March 17, 2014
A Guide to Smaller Austin Music Festivals

Rory Harman and Brady Bennett 

(A version of this article was originally written for and published in 787xx. I think I might have added a couple more jokes though. I think my original goal was to try to trick visitors into thinking I was being serious, but any semblance of verisimilitude has been pretty much abandoned.)

The smell of rancid trash soaking every fiber our small city with the scent of rotting death can only mean one thing. The beginning of festival season in Austin.

Soon, thousands of people will be descending on the city to take photos of themselves next to iconic murals, pay other humans to use them as vehicles, and speak wistfully of the day they can move to the city and talk condescendingly about newcomers. But Austin’s vibrant and eclectic creative community is host to dozens of lesser known and lesser appreciated festivals, for locals looking for something new and cool to do, and out-of-towners looking to go a little off the beaten path, and a little deeper into the unique flavor of the city.


Dumpster Fire 2007

Named after the first instance, in 2007, when a group of train hoppers, led by a man known by the name Spit, set the contents of a Austin city dumpster on fire, and gathered around it to keep warm, despite the protestation of local amphetamine addict Carlin Smint, who was, at the time, vacationing in the dumpster.
For those in the know, and with the secret entry code, in the form of a homemade tattoo with a never acknowledged but somehow generally agreed upon symbol, the sea of Road Warriors who show up can relax for an exciting weekend of hearing several different itinerant drunks playing the same three Ramones songs on their acoustic guitars, banjos, mandolins, and washtub basses. Last year, the symbol was an eagle with a massive dong peeing a police officer, and this year is rumored to be a scarification of Simba, burned into festival goers arms, by repeatedly prodding their flesh with a hot can of Steel Reserve, sculpted into the shape of the beloved Disney character by Winslydale Dogpuke, a local malt liquor sculptor and wino living inside that statute on south congress erected to commemorate the invention of the Batarang.  
Participants can also look forward to a puking contest, where competitors must drink a 40 in less than one minute, shake themselves violently in order to assure maximum velocity and pressure, and aim for the longest shot. Also a best in show contest for dog owners.


Taco Bell Presents The Taco Bell Mouth By Mouth Best Multimedia Loco Taco Experience

Coming in 2015. The brand savvy taco geniuses at the Bell decided that simply sponsoring a cavalcade of top celebrity musicians during South By South West was beginning to stifle them as a creative outlet, becoming too corporate, and they needed to branch off into their own festival, which would focus on the original spirit of the festival, getting rad in a vat of flamin nacho grande sauce.

In addition to having that zesty cheese you love poured into every orifice of your undeserving body, attendees can look forward to a vibrant film and tech convention, with seminars on subjects such as America’s need to embrace fifth meal, and new mediums of taco conveyance, including untapped dorito flavors, triscuits, and drywall.

Also featured in the film category, the coveted prize for Best Tocumentary.


High school seniors Bart and Derek are totally going to be spending this saturday doing donuts in an HEB parking lot and listening to Pantera’s classic album Vulgar Display of Power. You can come hang out if you promise to be cool about it, and maybe if you can bring some brews, Derek’s cousin totally blew it on the fakes.


Meth by Meth Quest.
Not so much a music festival as it is the monthly ritual of local amphetamine addict Carlin Smint, who rotates scavenging different neighborhoods in Austin, breaking into people’s houses to look for enough copper wiring, toasters, amplifiers, vintage record collections, cookie sheets and arrowheads to satisfy his craving for sweet biker crank.

Upon completion of his quest, and once good and spun, Smint celebrates by standing on the Lamar pedestrian bridge at 4 in the morning, banging the cookie sheets together and singing the chorus of More Than A Feeling by Boston, until someone arrives to stop him, at which point he dives into the river, and swims back to his secluded burrow, the location of which is unknown, though some speculate it is in the tunnel system under the University of Texas, as some see him occasionally exiting a door in the FAC.

If you haven’t encountered Smint yet, it is only a matter of time. Smint will find you. Smint will take your valuables. Smint may have forgotten that your neighborhood exists, or believe that it is infested with “Rikki Tkiki Tavies”, his natural enemy.


Thursday Night Social Riot.

