Friday, December 11, 2015

Mine (and a few others) favorite songs of 2015

Everyone has their top album lists of the year going.  NPR has their 50, Stereogum their own 50 here, Pitchfork asked artists to pick the best of here, Spin did half of that, and Gorilla VS Bear did a best songs list and 21 best videos of the year.

I am currently getting my paired down but there are some videos of songs that I can't get over meaning I can't stop dancing or singing to (and won't stop).  These are just a few in no particular order:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Antones returns with new booker & new hopes

This morning I read that Antone's has a new booker, who was also the guitarist for Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (picture below - he is front center left), Zach Ernst, will be booking all acts for the new Antone's venue.  Antone's is slated to open in a month(!) off of 5th and San Jacinto Blvd, downtown Austin in which Ernst indicates that Blue Monday will be back showcasing local blues musicians living and working in Austin, along with other national and road-bound acts.  Blue Monday, prior to Antone's hiatus and location slump, was ongoing since the '70's with residencies from Austin blues players.  Thanks to Gary Clark Jr, Spencer Wells(scientist & author), and Will Bridges (owner of Deep Eddy Cabret, co-owner of Lamberts & Arlyn Studios), Antone's will be back in the music business after being closed for almost 2 years. This is super exciting as with the trend of venues closing/threatened to have to close, moving, and/or just straight up not returning, Austin's music scene will once again have a home for blues and r&b under the Antone's name.

Hopefully soon enough, we will have Elephant Room back to normal operating schedule and not be involved in some sink hole damage.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

23 days until SXSW - Links/RSVPs for you to get in for FREE (part 3)

Are you ready?  Have you RSVP'd to the parties and all the happenings here and here?  If you haven't you should start getting to it.  Parties, invitations, and RSVPs are closing and links are dying so if you want to make sure you are at the same party or meet up as your friends (out of town or not), be sure to get your name and email on the list.

Besides getting RSVP links, info on parties, and/or rumors from my little ol' blog, be sure to sign up for Do512 and look out on Twitter for links and parties for SXSW fun.  Its worth the time now to get searches and RSVPs going on Do512.  They have a very simple dashboard to select the dates and times you are looking for free parties and things to do at SX this year. This website never disappoints and offers just as much, if not more, information than sponsors or party throwers even offer on their event. They update this website DAILY and it's free!!!
Also, check out Austin 360. They have a fun little database that will allow you to filter what you want (free beer, free food?) and what dates or areas of town during SXSW.  Be sure to bookmark this page now.

You can do RSVPster if you want to shell out $40 (or $30 if you use the code: EARLYBIRD14) to have someone else RSVP your email and information by the mass. Remember, you are signing up, if you go with RSVPster  you will be signed up for UNOFFICIAL parties and events happening during SXSW.  This does not mean you will be granted admission to every party and/or reservation for the party.  Shit, you still have to do your job and show up EARRRRRRLY, wait in line, and post up at that party to see the bands, line up, or showcase you plan on seeing. Take a look at what RSVPster is offering for you here. Be sure to choose wisely in what dates/days you have off so that you won't be spending too much money when you don't need to be.

Little low on cash but still want to be in the "know" for unofficial parties and events?  My friends at ATXShhh is offering a $5 charge for you to see their spreadsheet and lists of free parties, what is being offered, who is playing when and where, and much more. You can sort by parties, venues, bands, days, etc. Here are some FAQ's on their services. You still have to do the leg work and sign yourself up for parties and events but it's all in one place - kinda like this blog you're reading! ;-)

If you're like me I prefer the old skool way.  It's my SXSW way of researching, gathering links, sharing with my friends/folks, and writing down what parties I RSVPd to, creating a spreadsheet of what is being given away (free beer, free tacos, free merch, free Pumas, etc) and having a back up to the back up party I was planning-to-go-to-but-now-it's-at-capacity-because-traffic-was-a-bitch and yada yada.  Old skool SXSW way (guey!) is the way to go and gets me exactly where I want to be and who I want to see EVERY TIME I don't like to reply on others except word of mouth from my friends day of show/party/event. It's your call though.  You decide how you want to spend your money or not. I would rather save the money and cash I have for the week and days of SXSW for those that matter - bar backs, bartenders, and the venue. TIPPING IS ALWAYS ENCOURAGED NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE EATING/DRINKING for free. Locals are you and me so tip accordingly!!! They are on their feet all day slinging drinks left and right no matter who is covering the bill.

ROUND 3 - RSVP NOWWW - The Old Skool Way, Guey

This is an unofficial event (meaning no badge needed!) but it has filled up quickly with RSVPs on but if you 1) show up early day of, 2) sign up and get your name/email on the list, and 3) get ready to have a good time you may end up exactly where you want to be.  No one can beat a riverboat party that meets at the Four Seasons downtown and heads out of Lady Bird Lake.  Bose, Capital Cruise Line, and MusicTechnologies are putting up this fun party with free beer with 2 stages (upper deck and lower deck) on the boat. Be sure to have a Do512 login so you can RSVP here.

