MUSIC: Talk about a Wall of Love! First drinks with Rick Reeder, Jim Ritts and Lisa Jasper. Then two hours of pure sonic joy. Of course we had applauded Darlene Love‘s huge comeback success in “20 Feet from Stardom,” her Oscar night thrill and her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after 50 years in the music biz. But I didn’t pay attention to the seasonal timing for this concert at the Paramount Theatre. Love blasted out four or five tremendous songs from the Phil Spector Christmas Album — my all-time fave — and included a couple of hilarious digs at her former mentor/tormentor. For me, the best concert of the year.
STYLE: A novel twist to fashion. Someone had to explain it to me. Why were we attending a runway show in a car dealership? And what was the twist? Actually, it was Tribeza’s Ashley Beall who explained to me that the show was organized by Blo Blow Dry Bar on West Fifth Street to benefit Kids in a New Groove, which helps foster kids with music mentoring. Unbeknownst to me, Blo is an international concept salon that offers a quick wash, dry and styling for (mostly) women on the go. They don’t cut and color, just get you to your social event looking sharp. The fashion show, naturally, emphasized hair in an informal setting with a fresh set of eyes. (Beall was among the only scene regulars whom I recognized at the event. Love that.)
ARTS: Knowing her folkways. Taken from my story in the Statesman: “Folklorists tend to spread out from the classroom or laboratory to the field. Cristina Balli’s journey reversed that pattern. The former social worker grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, surrounded by folk music, art, poetry, rituals and foodways. She wasn’t trained as a folklorist. Yet her curious mind and empathetic spirit took her through a labyrinth of experiences that led to Texas Folklife, the Austin-based nonprofit that she helms today.” http://shar.es/13XuVm