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Watson Versus Major Events
Austin Senator switches F1 funding position in tight budget
DAILY News  May 26, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Are your lions lying down with your lambs yet? Last night Sen. Kirk Watson, the Austin Democrat that got Formula One added to the list of events eligible for the Major Events Trust Fund, joined with Sen..."

Direct Hit
Why are Tupperware-style home parties where children’s books are sold putting booksellers on the defensive?
Books Story  October 8, 1999, by Clay Smith
"...Crane and the other 23,000 people in America who sell DKFL books, the great majority of them women and mothers, are called "distributors," a somewhat stiff term for these typically extroverted and unanimously enterprising salespeople. At events called Book Looks, Tupperware-style parties where the 2,400 DK products are sold, and at book fairs, trade shows, craft shows, PTA meetings, and teacher conferences, consumers can buy books more cheaply than they can at bookstores (not to mention that there are 300 exclusive DKFL titles that bookstores are not allowed to sell)..."

Direct From Gdynia to Austin
Poland's full-court commitment to film shines at the eighth annual Austin Polish Film Festival
Screens Story  November 1, 2013, by Anne S. Lewis
"...Another film that – like Dawid's, takes place during Poland's rife-with-corruption transition from communism to capitalism – is The Closed Circuit, directed by Ryszard Bugajski. Based on actual events, the film is a conspiracy thriller involving state corruption..."

Playback: Permitting Nightmare Precedes SXSW
SXSW events permitting induces promoter panic, the Austin Music Hall receives a stay of execution, and there are two last Austin Music Poll categories to vote in
Music Column  February 11, 2016, by Kevin Curtin
"...Last Tuesday, the Austin Center for Events (ACE) – the city's regulatory authority on special event permitting – abruptly stopped accepting permit applications for the week of SXSW. In a Jan..."

Ruling the Roost
Austin Preeminent Concert Promoter Ponders Retirement
Music Story  June 1, 2001, by Andy Langer
"...Ruling the roost is an unpopular business, and over the years, O'Connor's reputation has often overshadowed his accomplishments. In the offices of Direct Events, the production company that runs his venues, associates call him "Crazy Ivan," a reference to the brash and unpredictable submarine captain in Hunt For Red October..."

Two Tickets to Paradise
Who tickets what in Austin
Music Story  August 27, 2004, by Matt Dentler
"...All four venues are operated by local concert-promotions company Direct Events. Because of this, Front Gate has an easier time selling tickets in similar venues in other cities..."

Room With a View
La Zona Rosa's Ripple Effect
Music Story  September 19, 1997, by Andy Langer
"...It could be that we're all psyching ourselves out." That's a quote from Pratz's calm and rational side. What Pratz calls his "excited and negative side," however, has been more vocal of late, particularly after the March announcement that Direct Events was purchasing La Zona Rosa in order to add another facet to its growing stable of venues..."

Big Dogs, Young Rebels, and Aging Giants
The Austin promoters who bring the music come in all shapes and sizes
News Story  October 8, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...While it might seem that C3 has been around forever, in fact it only formed in 2007, when Attal merged his firm, Charles Attal Pre­sents, with the live events division of Capital Sports & Entertainment, owned by longtime business partner Charlie Jones. The company was completed with the addition of Charlie Walker (the third "C" of C3), the former president of live music for media conglomerate Clear Channel's concert promotion arm Live Nation..."

Dancing About Architecture
Re-Zona Rosa
Music Column  April 25, 1997, by Ken Lieck
"...With its history of openings and closings, La Zona Rosa has long been thought of as perfect for yet another reinvention. Among the players whose names had come up in connection with such a scheme were Tim O'Connor's Direct Events, the House of Blues club chain, and Liberty Lunch co-owner Mark Pratz..."

