Circuit of The Americas today announced two of the biggest names in music as its headliners at the FORMULA 1 2018 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX. Global superstar Bruno Mars will perform on COTA’s SUPER STAGE on Saturday, Oct. 20th after Qualifying has finished on track and international pop icon, Britney Spears closes out the weekend on the same stage on Sunday, October 21st, following the F1 USGP race.
Tickets for the FORMULA 1 2018 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, set for October 19th-21st will go on sale this Friday at 10a.m. through www.thecircuit.com
Bruno Mars will light up the Saturday night of the Grand Prix weekend when he makes a stop at COTA with his entertainment-packed 24K Magic Worldshow. Touring in support of his heralded album, 24K Magic (http://smarturl.it/24kmagic), released in November 2016 via Atlantic Records. The 24K Magic World Tour has been Mars’ first full length tour since his hugely successful Moonshine Jungle World Tour in 2013, an international blockbuster that sold 2 million tickets worldwide across 155 sold-out dates.
International pop icon, Britney Spears will close out the weekend’s celebration with a post-race concert on Sunday, October 21. As her “Britney: Piece of Me,” upcoming world tour is kicking off this summer, which follows her award-winning and record-breaking headlining Las Vegas residency, Spears solidifies the star-powered race weekend.
Official LEVITATION 2018 commemorative poster by Robin Gnista
After the disappointment of a hiatus year in 2017 LEVITATION, the original psych rock music festival produced by members of The Black Angels returns to downtown Austin April 26-29. Reborn a multi-venue festival after disastrous weather incidents at Carson Creek Ranch in 2015 and 2016 forced festival founders Rob Fitzpatrick, Alex Maas and Christian Bland to rethink the camping festival format for the internationally popular niche music fest. The secret to the popularity of the event is simple. The organizers curate lineups they want to see much like independent Austin booking company Margin Walker helmed by Graham Williams. The two groups share that philosophy. It doesn’t hurt that both have impeccable musical taste.
This year’s lineup is appearing at venues primarily situated in the Red River Cultural District plus a few East Austin locales. As expected, the caliber of acts is solid from the bottom of the bill all the way to headliners; The Black Angels, Slowdive, Ministry and Ty Segal. Music fans won’t find a similar bill anywhere else in America. Bookers curating a lineup as unique as LEVITATION has become exceedingly rare with all the consolidation in the festival market which means you should care about this one music fans. Especially if you haven’t heard of most of the acts performing. This event is as much about music discovery as it is about booking great sounds and showing neo-psychedelic art.
Honestly the entire schedule is worth checking out. Since you’re probably not going to buy tickets to every show, we’ll highlight a few we think are worth taking a second look at. Also worth taking a look at is are the incredible official LEVITATION posters the festival commissioned from various local artists ranging from Jaime Zuverza to the festival’s own Christian Bland. Fans can purchase the designs directly from the LEVITATION poster page.
Poster by Mishka Westell
Thursday, April 26
This is going to sound counterintuitive but hear us out… Ty Segall is fun enough to watch and you should, except on Thursday (Segall performs again Friday at Barracuda) when you’d do better to hit Stubb’s BBQ early for openers A Giant Dog (Austin) and Parquet Courts (Brooklyn). Both are known for exceeding expectations live as we can attest. songwriting partners, Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen have consistently made impressive garage punk recordings with their band A Giant Dog but it’s their astounding live performances that have gotten them the kind of attention deserving of an act this talented. Parquet Courts are similar in the way their recordings hint at the greatness you’ll see when you catch them on stage. Their mix of rock, punk with a dash of Americana is hard to classify. Let’s just agree they make good music. After seeing the band perform at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona a few years ago we went from casual fan to avid.
After Parquet Courts finish, head down the street to Beerland for a noise bomb trifecta of Suspirians, Blushing and Ringo Deathstarr. All three are Austin-based. All three are really fun to watch perform. Besides there’s no better way to kick off LEVITATION than at the seediest, punkest bar on Red River.
