Austin’s indie rock circle and other groups are grieving over the loss of 29-year-old Esme Barrera, a much-loved figure in the Texas city’s music scene. The Waterloo Records employee, dedicated Girls Rock Austin volunteer, and special-needs teacher at Casis Elementary School was found murdered in her home on New Year’s Day. A suspect has yet to be detained.
Members of Okkervil River, YACHT, as well as Matador Record’s Gerard Cosloy have all spoken out about the tragic loss of Barrera. Ted Leo of The Pharmacists and Citizens Arrest fame recently Tweeted, “I was privileged to briefly know an inspirational person from Austin … she’ll be missed.” Portland electronic outfit YACHT shared, ” The world’s lost a shining light, music cheerleader, and great human.” Former At the Drive-In member Jim Ward has cancelled his tour after hearing the bad news. “We need to get home to be with family, friends and have the support of our gang,” he explained in a press release.
Everyone has been banding together to support Barrera’s family by setting up a donation page, which will help them pay for services and other expenses. Meanwhile, a Brooklyn benefit is being planned by art collective Permanent Wave on January 12. Visit Cosloy’s blog to read a touching post about the music figure. “If you’re reading this, didn’t know this woman and you’re saying to yourself, ‘Big deal, I know someone just like that,’ tell them. Today,” Cosloy writes. Sage advice.