Dancing About Architecture
Our resident Marshmallow Peep relates the news and hearsay in and around the Live Music Capital...
Music Column  April 6, 2001, by Ken Lieck
"...Finally, a bit more about the upcoming "post-Airport Rave." Local promoter Noah Ark continues his obsession with bigger, bigger, bigger, and this time out, he's linked up with California's Insomniac Events to bring their mega-rave Electric Daisy Carnival to Texas. On May 5, Ark's bringing the EDC to the Thunderhill Raceway, which is near the old Aquarena Springs amusement park around San Marcos..."

Dancing About Architecture
Freddy Fender is diagnosed with Hepatitis C, as news comes in that Direct Events owner and longtime local live music promoter Tim O'Connor is getting ready to retire.
Music Column  November 24, 2000, by Ken Lieck
"...I recently broke the news on the impending retirement of Direct Events' founder/owner Tim O'Connor from the concert promotion business, but those wondering what the longtime local promoter is moving on to do will just have to keep wondering for the time being. Direct Events' spokesman Kevin Brelsford reports that O'Connor will continue to be involved in the clubs (La Zona Rosa, Austin Music Hall, the Backyard), and assures us that his retirement is for strictly personal reasons and has nothing to do with the current or future climate of promoting live music in Austin..."

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Marvel's crime caper comedy sequel gets bigger, smaller, but still fun
Film Review  July 6, 2018, by Richard Whittaker

American Animals
Truth, lies, and self-deception in this remarkable true-crime docudrama
Film Review  June 15, 2018, by Matthew Monagle
"...Where is the line between fact and fiction in documentary cinema? For many moviegoers, documentaries are synonymous with truth, a re-creation of historical events using primary documents and firsthand accounts. Like any piece of storytelling, though, documentaries involve choices..."

More on the Antone's merger, the noise ordinance, and finally, Abra Moore.
Music Column  January 17, 2003, by Christopher Gray
"...Although vegetable bloodletting must be easier than gathering concrete information about the recent Antone's/Direct Events "merger," a clearer picture is forming in slightly less time than the average Eric Johnson album. Direct Events Pooh-Bah Tim O'Connor himself helped unmuddy the waters, surprising us all with a call to Chronicle HQ last week..."

Dancing About Architecture
Labor Days ends, people bummed.
Music Column  September 6, 2002, by Ken Lieck
"...Add the Austin Record Convention to the list of events that will no longer be taking place across from Auditorium Shores in the city's new Long Center complex there. Organizer Doug Hanners says, surprisingly, that it's not the rates being charged by the new post-Palmer Auditorium building that sent him packing..."

Hearts of Darkness
This documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now is named for that film's inspiration, Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. It's fitting, for in the creation of their film about the...
Film Review  February 21, 1992, by Kathleen Maher
"...He can't get off and he sure can't look it in the face. Filmmakers Bahr and Hickenlooper have gone back and interviewed the Coppolas, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper and others who were there to reconstruct the events that led to the brink of disaster and to the creation of a masterpiece..."

Off the Record
The renovated Austin Music Hall breaks new ground; Brown Whörnet goes digital; and Roky Erickson rocks Austin City Limits with a little help from his friends
Music Column  November 16, 2007, by Austin Powell
"...26, and originally starring Tori Amos – whose show has been moved to San Antonio's Majestic Theatre – will now benefit both the SIMS Foundation and the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians and feature Del Castillo, Bobbie Nelson, Kacy Crowley, and Carolyn Wonderland for $10. "It'll be ready," assured Direct Events owner Tim O'Connor (pictured) last Friday during a walk-through..."

The Agony of the Ecstasy
Will the federal and local crackdown on ecstasy put raves out of business?
Music Story  November 16, 2001, by Marc Savlov
"...Now is not a good time to be a raver. Not even in the Live Music Capital of the World.Box Full of Letters Three weeks ago, a broad assortment of Austin club owners, promoters, and DJs -- including Direct Events, owners of the Austin Music Hall, La Zona Rosa, and the Backyard; the nightclubs Texture and Element; and local party promoter/DJ Coy West of 626 Soul -- checked their mailboxes and discovered something almost as frightening as what everyone else is currently worried about...."

