Monthly Archives: November 2012
So, I’ve been working for NSIDE Austin Magazine for about five months now and my first real article was published in this month’s issue… YAY! I feel like a real grown up now… well kinda, so I will share it with you and then you should also check out the rest of this month’s issue!!
Natural Ear Music School was founded in Austin in 1991. It is owned and directed by Grammy nominated, locally based and internationally known musician John Moyer.
Natural Ear Music School teaches the “natural ear” concept to students, eliminating sheet music and allowing them to expand their skills and express themselves through rock ‘n’ roll.
Having a natural ear for music means that one’s brain has the ability to sense the structure, composition, rhythmic balance and harmonic scale of a piece of music. This enables a strong musical understanding and style of communication that is attainable by anyone.
Moyer is the bassist and backup vocalist for the alternative hard rock band, Disturbed. Disturbed has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, and the band was nominated for a Grammy. Moyer has played on eight major label releases, three of which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, and has toured the world many times.
Natural Ear Music School instills a passion for music in its students that goes far beyond the basic understanding of an instrument. Students learn to perform guitar-driven rock in a live music format with others, solely by ear.
Through its method of pairing students of similar age groups and experience levels, the school helps form bands in which the students can learn the dynamics of both melody and rhythm naturally.
As they progress, students eventually play at festivals, concerts, local venues and events. By participating in live performances, these students are able to generate powerful, emotional music, creating lasting impressions on not only themselves, but others, as well.
An active musician with a busy schedule, Moyer always makes time for his students and has made work at Natural Ear Music School a daily job. He lives in South Austin with his wife, Kristen, and their two children.
Natural Ear Music School is the first of its kind, teaching students to play music by ear while, of course, rocking out. “I have always loved teaching,” Moyer says, “and I am amazed by the talent of today’s youth, especially in Austin.”
Visitors never cease to be amazed by the powerful performances from the school’s students, who begin performing at ages as young as 7 and clearly know how to rock ‘n’ roll.
America, what a great country. Honestly we have so many great traditions and holidays and what could be more symbolic of our culture than millions of people coming together with their families for one day to stuff their bloated faces and stomachs with greasy flesh torn from the bones of innocent turkeys to feed greedy Americans… okay maybe that’s going a little too far. But Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where we spend hours cooking and for what? To cook the turkey until its dry, burn something or heck, I dunno, even drop a whole dish on the ground. Thanksgiving madness, its totally a thing.
My family takes the preparation of it way too seriously when we know that at the end of the night we are just going to pour a ton of gravy over everything… that’s what its there for though right? Thanksgiving is supposed to involve family, lots of wine, laughs, WAY too many cooks in the kitchen… and an occasional turkey hat purchased last minute from Target.
As you walk past Copa Bar and Grill you are immediately drawn to music and a crowd of people up the stairs at Meduse Lounge.
Conveniently located in between 2nd and 3rd street on Congress is one of Austin’s newest upscale lounges, where NSIDE Magazine hosted their November Networking Event on Monday November 19. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and martinis galore were enjoyed by all while lounging on comfortable black couches, which were surrounded by large fish tanks that were lit up with blue florescent lights. Honoring Charles Maund Toyota and benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis of Austin Foundation there was no one in sight who wasn’t having a great time networking while supporting such a great cause.
With ‘ritual’ cocktails provided by Deep Eddy Vodka, bites from Apothecary Café + Wine Bar, Spirited Food Co, and Hill Country Bakery, how could I resist such a tempting invitation? Considering the fact that parking was a hassle, even though the lot was huge, it only meant one thing: Ritual Salon’s grand opening had a huge turnout Thursday, November 15.
Before walking into the spacious, modern and brightly lit salon you could see dozens of smiling faces and not an empty hand in sight. Even though both the food and goody bags were gone within the first hour, everyone sipped on cocktails the rest of the time while socializing within the aisles of black swivel chairs and mirrors. Turning each corner in their maze-like layout, I found myself excited to discover the rest of the salon as I made my way through the crowd of both men and women. Thoroughly enjoying the fact that there were mirrors everywhere, making it inevitable to not look at myself every 30 seconds, I knew coming back here would be in my best interest. If Ritual Salon’s hospitality at their grand opening is any indication of the experience you’ll receive from any number of their services they provide at 4800 Burnet Road, you’re sure to leave with, maybe not a drink in hand, but definitely a smile on your face and a new do!
Imagine being in a rustic, Tuscan-style home, barefoot in some sort of old(ish), wrinkled-yet completely chic-long, linen dress, in a kitchen with no air conditioning that’s older than my great grandmother, and you’re there cooking under the guidance of a sweet Italian old woman you can barely communicate with.
Regardless of the fact that this explains my great grandmother more so than my actual grandmother, I still like to imagine that this is how and where I learned to cook. It’s really not far off, though. Simply replace the Tuscan-style home with a one-story house in the countryside of upstate New York and it’s basically the same situation.