Get The Fuck Out of My Apartment
Started in 2005 by Tisby Chunderberk, a local artisan cheesemaker, as an ironic protest against South By Southwest. After the first year, which several of his friends described as “pretty cool”, the party began to grow in attention and attendance, with increasingly high profile bands vying for positions on the bill, as a cooler, more authentic alternative to the increasingly high profile festival. Chunderberk, increasingly fed up with what he said was people “totally missing the fucking point”, but unable to fight against the momentum, and grudgingly admitting that the attention helped him pay his bills, allows the festival to continue, but refuses to let the event be promoted, or for that matter, allow anyone to disclose the location. This year, Atoms for Peace is playing in Chunderberk’s laundry room. Please don’t come. Chunderberk cordially invites anyone interested in attending to FUCK OFF.


The weekend after Eeyore’s Birthday.
Several of Austin’s most burned out oldtimers gather, confused, in Pease Park, the week after the festivities.

The party kicks off with festival regular Carlin Smint running through the park masturbating and proclaiming that “when the magpie rejects the silver, all will be engulfed in the death grip of the rikki tikki tavi.”

Attendees spend the rest of the day nodding, staring at trees, trying to use their own bellies as percussion, and staring at young park goers just long enough for them to realize that the participants are totally imagining them naked.


The Summoning of Orswin, The All Consuming, the Sleeping Viper, Knower of the Unspeakable Truth.

In an alcove deep bellow Zilker Park, the weekend of Austin City Limits, a second, more sinister ceremony takes place. The identities of the attendees are unknown, but rumored to include several high profile movers and shakers, tastemakers and innovators who gather to pay tribute to the massive, sleeping serpent that lives under the lake. Offerings of blood are made in ritual sacrifice of 300-400 out of town attendants to ACL, and it is rumored that the whole festival was actually begun as a front to lure in unsuspecting victims, to feed the serpent’s hunger for blood sacrament, and stave off the day when he will again rise, and wash the city away in an unending flood.

To account for the disappearances, letters are sent to the victims families, explaining that after visiting for the festival, these intrepid music aficionados have fallen in love with the city’s rustic, down to earth charm and quirky vibe, and have decided to move immediately, to start a new life at a small, honest tech startup.

Beware.


HellFuck
the Only Music Festival.
It is is the only music festival. All other festivals are elaborate advertisements for the Microsoft Zune. You don’t deserve to come.

November 26, 2013
I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

October 31, 2013

I decided to take a good chunk of yesterday to, for a change of pace, make a really dumb, crudely animated short called The House That Has a Ghost In It That Might Be Watching You Jerk Off - By Stephen King.

October 23, 2013
Do you like seafood?
More great halloween costume ideas here!
Help me afford to not be homeless again!

Do you like seafood?

More great halloween costume ideas here!

Help me afford to not be homeless again!

October 10, 2013
It was only then that Hans realized that perhaps he should have taken the older man’s advice and not gone fishing in this particular lake.

It was only then that Hans realized that perhaps he should have taken the older man’s advice and not gone fishing in this particular lake.

October 10, 2013
I rewatched Drive a few days ago, and one of the things that movie always kinda hits home for me is, really, just how much I admire Bryan Cranston as an actor. Watching it, especially right on the tale end of, you know, that thing he’s been doing for the last five years, and it’s really remarkable, how close to unrecognizable he is from his performance on THAT show. The physicality of the character is so completely different, his tone and cadence, and even the kind of schlubby warmth that he has, which was completely absent from Walt…

I rewatched Drive a few days ago, and one of the things that movie always kinda hits home for me is, really, just how much I admire Bryan Cranston as an actor. Watching it, especially right on the tale end of, you know, that thing he’s been doing for the last five years, and it’s really remarkable, how close to unrecognizable he is from his performance on THAT show. The physicality of the character is so completely different, his tone and cadence, and even the kind of schlubby warmth that he has, which was completely absent from Walt…

October 10, 2013
Thanksgiving was never the same after that.

Thanksgiving was never the same after that.

