Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Hey!  I'm a little off my normal schedule in terms of making posts.  Things have just been very busy over here in Steanso land.

Let's see, where were we when I last left off?  Well, last week I was in Dallas for a work trip, but the week before that...

(Unplugged at the Grove)
On Thursday night, July 18th, we went to see Shinyribs play.  It was one of the free Unplugged at the Grove performances over at Shady Grove, and the weather was astonishingly pleasant for a July evening in Austin Texas.  Shinyribs is a band fronted by Kevin Russell of The Gourds ("Shinyribs" is actually, improbably, his nickname), and they're a really fun Texas band.  Kevin Russell is originally from Beaumont, but he's been playing in Austin for a long time.  He's got a great voice, catchy tunes, and fun lyrics.  It was a really fun night.  It felt very Texas-y out there under the big trees, listening to Shinyribs and drinking a beer.  After the show we went up and talked to Kevin so Amy could ask him about the ukulele chords to one of his songs, "Poor People Store".  He's a really nice guy, and he emailed her the chords the next day!

(Amy with Kevin Russell)
(Grupo Fantasma!)
So that was Thursday night.  On Friday we went to see another free concert, this time Grupo Fantasma over at the Music Under the Star series in front of the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum.  There were a lot of people at the show, but the crowd was friendly and enthusiastic.  We bobbed and danced and listened to funky Latin salsa-y dance music as the sun went down and the lights came on.  Austinites LOVE a free concert!!

On Saturday we went out to dinner with my family at Hudson's on the Bend.  It's a nice restaurant, and the meal was very good.  Hudson's has a lot of interesting and sort of unusual game on their menu (rabbit, pheasant, venison, etc.), but I ended up having some hot and crunchy trout.  A little less adventurous, but very good.  Anyway, we had a good time.  It was nice to have dinner with the fam! 
My parents left on a long driving trip to Upper Michigan the next day, and I left on Sunday for a legal education seminar in Dallas.

(my Dallas hotel room at sunset)
I was in Dallas from Sunday night through Thursday.  I stayed at the Westin Galleria.  Amy's mom came to town to hang out with her while I was gone, so she got to spend some quality mother-daughter time with Jean while I was further north. 
The conference was fine.  I learned some new law and collected a lot of CLE (continuing legal education) hours.  I went out with coworkers one night to see The Conjuring (which was scary and well executed, but derivative of about a dozen other movies).  Another night I went out to The Flying Saucer with some friends to have a beer.   By Thursday I was more than ready to get back to Amy and get away from hotels and shopping malls. 

I got back to Austin, and on Friday we went to see Bill Carter at Strange Brew.  I've seen Bill Carter once before at Strange Brew, and I've mentioned him before here on The Adventures.  Anyway, neither of the shows where I saw Carter were super well attended, which is a shame because both performances were great.  He's really good.  Carter has good songs with great lyrics, and when you see him in person he gives you enough backstory about his music to make you understand how personal and meaningful it really is.  He's also got a good voice.  In short, he deserves a lot more attention than he's received lately (a fact which is reflected by the title of his most recent album- Unknown).  If you haven't seen him, I strongly recommend that you go check the guy out.  He's a great Austin songwriter, and he deserves a more dedicated fanbase!  (or at least a larger one)

Most of the rest of our weekend was fairly low key.  Amy has made chicken stir fry and some broiled salmon with spices on it.  We ran some errands and relaxed, mostly.  On Sunday afternoon we met up with some friends for lunch, and in the evening I went to band practice.  It was a nice, relaxed weekend, especially after having been out of town.

(Van Wilks joins The Apostles onstage)
And now it's a new week!  Last night we went to see The Apostles of Manchaca (which features Jeff Plankenhorn and Malford Milligan), once again over at Strange Brew.  It was a fun, friendly show.  They had a number of talented guests join them onstage, but my favorite songs were the ones where Plankenhorn and Milligan just settled into a soulful groove and created a mood.  There were some every cool moments like that.  Anyway, it was a fun show.

I feel extremely fortunate to live in a place where I can go experience things like that on a Tuesday, eating dinner at home and then seeing live music within a mile or two of my house and still having time to make it home and get in bed before it's really late.  I'm glad that Amy really likes live music, and I love sharing so many of these these things with her.  I will not take these things for granted.

Well, that's it for now!  Hope everyone is doing well!


Jean said...

I'm sorry I didn't get to see you, but I loved my visit. I do think Cassidy was not that thrilled to have "yet another" woman in the house!

J.S. said...

Glad you had a good visit! And Cassidy is a pretty friendly dog, but she can be a little wary. It took her months to get used to having Amy around, but once she warmed up to her they became good friends (Cassidy hops around looking for her in the evenings when Amy is out of town).