Sofar Sounds

Sofar Sounds started some time back in London and has grew to leave its footprint globally. In a nutshell, Sofar Sounds curates intimate gigs of emerging artists in living rooms all over the world. Definitely check out the website and get on their mailing list! We attended our first Sofar Sounds session back in Singapore last year, and had an amazing time being entertained by the very talented Charlie Lim and a 14-year old music genius. It was definitely a plus that the host had a beautiful living space.

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We were excited to find out about the Austin chapter of Sofar Sounds, and was fortunate enough to squeeze into the guestlist for January! So on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in a random South Austin neighborhood, we were introduced to four amazing groups:

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The Whiskey Folks are a group from Dallas and they played some sweet folk music to kick-off the afternoon of gigs!Image

Deer Vibes was a huge group from San Antonio – about 10 of them squeezed into the tiny corner of the living room, playing a range of instruments including the violin, the xylophone, trumpet, and some interesting vocals. 

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SXSW feature this year, the Sour Notes typically play their music with heavy electronics but had to turn it down a notch since they could only use the basic instrument set they brought along to the session. Nonetheless, they sounded amazing and we’re definitely checking them out at the Red 7 on February 5th.

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Wrapping up the afternoon was Lily Kershaw, a very talented singer in her early-twenties from Los Angeles. We were particularly excited to hear her because Lysia actually had one of songs in her iTunes. She definitely didn’t disappoint.

Image  Thanks again for a great afternoon of music Sofar Sounds!

Weekend inspiration from a Stranger

I responded to a stranger’s shoutout on Couchsurfing asking for volunteers to be part of his project. He was in town this week and was hoping to add a few more folks into his happiness project. I figured it might be good fun, wrote a story for him and decided to become a piece of the project.

Gabriele has an unassuming demeanour – a freelance photographer who travels around the world on photography engagements. It was coincidental that 2 weeks ago he was just in Singapore doing an engagement for Fortune magazine, shooting a bunch of very wealthy people. So here he was, in Austin, inviting a Singaporean to be part of his project.

Now, I began to think that Gabriele may be a pretty big deal. I mean after all, his engagements seem pretty legitimate.

Sometimes when your path crosses with a stranger, you never really know who you’re going to meet. Conversations later, I found out that he is actually the guy behind this viral social media story some months back. As part of his two-year couchsurfing project (yes, he was basically paid by a magazine to travel around the world for two years), he decided to photograph children and their toys to form a collective as his personal pet project. He showed me all 55 children from all over the world he took pictures of – they were stunning.

Gabriele is probably on his way back to Italy now to visit his family, before jetting off to his next engagement in Panama. The one advice he left for me – “fuel your life with fun side projects” – and from this professional photographer, we can see that he does take his “side projects” pretty seriously.

Gabriele in action for his happiness project: 

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Keep Austin Weird

Austin is an interesting place. You find downtown situated next to hippy-East, a green belt running through it pass the lake to Zilker Park, just next to South Congress with its electic mix of vintage stores and an eclectic mix of food trucks scattered all across town.

We are very new to Austin but I want to pen down 2 things we just discovered which are hilariously weird:

1. Eeyore’s Birthday

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So apparently this epic birthday party started all the way back in 1967 as a spring picnic, organized by a Professor from the University of Texas at Austin. For many years it remained as a UT tradition, but it eventually became part of the Austin hippie subculture and is now a city-wide festival. The birthday party doesn’t actually fall on Eeyore’s birthday – in the Winnie the Pooh classic, Eeyore believed that his friends had forgetten his birthday only to discover that they had planned a surprise party for him.

So if you’re expecting cake, lots of people and food at this party in the woods, you are only half right. Every last Saturday of April, this weird party includes various other activities such as:

  1. Crazy costumes
  2. Body painting
  3. Uni-cycle football
  4. Yoga
  5. Egg tossing
  6. Drum circles

2. Chicken Shit Bingo

Stop to speculate for a second as to what Chicken Shit Bingo could actually entail.

Well, here it is:

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The game of bingo, which is the ultimate game of chance and boredom, is one of the 10,000 ways to spend Sunday evenings in Austin. Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon features an amusing game of Chicken Shit Bingo that relies entirely on the unpredictable bowels of a chicken in a cage on a pool table. Contestants throw down hard earned cash on a number and cheer and jeer for about an hour waiting for that special moment, while country singers perform and provide commentary.

We will probably/definitely come across a lot more strange things along the way…

Until then, Keep Austin Weird!