The Austin Chronicle

Read My Lips

The formative years of Austin's vaunted live music scene spawned a visual soundtrack

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, May 29, 2015, Music

Homegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967-1982

Edited by Alan Schaefer
University of Texas Press, 176 pp., $29.95

"These posters sold a lifestyle that permeated the city and reflected Austin's transformation from a sleepy university town into a veritable island of underground artistic and cultural activity in the state of Texas," writes Alan Schaefer in the introduction to this collection of poster art spanning the city's seminal music boom. Although Sixties San Francisco played ground zero for the show poster revolution – highly influenced by local expat Chet Helms' Family Dog collective – Austin quickly spawned its own style and identity as much through visual art as the music from venues like the Vulcan Gas Company, Armadillo World Headquarters, and Antone's. Jim Franklin's iconic armadillos set the foundation, but Gilbert Shelton's psychedelics, Micael Priest and Kerry Awn's detailed caricatures, Ken Featherston and Danny Garrett's evocative portraits, and the stylistic play of Guy Juke all birthed a distinctly Austin aesthetic. The 122 posters presented represent only a survey, but they preserve an imperative vibrancy of the emerging culture, the exchange of influences among artists, and the new wave burst of NOXX (Michael Nott) and Jagmo (Nels Jacobson). Homegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967 to 1982 is an indispensable visual archive of Austin. (Homegrown editor Alan Schaefer signs copies of his book on Sunday, May 31, at Antone's Records, 3pm. Tom's Tabooley next door then hosts a live performance by Golden Dawn at 4pm.)

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