Live Music

A Sense of Priorities

Posted in Buildings & People, Live Music, Music, Music Manager, Music Office, Neighborhoods, News Report, Outdoor Music, Outdoor Music Venue Permit, The Code on November 15th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

I haven’t posted on this website much lately. Too much to do, and too little time in which to get it done.

That’s why, when you face certain facts, healthwise, it sharpens your sense of priorities, to the point where one instinctively narrows in on the pertinent facts. (More on the health stuff later, too, as “things” are narrowed down)

In my case, the priorities tend to fall along the line of, “after caring for, as best I can, to show my love and concern for my family and friends, is to do the right thing for my community”. That community is Austin, my main base, for 35 years. Specifically, my community is the Austin Music Community.

To that end, in this post, and those that will follow, I don’t want to accuse people of being Nazis, not even as being, necessarily, ”evil” people … I just want to set the record straight with facts, as I know them, with a bit of opinion, and intuitive reasoning, thrown in. So, bear with me while I attempt to “Keep My Lamps Trimmed and Burnin’ “, and my knife blades sharp, in doing the right thing, to the best of my ability.

The subject that I must focus on is The Austin Music Office, and will be my attempt to expose a current and ongoing campaign to discredit the Music Office’s good work. The campaign that I’m referring to is being conducted, in part, and in my opinion, by Stratus Properties, with CEO Beau Armstrong at the lead.

This is the man who helped bring pesticides and fertilizer, from the Source Point at his company’s Barton Creek Country Club, directly to the outflow of Barton Springs Pool. That, after Mr. Armstrong having to take over duties of the former Stratus CEO, Jim Bob Moffett, when Jim Bob was exposed as owning the company, Freeport Macmoran, that possessed the mineral rights to the largest gold mines in the world, and was the worst kind of polluter, perhaps the world’s worst polluter, of traditional indigenous peoples and lands.

Basically, Status has blown it, on a number of fronts, regarding decision on the specifications for their building materials, and it is causing problems that they are trying to hide, in there current campaign against both long-time, Downtown, Outdoor Music Venues, and the Music Office.

The sound issues are only part of the problems that Mr. Armstrong faces;

W Hotel to Close after More Glass Falls: MyFoxATLANTA.com

The  focus of this series, however, will be on the campaign Mr. Armstrong is currently, in my opinion, waging, and directing, at long-time Downtown venues, and the Music Office Staff, which is, by my account, the best thing to happen to Austin Music, in the past 3 decades.

This is one of best, and most accurate reports I’ve seen. Excellent reporting, by KXAN’s staff and Reporter Jarred Wise:

More to follow.

Comment on “Austin Noise Discussion

Posted in City Council, Live Music, Music Commission, Music Office, Sound Permit on November 8th, 2011 by admin – 5 Comments

The following is a repost of my reply to the post  “The Halfway Point Between Developers and Venues”,  by Joshua Leasure P.E., an acoustical consultant living and working in Austin, on his excellent site: “Austin Noise | Discussion on community noise in Austin, Texas”.

———- begin Comment ———-

Joshua,

First, I want to applaud your comprehensive and professional approach to the issue
of Noise & Austin. Your most recent post, analyzing the Nutty Brown Cafe sound
issues, is excellent.

You have my complete support in continuing your efforts to educate all parties;
the public, business owners (especially venue managers), and developers as to the
facts, and workings of the current state of affairs, especially in the area of
analyzing the extremely bad and broken Noise & Sound Ordinance, in it’s current
form.

I’ll point out the following, however, as to what, in my personal opinion, is the
real problem, in spite of the Music Commissions great work. I feel that if this
central problem is addressed, it would make your work, my work, and the Music
Commission’s work, much more effective and beneficial to everyone concerned.

At the following links, you can read certain facts, along with my analysis of why
the City Council is moving (albeit, as slow as molasses), in the exact opposite
direction of the Music Commission’s Recommendations to Council (which is the limit
of the Music Commission’s power.

“DANA Letter to the Mayor & Council” – http://goo.gl/y2pD4

“Disingenuous Politickin’” – http://austincitypermits.com/?p=4170

“Mistake on Decibel Reading Location” – http://austincitypermits.com/?p=4510

In the posts, above, it is clear as to why, on Feb 17th of this year, Council
staff basically “screwed the pooch” and set back Austin’s Noise & Sound Ordinance
several years

The letter was from DANA (Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association) who were, at
the time, very much “at the stakeholder’s table” of the backdoor meetings being
called by certain members of the Council. I am of the opinion that DANA was
overzealous, drunk on the attention and support they were getting from Council and
Staff, and simply overstepped the boundary of just what an organization can
insert, of it’s own agenda, directly into the Code.