At the end of every summer-for the better part of a month- my older sister and I would leave Chicago and head to a little place called Hillsdale, a town in Columbia County consisting of rolling hills, open farmland and wooden tracts. We did what any normal kid would do during summer break: go fishing, swimming, hiking, tree climbing, and mow the lawn on my grandpa’s tractor, my personal favorite. Aside from that I would always make time to cook with my Grammy (as I like to call her). When I think about cooking I am immediately brought back to her kitchen, and if there is one thing I’ve taken away from her cooking it is that you must put love into every dish you make.
Today was one of those days where I woke up early, went grocery shopping and spent the better part of six hours cooking. Since it was such a nice day in Austin, and probably one of the last warm days for a while, I decided to turn off the air conditioning, open the door leading out to my deck, and cook barefoot, which has now resulted in my feet turning a disgusting shade of black. TMI, I know, but it was well worth it. I had a whole meal planned out: brussels sprout soup topped with candied pancetta, crispy parmesan biscuits filled with lemon butter, baby arugula and smoked salmon, and dark chocolate cupcakes with matcha green tea frosting.
I know, I know, it’s a lot of food but my friends and I decided we would have a mock thanksgiving, even though none of the food we made resembled anything that would be on a thanksgiving table… that’s beside the point though. What really matters is that overall the dinner was a success, I was surrounded by close friends, and we pretty much had a feast.
I used to hate vegetables. I was that kid at the dinner table who would put them in their mouth and then spit it back out into the napkin. Yes I was that bad, and despite my hatred for all things green, my mother would continuously prepare them.
There are certain vegetables that are more popular during the winter season, brussels sprouts being the worst of the bunch. Normally these are rarely served during the rest of the year, but that means nothing to my mother. My one wish as a child was that my mother would finally follow the rest of the herd and stop serving those green vegetables that resembled cabbage, however that never happened. Instead of only occurring for a few weeks during the year, I had the joy of having constant nightmares about those foul and horribly disgusting tasting balls of death.
As I got older-and started to cook more for myself-I found that I tried more and more vegetables, which to my surprise actually transformed my initial hatred into love. I also learned that even though steaming vegetables is healthier I have no problem giving into the temptation of adding more calories to vegetables in order to make them taste better. Tonight I came across Eatocracy’s blog and became a little too excited about finding four new ways to prepare brussels sprouts.
The good thing about winter is that you can take all of these earthy vegetables and come up with creative ways to prepare them, especially if you are one of those people who has a hard time grasping the fact that vegetables are truly amazing. Two of my favorite recipes are pumpkin risotto and broccoli cheddar soup. Combining them into a risotto or soup (soup season is the best season) transforms them from initial disgust to a dish loaded with flavors and textures, so that nightmares about vegetables are the least of your worries.
There’s nothing like feeling that great sense of satisfaction for being first in line, on a Wednesday night, for the Black Friday sales. In a little over a week it will be Black Friday, which means it’s time to break out that camping gear. It is seriously my favorite time of the season. Honestly, drinking hot chocolate from a thermos while camping outside of Best Buy in below freezing temperatures is THE BEST. I mean you really just meet the nicest people as you shove your way to the front as soon as the doors finally unlock. Oh and don’t even get me started on the amount of exercise you get as you run to get your hands on that last present, that only really saved you $10… Whoa talk about dedication. The fact that there are people in the world who do not share my love and enthusiasm for Black Friday is beyond me. However, in the off chance that you will need me on Wednesday night, I’ll be the one camping outside on the mall’s public sidewalk, where people have walked, spit and done other disgusting things. Hope to see you there!
Fast food is like crack-once you put that first fry into your mouth all hell breaks loose. There is no stopping that food baby that is about to grow from one week to 9 months in, lets be honest here, a span of minutes. Whether you enjoy that creepy dude Jack in the Box’s curly fries or Mickey D’s hot and crunchy fries that are really only good for one second, there comes a moment in everyone’s life when they must try P. Terry’s.
If I could eat P. Terry’s everyday, I would; however, loading my body with several tons of shoe string fries is not in my best interest. Now, normally I speed through a fast food restaurant-if I can I even call it that-as fast as I can, while covering my surroundings with my peripherals, to make sure no one I possibly know sees me. However, when it comes to P. Terry’s I make sure to get the whole shabang for my buck.
We all know that one moment when we finish our sauce only to realize we still have ¾ of our fries left. I mean it almost ruins the whole point of consuming the 10:1 oil to actual food ratio. It worries me so much that I make sure to ask for EXTRA fist fulls of sauce just to be safe, because you never know how many times you will want to double dip. I have perfected this art, since P. Terry’s is always stingy with their sauce, to the point where my kitchen drawer is now a black hole for unopened ketchup packets because I can never actually offer them to the public. As for me, opening that drawer at 2 am after a long night is like waking up on Christmas morning… only to ketchup…