Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays!

An amazing year in Austin, and thanks to my wonderful wife Leyla for not being afraid to make cool art everyday!

Xavier Rudd Concert Footage in Austin

7 months later I finally uploaded all of my Xavier Rudd videos to youtube! You can view all of the videos at my original post here. Here is one of my favorites with Xavier absolutely jamming on the didgeridoo.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Live One - Farmhouse by Phish in Austin

Since moving to Austin I have been surrounded by great music and musicians, and one of my favorites and good friends is local drummer (of Moving Matter and A Live One) and "wayall" man Dan McGreevy. While I wasn't necessarily up to par on the "jam band" scene (if you must label it), Dan showed me that this style of music grows on you quite fast, and to make a long story short, after hating Phish (more like not giving them a shot because of the circumstances) since the late 90's they have turned into a band that I listen to almost everyday. This started with Farmhouse, and since then I've been celebrating their entire catalog. If you are in Austin and can't follow Phish around on tour, check out Dan's band A Live One, and you will be dancing your ass off in no time.

Surfrider Central Texas Chapter Holiday Party

Tacos for Everybody!
I wanted to recap on the great time had at the Surfrider Central Texas Chapter Holiday Party two weeks ago at Wahoo's Fish Taco in downtown Austin. It was a great event to look back and celebrate a year filled with cleanups, activism, surfing, raising awareness about single use plastics, and many other victories along the way. We had an awesome night that included great food (tacos donated by Wahoo's), great activists, great films (we watched One Beach and One California Day),  and great prizes (including sweet shirts from Wavecation) for the top scores in our Rise Above Plastics quiz.

We are all excited for what 2012 will bring, and would like to thank everyone who attended the event and participated throughout the year.

If anyone was interested in taking the quiz, here you go!

1)     How many plastic bags are used annually in Austin?
a.     4 million
b.     33 million
c.     263 million
d.     127 million

2)     How much does it cost the city and taxpayers of Austin to cleanup plastic bags annually?
a.     $850,000
b.     $450,000
c.     $125,000
d.     952,000

3)     How many plastic bags are used by Americans each year?
a.     13 billion
b.     37 billion
c.     100 billion
d.     88 billion

4)     What percentage of floating marine debris is comprised of plastic?
a.     90%
b.     20%
c.     40%
d.     97%

5)     What percentage of the world’s communities have policies addressing the issues with plastic bags?
a.     25%
b.     3%
c.     11%
d.     40%

6)     How Many GLO Adopt A Beach cleanups does the Central Texas Chapter participate in Annually?
a.     2
b.     3
c.     4
d.     5

7)     How Many Keep Austin Beautiful at Lady Bird Lake cleanups does the Central Texas Chapter participate in?
a.     3
b.     5
c.     6
d.     7
What you can do:
  1. Choose to reuse when it comes to shopping bags and bottled water.  Cloth bags and metal or glass reusable bottles are available locally at great prices.
  2. Refuse single-serving packaging, excess packaging, straws and other 'disposable' plastics.  Carry reusable utensils in your purse, backpack or car to use at bbq's, potlucks or take-out restaurants.
  3. Reduce everyday plastics such as sandwich bags and juice cartons by replacing them with a reusable lunch bag/box that includes a thermos.
  4. Bring your to-go mug with you to the coffee shop, smoothie shop or restaurants that let you use them.  A great way to reduce lids, plastic cups and/or plastic-lined cups.
  5. Go digital!  No need for plastic cds, dvds and jewel cases when you can buy your music and videos online.
  6. Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
  7. Recycle.  If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.  Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
  8. Volunteer at a beach cleanup.
  9. Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
  10. Spread the word.  Talk to your family and friends about why it is important to Rise Above Plastics!


Matt Kuhn

Answers: 1: C  2: A  3: C  4:  A  5:  A  6: B  7: C

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Surfrider Texas Chapters Conference!

