This weekend’s MapJam, presented by KUTX 98.9, is a one day music tour that brings Austin Music Map to life.
KUTX is a relatively young radio station – they just celebrated their 2nd birthday – and one of their first ideas was Austin Music Map. The Music Map is an online collaborative effort between KUTX and their audience. It gives Austinites the opportunity to highlight their favorite up and coming musicians and promote their preferred music venues by charting them on an interactive map. It was revolutionary.
With MapJam, KUTX found a way to connect radio to the community. Having a “Jam” session with local musicians at local venues listed on the “Map” brought a formerly online experience to life.
So here is the lowdown on the 9 bands, 4 venues and grub you can sample tomorrow, February 21st, during KUTX’s Third Annual MapJam.
First Stop: 1-3 PM
- Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River St.
The MACC, as it’s sometimes call, is the first stop on the map. The MACC is dedicated to promoting and preserving Mexican-American culture and heritage through education, research and cultural arts. Sitting right on the Hike and Bike Trail across the street from Craft Pride on Rainey Street, the center’s easy access makes it a great place to start the afternoon exploring music and culture with the whole family and friends.
- Leticia Rodriguez
- Clandestino All-Stars
Leticia Rodriguez will kick off MapJam 2015 at 1 PM with her Pan American music. She will inspire you with original, tropical inspired songs, as well as with covers from famous 1950’s singer Eva Garza, Leticia’s aunt.
At 2 PM immediately following Leticia’s performance, the Clandestino All-Stars will take the stage. The Clandestino All-Stars originally began when a group of guys from various Austin bands got together to interpret and jam out to Manu Chao’s album Clandestino. Along the way, they realized they simply loved playing music together and started writing their own songs. Catch their interpretations of Clandestino along with their own original music during Saturday’s performance.
- Guac N Roll
No need to eat lunch before heading to MapJam, since food trucks will be stationed at each venue along the way. Guac N Roll has exactly what you’d expect from the name…guacamole. They do not claim to be an authentic Mexican food truck, but they do guarantee fresh, all natural, made-to-order guacamole. Mmmpanadas obviously makes empanadas, which are baked fresh daily from scratch. These two trucks are a great culinary combo.
Second Stop: 3-5 PM
- French Legation Museum, 802 San Marcos St
Originally built in 1841 to represent the French government, the French Legation Museum is dedicated to celebrating and sharing early Austin history. They have various family programs, events, concerts and camps throughout the year taking place in their beautiful 2.5 acre park.
- Ruby Jane
- Walker Lukens & The Side Arms
At the stop I’m probably most excited about, Ruby Jane, a child prodigy violinist (now 20), continues the MapJam momentum at 3 PM. You may remember her from her infamous 2014 SXSW performance with Lady Gaga at Stubb’s. Or you might have blocked that from your memory, since who wants to remember Lady Gaga’s vomiting performance? Regardless, Ruby Jane made headlines then and she continues to make them now with her incredible talent.
Playing at 4 PM is Walker Lukens & The Side Arms. His sound is hard to classify. His music comes across as soulful and bluesy, but some tracks have an Indie Rock feel. I dig it. But you be the judge.
- Short Bus Subs
- The Peached Tortilla
Again, probably the stop I’m most excited about for food as well. Late lunch, early dinner, linner, dunch, whatever you call it, I’ll definitely be eating here. Short Bus Subs makes great, hot, fresh sandwiches. And the Peached Tortilla recently opened their first brick and mortar location on Burnet Rd. This is a great way to sample their Asian and Southern influenced tacos and sliders before you make your trek out to their new location.
Third Stop: 5-7 PM
- Pan American Park, 2100 E 3rd St
The Pan American Park and recreation center was the first and only Latin American Center open in 1942. The hillside theater, where MapJam musicians take the stage, was built in 1958. The center offers year round activities for children and adults and is a cultural centerpiece of Austin’s east side.
- Joel Laviolette & Rattletree
- Golden Dawn Arkestra
Starting at 5 PM with the World Beat music of Joel Laviolette & Rattletree, the third stop is a great way to start or end your MapJam experience. If you’re with kids, you’ll likely start winding down during this stop. And what better way to exhaust your kids than by encouraging them to dance to this high energy music before bedtime?
If you’re late to the game and this is your first stop, the giant marimbas will get you in the mood for movement as you watch the sunset in the park. And as the sun sets at 6 PM, Golden Dawn Arkestra will take the stage. Hailing from Saturn, TX, these guys will make you feel like you’re on another planet…in a good way. They describe themselves as “Cosmic Sounds for The Children of the Sun.”
- East Side King
Another food truck home run, in my opinion. Typically the resident food truck of the Historic Scoot Inn, Cazamance is an African food truck that mixes West African, New York and Austin flavors. It’s great food that will compliment your music experience.
Frank, is…well…frank. There’s just something about being in a park, playing games, dancing and listening to music that brings out the desire for hot dogs. And then of course, no explanation necessary for the King of east side food trucks, East Side King.
Fourth Stop: 7-11 PM
- Historic Scoot Inn, 1308 East 4th St
The Historic Scoot Inn has been the last stop on the MapJam tour the past two years. When I think of the Historic Scoot Inn, I remember the dingy, dive bar days of 2009. But the Scoot Inn has since proven to be a key musical venue of the east side.
- Sip Sip
This last stop is where you’ll fully experience the “Jam” of MapJam. Ending the night with this musical trio will be a treat, especially for dancers. Starting off in the 7 PM slot is Phranchyze. He calls himself the South Austin Hero. And anyone who loves South Austin as much as I do is my hero! His flow is a great transition from World Beat and Reggae.
Immediately following Phranchyze at 8 PM is Sip Sip. This 15 piece band will blow you away. Their combination of Dance, Electro Groove and Post-Disco is super fun to move to. And to close out the night at 9 PM is Peligrosa. This unique collective of DJs, producers and visual artists meld together sounds of Latin America’s past, present and future.
There is no official food listed as part of MapJam, but the Scoot Inn often has resident trucks like the Cazamance.
KUTX’s MapJam is for all ages. The day definitely starts with a family friendly, chill vibe and, after the kids are in bed, progresses into a sweaty dance party. It’s a beautiful way to spend a Saturday and brings the motto “Live Music Capital of the World” to life.
Check out all four venues, or stop by just one. But whatever you do, leave your preconceived music notions at home, along with your car, and come bike around the east side to experience community, music, art, food and friends.
@jpino9 wants to know:
What musician or food are you most excited about at MapJam 2015?
Cover photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUTX via Flickr.