The Good Life in Austin Texas

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Too Old to Rock & Roll? Certainly NOT, Especially in Austin, Texas!

Too old to Rock & Roll, too young to die...  Ray Lomas 

A number of years ago during  SXSW here in Austin, Texas I was standing outside a club with a friend who worked as an A&R guy for a large record company waiting to see a band showcase. At one point he held out his hand and in it were the two biggest pills I had ever seen in my life! I looked at him and said, "Thanks man but I don't do that sort of thing anymore"! He just laughed, shook his head and replied, "Don't be a nitwit, These are EAR PLUGS , not pills"! OOPS...and yes, I was more than a little embarrassed. I love all sorts of music but  admit I am partial to Rock and Roll and every once in awhile I like to crank it up and push the volume to (as they noted in Spinal Tap)  11... Yep, we are living the good life in Austin, Texas! For those of you who may not know, Active Rain's Community Manager and blogger extraordinaire Active Brad Andersohn is an accomplished guitar wizard, click on his name and you will be treated to a scorching guitar solo!! 

As an avid music fan I like all sorts of music, hitting the shuffle mode on my iPod can be a confusing experience because you will skip from Metallica to Mozart, Gospel to Soul, Reggae, old school country, Blues and well... you see what I mean! I remember exactly when I got my first taste of LOUD Rock & Roll. In high school, I skipped class with some friends and ended up at a house where there were no parents during the day! It was a pretty boring experience until one the guys put on a new record (yes, I am talking vinyl here) and the track opened with some sustained feedback that crashed into some loud chords and I had my first experience hearing Jimi Hendrix! It's funny but I still get a chill to this day when I hear Foxy Lady. Music has a huge impact on people of all generations and you would have a hard time finding anyone  who did not attach some song to many significant events in their lives. I am not saying that Music can save the world but it certainly has a significant influence. Think about the collapse of the Soviet Union, I know there are lots of people who would like to take credit for that but consider the influence of the Monsters of Rock tours in Moscow during the early 90's and the effect of the full on sonic assault from Texas band Pantera who called themselves the cowboys from hell! And as my friend Mark Varien also pointed out, Mikhail Gorbachev was a ROCKER! 

I began listening to all sorts of other harder edged rock bands and I have never really lost my love for a whole range Rock & Roll styles over the years. My friend, Margaret Moser, an incredibly insightful and talented music writer for the Austin Chronicle describes our segment of the baby boom generation as "SONIC BOOMERS". I  have to agree that her portrayal is very accurate. The last time I was at a ZZ TOP concert, over half the people there were older than ME!  I recently read a post by fellow blogger Sharon Paxson about her attendance at a recent ACDC concert, the Rolling Stones are all in their 60's, many new rock bands pay homage to old school rockers of the 70's,80's and 90's. I am amazed that Ozzy Osbourne is still around and playing before huge crowds. Face it, loud music is not just the pastime and realm of the young. To this day whenever I enter a club or show and it's between songs I seem to always shout "TURN IT UP", no matter how loud the band is already playing! Another rather juvenile stunt I often pull is when I am in the car and I have the music cranked up, I will sometimes turn it up a bit louder and crack the window some  so that the cars next to me at a stop light can get a taste. I usually do this next to older folks and often much younger just to see the reaction! 

As most of the music loving universe knows, Austin, Texas is  Live Music Capital of the World  and as such has numerous live music venues. I've listed some of my favorite Rock & Roll venues here in town and though by no means comprehensive, they are all good places to listen to GREAT MUSIC! By the way, for anyone who might get the wrong idea, Rock is not my only music love and next week I might list my favorite boot scootin' dance halls or jazz clubs but this week It's only Rock & Roll but I like it...ENJOY!

 

Continental Club

Antone's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Antone's is known as one of the premier Blues Clubs in the nation and world and I can teel you the volume can get very loud at times. Home to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Vaughn, James Cotton, and many others!

 The Continental Club is another place that has been around for many years and play host to local and touring acts in a smaller more intimate venue!

 

 

EMO'S

 

 Emo's is one of several clubs along Red River that cater to alternative, metal, and other fringe acts. The last time I was here was to take my son to a  Butthole Surfers show. I know the lead singer Gibby Haynes and he left an envelope with passes and you guessd it Ear Plugs along with a note that said,

"WEAR THESE!" 

 

 

  

Red Eyed Fly  

 RedEyedFly is a very cool smaller venue also in the Red River District! They just celebrated their ten year anniversary and  have enjoyed a variety of shows here including a couple I've attended with my daughter! I would also like to thank the owner for helping me when I locked my keys in the car the day I took this picture!

