SAT., OCT. 25, 2003
After a while, you tend to forget why Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World (hereinafter referred to as the LMCOTW or more poetically, Austin). Somehow it seems perfectly normal that a live band should accompany breakfast, lunch, and dinner; provide a soundtrack to your stroll through the airport; and greet you at the end of the supermarket checkout line. Lest you ever doubt our claim to the title, try this little experiment. Go knock on the door to your neighbor’s house. If someone answers, ask if he or she is a musician. If the answer is no, it will inevitably be followed by the phrase, “but my _____ is.” Of course, if no one answers the door, you can pretty much be certain it’s a musician because they’re 1) sleeping in, 2) rehearsing, or 3) avoiding bill collectors. At any given time in Austin, you’re less than one degree of separation from a musician. Austin is one of the few places (maybe the only place) in the world where you have a better chance of knowing a musician than someone with herpes, though by no means are the two mutually exclusive. Every night in Austin literally hundreds of bands play in venues all over Austin. Thousands more are rehearsing or jamming in apartments, houses, garages, and storage units. Who hasn’t lost their sanity trying to find the locus of that insistent thumping coming from somewhere down the street? This embarrassment of musical riches has its benefits: cheap day labor, interesting fashions, thriving pawn shops and blood banks, and, of course, wicked cool record collections. This weekend Austin becomes the RMCOTW as the Austin Record Convention sets up shop at the Crocket Center. Twice a year, spring and fall, the Austin Record Convention attracts more than 300 record dealers from across the USA and Europe. The selection includes 78s, 45s, LPs, CDs, eight-tracks, and cassettes, as well as posters and collectibles – more than 1 million items. If you’re into music (and statistically, that’s a given) you should be able to find plenty. If you’re into musicians, well … ditto on that, too. Admission is $4 for both days (yes, you’re going to need some time on this one) and bring some extra folding money because there’s a good chance you’ll find something you can’t live without.