Sixth Street Blues
Downtown festivals cramp merchants' style
News Story  July 26, 1996
"...But a pocket of Sixth street merchants and homeowners contend that the area's diversity, as well as their very livelihoods, are routinely threatened by the influx of carpetbagging competition and inconvenienced regular customers that have come to be associated with the periodic street closures of Sixth Street for festivals, fairs and convention parties. They complain about a rigged system that virtually guarantees that closures win neighborhood approval, about admission charges that discourage their regular clients, and about the for-profit nature of the closures that brings a lot of money to the events' organizers, but translates into nothing but disruptions and headaches for the street's property tax-paying business owners...."

Rent Party Blues
Are post-boom rents killing the Austin music scene?
Music Story  February 14, 2003, by Andy Langer
"...Welcome to the Live Music Capital of the World, where musicians and club owners have begun asking the same question: Where's the live music capital? Already more accustomed to grim bottom lines, Austin's live music economy started 2003 with a pair of less-than-encouraging signposts: the Mercury's closing in May, and Antone's last-minute bailout from Direct Events...."

Off the Record
Tim O'Connor closes the Backyard, Grupo Fantasma spice things up for Latino Music Month, and Hacienda strikes a chord with the Black Keys
Music Column  May 2, 2008, by Austin Powell
"...Last Thursday Direct Events owner Tim O'Connor announced that the Backyard will close following the completion of the venue's 16th season with the Gipsy Kings on Aug. 28..."

A2K Meets 'ACL'
The rise of Charlie Jones, local promoter extraordinaire, ACL Fest main man.
Music Story  September 20, 2002, by Andy Langer
"...For a concert promoter, no two events are ever quite the same. Which is perhaps why Charlie Jones has instilled a slice of predictability into his work: a stage-side shot of tequila shared with his production team the moment the headliner strikes the first chord..."

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Too bad this sumptuously appointed film unfolds on a screen instead of a catwalk.
Film Review  July 16, 2010, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...In fact, the most interesting character in this drama may be Stravinsky’s sickly wife, Katarina (Morozova), who, as the composer’s greatest advocate and adviser, frequently leans toward doing what is best for his music rather than her marriage. The filmmaking style is rote biopic mode; events sinuously follow one another yet disclose few details..."

Halloween II
Rob Zombie's sequel to his 2007 remake of the original Halloween features Michael Myers coming back to town to wrap up some family business.
Film Review  September 4, 2009, by Marc Savlov
"...Feh. Zombie's grim but overdone 2007 series reboot – and this direct sequel, which picks up immediately after the events of the first do-over – recontextualized Myers as the end result of white-trash parenting, the kind of kid-thing that might easily have been voted Most Likely to Re-Enact Columbine in his high school yearbook had he gone to high school instead of staking a claim to the title of exurban maniac of the month..."

Off the Record
The Last Waltz: Looking back on the legacy of the Backyard and a tribute to Danny Roy Young
Music Column  October 24, 2008, by Austin Powell
"...Direct Events owner Tim O'Connor distinctly remembers the first show at the Backyard, on May 7, 1993. As the skies gradually cleared after three days of rainfall, he stood behind one of the fences near the front entrance and watched the expression on each patron's face as the crowd entered to see Willie Nelson...."

The Austin Music Co-op wants to give local musicians a break, but since they serve food, you can't smoke there
Music Column  June 25, 2004, by Christopher Gray
"...Antone's went the other direction, changing to 18-and-up after nearly 30 years of being all-ages. Barry Kohlus, vice-president of operations for Direct Events, says the room rarely draws underage crowds as it is (he cites Gavin DeGraw as a rare exception), and going nonsmoking would have hurt older-skewing nights like Blue Monday..."

Clifford comes home, Steamboat packs up, and Spoon seeks a pianist transplant
Music Column  June 6, 2003, by Christopher Gray
"..."It's showtime," announced Clifford around 9:25pm. "We might go all night like the old days." Antone also brought Direct Events capo di tutti capi Tim O'Connor on stage, thanking him for DE's assistance in keeping the club's doors open earlier this year: "Without 'em, we wouldn't be here today." Direct Events' Mark Collins, now responsible for booking Antone's, said he was pleased with the venue's recent performance..."