I ran out of time to publish this article about my recent trip to the Surfrider Texas Chapters Conference in Galveston, but I will just take a quote from Rob Nixon and say Ditto! From Rob's blog:

All said and done, I personally had a great time with some amazing coastal Activists who put in thousands of volunteer hours a year sacrificing time with Family and surf sessions to ensure that Texas Beaches are preserved and kept open for everyone to enjoy and pass on to the next generation.  These exceptional Texans embody what it means to be a Texan.  We were all raised with the ingrained ethic of fiercely defending what you love at all costs and that moral obligation passed down from previous generations of Texans to us runs strong throughout the Texas Surfrider Foundation Chapters!

I was so stoked to meet all of the great Texas activists, and the crew from California. Truly inspiring people, and it was great to see the passion that everyone had for protecting the coast!

At Carol Severance's House - Note the house was occupied as a vacation rental as we stood for this kodak moment

"about our field trip: We stopped by the beach house owned by California divorce attorney Carol Severance. She is the person who purchased 5 Galveston properties a few years ago. Three of which were already on a list of houses in violation of the Texas Open Beaches Act (TOBA) and subject to removal by the state. She then filed a lawsuit against the people of Texas. Her goal was to overturn TOBA (the law that guarantees public access to our beaches for everyone, not just front-row owners). Six members of our Texas Supreme Court ruled in her favor and against the people of Texas last year. The result: there is no public beach above the high tide line on the West End of Galveston Island. Did I mention that she also accepted the FEMA buyout and netted over $900,000 profit after she gutted the TOBA & has since had FEMA fraud charges filed against her.

Here is a group photo of Surfrider Foundation officers standing in front of the house she is accused of defrauding FEMA in this debacle. And now, for the rest of the story. She applied for the FEMA buyout for houses that were more than 50% damaged. Because they were too expensive to rebuild. She then began to rent the "badly damaged" house on a weekly basis to tourists (as she had done since she bought it). I don't know the actual price, but these houses go for about $4000/week. When FEMA accepted her application, her neighbors were upset. You see, they didn't want the house torn down and the lot turned into public property in the middle of their exclusive, gated subdivision of only 12 houses. The other owners sued to stop the sale. They failed. The deal was about to take place and her good neighbors accused her of FEMA fraud. She inflated the damage estimates in order to qualify for the buyout. How could she continue to rent a house for thousands of $$ a week and still claim the house was beyond repair? Her good neighbors even stated they "did not want the public" in their subdivision. Severance gutted our Texas Open Beaches Act, and her good neighbors gutted her. I guess it was a friendly neighborhood until the repugnant idea of having the public use their beach turned them all against each other."

Again, an inspiring trip, and crucial thanks to the Galveston Chapter for being such great hosts, and I got some surf!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Green Day Secret Show Red 7

The "secret show" with Green Day tonight in Austin is something that I have been watching ever since twitter started buzzing about them cruising around town in Austin a couple of days ago. I was super bummed that I missed them for the Surfrider secret show, and now a little over two weeks later I will be at Red 7 with 499 fellow Austinites hitching a ride! Kerplunk was a big album for me, so this should be quite the time! Plus $20 is $60 less than Radiohead would have cost me (and better venue with vomit covered toilet seats!).

UPDATE: Had a great time at the 2.5 hour Green Day secret show at Red 7 in Austin, TX. Billy Joe, Tre and Mike were hanging out at the bar and walking around Red 7 (and Billy Joe was drinking a ton of Lonestar). At one point Mike was literally bumping elbows with me by the back bar watching the opening band. Pretty cool that everyone was being cool about it (or didn't recognize them). Security was super tight on cameras, but I ended up Taking a bunch of footage stealth mode, will try to get it all up. Pretty awesome night and epic show!

