Finding the Good Stuff: Music in Austin.
I didn’t manage to post this yesterday as promised, but I did find and unpack the cereal bowls, so there’s some progress on the move-into-the-house front.Here’s what I’ve discovered about the “Live Music Capital of the World;” the number of offerings is ridiculously large and (duh) many aren’t set up for children unless you think it’s a good idea to traipse into Antone’s with them at 10 o’clock at night.
Outdoor venues like the Backyard can work with older kids, but tickets can be pricey since they book national acts. I found another outdoor place that has terrific free local music from spring through summer, but since we just arrived in midsummer I never had a chance to take the kids to the Shady Grove Unplugged concert series sponsored by awesome local radio station KGSR. You can be sure with performers like Joe Ely, Ray Wylie Hubbard, the Mother Truckers and South Austin Jug Band, I’ll be all over this place as soon as I finish unpacking cereal bowls.
Most people know about the legendary music festivals in Austin: the Austin City Limits Music Festival this coming weekend and of course, South by Southwest (SXSW) in March. Many don’t know that SXSW is a music and film and interactive (Internet/blogger/digital world) event; there’s so much going on you could stay up for days, although that may not be terribly family-friendly.
I told my teenage daughter that I’d get her a wristband and take her to see some bizarro Norwegian band playing at 2 a.m., and she’s still trying to figure out if I’m kidding.
The festivals do make an effort to include children’s events, recognizing that just because we music lovers have had children does not mean that our concert-going days are over. ACL Festival offers the Austin Kiddie Limits performance area which this year includes one of my favorites, Joe McDermott.
If you happen to travel to the Austin area and just want to know what’s playing while you’re there, take a look at the Thursday XLent section of the local paper, the Austin American-Statesman. There are even more comprehensive listings in the free Austin Chronicle, which also comes out every Thursday and is distributed to hip restaurants and bookstores all over town….here it is online.
Read it carefully for appearances at the UT Student Union folkie haven Cactus Cafe, Stubb’s BBQ, Threadgill’s, Gruene Hall, The Broken Spoke honky-tonk dance hall, Ruta Maya coffeehouse, One World Theater or the downtown Paramount Theater.
When looking for recordings of local tunes, look no further than Waterloo Records at 6th and Lamar. The only problem is that everything is filed alphabetically rather than by genre, so you’d better have at least some idea of what you’re looking for or your brain will explode by the time you plow through “G.”
Oh, well, you can always just run next door to funky Amy’s Ice Cream or across the street to the Whole Foods flagship store to fortify yourself.
Have a good time in the Cosmic Cowboy town.
Note: This is a 22 September 2006 re-post of a 15 September 2006 previously published item, from a Google cache. I am re-creating some recent posts that disappeared in a BootsnAll server crash. The original comments were unfortunately lost.