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.
Mozart’s is one of the best coffee shops in Austin, mostly because they have a phenomenal location on Lake Austin and a great outdoor deck. It’s one of the best places in town to see some spectacular holiday lights.
Visitors to Mozart’s Coffee Roasters’ annual Christmas light extravaganza will get a new immersive, interactive experience surrounded by more than one million LED lights in a show that will run every evening from November 17 through January 1 (except for Thanksgiving and Christmas day). Come with eager eyes and ears (there will be music, too). And bring your camera to get photos and videos that will light up your Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook pages.
Thousands of dazzling lights have been sculpted into giant iconic objects, custom-made in Greece, that evoke Austin’s culture and the Christmas season, including a dozen guitars, the State Capitol, and a tree filled with presents. Plus, an audio-activated wall of lights. Thousands of other lights will be imaginatively strung in the trees, facades and rooflines. All will be placed around Mozart’s lakeside deck.
For refreshment, Mozart’s acclaimed coffee and hot chocolate can be purchased inside the coffee house and at kiosks outdoors. Special holiday goodies from Mozart’s bakery will also be available.
NOTE—High Points of the Show/Timing:
The exhilarating highpoints of the free show, super light-ups and live choral singing, will be spaced throughout the entire evening. Families can relax and arrive at any time to get their over-the-top dose of Christmas magic.
More than 20 choirs from local schools and community groups have been tapped this year to sing Christmas songs that range from traditional to “rock-the-deck” tunes.
Fans of Deer Tick may have not known what to do with the roots rockers’ latest release, companion albums, Deer Tick Vol 1 & 2. The first is an all acoustic effort and the latter rocks out like 2009’s Born on Flag Day. The band never takes itself too seriously as the album art suggests. Their 2017 issue is no exception. The artwork on the cover of the new records are ketchup and mustard to signal the records go together. Tomorrow evening, the boys from Providence return to the Mohawk to present the new material in the wake of John McCauley’s (lead vocalist and guitarist) sobriety and new family. Always a compelling live act, Deer Tick have clearly transitioned from a party band into something more.
Expect separate acoustic and electric sets as the albums are presented if you head to this show (and you should). McCauley has lived with inevitable comparisons to Kurt Cobain (he looks like him). He’s even embraced the similarities, playing Nirvana covers under the moniker, Deervana. The stringy-haired singer tends to look and sound like (raspy voice) a musical train-wreck a la Cobain as well. Knowing he’s sobered up and righted his life leaves us both apprehensive and excited about tomorrow’s show.
McCauley is now married with a child. The new domestic arrangement seems to have tempered the volatile performer. We’re just thankful his relative peace still produces beautiful music as his band transitions from beer-soaked party band into something more substantial. McCauley has always been a good songwriter but his newfound clarity has produced poetic lyrics as in opening track, “Sea of Clouds.”
“Somewhere in a fog/Of a million pleasantries/I kept my secret safe inside,” whines McCauley.
He reminds listeners although he’s righted his personal life, demons still haunt the singer as he navigates his new life. The tone of the two records is cautiously optimistic, a sea-change from Deer Tick’s previous release, Negativity (2013) that focused on the trials of addiction and hardship. The rest of the songs are a great listen too. If you didn’t click the link to grab some new Deer Tick flavor, we suggest backing up a minute and taking a listen. We’re certain you’ll be glad you did. After all, it is a rare contemporary musical act that knows exactly who they are and seem comfortable with that. Deer Tick’s authenticity is one that has served them well. We’re glad to see McCauley and the rest of the group has kept artistic integrity in place while expanding his musical boundaries.
Tickets are still available, grab some from the Mohawk website and join in the fun this weekend.
Tipster, Austin’s first pay-what-you like walking tours, have officially started walking in Austin! These local tours are super fun, affordable, and a great experience for visitors and locals alike.
Tipster is making Austin part of a world-wide movement bringing pay-what-you-like walking tours to everyone from backpackers to local business people.
The tours are nontraditional. There are no prices or set fees, no reservations required, and the guides create the tours they want to give.
Tipster wants everyone, regardless of budget, to experience Austin like an insider. They believe everyone who visits or lives in Austin should be able to connect with the local vibe and culture.
From the Capitol to the Driskill, this tour is great for visitors looking to learn more about this unique city deep in the heart of Texas. Learn all about the history of Austin as you walk through downtown and stop for local drinks and snacks along the way.
Austin Music Tour
As the Live Music Capitol of the World, Austin has more live music venues than any other city in the nation. From jazz to country, hip hop to blues, there is a show for everybody at almost any time of day. On this tour, learn how the Austin music scene came to be and gain some insider knowledge.
Explore one of Austin’s most beautiful natural prized gems. This tour is more of a nature walk and is a great way to explore the city in tranquil scenery. We’ll walk along the beautiful Barton Creek through wooded ravines and canyons right in the heart of Austin. Along the way you will stop at Austin’s beloved Taco Deli mid-walk.
East Side Art Tour
Art is all around us in Austin. On this tour you’ll explore the vibrant world of street art that dominates the East Side. From murals and graffiti to the art of craft cocktails, there’s something on this tour for everyone!
Beer lovers unite! The craft beer movement is thriving in Austin. The Austin area has over 30 craft breweries and is growing by the day. Get introduced to some of Austin’s East side breweries as we hit some of our favorites and explore this hip part of town.
Circuit of The Americas (COTA) has just announced a new holiday tradition and festival with—get this—a million lights, camel rides, and hot air balloon rides! The holidays in Austin just keep getting better and better. Winter Wonderland will run from December 1 – 30, open daily from 6 -10 p.m., and 6 – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Tickets are on sale now.
Like we said, a million lights will illuminate the Circuit’s Grand Plaza, which will also include Santa’s workshop, a petting zoo, a human snow globe, holiday movies on the lawn, a walking light trail, and the the Tunnel of Lights! Guests can also purchase tickets for additional offering like the hot air balloon float up to 100-feet high, Santa’s train ride for kids, a giant skating rink, camel rides, carnival rides for both children and adults, and souvenir photos with Santa. Families who donate a book to the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program at Winter Wonderland will receive one complimentary ride on the COTA Express. Guests can also hear their favorite stories read daily by Mrs. Claus at Reading Hour in the Grand Plaza. And the adults can enjoy a frosty beverage and friendly games in the Bud Light Friends Chalet after walking the .8 mile Circuit of Lights.
Entertainment throughout the Winter Wonderland will include performances by Austin school district ensembles and local artists. Plus there will be food trucks, hot cocoa stands, and other holiday-inspired beverages at Winter Wonderland. Last, but not least, you can do your holiday shopping at Go! Games—a giant pop-up shop featuring games, toys, and books—and the charming Bavarian Village with local vendors selling handcrafted goods in an enchanted setting.
Purchase tickets at the Grand Plaza Box Office or right here. Discounted group ticket sales, as well as options for corporate and private parties are also available. For information regarding special bookings or Winter Wonderland at the Circuit, click here.