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Thursday, March 31, 2005

SXSW Backlash!!!

Oh, I could feel it coming…and I hope it continues to rain with the fury of Austinites everywhere. So, I wrote about SXSW for Venus (their website). I imagine it will be posted sometime today. The real story of SXSW is how they revoked press badges for a number of perceived infractions from several magazines, namely Chunklet and The Edge.

It’s all over the blogs though I haven’t seen it more widely reported. I certainly don’t expect to read about it in the Austin Chronicle (sponsor of the event). http://www.cherrybloss.org/2005/03/sxsw-revoking-press-passes-of-people.html

So, not only did they revoke the Edge’s badges, they also threatened the bands that played The Edge’s non-SXSW affiliated event (which did not even feature a satirical parody of the SXSW name) who did NOT get into the festival that this would damage their future chances of getting into a future SXSW. Wow….just wow. Kim and I have been criticizing the Chronicle for a couple of years on their musical coverage, so I’m not surprised that they would be so…dictatorial. But what right do they have to regulate other events featuring non-SXSW artists. Who gave them control over what occurs during the entire city of Austin during that time? Yes, I know the purpose of SXSW is to make money. But I also believe that have to consider their community and, well it just seems like really bad PR overall.

With that in mind, I emailed a request to Elizabeth Derzco, the PR person for SXSW requesting an official statement on why the press creds of The Edge and Chunklet were pulled. Never heard back. Wonder if I’ll be banned next year?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

SXSW Roundup

Good: Smoosh, Enon, The Rosebuds, Acqui, Roppolo's pepperoni pizza, Titan Go Kings, Giant Drag, record shopping at Sound on Sound with Acqui, Xcella

Bad: Way too many people & lines (SXSW oversold this event terribly...look for backlash next year!), the Ritz, drunk frat boys, overzealous fire chiefs, The Chuggin' Monkey!, cold weather

Ugly: Homophobic graffiti at Beerland, Paper Chase

Friday, March 18, 2005

SXSW Stinks

I’m half way through SXSW and if it sounds like I’m not exactly thrilled by the experience, well, let’s just say that I haven’t been overly impressed. Wed. night, I saw two great bands – Smoosh and Enon. Though I was by myself for most of the evening (the lonely life of a badge holder), it wasn’t too shabby. I couldn’t get into Sleater Kinney as the line was around the block. Little did I know that was a warning for things to come. Last night started off all right. I headed to the Parish to see the Rosebuds, who were excellent and engaging and super fun, then left to check out Nordic Night, where I saw possibly one of the worst acts I’ve ever witnessed, a singer-songwriter from Scandinavia -- Tine Dico. Off to Emo’s for some crazy-ass punk/performance art/no-wave band from LA called Veronica Lipgloss and the Evil Eyes (just weird), to the Heartless Bastards (so-so). The next three places I went were at capacity. No one was getting in. No one was leaving. There were too many people.

I managed to get into Beerland to see a band I had no desire to see and were awful – the Paper Chase from Dallas. I talked to Donya for a bit then headed for the bathroom and that’s where my crankiness turned into anger. Written in my stall in huge letters next to a spot where Sarah had drawn a little cartoon apple and “Bad Apples” (probably about a year and a half ago) was “THE BAD APPLES AREN’T AN ALL GIRL BAND BECAUSE ANNA G. LOOKS LIKE A TRANSSEXUAL”. Well, initially, my reaction was, why would anyone bother to write something about me in a place where I hardly ever come about a band I was in a year ago? Then, I felt profoundly sad because whoever wrote that equated being a transsexual with an ultimate insult.

Some of you reading this know about Beth Westbrook from Ladyfest Texas, who died last summer. Beth was my introduction to transsexual culture and developing and understanding of the challenges she faced on a daily basis. I didn’t always have a great relationship with Beth and certainly we had some good times and some arguments, but she was open to any and all questions I had. It was a quite an education. She died of a ruptured appendix. Beth went to Seton and they told her she was fine and sent her home. She wasn’t. She fought off infections for weeks, but her body just couldn’t handle it. I felt as though they wrote her off as a person not deserving of medical treatment because of who she was. So seeing transsexual bandied about as though there could be nothing in the world more insulting than that hit me with a thud and my evening came grinding to a halt.

