You might already need a break from the Christmas hustle, and if so—we’ve got the perfect idea. Head to one of Austin’s true treasures, the Blanton Museum of Art, to check out their new temporary exhibition called The Open Road. It explores the photographic road trip as a genre and America as an imaginative resource, presenting the stories of photographers for whom the American road was muse.
This exhibition is on view in the Butler Gallery, located on the ground floor of the museum.
When: Now through January 7th
Open Today: 1 – 5 p.m.
Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78712
It’s December and we are officially going crazy for Christmas in Austin. Ring in the season at this free, family-friendly event that celebrates the arrival of the holiday season and the joy it brings. Enjoy live music from local favorites like Riders Against the Storm, Jane Ellen Bryant, Charlie Faye and the Fayettes, Gina Chavez, and more.
They’ll also be a ton of great activities for the kids like face painting, ornament making, carnival games, and gingerbread decorating! Plus the big guy will be there—all the way from the North Pole.
We’re excited to announce this year’s 12 Days of Austin Christmas, launching tomorrow (Friday, December 1st). For 12 days this month we will be giving away prizes from local businesses each day! All of these prizes are a great representation of some awesome things that our city has to offer, and they’re also the gifts we’ll be buying for our own friends and families this year!
Here are the details:
Each day around 11am, we’ll post a new giveaway on the blog and our social channels.
This year, there will be two ways to enter the contest daily. One via our Heyo Contest page, and another via our daily contest Instagram post. Make sure you’re following us on the following channels to be sure you catch the announcements each day:
Tonight is the kickoff party for Saturnalia Festival in Austin. Naturally we were just as curious as you as to what Saturnalia means but the lineup comprised of mostly national and local psych-rock, alternative and world music standouts is worth checking out. We think it’s a cannot miss scenario for local music fans. Austin acts Golden Dawn Arkestra, The Octopus Project, Hard Proof, Christian Bland (The Black Angels), Money Chicha, Annabelle Chairlegs, Bushwick Bill (The Geto Boys) and Ringo Deathstarr will join out-of-town performers Allah-Las, Crocodiles, Cosmonauts, American Sharks and Sam France (Foxygen) at four locations in Austin. View the entire lineup on the festival site or poster.
The Electric Church and Hotel Vegas will host pre-parties tonight and December 1 (tomorrow). The actual festival will take place Saturday and Sunday at Webberville Road Baptist Church and the adjacent Sahara Lounge. By the way, Saturnalia is a traditional Roman holiday that celebrates the coming Winter while honoring Saturn. We don’t really need an excuse to enjoy a lineup this good but we’re happy organizers have put in the effort to book the event during a time of year when there’s typically not much going on in the local live music scene.
The Sahara Lounge and The Electric Church folks have partnered on this event to bring fans this out-of-box, small-format festival lineup oozing with talent. It doesn’t fix the fact that SOS Festival was cancelled last minute but it certainly helps ease the pain. What’s more, the festival has hired light show masters Bob Mustachio (The Black Angels), Esther Wave, Fever Dream, Astral Violet and Weird Destiny to accompany the talent at four locations in Austin over the entire four days of festival performances.
Food vendors include Eastside Kings, Southside Flying Pizza, Juiceland, Wunder Pilz, Archie Dove BBQ, Pakal, Neon Rainbow and Laced With Romance. There are plenty of trailer and sit-down retaurant options near all four venue sites as well. Check Eater Austin’s East Austin page for dining recommendations.
Tickets to Saturnalia Festival are still available. The VIP option includes access to a climate-controlled Saturnalia Lounge. Fans have the option to purchase an a four-day or daily wristband. Tickets to individual shows can be purchased “a la carte” directly from venues in advance or at the door. Grab tickets here.
Thursday, Nov 30th – The Electric Church
12-Christian Bland and The Revelators 11-The Nymphs 10-Trance Farmers
It’s time to get a little more proactive about finding that special someone. At some point soon it may actually get a chilly in Austin, and that means you are going to need someone to cuddle up with by the fire pit. So tonight—ladies, bring a man, and men, bring a lady. You know, the one you love, but have already put in the friend zone. Hey, you aren’t going to date them, but their soulmate is out there somewhere!
Tonight The Driskill kicks off an entire series of holiday fun.