Dancing About Architecture
Music Column  November 20, 1998, by Ken Lieck
"...The club's J'net Ward says she's not too worried, but is aware that the city has the right to make such a decision at any given point, and has been up-front with the Lunch about this. To get the whole story, flip to this week's "Council Watch." At the Lunch itself, Ward has her hands full with what appears to be a growing battle between the Lunch and Direct Events, particularly in the case of an upcoming Los Super Seven show, which she says she had booked, but was relocated to La Zona Rosa after Direct Events "was so threatened that they called up [Los Super Seven's] agent and told them all sorts of lies." Both Direct Events and the band's management deny any such hanky panky was involved in the booking decision, but the incident is still adding fuel to the rumor that the Lunch is hoping to reinforce its position in the Austin nightclub food chain by officially joining forces with Stubb's..."

Dancing About Architecture
Network Affiliations
Music Column  February 13, 1998, by Ken Lieck
"...That didn't stop a number of speakers from giving impassioned pleas to save AMN (much to the chagrin of the councilmembers, who were running late and wanted to get to bed). The most interesting moment of the meeting (aside from Bill Oliver's musical presentation, perhaps) came when Direct Events business manager Tim Neece stepped up to the dias to boost the idea of privatizing the network and turning it into a for-profit venture..."

Blues Brothers 2000
Along with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, John Landis' The Blues Brothers remains one of my favorite screwball comedies. Both films take the notion of chaos theory and...
Film Review  February 6, 1998, by Marc Savlov
"...It's an orgy of finely choreographed comic free-for-alls that, with its interlaced musical numbers, recalls nothing so much as some of the early Marx Brothers' work. Co-written by Landis and Aykroyd, the film opens (after its dedication to John Belushi, Cab Calloway, and John Candy) with Elwood Blues' (Aykroyd) release from prison 18 years after the riotous events of the first film..."

Return to a Better Tomorrow
With the Hong Kong martial arts epics of the last two years going out of style, the filmmakers from the free city seem more eager than ever to discover the...
Film Review  October 7, 1994, by Joey O'Bryan
"...He goes into hiding as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant, but when the bad guys rape and cripple his girlfriend, he comes out of hiding to exact a bloody revenge against the vicious rival who is setting him up to be killed. The script is brutal and nihilistic but goes overboard in the second act as the chain of events goes from tragic to ludicrous..."

Knight Moves
Chess is the operative metaphor in this new psychological thriller, though the movie could have stood a few pointers in strategy and good gamesmanship. The story centers around a mysterious...
Film Review  January 29, 1993, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Still, there are other, more indecipherable plot points that I find more troubling than the mere lack of suspense. Certain events and actions just don't add up..."

Off the Record
All the fun fun fun that fits
Music Column  November 4, 2011, by Austin Powell
"...As reported here, Waterloo Park has closed for the Waller Creek Tunnel Project, a series of infrastructure renovations that will drastically alter the landscape of Red River (see "Off the Record," May 7, 2010). Yet, Transmission Entertainment has capitalized on the transition: negotiating with the city to secure a third day of events, securing off-site shuttle services to ease public transportation, and landing the fest's biggest headliners to date – Slayer, Public Enemy, and Spoon..."

BPM (Beats Per Minute)
France's AIDS community battles big pharma in the 1990s
Film Review  January 26, 2018, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Campillo brings an artful sense of history to his adept portrayals of the fractious meetings and rowdy actions of ACT UP. Sounds and music combine with nonsequential editing and emotionally gripping sex scenes to force viewers to partake in making sense of the film’s events..."

An Unreasonable Man
This documentary is a far cry from the dry polemics one might expect from a survey of Ralph Nader's career as a consumer activist and political candidate.
Film Review  February 23, 2007, by Marc Savlov
"...Nader, the next time I slam head-on into a busload of orphans, I won't have to worry about the steering column punching through my sternum and out the trunk. The final third of An Unreasonable Man (the title is taken from George Bernard Shaw) enters into Nader's quixotic bids for the 2000 and 2004 presidency, and is in the end the least satisfying part of the film, chiefly because the events are so fresh in the public mind, no matter which side of the political fence you're currently falling off of..."

