(Yes I fully realize that AustinSurreal has become like, one big advertisement save for the radio show as of late, I know, I know, I need to write more. And post pics. Etc. Here is how far behind I am! And I'm even further than this OMG!)
Alright that might be a bit much, but its kind of true. A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of speaking alongside Eric Manegold at the University of Montana for some one on one sessions and to a class in the Entertainment Management section of their business school. It was really dope as we got to delve specifically into the hip-hop music business mostly as it pertains to managing events and the whole process and man it was just really cool to get out there and speak to some youths.
Missoula, Montana is a seriously beautiful city, surrounded by mountains and flanked by rivers, with three record stores in the small downtown area alone!
When I arrived last Sunday I went straight to the Doubletree Hotel, which is now one of my favorite hotels. My room had a sliding glass door that opened up basically on to the river, literally. It was directly below my second floor balcony, and I was able to leave the door open both nights I was there and just fall asleep listening to the rushing Clark Fork River.
The river really does rush, and is cold. On this particular day though it was 80 degrees outside with bright sunshine. Seemed like everyone in town was out, walking the paths along the river, sunbathing, fishing, and what not. Me, on a day like that, with a river right at my toetips, I of course hit the bar at the hotel with Eric, which was on a super cool deck overlooking what seemed like EVERYTHING at that moment (mountains, river, etc) and had a few local beers. Cold Smoke being the best and Moose Drool being a close second.
Anyway, as we were sitting there drinking a couple beers I looked across the river and saw and older looking man swimming in the strong current, upstream. I watched him for a couple minutes, and honestly I thought he was a bodybuilder or something doing some resistance training in the water. I had no idea why else someone would be trying to swim upstream in such a heavy current. Then I saw him get whisked away down river a bit, where he was lucky enough to grab an overhanging branch and pull himself out of the frigid water. He got out of the water, took two wobbly steps and fell on his face. At this point, the hotel manager was already on his way across the bridge, and had called 911. Turns out dude was drunk (?) and some woman who he loudly described as "JUST A FUCK" had pushed him in the river.
Shit was crazy. I dunno.
Anyway, walking around downtown Missoula on an 80 degree day in the springtime really does not suck. In fact it was really energizing. The perfect combo of beautiful nature, and just what you need and not too much more, city life.
Here's Eric, Scott and Judy. Eric is from Seattle and connected me with the school. He and I presented to the class together and it was a real pleasure to work with him. Scott started the Entertainment Management program at University of Montana and Judy is his wife who also plays an integral role in all of this.
No I wasn't just out there fishing, I was on a mission.
I don't know.
I want to know more about the hip-hop scene in Missoula. Seems untapped. But the record stores, especially Ear Candy, were thoroughly stocked and there seems to be a real scene there.
I also want to spend way more time being lazy in the vicinity of that river.
And drinking Kettle House beers. Man, they need to get that to Texas. That COLD SMOKE SCOTCH ALE on tap is one of my new favorite beers.
Dynamic Duo. We should speak at MORE Universities. I joined LinkedIN for that reason but don't really understand LinkedIn.
This is rush hour in Missoula. Pretty much what I am talking about...
A couple weeks before that I spoke at the Awready Houston Hip-Hop Conference at the University of Houston. It was a day of panels and workshops that celebrated Houston hip-hop culture, while also kicking off the opening of the Houston Hip-Hop Archive at the UH Library. Thanks to Julie Grob for getting all of this together. I never thought I would see the day when a university would care about Houston rap music. Even though a lot of that rap music was made VERY close to the campus. This is huge, and so amazing.
And I am an idiot for taking so long to blog it. Suffice it to say, I have had other things on my mind.
These photos are just a small preview.
She's even got a good amount of DJ Screw's personal vinyl collection. I haven't seen that yet but will definitely make the trip to do so.
I can't lie. Before I got there I asked myself just how in the hell am I going to be able to sit in a room all day and listen to people talk about Houston rap history? I relaly wasn't sure but I had faith and knew this was something that I could not miss. And I am so glad that I did not miss this. The entire day was thoroughly engaging, and me, a guy who knows a lot about this history, I even learned quite a lot.
The first panel was mind blowing for a guy like me. K-Rino, Steve Fournier, Willie D and Ricky Royal? These are THE dudes I came up on in my youth in Houston. Steve Fournier ran all the most historic clubs and a huge record pool. He even wrote about Houston in The Source Magazine when it first came out. Dude is a legend and someone I definitely admired. And K-Rino, Will and Rick all were like, the kings of the rap community at that point. So this was huge.
I don't want to try and retell the stories here. I just can't wait till the videos come out. I'd watch this one again for real.
Meshah Hawkins, Lil Keke, Lance Walker, Shorty Mac and ESG (and later Big Pokey) all broke down the history of DJ Screw and his music. More amazing stories for sure.
My friend Kasia was in town from WARSAW and came out to the event and sent me this picture of myself, moderating the Legacy of DJ Screw panel. We added OG Ron C in at the last minute, as ZRo didn't show up, and he added a lot to the convo with me, Bun B, Paul Wall and Chingo Bling all talm bout how far this music has come. It was pretty perfect actually. I'd actually like to see this one myself. Count how many times I said um, and twitched my hands. ANYWAY it was a super dope event and I'll definitely post videos when they come available. Wish I would have taken more photos, but it was right after SXSW and I was still in a state of shock. Also my mind hasn't been in this shit lately, OBVIOUSLY.
My mind is more here, at the beach. Which is where I'd like to be way more often. Took a family trip to Surfside for Easter weekend. Lovely, just lovely. Not sure how this water is looking blue in the photo, its brown for sure, but not as bad as it could have been. We swam the whole time.
Which is what I want to do.
Even if cars drive up and down the beach which is something I never understood but locals seem to like.
Easter weekend as you may or may not know was also the Unofficial Texas Beach Party Weekend, and well, it ended in gunfire with multiple people being shot, and one man dying. We had no idea as we were maybe a mile away at our hotel, but found out when we asked some folks in this insane traffic, what happened. Some of these folks sat in their cars for 3 hours waiting to get off the "island" and back to the city. Sad end to a great weekend. Not for us, but for a lot of others.
OK So whatever I'm gonna start writing more I swear, and shooting pics like I'm supposed to. Pachanga Fest is this weekend and I plan to go hard! Gimme them Bud Lite Limes and watch me go.
Oh yeah also there was this swarm of bees in our yard for a couple days.
I figured it was a hive, but then it was gone. Completely gone.
So was it just a swarm?
I don't know, the butterflies wouldn't tell me.
And neither would they.
Also I don't like the new Blogger back end system and I hate the new gmail and I hate Facebooks timeline. OK I have said what I needed to say. Back to it.