Throwing a free beer and free band showcase at The Jackalope for one day/night on March 13th! Be sure to just show up on time for that free beer if you are roaming all of dirty 6th. Showcase starts at noon and goes until 6pm. Beer is limited so get there early. No RSVP needed just mark this shit down, ya'll.

Build your own lanterns, participate in a lantern parade, see Durrty Martinez spin, have some food from some Atlanta food trucks, AND get yourself 2 drink tickets for just attending.  Oh yes, please!
Be sure to get in now for this is an Eventbrite ticketed event (but for free!) here.

Vegan food truck, BBQ, free beer, and even a local artisan community shop to do some shopping in.  Be sure to get your free RSVP here before people take it over. Party is March 14th from 2pm - 10pm. This event is on East 11th street so you know there will not be a huge crowd and the masses hitting up this party right off the bat.

This is off of San Jacinto and away from the SX madness on March 12th from 10am - 1am.  Panels and even demos of the new music-tech company from here in Austin.  Be sure to get your General Admission tickets for free here and get in.

Happening at The Broken Spoke this year and will be free free free to attend!! Be sure to go here to learn about what bands will be playing and when. These day parties are always fun especially if you don't want to/have to trek downtown to get into some SXSW fun. Parties are held Thursday, March 13th and Saturday, March 15th.

No details yet on who is set to perform but this might be one of the dopest parties you can get into and for free if you act now (after RSVP closes you will have to pay up to $45 to get in). Damn. Go here now
Free brunch and a chance to promote your film or short to people with the same mission and creativity as you? Yes, please!  Get your tickets here for free for this meet up on Saturday, March 8th.

No RSVP links up yet (shit, even if they did put it up it's going to crash within minutes) but be sure to sign up for their email list to see if and when they notify you on when they are releasing their link and RSVP stuffs. This is one of the few that actually check your name and email before they give you a wristband or access to their dope ass parties and shows.

Los Angeles tech industry connection in Austin.  Who knows? Maybe you will find yourself a job in LA.  They are taking over 2 venues pretty early on as SXSW interactive opens up. All slated to be off of 8th and Red River area.  Get your free tickets here.

I have never been to the Mexican restaurant at 6th and Red River so this party might be the way to finally try out the place.  This event will give you a Gigya badge to enjoy from March 7th - March 9th. Charging stations, free food, and even a cocktail is slated to be given to those who have signed up.  Be sure to get that all for free now and here.

Oh man! This looks fantastic. AT least 30 restaurants or food trucks to lend you a bite to have for free!? YESSSS! Sign up now for free tickets as a "Foodie" or "Techie" so you can get a plate reserved for you. This will be gone in days as more and more people find out about this.

That's all for now.  Be sure to stick around and wait for more links coming your way.  Things are just getting started with me as I will be busy stage managing 6 night showcases at a popular venue off of 6th and Red River.  Oh, and SXSW put up their complete schedule (as it is now) of music listings.  Everything listed on this link is all official SXSW stuff, fyi.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

less than 30 days away to SXSW Music, Interactive, Film + more - Links to RSVP for parties (FREE!) part 2

It is less than a month away when SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music conferences begin!! Who else is keeping count?!

You should be already well on your way in RSVPing to parties and shows if you are going to be badge less this year.  If you haven't started, don't worry - go here and catch up while you can and links/RSVPs are still open.

ROUND TWO - RSVPing & Links to parties.  GOGOGO!!

RED BULL SOUND SELECT party is always off the chain!  No lineup has been announced just yet but you are definitely going to want to get on this list so you can pick up your wristband and be exactly where you want to be.  Badge-less folks - this is the place you want to post up at!
Seriously.  Go here and be sure to RSVP for each 4 days/nights Red Bull is hosting their SX party from March 12 - 15th.

MUSIC MEETS TECH party is happening at Cedar Street Courtyard.  Always has free booze for sure.  Be sure to RSVP for 1 or 2 spots here and get ready to party early on during the SXSW Interactive conference (before SXSW Music Conference begins) 

AUSTIN PARTY WEEKEND sponsored by IHeartComix, Embrace, and Heard Entertainment (I worked with these guys for 2 years prior for SXSW music showcases).  This is happening at Empire Automotive or Empire Control Room from March 13-15th. No lineup is official just yet but be sure to RSVP and get your email on their list of communications so you know who is playing when. 

MEDIA CAMP (TURNER/WARNER BROS) showcase.  Meet up with other techies (women have a luncheon too that you can attend) and party late at night with a lineup that not been yet set but will sure be good if Warner Bros is booking the showcase.  RSVP here.

