Homegrown White Denim Makes Austin Proud at ACL Taping

Although less than a decade old, Austin band White Denim has managed to sprawl from its homegrown roots in Austin to touch fans of all kinds across the world. The group members’ approach to the psychedelic rock world and extensive touring schedule have helped them spread their name far and wide.

White Denim ACL Taping

White Denim rocks ACL at The Moody Theater (Credit: Scott Newton, courtesy of KLRU-TV)

White Denim began in early 2006 when two local Austin groups, Parque Touch and Peach Train, came together after a show at Beerland to become one. Over the course of time, one member moved to Russia. But the rest stayed behind to eventually form what we know today as the progressive rock quartet. [Read more...]

Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza Is Worth the Wait in Hill Country

Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza

Inside the barn at Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza (Credit: Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza)

Pizza and craft beer – you can’t really have a bad day when those two are involved. Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza serves up some of the best woodfired pies in the Austin area, out in the Hill Country on Ceres Park Ranch right next door to Jester King Brewery.

With plenty of open space, shaded picnic tables and a variety of fresh ingredients to choose from, you won’t regret making the trip out to this place.

Stanley’s environment is farmlike, set in a large, rustic barn surrounded by a generous amount of land, with a few bulls roaming in the distance. The restaurant was actually named after [Read more...]

Radio Coffee and Beer Is Austin’s Newest Hangout

Radio Coffee & Beer

Radio Coffee & Beer at 4204 Manchaca

Though it’s not even a month old, Radio Coffee & Beer has already managed to fit in seamlessly with the Austin community. Located on Manchaca near Ben White in the heart of South Austin, Radio Coffee & Beer brings together two things Austinites are absolutely obsessed with…and then some.

Owner and singer/songwriter Jack Wilson got the idea for the place from the countless bars and coffee shops he experienced while touring. He wanted to bring all the good he experienced in those places together in one spot for the local community to enjoy.

Wilson earned his coffee chips through time spent living and working in the Seattle coffee scene. Through friends and former co-workers, he’s managed to pull Portland’s Stumptown Coffee for everything from espresso beans to their Cold Nitro Brew on tap. [Read more...]

Tubing Spots Near Austin

Grab your coolers and SPF 30 because the heat is here and that means it’s time to float down a river somewhere.

We’re fortunate enough in Austin to be surrounded by varying bodies of water with plenty of opportune tubing spots. My quick advice is this. For a shorter float that’s family friendly, hit the Comal River (2-3 hrs). If you’ve got more time and want to make a day of it, try the Guadalupe River. For an in-between, head to the San Marcos River (less crowded when school is out of session). Most importantly, have fun!

Below are a few of my favorite tubing spots and companies that help make the fun happen.

San Marcos River: Texas State Tubes

Tubing Spots Near Austin San Marcos River

On the San Marcos River with Texas State Tubes (Credit: Texas State Tubes)

[Read more...]

Love Your City with Keep Austin Beautiful

Keep Austin Beautiful Logo

Keep Austin Beautiful logo (Credit: Keep Austin Beautiful)

Have you ever wondered what those green “KAB” signs along Austin roadsides stand for? The ones that say so-and-so has adopted this road?

I know I have, eventually so much that I looked into it. Those signs are put in place by Keep Austin Beautiful, an organization that has been keeping the Austin community looking good for nearly thirty years. [Read more...]

5 Ways to Support Local and Get Fit for Summer

There’s not a lot of time left before summer is officially here. But don’t fret, there are still plenty of things you can do to help you put some swagger in that stride when you hit Barton Springs.

Austin usually has a good three-month block with high temperatures that are just brutal, which may be a big reason why there are so many different opportunities in the city to hone that body you’ll soon be showing more of. Below are a few of my favorite ways to get fit for summer in Austin.

