Category Archives: ATX

Challenges With Reporting Entertainment

When writing a piece on someone or interviewing them, it has its perks but also has problems. I had to write a story for NSIDE Austin, the magazine I work for, and my boss gave me 3 days to write it, which already was a tight deadline. He only gave minimal information on himself and since he was really busy, I never actually had the chance to interview him. I basically had to go on the internet, do my own research and compile a 500 word story on him, which would be my first actual published piece… EVER. I obviously was stressed and nervous, to say the least. In the end I wrote a piece that I was kind of comfortable with but not fully confident in, but had no choice other then to send it in. Turns out the guy I was writing about actually loved the piece and thought that I captured him as well as his school I was writing about in a great way. The bottom line is, you never know how comfortable the person your writing about is with an interview. They may be rude, shy, would rather talk on the phone, or in my case would rather just email you about themselves and leave it up to you to compile something great.


A Natural Ear-Written by: Kat DelGrande Issue: November 2012 | NSIDE Business

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.

NSIDE Austin’s November Networking Event







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.

It’s A Party!

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!

A Feast Fit For A Roman Emperor

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.

Unique Finds Within The Streets Of Austin

I always seem to plan my life a certain way and then end up taking a wrong turn ending up in a completely different place than I originally thought I would be at. I’m not going to say it’s ‘destiny’ since that sounds cheesy to me, however, I always wonder if those wrong turns end up taking me somewhere that is far greater than where I was originally going.

This happens to me quite often, particularly occurring about two weeks ago. I was supposed to go to The Counter Café to write a review but was too hungry to wait in line for 40 minutes in order to finally get something in my stomach, especially after the long night I had.

My friends and I decided to walk north on Lamar in search of food and came across a quaint walk up called Fresa’s. Once we ordered our food we kept trekking until we came to the cross streets of Baylor and 12th only to come upon massive, abandon, broken down condos.

Officially known as the Local to Global Outdoor Gallery Project, Austin’s Castle Hill graffiti (named after the castle-looking building that used to be the Texas Military Institute) originally showcased 6 brown and beige square panels in the 1980’s representing the HOPE campaign’s mission to connect artists to global issues. With the support from the property’s owners, Dick Clark Architecture and Castle Hill Partners, Shephard Fairey’s professional and highly commercialized posters covered the center level of Castle Hill.

From Shephard Fairey to the anonymous street artists who have tagged these crumbling walls and pipes with their colorful hues, graphics and bold colors, Castle Hill is a haven for artists and dreamers, a place that is filled with inspiration, and a place where self-expression is painted within the weeds and concrete ruins of this abandon lot. Castle Hill never intended on being a habitat for graffiti artists to paint/tag highly complex pictures, which as of July 2012 had over 100 pieces and over 300 tags, but then again that is the nature of street art.

The Naked Cowboy

I get it, New York is a great place and all, but I was personally insulted when I was on Mashable earlier today and came across an article titled “10 people you’ll only see in NYC”. The main picture caught my attention as I thought to myself, “I’ve definitely seen that man before… and NOT in NYC.”

If you’ve ever been to 6th street in Austin, you are familiar with the “naked cowboy”. I’m pretty sure he is there every night and is almost always up for a picture, all while he serenades the drunkards on “dirty 6th”. Personally, I don’t think New York’s naked cowboy stands a chance with Austin’s. Let’s just take a look at these two pictures:

Austin’s Naked Cowboy

NYC’s naked cowboy

1: Clearly Austin’s naked cowboy is representing the United States way better than NYC’s.

2: Cowboy boots simply look better in Texas

3: So, I really can’t come up with any other reason ours is better, he just is… (You’ll get this if you live in Texas).



Angela Hampton


(512) 478-7277

500 North Lamar Suite. 140

Austin, TX 78703

Photography by Kelly Wendt Photography

The Touch of Sass boutique, located in Austin, TX, offers something many other boutiques don’t: an accessory-only place where women can go to find anything from purses to jewelry to pair with their latest fashion statements.

Centrally located in Austin since 2006, Touch of Sass has filled women’s closets with accessories for any occasion. Recent owner Angela Hampton believes, “this is a go to place for beautiful things.” From as little as $35, women of any age can find unique accessories for personal use or gifts.

