Jello Shots Capital of the World


That tradition, sadly, is coming to an end. First the economic boom ran up costs, driving out the musicians and pricing out the venues. Then the bust diminished incomes, driving away customers and delivering a knockout blow to the venues that weathered the boom.

We've always bemoaned the loss of a beloved live music venue, but historically another has arisen to take its place. This too has changed. Liberty Lunch. Hole in the Wall. Black Cat Lounge. All gone. In their place stand empty office buildings and abandoned space.

The music isn't totally gone, it's just been driven underground. Both news stories I linked point out there still is a live music scene, but it's not on Sixth Street. The spirit lives on in places from the Saxon Pub to the Carousel Lounge. Although there are a few remaining holdouts on Sixth Street, such as Emo's and Joe's Generic, original music has largely been replaced by a cheap jello shots party scene. Think less Janis Joplin and more Jenna Bush.

Yet, life goes on. SXSW will be here in a few weeks, and it will be interesting to see how we can continue to host the event in the face of diminishing venues. It's a shame we didn't tend to the garden a little more carefully during the go-go times, because the bloom has faded and I'm not sure we'll be able to get it back.

Meanwhile, everytime I drive by the site of Liberty Lunch and see the empty office building that replaced it, I'll be thinking that it's true: you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone.