Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Emerald Web

Back in the early to mid-80's my brother and me would take a short trip to Austin.  We'd go down there about twice a year, and stock up on culture, music, visit friends, eat some good food, soak up good positive vibes, and all that.  Austin at that time really radiated that sort of thing.  We'd usually plan a trip around this time of year when the bluebonnets would be coming out in the spring.  The ride down was always pleasurable, as you'd go through a bunch of smaller Texas towns, the Texas hill country, and we'd stop off around Brady or Eden, Texas and get some barbecue.  It was just about often enough to super charge your battery, and then you were energized enough to go back to the daily grind back home.

Once in Austin we'd stop in Whole Foods, they originated as a small store in Austin,  before they became the the huge supermarket chain store that they are today, and we'd pick up some coffee, usually Kona from Hawaii, but also some other variety like Pecan,, vanilla, or some other flavor, again this was quite before coffee became a vogue commodity.  We'd get some international beer, maybe some other groceries, we'd go to Waterloo Records and another small independent store there, I forget their name, it might have been BookPeople when they were a much smaller store, and before they moved to their larger shop on the other side of Lady Bird Lake (Colorado River).  At any rate they were sort of a New Age shop.  New Age was a new thing then, and this shop had all sorts of things.  I'm not even really sure what all the movement encompassed or what it was all about, but I think it was about overall self-improvement of the mind, body, and spirit.  In other words it was a self-discovery thing.  They had crystals, music, books, incense, movies, massage oil, and all that.  It was really a neat place to go look around in because of its uniqueness.

That's where I'd look at some of the merging New Age artist, and buy a few cassettes or LPs.  I really found some interesting things that I still listen to today.  I had already heard of some of these musicians from a radio show I'd tune into on a Sunday night called Hearts of Space, and taped that pretty religiously for nearly a year or more.  I still have many of those tapes as well.   At any rate, I picked up the above album, The Best of Both Worlds: The Second Audion Sampler, either on cassette or CD.  I've tried to find it today, but I'll have to look further as I can't find it, but it was one of those compilation albums that contained many different musicians.  I eventually picked up other albums by the artist featured on that album.  Emerald Web had one of the first songs on the album, and I've been listening to their music today.  They were a husband and wife team that made some really lovely music. It was a combination of synthesizer and flute.  Some of it is up-temp, at other times mysterious, majestic, ethnic/world infused, haunting, serene, and so forth. 

I ran into a radio broadcast online that features many of their songs on it, and have been listening to it this morning as well.  Check it out, it's wonderful and has brought back a lot of happy memories for me. 


At 7:52 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

That would be something like my jaunts into NYC, though at 90 minutes away (more or less, depending on traffic at the bridge/tunnels) it’s quite a bit closer and therefore a more frequent destination. Still, it’s hard not to get nostalgic at such old haunts as still exist from youthful days (e.g. The Bitter End) and even at the whispered offers from dealers (“smoke, dope, coke”) as one passes them by in Washington Square.

I didn’t know the origins of Whole Foods, which continue to open new stores in these parts.

At 8:02 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

I wondered if you went into NYC during the sleazy days of the 70's when 42nd street was in its heyday. I think they are better off now, however, and the tourism has prospered because of it. I wondered if you ever felt threatened or intimidated while visiting there. I know I did at times when I visited there, but then, I wasn't very familiar with that environment. There's so much history there on just a cultural level though. It would certainly be amazing to have grown up around there and experienced some of that as it changed over the years.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

No, I wasn't intimidated in those days. Oh, as in every large city there were (are) areas and places that were (are) best bypassed by a lone outsider pedestrian, especially at certain times: e.g. Central Park in the middle of the night. But the business districts – even the sleazy ones – were pretty safe even at the height of the crime wave, which crested in 1990 and then fell precipitously. In fact the sleaze – hookers, strip joints, SM clubs, and peep shows – had a certain lowlife charm. The Disney-fication of the Times Square area in the past couple decades has been a mixed blessing. (See my "Sidewalk Love" short story at my Richard's Mirror site; it was written and set in that time frame.)

Greenwich Village was a great place to hang out at night in the 70s/80s and still is today, though it is now a pretty unaffordable place actually to live if you’re not an NYU student in campus housing. For rent reasons, a lot of the music scene aimed at younger audiences in recent years has moved out of the Village to places such as Arlene’s Grocery on the Lower East Side.

Of course I did the museum thing too – really.

At 7:57 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

Thanks, Richard, I wondered about the current music scene there. While we visited there we saw the B B Kings music venue, but I wondered where everyone hung out at. I knew it probably existed somewhere, but I felt dwarfed there by all the tall buildings. If fact the whole time I was there I kept thinking: Where the heck do the people who live here get groceries. I finally found a place the last couple of days we were there, which you went down some stairs to enter the store so it was kind of obscured. It was small like a convenient store here, but at least you could find some munchies and soda. I wish we had made it down to the Greenwich Village area, but you only have so much time in a week, and we packed as much into the trip as we could. Though it was a bunch of fun while it lasted.


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