Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I had the opportunity last night to see the Austin-made ECHOTONE a weirdly-named, fascinating movie, directed by Nathan Christ.

I, and the rest of the sold-out audience, spent 1-1/2 hours in rapt enjoyment of a beautifully put-together film and its marvelous soundtrack.

Cinematography by Robert L. Garza, especially the shots from the top of a crane, on the top of a downtown Austin skyscraper, is breathtaking.

You will come away from this movie with a greater understanding and appreciation of musicians and artists who struggle to create and perform amid the challenges of the changing landscape of Austin. A list of the featured musicians is at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1532946/

I am a Beatles, Roy Orbison, classical and jazz kind of person, and had never heard of most of the musicians; but, as a result of seeing ECHOTONE, I have a new appreciation for modern music. Dana Falconberry, especially, with her sweet voice and lovely lyrics, has stolen my heart. Did I mention how marvelous the sound is on this movie? Usually, I have complaints about sound: can't hear the dialogue for the music; uneven music levels, etc. This movie's soundtrack is absolutely perfect, thanks to Dave Kelly's post-production wizardry.

ECHOTONE is playing tonight, tomorrow night and May 1st, on 6th Street at the Alamo Ritz Theater, where you can eat dinner (or have a big basket of really good French fries with chipotle mayo, and become so engrossed in the movie that you spill the chipolte mayo down the front of your shirt), have a drink, sit in a comfy seat, and enjoy.

Here is a trailer for: ECHOTONE

This Austin movie about Austin artists is, itself, a work of art. Hope you will go see it and let me know what YOU think.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Playing Detective

When I worked for Half Price Books on South Lamar, we noticed a car parked behind the store for several days. It was a rather new and good looking sedan. After about 4 days, I reported the car to the police, who had no interest in dealing with this car. This was during a time in Austin when a couple of bodies had been found stuffed in car trunks, and the news was filled with the story of a young woman who had been reported missing, so we employees had been sure an officer would be eager to check out this car. No luck.

We began to be quite concerned; and being of a literary bent, we began devising all types of plots surrounding the car's circumstances, thinking that any day we would begin detecting an unpleasant aroma arising from the trunk area. We decided to do some Agatha Christie sleuthing.

I began making phone calls to area rental car agencies, asking about missing cars. I discovered that the sedan had been stolen from an Advantage Car Rental outlet which used to be located down the road from Half Price Books, on the west side of South Lamar. The car had been missing for some time before finding its way to Half Price Books' parking lot.

The Advantage manager did not seem as pleased, as we had though she would be, to recover this car, which did not have a body in the truck, by the way. From Advantage's attitude, and reluctance to pick up the car, I presumed that they had already collected money for its loss from the insurance company, and the finding of the car meant reams of unwanted paperwork.

So much for good deeds. (And a dreadfully anti-climactic ending to my tale!)