Last week, a couple of my street photography cell phone photos were added to an exhibit at the Five Points Musuem of Contemporary Art.
I had attended a workshop led by artist Ernesto Leon and that started the wheels in motion for the exhibit. I have been doing my own version of life for a while now, never thought it would be seen on a wall of a musuem though. The exhibit is up until the end of the year, so check it out if you can.
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and I thought I would do a little update on things since my last post.
At the end of October, I got to see a Lucha Underground show in Houston. It was free and at a flea market, so basically I felt that I was lucky to see the event and that they are keeping their humble roots of the sport.
Early November saw Lechuza playing 2 shows to benefit shelter animals… the first was “Rock fur paws” which was a weird show in the middle of some country field next to a trailer house. The kicker was, this place was huge, it was a great turnout, and even had booths and tents set up
The second benefit was a show called “Warriors never die” Lechuza played speicifically for Homeless cats….
A few weeks later we went to “Wurstfest” which is the largest Octoberfest in Texas. Lots of food and drinks. The most impressive was a “porkchop on a stick” looking back on that day, we ate a lot of food on sticks
I guess the last thing I should mention as far as events I slacked on talking about this month, was that we held our annual “Great Art Scare” last week… It was great, Lechuza had a killer set.
The great art scare is important. It gives artists who usually dont share their work a platform to come out and exhibit among other seasoned artists and first time artists. No one gets special treatment, it’s a great inspiration and networking night for them. Also we had ten bands four poets and two venues, so it was our biggest one yet. It took a lot of planning and work to execute but in the end, it was a huge success. I couldn’t be prouder of the Stout City team and specifically my wife who had the idea to make it happen in the first place.
That leads us to Thanksgiving. I had never smoked turkey legs before, so I gave it a whirl, and they came out amazing.
Brea and I were talking about the holidays on the drive back from her folks’ house. This is the first time, we actually felt like we are welcoming the holidays. Usually we are depressed, or in some sort of a misery. I always had the habit of looking down on this time of year from years of being alone and isolated, but with her in my life, I feel like celebrating something. I went to too many funerals last year, it seems to be a recurring thing the last few years. Instead of dwelling on the past though, it has made me focus on the present.
We only have so many years on this planet. We’ll all be snuffed out by the universe sometime. So until then, why not make merry and celebrate the chaos that is (or should be) your life?
On to December.
A post for the Great Art Scare which is coming in November
It’s probably our biggest show of the year, this year we expanded it to two venues and ten bands. We’re stoked about it mostly because there isn’t an event in our local city that really celebrates local artists and openly invites them to come display their stuff.
Victoria Texas is kind of behind on things like art, music, and anything that makes you take a dare
Recently, a certain event got a lot of attention this week due to the poor attitude of the co founder of the event.
I’m not going to talk about that. I’ve made my thoughts known.
The one thing I would like to mention is that all week, the attitude I have gotten from comments online and in person are things like “Well… it’s Victoria… What do you expect?” or “Well… I mean it’s good enough for Victoria.”
Guys… I think I found your problem. It’s you.
What do I expect? Good enough? Are you fucking kidding me?
I came to this city (and guys you are a city even if you behave like a town) when I was entering my teens. I was a kid who spent his whole life in a town made of dust and no hope for dreamers like me. I was so excited my first day of school when my shoes got stolen from my gym locker because an actual crime happened to me. If you think there is nothing in this town, you should have seen the one I came from.
When I first moved here, the middle child of a poor family, we moved into this old, dusty house. I’ll never forget those first months because my mom and dad along with us siblings, rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We painted rooms. we scrubbed old tubs, we fixed that old house into something we were proud of. We didn’t own it. We knew we would leave soon enough when we could afford to. But my mom and dad would be damned if we were just going to accept things the way they were.
I tell you this story so you know what kind of a person I am when I tell you to stop crying about this place.
Let me make this clear… crystal fucking clear… 1) stop blaming this town for things you don’t like 2) these people owe you nothing and 3) if you don’t like it… do something about it.
“This is Victoria what do I expect?” I’ll tell you what I expect. I expect your best. All the people who say nothing goes on, but refuse to leave the house for fear of looking uncool on social media. I’m tired of people who complain about things they want (bootfest) when they finally get they complain about. You want a run down of things? You got Bootfest, Jazzfest, Bach festival, independent film festival, pokemon go meets, market days, film society,movies under the stars, warrior never die, hot rod riot, food truck fest, the great art scare, bar wars, gaming tournaments, a new record store, coffee shops made out of repurposed ATM machines, a skate park, a partridge in a pear tree.. damn it that’s just the top of my head, you know the list though I can go on.
What do I expect? I don’t know man, how about making an effort. I’m not speaking to the creators, I’m speaking to the citizens. There is more to this place than the new chain restaraunt that opened. There is more to life than whining to the local newspapers comment section about how you hate this town.
And when I don’t like something you know what I do?
Yup… I do SOMETHING.
You want my resume? Here you go. 1) I once got kicked off my high school paper for writing an editorial review of a local pop country cover band, this led me to starting my first zine which became so popular that was banned too 2) I didn’t like the bands in my area, so I wrote my own songs and started a band, 22 years later I’m still disliking the music around me so I continue to make my own. 3) Brea and I didn’t like the music we heard on radio, so we started our own show. For 5 years our podcast got us national attention, was featured in a documentary, and took us to events all over the place and even got on terrestial radio for a bit. 4) In an effort to push local artists, we started “the great art scare” which lets local unknown artists mingle with other artists and showcase their work along with spoken word and music for one night, it easily became our biggest event.
There’s many more things we’ve done, from fundraisers, to starting a record label, to just not being complacent. Sometimes through the years, I find myself from time to time on a soapbox, like I am now. And that’s fine.
This week, there was a lot of talk about “free speech” and “speaking your mind”
I’m all for that. I think everyone should be allowed to say what they want.
I can tell you though, from experience of being a punk musician, that speaking your mind does NOT make you immune to the consequences of what you say. You have to answer for that. THIS is why we don’t ask or borrow from other entities so we have the freedom to talk all the trash we want.
Partnerships are one thing, but taking help is something we aren’t into.
So knowing that speaking my mind can bring your dissaproval I will close with this.
Stop blaming everyone for your town and your problems. That’s weak. That’s cowardly. If you don’t like it, fix it. Everyone likes to cling to the romantic idea of the strong American and the tough Texan, but when push comes to shove, they cry about it behind a computer screen. Don’t like bootfest? Go to a city council meeting and voice your opinion, ask them to change the bands or get rid of the fest (you’ll be crying about no festival later though so proceed with caution) Complain there is nothing to do with your kids? Look at the other parents who comment the same thing, start a social media group with them to meet up for playdates (better yet stop having kids and keep your disposable income) Don’t like your job? Get a new one. Don’t like your spouse? Get a new one? Don’t like my writing or my music? Stop reading, and sorry about the music, but Lechuza is going to get insanely bigger in 2017.
This place is what you make it. I am often asked why I don’t just leave. The reason is… this is my town too and like my parents I’ll be damned if I’m just going to accept things as they are.
Now get off my lawn