Friday Top 5: I’m Not Leaving

I’ve had job offers to move to Dallas, Houston and New Orleans. I just couldn’t do it. Those are OK places (except Houston), but life wouldn’t be as good. What is it that I love? Why do we all stick around?


5. The Alter Ego

Austin embraces the Super Hero in all of us. From the awesome crepes to the punk rock record store, these things start as the extra-curricular activity. We all know these people; the co-worker that makes boudin, a friend that likes landscape design, a telecom nerd that takes concert photos, the tech support manager that roasts whole pigs. The food trailers, the software companies, the gallery owners were accountants, teachers and mechanics. Many bosses are accommodating because they have their own alter egos as golf pros or *gasp* musicians.


4. Location, Location, Location

We are smack-dab in the middle of Texas. Go west for the Hill Country. Go east for the piney woods. We are the crossroads, an easy pick up for an extra show. Touring bands can find just about size venue to book. We have upscale, outdoors, holes in the wall, an actual “Hole in the Wall”, elegant and ugly. And 10,000 new recruits every fall to fill those venues…


3. Indie Music

No, not just the great music scene. You have to recognize and embrace the number of record stores in Austin that participated in Record Store Day. I’m proud of our support of these stores. Waterloo being the Godfather, but End of an Ear and Trailer Space make me happy, too. We also have music studios and enough places to get gear that you can record an album and then have a place to re-record when you get your new twelve string.


2. The Food

We are spoiled. Food trucks tend to be a topic of jokes to visitors, but this is serious business. Someone decides to obsess over crepes; it turns into that crepe trailer that we attack relentlessly. BBQ, breakfast tacos, pho – just go to the Odd Duck Trailer and get the Pork Belly Slider. People move here for far lesser reasons.


1. The Indie Spirit

At the core of it all, we tend to embrace the new and adventurous here. Even the giant corporate behemoth of Dell was started in a dorm room. Mike got kicked out of school. So he opened a computer store. We bought a Commodore 64 from him. No kidding. Prolly still in my parent’s attic. I wrote a song on that thing.


What keeps you here? What is your alter ego? Any bands out there need new promo shots?


One comment

  • Brian, What’s with dogging on Houston? Maybe it being my hometown causes me to take umbrage at the dig at the Space City. While the sports teams there may suck, it’s got a great arts district (second only to NYC in size), its own share of great restaurants and a few venues where I’ve seen some great bands. I plan on moving to Austin within the next few years and hopefully staying there, but it doesn’t mean I’ll talk bad about my hometown, especially when living in another city in your intro means constantly fearing going underwater.

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