November 19th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
November 19th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
November 7th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
November 3rd, 2016 by admin
Sound on Sound Fest is happening this weekend!
Austin stretches the festival season into November with a killer lineup of local and touring bands at the inaugural Sound on Sound Fest. Check out some highlights of bands we like. Full schedules and ticket info available at http://www.soundonsoundfest.com/
Guided By Voices – Friday 6:40
Run The Jewels – Friday 9:15
Thee Oh Sees – Friday 10:25
Thundercat – Friday 11:40
October 26th, 2016 by Russ
We are now done with the Austin Film Festival. I have to say that this year’s festival was probably my greatest experience. I had good company, but I don’t think that really mattered because the films were all just really good. I enjoyed everything I saw and the films just seemed to get better and better as the nights went on. I am not really a fan of this town’s exponential growth but, on the plus side, all of the film festivals I have been to this year were phenomenal and by that I mean that I did not really see anything that was too bad.
The Monday night film was the centerpiece film and usually at this festival that means that it is the one to be at. Attached to this film was the producer James L. Brooks. And being a fan of his films I knew this was going to be good. And it was. This movie was called “The Edge Of Seventeen.” It starred Woody Harrelson, Kira Sedgewick, and Hailee Steinfield. I am a huge Woody Harrelson fan. I do not know of many things that he has done wrong. He always seems to be pushing the boundaries of what he can do a little bit further and I like that. This was a coming of age story. We’ve all been at that awkward age and this movie really nails it. The acting, the writing, the direction is all spot on. The writer/director Kelly Fremon Craig and James L. Brooks showed up to talk about the process of making this happen. Read the rest of this entry »
October 25th, 2016 by Bradley Gastwirth
Have you heard of Alamo Drafthouse? If so, chances are you’ve probably heard of Mondo or Mondotees, which started off as the merchandising arm of Time League’s Drafthouse. Since its inception, it has become so much more with a gallery here in Austin off of Guadalupe showcasing various artwork from local to national artists such as: Kevin Tong, Tyler Stout, & Olly Moss to name a few. Now in its third annual event, MondoCon celebrates everything that is Mondo. Geeky comic book aficionados, toy collectors, and movie enthusiasts get to come together and rejoice like kids in a candy store.
MondoCon takes place at The Marchesa Hall & Theatre as well as across the street at a Holiday Inn. One can walk around for hours looking at the different artists prints available for purchase. You can spot the poster collectors walking around with their leather bound poster tubes and with the wonderment of meeting their favorite artists and have them sign their prints or comics.
Besides the multiple artist booths, MondoCon offers food and beverages with their very own beer label this year, provided by Austin Beerworks and signature cocktails. You never go thirsty at this event. Plus there are various food trucks like Kebabalicious and Frank to name a couple where you can fill your belly with delicious food truck goodness.
One of the highlights for me was watching a screening of The Fountain with the composer who wrote the score, Clint Mansell, in attendance. It was very touching to hear his feelings about this particular film 10 years since it was first released which also marks the last time he made his way to Austin.
My only criticism this year is the repetitiveness and lack of panels available. Those that sign up early enough can sit in on different panels. The three of them I attended were essentially rehashes from last year’s event. Perhaps the panels are tailored to draw in those that haven’t attended the con before and the return fans are primarily there to pick up poster prints or Vinyl records from the various artists/vendors. Either way, it’s a great way to spend a weekend and being that I’m there to pick up posters and vinyl, I”ll be back for certain.
October 20th, 2016 by Russ
Probably the first festival I attended in town was the Austin Film Festival. Then I think it was called the Austin International Film Festival but that was a few years ago. Seventeen to be exact. The first couple of years I went to this festival on my own accord. It was not until 2001 that I started to go through the Austin Daze. This festival really always intrigued me because it is a screenwriters festival. Before the Austin Daze, I was interested in writing screenplays. Perhaps, I will return to that soon. Anyway, on to what we’ve done so far at this year’s AFF.
We registered with ease at the Driskill and had a traditional lunch, went home, and then caught the opening night film at the Paramount the next day. I love the Paramount theater. It is so classy and old school and I have been going there since the beginning. Seeing a movie with a full house audience at the Paramount is one of the best cinematic experiences that one can have. It’s really awesome to be in a full theater when something funny or scary happens on screen because you can really feel the audience appreciation. The staff at the Paramount has always been so helpful and it feels good to go to a place where they remember your name.
The first movie we watched was called “Loving.” It was a drama about an interracial couple’s exploits and what they had to deal with in the early 60’s in Virginia. The film was slow and not that exciting to me. I get the struggle and the anguish that the situation was portraying, but aside from that the film really did not interest me. The writer/director showed up to talk about the writing process and that was pretty cool. That’s one of the greatest things going on at this festival. It allows you to hear from the people that make the films happen that you don’t normally hear from. Read the rest of this entry »
October 13th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
October 12th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
October 11th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
October 10th, 2016 by Russ
Sunday, the final day of the festival, was packed with some pretty amazing bands. Pete Yorn took the Miller Lite on Sunday afternoon and was one of the best surprises for me at the festival this year. I had never heard of or seen Pete Yorn live before, but he was awesome. His songwriting and playing reminded me a lot of R.E.M. at times, which is always a good thing.
October 10th, 2016 by Russ
Saturday was a perfect festival day. It wasn’t unbearably hot and the sun gods were on or side leaving no clouds in the sky. I started things off with a Catfish and the Bottlemen show on the Honda stage. They’re a British indie rock band who played a heavy rock and roll set. The effort that these guys gave to their performance was pretty unmatched by the other bands I saw take the stage this weekend. Between the distorted and overdriven guitars, the passionate vocals, and the amazing stage presence, this band was definitely a surprise favorite of the weekend for me.
