Happy New Year, Austin! With the holidays officially behind us and our bank accounts drained, what better way to bring in 2018 than with Free Week? All picks this round are for this year’s festival of free. And as a belated gift from me, each recommendation comes with a video link for your preview pleasure. Leave the wallets/purses at home and enjoy an incredible week of live music in Austin.
All videos are courtesy of our pals at FreqSho. Click the link for a full video playlist of every band playing Free Week 2018!
Friday, Jan. 5
Los Coast, Emily Wolfe, Otis the Destroyer, Palo Duro
@ Mohawk (912 Red River St.) – 8 p.m.
With a stacked deck of amazing music on the schedule, this is where I’d be. Los Coast’s brand of riotous rock-a-funk is unapologetically brash boogie. On the other side of the bill, Emily Wolfe’s blend of southern rock grunge and touching alto will deliver a rootsy counterpoint to Los Coast’s James Brown jams. Pepper in pysch-rock extraordinaire Otis the Destroyer and quirky pop rocker Palo Duro, and you have an eclectic evening of music.
Saturday, Jan. 6
Melat, Shy Beast, Scorpio Rising, Noelle Tannen & the Filthy No-Nos
@ Empire Control Room (606 E. 7th St.) – 8 p.m.
Given the page space, I could dedicate 1,000 words to Saturday’s shows alone. But again, if I could only go to one show, you’d find me at Empire. Melat’s ACL 2017 performance blew me away and created a new fan. Soulful, sultry, and wonderfully complex, this pint-sized powerhouse spins webs of sonic beauty through her ear-tickling vocals and killer groove. Backing her up are former McG indie rockers Shy Beast, female-fronted rock group Scorpio Rising, and neo-soul act Noelle Tannen & the Filthy No-Nos.
Sunday, Jan. 7
SMiiLE, Why Bonnie, Video Age, Glaze, Harry Paradise, Batty Jr
@ Cheer Up Charlies (900 Red River St.) – 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Okay, so I may have featured SMiiLE one too many times over the last few weeks. But if I’m being honest, this is my favorite lineup of Sunday Free Week. At the risk of copy/pasting, SMiiLE’s genre-blending mix of indie pop, hippie psychedelia, and garage rock is something to behold. Also playing are shoegaze bands Why Bonnie and Glaze, the legit new wave groove of Video Age, electro-indie pop Harry Paradise, and Batty Jr, an artist I’m absolutely in love with. Click the video link to find out why. Amazing lineup at Cheer Up Charlies this weekend!
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Who will you be seeing this weekend in Austin?