 

 

 

                                                                              Stubb's

 Stubb's  Don't be fooled by the quaint stone building. In the back is a large open air theater that has hosted road shows from all over the world. Stubbs was the place I took our son for his first concert when he was eleven. It was a around Thanksgiving and it only cost some canned good for the local chapter of the Food Bank. Nickelback and Saliva headlined the show; this was before they were playing arenas and my son was pretty excited by the whole experience. This is s great venue to see touring shows if you don't mind standing while you rock! They also have an incredible Gospel Brunch on Sunday's.

 

 

 La Zona Rosa

 

  La Zona Rosa is a club just west of downtown that has been around since the early 80's. I have seen so many rock, reggae, blues and assorted bands here that I cannot name them all. Although it's been awhile the last show I saw here was a tour by Robin Trower !

 

 

 

 

 

Austin Music Hall

 Austin Music Hall is in a brand new remodeled building just south of the 360 Condos. A large number of road shows and tours stop here and again the music performed covers a very wide range. About 10 years ago I attended a Motley Crewshow here with a friend who is an architect. We did not have time to go home and change and just showed up wearing suits and ties much to the chagrin of many of the fans who just did not know what a couple of "suits" were doing at a heavy metal show. They must have figured we were cops or  extremely bad-A fans and everyone gave us a rather wide berth!

 

 

 The picture below is from the back of  one of the stages currently under construction this week for a little party that happens once a year in Austin known as the  ACL Music Festival where several hundred thousand music fans  (OF ALL AGES) will gather to hear an enormous range of music representing almost every genre being played these days. It is one of the largest music events in the world and of course, it's right here in The Live Music Capital of the world. I am planning to catch a few shows and if possible will try and catch Pearl Jam ...another band that likes to CRANK IT UP!

ACL Festival Zilker Park

Well that's about all for now but before I go I want to tell you one more thing...my daughter came home the other day and told me, "Dad, you know when you pull up next to old people and crank up the tunes?" "Sure," I replied. "Well, my friends and I like doing that too!" I guess it does run in the family, Rock on!!

It's a Good Life in Austin Texas!

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85 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • September 29 2009 04:47PM

7808 West Rim Drive - Open House – Sunday, September 27th, 2-4 PM

Sunday, September 27th, 2-4 PM - I will be holding open 7808 West Rim Drive in Northwest Hills; one of Austin's finest neighborhoods. This home is absolutely gorgeous and as someone who does not use that description very often you will have to believe that this is a very special home. Built to high quality standards the home has a beautifully designed open floor plan with high ceilings, wood windows, dramatic family room with two-story fireplace and large living room, beautiful island kitchen with granite and stainless and many other upgrades. Don't just take my word for it. Come by for a visit and preview this home and see for yourself!

AGENTS, this is an excellent time to preview!

I will be on-site between 2pm and 4pm Sunday afternoon so please drop by for a tour of this wonderful home in a no pressure environment. If you have questions or are unable to attend or to schedule a private showing, I can be reached at my mobile number listed below. I look forward to seeing you there!

7808 West Rim Drive - Open House 

If you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate in Central, West or Southwest Austin or the Westlake/Eanes School District area, I would be happy to be of assistance. Let me put my nineteen years success helping upscale buyers and sellers in Austin's finest neighborhoods to work for you. Call my mobile 512-657-8769 or email for a private consultation at your convenience!

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28 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • September 24 2009 12:15PM

Working from home - Russell's Outside Office

Russell Lewis' Outside Office

In the middle of the Austin's longest drought since the 1950's it has been a losing battle to try and save the yard...it's fried. Water restrictions are in place and are being enforced, and so we have retreated to our back deck overlooking the valley and tried to make it an oasis against the never ending heat. Last weekend, we actually had a very good rain and the weather has cooled to the semi-tolerable 70's in the mornings so I have had the pleasure of enjoying morning coffee while working outside after my morning run. I am enjoying the good life in Austin Texas and I hope you are having a good day!

If you or anyone you know is anticipating purchasing or selling real estate  anywhere in Central, West or Southwest Austin or the Westlake/Eanes School District area, I would be happy to be of assistance. Let me put my nineteen years success helping upscale buyers and sellers in Austin's finest neighborhoods to work for you. Contact me for a private consultation at your convenience! Mobile 512-657-8769 

 

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56 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • September 16 2009 07:33AM

Architecture at the Umlauf Series - Thursday September 3rd 7:00PM

The next event of the third season of the Architecture at the Umlauf Series season takes this place Thursday, September 3rd at 7:30 pm.

