Austin, Texas – Rhapsody Mural (HDR)

I have been curious recently in regards to photographing graffiti in Austin. In my search I came across this amazing mural! It is called “Rhapsody” created by John Yancey located in the Dr. Charles E. Urdy Plaza located on E. 11th and Waller Streets…a small area located in East Austin. I found lots a great spots around there thanks to a heads up from my good friend Jim Nix.

Some info on the web about “Rhapsody”: Seventy years ago, East 11th Street was Austin’s mecca for jazz. Amateur groups played at local parks on weekend afternoons, and legends Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Ornette Coleman played at eastside venues like Charlie’s Playhouse and the Cotton Club. Those great jazz joints may be a thing of the past, but the brass is alive again on the east side. It bursts forth in “Rhapsody,” a vivid and intricate mosaic mural. “Before there was a Sixth Street, there was an Eleventh Street,” says Yancey. “When that area went down, we lost a lot of that jazz and blues kind of energy. But that’s certainly one of the parts of history that people remember most fondly. When people talk about it, their eyes light up.” The mural was actually fabricated in Yancey’s studio using an indirect mural process. The design was drawn up to scale, laid out on a 25-foot-by-10-foot platform, and then each tile was cut to fit the shape in the design. Yancey then used clear contact paper to hold the mural together, cut it into 330 sections and stored it until it was ready to be installed. He worked on the installation with master artisan Luis G. Alicea and artist Steven B. Jones.

I’ll give Mr. Yancey kudos…that is one coooool Mural! Here is a close up. Stop by and see it if you are ever in town! Stunning!

Austin, Texas – SXSW – Juke Kartel

On Saturday afternoon, we took a drive downtown to attend SXSW.  That stands for South By Southwest.  An Annual Music, Film and interactive conference held in Austin, Texas. This year it was held March 11-20th.  It just ended yesterday.  If you are a fan of live music…you can head downtown and see many bands.  From possible big names to unsigned bands…and all in between!  I always keep my ear open for any of my favorite bands coming to town.  This past Friday and Saturday…one of my favs is a band called Juke Kartel.  They were playing at BD Riley’s Pub on 6th street.  My wife and I decided to head down and see them play!

They were doing an acoustic set and only 3 of the 5 members made the trip.  Toby Rand – lead singer / Dale Winters – Guitarist / Tommy Kende – Bassist came to play a 30-45 minute set.  For those that may not know JK…I’d consider them a rock band.  Comparisons are always tough to make…so you just have to listen and make your own opinion.  They have some excellent tunes…   Some of my top choices…

1. Save Me   2. Throw It Away   3. If Only   4. My Baby   5.  Firesign     Levolution is their most recent album…you can find it on ITunes.  They also have 2 videos available on ITunes…If Only & Brightest Star

We hit it early and Toby, Dale and Tommy were just hanging out at the bar.  It was wonderful to chat with them all…they were so nice to us and I think they will go far in this business.  They are focused on making it big and work hard at reaching their goals.  The key to success!!  I asked Toby if it was ok for me to grab some pics.  He said no problem.  Armed with my 50mm f/1.4 and and mounted SB-600 with a Flash Bounce Diffuser….I took a bunch of shots and tried not to get in anyones way!

JK put on a great show and was gracious to all that attended.  They even mixed in a Doors tune with their hit “Throw It Away”…a highlight for me.  The pub was packed and lots were listening outside on 6th street.  Hope they make it back next year!  Kudos JK!!  Hope to come see you guys at a show in LA one time (this is where they are currently residing) and often play at the Whiskey.   If only we live for the moment!

You can check out some extra pics on my Facebook site….Talke Photography In the meantime…here is one more shot…I gave it that “Rock Album” look: