In 2018, ride hailing service Lyft is branding itself as “The rideshare of Austin music.”
The company has partnered with local venues on a six-month pilot program to provide free rides to musicians heading to their gigs.
The program was conceptualized by Antone’s owner Will Bridges and Empire Control Room’s Stephen Sternschein working in coordination with local Lyft representatives. It is currently available to musicians playing at Empire, Antone’s, Stubb’s BBQ, Barracuda, Cheer Up Charlie’s and the Mohawk. Lyft linked a a form to a press release about the program to gather more information from additional clubs that would like to participate.
“It’s expensive and difficult to park downtown, even harder for a working musician lugging gear,” Sternschein said in the press release. “Parking tickets, towing, and accidents can (and do) eat up every dollar a local musician just made on stage.”
The program launched Monday in time for Free Week. Participating venues will be given Lyft credits to distribute to artists.
Sternschein said the vision is to develop some sort of public/private partnership, with some funding from Lyft and some donations from Lyft riders and the Austin community via ride credits, to expand the program to all venues in town.
“But in order to roll out a program like that we’d need to do some testing and collect some data about how much it would actually cost and to understand logistical challenges involved,” he said. “That is why it is only happening in a few venues right now, because it’s better to measure twice and cut once. Free Week is a stress test of the system we have in place. Our goal is to use the data collected from the pilot to make a city-wide program possible and permanent.”
UPDATE: This post has been updated to include additional information about the program.
If you procrastinated on making New Year’s Eve plans and blew your entertainment budget on holiday shopping, the Little Darlin’ just unveiled an appealing alternative to sitting at home with a TV countdown.
Over a decade ago, Margin Walker’s Graham Williams, then a booker for the downtown Emo’s location, conceptualized Free Week as a way to bring warm bodies into the club during one of the slowest weeks of the year. The philosophy is simple: throw open the doors, drop the cover charge and invite folks to come experience Austin music. The event has grown into a vibrant mini-festival, a free local music binge with events all over town geared to all sorts of music enthusiasts. After several years of expansion that made the better part of January a musical free-for-all, most Austin clubs have contracted back to one week in 2018.
Every year there are contentious conversations about whether the event devalues Austin music in the eyes of stingy local music fans who already tend to balk about reasonable cover charges. It’s debatable, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love the way the event generates serious excitement about local music.
A few things to remember: Some Free Week bands are getting paid. Some play for free as a favor to venues that support them year round. All of them would like you to spend some of the money you save at the door at the merch table, or drop it into the tip jar. Also, part of the reason artists play Free Week is exposure, so expose the beejeebers out of any bands you see. Post photos and videos to your socials and tell all your friends. Go ahead and tag the clubs in those posts too.
Ambassador for the excitement of local music is a great look, and let’s all start 2018 by wearing it well.
SIX GRAND SLAM FREE WEEK BILLS
Monday, Jan 1: Peelander-Z, Dead Music Capital Band, Drakulas at Empire. From the Japanese action comic antics of the Peelander punks to DIY marching zombies, this unpretentious hair-of-the-dog throwdown indulges in the best of new school Austin weird.
Thursday, Jan. 4:
Whiskey Shivers, Sailor Poon, Booher at Empire. Rollicking rebel bluegrass? Check. Feminist art punk with songs about “Boobies”? Check. Emotionally literate rock ‘n’ roll? Yep. What else do you need, people?
Friday, Jan 5: Los Coast, Emily Wolfe, Otis the Destroyer at Mohawk. After a year spent building a reputation as one of the hottest live acts in Austin, rock ‘n’ soul outfit, Los Coast promises “a slew of album releases” in 2018. Emily Wolfe spent the year writing and plotting her debut full-length debut and in November, she teased us with “Holy Roller,” a blistering single with stormy melodies that swirl around muscular guitar riffs. Otis the Destroyer also performs. This is a solid opportunity to catch a few winners before they blow up.
Saturday, Jan. 6: Applied Pressure Orchestra at Empire. A one-off performance from the live band version of the excellent DJ/Electronic music collective that includes Hobo D, Kid Slyce and Boombaptist. The evening will also include a performance from Vapor Caves, the new project from Keeper’s Yadira Brown and Boombaptist, and a rare return to the turntables by DJ Tats, best known these days as a local ramen kingpin.