Friday, April 27
We’re truly torn on Friday given all the great shows listed on the LEVITATION schedule but one stands out to us for a few reasons. L.A. Witch, DIIV and Ariel Pink at Empire Garage presents a number of positives. This performance is presented by Desert Daze, a sister festival in California. L.A. Witch were truly great the last time we caught this all-girl act when they come through town. Their Hotel Vegas set was something special. We’ve been keeping track of the West Coast upstarts led by Sade Sanchez. They’re riding the wave of great female-led acts into an exciting year. DIIV might be the most suspect recommendation of this lineup as lead vocalist, Zachary Smith must have been really high during his LEVITATION Fest set a few years ago. The performance was good, but not what was advertised. He kept repeating the same lame stage banter. Perhaps he was nervous? That said we’re looking forward to a “make-up show” of sorts. Headliner, Ariel Pink put on a visually explosive performance when we saw the LA artist also known as Ariel Rosenberg at Mohawk in 2016. We missed seeing the band’s gig at The ‘Hawk last year thus the group’s appearance in this preview.
Poster by Robin Gnista
Saturday, April, 28
The conundrum that is Saturday’s lineup choices is one we wouldn’t put on any devoted psych-rock fan. There’s just too much good music happening on Red River. A clone (or two) would be nice. Assuming you don’t have a clone either, we made some hard decisions for you. Get out early Saturday for The Rotten Mangoes set at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Known for great cocktails, this the perfect place to catch one of our favorite local acts deliver a sonically pleasing psychedelic experience while you sip a quality libation at happy hour. We recommend the Golden Ticket with kombucha, whiskey, ginger and lavender. After you can hang around for South Americans, Boogarins or try door number two…
Head across the street to Stubb’s for Alex Maas’ latest project, Mien. Comprised of Maas and members of the Horrors and The Earlies, the experimental psych rock group takes different approach to similarly dark material of The Black Angels. Electronic horrorscape act SURVIVE perform following Mien. The group gained notoriety by writing the theme song to hit Netflix show “Stranger Things.” Headliner, Slowdive is an example of the type of act the festival founders loved as young music fans (the band formed in England in 1989) and booked for the festival when it became apparent the group had been relaunched via a new Twitter account after band members changed musical direction in 1995.
Side note: If you’d rather dance your ass off late Saturday evening, head to Empire Control Room and Garage for Austin’s answer to LCD Soundsystem, The Octopus Project. DJ Dan Deacon will take it home after Octopus Project.
Poster by Simon Berndt
Sunday, April 27
Our recommendation for Sunday might seem obvious. Go see The Black Angels at Stubb’s BBQ. But don’t just go to see the legendary neo-psych pioneers headline the last night of their festival. Don’t get us wrong. It’s going to be amazing. Particularly with visuals from the Mustacio Light Show enhancing your viewing pleasure. But get there early for Austin’s Annabelle Chairlegs who open the show. The group is one of our favorite local acts precisely because their approach to psych-rock is decidedly different than many of their contemporaries. Lead vocalist Lindsay Mackin puts a decidedly pop spin on the songs while guitarist Matt Schweinberg melts faces with his solos. We’re eagerly anticipating their upcoming new album.
San Francisco sister act to TBA, Brian Jonestown Massacre is no stranger to the festival having played LEVITATION twice before. Catch them just prior to The Black Angels closing set. We usually trip out on tambourine player Joel Gion’s massive sideburns and retro-chic clothing while watching bandleader Anton Newcombe shred on guitar.
Tickets to LEVITATION are available for most shows scheduled. Check the festival website for more information.
Wedding season is officially upon us! The invites are out, the tents are going up, the signature cocktails are flowing, and that makes pretty much everyone in a serious relationship start thinking about making it official.
This spring, Benold’s Jewelers, Austin’s favorite bridal and fashion jewelry destination for more than 85 years, is going all out to help you find the perfect engagement ring during their Spring Bridal Event. The choices may be overwhelming, so they’re bringing the best designers together for two special days. Plus, shoppers will get 20% off featured bridal designers! If you’re in the market, there is no time like the present.
Designers will have representatives at the event to discuss their newest lines, and help you understand the four C’s, and everything else you need to know about this all-important purchase.
When: Friday, May 4 (Special Preview Night, 5 – 8 p.m.) and Saturday, May 5 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
While most people just grab a spot on the bridge, there’s actually an even better way to watch the bats!
We’ve partnered with Capital Cruises and Austin Tour Company to bring you The Bat Boat, a party cruise on Town Lake (or Lady Bird Lake as it’s now known). Enjoy great music, food, and cocktails aboard a fabulous boat with air conditioning, bathrooms, and a gorgeous roof deck. We’ll pause near the bridge (and turn the music down) at sunset to watch the bats and tell you a little bit about them!
We’re excited to offer our guests two pre-cruise specials this year! We’ll have a $5 local canned beer special at our check-in location: The Hyatt Regency Austin and our guests have have access to a special YETI promotion: Receive a free drink at the YETI Barr when you spend $20 or more on YETI products the day of your Bat Boat (must show them your confirmation email)!