October 10th, 2016 by Russ
Yesterday was Friday night of weekend numero dos of ACL Fest 2016. Radiohead took the stage at 8pm and this was the most anticipated show of the weekend for me as well as a lot of people at the festival this weekend. They definitely didn’t disappoint. This was my first time catching them live and it was quite the experience. The lights, the giant ACL crowd, the hazy dissonance, the emotive punch of the songwriting, and the tightness of this band were the major contributor to the success of this well-played, festival headlining set. Read the rest of this entry »
October 4th, 2016 by Russ
Due to circumstances beyond my control, we had to skip Tuesday’s screenings. I’m sure they were cool, but I enjoyed the break. I only listened to albums that night. It was very awesome, but Wednesday rolled around and we jumped back into the fantastic movies.
The first film we experienced was an Australian twisted home invasion slasher movie set at Christmastime called “Safe Neighborhood.” I like this movie. It was very well acted and there were a lot of twists. It’s one of those movies that you think is going to be about something, then it jumps sideways and winds up being about something else entirely. After the movie, the director talked to us. He told us that it was fun to make it snowy at Christmastime in Australia.
Next movie was “My Entire High School Is Sinking Into The Sea.” Frankly, I wish the film did just that. I wasn’t really into it. It was an animated feature with a lot of stars like Susan Serandon and Jason Shwartzman. This film has really won over many film festival audiences, but I just did not get it. So, that’s just me, I guess.
After this film, we went out to the lobby and my film comrade tried the virtual reality by Dark Corners called Catatonic. This really was the best experience of the day. The lobby was really interested in watching my friend go through the experience. She really freaked out a lot and we all could not help but laugh and, of course, she did not know this because she was wearing the virtual reality mask and headphones. I thought about going over and holding her hand to help her through the scary stuff she was seeing, but the guy in charge told me that I’d probably give her a heart attack if I grabbed her hand so we just laughed at her. She told me that it was the coolest thing she did at the festival. I still think that she could have gotten an award for the screaming and shrieking that she did. It was very convincing. Read the rest of this entry »
September 28th, 2016 by Russ
One thing I know, right now, as I write this is that I see movies !! The two screenings a day that we do, has kept us busy. The first screening on Saturday was a film titled “Rats.” This is normally a movie title that I would avoid because I really have no interest in rats, but on a closer look I was told that my friend Morgan Spurlock was at the helm of this. I became friends with Morgan many years ago when he brought “Supersize Me” to SXSW and I’ve kept up with him every other year or so when he brings a new film to town. This movie is a different format than most of the other films we’ve seen this week because it is a documentary. It was funny, informative, and gross at the same time. Seeing this movie at Fantastic Fest was a good experience because he opened the movie with a contest of rat eating and everyone in the audience was given a sample of barbecued rat, a delicacy in other parts of the world. After the movie, we connected with Morgan and set up an interview where we can talk about “Rats.” We went outside and met up with another director, Owen Egerton, and set up another interview. His movie played last year at Fantastic Fest and is being released on Friday. Now, for me, a movie theater after the festival is the last place on earth I want to be, but his movie “Follow” might just get me in a seat. It is really well done and I recommend everyone go and check it out. Read the rest of this entry »
September 26th, 2016 by Russ
Our time at Fantastic Fest actually began a couple of weeks ago as we started planning for the festivities. We went over to the Alamo to get our badges the day before things kicked off. The process was so smooth. There were not really any crowds of people and we were able to chill out in an area that is overflowing with humans as I write this. Fantastic Fest is packed, as always.
The first movie that I experienced this year was called “Arrival.” This film blew me away. The way that I do this festival is to know nothing about the films before I see them. This way, when a film is good it becomes really good. The only problem with seeing movies this way is that when a film is able to sneak up on me and be really fucked up. That happens very rarely, but it does happen like it did on day three this year. This film was excellent. It was written and directed by Denis Villeneuve. He is a director that is on my watch list. He did “Sicario”, which is an excellent film. It starred Amy Adams. She is an actress that I have followed for many years. I feel that this movie is one of the best science fiction films I’ve seen and definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. My face hurts from grinning like a twelve-year-old kid for most of the movie. You will definitely hear more about this film soon.
The second day I brought my film comrade, Dovie, to the scene and we kicked things off with “The Autopsy of Jane Doe.” I was unprepared for how much I would dig this flick. It was on a completely different level than “Arrival” and it really scared me. I have a feeling that if this film is released the right way it will become a classic horror movie. It was actually scary. The acting and the writing and the direction were all good. I do think that some of the gore can be cut out and it will still be very scary. Read the rest of this entry »
September 18th, 2016 by admin
Casa Magnetica is a new group mashing up members of The Greyhounds and The Moeller Brothers. Check em out!
September 6th, 2016 by Eric Swanson
August 25th, 2016 by admin
June 29th, 2016 by Russ
Last nîghts ACL Taping shook the Moody. It was theîr third visît and they just killed it. I spoke with the bass man, Greg, last month about this show. He said that they wanted màke the night speciàl. I remembèr thinking ” I don’t know what the hell thàt means?” To me, every timè I have seen them has been special. Thère was no way I coułd miss this show. I was ready for some Çumbià ànd Latin soul with some shake, shake, shake…
Last night, before sleepytime, I thought àbout my connection to the band… No doubt, she (my gf) enhanced my relationship with them, but I was a fan before î met her (at a FAntasma show, of coarse.) The magic grabbed me back at The Empanada and still holds me. Everytime they play, this electric current moves through the room causing everyone to dance. Last nights show was no different. It was a fantastic experience. So màny guests added to thè groove. Awesome show. There was even some Sexual Chocolate thrôwn in. Read the rest of this entry »