FIVE RISING AUSTIN ACTS TO CATCH
Annabelle Chairlegs. There is no Annabelle (as far as we know) but singer and guitarist Lindsey Mackin is one of Austin’s most captivating leads. The band spent a good portion of 2017 on the road, enchanting audiences around the country with their trippy garage rock and we suspect 2018 will be a big year for them. Playing: Jan. 2 at Mohawk; Jan. 6 at Hotel Vegas.
Blastfamous USA.The raucous rap-rock project fronted by Zeale, one of Austin’s fiercest rhymeslingers, unleashes a seething cauldron righteous rage. Playing: Jan 2 at Cheer Up Charlies; Jan. 5 at Empire.
Go Fever.Their self-titled album built around Aussie ex-pat Acey Monaro’s solid songwriting was one of 2017 strongest debuts. Playing: Jan 2 at Swan Dive; Jan. 6 at Valhalla.
Alesia Lani. Her warm and wonderful 2017 release “Resilient,” a rich platter of R&B, provided a much-needed salve to our city’s soul this year. Playing: Jan. 4 at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Darkbird.Go on with your “Bad Self” and indulge in some furious rock ‘n’ roll. Jan. 3 at Hotel Vegas; Jan 6 at Mohawk; Jan. 7 at Empire.
MORE FREE WEEK HIGHLIGHTS
Mayeux and Brossard, Jane Ellen Bryant at Stubb’s
Marmalakes, Get a Life at Barracuda
Migrant Kids, the Canvas People at Mohawk
Duncan Fellowes, Delmar Dennis at Hotel Vegas
Mode Dodeca at Cheer Up Charlie’s
The Cover Letter at the Swan Dive
Whiite Walls, Slomo Drags at Barracuda
Good Field, Blastfamous U.S. at Cheer Up Charlie’s
White Dog, Think No Think at the Volstead
The Wild Now, Tinnarose at Stubb’s
Jeff Plankenhorn, Peterson Brothers at Empire
Vampire, The Millbrook Estates at Mohawk
Pretty (Expletive) at Beerland
Sailor Poon, Big Bill at Hotel Vegas
Go Fever at the Swan Dive
Ringo Deathstarr, The Halfways at Empire
The Well, the Ghost Wolves at Barracuda
Tinnarose, Otis the Destroyer, Darkbird at Hotel Vegas
Smiile, Thor and Friends at Mohawk
The Zoltars at Spiderhouse
Jimmy Eat Wednesday at Barbarella
Stretch Panic at Beerland
Riverboat Gamblers, American Sharks at Barracuda
Wood & Wire, the Deer at Mohawk
Otis the Destroyer, Megafauna at Empire
Stoner Jam with Amplified Heat, more at Swan Dive
Leopold & His Fiction at the Belmont
Trouble in the Streets, Alesia Lani at Cheer Up Charlies
Borzoi, USA/Mexico at Beerland
Continental Drift, Deny Our Salvation at Elysium
The Lagoons, Groovethink at the Blackheart
Holy Wave, the Diamond Center at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Ringo Deathstarr, the Reputations at Hotel Vegas
Netherfriends, Corduroi at Empire
Cloudchord, Sphynx at Stubb’s
Trouble in the Streets, Blastfamous US at Empire
Marmalakes, Growl at Mohawk
Tinnarose, Abram Shook at Barracuda
Honey & Salt, Seafire 3 at the Sidewinder
Roxy Roca, the Crack Pipes at Hotel Vegas
Blxpltn, Major Grizz, Como Las Movies at Sahara Lounge
Timberos del Norte, Zoumountchi at Flamingo
99 Crimes EP release at Dirty Dog
The Watters, Memphis Strange at the Blackheart
Moving Panoramas, Lowin, Go Fever at Valhalla
Roadkill Ghost Choir, Calliope Musicals, Darkbird at Mohawk
Quiet Company, Dayshifters at Barracuda
A. Sinclair, Megafauna at Mohawk
Knifight, Light Wheel at Stubb’s
Annabelle Chairlegs, Deep Time at Hotel Vegas
Leche, High at Beerland
Andy, Starfruit at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Knife in the Water, Croy and the Boys at Hotel Vegas
Friday-Sunday: Willie Nelson & Family New Year at ACL Live. This one’s too big for a single night. After Nelson began playing New Year’s Eve at this marquee downtown venue when it opened in 2011 (his statue presides out front), the event quickly grew into a two-night, and now three-night, affair. His sister Bobbie has always been in the band on piano, but this year it’s an even broader family affair: Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson open all three shows with their Promise of the Real and Particle Kid bands, respectively. The focus is fitting given this fall’s release of “Willie Nelson and the Boys,” which featured Willie, Lukas and Micah joining voices on a dozen country classics. $99-$157. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 9 p.m. Sunday (with Blackberry Smoke added to the bill). 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live. — P.B.
