Free Week Preview: Thursday!

austin-skyline-mark-weaverToday officially begins Austin’s tradition of Free Week.  It’s like SXSW, just with tons and tons of great Austin (and a few Texas) bands.  Sure, there’s been some recent debate about the validity of free week and how the musicians get paid, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least give you some suggestions for the opening night, and hopefully suggestions as it goes along.

First, since there has been debate about how the bands earn money during free week, while you get free rock n’ roll, here’s a few quick tips on how to help them out: 1) Buy merchandise.  Austin is notoriously bad at this, but bands are able to fund their tours, their recordings, etc. when you buy their stuff; ten bucks go a long way.  2) Buy lots of booze.  A lot of venues are giving percentages to the bands to pay them, so be sure you spend well at the bar, or just leave a tip with the band.

Now, here’s my suggestions:

Royal Forest and Reservations at the Belmont @8

The Baker Family and Ruby Fray at Mohawk @ 8

Big Bill at Chain Drive @ 9

Pick one, skip around, do your thing, but be sure to catch a ton of shows. You owe it to yourself.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/02-John-Denver.mp3]

Download: Royal Forest – John Denver [MP3]

Free Week 2014 Info

Free Week 2014It is upon us. The turn of the year is accompanied by Free Week, a way to fill that void between the Holidays and school kicking back in. This year’s lineup is looking strong insuring you will part with plenty of dollars in Red River venues to damage your liver.

Now, I want you to remember that while the doors are free for you people old enough to partake in adult beverages ($5 for the early upstart show-goers), that doesn’t mean you get off with out parting with a dollar or two. BUY SOME MERCH! SUPPORT THE BANDS or Nathan will come to your house and hold a boom box over his head Say Anything style blaring Miley’s greatest hits from the Hana Montana days until your eyes bleed. It is a bog boom box. Seriously, support the people behind the great jams, buy the vinyl you kept saying you would buy at the previous shows or get a t-shirt to out obscure your mainstream friends. We love you.

Take a gander at the poster and see many ATH approved locals. Full who, where, when schedule is still pending release. Join the Free Week Bookface thing for updates…

Austin Free Week: Weekend Highlights

It’s time for Free Week to come to a close, but Austin isn’t going out without making a final bit of noise for you all. There’s two days left of free rock n’ roll, so this is your last time to take advantage before you have to start paying to see all these great bands. With two days left I’m going to toss out my ideas on where you should find yourself Friday and Saturday night.  Don’t forget to tip your bartender! Read more

Free Week Pics: Modern Outsider Takeover @ Emo’s (1/5)

Ume. There is the general feeling around these parts that they just need to blow up; power trio rock with the remarkably charismatic powerhouse lady putting down the jams should be a lock. I love photographing this band. I think every music photographer in Austin loves photographing this band thanks to Lauren’s hair.

But they weren’t my highlight. Modern Outsider is a friend of the program. They have several great acts on their roster and bedsides being really good people, they call Austin home. So naturally, they decided to host a pre-SxSW showcase as part of Free Week 2013.

Click through for plenty of pics of Soft Swells, My Jerusalem, The Black and White Years, The Calm Blue Sea and Ume.

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Austin Free Week: Friday Night Highlights

Man, this next week and a half is shaping up to be a blast for everyone in Austin, and Friday is really starting to turn things up a notch.  I’ve already caught great sets by Endless Thoughts, Politics and Parquet Courts, so I’m really looking forward to the rest of what’s in-store. If you can’t make it out this weekend, don’t forget that Free Week now goes on into next week too! Here’s my suggestions for Friday.  Read more

Let’s Talk Free Week

Date 1/2/13-1/12/13
Location All Over
Doors TBD
Tickets Free (duh)


The schedule is pending, but the list of artists signed on to do Free Week this year is long and impressive, much like my morning commute.

Created as a way to treat the locals to some locals while the kids were home for the holidays, Free Week continues to expand adding numbers to the venue list and performer count. This year will be pretty big, a Free Week and a half actually, occupying the Transmission locations of The Mohawk, Holy Mountain, Beerland and Red7. Peep the poster of artists for the festivities on Red River, chock full of Austin Town Hall Faves including Tiger Waves, Shivery Shakes, Fleshlights, TV Torso, Orthy and Grape St.

Stay tuned for schedules and be ready to hit the streets.

One event’s schedule I know for sure is Modern Outsider’s Free Week show on 1/4 at Emo’s East featuring Ume, The Calm Blue Sea, The Black and White Years and My Jerusalem. Get details and say you’re going here.

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