"2,000 light years away and brain stew"

New unreleased song "Carpe Diem"


"Dominated Love Slave (Texas version)"


"Lone Star Piss"

"Hitchin' a Ride" and "Welcome to Paradise"


BJ Armstrong Pre-Show


1.Welcome To Paradise
2.American Idiot
3.Nuclear Family
4.Carpe Diem
5.Oh Love
6.Murder City
7.Hitchin' a Ride
7.Stay the Night
8.Stop When the Red Lights Flash
9.Hybrid Moments - Misfits
10.Hybrid Moments - Misfits
11.Let Yourself Go
13.Stray Heart
15.Dominated Love Slave
18.99 Revolutions
First Encore:
19.It's Fuck Time - Foxboro Hot Tubs
20.It's Fuck Time - Foxboro Hot Tubs
21.Stop Drop and Roll - Foxboro Hot Tubs
22.Stop Drop and Roll - Foxboro Hot Tubs
23.Hybrid Moments - Misfits
24.Teenagers From Mars - Misfits
25.2000 Light Years Away
26.Brain Stew
27.Paper Lanterns
28.One For The Razorbacks
29.Going to Pasalacqua
30.St. Jimmy
Second Encore:
32.8th Avenue Serenade
33.Know Your Enemy


 • "I've Gotta Take a Lone Star Piss"
• "Do you know what twurking is? It’s like a vertical lap dance. I want everyone grinding up against the person next to you for this one."
• "Holy shit, is that a 40 ouncer? Did you know my wedding was BYOB?"
• "Is this thing on? That’s what my wife asks me when we’re having sex."

Shored Up Funded!

I'm happy to report that the Documentary "Shored Up" has been funded! The movie:

"explores why we have chosen to build right up to a tumultuous sea on the most dynamic and vulnerable stretches of land to storms, tides and winds and  the challenges we face in making that choice.  It also explores the debate between property owners, developers, recreational users, scientists and environmentalists that rages in all coastal towns and cities of how best to deal with these challenges."

Make sure you check out all of the progress here, and check out the official trailer to get a further look into Ben Kalina's film.

Here is my contribution! Stoked on this project!

Raptoberfest - The Wheel

Super stoked that I won "The Wheel" category for Surfrider's One Foot at a Time photo contest during Raptoberfest! Big thanks to Surfrider, Rusty, and Cliff Bar for putting on such an awesome event!

Congrats to all of the other winners as well! You can view all the results here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Yacht Fun Fun Fun Fest

Yacht may have been one of our favorite sets of the whole festival. With the dance party in full effect, and Ryan Gosling backstage this was a great time! A little disappointed with the sound quality on my iPhone 4s (flip was out of commission), but here is Yacht and all their glory.

Slayer Fun Fun Fun Fest

The name says it all, and Slayer didn't let the crowd down. Unlike Danzig, who wanted stage heaters and french onion soup, Slayer tore through a two hour set echoing far and near shredding through town lake and the surround neighborhoods. Pretty amazing set to see.

Del The Funky Homosapien at Fun Fun Fun Fest

I've seen Del a handful of times now, and I always am stoked on his positive message and funky music. Whether it's Hieroglyphics, The Gorillaz, or Handsome Boy Modeling School, he always lays it down.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spoon Fun Fun Fun Fest

After seeing Spoon at the Scoot Inn awhile back, I wasn't that impressed with their live show (performance felt a little bit dry and it was really cold out too...). Their show at Fun Fun Fun Fest was a completely different experience, and the full brass band really enhanced the show and kept the energy up! They sounded great, played a ton of great songs, and I'm officially back on the Spoon live concert experience.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

tUnE yArDs fun fun fun fest

tUnE yArDs is a band that I never get sick of, and was not sure what to expect seeing them live. With such a diverse sound and unique voice (most people think that the lead singer is a guy), I learn something new about their music every time, and was very impressed by the energy they had on stage. Definitely one of my favorite sets of the festival, here is "Gangsta" that brought it all home!

The Joy Formidable Fun Fun Fun Fest

The Joy Formidable put on a great set, and I was stoked to see them going all out on stage. This 10 minute epic version of "Whirring" includes crazy blow up cats, gong banging, and guitar destruction. Good times!