Sunday: Austin’s New Year at Auditorium Shores. Pop quiz: Where in town can you ring celebrate the end of 2017 to the sounds of, not one or two, but four Austin360 Artist of the Month alums? Latin funk powerhouse Brownout takes top billing at this family-friendly (and alcohol free) bash. Soul dynamo Tomar & the FCs, fierce full-band hip-hop act Magna Carda and indie-pop breakout Mobley will all put in sets. Also on the bill are Seattle-via-Austin blues-rocker Ian Moore plus Charlie Faye & the Fayettes, Jane Ellen Bryant and many more great local artists. If your New Year’s resolution is to spend more time listening to Austin bands, this party is just the ticket. Free. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. 900 W. Riverside Drive. austinsnewyear.com. — D.S.S.
Sunday: Doyle Bramhall II, Emily Gimble, Lou Ann Barton at Antone’s. Bramhall left Austin for Los Angeles many years ago, but he’s still so connected to the city that any trip home is a celebration. Last year’s “Rich Man,” his first album in 15 years, included the song “November,” a tribute to his late father, one of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s close friends and writing partners. Helping to spark the countdown party will be two of Austin’s best female blues acts spanning a couple of generations, with Barton representing vintage Antone’s history and Gimble proving that younger singers can still get the blues big-time. DJ Mahealani spins records upstairs after Bramhall’s set, with complimentary breakfast tacos. $75. 9 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com. — P.B.
Sunday: Grupo Fantasma, Capyac at Empire. Oh, you’re into dancing? Austin’s world class cumbia ensemble has the hip-switching grooves to make you move, and electro funk duo Capyac spent the year destroying dancefloors around the country. Capyac served pancakes on stage at their Austin City Limits Music Festival set this year, so who knows what they’ll cook up for New Year’s Eve. Superfónicos, Trouble in the Streets and Continental Drift also play the two-stage bash. $31.56-$43.56. — D.S.S.
Sunday: NYE 1976 at Hotel Vegas. Each year, club owner Jason McNeely leads the artists who play his east side dive on a journey back in time. This year the club will embody the spirit of 1976 with members of Sweet Spirit and Digital Wild playing the Bee Gees, Leo Rondeau and Mike & the Moonpies flying like the Eagles, and Moving Panoramas taking on Blondie. The evening also includes tributes to the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Abba, Fleetwood Mac, Queen and many more. 7 p.m. 1502 E. Sixth St. texashotelvegas.com. — D.S.S.
Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan and George Rains at C-Boy’s
Neon Indian, Slugbug, New Rebecca at Mohawk outdoor
Reverend Horton Heat, Jesse Dayton, Rosie Flores at 3Ten
Jonathan Tyler, Texas Gentlemen at Sam’s Town Point
Greyhounds, Tameca Jones, Jai Malano at Scoot Inn
Songs of Paul Simon with Will Taylor & Strings Attached at Townsend
Milligan Vaughan Project at El Mercado Backstage
Wagoneers, Two Tons of Steel, Blues Specialists at Continental Club
Linda Gail Lewis, Danny B. Harvey, Roger Wallace, Missy Beth at White Horse
Jackie Venson at Radio Coffee & Beer
Mike Zito & Jim Suhler, Dylan Bishop Band at Antone’s
Latin at Heart, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub
Two Hoots & a Holler at ABGB
Rubilators at Guero’s
Adrian Ruiz Quintet at Elephant Room
Sobscene Indie Disco, Sideways Grimace at Hotel Vegas
Hamilton Loomis CD release, Leeann Atherton at One-2-One Bar
Reckless Kelly’s Heartbreakers Ball: A Tribute to Tom Petty at Antone’s (sold out)
Suffers, Money Chicha at 3Ten
Los Atzex at One-2-One Bar
Jackie Venson at Geraldine’s
South Austin Moonlighters, Mandy Rowden at Saxon Pub
Booze Weasels, Redd Volkaert at Continental Club
Dale Watson at Broken Spoke
Cornell Hurd Band at Driskill Bar
Ali Holder Band, Christy Hays at Radio Coffee & Beer
Strahan & the Good Neighbors, Ricky Stein, Dave Insley’s Careless Smokers at White Horse
Rachel Reese, Grace Pettis at El Mercado Backstage
Frank Hannon, Jo Hell at Townsend
Rich Hands, Bad Lovers, Borzoi, Brother Sports at Hotel Vegas
Zoomountchi, Executive Steel Band, Afro Jazz at Sahara Lounge
Samiyam, Wallaby & Bobbes, Casey Cuts, Deli at North Door
Bob Schneider at Paramount Theatre
Ghostland Observatory’s New Year’s Eve 2017: A Space Oddity at Mohawk
Golden Dawn Arkestra, Holy Wave, Daikaiju at Barracuda
Peterson Brothers, Tomar & the FCs at Continental Club
Party for the People with Summer Salt, Ghost Wolves, Big Bill, etc. at Spider House Ballroom
NYE Reset with Henry + the Invisibles, Bishops, more at Parish
Body Rock ATX Moon Masquerade at Sahara Lounge
Chromeo DJ Set, Harry Paradise at Emo’s
Silent Disglo at Scoot Inn
Keep it Quiet 2017 at Fair Market with DJ Mel
Nightowls, Kev Bev & the Woodland Creatures at Stubb’s indoor
Saved by the Ball with Go Fever, Gentlemen Rogues, more at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Jimmy LaFave tribute with John Inmon Group & Jaimee Harris at Threadgill’s North
Deadeye (Grateful Dead tribute) at One-2-One Bar
Heart Byrne (Talking Heads tribute) at 3Ten
Reggae Ball with the Mau Mau Chaplains at Flamingo Cantina
Akina Adderley & the Vintage Playboys at Geraldine’s
Carolyn Wonderland at Saxon Pub
Ephraim Owens at Elephant Room
Eastern Sea and friends at Friends & Allies Brewing
Goblin King’s NYE Ball at Elysium
Headbangers Glitter Ball at Indian Roller
Dirty Charley and Pals at Beerland
Gary P. Nunn at Poodie’s Hilltop Tavern
Alvin Crow at Broken Spoke
Donn & the Station Masters at Donn’s Depot
Josh Lightnin’ Band, Jake Penrod at Little Longhorn Saloon
Ruby Dee & the Snakehandlers, Just If at Driskill Bar
Mayeux & Broussard, Silo Road, Armadillo Road at White Horse
Ty Gavin, Eric Hisaw, Differentials, Steve McCarthy at Carousel Lounge
Dave Biller Trio, Lo Jinx Orchestra at Continental Gallery
Monday: Blue Christmas Tex-Mex Dance Party with Flaco Jimenez and Los Pinkys at Antone’s. If you didn’t catch the big Tex-Mex Fiesta at ACL Live on the Friday before Christmas, here’s another chance for a sampling with a similar flavor. San Antonio’s Grammy-winning accordion legend Jimenez, who took part in that show, will be part of this one too, along with Austin conjunto faves Los Pinkys. $10-$15. 8 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com. — P.B.
Wednesday: Jackie Venson and Ray Prim live tapings at One-2-One Bar. It’s been a big year for both of these local artists. Venson got some prime national gigs opening tour dates for Austin guitar great Gary Clark Jr., and she played to a big crowd in Zilker Park as part of KGSR’s Blues on the Green summer series. Prim released a live record in the spring and followed it this fall with “To Whom It May Concern,” which earned him Austin360 Artist of the Month honors in September. Both artists will be recording their shows on this night in one of the city’s best-sounding rooms. Venson plays at 8:30 p.m., with Prim at 7 p.m.; each show carries a separate $10 admission. 1509 S. Lamar Blvd. one2onebar.com. — P.B.
