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You know what is sweet in Austin? The publications. With enough grist in the music market, arty publications get the casual readership that may be lacking in Houston as well as national attention. They have the Onion on streetcorners! 

 While Austinites (or Austinians?) regularly complain about the American-Statesman, I did find it to be full of interesting and personal writing with a clear viewpoint. Though they may have the blinders on a little tight it was terribly nice to see a newspaper where the articles aren’t yesterday’s recycled and edited for content news. The weekly Austin Chronicle is a muckraker like any other, albeit with less adverts for porn than I have seen. A long-winded article about an ex-military police officer shooting at a suspect in a crowded urban area was particularly sensitive (I betcha HPD has fewer qualms about doing so) and liberal (the cop actually sat down w/ the paper and said ‘I have mental problems’ to a sympathetic reporter) but it was enjoyable and well intentioned (how many HPD officers have post-traumatic stress from a war zone? who knows).

 

 

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 Little fun zines are a money pit, and the producer of MISPRINT has his tongue so firmy in cheeck that he’s bleeding out of his jaw. This hipster-slandering little beige book is worth every page and is a terribly clever way to introduce out of the loop visitors like me to the well-honed social scene. Check out their site for a Flash version, viewable from Tehran, Calgary and many other places that are not Austin. 

 
I saw a little comic so cheap they must have been able to make ten per 8×11 sheet of paper. There was Kazoo, an angsty poetry magazine (speaking of, where’s the new Panhandler??) with slightly lewd teenage girl photography. ANP Quarterly is distributed in Austin as well as Houston, and lo and behold there was an article about the Barry McGee bike art exhibit at Mellow Johnny’s on Nueces! It was nice to see lots of ink being spilled in Austin, but one pub backed by the Texas Commission on the Arts takes the cake. The best of the rest is Cantanker, who a few weeks ago had two issues out, Transitions and Excess, which both totally rocked. Excess is the better of the two even if its editorial focus is a little blurry. With farcical luxury/paranoid safety adverts and a great bit on Richie Budd fucking with starry-eyed New Yorkers Excess hit home like the Dodgers .

also by Sean Carroll
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