After pitching the idea to her husband a few years ago, Hampton finally became the new owner of Touch of Sass on September 1, 2012. For the six years before she became the owner, Hampton always relied on Touch of Sass as a go-to place for accessories. Having never owned a boutique, Hampton admits the work has been a hectic, stressful learning process but states that, “She would never have bought the place if she didn’t love it”. With new products arriving at the boutique almost daily, Hampton is excited for this new adventure, as she hopes to bring in a more diverse crowd.

Never considering herself a “fashionista”, Hampton grew to enjoy fashion and all things beautiful. Despite having a “conservative” style as a mother of two, she is always known for adding bold shoes to dress up any simple outfit. Discovering her love for Austin and its boutiques since 1998, she firmly believes that, “you can make more of a statement with jewelry than clothes”. However, she realizes that Austin is filled with different people and styles, where not everyone accessorizes, and intends to bring in clothing after her first year of ownership.

In the upcoming months and as more inventory comes in, Hampton hopes to host events at Touch of Sass. Anticipate a “new owner reopening” and, closer to December, an event where women can pair jewelry and handbags with their “little black dress”, all while getting their makeup done.

The city of Austin has much to look forward to with Touch of Sass, as Angela Hampton seems to be adding a little “sass” to anyone who walks through the doors.

Lucy In Disguise… the answer to all your Halloween Costume problems

I can’t seem to help myself when I walk past a boutique. How they really get you is when there are sales and you think to yourself, “Oh, I’m just going to spend $30”, but in reality you end up spending $30 at 5 different places; so, you really don’t save yourself any money… story of my life.

Living with two other girls, especially ones you like, is really awesome. I mean it’s pretty much like I acquired two more closets, not like mine wasn’t big enough to begin with. Honestly, though, whenever I feel like I have nothing to wear, or want a change in my style, I know I can rely on my roommates’ closets to never let me down. What’s even better, though, is when one has the same foot size as me. * winning *. It really just benefits all parties. I get a new look, I don’t go shopping… which I already have a problem with… and my parents don’t lose money. It’s really just a win win situation in my opinion.

However, when it comes to shopping for Halloween costumes, it is always an exciting but hectic experience for me. I mean there are just so many options to choose from, not to mention stressing out about coming up with an eccentric costume so that 50 other people wont have the same one as you… no fun.

Now that Halloween is just around the corner, I can’t seem to think of a better place to shop for a costume than Lucy In Disguise. Originally starting out in 1984 as two stores located next to each other on South Congress, you can find anything you need while trying not to get lost within their 8,000 sq. foot labyrinth. Whether you want to buy a costume or simply rent one, Lucy In Disguise’s extensive variety of costumes and accessories are sure to help you construct whatever you need to express your idiosyncratic individuality… plus, their prices are great!

Not Your Typical Eats

Now, I know the majority of us are going to ACL for the music… hence music festival; but, those wishing to not get trampled by sweaty bodies, in hopes of getting close enough to Florence that you can smell her; ACL’s food lineup is just as good, if not better, as the music lineup.

You know when you go to a festival or fair you normally find foods whose motto’s are “the greasier, the better”; well ACL Eats’ motto is clearly “the weirder, the better”. Since we are in Austin, expect everything to be out of the ordinary. You’ll still find traditional Austin favorites like Amy’s Ice Cream, Freebirds, P.Terry’s, SweetLeaf Iced Teas, The Best Wurst and The Mighty Cone; however, don’t be shocked if you come across someone eating rabbit and rattlesnake sausage or elk and beehive sausage, courtesy of Woodshed Smokehouse.If you prefer more traditional food, stop by Mandola’s for a sausage and pepper sandwich, Stubbs for a pulled pork sandwich or The Salt Lick for some sloppy nachos.

Looking for a Gluten Free or Vegetarian option? Not to worry, there are over 15 options to choose from.

Have a sweet tooth? Make sure to find your way to Tiff’s Treats for a Tiffblitz, or get your frozen pop fix in with GoodPop or Snowie. Finally wash it all down with some Fresh Squeezed Best Lemonade, Maine Root Handcrafted Beverages, or Daily Juice.

These are only some of the many food options that Austin EATS has to offer. Without a doubt, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your taste buds, after working up an appetite from wandering around the 46-acre park.

The waiting is over. The three-day music festival austinites have been anticipating since last September is officially less than 24 hours away. We’ve figured out how to be at 2 stages at once… if we run fast enough… and have our outfits planned out for the ever-famous Zilker-runway. Just bring a poncho and rain-boots, since the weatherman clearly isn’t doing his job very well I’m forecasting a mud fest folks, and an empty stomach – ACL 2012 here we come!

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