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The Atlantic has started a video series called “Saturday Night in America,” in which filmmakers Ben Wu and David Usui of Lost & Found Films explore the nighttime cultures of some of the United States’ most prominent cities.

A recent episode paints a beautiful picture not only of Austin nightlife from the perspectives of band members, a pedicab driver, and a honky-tonk bar owner, but also of our thriving-but-threatened music scene and our endearingly weird locals.

As we watched the five and a half-minute video, we were particularly struck by comments from members of The Octopus Project about the joys of making music in Austin, even as the city loses some of its unique charm to gentrification. (So, fingers crossed for Mayor Steve Adler’s 10 million dollar campaign to save our music scene.)

“I definitely think that the environment and just being so open and accepting of whatever new ideas somebody is coming up with has really really helped us,” guitar, bass, and keyboard player Josh Lambert said.

“I would say Austin has allowed our sound to be what it is,” Yvonne Lambert, who plays samplers, keyboards, theremin, glockenspiel, and guitar for the group, told the filmmakers.

“So many people moving here just brings with it impersonal demographic forces that just happen the way they happen, but when there is some push-back about ‘we need to save this important part of Austin culture,’ there’s usually a pretty sympathetic response,” Toto Miranda, who usually rocks the drum, guitar, and bass, adds in the video. “I think there is that respect for a lot of the things that make Austin the unique place that it is and that people are sensitive to that being important.”

If that resonates with you, be sure to go support The Octopus Project at one of their upcoming shows. In the meantime, you can watch the full episode from The Atlantic above.


Featured photo: Flickr user prind1m, CC licensed



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