Monday, May 2, 2011

Flash App

Austin, Texas has an abundance of bars and venues in downtown, especially throughout Red River and 6th street, but there are a few that stand out from the crowd. In my Flash application I chose four of my favorite venues to give extra information to help guide viewers towards a venue that would fit their preferences.

In the app you will see a basic fence in Austin that is pretty much held together by long forgotten poster staples in the background. There are four photos of the front of Emo's, Plush, the Mohawk, and the Red7. All of these have a small black triangular play button in the far corners that appears when the mouse hovers over the corner of each of the photos. When the button is clicked a transparent white box appears and the animation gives general information like the venue’s official website along with its mailing address and price range. There is also a quick overview of the atmosphere of the venue and what a patron can expect from the music, bar, and stage options. Front and center is a humble outline of downtown Austin that holds the glorious title “Austin’s Best Venues.” Directly above the skyline title is the main menu button. When the viewer is done with the information box they simply have to click on the main menu button to go back to the original screen. I chose a vintage looking microphone that fits into the skyline for the main menu button.

These four venues are prominent in the Austin music scene and help the readers of the blog to understand how diverse the Austin music culture that has been highlighted throughout my blog.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SXSW


For those unfamiliar with South By South West (SXSW), it is every March from the 9th to the 18th. SXSW is one of the biggest music and media conferences in the world. The 2011 festival marked its 25th anniversary on over eighty stages throughout downtown Austin. News stations and magazines regularly follow the event, everything from the Rolling Stone to the local Austin Chronicle. The festival also draws sponsorship from big businesses like Miller Lite, Chevrolet, AOL, Brisk Iced Tea, Monster and many others. These big companies are often seen on the streets giving out free products and promotions.
There are three main categories of events in the SXSW festivities, the Interactive branch (March 9-13), The film side (March 9-17), and last but most certainly not least is the music side (March 14-18). The entire SXSW event is a huge tourist attraction in Austin but the music side is the focus of my map. Famous artists and their fans of all kinds come from around the world. There are two kinds of music events during this time, official SXSW events and unofficial SXSW events. This Google map illustrates a number of free events, both official and unofficial, throughout Austin. The official events are usually big names that draw world audiences but not always they can be things like the Pepsi tent that hosts various genres of free music and free unlimited sodas. People can purchase SXSW badges that allow them to get into the official shows and parties that would require the general public to pay a cover. The process is kind of like county fairs, you can pay $3 for each ride or you can pay $20 and ride as many as you want. SXSW badges are usually expensive but leading up to the festival they are used as prizes at radio stations and local competitions. Volunteering is also a way to get a complimentary badge. Unofficial SXSW is quite a bit different from the official events and are aimed at the local Austin crowd. These shows are almost all free and usually place more emphasis on free drinks. Local bars and venues put on these parties but there are no rules to unofficial events.
I have been to SXSW every year since I have lived in Texas and few things have changed until this year. A number of bands were booed off stage for comments teasing Texan pride and local culture while some fans also pushed the patience of venues by breaking down fences, being exceptionally rowdy, and even in some cases like Screaming Weasel, bands getting into fights with the audience. Since SXSW is free for the most part many are questioning whether the festival will continue to hold free events with the destructive manner that many people displayed. What makes the festival special is the coming together of the music community but if people take advantage of the system they may lose the entire festival as we know it.






View Julia McVey SXSW 2011 in a larger map

Monday, March 7, 2011

Divide

Divide, a local band, headlined the show at The Parlor this past Saturday in North Austin. They label themselves as a proud local Austin shitrock/hardcore band.  The show drew crowds for three reasons. One, for the new Divide CD. Two, was that this show was the very last For Glory Show before the band breaks up. And thirdly because it was FREE.