Thursday: Ozomatli at the Mohawk. For almost 20 years the L.A.-based collective has been liberally mixing various Latin styles into their signature blend of exuberant Chicano rock and resistance rap. For the latest release, “Non-Stop: Mexico to Jamaica” they dig deep into reggae and dub styles to create feel-good grooves that will chase the post-holiday doldrums away. Hard Proof opens. $25.-$30. 7 p.m. doors. 912 Red River St. mohawkaustin.com — D.S.S.
Dale Watson’s annual Christmas show & dance at Continental Club
Jonesin’, Presto Chango at C-Boy’s
Marmalakes at Hole in the Wall
George Devore at Saxon Pub
Robynn Shayne, David Grissom at Saxon Pub
Ephraim Owens Experience, James McMurtry at Continental Gallery
Friday: TexMex Holiday Fiesta at ACL Live. One of the last holiday shows of the season is also one of the coolest. With Grammy-winning Tex-Mex outfit Los Texmaniacs and living-legend accordionist Flaco Jimenez at the helm, this borderland party brings in a broad horizon of possibilities thanks to a stellar cast of special guests. Expect some Free Mexican Airforce action between Jimenez and folk-bluegrass great Peter Rowan, and likely a spin through Texas Tornados/Los Super Seven territory with Augie Meyers and Rick Trevino on the bill. Johnny Nicholas, Rosie Flores and a “very special surprise guest” also are promised, for a show that will include a holiday song swap. $35-$50. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com. — P.B.
Friday: A Tuba Christmas at the Texas State Capitol. Looking for a way to combine family-friendly daytime revelry, musical merriment and sightseeing with out of town guests? Mosey over to the Capitol’s south steps, where more than 200 tuba players will oompah your favorite holiday classics with bass-heavy hilarity. Free. Noon to 1 p.m. 1100 Congress Ave. facebook.com/tubachristmasaustin — D.S.S.
Friday-Sunday: Armadillo Christmas Bazaar finale at Palmer Events Center. It’s the home stretch for the 42nd annual shopping and music extravaganza. Pick up last-minute gifts and hear some of Austin’s finest musicians playing two one-hour sets each. The remaining schedule: Friday is Asleep at the Wheel (7 p.m.), Shelley King (3 p.m.) and Charley Crockett (noon); Saturday is Beto & the Fairlanes (7 p.m.), Peterson Brothers Band (3 p.m.) and Nakia (noon); and Sunday is Bill Kirchen (7 p.m.), Durawa (3 p.m.) and Albert & Gage (noon). $8 admission is good for the whole day; parking in the adjacent garage is another $8. 900 Barton Springs Road. armadillobazaar.com. — P.B.
Saturday: Wagoneers all-ages holiday show at Continental Club. The anchor of live music on South Congress caters mostly to the, uh, seasoned clubgoers among us, though it has often been a launching-ground for young artists as well — including Wagoneers leader Monte Warden, who first played the place as a teenager in the 1980s. For one night each year, though, it’s open to everyone, even grade-schoolers and toddlers. The Wagoneers anchor the proceedings with their rockin’-country music, with Warden’s jazz-pop outfit the Dangerous Few also taking part, and a few special guests in the works too. $10. 7:30 p.m. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com. — P.B.
Sunday: Fifth annual Christmas Eve Songwriter Special at White Horse. Local country-folk-rocker Carson McHone started this free potluck and musical marathon in 2013. It’s been at the White Horse for the past three years; the music starts at 8 p.m. and runs until 2 a.m. About three dozen locals will play two songs each, including Kalu James, Jaimee Harris, Ray Prim, Marshall Hood, Jane Ellen Bryant, William Harries Graham and Corey Baum. 500 Comal St. thewhitehorseaustin.com. — P.B.