The monthly series was founded and is produced by two of my associates at AvenueOne properties; Scott Harvey and Carla Umlauf (granddaughter of the esteemed sculptor) and is sponsored by our firm, AvenueOne Properties and hosted by The Umlauf Torchbearers. The lectures take place at the beautiful Umlauf Sculpture Garden and the series is now in the second half of its hugely successful third season.  Rick Black is the featured speaker. Catering will be provided by The Steeping Room. There is a minimal charge of $5.00 for the event but is free to museum members. Come out and enjoy an excellent talk in this beautiful venue. You might want to show up early because this event has been at capacity at all of the previous lectures!

Architecture at the Umlauf

Thanks again for your continued support I look forward to seeing you there!

 

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34 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • September 03 2009 09:21PM

First Day of School

Big Yellow School BusSitting on the low stone wall, our eyes meet and he flashes us a nervous grin and anxiously looks around at the other kids and parents sitting and loitering nearby. The year is 1995 and we are waiting at the bus stop for the big yellow school bus that will take our son to his very first day of school at Forest Trail Elementary. There are several other "first timers" and their parents along with a half dozen students ranging in age from 7 to 11. In a moment, we hear the roar of the bus as it heads around the corner and comes to a stop in front of us. The doors noisily slide open and the kids begin to file on one at a time. My wife squeezes my hand as we watch him climb on board as he turns and waves goodbye. Her tears begin as the bus pulls away and I gently tease her and say, "It's okay, you want to follow the bus to school?" We both laugh and then immediately run to our car and pull in behind the bus with several other like-minded parents forming a wagon train, following the bus to school! On our drive I keep telling her he will be fine and not to worry and she laughs while crying and reminds me that our "baby boy" is growing up! I'm still laughing and agree and all is well until we pull up in the school lot, park and watch him bound off the last step, smiling and so excited to be at school. Then it happens to me...big salty tears pour from my eyes as my wife and I hug and watch the scene. Yes, as intense as my business persona can be at times...I do have a soft spot for my family and the well being of others.

This week that scene will be repeated to various degrees in the Eanes School District where we call home and all over the country! Actually we moved to the Eanes School District when our son was only 3 and our daughter was about a month away from arriving in the world! At my previous real estate firm located in Westlake, I volunteered at several of the schools and was impressed with just about EVERYTHING I saw. Every school had great teachers, staff, administrators, a wonderful curriculum, healthy, active parent involvement and dedication to excellence on every level. After talking it over with my wife, we began looking for a home in the area and moved in 1992. This year the Texas Education Agency has rated every school in Eanes, EXEMPLARY and all of the schools consistently perform at the highest levels! Here is an interesting detail: Only 60% of the residents in Eanes have students in school however the rest stay because the quality of the schools contributes to keeping the property values up! As a matter of fact, our daughter is a senior at Westlake this year (something she is exceedingly proud of) and when she leaves for college next year, we also intend to stay in the district. Not JUST because of the schools but they are a major factor.

For more information on all of our excellent schools, please click on the links provided that will take you to the District Site as well as each of the individual schools where you will have access to an incredible amount of data and resources! And if you have a chance, volunteer, they can always use the help!

Eanes School District Web Site

Barton Creek Elementary                   Bridgepoint Elementary                      Cedar Creek Elementary

                                        Eanes Elementary                     Forest Trail Elementary

               Hill Country Middle School                                              West Ridge Middle School

                                                                Westlake High School

 

Alright...now fast forward to last week. Our son asked me to accompany him as he drove back to college to begin his sophomore year. We all had a good summer together but as some of you may know about teenagers, it was T I M E for him to return to school. On the way up he mentioned that he had not really had a chance to mentally prepare for his next year and leaving home again. This came as something of a surprise to me because he has always loved travel, adventure and has an ardent streak of independence. He just said he was still something of a "homeboy" and talked about how much he loved us and being home...Anyway, after a 7 hour drive we arrived at school, unloaded and got him moved in to his fraternity house (That's another story all together!) and then it was time for us to head for the airport. As in the past everything was FINE until I took one last picture of him at the drop off area and he hugged me. When I started to relax my grip, he hugged me just a little harder and then it started...big, warm, salty tears which I tried to blink away but to no avail. I tried to mumble something and he smiled and said, "It's alright Dad, I am just on the edge myself." And so it goes, anyone who has even a modicum of love for their children must experience something like this to some extent and his Mom and I are just grateful that he and his sister have been gifts to us AND that they have the opportunity to receive a good education!

School is back so watch out for those children!!!

 

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52 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • September 03 2009 06:31PM