Friday, Dec 14
Empire Control Room
There is not a weekend in this city that doesn’t have a party going on, and the holiday season is no exception. Head over to the Empire Garage and Control Room for a The Austin Holiday Groove, curated and brought to you by Heard Presents. The whole night promises a plethora of the best soul, hip-hop, and funk artists of Austin, including The Bishops, Sam Houston, The Vapor Waves and even the Austin Groove Project itself, a recent band formation that features the very best local talent. The group I’m most excited about is Austin’s own Magna Carda. The group draws some legendary comparisons; they get called hip hop-jazz fusion, with sprinkles of R&B and electronic; yes, Meg Kelli and Dougie Do perform with a band, so people often hear echoes of The Roots. Still though, Magna Carda is ruthlessly original as a group and, comparisons aside, the band knows its way around a groove and Meg knows how to spit a verse. They are not to be missed.
Daniel Thomas Phipps
Friday Dec 14
Vista Brewing, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
If you want to get escape the hustle and bustle of the Austin weekend, make the small jaunt to Driftwood, TX for Vista Brewing’s “Driftwood Nights,” this Friday featuring New Braunfels native Daniel Thomas Phipps. An indie-folk-rock fixture of the hill country, Phipps has also toured and played all of over the U.S. He’s shared the stage and opened for a number of rock greats and his experience comes through in his songwriting. Phipps is fantastic at imbuing his songs with an honest humanity, that he often drives home with a catchy hook and memorable turn of phrase. Chill and check out this free show.
Saturday Dec 15
Barracuda, 9 PM
If you’re really looking for a group that perfectly represents the raw kinetic energy of Austin and smashes it together with everything weird and good in the world, then you need to check out Sweet Spirit. The band is a shot of whiskey, a kiss from a jilted lover, and a punch in the gut all rolled into one. Sabrina Ellis is a warlock of sound on stage. Get to Barracuda this Saturday (which carries it’s own bit of Austin magic) and have a spell put on you by some true local rock stars. Also on the bill are the one-band-party Ex Romantika and the sad-pop, synth workings of TC Superstar. Check this show out, or regret what could have been.
Sunday Dec 16
Did you know Austin has an official theme song? Pssh, and you call yourself an Austinite. It’s okay. You can atone for your transgressions this Sunday by checking out the authors themselves while they work their residency at Icehauser. Yes indeed, The Nightowls have been infusing the Austin air with that classic soul and R&B sound for over half a decade. These cats are so cool, you can snag their records on vinyl, ya dig? A groovy way to listen to be sure, but what’s even better than that rich, needle-in-the-groove sound? Checking them out live, obviously! Wind down the weekend right with some solid soul sounds and a cool cocktail.