Congress Avenue Kayaks


Kayaking on Lady Bird Lake (Photo credit: Congress Avenue Kayaks)

Lady Bird Lake is such a wonderful part of Austin. Why not take advantage of its beauty by working out on it? Congress Avenue Kayaks (located at 74 Trinity Street below the Four Seasons) offers kayaks and standup paddle board rentals. Both water craft are great for improving your core strength and adding lean muscle, particularly to the upper body. [Read more...]

Midway Food Park Offers Good Food and Family Fun

Midway Food Park

Busy day at Midway Food Park (Photo credit: Midway Food Park)

Texas weather can be crazy, but living in Austin does provide you with a hefty share of beautiful days throughout the year. A good place to take advantage of those pretty days is the Midway Food Park, which offers a variety of fresh cooking and has plenty of room to stretch your legs and let the kids run all their energy out before they get home.

Midway Food Park is right off 360, about a mile shy of Westlake just past Barton Creek Mall (1905 S. Capitol of Texas Hwy). It’s also a stone’s throw from the Greenbelt, if you’re looking for more outside activities afterward. It has ten food trucks, a nice playground, an air-conditioned restroom trailer, plenty of parking and ample space to grab a table or spread out a blanket and eat picnic-style. [Read more...]

WhichCraft Is Austin’s First Craft-Only Beer Store

WhichCraft Austin Logo

WhichCraft opened on April 19, 2014 in Austin

Do you ever get tired of sifting through all the crappy domestic beers at the grocery store to get to what you want? Come on, guys. I drank that stuff in college, but I’m grown now. I look for quality over quantity and I like to actually taste my beers and distinguish them from one another.

If you’re not looking for what you’re forced to drink at a baseball game, head over to WhichCraft, where you’ll probably be interested in nearly everything on the shelves.

WhichCraft has impressively filled a niche that was still available for the taking in Austin, by becoming the city’s first craft-only beer store. No sifting through the shelves here. You won’t find any of the watered-down lighter lagers from the big beer companies, or wine or liquor for that matter. When WhichCraft says craft beer only, they mean it. [Read more...]

Walton’s Fancy and Staple Refreshes with Food and Flowers on West 6th

Many don’t know it, but Walton’s Fancy and Staple has been around the Austin area in some form or fashion for 45 years now. It began in 1969 with a focus purely on flowers and plants, as Walton’s Florist and Nursery in the neighboring city of West Lake Hills.

Walton's Fancy and Staple on West Sixth Street

Walton’s Fancy and Staple at 609 West Sixth Street

In 2009, the owners of Bess Bistro (hi, Sandy!) moved the business across the street from them on West Sixth Street, and renamed it Walton’s Fancy and Staple. They kept the floral aspect of the company intact, while adding an expert team of bakers and a top-notch delicatessen. [Read more...]

Old, Quirky Treasures Fill the Shelves at Austin’s Uncommon Objects

Are you looking for some alabaster eagle bookends? How about a meat puzzle or some vintage typography? Whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll most likely be able to find something of interest at Uncommon Objects.

Meat Puzzle at Uncommon Objects Austin

Meat puzzle at Uncommon Objects in Austin

It’s best to go without a particular item in mind and see where you end up. The shop offers you a chance to step into the past and explore with as much depth as you please. With over twenty dedicated vendors working together to create a one-of-a-kind medley of items, there’s no telling what you’ll stumble upon. [Read more...]

Blue October Members Bring Orb Recording Studios to Hill Country

It was a sunny, windy Sunday and I was exhausted. I’d been SXSW-ing all over Austin for a week and was ready to curl up with my hound dogs and sleep for a few days. But as bad as I wanted that Pawn Stars marathon from my couch, I wasn’t about to miss out on an opportunity to see the Grand Opening of Orb Recording Studios, Austin’s newest place to produce music that had been visited by Lil’ Wayne, Erykah Badu and Justin Bieber during SXSW.

