Fun Fun Fun Forewarnings

As a frequent FFF Festival goer I figured I could flaunt my expertise on how to get the most…wait for it… FUN out of your weekend.

Drinking for Cheap

Depending upon your vice of choice I recommend befriending a bartender or bringing your own if you can figure it out. Remember, now that FFFfest has become a more popular festival (which is why they charge more for tickets) the security is tighter. Better the music=tighter the security. So FFF security will definitely frisk you at the gate. If you plan on pulling a quick one, make sure it is safely and securely concealed. It can be done if you use your brain.

(However I am pretty sure it is illegal/looked down upon for me to give exact details so here are some websites:

Also, the bartenders at FFFfest are there to make quick awesome cash. (This also applies to all bartenders/service industry people) If you find one you like and frequent them throughout the weekend with big fat tips they will most likely remember you and hook you up. They care more about the cash in their pocket than in the register. Not to mention they are practically paying for the keg for every five beers sold.

How to get There

Also I STRONGLY recommend riding a bicycle to the festival to avoid traffic/parking woes. However if you do not own a bicycle or plan to carpool(great idea) you can do two things. First, if the carpool is small (as in you and another person) take a car2go. The great things about car2g0 is that they are cheap and there is designated parking for them (or they are so small that they can basically fit anywhere.) Second, realize that you are going to have to walk. You should be wearing comfortable shoes anyways since you will be on your feet all day so this isn’t such a big deal. The greatest parking spots are on South Congress. Even though it is the weekend, if you leave early enough you will be able to find spots on the west side of South Congress in the neighborhoods behind Joes, etc.

Eat Cheap Too

One of the greatest parts of Austin music festivals is all the great trailer food you would never see or try is right around you, and usually are pretty fairly priced. The cheapest/easiest/lamest food you could grab is a slice from the metal head pizza joint who’s home is on dirty sixth street. A great secret about this trailer is that when it gets close to the end of the last shows, their slices are half price! But what you should do is try to expand those tastebuds while you have the opportunity. Last year there was a few stands that I found that were delicious and not too pricy. Korean BBQ tacos were my favorite. However if you are really hurting in the pocket after spending over $100 on a ticket you can always stash some granola bars in your bag and no one will hassle you.


A Very Austin Hallow’s Eve

As the live music capital of the world, of course Austin has some spectacular shows on the night of Hallow’s Eve.
First of all if you haven’t heard yet, 90’s Canadian born sensation Alanis Morissette will be performing at Stubb’s tonight with the doors opening at a bright 6:30.

What makes this night extra special is the excitement of Austin’s own musicians performing wtih very famous performers. Tonight at Austin Music Hall, our own Broken Teeth Crew,who usually play at venues such as Plush or can be seen at Barcelona, will be performing with a hipster favorite electronic duo: Justice.
According to ATXBEAT, Broken Teeth Crew is a is an artist collective, club night, and DJ/Production team consisting of MIKE TOWNSEND . GENOVA . TINY. BRAD HOODS . ANNA LOVE . LDFD . CTRL ALT DEL . DRHU . DANNY SCRILLA . STEPHIEYAKNOW . BLACK LAUREN & AC RANDUM . They tend to collaborate with other music collectives and artists including Applied Pressure and Com Truise.

Com Truise is also performing tonight. Seth Haley, the producer/designer in the flesh, is not a local austinite but he has frequented our city this year. Including SXSW Com Truise has played a handful of shows in our town and tonight should be an exciting one. Haley is performing along with Poolside and Bonde Do Rolê at Mohawk starting at 6:30.

Shooting Stars with Bigger Waistbands

Recently an article was published in the New York Times discussing the new development of acceptance of curvier, voluminous, beautiful ample women in the media. It is seen in pop music stars, movies, and television.
There are a handful of popular T.V. shows currently running that either revolve around or have confident but comely characters. Mindy Kaling from the Fox network show, “The Mindy Project” is one of these women. Not only is Mindy Kaling a minority, but she also has to struggle with the acceptance of viewers due to her more voluptuous figure.  Kaling has a more “un-traditional body style,” as The Hollywood Reporter puts it, with traditional being a solid size 2. However, Mindy seems to be body confident in her own show which appears as a positive turn on for viewers and relate able fans alike. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “maybe (Kaling’s efforts and acceptance) will change the paradigm.”

Lena Dunham is another one of these blooming beauties. Dunham is a star/creator of the HBO comedy, “Girls.” Her openness about her insecurities is what draws such a crowd to her brave demeanor. Besides her show, Dunham recently did an advertisement advocating for President Obama. Dunham is a fighter and not just for the acceptance of her own attitude and body, but also a defender of women’s rights.

Although Molly Tarnov, Sadie from the MTV show “Awkward,” has recently lost a ton of weight for season two, she has some inspiring things to say about body acceptance. From an interview with Seventeen magazine Tarnov talks about her own daily struggles as a T.V. star,

Every day is a reminder to accept myself as I am. Success used to always be based on what my body looks like and how other people perceive me. Then, for the past two years, I’ve been so blessed with these amazing roles that no one ever thought would be written. When people talk about characters who struggle with their weight or with food they go to either end of the extreme; there are rarely characters who are just a little bit heavy. That’s what I think is really incredible about this show; it’s not like Sadie is in danger or anything.

Television  and its popular shows are a reflection of the cultural society we experience and accept. That I think is why these shows and more importantly these women are being accepted and held in high regard for facing, accepting and discussing the fact that they aren’t “typical Hollywood.”

