May 17th, 2010
The Week That Was 5.16.10
The idea of taking the stage holding a hot mic and the attention of the crowd is an intoxicating one. Unfortunately, it usually takes being quite intoxicated in order to conquer the butterflies that come with the limelight. That’s why karaoke bars are a godsend for the drunken rock star in all of us, no matter how well they hide behind our inhibitions.
After going out to a Website launch party – which we’ll address a little later – the idea got thrown around to hit up a new karaoke stop in town, Glitter Karaoke. There are immediate negative associations with such a name as that, a horrible Mariah Carey movie being the most disparaging and 8 year old girl birthday parties at Club Libby Lu being the least. That’s not saying much about the “holy shit, what am I getting into” spectrum. Let’s just say there is very little room for error.
Somewhere between my need to drink an old fashioned by myself at Anvil and sate my once a year need to sing Mr. Jones in front of friends, I was convinced that the latter was my fate for the night. I took to my car, found parking behind Glitter located at 2621 Milam (the old Swivel Lounge) and grabbed a spot at the bar where I knew no less than three shots of Jagermeister would be liquid courage enough. By the time the first Billy Joel song was played by the DJ and butchered by the would-be crooners, there was no turning back. Four songs later I was participating in a battle-duet to see who could make the crowd want to kill Brenda and Eddie for ever being inspiration enough for a song in Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.
Needless to say, I killed it. Take that in the context of popular slang or literal translation. It’s all up to you.
Coffee Shop (Re)Tour
I hadn’t realized it until Monday, but I had sorely been missing my “coffee shop recluse” personality that I had gone to great lengths to foster over the last six years. It had been nearly a month since I had taken to low-lit tables to act self-important in front of nobody in particular. Well, the rebirth has begun. Three days this past week I managed to find a table at Cafe Byzantio, Cafe Brasil and Agora taking the time to catch up on some reading (Eating the Dinosaur – Chuck Klosterman) and some writing (The Loop Scoop – have you heard of it?) and caffeine over-loading (French Roast in particular). By the time Saturday rolled around and it was time to find a spot for our brainstorming session for this here site, you would think that I had enough of baristas and loud swoosh of milk being steamed. You would be wrong. It was off to Antidote to try my hand at their Cafe Americano and my butt at their vintage 70’s living room furniture. This is indeed the life.
A Storm’s A Brewin’
It had been much too long since our staff had gotten together for a spit-balling session throwing around ideas to make your favorite stop for Houston’s story even better. We’ve come up with a great system for the process: Throw your worst, most convoluted, disjointed and raunchy idea out there and work backwards to make it the best idea. We happen to think this is the ideal route to content perfection. Three hours after arriving at Antidote and talking much too loud about what makes Houston great, we left dazed with the amount of material and ground we covered. Loop Scooping is not for the faint of heart. Luckily, Stephan found the perfect beverage to maintain the proper levels of composure while arguing with Marc and myself. I’ll let him take it away:
Not wanting to kick my caffeine levels up too much, I went for a new brew from Real Ale. Devil’s Backbone, named for a razor-edged ridge outside of Wimberley, is Real Ale’s take on a Belgain Tripel. They’re using Czech Saaz hops and Belgian yeast to brew this bad boy and at 8.1% ABV it’s a strong one for summer. It’s light enough that it feels like a summer beer but definitely packs a punch.
[Side Note: If you have any ideas or suggestions for the direction of content for The Loop Scoop please let us know. Put it in a comment, send us an email, hunt us down at the bar, hope that we see a smoke signal... anything]
You Want Me To Do What Exactly?
Early this week we got an odd email in our inbox about a new Website being launched. Do713.com was looking for some like-minded folks to make their way out to the Caroline Collective to mix and mingle and celebrate 713-type events that they will be covering. How very post-modern, hyping an event with your event listing Web site that will be used to hype events. With free Shiner brews and Deep Eddy vodka infuse sweet tea on the menu, it’s hard to turn down a party… especially when you know the Twitteratti are going to be out in full force. Do713 had their Website displayed on a few monitors throughout the room and projected on one of the blank walls of the Caroline Collective’s main area, but, as always, it’s the company of friends that takes center stage. As it is with most of these events, things always end up boiling down to the umbrella theme: The celebration of Houston. I think that’s what I enjoy most about flitting around town these days. Everywhere I turn there’s another person trying to make a difference in the community. Do713 will be yet another champion in that cause. I urge you to check out the site and use it often.
Modernity vs. Antiquity – Who Ya Got?
The people that know me well are going to find this next paragraph hard to believe. Even I have had a difficult time coming to terms with how I spent my Sunday afternoon. The only way to describe it is “antiquing.” With my call to action being “I need a deeehhhskuh” – which I translated as “I need a desk” – I got into my silver desk-finding machine and hopped around town looking for the proper mix of utility and style. Desks are hard to come by, I have learned. Seventeen-foot banquet tables, odd tea cups, needle point “Housework is a Bummer” signs and signed Hootie and the Blowfish albums are not difficult to find whatsoever. A reasonable desk is a different story. We made our way through seven shops only to leave empty handed and a phone full of photos from the randomness encountered. Though, I will be going back to one of the shops to finally replace my typewriter with a “?” key that no longer makes an imprint. When I’m pretending to be an expatriate writer, it’s difficult to only speak in authoritative sentences and no questions. That beautiful, blue Smith Corona is my ticket to the big-time.