Matt Novesky and C.B. Hudson at Orb Recording Studios. Photo credit: 78triple6.com

Founders Matt Novesky and C.B. Hudson at Orb Recording Studios (Photo credit: 78triple6.com)

Orb Recording Studios was founded by a couple of the guys from Blue October – C.B. Hudson (lead guitarist) and Matt Novesky (bassist). Their vision was to capture everything they loved about East and West Coast studios and bring it all to the pretense-free vibe of Austin. [Read more...]

Best Breakfast Off the Beaten Path in Austin

There are a lot of choices in our great city, even when it comes to breakfast. At times, the plethora of options may seem overwhelming, but don’t just settle on the corporate chain closest to your home. There are plenty of local, homegrown businesses serving up the most important meal of the day in a serious way.

You’ve probably grown familiar with the mainstays that are usually popular for good reason. But sometimes you need to step off the sidewalk and roam in the street for awhile, if you get my drift. Below are a few of my recommendations for a solid breakfast in Austin, at places you may not have been before.

Red River Cafe

I’ve been eating at this place for nearly ten years now. I was a little hesitant to include it for selfish reasons. There’s never a wait; it’s quiet and there’s usually a booth available. Two giant eggs – sunny side up – hang on each side of the faded and dated building as you approach. When you walk in, there’s a bench on your left with a hefty pile of newspapers to choose from. I usually linger for a good twenty to thirty minutes after I finish my meal here to catch up on current events.

Red River Cafe Exterior

Red River Cafe exterior (Photo credit: walkyourdogaustin.com)

[Read more...]

Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company Draws a Crowd to South Austin

Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company Flag

Fly, ABGB, Fly (Photo credit: TheSimplifiers.com)

Every time I head out to the Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, it’s always packed to the brim with people. There’s good reason for this, and it’s admirable that ABGB has been able to develop such a following in less than a year. They opened their doors last summer and it seems like they’ve never closed since.

Despite the new company name, the people behind the brand are not inexperienced when it comes to the craft beer game. Head Brewers Amos Lowe and Brian Peters hold nearly fifty years of collective experience between them, with former leading positions held at Uncle Billy’s Brew and Que and Live Oak Brewing Company. [Read more...]

Erin Ivey: Austin Treasure Releases Whisper of the Moon Album

Erin Ivey

Erin Ivey

I’m not sure what it is about Erin Ivey’s voice, but it brings me bliss like few others can. When she sings, I want to curl up, close my eyes and float off into the distance as the music completely envelops every fiber of my being. That may seem a little over the top, but listen to her and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

I first discovered Erin Ivey years ago, as a college student delivering flowers to pay my bills. I drove a cargo van around the city of Austin every day with KUT blasting loudly through the speakers. I remember the first time the wonderful Jay Trachtenberg mentioned her name. I was taken aback the moment I heard her and continue to be with each new song she releases.

I recently attended and wrote about a show given by a close friend of hers, Elizabeth McQueen. In my article, I mentioned how big a fan I am of Erin, who participated in the show. I’ll be damned if she didn’t contact me after reading the piece on Elizabeth, and she graciously invited me out to her upcoming EP release.

That’s who Erin Ivey is. No ego. No pretension. Only love. [Read more...]

Savor the Past and Present at Freedmen’s Bar

Freedmen's Bar Austin

Freedmen’s Bar exterior 2402 San Gabriel St. (Photo credit: Freedmen’s)

These winter months provide an ideal opportunity to savor mouth-watering barbeque and enjoy a warming cocktail or two. Freedmen’s Bar over in West Campus allows you to do just that in a cozy atmosphere that has aged like a fine wine or a hard cheese – well. The bar sits in a historic landmark that was built by former slave George Franklin nearly 150 years ago. Over the years, the building has housed everything from a church to a grocery store.

When Cuatro’s owner Cuatro Kowalski saw the space, he envisioned a place where you could drink fine whiskey and eat smoked meat with both your friends and your ancestors. He renovated the building with some modern touches and imported an antique bar from Brownsville, all while maintaining the classic elegance and charm that a century and a half naturally provides. [Read more...]