I love to complain my little New England tail off about living in Texas - mainly because it's too hot, too humid, and just too damn HOT for too long. Also there are lots of big cars and Republicans. So here I am in Maine for Thanksgiving relishing the fact that I am refreshingly and even uncomfortably cold when I walk outside, but.....especially when I'm away, even for a few days, I start feeling the bond I've formed with quirky Austin and admit to myself that I'll miss it when I leave. (And there is no question that I WILL leave.)
My favorite things about Austin happen to be the interesting mix of people, beautiful hill country to run and bike in, drinking beer outside, and the music, probably in that order. But Austin does have some pretty cool music. The greatest type of music I've probably gained an appreciation for here has been Texas Country music. And the greatest artist I've discovered here is Townes Van Zandt.
Townes really falls somewhere between the folk and country genres, but he's as Texas as they come. His songs are moving without being sappy (well, most of them). His music is simple but catchy. And his lyrics are the most amazing part. Poetic and sad, but always with a good story to tell and always open to interpretation. Depending on my mood he can make me cry or open my eyes to what's beautiful around me. Or both.
There was also a great documentary about Townes that came out last winter called "Be Here to Love Me." My favorite Townes songs are "Fare thee Well Miss Carousel" and "Pancho and Lefty."