About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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The death of live music?
“Sure is a nice Live Music Capital you’ve got there … be a shame if something happened to it.” That was the general tenor of a blog post from the Houston law firm Feldman & Feldman that made the rounds in Austin music circles over the weekend. Titled “Austin, The Live Music Capital of the World, Struggles With Noise Complaints,” the post recaps the city’s past three years of misadventures trying to create the so-called agent of change ordinance to address growing tensions between entertainment and nearby development. The law firm touts its own successes in “dealing with” noise complaint cases in the Houston area, noting that potential fines in Houston could reach $15,000 for violators. Some in the Austin music community have likened the bit of search engine optimized trolling as akin to ambulance chasing in a city sensitive to noise issues. It also serves as a reminder that the agent of change process appears to be crawling toward some finality later this spring.