Like a perfectly worn-in pair of cowboy boots, slipping into a classic dive bar to down a cold one provides true comfort. The Hole in the Wall is as divey as they come. I’m grinning from ear to ear as I order my tequila. [Read more…]
From huge festivals with famous headliners to as-of-yet-undiscovered bands playing neighborhood bars on a Monday night, Austin is known for its phenomenal music scene. But there’s one kind of musical performance that doesn’t always get the same recognition: Austin’s stellar opera scene.
Austin Opera (formerly known as Austin Lyric Opera) is celebrating its 30th anniversary season this year. That’s 30 years of putting on thrilling live musical experiences ranging from Italian classics to hip, modern creations. Austin Opera seeks to thrill diehard opera fans and newbies alike with an “art form as spirited and adventurous as Austin itself.” [Read more…]
In a digital world, it’s a fun feeling to get anything delivered by mail. It’s especially fun when music is involved. Vinylmnky, a local Austin vinyl delivery service, has joined the movement to make listening to music a more tangible experience. And there are many reasons why people enjoy collecting vinyl records, from the album art to the feel of the grooves. It’s delightful to learn how to “drop the needle.”
After trying the service myself, this is what I’ve found. [Read more…]
Austinites pride themselves on the “Live Music Capital of the World” tagline, but the local love for big festivals, loud bars and coffee shop jams can overshadow classical forms of music. Those who want to experience the full spectrum of incredible musical happenings in our city need to add Chorus Austin to the top of their list. [Read more…]
If you’ve ever been to a concert in Austin, you know it’s never just about the music. The audience participating, the libations and the ambiance form a full experience. We all crave entertainment that stimulates our many senses.
But what happens when you strip away the “entertainment” factor and leave an audience with nothing but the the artist and the music? Does the experience fall flat? Perhaps unexpectedly, guests at Cafe con Letras in Austin find their senses set on fire by the connections they see, hear and feel between the artist and the music. [Read more…]
Cover bands. They light you up with songs that make you dance hard and sing with sweaty conviction. These nostalgic heart-string pullers have one thing in common: they want to create as much fun with music as humanly possible. Whether it be rock and roll, swing, blues, hair metal, 80’s, or beyond, Austin has you “covered” from head to effects pedal.
Do yourself a favor and catch some of these uber talented local musicians! If there’s one thing you need to remember about cover bands, it’s that they love the songs they’re covering just as much as you do. Now go rock your face off!
1/ The Spazmatics
If you’ve been on West 4th Street in Austin at around 9:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, you’ve probably heard The Spazmatics rocking out to the 80’s. They kill it every single time with infectious songs like “Take on Me” by Aha, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Whip it” by Devo and “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode. Also, their nerd-rock outfits are something special. They play all over Texas, but their weekly home base is at Cedar Street Austin.
2/ More Cowbell
Technically, More Cowbell is a “mash-up” cover band. The creative blending of two crowd favorites has been wildly successful, earning them awards as Austin’s Favorite Cover Band in recent years. They’ll seamlessly combine songs like “Smells like Teen Sprit” by Nirvana with “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg and name it “Smells like Gin and Juice.”
The list of music they cover is impressive, from Taylor Swift to Johnny Cash to Nine Inch Nails. And who doesn’t love that their name is a reference to a legendary Saturday Night Live skit?
3/ The Eggmen
The fine gentlemen of The Eggmen are dedicated to wooing you with 60’s tunes from bands like The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who and The Rolling Stones. Another Austin Music Award winner that’ll get a crowd amped up, no matter what age range. Like a lot of cover bands, they do weddings and other types of events. Imagine hearing a faithful rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles on your big day. Pretty magical, right?
Zoodust is for all 90’s music lovers, like myself. If you get down with tunes from Alanis Morisette, Third Eye Blind and the Spin Doctors, this cover band is for you. Their crowd banter keeps the nostalgic juices flowing as they send you to a simpler time when Mark Wahlberg was an underwear model and Beanie Babies lined your shelf. You can usually find these hunks during specials events at The Highball. Also, look out for a for another Austin 90’s party band called Type A.
Now back to the 1970’s. Skyrocket! has people grooving all over the floor to “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and “Night Fever” by the Bee Gees. They don’t exclusively cover 70’s songs. But man, they’ve got that era in the bag. These friends just so happen to be well-known local songwriters and recording artists. You can find them touring all over Texas, so check for shows near you.
Austin cover bands are energetic, fun and ready to perform a broad range of tunes for your enjoyment. Tribute bands are a whole other kettle of fish, so to speak. Here’s a short list of talented Austin-based bands that are dedicated to paying tribute to a specific musician or group:
- Magnifico – Queen tribute band
- We Are Not Men – All-female Devo tribute band
- Mysterious Ways – U2 tribute band
- POON – All-female Ween tribute band
- Panic Stricken – Widespread Panic tribute band
- Icing – Cake tribute band
- The Damn Torpedoes – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band
- Bidi Bidi Banda – Selena tribute band
- Jamiroqueen – Jamiroquai tribute band
- Strange Dayz – The Doors tribute band
Go forth and dance the night away, you party animals!
@TheAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite cover band in Austin?
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Confession time: Weekend One of Austin City Limits Music Festival was my first ever. As a newborn at the event, I attempted to absorb as much as possible from three days of crowds, sun and mind-blowing music. Not only did I walk away with a greater appreciation for one of Austin’s most anticipated concerts, but I was re-invigorated by our community’s love for live music.
Here are 20 things I learned during Weekend One of Austin City Limits Music Festival. Maybe you’ll make similar discoveries during Weekend Two. Most of all, I hope you’ll have a memorable experience that’s uniquely your own. [Read more…]
Why do dive bars capture our hearts so much? Historic Scoot Inn has tenaciously hung in there as one of the most popular dive bars in Austin. And now this east side venue has swept out the cobwebs with a facelift for its 145th birthday.
That’s right: this beloved East 4th Street location has served as some type of local business since 1871. While Historic Scoot Inn still possesses a tattered, endearing charm, it’s less tattered now. The owners just completed a remodel, gently nudging this East Austin icon into the modern era. [Read more…]
For 50 years, John Aielli has brought a mixture of musings, music and even a bit of dead air to The University of Texas at Austin’s radio station, KUT. He’s a unique host who loves to present his passion for music and local talent to the ears of listening Austinites, along with some bizarre conversations with himself that have made him an Austin icon. [Read more…]
If SXSW is for tourists, then Austin City Limits Music Festival is for locals. For two weekends a year, Zilker Park transforms from an oasis of laid-back leisure into a celebration of music from around the world. From chart-toppers, to indie darlings, to oldies looking for one last chance in the spotlight, ACL Fest attracts artists like chips to queso.
But what about our hometown heroes? As headliners like Radiohead, Mumford & Sons and LCD Soundsystem grab the marquee, local talent tends to get lost in the schedule, swallowed by acts with deeper pockets and wider reach.
But no more! There’s plenty of local to love at this year’s festival, so we’ve compiled a list of every ATX artist playing over ACL Fest’s two long weekends, and the times to check them out. Listen local! [Read more…]