Back in May I was tasked with creating a music video for my daugher’s sixth grade graduation class, and spent many hours pondering which song(s) to use. In the end I chose no fewer than 8 from the list I posted earlier. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of many parents of the sixth graders I had a bountiful selection of photos to accompany each of the songs.

In case you’re interested, here are the songs that made the cut. I tried to avoid the emotional preachy theme in favor songs with a more uptempo beat. The videos were well received and most everyone who saw them asked for a copy on DVD.

1. All The Way Up – Emily Osment (3:12) – fast

2. Do You Remember – Jay Sean (3:30)

3. Graduation (Friends Forever) – Vitamin C (5:39)

4. Make it Shine (Theme from “Victorious”) – Victoria Justice (3:07)

5. Miles Apart – Yellowcard (3:32)

6. The Climb (Guitar Intro) – Miley Cyrus – 3:56

7. U Smile – Justin Bieber (3:16)

8. You Set Me Free – Michelle Branch (3:11)

Austin was once a much calmer and less crowded place. Within the last year or so it seems that new skyscrapers downtown have sprouted like weeds and some of Austin’s most time-honored locations have had to give way to high-rise lofts and generic stores.

Close to our neighborhood and heart, the peaceful pecan-shaded trailer parks along Barton Spring Road are slowly being razed to make way for condominiums. The Frisco Shop on Burnet Road was cleared to make room for one of those giant Walgreens stores like you can find in most any city. Early 60’s homes in our own Barton Hills are being cleared to make room for hulking two story duplexes that look completely out of place.

I recently became acquainted with a British band that was big in the eighties called The Housemartins. Their song Build reminds me of how we are slowly watching the soul of Austin being taken away bit by bit as the developers clear away the things that made this city something special.

Watch The Housemartins performing Build live on UKTV in 1987:


I was able to attend the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus concert with my daughter and came away quite impressed. You can see some pictures here in my .mac account gallery.

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These photos are from her concert at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, where the Jonas Brothers were the opening act. We had some amazing seats just 16 rows from the stage, thanks to advance ticket sales through