TAKE OFF TOUR is set to bring a few days of showcases with music, art, interactive aspects, and free booze from the Minnesota area.  This event is a zero waste event and will use compostable alternatives made from plants to drink your beer and beverages out of!  Be sure to RSVP for all of the dates here if you want to make it out.

TECH COCKTAIL'S STARTUP PARTY.  Techie in Austin and want to jump start your party a day before things get crazy in Austin?  RSVP here and be sure to include what your business and/or blog is to get in.  This will be a great networking event to show up to if you want to meet anyone that has a start up in and around Austin.

MIDCOAST TAKEOVER is hosting 4 day parties of music to set you off from bands and musicians that are from Kansas City, Lawrence, and the mid coast.  Be sure to RSVP yourself for each day here.

 SXSW GUESTHOUSE UNOFFICIAL PARTY is hosting a party from 2pm - 2am at the Lanai Rooftop in downtown Austin on Thursday, March 13th. Many DJ's will be providing the music (check out the DJ lineup on poster below) and there will be free beer and food for sure.  Be sure to get your free tickets here.

MPRESSFEST SXSW is hosted by MPress Records on March 15th at the SoHo Lounge off of 6th street.  This will be a good day party to crash and have some really tasty beer.  No lineup or sponsors announced just yet but act on this now before you can't get in. Be sure to get your Eventbrite tickets now which are free here.

The parties, announcements, lineups, artists, surprise guests, sponsors, and everything else is coming in slowly but surely.  Do yourself a favor and RSVP to as much as you can and be sure to write everything down or keep track of what you are RSVPing to. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

36 days until SXSW begins. Links to free parties for SXSW part 1

Ladies and gents - this ain't no joke!
Links, party posters, RSVP's, advertisements, and communication all around on Twitter, FB, Instagram, and even billboards around Austin are advertising and promoting each party expected to be at SXSW this year.

Get ready and get to RSVPing!

FIRST - here are a couple of tips to help you out with all of this GOGOGOGO and RSVP NOW stuff for SXSW.

1.  Make or use an account that you don't mind keeping, saving, and storing all of the emails you will receive when you initially RSVP to whatever party catches your eye.  You will get a follow up email confirming you are on the list, then 2 weeks prior to the party/showcase/show you will get a reminder about how you are on the list and first come/first serve stuffs, then day before party/showcase/show you will get a reminder of where the party is at and what time, and lastly day of party/showcase/show you will get a reminder that you, again, RSVP'd for the event.   YOU WILL GET EMAILS GALORE!

2.  Don't worry if you don't make the RSVP list or the link crashes. Most likely the event is going to be packed and flooded as more and more folks learn that this party/showcase/show has so-and-so playing with free drinks/cocktails/swag, etc.  Just mark the party down as something you want to check out and move on.  THERE ARE OTHER LINKS TO BE ADDING YOUR NAME ON THEIR LIST.  Plenty of parties and opportunities to go around.

3.  Don't be overwhelmed. 90% of the links or parties you RSVP'd to you will most likely not make! You will get stuck being drunk, or still waiting in line, or getting to the other party/showcase/show early during SXSW.  It doesn't matter.  Sign up now and worry about that shit later.

So here are the first round of RSVPing and party-noting you should do.  


A turntable party on Town Lake while you float the river/lake.  Dude. This looks good. RSVP here

COUCH TRIPPIN' TO AUSTIN - a Lagunitas party
I go to this party every damn SXSW (Lagunitas) and boy was my whole day put on hold after that. (i'm not complaining though!) Free beer galore and good food and swag to be had by all.  RSVP nowwwwwww.

All Colorado bands (28 of them to be exact) for free.  Free booze too. RSVP for it all here.

Kishi Bashi is headlining this REVERB PARTY AT SXSW
Day party and free drinks; no badges required ya'll.  Get on it here. Also, the Encino Man cast is suppose to be at this party. 
Did you know Macaulay Culkin (yeah, from Home Alone) has a Velvet Underground cover band?  You do now, if you didn't.  Pizza Underground will be at this party and so will Wild Party & Basecamp.  Green Flash (an Austin local brewery will be there too which means FREE BEER!)  RSVP here.

Any day party at Hotel Vegas or The Volstead ends up always being stellar and full of free food and drinks.  Covert Curiosity has excellent music taste too.  This will be a promising showcase.  RSVP.

Do this now before it fills up and/or crashes. Lots of indie rappers and bands. Go and RSVP

You may need a SXSW badge to get in but worth an RSVP anyway. Go here.

Promised free drinks and bands if you make the cut to get in. Small venue so be sure to arrive early. This is a party that is happening right at the beginning of the conference too. Should be fun! RSVP here

Bookmark this post if you don't have time to RSVP now. You can always come back later.

