The Austin Chronicle

Page Two: On Anniversaries and Loss

A new print year begins as we celebrate an exceptional life

By Louis Black, August 31, 2012, Columns

This is the Chronicle's anniversary issue. It marks the end of our 31st year of publishing and the start of our 32nd.

Each anniversary, beginning with the first year of Chronicle history and for many years thereafter, was hailed as a significant achievement – one that during the initial decade or so of publication we were never entirely certain would happen. Thus, early on, ending one year of publishing and beginning another was not just a cause for celebration, but also a terrific relief. In honor of the accomplishment, we usually threw a special concert.

Even after our survival was more certain, we were pleased to hit each new year. Over the years (though not as consistently as in our earliest days) we often offered a special issue or an event in commemoration.

Now, in the modern age I suspect that duration is not that highly regarded. Rather than being looked at as an achievement, the Chronicle's persistence may instead appear passé. Print media in general is going through shaky times and media legitimacy seems more dependent on attitude than experience. Thus, this anniversary is not mentioned much in this issue – although when we hit 35 we will probably celebrate that accomplishment, just because it rounds out so nicely.

Lacking our own Chronicle festivities, we can think of no better way to celebrate the present, anticipate the future, and honor the past than by enthusiastically recommending GrulkeFest: A Celebration of Brent 1961-2012 to be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, at ACL Live at the Moody Theater (310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd.) beginning at 6pm (doors at 5).

As we sadly and painfully noted last week, SXSW Creative Director, former Chronicle Music editor, and our dear friend Brent Grulke passed away earlier this month. In celebration of his extraordinary life and all things Grulke, there will be a special concert with many of his favorite bands performing, including a number reuniting to honor his memory. On the bill are Doctors' Mob, Fastball, Glass Eye, the Reivers, Sixteen Deluxe, True Believers, the Wannabes, and Wild Seeds among others. Tickets are $20, $25, or $35 with all proceeds going to the Graham Grulke Education Fund.

Co-sponsored by the Chronicle, South by Southwest, and KUT, GrulkeFest is sure to be a brilliant show honoring a great man.

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