Our absolute favorite local band gone big has a new album coming out and we can’t be more excited for them. They are celebrating this Friday at The Continental Club, a better venue for this occasion could not exist.
If you don’t know about The Nightowls, they do Motown jams that will have you dancing ALL night long.
We Are The Nightowls was written and recorded over the course of one year, following extensive touring in support of 2016’s Royal Sessions, which was labeled an “energetic blend of classic soul and modern pop” by Paste Magazine. “Our previous albums were concept albums paying homage to the historic recording studios in which they were recorded,” frontman Ryan Harkrider describes. “This new album is more about capturing the band’s sound…it’s a more cohesive statement about who we are.” For that reason, the band made this 2018 release their “self-titled” album.
When: Friday, April 20th
1315 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Popular regional camping and music festival Utopia Fest announced their new location and lineup today with a new partner in the name, Down in the Oaks Entertainment and a great lineup featuring headliners Patty Griffin, Sound Tribe Sector Nine (STS9) and Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real. A legendary songstress, an underrated electronic/jam act and the son of the most famous performer in Texas playing roots-rock the way it’s meant to be played. The variety of acts selected to headline never fails. There is something for every music fan. The rest of the acts listed are no slouches either. Urban music legend, Grandmaster Flash fills the hip-hop void while John Medeski’s (Medeski, Martin and Wood) Mad Skillet make their first appearance at the festival. Folk singer Valerie June returns as does Keller Williams, Hard Proof, The Deer, Calliope Musicals and Kalu James and the Electric Joint. See the entire list of performers in the show poster above. The festival takes place November 2-4.
Down in the Oaks Entertainment is operated by Patrick Harrision and his brother whose family has owned the 100-acre private ranch since 1936. The little-known entertainment organization is now part of the name of the ten year-old fest keeping with original festival model. Utopia Festival Down in the Oaks is now the official moniker of the limited attendance festival that began at founder Travis Sutherland’s family ‘stead, Four Sisters Ranch near Utopia, Texas. After parting ways with former festival partners, the Brown brothers (Onion Creek Productions), Sutherland worked with Harrison last year while the new partnership made plans to expand the festival to the new site (possibly with easier access). Unfortunately, the former site had only one public entrance into the venue making for long lines to enter and park. Inclement weather often muddied up (pun intended) that process further.
The new location is a private ranch in Burnet, Texas which means fans need not fear the same great community vibe will evaporate at the new location. Fan experience is paramount to Sutherland. That much is clear. What is also clear is they have a lot of space… more than another, well-known Austin festival that takes place in October and often competed directly with Utopia for fans. Burnet is north of Marble Falls near Lake Buchanan. The location is less than half the distance from Austin as Utopia. Festival organizers rightfully anticipate increased ticket sales with the closer proximity to their core audience.
Sutherland promises the renamed festival will remain a limited attendance event where everyone is a VIP. This aspect of the Utopia Fest is what has made the event so appealing to local music fans. Anyone can wander up close to the stage to see bands up close. The communal camping atmosphere also makes it feel special. Admittedly, the festival gravitates toward jam band and Americana music but has done a great job of mixing up past lineups with acts like GZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Brownout and Of Montreal complimenting more Utopian (see what we did there?) acts like Lettuce and Leftover Salmon.
Tonight you can join the excitement by heading to Radio Coffee + Beer for, A Very Special Bluegrass Night Hang with the usual rotating cast of players. Tickets for Utopia Fest Down in the Oaks can be purchased here. We recommend grabbing tickets early as the festival sells out every year.
Tonight you can go on a wine adventure around the world, without ever leaving Austin. Every second Wednesday of the month, St. Genevieve is hosting four unique wines from all over the globe. Learn more about wine and dive into what makes each one so interesting and complex. You can mingle while enjoying small bites or relax and enjoy the ambiance. Want another glass? Grab another one for just $5.
$20 a person for a glass of all 4 wines
$5 more for another glass
Special pricing to buy each bottle
Small bites to accompany the wines
I’ve told myself many lies in this lifetime, and if we were to flashback 10 years ago, one of the biggest lies would have been, “Getting your real estate license will be easy, Kristy!” While it was way harder than I thought, in spite of all the twists and turns, I still would do it all again.
I was a senior at UT and about to graduate college with no real plan for my life. All I knew was that I wasn’t ready to go sit at desk for the foreseeable future. I know! I’ll get my real estate license. They’re always out and about and can make their own schedules. Problem solved. So with about three weeks left until graduation, and my dad’s coverage of most of my expenses about to expire, I decided to figure out how one does such a thing.