River City Pops at Long Center Rollins Studio Theatre
Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan and George Rains at C-Boy’s
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Asleep at the Wheel, Shelley King, Charley Crockett at Palmer Events Center
Dirty White Suits, Bill Carter & the Blame at Antone’s
Dirty River Boys, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub
Billy Bacon & the Forbidden Pigs, New Duncan Imperials at Sam’s Town Point
Celtic Christmas at Saint Mary Cathedral
A Purple Xmas Holiday Tribute to Prince, Dead Love Club at 3Ten
ToddFamily Holiday Jam with Joe Roddy, Jack Montesinos, Kathy Kiser Benayoun, more at Monkey Nest Coffee
Noble Dog reunion, Western Youth, Jackie Venson, Dave Scher Trio at One-2-One Bar
Christian Bland & the Revelators, Ripe, Halfways, Jana Horn at Hotel Vegas
Esseks, Charles the First at Empire
Tameca Jones, Blues Specialists at Continental Club
Tish Hinojosa at Threadgill’s North
Kelley Mickwee at Geraldine’s
Leo Rondeau at ABGB
Atlas Mason, All Nighter, Whole and a Half at Mohawk indoor
Los Nahualatos, Kilo Villamizar at Sahara Lounge
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Beto & the Fairlanes, Peterson Brothers Band, Nakia at Palmer Events Center
Charlie Mars, W.C. Clark, Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel at Saxon Pub
Ulrich Ellison & Tribe 10-year anniversary at Antone’s
Milligan Vaughan Project at One-2-One Bar
Bukka Allen at Townsend
Fat Tony, Hevln, Blxpltn, Blastfamous USA at Hotel Vegas
Albert & Gage at Donn’s Depot
Blitzens at ABGB
Kirko Bangz, Killa Kyleon at Empire
Lex Land Holiday Band at Geraldine’s
Brennen Leigh, Candler Wilkinson at Sam’s Town Point
Black Tabs, Bitter Birds at Stubb’s indoor
Institute, Army, Temple of Angels, Disowned at Barracuda
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Bill Kirchen, Durawa, Albert & Gage at Palmer Events Center
Noel McKay birthday show at Saxon Pub
Jon Emery Christmas gospel brunch at Threadgill’s South
Jazz Brunch at Geraldine’s
Candler Wilkinson, Haydon Hoodoo at Hole in the Wall
Friday: Peligrosa 10-year anniversary at North Door. Ten years ago, a trio of DJs decided to shake up Austin’s dance music scene with irresistible rhythms from around the world. Over the next decade, they built on that vibe to grow a mighty collective that now boasts over a dozen members from across the state, a record label and a vibrant monthly residency that serves as home base (and community safe space) for a wide variety of dance fanatics. The party features championship Nicaraguan American turntablist DJ Craze, Chulita Vinyl Club, and the full Peligrosa crew, including Houston rapper Chingo Bling. Chingo will host a pop-up shop with Tamale Time holiday sweaters and much more. $10 in advance. 501 Brushy St. 8 p.m. doors. ndvenue.com. — D.S.S.
Friday: Christmas with Tje Austin at Geraldine’s. Earlier this year, Austin released the EP “I Belong to You,” a rich and varied release that easily slides from earnest songcraft to groovy disco to brassy blasts of classic soul. He wrote the record while completing a grueling three-year course of chemotherapy, and it aches with heart. Austin says Christmas is his favorite holiday, and he’s billing this event as “A Motown Christmas.” Free. 9 p.m. 605 Davis St. geraldinesaustin.com. — D.S.S.
Friday: Tidings of Jazz and Joy at One World Theatre. Master pianist Keiko Matsui, multi-instrumentalist Euge Groove, singer-songwriter Lindsey Webster and guitarist Adam Hawley join forces for a jazzy Christmas. $25-$98. 7 and 9:30 p.m. 7701 Bee Cave Road. oneworldtheatre.org. — D.S.S.
Saturday: Robert Earl Keen Fam-O-Lee Back to the Country Jamboree at ACL Live. Yes, of course he’ll play “Merry Christmas From the Family,” the yuletide “Free Bird” of Keen’s extensive repertoire. But he’ll play lots of his non-holiday-themed favorites, too, and recent set lists indicate he and his ace band have been digging out some cool covers by the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Neil Young. Robert Ellis opens. $29-$49. 8 p.m. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.com. — P.B.
Saturday: Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis Holiday Shindig at Paramount Theatre. From “In the Bleak Midwinter” to “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” the husband-wife country duo has built up a pretty cool seasonal set for this annual occasion. And then there’s the home movies starring their kids, always a highlight of the evening. This year’s special guest is Jack Ingram, fresh off a Grammy nomination for co-writing Miranda Lambert’s “Tin Man.” $30-$53. 8 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — P.B.