War for the Planet of the Apes
The capstone of the Apes reboot sticks the landing
Film Review  July 14, 2017, by Marc Savlov
"...Fifteen years on from the events portrayed in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the simian protagonists are still led by Caesar (Serkis). His forested redoubt in the high sierras is enduring hit-and-run attacks from a nearby band of soldiers commanded by mad dreamer the Colonel (Harrelson)..."

In Darkness
Agnieszka Holland, the director of Europa Europa, creates a blood-quickening Holocaust drama about Poles who were hidden in the sewers.
Film Review  March 16, 2012, by Marc Savlov
"...Based on actual events, this claustrophobic epic is as emotional as they come: a Holocaust story shot through with a layer of darkness both literal and figurative. Set mainly beneath the streets of Lvov, Poland, In Darkness uses the dank, horrific, funereal sewers beneath the city to great and terrible effect..."

A magic wishing rock becomes the undoing of an entire community in this appealing new kids romp from Robert Rodriguez.
Film Review  August 21, 2009, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The story follows tweener Toe (Bennett), who finds a multicolored stone that can grant every wish – a wishing rock that creates havoc as it passes from hand to hand. The story structure is kiddie postmodern, as the film cuts forward and backward in chapters as events rewind or fast-forward as though controlled by a digital switch (hence the title Shorts)..."

Four disparate stories are woven into an eloquent and electrifying depiction of mankind's increasingly fractured state.
Film Review  November 10, 2006, by Marc Savlov
"...Working in one of the few media that resist geographic and cultural borders, Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) have woven together four disparate, interrelated stories amidst this overarching theme and in doing so have crafted an eloquent and electrifying depiction of mankind's increasingly fractured state, where small acts of kindness are freighted with unpredictable and often disastrous repercussions and desperate hours are never more than minutes away. Exquisitely crafted from its jarring musical score (by Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla) to its famous faces (here scrubbed clean of the protective veneer of the West) and legions of unknown and nonprofessional actors (revelation upon revelation), Babel is an incendiary piece of cinematic ordnance, backlighting incipient chaos and the random yet infinitely complex nature of human events with the pitiless glare of a white phosphorous flare..."

The Believer
Danny Balint is an unfathomable contradiction: he is a fiercely anti-Semitic neo-Nazi, and he is also a Jew. Unlike the blind rage of his skinhead colleagues, Danny's hatred isn't borne...
Film Review  July 5, 2002, by Steve Davis
"...And, that inescapable truth is his torment. The Believer, which was inspired by true events, is a disturbing, provocative film about the psychology of hate that appreciates Danny's paradox as one that defies easy explanation..."

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing
Several vignettes follow different characters as their lives interconnect in a search for happiness.
Film Review  July 5, 2002, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Like some modern-day Buddha, the Sprechers seem to be on a search for the source of human happiness, and toward this mission they developed this movie that provides several vignettes that explore their theme. Thirteen Conversations follows several different characters in seemingly unrelated episodes, but like many recent films from Pulp Fiction to Sliding Doors/i>, Thirteen Conversations shows us series of unrelated random characters and events that eventually overlap or merge their storylines in ways unforeseen at the beginning..."

Return to Never Land
It wasn't as if the world was crying out for a new animated Peter Pan, but here it is nevertheless, and it's neither the fulfillment of our worst fears nor...
Film Review  February 15, 2002, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Wendy's daughter Jane, who has developed into a hard-nosed realist as a result of the war surrounding her, becomes Peter's new guest in the land of the Lost Boys. Once in Never Land, the events echo those in the original: Peter and Hook are still arch-rivals, Hook kidnaps Jane, Tinker Bell loses her strength because not everyone believes in the powers of “faith, trust, and pixie dust,” and Jane must learn to fly..."

