Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Is Austin, Texas Really the Live Music Capital of the World

November 15, 2012

I arrived in Austin, Texas last night late and had a problem at the airport and no time to go out and play in my first open mic. But I will have plenty of time in the coming week to do so, and I just wanted to put up a quick post to lay out the challenge and set the stage for the coming days. On my worldwide adventure of attending open mics and jam sessions over the past four years I have found lots and lots of musical cities and made new discoveries. I had never been to Austin before, but I knew that it called itself “the live music capital of the world.” Naturally, my reaction to that was: Prove it.

My feeling was, this is another one of those American boasts that if it happens in the United States, it must be the best. The center of the world. The “World Series of Baseball Syndrome,” you might say. But two things have led me to believe that I might, I just MIGHT have my mind changed over the course of the next week as I taste the music scene and perform in the open mics in Austin.

That feeling not only has to do with the massive number of open mics and music venues that I see listed on the internet and in the local papers. It also has to do with the small taste of the city I have had in my first couple of hours there this morning before heading out to the race track.

And ultimately, can you imagine my enormous surprise when I went to the baggage claim belt at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport and found a bunch of statues of guitars above the baggage belt?!?!?! I had my own guitar on my back, and a feeling of come “home” was huge. I could not believe it! I almost felt comical, like someone who has show up by accident at a Halloween party in bizarre costume one usually wears out of eccentricity.

That may be pushing for metaphors, but it was an amazing and odd feeling. Keep tuned to see how things progress.

Having said all that. While I am seeking my own answer to the question, what do you think? Answer my poll question:

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