Saturday: Tamale Pari at Tamale House East. Groove to DJs Chorizo Funk, Diggie Dutch, Gracie Chavez and more while shopping local vendors and sipping on cocktails from Tito’s and Southern Glazer’s wine and spirits. A portion of drink sales benefits Casa Marianella, and, yes, there will be plenty of tamale. Free. 4 to 9 p.m. 1707 E. Sixth St. Check the event’s Facebook page for details. — D.S.S.
Sunday: George Reiff memorial at Emo’s. Austin musicians Charlie Sexton, Scrappy Jud Newcomb and Michael Ramos have assembled this salute to the local bassist and producer who died of cancer in May. Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes joins an extended cast of hometown acts including Emily Strayer of the Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Fastball, Shinyribs, Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Cotton Mather, Band of Heathens and Jon Graham. $25. 5 p.m. doors. 2015 E. Riverside Drive. emosaustin.com. — P.B.
Joe Ely, Miles Zuniga at Cactus Cafe
Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s
Los Skarnales at Continental Club
Christmas on Congress with Marc and Ted Broussard, Jackie Venson, more at Paramount Theatre
Metz, Cherubs, Moaning at Mohawk outdoor
Donnie Fritts, Bobby Patterson & the Disciples, Bobby Mack at Antone’s
Little Mazarn record release, Twain, Kendra Kinsey at Central Presbyterian Church
Jesse Dayton, Two Hoots & a Holler, Avocados at Hole in the Wall
Extreme Heat 40th anniversary show at One-2-One Bar
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Uncle Lucius, Rocketboys, Gina Chavez at Palmer Events Center
Dale Watson at Broken Spoke
Beat Root Revival at El Mercado Backstage
Calliope Musicals, Otis the Destroyer, Coattails at Hotel Vegas
Protohype at Vulcan Gas Company
Rapsody, Don Flamingo, GQ, Deante Hitchcock at Barracuda
Cover Letter, American Dreamer, Meanswell at Stubb’s indoor
Beto & the Fairlanes at Elephant Room
Memphis Strange, Rubilators at Sam’s Town Point
Uranium Savages at ABGB
Mamafesta album release at Parish
Los Skarnales at the Continental Club
Dylan Bishop at Lamberts
La Frenetika at Flamingo Cantina
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Shinyribs, John Fullbright, Lou Ann Barton at Palmer Events Center
Gary Numan, Me Not You at Mohawk outdoor
Charlie Mars, Derrick Davis Band at Saxon Pub
A-Town GetDown, Resonant Frequency at 3Ten
Ghost Wolves, Queue Queue at ABGB
Mike & the Moonpies, Sour Bridges at Stubb’s indoor
Two Hoots & a Holler, White Ghost Shivers, Dave Insley’s Careless Smokers at White Horse
Folk Uke at One-2-One Bar
Ephraim Owens Quintet at Elephant Room
Raheem DeVaughn at Hanover’s 2.0
Jai Malano at Geraldine’s
Ramsay Midwood, Paul Nipper at Sam’s Town Point
Cilantro Boombox, Water Seed, Jauntee, Jay Stiles Trio at Antone’s
Harry Nilsson tribute with Willy Chapel, Born Again Virgins at Hole in the Wall
Ben Balmer, Eric Bettencourt at Townsend
Lowin, Bitter Birds, Kay Odyssey at Hard Luck Lounge
Peterson Brothers at Lamberts
Jack Wilson at Empire
Ugly Beats at Carousel Lounge
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with Eggmen, Carolyn Wonderland, Jackie Venson at Palmer Events Center
Soul of a Musician series Christmas show with Cotton Mather at Iron Cactus North
Dead Kennedys at Come and Take It Live
Miss Lavelle White, Andrea Dawson at Antone’s
Willlie Pipkin & Friends, Heybale, Marshall Hood at Continental Club
Eagle Claw, Blues Funeral, Destroyer of Light at Barracuda
Resentments, Joe Forlini & Michael Cross at Saxon Pub
The music office is currently accepting applications from street musicians of all genres who would like to perform unamplified sets outside the development in designated hour-long time slots. Artists selected for the program will be paid at the standard city rate of $150 per musician per hour. City officials say they expect most slots to be awarded to solo artists, but they have set aside some money for larger groups.