“Inadvertently … left in place?” – http://austincitypermits.com/?p=4526

That Ordinance included the provision that: ““The decibel limits prescribed under
this section must be measured … from the location of the sound equipment on the
property or site where the permit is issued.”

This meant that the current 70 dB (Restaurant) and 85 dB (Cocktail Lounges &
non-Restaurant venues) decibel level limits would hence forth be measured in front
of the speakers!

I was told that Staff didn’t have an Ordinance ready, and with mere weeks before
SxSW, a Council Member ordered, “We need something now. Put something together,
and get it on the Agenda!”. The Mea Culpa in the form of a Memo by the Council’s
staff lawyer, can be read here:

http://goo.gl/5nk7I

As a result of my efforts to quickly call attention the mistake, an additional
ordinance was passed (!) 2 weeks later, in order to rid the Code of the
inappropriate “mistake”.

“Location of dB Readings Changed” – http://austincitypermits.com/?p=4494

However, if you’ll notice, several other “suggestions” from the Dana letter have
remained in the Code, as of that one rushed Ordinance.

The Music Commission, as well as the City’s Music Office have been doing an
excellent job of communicating these damaging inclusions, starting as recently as
6 months ago, so far, absolutely NO action has been taken by Council … and that’s
my point.

Respectfully, Gary Etie

———- end Comment ———-

Live Music ? & Nutty Brown Cafe

Posted in Land and People, Live Music, Outdoor Music, People & People on May 5th, 2011 by Gary Etie – 5 Comments

Live music’s ever increasing proximity to residential areas is inevitable. More live music, as it turns out, is the music community’s “market reaction”, the Yin to the Yang, of our collective shift toward the “sharing” of most recorded music.

The changes that shift has wrought have dramatically altered what today’s musicians must do, to make a living. People with an overblown sense of entitlement aren’t going to necessarily appreciate what that means to their living conditions, however, so venues, like Nutty Brown Cafe, outside of Austin, and many more, face opposition.

“Debate over noise from Nutty Brown Cafe reaches state level”:

by SHELTON GREEN / KVUE News
BioEmail | Follow: @SheltonG_KVUE
Posted on May 4, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Commentary: My Life Is Good | Randy Newman:

Austin Music Commission, On Demand

Posted in City of Austin, Live Music, Outdoor Music, The Code on May 3rd, 2011 by Gary Etie – 3 Comments

The good news … Austin Music Commission meetings are now available on demand. An archive of all 2011 meetings will be available soon.

The bad news … an ongoing, highly coordinated effort by DANA and DAA to continue to attempt to introduce  amendments to the Noise & Sound Ordinance that would be highly detrimental to Live Music in Austin, Texas.

The best news … We have some very smart citizens serving on the Austin Music Commission. In the following 2 videos, those individuals point out the folly of the amendments being proposed by the two downtown organizations, and tell them to, basically, go back to the drawing board.

Item D2 – “Briefing by Bill Brice of Downtown Austin Alliance, Josh Allen of Pecan Street Owner’s Association and Jamie Lagarde of Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association about issues related to sound downtown.”

(Part 1 of 2):

(Part 2 of 2):


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Kris Bailey for Austin City Council

Posted in City Council, Code Compliance, Live Music, Music, Neighborhoods, Outdoor Music, Outdoor Music Venue Permit, Sound Permit, The Code on April 5th, 2011 by Gary Etie – 1 Comment

Would somebody, please, just get this guy elected. Please?

Endorsement: “The Teapot Party was started to help people like Kris Bailey get elected. We endorse him in his run for Austin City Council. Good Luck Kris. - Willie Nelson

Kris Bailey: “Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World. We need to keep it that way! As a council member, I will support our local music venues, we need an environment in which they can easily do business. We don’t need more restrictions for the industry that we are famous for. Sometimes the City Council doing less would actually accomplish more.

More specifically, this means I don’t think we should be passing out tickets to bar owners, and the permit process to have a show should be simplified. If somebody applies for a permit for a show, they should not have to fight the city for it, they should just get it.”

 

Sound Ordinances and Permits: “Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World,”  we need to be friendly and understanding towards the people that make it this way!  Our bar owners and music venue owners are constantly running into a brick wall with the city over being allowed to operate.  Some bar managers have been cited multiple times in a single night over trivial issues.  The music community needs an advocate on the City Council and Kris Bailey will do just that.”

Clarification: “To the people talking about voting for Toby Ryan for Austin City Council I want to make it clear, you can vote for us both, I’m not running against Toby, we are running for different seats!”