South By Southwest (SXSW) is in full swing, with music filling the streets and Austin's celebrity population at its annual peak, so even as we're hard at work we try and make it out for some of the festivities. Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Humans of New York's (HONY) Brandon Stanton and see him speak at the Yahoo Tech Mix at SXSW.
Stanton has a truly amazing story, having left a finance job in Chicago to photograph people on the street in New York, his images and the accompanying captions have touched fans across the world and united thousands behind noble efforts. In a lively, entertaining conversation, Stanton recounted how HONY has grown and evolved into one of the most influential photography sites in the world (4+ million Facebook followers), as well as a New York Times bestselling book, and where he sees HONY in the future. In probably the most surprising theme of the discussion for me, Stanton continually spoke of how he isn't a very talented photographer, and that the reason HONY has been so successful has been the stories that accompany his images. This was a very powerful point, and one we at Live Oak Legacies also believe.
Afterward, over tacos and Topo Chicos, we expanded on the discussion in the context of story capture. I explained Live Oak Legacies and another friend mentioned a related project he has been working on. At some point, someone was explaining the importance of stories for our elderly, and used the term "stories are currency." I thought this was a very accurate description, and something many of us can relate to. Overall, it was a great night and a thoughtful discussion. Turns out sometimes you can get work done while enjoying SXSW.
If you aren't familiar with Humans of New York yet, check out Brandon Stanton's amazing work on Facebook - www.facebook.com/humansofnewyork.
Live Oak Legacies is dedicated to helping you and your loved ones preserve and share your most treasured stories, so we love to recognize others who embrace and celebrate history in the same way. When these individuals also happen to be our friends, it makes it even better. In this post we feature Sonobeat Records: Pioneering the Austin Sound in the '60s, a new book by Ricky Stein about Austin's early music scene and one of the labels that helped steer it. With South By Southwest ready to fill our streets with its annual musical celebration, we hope this gets you in the mood to jam out and appreciate how our once sleepy little town became the "Live Music Capital of the World."
Unlike so many of us (myself included), when tasked with choosing a topic for his UT senior thesis, Ricky Stein took the exercise to heart. A lifelong Austinite and a prolific local musician, Stein’s innocent exploration of Sonobeat Records evolved into a full-length exploration of one of Austin's most influential labels during the 1960s and was ultimately published by the History Press.
When asked why he chose to explore Austin's music history, Stein said:
As Austin continues to grow, there's a fear that we as citizens will somehow lose a part of our identity that has made this town so distinctly appealing over the years. I wanted to preserve and bring to light a story about how we developed into such a cultural mecca in hopes that readers will have a better understanding of our city's heritage.
While Live Oak Legacies focuses on preserving individual and family stories, this is definitely something with which we can identify. After reading this book, I certainly have a deeper appreciation for Austin's musical pioneers and how their work still has people dancing in the streets today.
Check out Sonobeat Records: Pioneering the Austin Sound in the '60s here, and have a wonderful SXSW!