Austin TX musical recommendations needed for late April 2007
April 19, 2007 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations needed for hearing roots or acoustic blues music in Austin, Texas from April 26th to April 29th.

I'll be in Austin for the first time ever (Texas cherry popping yeehaw) for a conference. There have been a lot of Austin questions already from which I have some good ideas re: eats. I know Austin is well known for its music scene. Where can I go to hear some acoustic bluesy music, or rootsy music, in a casual atmosphere, beer in hand, able to have a conversation (not too loud), on the above dates. I'm partial to banjoey mandolinic wailing and singers with lame mules. Any Austinians know of a particular gig during those days? We are staying more or less downtown. Bonus questions: if I sneak out of the conference for an afternoon, what is the must-see / must-do in Austin? I like museums, galleries, rodeos, that kind of thing - offbeat is good. Internet cafes near the Hilton conference centre?
posted by Rumple to Travel & Transportation around Austin, TX (7 answers total)
The downtown area tends to be more garage band / rock and roll flavored in Austin. I don't know of a particular gig, but you would probably feel comfortable at the Continental Club on S. Congress (head south across the river from the Capitol, it's on your left). Bands there range from country to blues, and the crowd is a little more seasoned than the sweaty people at the punk rock shows.

If I was to name a single "must-do" in Austin (not counting eating barbecue and Tex-Mex), I would say go swim in Barton Springs pool. Spring fed, a brisk 68 degrees year round, and awesome people watching.
posted by Gilbert at 8:50 AM on April 19, 2007

You could skip over to Zilker Park, play nine rounds of disk golf, check out Barton Springs, hop over to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, and then have an early dinner at Chuy's.

Or take in a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. There's one downtown and one nearby on South Lamar.

Check the website for the Austin Chronicle for music venues.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 8:51 AM on April 19, 2007

The Hideout at 617 Congress has internet access. It's a short walk from the Hilton. I don't know of any other internet cafes in Austin. There is a lot of free wifi, though, if you are bringing a laptop.
posted by donajo at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2007

If you can come in on Wednesday, you would HAVE to go to The Saxon Pub to see Monte Montegomery.

Best $10 live music entertainment value in the world, IMHO.
posted by verevi at 12:25 PM on April 19, 2007

He's more traditional honky tonk trucker country, but you won't be sorry if you go see Dale Watson at the Continental Club on Friday night. Ginny's Little Longhorn is not downtown but it is an essential cultural experience (roots/country).

Everyone will send you to Antone's for blues, but you could very well run into electric blues there.

Another vote for Barton Springs pool for the daytime.
posted by kmel at 2:12 PM on April 19, 2007

Austin residents are Austinites. :)

Just some additions to what has already been said:

Internet cafes near the convention center: not many. A nearby fave and very Austin-y is Halcyon, with free wifi. The aforementioned Hideout is also very cool and I know they also have computer rentals. Don't miss the Mexican martinis at the Cedar Door right next to the convention center (it's just a rocks margarita with olives but quite potent).

If I were sneaking out of a conference on an afternoon in an Austin, I'd go for one of the following:

- Take a free shuttle called a Dillo up to the University of Texas campus, about 20 blocks north of the convention center. See the Gutenberg Bible at the Harry Ransom Center, and check out the art at the Blanton. Walk north up Guadalupe Street for coffee or lunch or people-watching.

- Walk or take the Dillo down to Zilker Park, where you can check out Barton Springs and Umlauf (as mentioned above), also the Botanical Gardens and the hike and bike trails around Town Lake.

Caveat: the Dale Watson show on Friday night is a CD release party, so it's likely to be jam-packed.

The Carolyn Wonderland/George Devore show at the Saxon Pub on Thursday will be a rowdy, fun, classic Austin gig night, but it'll likely also be packed. The pool room in back is usually quieter though.

I would not send you to Antone's or anywhere on 6th or 4th Streets for music. The former will be electric, rock or roadshows, and the latter will be all cover bands.

I looked at the Austin Chronicle's listings for next week and they seem unusually sparse, so I'm thinking check again on Monday or Tues of next week? Venues that sound up your alley are Hole in the Wall, Continental Club, Ego's (NOT Emo's, totally different crowds), Jovita's, the Saxon.

If you are staying through Sunday night, the Resentments at the Saxon Pub is one of the best nights of Austin music a person can ever experience. This is one that the other musicians in town make a point to catch. The show starts at 7:00 and you have to go extra early for a table, but it's well worth it.
posted by pineapple at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you everybody. We arrive late on Wednesday, but stay through Sunday night. So we may check out the Saxon Pub, and the other ideas as well -- except, I am not quite sure Barton Springs (looks cool!) is ready for my pasty Northwest sun-deprived ass.

Anyway, I am really looking forward to my first trip to Texas -- thanks again.
posted by Rumple at 11:30 AM on April 21, 2007

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