Monday, December 27, 2010

INsite's Top 10 Austin Releases of 2010

The Top 10 Austin CDs INsite Owner Sean Claes Listened to this Year

Those who have been following INsite owner Sean Claes' blog, Notes From The Cubicle are aware that between September 2009 and September 2010 he took on a challenge to review one release from an Austin-based band a week for a year. At the end he reviewed 55 different CDs. Why 55? Well, there were 6 EPs in there and he counts those as half an album. Questions about that? click here.

Here are INsite's choices for Top 10 locally-released albums of 2010. You will not find reasoning behind the choices here, but each choice contains a link to the review Claes' wrote in 2010.

10. Bobby Bookout - Bobby Bookout

8. Lennon's Song - We Love, We Learn, We Grow

7. Trashy and the Kid - Songs In The Key of Blow Me

6. Alejandro Escovedo - Street Songs of Love

5. The Jeremy Miller Band - Way Too Fast

4. Ray Wylie Hubbard - A. Enlightenment B. Endarkenment (Hint: There is no C)

3. Terri Hendrix - Cry Till You Laugh

2. One-Eyed Doll - Break

1. Dave Madden - Open Eyed / Broken Wide

Dave Madden - Open Eyed

Dave Madden - Broken Wide

Thanks to all who make music for giving INsite the gift of hearing your craft.

God Bless you and keep you safe in 2011 and beyond.

p.s. If you're interested, Claes' new challenge for 2010-2011 is 52 Weeks of DIY Music Advice. Check it out and please give feedback.

Friday, December 17, 2010

INsite's Shop Austin 2010

Shop Austin Gift Guide 2010
"A Lot of Local In One" Place Edition

By Sean Claes
Photos by Jay West and Sean Claes

Each year, INsite likes to share a few places for you to consider shopping during the holiday season. One reason we’re known as Austin’s Other Entertainment Magazine is because we like to root for the underdog. In a town as big as Austin, it’s easy to go to your local “box store” and get your Christmas shopping done in one stop, but just like we enjoy telling you about local bands, just as good if not better than national acts, whom you may have never heard, we also like to share the names and locations of places you can shop local.

All of the places on this list are dedicated to featuring many local artisans in one place. So, essentially, like a “big box” store, these are “outside the box” one stop shops. You can truly find some one-of-a-kind gems for the folks on your shopping list this year. We hope you print this out and use it as a guide.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Great Kwanza, Festivus (Seinfeld is still a great show BTW), or whatever you celebrate during this season.

23rd St. Renaissance Market

23rd St. and Guadalupe
Since 1969 artists and artisans have been gathering on the Guadalupe Street area known affectionately as “The Drag” to sell their wares under the awesome mural pictured at the beginning of this artice. If you’re looking for paintings, jewelry, tie-dyes, candles, or leather goods made by locals this open air market is one option. It’s also located in the heart of the University of Texas area of Austin as well, so it’s mighty popular with the college aged set as well. It’s open everyday between 8a and 10p, and since it’s made up of all local/area artisans, the finds change from day to day.

Blue Genie Art Bazzar

6226 Middle Fiskville Rd
For the last decade artistans have been getting together for this annual event. This year, they boast over 150 participants, each selling their handcrafted items. It’s located at the Marchesa Hall and Theatre in the Lincoln Village Shopping Center of Austin. This bazzar is free to attend and the caliber of artisans are pretty impressive. I’ve personally bought hand crafted items from a few of these folks, and we’ve featured them in previous issues of INsite as well as gift guides from years past. Funky handbags, jaunty hairclips, kids art supplies, paintings, and jewelry are just a few things you can find here. Check their Website for a full list of participants. This event runs from now until December 24. The hours are: Sunday – Thursday from 10a – 10p, Friday and Saturday from 10a-12m

South Congress Avenue (SoCo)
SoCo runs From the river to Oltorf
Visit the area of Austin that helps “Keep Austin Weird.” I know, it’s kind of a cop-out to use an entire street as the place to go, but if I listed out each place I think you should stop, this article would be about a million words long. So… a synopsis: Thrift stores, boutiques, fine and funky art shops, specialty food stores, the coolest candy shop in town, and a whole bunch of other places scatter this street.

You can grab some classic candy from the (pictured) Big Top Candy Shoppe (1706 SoCo), the over to Tesoros Trading Company (1500 SoCo) to buy Uncle John some folk art, then wander down to Blackmail (1202 SoCo) to buy your loved one that little black dress. Or perhaps check out the American Indian jewelry at Turquoise Door (1208 SoCo) before seeing what you can pick up for your hard-to-shop-for sister at Monkey See Monkey Do (1712 SoCo) and then to Parts and Labour (1117 SoCo) for a custom-made Chuck Norris handbag, complete with fuzzy mustache.

The choices are limitless as SoCo is a wonderland of funky and great things.

Several Stores who Feature Local Year-Round
Various Locations

Looking for a pillow that features Pee Wee Herman screenprinted on it? hand-blown glass wine-tags? Perhaps a plaid jacket that dons a likeness to the guys in DEVO? Whimsical handmade baby blankets? Vegan soap? Owl hat? Maybe the more classic items like Earrings, dresses, or necklaces? We’ve got several places in Austin that features things like this year-round…

Stores that feature many local artisans under one roof include, but are not limited to: Moxie (11th St) Parts and Labour (SoCo), Lucky Lizard (6th Street), and Sanctuary (Bee Caves). Click their names to visit their site for more information.

