SxSW Music Festival

20130319-123548.jpgWe usually take a pretty distant stance in the music business, hanging on the fringes, drifting in and out but really doing our own thing. Mostly because we have come to realize that our families motivations for how we live and what we create together is probably countercultural to all of the pandering that has to happen in that world. However, over the course of the last month we began to see that our routing was going to take us right into the heart of the big beast of an industry to SxSW.

If we could describe SxSW (means South by Southwest) in one word it would be “toiling.” There was a happy slappy, almost devilish type energy through out the air as the streets and local venues were filled with muso’s, business executives, college students on spring break and locals. It was a distorted joy and we sensed a deep undertone of awkwardness, disconnect, and angst. And so, we began to petition for understanding as to our purpose at this festival. We knew two things, we were going to seek opportunities to serve and to encourage. If we were presented with opportunities to share musically great, but not the point. We found an opportunity to volunteer at the Folk Alliance stage on Saturday. Offering a smile as a greeter and selling merch for the bands that showcased on that stage. We also connected with a few friends who were showcasing their talents and sought them out for a chat, to offer encouragement and a moment to just be. These are dear friends who are road weary and have tasted the rotten fruit of the industry. And yet, they continue on, sharing their beautiful gifts and talents, inspiring others through song as they work through their upbringings, beliefs and ideals.

It was a great test of our character to be able to function well in this environment and to see our purpose clearly. Both of our children were able to discern and share some key observations that we believe will take them into adulthood with much wisdom. We felt energized as a family being able to share such depth in such shallow waters. We find serendipity as we travel and are thankful that nothing that we do is meaningless.  We are thankful for the opportunity to see the big picture and to be able to function in that faithfulness, knowing that at the end of the day, when all is stripped away, we are all made of the same mud. We are all one. We continue to move in that reality.

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Global/Local Holiday Gifts

There is much rhetoric about buying “local.”  The idea is to support our neighbors in order to keep our corner of the world thriving. I agree with this to the extent that it is important to support our neighbors, I just think our neighbors can be farther away than our postal code. We have connected with wonderful folks all over the country who are sharing their creative talents and striving to support their families in small business. So, this holiday season if you are looking to support the local market I have a few ideas to send your way.

I spent about three hours gathering all of their links. So, CLICK AWAY! 🙂

Art, Craft & Photography: There is nothing quite like an original piece of artwork. Commissioning an artist to take the sketch of your mind and make it 3D is a beautiful process. These folks all have fantastic skills, creative minds and most of all they are good listeners.  Bloom Photography, Out/Back Design,  Heidi Keys, Jason Seiler Illustration, Josh Kufahl,  Little Lace Lady, Off the Wheel Pottery, Photos by Beth Ann, Popelka Trenchard Glass, Richard Steinberger Photography, Nik Arnoldi Fine Art

Clothing & Accessories: These friends don’t shy away from a market driven by the mass desire for generic design. They are gifted and talented seamstress, treasure hunters and fine crafted jewelers, you want unique and beautiful check out these sites…  VillageBaby, The Brass Owl, ShoveIt Design, Refab, Larky Park, Gracie Designs, CityMade, Billy & Co., Wild Prairie Silver, If you are looking for name brand, check our our friends at Altrec

Food & Drink: Yum!  Authentic Feather FarmKabumParallel 44 WineryLa JavaDos ChilesGreen Plow Roasters, Kavarna

Body & Healing Arts: Great resources for body, mind and soul. Good Earth SoapTerry Naturally,  Kristie Lee GunsMardi Halvorsen YogaPeninsula ChiropracticMore MarriedShaping HerJerry Price CounselingMazzara Midwifery

Support non-profits & servant minded folks: These projects are both spiritual and practical, they are all run by individuals who have a desire to make this world a better place. They are trustworthy and supporting them would bring great joy this Christmas season.  Cornerstone Community Outreach, Timberline Lodge, Hungry Hearts United, Of Scars, Seven Loaves Project, The Suitcase Sideshow, Operation Elf Box, Bethany Erickson, Leadership Lab, YoungLife, Foundation Skate Ministry, Vapor Sports, The Fall Out Creative Community, Tribe of Judah School

Music: If you are looking for some great tunes try ordering directly from the musician. We have lots of favorites but these are some of our dearest friends. They are professional and creative musicians and I think you’ll love them.

Folk: Sammy Horner,  John Statz,  Patchouli,  Bill and Kate Isles,  Seth MartinGalynne Goodwill,  The Brothers Burn Mountain,  Beki Hemingway

Folk/Punk: Hillfolk Noir,  Men as Trees Walking,  Insomniac Folklore,  Destroy Nate Allen                                                                                                                                          

Indie: Nick JainaSoil and the SunRick Beerhorst

Electronic: Optimus PromWreckless Music,  Cloudburst

Jazz: Jana Nyberg GroupThe Unfortunate

Metal: The EternalSouthside Stranglers

Funtimes: Magic MamaCanon Ball

If you have other ideas to add, please feel free to comment.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2012!!