I understand that it may seem an overreaction. But taken into context (the fact that 6 or so really evil anti-abortion bills were filed in the Texas Legislature this week and Saturday is the second anniversary of our invasion of Iraq), I find it increasingly hard to be positive about the world -- and I desperately want to be. At least, I think, I can raise a child to be about everything the horrible war-mongering, women-hating (and really, self hating) Republican assholes aren’t. That’s why you – my friends – need to breed!

More SXSW tonite…and tomorrow…then the madness stops.

Monday, March 14, 2005

That Really Itches My Nipples

My friend (and our company’s graphic designer) James and I were talking about funny expressions that illustrate irritation as in…”That really burns my shorts”. It’s a very entertaining game to think of other possibilities – it’s like an endless MadLib. Try it!

That really –verb- my –noun-.

James came up with “That really pickles my wiener” which I am going to make it a point to use in the near future.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Girlstown Launch Party Set!

You have been reading Girlstown Productions, right? You know, the website Kim and I pour our hearts and souls into? Not that we would want to guilt you into reading it as you should be...every freaking day!!!

But anyway --

!!!Girlstown Launch Party April 8th @ Beerland!!!
All-star lineup featuring three bands we are absolutely in love with and the legendary Brea Grant, DJ and woman-about-town:

9-11pm: DJ Brea Grant
11pm: What Made Milwaukee Famous (Austin, TX)
12am: Ms. Led (Seattle, WA)
1am: The Tuna Helpers (Austin, TX)

And we got a nice mention in XL from our favorite writer Joe Gross here. He gets an extra-special cupcake from us!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Squirrels Get Busy

My schedule has been crazy so I haven’t been updating as much as I should have. Dave’s parents were in town this week and we spent much time eating. Yeah, we did other stuff too (Circe De Soliel, nursery furniture shopping, fixing shit) but I’ll always remember the food. Ah…. I’ve been spending my time freaking out about stuff I don’t know about babies (um, a LOT, apparently), trying to figure out what shows to see at SXSW, getting fat, wondering how exactly I’m going to stay awake for these SXSW shows and contemplating station wagons, and watching the squirrels out my window at work. It’s spring so they’ll start to get frisky soon! That’s always a welcome respite from work.

I’ve been posting the majority of my political yammering to the Ovarian Justice League page on Girlstown. It keeps me on my toes -- at least in Abortion Rights news. I’ve been too depressed to keep up with Iraq. A friend of mine, Matt, is there now and I wince every time they mention what state the dead and wounded are from.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Perks Associated With Being Knocked Up

So, I’m realizing some of the advantages of being pregnant. Number one, people at my work are a lot nicer to me. In a way, this pisses me off. I alone was not interesting or deserving enough of niceness? But me + baby…well, now that’s something they can appreciate! The cynic in me (and that’s about 90%) says they think I’m playing out my “natural role” as wife and mother (most here are pretty conservative), and therefore I receive their acceptance. The less paranoid part of me wants to believe that they now feel like they have common ground to relate to me and are more comfortable having a conversation. There is one person particularly at my work who has been mean to me for years and is now asking me how I am. All I can think of “What kind of sick game is this guy playing”? Is he just trying to lull me into a false sense of security before dealing his fatal blow?

The good thing about all this is that I actually do have a way to connect with members of my family and old friends that I have grown apart from due to lifestyle changes. I think it was hard for them to understand what it’s like to be in a band, tour, run a festival, participate politically (which is actually a good thing because they like Bush), write about music…I still plan on doing most of these things in my new life and blending creativity and activism with motherhood. But we’ll have motherhood in common and that’s pretty huge. I had a two hour conversation the other night with a friend I haven’t talked to very much in ten years. We met when we were 13 and fell out of touch when she had a baby at 19. She now has a husband and two kids that she’s very proud of. I’m happy that this baby will help us become friends again. Same with my cousins. They are wonderful and sweet people but our lives were so different. Now we can talk about kid crap! Literally!

Yes, the getting fat part really sucks. But the goodwill that a baby creates is pretty nice. People like babies. More so than puppies or kittens even!

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