Some books, imbued with an absolute sense of time and subject matter, pull you into their pages and make you wish that you were, or had been, part of the story that they tell. Texas is the Reason is one of those books. Ostensibly, it’s a collection of Pat Blashill’s up close and personal, monochrome photographs of the Austin punk scene that chart nearly a decade of its history, from its early embryonic moments in the late seventies through to the dyed-in-the-wool tail end of the eighties which saw it become home to the world famous, and increasingly important, music and film festival, SXSW.
Interspersed with hypnotic stories and first hand accounts from some of the long standing Austin veterans who were there from the beginning, Texas is the Reason is a mesmerizing story and study of a scene that, once you’ve lost yourself in Blashill’s images of yesterday, you’ll wish more than anything you’d been a part of. Popular wisdom would us believe that a picture is a worth a thousand words, but Blashill’s photographs multiply that idea ten-fold and share the history of a time and place and the people and bands who transformed the face, and ideas behind, punk rock and by doing so, arguably, altered the populist image of their home for the better. Achingly beautiful, Texas is the Reason is an immersive history lesson that will stay with you forever and a day. I wish I’d been there, oh how I wish I’d been there, but I was born ten years too late on the wrong continent, which regrettably, seems to be the story of my life. Absolutely essential… Tim Cundle