When, at the age of ten, I first experienced Austin's Oat Willie's it struck me as the neatest store in Texas. Their stock fascinated me exponentially more strongly than items at "regular" stores, with the exception of Herget's Books in New Orleans. The pipes, scales and other paraphernalia failed to even register on my radar, and the five pound bags of ephedrine were a total mystery. The underground comics and head posters made me never want to leave. It is not surprising that the old store is still thriving decades later, although some things have changed. Wholesale manufacturers of old school methamphetamines can no longer turn to the store for the base ingredient, and that's a good thing. Now an adult of advanced years, looking back I can iterate how my outlook on life changed because of Oat Willie's. A great deal, it must be said, for the underground subculture forever after appealed to me to the nth degree.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor continues to hold my highest respect and admiration, and I consider them to be greater than any other band. Cult movies and esoteric literature and art impress far more than mainstream entertainment, and surely always will. Obscure become popular can be particularly delightful, but enjoying creative greatness as a member of a small refined audience always outshines brushes with the herd mentality. The Austin subculture eternally stands out as the source of my initial divergence from conformity, but it would be in poor taste to slight the heads from the LSU area. I found Insect Fear and Slow Death by the campus in Baton Rouge, not in the sometimes elitist capitol of Texas.
Nowadays my personal original music occupies most available free hours of the week. I hold loops and kits in the highest contempt, because that is someone else's work. Sometimes, every now and then, my own sound impresses me. In those moments all the busy work, editing and tweaking seems very worthwhile. However, there's a pain from creating only solo music and only by non-traditional methods that never goes away. Reaching a state of mind in which the beat permeates the atmosphere and every fiber of the human essence helps to soothe the ache of perceived minimized accomplishment, but pondering what staunch musical conservatives perceive makes it impossible to dispel. At least, though, at least, there's nothing mainstream about the work, and the herd mentality could only retch from some of it (hoorah).
Due to music production very little else has been advanced here as of late; that is not a great tragedy. As long as life goes on there's always time to remedy the shortage of literature and commentary, and so there's this, a few words written down because being able to do such a thing with grace and skill is a gift handed down by the divine. For that, and all of the rest of life's fleeting joys, I never fail to be grateful.
Cheers, and happy summering.