JAN. 25, 2002
Just south of Avenue F on North Loop Boulevard exists a small pocket of businesses that has experienced something of a renaissance in the last decade. Much like the sparsely gravestoned pauper’s cemetery to the northwest, the dilapidated rows of one-story buildings on either side of the street used to be mostly vacant, with a few stalwart exceptions like Action Safe & Lock, Ararat, Room Service, Hogwild and Musical Exchange. However, since the glory days of Clintonian economic expansion, the little block is abuzz with new, edgy retailers like Forbidden Fruit, Donkey, and The Parlor, a pizza joint with a dark, Martian interior where the jukebox boasts a psychotically diverse selection of tunes, many scrawled in unceremonious ballpoint – a sort of punk refutation of the digital age. Most days of the week it’s all about pizza (regulars rave about it), pool (one table, no waiting), and hanging out beneath the large paintings of legendary Austin musicians like Willie Nelson and Roky Erikson, but Monday nights at 7:30 The Parlor belongs to Jane Bond, a captivating young singer/songwriter from up north who routinely packs the place with her devoted following before turning things over to two powerful roots/blues acts: The Converters and Scott Biram. This may well be the African Violet they call the “Austin Music Scene.” It’s up to you to nurture it. No cover, just toppings.