If you see any more parties, holler at me. I will be back with more links as they come around.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not going to Austin City Limits Music Festival? FREE/low cost parties/events for Oct 3rd - 6th

Every year I struggle with the idea that Austin gets taken over by an influx of folks who are heading out to Zilker Park for the annual Austin City Limits Music Festival.  Traffic is a headache, all of the local coffee shops and restaurants are overcrowded, Barton Springs Road is a nightmare and closed, the taxi cabs are completely inconsiderate, all of my friends coming in from out of town want to stay with me, there are a ton more people on bicycles and on foot in the heart of the city, etc etc. Don't get me wrong the festival and the festival goers add fantastic revenue to our city, local shops, restaurants, and stores - specifically last year the city pocketed $102 million dollars! Now, this year C3 decided to have TWO weekends, of the same lineup, so you can imagine how stoked the City of Austin must feel to benefit TWICE the amount of revenue and perks of having the festival in the heart of Austin. I get it! I GET IT! People love Austin and people love music.

If you are like me I try avoiding Central Austin and Zilker Park area whenever ACL comes around. In the past I used to be a part of the chaos, but since ticket pricing has gone up & the demand for everyone to squeeze into our beloved Zilker Park all for the same bands I love just seemed way too much for me. Since 2010 I have explored what other events and parties take place in the other local spots, sometimes away from the chaos near Barton Springs Rd, have fun events and things going on the same weekend everyone else is in town. Here is my list of things to get into if you are a local and not working but want to get out into the city and support the local scene and do thangs.

Thursday Oct 3rd
Holy Mountain and Red 7 (both right next to one another) will be hosting the Knuckle Rumbler Art Disaster No. 16.  This event happens every year to kick off the ACL Music Fest. They are 'unofficial' ACL fest but shit, they been doing it since I can remember (they even host SXSW shows too).

9pm - 2am

Bands slated to play include locals
The Black and White Years (they just did a set after Tegan & Sara a few weeks ago at Stubb's)
Driver Friendly (they will be opening up for Motion City Soundtrack in November at Emos)
Night Drive 
Totally Consensual (Dj's) (KOOP dj's mixing up on mixing tables!)
Good Field
Politics (these are cool kids, man!)
Magna Carda
Apollo Zeigiest (I have been following this guy on Twitter for years! he's a great philanthropist)
$5 at the door and $3 if you RSVP here.

Queens of the Stone Age will be performing at The Moody Theater for an Austin City Limits taping!

Boy oh boy if you can get into this please let me know how it goes. I will try my luck as soon as ACL puts up a link to try for free tickets to this taping. Go here and watch for the link to be posted up sometime around 9/26-9/30.

Friday, Oct 4th
KUTX is holding a Live at the Four Seasons session - which tend to be much lower key and affordable too! 
$10 bring your blanket and/or chairs to post up at the hotel's lawn with your taco & coffee (included in admission)

9am - 1pm

Court Yard Hounds (2/3rds of Dixie Chicks) go on at 9:30am
Austin's own White Denim goes off at 10:30am
Local Natives performs an hour after at 11:30am
and Austin locals Okkervil River plays at 12:30pm

All sets are 20-30 minutes long

Quantic DJ Tour will be happening at Empire Control Room (I was a stage manager at this venue the last 2 years for SXSW). 
FREE admission before midnight ($5 after) with DJ sets from
local Peligrosa mastermind DJ Orion
another local Peligrosa mastermind Manolo Black
RSVP here and support some bad ass la raza dj's

Also this is happening at The Scoot Inn- What Kind of Bird Are You? - a Wes Anderson costume party hosted by Foxing Quarterly (local print-only arts journal published in ATX)
6pm - 2am
$5 with costume / $10 without

local acts include

Old Potion
Linen Closet
Alex Napping
& Milezo & The Noize

Saturday Oct 5th
MTV, CMT, VH1 , & MTV2 are throwing a shindig (and pairing up with Pizza Hut) called Discover Great that is taking place at the American Legion Building @ 404 Atlanta Street (next to the old RunTex off of Lake Austin Blvd).

10pm - 2am
Promised performances and appearances will include
Walk the Moon
Nabiha (Danish Music Award's new Female Artist of the Year)
Striking Matches (has 3 songs on CMT's "Nashville"show)
DJ Set by Penguin Prison too!

RSVP here before everyone and their momma RSVP and crashes the link. (You can also RSVP for one other so you ain't going alone.)

DITCH THE FEST is back again with Ditch the Fest # 4 AND 5!
October 5th is Ditch The Fest #4 / October 12th is Ditch the Fest #5 @ The Scoot Inn

Local bands and local art for $5!

More events and shows to come as we round out the end of September.  I will post and update this post as I hear about those events and things happening around ACL time.