Thursday, May 26, 2011

Xavier Rudd - Concert in Austin

Xavier Rudd's music is brings out the best in people, and it spreads the message of life, love, nature, spirituality, and taking care of our earth and oceans. His concerts takes all of those positive emotions, and channels them through the crowd in memorizing way.

Xavier Rocking the House!
Some people just won't understand these things, but Matthew  Mcconaughey sure does! Unexpectedly, the famous percussionist (and actor from my favorite movie Glory Daze filmed in Santa Cruz) emerged from backstage, and was greeted by photos and a crowd of murmurs. McConaughey then made his way to the center of the crowd (an arms length away from me) with his wife. He was chanting (you can hear him in my videos saying "Viva La Xavier" pronounced Javier), dancing, and clapping the entire time. It was a cool "only in Austin" experience for me (kind of like the time I sat next to Jessica Alba at Lustre Pearl).

Let me be now
Xavier's Tap Root Tour was a one man show, and it was an awesome experience to see him command so much love and respect from the crowd. It felt like a spiritual awakening at La Zona Rosa, as he played his didgeridoo combined with his driving and thumping drum beats. He then would bring the crowd into an intimate setting with his slide guitar and harmonica. He played songs that sprung reflection like "Messages", "Love Comes and Goes", "Fortune Teller", and "No Woman No Cry". It was a great set list that had a perfect ebb and flow.

Xavier Rudd truly is a rarity in today's world. His passion for music and values inspire people to respect and live a harmonious life with the world they live in. He embodies standing up for your beliefs, respecting your culture and roots, protecting the environment, helping others, and smiling and celebrating all of the wonderful things on this earth along the way.

A Great Night With Xavier
During the show, Xavier Rudd stopped to talked about a walk on town lake in Austin earlier that day. He explained how several turtles came up to him on the shoreline, and that it was a magical experience (also expressing his love for Austin).

It made me cringe when he asked "do you guys protect that waterway"? The question didn't make me cringe so much, as the crowd response of laughter and remarks of the opposite. I wanted to tell the crowd that they could make a difference and help preserve our local waterways (I am proud to be  an active member of Surfrider's Central Texas Chapter, and only 3 days prior to the show we took out over one hundred pounds of trash out of the same lake where Xavier saw the turtles). I know that activism and volunteerism is not a reality for most, but I hope that one day with more awareness people's mentality will change, and will do more to help protect the environment.

Keeping it clean for the turtles!
In a world where these values and volunteerism are talked about and practiced less and less, it couldn't be more important for Xavier Rudd to continue to spread his messages of Fresh Green Freedom. Cheers to you Xavier Rudd! Live Happily Ever Now!

UPDATE: here are some videos from the show I finally uploaded!

Love Comes and Goes

End of the show chant and Didgeridoo

Mr. Matthew McConaughey

Let Me Be

The Message

No Woman No Cry

Friday, May 13, 2011

Austin - How Far Is It From The Beach?

Here are my new old guy boardshorts!

After 3 years in Austin of asking myself how far is Austin from the beach? -- I finally received the definitive answer, well maybe. The answer for those of you wondering how long it takes to get from Austin to a Texas beach; it's a mission, but well worth it!

For my turning old birthday weekend, Leyla and I headed down to Port A. We took the scenic route (183 through a bunch of rural towns) that took us through the BBQ capital of the world, small towns where there are more Church's than bars (way more), then finally coming to a series of bays and lakes. As the farmland turns to water, the cowboys turned into fisherman, and worship time turns into island time.

Waiting for the Ferry
On a Friday afternoon, the ferry (a series of small tugboats that hold 20 some cars) was backed up about 45 minutes, so the birthday boy started drinking some Tecates on the other side at Aransas pass. When all was said and done, we finally got our first glimpse of the beach about 4.5 hours later (stopped multiple times en route), and upon our arrival and during the ENTIRE trip, the wind was blowing like Baja Sur at its finest (35 MPH).

Here are a couple of highlights of the trip:

Birthday Boy Trash Balloon
  • I turned 30 years old with my love Leyla
  • I forgot to bring any boardshorts to the beach... Had to buy some!
  • Got sand in my toes and the car.
  • We hung out with fellow surfrider Bill Morris
  • Had some delicious margaritas (cash only)
  • Picked up around 400 pounds of trash (3 of us total - two of us were really hungover - M&L)
  • The GLO Cleanup was also on my actual birthday on Saturday, and buried in the sand I found a deflated "happy birthday" balloon, I think it was a sign!
Getting Ready to Paddle Out
Our Private World

  • Went surfing a couple of times (I need more practice for Baja)
  • Drove on the beach all weekend
  • Leyla got sea lice in some bad places
  • Leyla and I had a private beach and community all to ourselves
  • Were able to adventure up and down Mustang Island, including exiting through Corpus Christi, where I surfed Bob Hall Pier,  saw the Texas Surf Museum (Steve Thomas sighting), and had a burger at the Executive Surf Club with refried beans, Fritos, onions, cheese and salsa.

Birthday Bread Pudding

  •  Had bread pudding with real candles at a restaurant (they didn't sing), turns out I hate bread pudding.
  • Went to the equivalent of the Jersey Shore T-Shirt store (there are several in Port A), with a live monkey and huge shark out front.
  • Came home in one piece, sunburned, and stoked!
Bill and I Before We Hit The Trash

Central Texas Surfrider Ding Repair

Drive home from the beach to Austin was under four hours, taking the route on I-35 around San Antonio. Not sure which way I would take when driving from Austin to the beach, I guess the distance and time wasn't really a factor on this trip. Cheers to getting older, cleaning the beach, making new friends, getting surf (even if it is windy), and Living Happily Ever Now! If you want to see all the pics, you can view my wife's blog (we are a blogging couple now people) and all of her Port A pics here, or the cleanup here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dirty Heads Review - Red 7 Austin

The Dirty Heads at Red 7 - Austin, TX
After The Dirty Heads came to Weirdos on Halloween last year, I was very disappointed that their set was cut short. Apparently the neighbors complained (despite a 10,000 sound wall was built by Weirdos), causing the cops to shut the show down VERY early. With Sublime with Rome in the house, it made it even more shitty that The Dirty Heads were forced to quit. Weirdos offered the crowd free beers, but it still was a huge let down for what could have been an epic way to celebrate Halloween.

I had been waiting for a refund (or apology), and got one in form of The Dirty Heads coming back to Red 7 last Thursday. With Friday off from work (my 30th birthday was on that Saturday), I was able to drink and party without that weekday work hangover to worry about.

Knowing there were no angry neighbors in the vicinity, this turned out to be an awesome full length show. Songs like "Neighborhood", "Believe", "Sails to the Wind" all had the crowd moving, and they also played several new songs that sounded clean. Instead of the traditional encore, Jared "Dirty J" Watson asked the crowd if they could just keep playing songs for us (skipping all the fake encore bullshit), and the crowd was stoked to hear more music without waiting. Ending with "Lay Me Down", the show ended with a full set list that helped me forget about the cold Halloween night when The Dirty Heads were shutdown. Here are some video clips from the show. Cheers! Live Happily Ever Now!

"Stand Tall"

"Lay Me Down"


"We Will Rise (Unreleased)"