The Parlor is a family owned and operated pizza place that likes to host live music and local art for free in the evenings while selling the occasional slice of pie. Size-wise it is a very small venue but it is perfect for local shows and creates a very intimate atmosphere between the band and the audience. There is no stage so many bands get up close and personal with the crowd. Though this is the idea around not having the band separated from the crowd its often hard for the shorter members of the audience to see over the front row that usually circles the mosh pit. Many times it becomes a search for the vertically challenged members of the audience to find benches, tables, and chairs to stand on to see the music. Divide has a close following and have some Christian and straight edge undertones in many of their songs though they don’t let them hold them back in the dog eat dog entertainment industry. They band members consist of Andy and Bryan on guitar, Jad on bass, Landon on vocals and Kalen on drums.

The line up for the night was as followed:
Gospel and the Wolf (indie/acoustic) played around 7 followed by Dead Times (Austin melodic hardcore), Illustrations (San Antonio anger jamz), Divide (Austin shitrock) and last but not least For Glory (impressively un-technical chugdown).
Bands from as far away as Rhode Island made it down to spread their t-shirts, cds, and sound to the Austin scene. The show drew some heavy hands and a wide range of people.

Unfortunately, the Parlor is rethinking throwing hardcore shows in the future due to the amount of fights at the last show. With the hardcore music scene comes a pit to match. Some people do not see that the aggressive nature of a mosh pit is not to be taken personally. Though Divide supports a friendly display of violence many of the audience members let their emotions have the best of them. When divide was in full swing the audience was consumed in fight after fight. The show was periodically stopped in order to pull apart and kick out members of the audience. It was all instigated by a few of the moshers in the pit started taking more and more violent blows to one up the last guy until the entire pit was much more than a release for aggressive behaviour. There were not enough mediators to go around and many of the audience left with bloody noses. By the end everyone had was on edge but no one could say it wasn’t a show they would forget.

WXWC

WXWC
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Austin, there is always something to see and do.

 Thieves Halloween House Show
Hey whats up?
Nmu?
Not much.

Welcome to my blog ‘NMU’ where the whole point is to go out and do what you wish you were doing. As way of introduction, my name is Julia McVey. I am currently a mere sophomore at St. Edward's University. I have lived all over the world and my main fascination is what makes people tic. I spent my high school years in the tourist town of New Braunfels (hottest coolest time in Texas) and most of my time in San Marcos where I have tried to experience everything this area of Texas has to offer. I have been living in Austin for a few years now and have found my footing. I shoot massive amounts of photos of adventures, it’s quite the hobby of mine. My major is communication with a political science minor. I feel that I am an aware, enlightened, curious type of person. I also feel that it is important to have sense of humor when looking at life. In a city like Austin, the uniquely democratic capitol of Texas surrounded by Hank Hill Republicans, the theme is Keep Austin Weird and that we have.
FunFunFun Scavenger Hunt-
Get on stage with a random band on 6th street (30 pts)
From a college student perspective there is a lot of events to filter through, the ones I choose to feature on here are aimed at an informed audience that can look at the human zoo and enjoy it in all its glory. I analyze people and places everywhere I go and I feel it is very relevant to my whole purpose of keeping a blog like this one.
The following is my explanation as to what this blog is all about. The goal is to connect people with other people and to provide quality coverage about everything we enjoy about Austin culture and beyond, but most of all it's about getting out of your comfort zone and doing something that you’ve never tried before.  This site has a focus on events, music, art and general culture of Austin. It’s a collection of articles, videos, pictures, and posters which tell what’s going on in our city. I will include a plethora of links that allow you to read more than I have time to comment on. Like most blogs it’s a chronologically ordered blog so many of the stories and articles correspond with what's going on at that particular place in time.

The local main events include:

I see this blog as a reference tool as to what there is to do around Austin on those rainy days...or the sunny ones..especially the sunny ones. Yeah, so as you can see, it’s not easy to give an “elevator pitch” about what this blog is about. For the most part, I like the fact that the events are all unique somewhat ambiguous. Keep Austin Weird.

Thank you for stopping by, remember to vote – if you care at all about our country. If you may have any overall comments about this blog this would be a good place to leave them.