We all know that Austin is deemed the Live Music Capital of the World. But what's the future of that Capital? How does development and big business stand to change the landscape of Austin as home to working musicians?
Those are the questions addressed in Echotone, a documentary on Austin's live music scene that was first released in 2010. Directed by Nathan Christ, with photography by Robert Garza, Echotone has been on a cross-country crusade to open eyes to the, as described by MTV Hive, "drastic and fundamental changes taking place within and around the Live Music Capital."
Focusing on Austin-based acts like Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, The Black Angels and The Octopus Project, the lyrical documentary provides a "telescopic view into the lives of Austin’s vibrant young musicians as they grapple with questions of artistic integrity, commercialism, experimentation, and the future of their beloved city."
Echotone heads home again next week for a special screening at Mohawk, hosted by Austin Music People (AMP). And though it's played in Austin before, the timing (and location) of this screening add to the depth of the film's message.
On the heels of the Waller Creek redesign winner being announced, and the ever-changing landscape of music venues in Austin, the screening will feature a conversation with the team's producers, Nicholas Jayanty, Daniel Perlaky, Nathan Christ and Victor Moyers.
“There’s a lot of change afoot,” Echotone director Nathan Christ told CultureMap in 2011. “Our whole film depicts specifically Red River; for me, when I lived in Austin, that was the epicenter of what was happening. Best music, best clubs, best culture, it’s where I spent most of my time.”
At Tuesday's screening, the team will discuss just what has changed — and what hasn't — in the Austin music scene since the cameras stopped rolling. They'll also screen a preview of their new television series on music cities across America.
“This is what happens," Christ told CultureMap. "It’s how a city moves, artists show up and commerce follows, and then the culture gets kicked out. That’s the story we’re trying to tell right now on a nationwide level.”
Next week, with the help of AMP, Christ brings that story home, back to the music district that started it all.
The Echotone screening takes place Tuesday, Nov. 20 at Mohawk from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A suggested donation of $10 will benefit Austin Music People (AMP), the nonprofit advocacy and policy organization for Austin's music community.