We Were Promised Jetpacks Fun Fun Fun Fest

We Were Promised Jetpacks was one of the driving forces behind Sunday's early arrival (and the festival for that matter), and the boys from Edinburgh did not disappoint. Playing an equal mix from In the Pit of the Stomach and These Four Walls their set was good throughout. My only wish was that I could see them as a headliner on their current US tour, but I was stoked to see them back in Austin!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ryan Gosling Fun Fun Fun Fest Austin

Not much to say other than Ryan Gosling is the all time hollywood hot guy at the moment (ask Leyla about him and her Falafel). Here he is lifting his shirt for your viewing enjoyment at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas. Music posts to come soon, this just couldn't wait...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

UT Longhorn Game

Drinking Soda

Growing up in NorCal I never watched college football, in fact if it wasn't the Giants, 49ers or Warriors I wasn't interested. When I went to college UCSB or SDSU didn't have elite football teams, so again, not much interest there. When I made it to Austin all of sudden college football isn't something that people pay attention to in Austin, it's WHAT they pay attention to (and hipster obviously). So much in fact that everyone wears burnt orange on Saturdays, and the cops let you walk around with open containers for miles around the Longhorns stadium on game day (I'm convinced this is like the Truman Show and I'm the only non actor). With tailgate parties that remind me of SXSW (with free beer and food and swag), it is a fun day before you even get to the football game.

UT Tradition
In the stadium itself there are marching bands at all corners of the stadium (remind you I played trumpet in High School), cannons blasting, a huge cow named Bevo, huge drums, and last but not least, all sorts of songs and chants and traditions that 100,000 people are locked into for the whole game. Only buzz kill is they do not sell booze in the stadium, but they do sell soda, so a LOT of SODA gets drank at these games. Awesome time, with awesome seats (thanks to Mr. Little), and a great Halloween pre-party in Austin! I still don't necessarily get the college football thing, but it was a good time and HOOK EM!

Leyla hooks Bevo

Sat. Night Lights
Real Bevo on Jumbotron
Me and Mr. Little Pre-Game
Ladies Hook Em!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chromeo Austin City Limits 2011

I hung back with the beer for Chromeo, but was stoked to see some sort of ACL version of the Electric Slide or maybe even a Cupid Shuffle. Chromeo rocked, and it was a great a time slot to you get your dance on.

Monday, October 3, 2011

GLO Adopt A Beach

So many websites and blogs and social media and so little time! Wanted to report that our third and final GLO adopt a beach cleanup of 2011 was a huge success and a ton of fun, and for such a great cause! On a personal note, the beaches of Texas have a calmness to them similar to the feeling that I get in Mexico. No rules like in California, where cops are constantly patrolling the beach (on ATVs) waiting to give you a ticket for having a beer or letting your dog roam off leash. The Texas Coast although windy and the bit of an underdog in the surfing world has stoked me so much this year, and I just wanted to say thanks to all of those who have made the Journey with me!

You can view the full post on cleanup on the freshly built (do you like it) Surfrider Foundation Central Texas Chapter's website, or check out my lovely wife's blog and amazing photographs here. Live Happily Ever Now!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Foot At A Time - Surfrider Foundation

Raptoberfest is a month long campaign by the Surfrider Founation to help increase awareness about the harm of single use plastics. As an active member of the Central Texas Chapter, I was excited to kickoff the Month long event in my own neighborhood and help cleanup Shoal Creek (that literally borders my backyard). Leyla, Sadie, and I headed out, with a cleanup bag and a video camera, and spent the afternoon cleaning out the mostly dried out creek bed. When we returned home, we managed to fill all 5 Square feet, and were stoked to take 5 square feet of plastic out of our creek. Hopefully we will hit Surfrider's goal of 1,000 square feet this month! Make sure you go out and participate in this great event! Here is the video, and the pictures of the final product below.

Some pics:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Social Distortion Austin City Limits 2011

This year at ACL I decided to stick to my roots. Instead of leaving for the more trendy and hot band Empire of the Sun, I stayed close to the stage for Social D. Listening to Social D since high school (and seeing them a half a dozen times live), their set didn't dissappoint, playing mostly new tracks off of their new album like "Machine Gun Blues". Mike Ness and the group were very happy to be at the festival, and talked about how much they liked how nice the people are in Texas (hence the tail end of "Fuck those California Bitches" in the video). Great show, and a great choice, although it would have been nice to hear the "Story of My Life".

