Effervescent public relations pro Elaine Garza introduced me to the phrase: “twirl thru.” That exactly describes my social activities on a busy fall night. I shake every hand available, learn as many names as possible, snap a few party pictures, pick up the most interesting buzz from the event, then move on to the next “twirl thru.”
Garza and I met at Clark’s Oyster Bar, first to enjoy the tangy seafood and the urban chic bar, but also to talk about subjects as varied as the Paramount Theatre, Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Festival Corona Capital she’s helping out in Mexico City starring Kings of Leon, Beck and Jack White.
Next, we twirled thru Outdoor Voices, a bright boutique for active wear located on Blanco Street behind Clark’s. There, I met business partners Tyler Haney and Andrew Parietti. The company started in New York City, where Haney and Parietti are based, and the clothing is made in Los Angeles. Haney originally hails from Boulder, Colo. and Parietti is from Seattle. They chose Austin for their first bricks-and-mortar store in part because of its vibe. “In New York and Los Angeles, fitness is for outer appearance,” Parietti says. “Here, fitness is from the inside out.”
Funny story: Our next stop was advertising giant GSD&M down the street. Garza and I thought that the other one knew about a party there. We walked up the palm-studded steps to find the doors locked. Turns out I somehow just imagined this party and she thought I knew what I was talking about. My husband, Kip, says that, if he ever gets rich, he’ll hire me a social secretary, especially after we showed up for an Austin wedding two weeks early.
I veered off for the next twirl thru at the Austin Music Hall. Canon, the camera folks, had set up a novel two-day photo gallery, “Pixma Pro City Senses,” that included darkened rooms where the guests heard, touched, smelled or tasted the inspirations for shooters Ben Sklar and Sarah Lim. (Hint: Barbecue and music played big roles.) The event continues 4 p.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Music Hall. It’s free.
Then we all spilled into a large general gallery that included some pictorial studies by actor Michael B. Jordan. Through the event’s opening, Jordan served as celebrity guest. During a short interview in a dressing room, we discussed his nine months in Austin appearing as a regular character on “Friday Night Lights,” his later action work in “The Fantastic Four,” and his upcoming role in the reinvigorated “Rocky” franchise. He’s bulked up for the role and is taking boxing lessons. Nice guy with a soft spot for Austin, where he maintains an apartment.
The final twirl thru was more of a sit down. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., singer-songwirter Ricky Stein played alongside Andy Bianculli, formerly of the Preservation, at the Austin Ale House. They played fresh material as well as assorted covers in the first of five Wednesday residencies for Stein and guests. Readers might recall that I reported on Stein’s telling book about Austin music in the late 1960s, early ’70s: “Sonobeat Records: Pioneering the Austin Sound in the ’60s.” Stein and Bianculli are seasoned, distinctive musical artists who keep the listener in helpless awe of this city’s prodigious talent.