Pussy Riot: How Can We Help?

Earlier this week it was released that two of the members of Pussy Riot are being sent off to two of Russia’s harshest prison camps.

If you aren’t aware of the issue, Pussy Riot is an all girl punk band in Russia. The three members: Maria Alyokhina, 24,Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, were arrested for “hoolaganism incited by religious hatred.” After filming their last music video at Moscow’s cathedral Christ the Saviour, which involved “calling on the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Vladimir V. Putin,” according to the New York Times.

As a student of a progressive university that focuses more on understanding world issues instead of memorizing the declaration of independence, I have learned that the world is so much bigger than ourselves.

Although Russia has always had a stern dictatorship as their form of government and the reputation to tolerate nothing, this issue goes beyond Russia and the members of Pussy Riot. Currently the United States itself is struggling and focusing on the idea of not just citizens’ rights, but also women’s rights in our current election.

I think that the women of Russia and the Pussy Riot band and its followers could teach the women of the United States a lesson. Sure, there have been a handful of protests with signs that read ” Get your hands off my body,” which is a great start, but we have to remember that the United States grants us freedom of speech. In Russia, conditions are different and these women are marching the street in their underwear in protest against their government.

But also, what is the United States doing to relieve these women? What is the rest of the world doing to help these women and Russia reach at least the slightest bit of democracy? On the current free Pussy Riot website so far just over $41,000 has been raised, but no where on the website does it say what is going to be done with that money.

Austin Underground

Austin, TX, “the live music capital of the world.”
Most tourists and locals alike spend their energy at venues Austin has made famous for musicians, such as: Stubbs, Emos, the Backyard, and Mohawk.
While there are more than enough shows at those venues that are worth while, there’s another music movement that is progressively getting hotter.

Where will you find such music?
You can stroll into the bars in downtown Austin that people seem to look over more often than not.
The most visible venue would be Plush  on Red River right next to the ever-so-popular Barbarella. There you will find a cramped dark room with cheap drinks and a bunch of moving bodies. Plush almost always contains high energy and vibrant patrons.

Then there is the hidden The North Door located on the other side of I-35 just off east 5th and Brushy. The North Door is surprisingly brighter with a very friendly and devoted staff.
You could also always go to the occasional Austin Bridge Parties with a cocktail of random DJ’s that keep the party going into the wee hours of Sunday mornings. Or you could go to Barcelona.

You walk down the steep dark stairs to the mystery beyond. There is usually a cover, but the booze is cheap. Barcelona may be located on the ‘dirty’ side of sixth street but it’s music is far from mainstream.  Barcelona consecutively bumps those underground beats every week. This is the club to come dance and not give a damn, as that’s what the crowd seems to embrace.

Occasionally extremely special shows are hosted at Barcelona with guest DJs and music producers from across the country and world.
This previous Sunday was one of those extravagant nights. As opposed to the typical Sunday dubstep night they host, this week Barcelona was filled with people dancing to the beats of Slugabed and Starkey.
Slugabed stood tall over the other musicians draped in thrift-store eccentric pieces. His beats were loud and dressed with familiar tracks, which made it all the easier to dance to. Slugabed opened the dance floor and Starkey successfully finished the night off with an amped up and grooving crowd.
Other local underground music magicians were there including part of the Exploded Drawing crew. Vegetable Kingdom came to show his support while Boombaptist was there not just as a fan, but also the MC for Slugabeds performance.

Barcelona’s crowd seems to be growing with the excitement of these special shows along with the progression of this underground movement.

Mild Panic Attack

After reading Kat’s recent blog post I have decided I am going to run with her idea. However, instead I would like to draw everyone’s focus towards mental health.

I think professor Barnes’ idea for the students to interview and blog about each other was a great move whether or not his intentions were focused on an entire class confidence boost. Especially at this time in the semester every student needs that push forward and to be told “you can do it.”

I think that happiness is relative in the way that you look at yourself: your past, present, things you’ve accomplished, etc. What everyone needs to do to maintain and create better self esteem is compliment yourself everyday. Even the most minute little tasks need a self high-five.  Tell yourself how great you are doing even if you feel like you are just coasting by in school (or life.) Trust me, someone else has been there. And if you feel all hell is breaking loose just sit down, take a breath and say “hey regardless, I AM doing it,” whatever that “it” may be.

Everyone has a lot on their plate. Personally I have to remember that I am not the only student in the world that has to pay my own way through college and support myself.  There is time for pity and there is time for celebration. I had recently had a slight break down about the workload that I am currently carrying and the lack of sleep. But think about it, we all do it. I explained to my befuddled boyfriend that this happens at least once a semester, and you know what? It’s OKAY. Cry a little bit, feel bad for yourself, but then pick yourself back up and do it even better.

Uptown all Over Town

As much as I know I am and other austinites are annoyed by the extensive amount of food trailers crawling all over Austin, it is sad to hear about a food trailer plaza being shut down just to bring in more condos.

South Austin has been the up and coming area of Austin to live in. Locals who have lived and grew up in south Austin are getting pushed out of their apartments and houses due to the raise in rent. It is practically impossible to rent out a room north of Ben White Blvd for less than $800.

As a lot of locals have rumored, it seems that Austin is developing itself into Dallas. The fancy expensive condos of downtown began being built on the gentrified areas of east austin and are now pushing themselves south. Besides the typical SoCo luxury apartments, S.Lamar has begun and recently finished a handful of condominiums itself.