October 8, 2013
After seeing that drawing I did a couple weeks ago of a ghost dude smoking a cigar, my friend Ebit asked me to draw her in a similar fashion smoking an e-cigarette. When I sent it to her initially, she said she thought it needed to look “ more tired and wretched” which I tried to oblige to. She described the final image as being a “vape witch.”
IF ANYONE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN COMMISSIONING ME TO DO STUFF, YOU SHOULD FEEL MORE THAN WELCOME TO CONTACT ME.RORYHARMAN AT GMAIL
PRICES ARE NEGOTIABLE.

After seeing that drawing I did a couple weeks ago of a ghost dude smoking a cigar, my friend Ebit asked me to draw her in a similar fashion smoking an e-cigarette. When I sent it to her initially, she said she thought it needed to look “ more tired and wretched” which I tried to oblige to. She described the final image as being a “vape witch.”

IF ANYONE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN COMMISSIONING ME TO DO STUFF, YOU SHOULD FEEL MORE THAN WELCOME TO CONTACT ME.
RORYHARMAN AT GMAIL

PRICES ARE NEGOTIABLE.

October 3, 2013
Strange and Exotic Drinks from Times Forgotten

Playing off of the traditional colloquialism amongst distillers that the amount of alcohol that evaporates during barrel aging of whiskey is referred to as “The Angels’ Share”, Jim Beam has introduced a bourbon that they claim is “the Devil’s Cut” - bourbon that had been absorbed by the wood of the barrel.

While this may be what expert historians of distilled spirits refer to as “absolute horse shit” and an excuse to put a higher markup on shitty booze that’s been soaked in that “smoky mesquite” flavoring stuff some people like to put on barbecue, it also alludes a much wider and richer history of rare and exotic drinks that the boldest connoisseur would be elated to get their hands on.


The Tramp’s Defeat - In the midst of the great depression, many a hobo would sneak into nearby whiskey distilleries to try to sneak out some of the precious fluids, usually by either cupping their hands and trying to run off with as much as they could, or soaking their bindle cloth in the concoction, to ring it out later. If caught trying to leave the factory with a cupped handful of whiskey, they would be made to return it, to a special vat where all stolen whiskey was collected. The accumulated dust and grit on the hobo’s weathered skin, and other strange secretions from his body would turn the alcohol, no matter what it was before, into a fine and exquisite rye.
The bindle form is much rarer, and in addition to the benefits of the skin variety of Tramp’s Defeat, this form has the distinct taste of secrets, soaked in whatever hidden surprises lay inside the hobo’s bindle.


The Tramp’s Victory - A more industrious hobo, rather than attempting to pour the booze into his bindle cloth to wring it out later, might just ingest the aging alcohol straight out of the barrel. If the hobo was caught on his way staggering out of the factory, the alcohol could be recovered by cutting a hole in the hobo’s belly, and draining the alcohol back from there. While many enthusiasts of finer spirits claim that the beverage is exquisite, with a smooth drinkability and a slightly tart finish, the sale of Hobo’s Triumph is explicitly prohibited, after it was discovered that some factories were setting up hobo farms, where the hobos were kept in small cages, with a tube running out from their bellies.
The tramps didn’t seem to mind though.

 

The Hemingway stash - Spirits stolen from the private stash of Ernest Hemingway, while he was blotto. Like the satisfaction of successfully wrestling a salmon from a bear, The Hemingway Stash fills the drinker with the profound sense of triumph that can only be attained with the knowledge that you narrowly avoided having a drunk, angry Ernest Hemingway blow their fucking face off. What greater way is there to test a man’s courage?

 

Daddy’s Special Secret - That first secret sip, stolen from a locked cupboard at night, that intoxicates as much by it’s own strength as by the excitement of a triumphant taste of the forbidden. Only drank once, and followed by a lifetime of trying to recreate that first exciting moment, and eventually, a dependency.


Troll beer  - Troll beer very good. Troll beer made from trees. Make you strong like big troll king. You no drink troll beer. Troll beer is for troll king only. No. What you doing? Stop tickling troll’s bellybutton. Now troll drop beer. Look what made troll do. Now troll beer is everywhere. Now troll smash you. NOW TROLL SMASH YOU.

 


The Bukowski -  Any amount of alcohol consumed by a 20 something with a degree in Liberal Arts, and a penchant for telling people publicly that they are planning on becoming a writer. Purchased with money from trust funds and given most of its strength by the belief that, by drinking heavily and talking about writing, this will constitute the sort of hard edged life worth writing about, if only one could actually be bothered to sit down and commit any of it to paper.


