“A Curious Mix of People” authors Richard Whymark, Greg Beets talk music at the Texas Book Festival
Catch “A Curious Mix of People” authors Richard Whymark and Greg Beets talk about their roots in the 1990s Austin music scene as UT DJs at the Texas Book Festival this weekend.
Local music lovers, I’ve got the read for you: “A Curious Mix of People: The Underground Scene of ‘90s Austin.”
City Editor Figi here. I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Richard Whymark, a documentary filmmaker, music journalist, and one of the book’s authors. The book, which came out last month, is an exquisitely detailed amalgamation of local rock culture around UT Austin told through a series of interviews.
Whymark and his co-author Greg Beets, a musician and former music writer for the Austin Chronicle, didn’t just intricately research the grunge and “DIY” rock scene of Austin in the 1990s — they lived it.
Originally from England, Whymark was studying abroad at UT when he began working at the student radio station in 1994. The policy was not to play anyone famous to help local bands get airtime, so Whymark would spend his days listening and learning at the now-closed Sound Exchange Music Store.
“That building used to be our record store that we would all go to — it was kind of like a clubhouse,” Whymark said. “It was just this swirling mass of people who [were] all interconnected. The people who made zines were also in bands or started a record label.”
Whymark and Beets let the reader in on the dually grimy and inclusive sides of the music scene from the era, vivid descriptions of venues past, and maybe give them a new favorite band.
The book is just a piece of the pie — the project is a continuation of a docuseries created by Chepo Peña and the team also produces zines periodically.
You can hear Whymark, Beets, and local artist J Muzacz speak at “Keepers of the Weird: Austin Artists & Musicians” during the Texas Book Festival from 1-1:45 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12 at the Texas Capitol.