Alyx from Feminist Music Geek

1) What inspired you to start your own blog?

Because I needed an outlet, so I created one for myself. I enrolled into UT Austin’s journalism program to become the next Ann Powers; who continues to influence me as a writer and feminist. I spent 3 1/2 years as a deejay at 91.7 KVRX. I was also involved with Alliance for a Feminist Option and the Women’s Resource Center, which bridged my interests in music and feminism. I wrote similar kinds of posts on LiveJournal, but only my immediate circle read them. As I was finishing my thesis at UT Austin, I pledged to start a blog the year after I graduated. A few months after I earned my master’s degree in media studies, I applied to PhD programs but didn’t get accepted. So there was no excuse not to move forward with it. My first post went live a week after I received my last rejection letter.

2) Do you have a favorite post on your blog?

I get the most enjoyment out of posts that came from some small idea or character sketch–noting similarities between Best Coast and Taylor Swift, opining about the fashion icon status of Joanna Newsom or Beth Ditto, debating whether Beyoncé is Michael Jackson’s successor, using Sleigh Bells to talk about the sophomore jinx, delighting in watching Peggy Olson figure out the mechanics of her profession by singing into a bathroom mirror. I was happy when I wrote them, the pieces are well constructed, and my voice is totally there without being intrusive or indulgent. But that can be a little too tidy, and I love ranting and riffing. So I’ll always be proud of moments when I took risks or turned the criticism inward, as I think I did when I argued against Odd Future and Katy Perry or admitted to being troubled by the white female privilege that informs my politics and fandom.

3) If you could narrow it down to one answer, what do you love the most about Austin? Why?

Besides the breakfast tacos? Austin has a “cool kid” reputation with many people, but I never felt that way. This city gives as good as it gets, and it’s peopled by queer warriors, whiskey-swilling rock chicks, professional Democrats, activists, vegan bakers (professional and amateur), and intellectual idiots who are all willing to talk with you or collaborate on a project. I love that all ideas are welcome in Austin and various communities form around them, and thrive on the ones that are really weird.

4) What does “being local,” mean to you?

“Being local” means hanging out and helping fund the city’s economy by going to your friend’s art show/gig/screening/craft booth/softball game/benefit/backyard BBQ/food cart, and then spinning out your constellation of friends from there. It also means tubing. More than anything, I think it means having fewer degrees of separation between you and some stranger the longer you live here.

5) What are some of your favorite local independent establishments?

For records: Back Spin and Waterloo (where several friends have and continue to pull shifts).

For books: MonkeyWrench and Book Woman.

For movies: Drafthouse Lamar.

For Mexican food: Curra’s and Zandunga.

For pizza: East Side Pies.

For comradely beverages: Liberty and Lala’s.

For coffee: Epoch.

For 3 a.m. drunk breakfast: Star Seeds.

For a quiet place to marvel at Hill Country flora: The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

For singing in front of strangers: Karaoke Underground at Nomad.

For dance parties: Some mutual acquaintance’s house.
For shows: Someone’s garage or a party barge.

 

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