Wood Nymph’s Delight - In some factories in rural villages, when the moon is high, precious and delicate wood nymphs may be spotted from afar, sneaking into factories to drink deeply from barrels of brandy. If followed undetected, the nymphs can be seen dancing in great revelry, and enjoying the bounty of the factory. The Wood Nymph’s Delight can be extracted by taking the frail and gentle creatures, captured and still alive, and pressing their heads firmly between two stones, crushing them into a fine liquid, if you can bare to do it while listening to their muted pleas.


What Rightfully Belongs to Azazel - In a small town, somewhere in a small country in Europe, there lived a talented but poor man, who had dedicated his life to crafting the finest wine anyone had ever tasted. He had but one child, a daughter who, after the death of the man’s wife, the man loved more than anything else in the world. One day she became incredibly and inexplicably ill. The man was stricken, desperate, and unable to pay for any sort of medical treatment, cried out to the heavens that he would be willing to sacrifice anything for her wellbeing.
But she passed away. In his grief, he placed his daughter’s body inside of one of his wooden casks, the whole time begging that she be restored, as he watched her lifeless body fade into the dark crimson liquid. A single tear fell from his cheek, as he heard a voice, a whisper from the shadows ask “anything?”
Moments later, his daughter suddenly emerged from the barrel, fully alive and gasping for air.
To this day, the 
descendants of the the woman offer up the best of their yearly produce to the spirit who saved their great grandmother. If drank, it is said to have a rapturous and otherworldly flavor, which slowly dissolves into an intense and unbearable, unending burning inside of one’s head, from which most either die or become completely mad. It is said that the last thing that those who dare to imbibe hear, is an angry, shrill, spiteful voice, screaming promises at them to raze the homes of their families and all that they hold dear.


Kangaroo Beer - Holy Fuck. Those roos went and stole all of our fosters and now they’ve gone nuts! They just kicked Richie’s head clean off.

The Actual Devil’s Cut - It is a well established fact that most manufacturers of gin are avowed Satanists. There is no other reason that such a beverage would exist. At most modern distilleries, a portion of the final yield is offered up to the dark lord as a way of giving thanks for his care and protection. If you should happen to find yourself walking down a long and lonely road late one night, and should see a strange traveler, with many small flasks and jars slung over his shoulder, tied together with a long rope, smoking a long ivory pipe, and with a straw hat hung low over his eyes, then you may have indeed come across the devil.
The easiest way to verify his identity is to sneak a look under the brim of his hat, and look at his eyes. If they are normal human eyes, then you have most likely found a night bug collector and you should let him on his way.
If however, his hat hides deep and empty eye sockets that seemingly open up into a dark and hollow endlessness, containing a cosmos of infinite sorrow, then you’ve most likely spotted the fallen angel and lord of hell himself.
It is possible to barter with him, for an exchange of something of value to you, and should be noted that he’s especially partial to vintage coins, cat embroidery, and silver age comic books. Or you could try your hand at a wager. He is very keen on snail racing.
But why would you want to do that? Gin is terrible. If you disagree, you are most likely a satanist.


Uncle Ron’s Homemade Moonshine - Please don’t encourage him, honey. I know he thinks he’s having fun, and he’s very proud of what he’s making, but it really is terrible, and really, really dangerous. Please don’t drink that, you could go blind. DO YOU HEAR THAT RON, YOU’RE PUTTING YOUR NEPHEW IN DANGER OVER YOUR DUMB HOBBY.

Shut up, Martha. Just let the kid have some.

 

September 30, 2013
Hi, so here’s the comic I drew that’s in the first issue of 787xx. If you pick up the issue, available in a lot of cafes and whatnot in Austin, there’s a lot of other, really cool stuff that I didn’t do, and you should probably check it out.
I really hate it when people try to convince me it would be cool to take drugs and watch Holy Mountain.

Hi, so here’s the comic I drew that’s in the first issue of 787xx. If you pick up the issue, available in a lot of cafes and whatnot in Austin, there’s a lot of other, really cool stuff that I didn’t do, and you should probably check it out.

I really hate it when people try to convince me it would be cool to take drugs and watch Holy Mountain.