences we (and so many others) have had, but you can and should peruse the menu here. The more recently added Cafe’, the Jewish Museum location and the Brooklyn Navy Yard give you zero excuses not to visit, and we suggest you visit all of them multiple times each. Experts at smoked salmon slicing, soda fountain bars with homemade cream sodas, egg creams shrubs and superb cocktails, bagels of gold...the list goes on. Whether it’s a for a light nosh, brunch, lunch, cocktails, dinner, or a special occasion you will feel like you are part of the mishpocha (family). Whether you have been a regular in the shop for 70 years or if you are a first time visitor, you’re going to receive the best Matzo ball there is and ever was. Come on, just look at this press. With four locations across the city you have zero reasons not to visit. Oh, and guess what - they ship nationwide!
This post is not about our bias for Will Johnson. Sure, we’ve loved his bands and his solo career and yeah, maybe we currently have his art on the walls of the store, but seriously this is solely about this stunning record. Let us add elegant and engaging, personal and intimate. Inspired by pain and doubt while at the same time hopeful and pure, we find these songs to be beautiful, reflective and searching. The calm soft rumbling of guitars is the prelude to the raspy, guttural blending of dark poetry throughout. Backing vocals by multi-instrumentalist Mazarn Lindsey Verrill (banjo and cello included) lace between the harmony of acoustic, steel and electric guitars, all balanced by haunting piano. As a whole, Wire Mountain invites the solitary notion that something has changed or is changing, somehow coming and going. Is it a prayer for an arrival or a departing? Or maybe just a newly discovered stillness? You be the judge.
It’s never hard to find the most interesting of interesting when it comes to Tim Ferris, and this is a good one, because Brian Grazer is insanely talented, crazily successful and dauntingly driven. You can read his multiple accolades in the intro to this piece, but we’re most enthralled with his New York Times Bestseller A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life. Between Grazer and his co-founding partner of Imagine Entertainment, Ron Howard, you’ll see why they have such a thriving and lasting relationship in a business that’s not always easy to keep that sort of sincerity. In this post Brian answers a lot of interesting questions, and if afterwards you want more, you can click here to listen to his conversation with Mr. Ferris.