Holidays are always a special time of year at The Driskill—seasonal string music drifts continuously throughout a lobby decked out in festive décor, a magnificent 16-foot tree serves as the backdrop to traditional afternoon teas, and the smell of freshly baked goods waft from the kitchen.
The holiday festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. with the annual lighting of The Driskill tree followed by a performance of holiday carols. Enjoy holiday music throughout the evening, and festive holiday cocktails and treats will be available in The Driskill Bar and 1886 Café & Bakery.
When: Today, November 28th
Time: 6:00 p.m.
604 Brazos Street
Austin, Texas 78701
New Jersey songstress, Nicole Atkins returns to Austin Thursday at Antone’s Nightclub in support of her new record, Good Night Rhonda Lee that takes a sharp turn away from her indie-pop sound to a traditional soul recording complete with Fort Worth’s Niles City Sound Team who turned Leon Bridges into an overnight sensation. The Midnight Stroll (Aaron Behrens of Ghostland Observatory) and Thayer Serrano open the show.
Atkins’ new approach to her music spotlights the singer’s golden pipes which lay somewhat obscured by the indie-rock slant of her last album, 2014’s Slow Phaser. After being married, moving to Nashville (from NYC) and getting sober, Atkins found the material she was writing was deeply personal and introspective. She found the ideal vehicle for those compositions in Soul and R&B. The genres magnify her considerable vocal talent. It doesn’t hurt to have friends like Chris Isaak to lend a hand collaborating on the lead track, A Little Crazy after encouraging her to change her musical style,
“Atkins, you have a very special thing in your voice that a lot of people can’t or don’t do. You need to stop shying away from that thing and let people hear it.” -Chris Isaak
Listeners will identify the song as an instant classic, highlighted by vulnerable lyrics and Atkins’ apologetic tone for revealing the raw emotions swirling around her transition to a sober lifestyle, marriage and a new home. Frankly we’re eagerly anticipating how well the song translates to the Antone’s stage. The legendary Blues emporium is a the ideal spot to introduce a Soul record that takes the listener back to the Motown pop of the 1960s.
Atkins is doing it right. She hired the hottest soul producers (and musicians) in the country to back her in Joshua Block, Austin Jenkins and Chris Vivion. We suspect her newfound personal clarity will take an already seasoned and entertaining performer with an established, devoted fanbase and transform the singer into the kind of performer that gains new fans who marvel at the intimacy and emotional impact of her shows. Listening to Goodnight Rhonda Lee reveals her potential for greatness. Those may seem like heady words but if you watched Atkins’ Roadies clip above you’ll find it difficult to refute that bold claim. The album title is both a farewell to the singer’s older, self-destructive incarnation and an introduction to her new approach to making music.
Tickets are still available from the Antone’s website. Grab them before they’re sold-out. This show is one you’re going to be glad you attended.
It’s the big one! Tonight, the Christmas season officially kicks off in Austin with the lighting of our beloved Zilker Tree. Enjoy local entertainment, food, live music, and more tonight for this special occasion. The tree stands 155 feet tall and is made of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs—totaling 3,309 lights.
The tree will be on display nightly from until December 31 from 6 p.m. – midnight. Don’t forget that area roads will be closed as thousands visit the Trail of Lights. It’s totally worth the trouble, but make sure you plan ahead!
Skip the mall and big box stores this year and enjoy your holiday shopping experience at one of Austin’s favorite traditions: The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. This famous fine art market and musical festival features national and local award-winning artists, at least three bands performing live each day, two full bars and local food—and all in a festive, lively atmosphere.
Guests can shop from over 175 artists who will be selling their handmade gifts, fine art, heirloom pieces, and stocking stuffers. Take your shopping breaks by the Armadillo stage and sip on a craft beer or cocktail. This year they’ll have Korean BBQ from Chi’lantro and hand-tossed Neapolitan style pizza in the Southside Flying Pizza kitchen.
With a collection of musicians as well curated as the art, the Armadillo stage will host greats like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Nakia, Ruthie Foster, Charley Crockett, and Shinyribs.
Click here for a photo gallery of Armadillo artist’s work and here for a full lineup of music.
When: December 14 – 24th
Tickets are $8 for a single-day pass; available at the door, or in advance at https://armadillo.ticketbud.com/2017. For best value, purchase a season pass, which allows for entry throughout the duration of the show. Free admission for children 12 and under.