A Time to Kill
They sound so very Ecclesiastical… those words, A Time to Kill. To everything there is a season, and to the justifiable homicide defense A Time to Kill is the equivalent...
Film Review  July 26, 1996, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...To everything there is a season, and to the justifiable homicide defense A Time to Kill is the equivalent of Christmas in July. A Time to Kill, the newest legal thriller based on a John Grisham novel, takes a legal issue soaked in lots of difficult gray matter, tosses in some pointed racial factors that make it clear that American justice is not color blind, and then buttresses the events with the kind of star turns that charge ahead with swoopingly emotional, if not always legal, logic..."

The Adventurers
Popular Hong Kong singer-actor Andy Lau Tak-wah stars as a vengeance-obsessed air force pilot in Ringo Lam's latest effort, The Adventurers -- a less-than-perfect, but adequately entertaining action/melodrama that overcomes...
Film Review  March 22, 1996, by Joey O'Bryan
"...Lam's nihilistic sensibilities have not dissipated altogether; it's just that his world view now makes room for happy endings or, at the very least, presents some hope for the future. Occasionally though, the film's uncomfortable mix of somber drama, crazed action, and silly comedy results in a slightly schizophrenic tone, making it difficult to get truly involved with the characters and the events on screen..."

City to Review SXSW
Council directs staff to perform a 'post-event review'
DAILY News  March 31, 2014, by Michael King
"...After a brief discussion at last Thursday’s City Council meeting, Council passed unanimously a resolution directing City Manager Marc Ott to conduct “a full post-event evaluation of all events taking place during SXSW.” In a statement, SXSW officials welcomed the review, calling it “a terrific initiative.”..."

Music News: The Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking
C3 Presents acquires Emo's
Music Story  February 15, 2013, by Raoul Hernandez
"..."We're not looking to take over the world," laughed the Moody's vice president of business development, Tim Neece, who arrived in Austin in 1971 as a drummer from Abilene, began booking three years later before leaving for California to manage Christopher Cross, then returned in 1996 to become director of operations of Direct Events. "To us, it makes sense to get involved with acts early in their career and eventually get them over to the Moody."..."

Off the Record
The Dawg Days of Summer: Introducing Cameron Smith and Austin Backstage Live
Music Column  July 23, 2010, by Austin Powell
"...Following the suit filed by Sixthriver Architects in June, Maldonado Con-struction & Associates LLC is taking legal action against Direct Events and Planet Earth Music owner Tim O'Connor, the Statesman reported last Thursday. The contractor claims to be owed $344,801 for its work on the new Backyard...."

Off the Record
Discovered, covered: Robert Plant reimagines Milton Mapes, Eric Johnson eulogizes Hendrix, and more nuggets from the Texas Punk Treasure Chest
Music Column  June 25, 2010, by Austin Powell
"...Sixth River Architects filed suit on June 15 against Direct Events Inc. CEO Tim O'Connor and executive partner Doug Moyes, the Statesman reported on Monday..."

The Backyard's parking quagmire, Chris Cornell outshines those other guys, and more
Music Column  May 4, 2007, by Christopher Gray
"...Though Cape doesn't hold the Backyard responsible for what happened to her – she admits she and her friends had a few beers at the show – her experience is another in a growing list of unpleasant incidents related to the venue's parking accommodations, which have changed significantly since the adjacent Shops at the Galleria retail complex opened last year. Barry Kohlus, vice president of operations for Backyard owner Direct Events, says that after certain shows, he spends a "fair amount" of his day returning phone calls and e-mails related to parking complaints...."

Bitter Buzzing in Bee Cave
Local politicos, enviros sting each other over controversial mall project
News Story  April 16, 2004, by Amy Smith
"...As for Milam, he issued a statement this week retracting a comment he made in last week's Chronicle ("Bee Cave Mall Back on Fast Track?"): "I indicated that Tim O'Connor of Direct Events was supportive of the [Shops at the Galleria] project," Milam wrote. "In fact, Mr..."

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