I limited this article to feature four destination points for you, but there are hundreds of stores in Austin that feature local artisans. I’ve culled a short list to provide you with a partial list of some of the local places (and Websites) that sell locally made items. Enjoy.

Austin Bikes - 1213 W. 5th St (
Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) Store - 823 Congress Avenue (
Austin Visitors Center - 301 Congress Avenue, Ste. 200 (

Authenticity Gallery - 910 Congress Ave # 100 (

Blue Moon Glassworks - 108 W 43rd St (

Creatures Boutique - 1206 S Congress Ave (

Emeralds - 624 N. Lamar Blvd (

The Gas Pipe - 701 E 5th St (
Images of Austin - 4612 Burnet Road (
Lucky Lizard - 412 East 6th Street (

Mexic-Arte - 419 Congress Ave (

The Oasis Gift Shop - 6550 Comanche Trl (
Parts and Labour - 1117 S Congress Ave (
Prima Dora - 1912 S Congress Ave (

Sanctuary - 3663 Bee Caves Rd (

Secret Oktober - 1905-B South 1st (

Sol Reflections - 107 Ranch Road 620 (

State Capitol Gift Shop - 112 East 11th Street (

Storyville - 2001A Guadalupe Street (

Terra Toys - 2438 W Anderson Ln (

Texas State History Museum - 1800 N. Congress Ave (

Things She Adores - 2306 E. Cesar Chavez, Suite 101 (
Wanderland - 3419 North Lamar (
Waterloo Records - 600 N Lamar Blvd (
Wee - 417 1/2 W 2nd St (
Whole Foods Market - 525 N Lamar Blvd (

So, Austin, please support Local this holiday season. And from my family to yours, have a wonderful Christmas.

December Cover - ANDY DICK

Andy Dick brings his Stocking Stuffer Music and Comedy Show to Austin

By Veronica Garcia

Ardent comedian Andy Dick is bringing his X-mas act, “Andy Dick's Stocking Stuffer Music and Comedy Show” to Emo’s Saturday night, hoping to end 2010 without incident.

“I’m book-ending my shows - I started in January with five shows and I’m ending it in December with the same five shows,” he said in a recent phone interview from his Topanga Canyon, Calif. home.

It wasn’t part of the act, but what he allegedly did after the show, that landed Dick in a West Virginia jail in January. Dick reportedly groped two men at a club, following his performance.

“I went to jail for 16 hours, I got back out and the club owner said, ‘I understand if you don’t want to do the three remaining shows,’” he recalled.

Being the consummate performer, Dick insisted the show must go on despite the allegations.

“But let’s not focus on that, or the jail time, and the court cases that are pending,” he said. “Let’s talk about the show. The show is fucking awesome! I can’t wait to do it in Austin. People are going to go nuts, seriously.”

Just don’t compare it to stand-up comedy, or you might annoy Dick.

“I’m warning you right now, if you’re coming to listen to stand-up comedy, I don’t even like stand-up,” he said. “I’m sick of it, it’s dumb! My shit, you will enjoy. You will get your money’s worth even if you get in for free.”

Dick, 45, has been performing his X-mas show for 25 years.

“It’s a mixture of songs and characters I do, and then I’ll twist people’s brains,” he said. “It’s stuff that I can’t do on television.”

The X-mas show also highlights whatever is happening in his life at the time, it changes and evolves, he explained.

“It just gets better and better and better,” he said. “Or maybe you could call it a slow retardation - actually maybe it’s getting worse.”

These days, Dick gets high on saving animals and living a raw food lifestyle.

“I’m vibrating,” he said. “It helps your mind, body and soul. Whatever is wrong with you, it’ll fix. It’s how you’re supposed to be. We’re supposed to walk around and eat the things we find.”

Dick recently rescued two dogs from certain death. He also owns two cats, a rabbit and two rattlesnakes. He regularly rescues rattlesnakes while hiking in his backyard.

“I keep them in Andy Dick’s Half-way House for Wayward Rattlesnakes,” he said. “They stay here for a couple of months and I get to look at them and feed them crickets and little baby mice and then I relocate them. People are thanking me for this service because if you call the fire department they kill the snakes.”

During our conversation, on this particular Saturday afternoon, he and guitarist Tim Walsh were headed out in search of psychedelic mushrooms on his 30-acre property.

“They’re growing wild on my yard,” Dick said. “He claims he’s an expert in this and he’s already done some. I will not do it. But he literally has thousands of dollars of ’shrooms. He’s going to pick them and sell them and keep the money.”

Walsh, who performs in a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band, is joining Dick for his show in Austin.

“He’s super funny and talented,” Dick said. “Everyone should clear their fucking schedule and come to the show.”

Local promoter Adam Brewer is excited to bring the X-mas show to Austin and particularly to Emo’s.

“It’s a rock and roll comedy show and it’s a different environment to see a show like this,” he said.

“And everyone knows Andy Dick, for better or for worse,” he added. “But this is a great mix of comedy and music especially with a holiday theme, and Andy is on his road to redemption trying to prove to everyone that he’s not just someone in a tabloid headline; he’s a very funny man. He’s going to light that room up.”