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Friday, March 25, 2011


Musings From Austin, TX

They call Nashville Music City, but the folks in Austin beg to differ and they have a case to make for the Texas capital and home of the Longhorns. There are a half dozen distinct neighborhoods in Austin, each with its own feel and points of interest, but perhaps none more enticing to my particular brand of moral degeneracy then the East 6th Street nightly playground. Stretching about a half dozen blocks, the neighborhood comes alive each evening as the many pubs, bars and discos each blast their particular slant on blues, rock, and hip hop. The accent is surprisingly heavy on rock, with little or no country in evidence. This is probably because the patrons are largely of college age from U.T. and the other local schools, not so much tourists.

As on Nashville's Broadway, you simply walk in and out of all the bars, many of which have live bands til 2 AM. There is no cover, no minimum, you simply leave what you want in the band's tip jar. I heard a very good blues band (with open mike type participation in the drum seat) the other night at Blue Moon, and some real good rock bands the last few nights, playing mainly covers but adapting them to their own styles rather than trying to reproduce the originals. One very successful example at "The Stage" was a hard rock version of the Paula Abdul hit, "Straight Up." It was hot!

As in most places, the kids take over by midnight, and there were even lines waiting to get in at several bars. The weekend figures to be a little much, and I intend to do some other things (the business dinner circuit calls). Still, if I am looking for a late nightcap, it's just a 2 minute walk from my hotel to 6th.
Here's an update. Last night, I met a friend and we went with a third who knew a real good music bar on Fifth Street. We walked down to it,and I have to say that Fifth is as good as Sixth except the accent is on hip hop disco instead of rock. We went to a place called Antones that had a terrific band and to the rhthym and blues club back on 6th. But what a great town for music this is!

For all of Defense Secretary Gates' kvetching about what was involved with establishing a no fly zone in Libya, once the decision was made to do so, the execution turned out to be elementary, dear Watson. Though it occurred in the nick of time to prevent Ghadaffy's extermination of the rebel forces, it came too late to assure an opposition victory either. Indecision has become the defining characteristic of the Obama administration. In this chapter, the heroes were Prime Minister Cameron and Secretary of State Clinton, early and persistent advocates of the no fly zone. Also a tip of the cap to Medvedev of Russia and the Chinese who both withheld vetoes of the UN resolution despite Putin's opposition to the no fly zone.

Of course the precedent to seek the UN's sanction is unfortunate. Since when is it smart policy for the US to grant other countries a veto with respect to our foreign policy moves? The reasons to replace this Administration keep piling up.
I'm going to postpone my stock reports until I get home next week. Suffice to say we are enjoying the rally.

If i don't know what stocks to buy why should i care?
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