The music office plans to program roughly six musicians to perform at the development each weekend for a year.
The initial response from musicians has been strong. With little publicity about the program, music office staffers say they received roughly 70 applications in the first 24 hours and over 100 musicians in the first week. After the Austin Music Commission meeting Monday, music office director Erica Shamaly said her staff was considering some sort of online audition, possibly through YouTube videos, to screen the applicants.
The program is projected to launch during South by Southwest 2018 and continue through the year.
The program aims to attract downtown visitors to newly opened public spaces and buildings in the area. City officials plan to use the pilot program to establish best practices in the hopes of expanding the program to other areas of the city.
Update: This post has been updated to add information.
Friday: Bully at Emo’s. The New York Times recently published an in-depth package titled “Rock’s Not Dead, It’s Ruled by Women.” The thesis was simple: In the current crop of garage rockers, the dudes can’t wave a grungey guitar at the ladies. Bully’s Alicia Bognanno wasn’t mentioned in the story, but she’s part of the same wave of post-riot-grrl rockers making thoughtful confessional songs backed by muscular riffs. Smut opens. $17-20. 8 p.m. 2015 E. Riverside Drive. emosaustin.com. (The band also will play a free in-store at Waterloo Records at 5 p.m.) — D.S.S.
Friday-Saturday: Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express at Continental Club. With fewer touring acts out on the road in December, nightclubs often focus on holiday shows and local favorites. Leave it to the Continental to break that mold: Following last week’s two-night stand by Grammy-winner Dave Alvin, the club hits another home run this weekend with two nights of Bay Area rocker Chuck Prophet, one of the best live performers on the planet. He’ll play three times altogether, with a 10 p.m. set on Friday (the LeRoi Brothers play after) followed by Saturday shows at 8 p.m. and midnight (Mike Stinson opens the latter at 10:30 p.m.). $22. 1315 S. Congress Ave. continentalclub.com. — P.B.
Saturday: KOOP Radio 23rd birthday party at Spider House Ballroom. Over the past few decades, as commercial radio has steadily declined into bland homogeneity, Austin’s community radio station has remained a solid provider of weird and wonderful programming you can’t hear anywhere else. Our October Austin360 Artist of the Month, Tomar & the FCs, kicks the party off with searing soul. Then Bubble Puppy, a regional psych rock phenom who scored a top 20 hit with the 1969 track “Hot Smoke and Sassafras,” closes out the night. $20. 7:30 p.m. 2908 Fruth St. spiderhouse.com. — DSS
Sunday: Margaret Moser memorial at Antone’s. The death of music journalist and Austin Music Awards founder Margaret Moser from cancer on Aug. 25 brought an outpouring of sentiment from the local music community. Ever the event-planner, Moser arranged many of the details for this show herself before her death. Names of performers are being kept under wraps, but sharing musical-director duties will be Charlie Sexton, working things in between his busy schedule playing guitar with Bob Dylan, and Monte Warden, frontman of longtime Austin country band the Wagoneers and new pop-jazz trio the Dangerous Few. $20. 2 p.m. 305 E. Fifth St. antonesnightclub.com. — P.B.
Sunday: Radney Foster at Waterloo Records. It’s a special treat to hear the Del Rio native and longtime Nashville country star in such an intimate setting. Foster’s newest release, “For You to See the Stars,” is a CD-and-book package that includes a collection of short stories plus nine new songs (and a re-recorded version of his tune “Raining on Sunday,” which became a big hit for Keith Urban). Free. 5 p.m. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. waterloorecords.com. — P.B.
Lady Gaga’s Tuesday night concert at the Erwin Center is not completely sold out yet, but if you’re still trying to scoop tickets, it’s going to cost you. At 9:30 on Monday morning, the only tickets available under $128 were $88 rear view seats.
If you are heading to the show, be aware that the venue, the largest concert facility in the Austin city limits, has tightened security over the past year. Walk through metal detectors are now located at every entrance to the building and the only approved bags for all ticketed events at the facility are clear plastic totes or very small clutches.
Clear plastic totes must be 12 by 12 inches or smaller or one gallon clear, resealable plastic storage bags.
Small clutches do not have to be clear, but they must be very small. The maximum size is 4.5 by 6.5 inches.