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'Sin City 2' Premiere After-Party, Punch Bowl Social Opening, Nancy Coplin and more

sincity2
Michael Barnes

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MOVIES: Cool, roomy Rattle Inn beckoned to guests from the mild, muggy night. Most of those guests had attended the Austin Film Society premiere of "Sin City 2," Robert Rodriguez's stylized revisit to an indelible, neo-noir nightmare. On the dance floor mingled starlets in short, slinky dresses, techies in full beards and flapping shirttails, watchful media types and nattily dressed Film Society patrons. Downtowners Tommy and Lynn Meredith swept me up into conversations about summer destinations, Longhorns football, Livestrong, Dell Medical School, the Thinkery and Vince Young Steakhouse. (Always edifying.) Film Society captain Rebecca Campbell informed me about expansion plans at their Mueller site and explained how to nimbly navigate city government. Newsroom colleague, Tony Atkins, joined me. The young man from Wisconsin, a recent graduate, is developing the 360 mobile app for the American-Statesman. We talked about being shy extroverts and how to grow a scene report into profile, history or trend story. My last chat was with Tina, John and Connie Rodriguez, glamorous members of the evening's royal family, each with their own accomplishments.

NIGHTLIFE: Robert Thompson dreams up your nightlife. Years ago, he planted Buffalo Billiards, a standard stop on East Sixth Street, for the college set. He sold that and took his conceptual act on the road. One of his biggest hits is Punch Bowl Social in Denver, followed by a Portland, Ore. edition. The third iteration opened softly at a prime spot in the Domain, in between Hotel Row and the winding retail/residential street that is highest accomplishment of this project. The nightspot is big: 21,000 square feet of divided, yet open rooms under very tall ceilings, offering bowling, billiards, ping pong and other distractions. Still, there are quieter niches for food from the scratch kitchen. Originally from Mississippi, Thompson is practically a dream factory for concept nightlife. I also met with Rachelle Fox, who tended bar at Vespaio for 15 years and now serves as Punch Bowl operations manager, as well as with Denver-based Patrick Williams, the beverage director for the series. Next stop: Detroit. "We should buy a house there," Williams says. "It might cost what it did to rent an apartment in Austin for the few weeks we've been here."

MUSIC: Advocate Nancy Coplin's colorful life. From my story in the American-Statesman: "My brain is like a popcorn popper,” Nancy Coplin says. “Ideas just — poink! — pop up.” Considering Coplin’s colorful history, no wonder her head spins. A brassy bundle of compressed energy, Coplin married a worldly Dallas music promoter at age 19; started freshman orientation at the University of Texas on the day of the Tower shootings; later booked movies in New Orleans; sold industrial chemicals for years in the oil patches of Louisiana and Texas; wrote and sang “not terribly wonderful songs” in Austin; chaired the city’s first music commission; lost everything in the 1998 flood; and — capping her career as an industry insider — booked more than 7,000 acts as the music coordinator at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport from 1999 to 2013. Now “retired,” Coplin currently serves as a music consultant for other cities’ airports; books music for the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar; manages bluesman Paul Oscher; works closely with TuneGo.com, an online platform for career development in music; buys talent for the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort’s songwriter series; and sells vintage music posters on the side. “I’m not finished yet,” she is fond of saying. “There’s another thing …” With Coplin, there’s always another thing." http://shar.es/1nU5k3

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