There were two options: 1. Sit in a classroom for six to eight weeks, eight hours a day. I definitely didn’t have time for that. 2. Order textbooks online for about a grand, study at home, and take the test. Option number two it was!
After three attempts, I finally passed the test. The online classes that went with the books were gut-wrenchingly boring and did nothing to prep me for the state real estate test. Unfortunately, they also didn’t prepare me much for being a Realtor. But the state of Texas said I could practice real estate—so off I went.
At 22, real-life real estate was a far cry from the glamorous life I’d imagined, which was basically just showing jaw-dropping, million-dollar homes and having your phone ring off the hook. In actuality, I was showing low-income housing in parts of town where I wish I had a security guard to accompany me. And it was 2008, so the Austin real estate market bubble had just popped. It wasn’t the best time to dive into a new career. I got a side job as an assistant to one of the best realtors in town and that’s where I finally started to learn about the business and pick up some of my own clients. Like most things in life, true education comes from actually throwing yourself in the mix and learning from trial and error.
Fast forward a few more years—lots of life happened—and while I am not practicing real estate anymore, that attempt at a career led me to my current job. I do however still have my license and collect referral fees when I can. Gotta love making money for not really doing anything! It’s the American Dream, right? When I started down the path to becoming a realtor, it took me down a road I didn’t expect, but I am so happy it did.
Would I do it all again? Yes. But if I did, there is no doubt that I would use AceableAgent for my real estate licensing (see above how witty they are). Despite being a really great driver, I have had to use their Aceable defensive driving program to get a ticket taken care of. Their education software is convenient because it’s in an app and online and it’s written in a really witty way. I didn’t hate having to do it. And, now, they offer products that were not previously available for aspiring real estate agents (to help them prepare for the state licensing exam) and for established agents (to meet their continuing education requirements). This is a game changer, and I think it will allow more people to enter the market. It’s the best real estate education course I’ve seen. I just wish it has been around 10 years ago!
While planning a power-bonding group activity for my co-workers recently, I was struggling with the decidedly un-cool nature of the options. A pub on wheels? No thanks. A Segway tour? They’d never forgive me. Or trust falls? Oh God, no. I didn’t want to embarrass these people, I wanted to have a fun with them!
Thankfully, because of this very site, I came across Your Biker Gang, which bills itself as one of the funnest things to do in Austin. This company helps you create your own motorcycle gang, but subs in fat-tired electric minibikes for the motorcycles, which are so much safer and completely glee-inducing.
I can tell you now that when I surprised my beloved colleagues with this outing, I became, for that brief shining moment, the hero of our office. When we arrived at their headquarters in West Austin, our little gang of nine were outfitted with helmets and bandanas by our fearless leader and road captain, Cope. We also had what’s called a “sweeper,” a super nice guy who held up the tail end of the crew and kept us all very very safe.
After a quick tutorial and training on the bikes in a parking lot, we were out on the open road, with Cope blasting classic biker gang tunes from a giant speaker on his bike. I immediately wanted to buy one of these bikes and I still do. It’s a little intimidating at first, but once you learn to trust this speedy little machine and lean into your turns (top speed is 20 mph) you become one with the bike and basically feel like you can do anything. Anything! Like riding in Downtown Austin traffic.
As someone who has grown up in this city, and takes its beauty for granted on a daily basis, I can tell you that this is an amazing way to see Austin. As we biked over the pedestrian bridge on Lady Bird Lake, through Zilker Park, and along Waller Creek, I fell in love with this place all over again. The wind was blowing our hair back, people were looking at our crew with total envy, and Cope was doing stunts at the front like a badass. We were the happiest Hell’s Angels you ever did see.
If you need an activity to entertain a crew, whether they are family, friends, coworkers, or total strangers, Your Biker Gang will be a hit, I promise. They will customize the tour for your group so you can get history and trivia and see the big sights like murals, statues, the UT campus, and more. Or—if you are locals like us—you can just have a joyride and stop for tacos on the way. These bikes are easy to ride and the concept is as feel-good as it gets.
It’s time to jump on your electric hog and get lost for a while. Be a group-activity-planning hero for once. The road is calling!
Local hero chefs Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin invite you to a preview of their new restaurant Loro! Come sample the menu, enjoy a surprise performance, and celebrate the big opening in support of one of their favorite causes, No Kid Hungry.