Fall Social Season, White Ghost Shivers, Snapchat Filters and La Lotería Mural

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wgs3_resize500x500NIGHTLIFE: The fall social season is upon us. It begins Saturday with the Texas 4000 Gala, which welcomes back university students who biked to Alaska to raise money for cancer causes. The event is at the Austin Music Hall. Expect a lot of outrageously fit folks in dinner attire. Before that, on Friday, Water for Life will hold an informal event at Vuka. We’ve planned a handy preview of the fall season — with a “Ditch the Tux” fashion theme — slated for a Sept. 3 print publication date. Yet there’s plenty happening before then, including the Big Give for I Live Here I Give Here at the Hyatt Regency on Aug. 28, the Forklift Dance Party at Scottish Rite on Aug. 29 and Celebrando Austin from the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the Hyatt Regency on the same night. Of course, that’s also the night of the Austin Pride Parade, but …

MUSIC: I first encountered White Ghost Shivers some 10 years ago at the Broken Spoke. They played a dark, hot, fast version of jazz, blues, ragtime, western swing and other prewar musical styles. Scary good. Since the, I’ve caught variations on the core act at clubs, parties and festivals. Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing them in the comfort of the Rollins Studio at the Long Center. (As I enter my 60s, I so appreciate being able to sit down in air-conditioning to hear a great band play relatively close to the announced set time.) I was not the only guest over the average age of the band members, but the Shivers appeal broadly across any imagined generation gap. Extremely tall Short Stumpy — a mix of Tommy Tune, Tony Perkins and a 30s cartoon character — most often acts as front man, while Cella Blue — a sort of Amy Schumer with a supremely supple voice — takes most of the vocals. It would be sinful not to mention as well the crazy talents of Smokebreak Slemenda (lead guitar), Hot Thomas (violin), Poppiticus (string bass) and Ten-Penny Brown (clarinet). (Sorry if the stage names have changed.) They made me happier than I have any right to be.

TECH: Snapchat’s geo-filters happily explained. Sample taken from Paighten Harkins‘s story in the American-Statesman: “Austinites are a welcoming bunch of people whose eclectic attire and free-spirited lifestyles characterize the city — and they love to ride bikes. Or at least those are the types of Austinites Joe Ahlert sought to represent when he created a Snapchat geofilter to overlay the entire town. He acknowledges there are different subsets of Austinites, from the tech types in the silicon hills to the fashion-forward denizens who dot the city, and maybe one day he’ll create filters for them, too. Filters are the graphic overlays users can swipe and add to photos taken on the photo-sharing social media app, Snapchat. Geofilters are tied to a user’s location, meaning that when you’re in a different city, or even a different part of town, you’ll see different filters available, provided one exists in the area.”

CITY: The secrets of the restored La Lotería mural. Sample taken from James Barragan‘s story in the American-Statesman: “For almost 25 years, the “La Lotería” mural stood on the east-facing wall of 1619 E. Cesar Chavez St., as a reminder of the neighborhood’s Latino culture and a celebration of its spirit. In February, an art project affiliated with the South by Southwest Music Festival painted over the mural, unleashing outrage from neighborhood residents. Last month, a group of artists funded by the festival — which apologized for painting over the mural in the first place — restored the beloved artwork to its initial location. The new mural, which includes designs from the original artists who painted the work in 1989, has restored the art piece but also includes new touch-ups that reflect the changing character of the neighborhood. Some are serious; others are personal and some are hard to spot. Compiled here is a list of some of the hidden secrets of neighborhood history that can be found in the new “La Lotería” mural. Do you know any more of the mural’s secrets?”

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