Rob Patterson

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Don't Move Here (Please), But Move Nearby

You're in from out of town for ACL Fest and having a damn fine time. At some point many of you probably think, "Wow, this would be a great city to move to." Some of you may have already decided to relocate here, just like the 150 or so people who do it every day.

10 Quick Breaks from ACL Music Fest

Being surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people for three days straight can get tiring! Luckily, there's plenty within walking distance of Zilker Park, whether you're looking to cool off, grab a non-food truck bite to eat or just take a stroll.

The Frost Bank Tower - Soaring Skyscraper or Sore Thumb?

The Frost Bank Tower is one of those love it or hate it buildings. Count me in the latter category. (You might be able to argue me down to "dislike.")

Overrated: Matt's El Rancho

The first time I visited Austin in 1978, I went to dinner at Matt's El Rancho at its original location on Cesar Chavez where the Four Seasons hotel now sits.

The Mid-2013 Top 10 Report: Best for Burgers, Bros & Music Clubs. But Terribly Overrated Destination?

It's like a game now: Guess where Austin falls on this or that latest national Top 10 or Best Of list. Maybe some digital developer can launch an app that enables us all to make book on our city's *ahem* stature on the many metrics on which we consistently score.

National Media Wonders if Austin Can Stay Weird

Of all the high-profile media mentions about Austin of late, none have shown how big we are on the national radar as two recent stories, in Time magazine and on

Downtown Building Boom? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

See the new Downtown Austin skyline that sprouted over the last decade or so? Take a good look at it, maybe snap a pic for posterity. Because over the next few years it's going to change even further.

SXSW 26 Years On: A Conversation with Roland Swenson

The local spotlight beams on South By Southwest in the early months of every year into mid March, when the Fest/Con monster takes over much of central Austin. And doesn't just capture the attention of our city but becomes news across the nation and worldwide.

Blue Dahlia a Bistro for All Occasions

My mother and younger sister were visiting from Arizona, and the question was where to eat dinner. It's common practice to steer visitors towards the big three Texas cuisines: Tex-Mex, barbecue and Southern-style cooking.

Austin Loses a Dear Old Friend in Music Writer Chet Flippo

Hard as it may be to believe these days, there was a time when Austin music was but a blip on the popular music radar, a well-kept secret in a then-small city that was the state capital and a big college town yet still something of a charming backwater.


Rob Patterson has enjoyed a unique and varied career as a journalist, writer, editor and arts / cultural critic. A native of upstate New York, he was first published in 1976 on music in lower Manhattan’s seminal Soho Weekly News and the legendary national music magazine Crawdaddy. He also did production work and community reporting for Big Apple weeklies The Brooklyn Phoenix and The Villager. In 1977 he became one of the most widely distributed pop music writers in the nation as a weekly columnist for United Media, appearing in some 250-300 daily newspapers via Newspaper Enterprises Association and later as a writer for the Pop Scene Service of its sister syndicate United Features.

His work has appeared in such top music publications as Creem, Spin, Musician, Billboard, Country Music, Request, Harp and many more including audio, guitar and recording magazines and the UK’s New Musical Express and Country Music People, plus a score or so of alternative newsweeklies. He contributed to two editions of the Rolling Stone Record Guide and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock Music. Rob has also pursued a parallel entertainment industry career as a road manager, publicist, staff PR writer for a major label and top PR firms, independent record label manager, marketing grunt and consultant plus record producer and more. Over the years he has expanded his range as a journalist by writing news and general interest features plus as a film, restaurant and book critic, travel writing and more as well as trade magazine reporting on everything from the music industry to commercial construction to equestrian gear and wear. Patterson arrived in Austin in late 1989 (when traffic wasn’t even a subject to discuss here) to do ad and trade show sales for South By Southwest’s 1990 and ’91 conferences, and helped plan its panels through 1995. He was Senior Editor/Writer for the Austin Chronicle from 1991-’95, editing its music and politics sections. He later served as radio columnist for the American-Statesman and contributed to the daily as a freelance film and food critic plus music and feature writer, was editor/designer of this city’s official visitor’s magazine, Experience Austin, and spent a one-session temp stretch on the state tab editing bill analyses for what he likes to refer to as the Texas House of Reprehensibles. Since the late ‘90s Patterson has continued to diversify his writing as a full-time freelancer, appearing in such outlets as, The Huffington Post, Texas Teacher, Irish America and Cowboys & Indians plus the trade magazines Texas Construction and Western & English Today and writing two Leftist-leaning entertainment columns for The Progressive Populist. Yes, Patterson is a proud member of the truly liberal media. The rumors that he has been spied at exits to I-35 with a sign that reads “Will Write for Single Malt Scotch” do bear a kernel of truth. He looks forward to writing more songs and articles about buildings and food and much else that strikes and engages his fancy and restless intellect in his quest to endure as a professional writer in an increasingly subliterate world.

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