Skrillex Austin City Limits 2011

I didn't get Dubstep until I listened to Skrillex (great to listen to while you are working), and his show in concert translated well. I have to give credit to whomever was working the jumbotron, as the fast cuts and crowd shots made the set very energetic. This was one of those sets where the crew was large, the booze was flowing, and Skrillex was killing it. That little kid dancing on stage was cool too.

Kanye West Austin City Limits

No matter how annoying Kanye's ego is ("you've never heard this many hits on one stage") I enjoy his songs (more his beats than his lyrics). Kanye's set was a Black Swan ego trip that will never be seen again, and a fun way to end ACL on Friday.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Santigold - Austin City Limits 2011

Feels like Santigold's new CD has been held up for way too long, luckily we were able to hear 2 or 3 songs off of the new album on her first US tour date in some time. Looking forward to hearing the rest soon!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Manu Chao ACL 2011

Manu Chao is one of my all time favorite bands, but their live show is what sets this band apart from many. They have a charm to them that you feel at their shows, and you could see it as they were waving to the crowd before their set even began. I have about 20 minutes of footage from their set, and it was definitely one of the high points of ACL this year (as it was when they headlined awhile back). When they played La Primavera, as they chanted “que hora son, mi corazon” Manu Chao was pounding the microphone so hard against his chest that he started to bleed.... That's a heartbeat!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AWOLNATION - Not Your Fault

AWOLNATION is a band that I thought I wouldn't like based off of what the critics were saying, but it ended up being the total opposite. I have been listening to their CD non stop (almost daily) for quite some time, and with lead singer Aaron Bruno being an avid surfer it made me enjoy this high energy band even more---- and miss my CA roots and surfing even more (I have footage of him surfing on the crowd as well). Great show by AWOLNATION. More to come.

Here is "SAIL" performed live with lead singer of AWOLNATION Aaron Bruno on a surfboard surfing the crowd:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summertime ATX

Keep my head in the clouds, I see a wave
Austin has pushed my limits this summer with a heatwave that matches what feels like Nevada to me, or at least my Bikram Yoga Studio. Being sealed in four air conditioned walls for about 90 days can drive anyone crazy. Yesterday Tropical Storm Lee came in and cleared out the high pressure system (and brought some fire too...) that has been holding us hostage, and I'm not sure if it is a cruel twist of fate that it occurred on the (symbolic) last day of summer. In Austin summer has not ended, and it will still be hot here for at least a month, so I'm getting some fresh cooler air while I can (90 is feeling like the new 70 these days). A couple of random thoughts:

  • Everyone should read some Richard Brautigan. My Dad bought me some of his books and let me know that my Mom used to really love reading his books. I read a few of them over the summer, and couldn't help but imagine my mom reading his books years before me. His imagination and odd sense of humor that he finds in normal people through his characters is comforting and addicting. At first I couldn't even understand why anyone would want to read these books, but eventually I got it, and his ability to steer plot lines in directions that make absolutely no sense eventually end up making perfect wacky sense.
  • I really like drinking Kombucha. I just hope it doesn't prove to be another airborne type product.
  • This summer I looked at a lot of clouds in Austin. It reminds me of that one full moon night down in Mexico where we drank all night and stared at the shapes of the clouds.
  • I've had a lot of good BBQ as of late (not sure if Coopers is better than the Salt Lick).
  • Second tubing experience was better than the first.
  • I'm looking forward to Surfrider's trip to Port A in three weeks (will I get to wear a hoodie?)
  • I'm stoked to be making a difference with Surfrider, and overall am becoming a better person everyday (to the best of my ability).
  • The reason I'm even thinking out loud is because I read my old blog from 2008 and I thought out loud a lot.... Less "article-y", more random.
  • My google analytics are looking good!
Down by the water

BBQ with friends
Custom cooler with speakers

Look at my cool beach towel!
Austin is burning
Wifey and me. I'm at my happiest in water

Monday, August 15, 2011

SUP is the new?

