Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Live from The Landing...

I'm back from a long, soggy, Holiday weekend in San Antonio. We did absolutely nothing to celebrate the 4th of July here in Austin. Too wet, Zilker Park was underwater so no fireworks, and no symphony orchestra. Instead we stayed home and cursed the rain.

On Thursday we began our long weekend away in San Antonio. It was nice, despite the continued rain. I bought a cowboy hat to keep myself a little dry, and we walked for miles, in the rain. We walked the Riverwalk, we saw the Alamo, the Spanish Governor's Palace, and the San Fernando Cathedral. The Alamo was jammed full of people, and was mostly just boring. The Spanish Governor Palace is a much better bet, we were the only people there and it's filled with great antiques and has a fabulous courtyard. The cathedral is incredible, and I'm told the oldest building in all of Texas.

The highlight of the trip, by a million miles, was seeing The Jim Cullum Jazz Band at The Landing. When I lived in Minneapolis the Public Radio Affiliate aired "Live from the Landing, on San Antonio's Historic Riverwalk, it's The Jim Cullum Jazz Band..." every Sunday evening at 5PM. I rarely missed a show for years. Like people get hooked on "must see TV", I was hooked on a radio show. I'd plan my weekend around catching the show.

I was thrilled to get a chance to see it all happen in person. They weren't recording that night, just playing. I was surprised by the size of The Landing, in my mind it was an old classy theater. In reality, it's a very modest little jazz club with a full bar and sandwiches. In my mind the tickets were expensive. In reality it's a $6 cover charge. And I'd venture a bet that it's the best $6 you can spend in all of San Antonio. The band is a bunch of old guys, very old school with suit coats and ties, and the chops to play 4 full sets.

I took full advantage of the opportunity and purchased two CDs, and had them both autographed by Jim Cullum. I'm not much of a "fan" when it comes to TV or Hollywood personalities, but I admit I was a little star-struck for old Jim Cullum. He's a bit curmudgeonly, wears a bow-tie, has messy hair, and has duct tape on his coronet. He was very gracious about the autographs, and chuckled when I told him I used to listen every Sunday Night at 5.

If you ever find yourself in San Antonio, and you want to hear a bunch of old guys play great jazz, pay the six bucks at The Landing. And if you aren't down San Antonio way, check your local NPR listings, tune in, and turn the radio up. You'll be glad you did.

On a little side note: It has finally stopped raining here in Texas, today the sun has shone. A few stats I found interesting: We've had 34.8" of rain so far this year, that's an all time record. Until today we had 8 consecutive days of rain. It has rained 42 of the last 70 days. That's a lot of rain, and that's global warming my friends.

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