In Austin, SUP (Stand Up Paddling) is quite the rage. 5 years ago you may find one or two people out on SUP boards on Town lake, now you will find dozens if not many more. With Austin being such an active city, it is not hard to believe the rapid expansion of SUP in Austin. With beautiful lakes with lush green backdrops, Austin is an awesome place to learn and love stand up paddling. I was lucky enough to SUP with friend and fellow Surfrider member Bill Morris over the weekend, and we had a blast (even though I fell off the board quite a bit). If you haven't tried it yet, there are a ton of places to rent boards, like The Expedition School, Paddle Zen, and Austin Paddle Sports. Get out on the water, and Live Happily Ever Now!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dog days of summer

While it's been hotter than a Bikram Yoga studio this summer, I have had some good memories thus far! Port A with the Surfrider Foundation Central Texas Chapter (double rainbow), a California trip with family in wine country, hanging out and sweating here in Austin with good friends, boating and wakeboarding on the 4th of July, and most recently Mexico and beyond. Now that Leyla is back to school summer is "sort of" officially over, but we will still have the Texas heat for at least another two months. Wonder what will happen next?

CA bear face

Port A surf crew

Dog days of summer

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Trip Report: Sayulita Surf

Room with a view - break your back beach
It has been a blistering summer in Austin thus far (not much surf either), and I couldn't hardly wait to escape the Texas heat and head South to Nuevo Vallarta and Sayulita, Mexico.

Given my past experiences in Mexico (sting ray attack, falling off a cliff, Montezuma's revenge, rolled vehicles, etc.) I was expecting something to go wrong----- And it did. The first night we were in town, Hurricane Dora ripped through town bringing thunder (shattered windows), lightning, and a torrential downpour. This rain managed to make large puddles on the (steep and dark) steps throughout our resort. I can't be sure if it was the water on the steps, or the Don Julio shots, or my curse in Mexico (think the episode of The Brady Bunch in Hawaii when they get cursed), but I managed to slip and fall down the stairs on my back.

Luckily for me when I fell, a local Mexican man rushed to my aid, cradled me in his arms, held me tight, and was yelling to the locals to get help. I ended up not getting help, but he held me close, and after that disappeared, never to be seen again. I never got his name, and we continued on, drinking more Don Julio as the ravenous night pressed on.The next morning I could barely sit up or move or think for that matter due to the pain in my back. After the Hurricane (remnants) passed through town, I knew that with me barely being able to breath without extreme pain, that this was going to be a long trip with not much surfing.

Two of my favorite things: Pacifico and Surfing - Sayulita
To make a very long story short (ask Leyla about the full version), I was only able to surf the last day of the trip due to my injury on the first night. On the last day we were in Sayulita, and I was bummed that it was too small for the left to be breaking (I'm a goofy footer).

I surfed the right (with about 50 of my closest friends), and it was fun waist high surf. The water was a perfect temperature, and there was  a friendly and fun vibe (reminded me of Cowells) out in the water. I rented a board from WildMex (one of the owners was from Chicago), and was super stoked to meet some local surfers! We spent the day in the water surfing, and drinking Pacificos. It was a great way to spend our last full day in Mexico.

Numbs the pain!
I was super stoked to be in Mexico despite my accidente keeping me from surfing most of the trip. It was great swimming in the pacific ocean every day, eating amazing food, being with great friends and the wifey, drinking Don Julio and my favorite all time favorite cerveza Pacifico (see pictures below), and enjoying the sounds of crashing waves outside my window.

It looks like I will have to take another trip this year to fulfill my surfing needs (there should be several), and if I have time I may write another post about me getting stuck upside down repelling down a 100 foot waterfall where they filmed Predator on the second day of this trip. The Mexico curse continues! Here are a couple of pictures of Las Olas and some Pacifico's too!

Hurricane Dora on her way to town

Beach groomer ahead of Dora

Our backyard - Nuevo Vallarta

Best beer ever! Pacifico in the jungle!

Baja flashbacks

Beautiful Sayulita


WildMex hooked it up
Another trip, another survivor's tale!
 Live Happily Ever Now! Ahora viven felices para siempre!