January 1, 2016 marks the start of a busy time for live music in Austin. Here are your best bets for Free Week and the new year!
Friday, January 1st
Running from January 1’st to the 10th, promotion and talent company Transmission Events will be putting on Free Week, an event where plenty of shows around Austin are completely free to the public. Starting over a decade ago as a way to bring music fans into venues during a week that is traditionally slower for booking bands, the two week event has become part of the culture of our city. You can find plenty of bands to go see over the coming days who are listed on Austin.com’s event calendar, as well as checking out a few of our picks for Free Week below.
Bamako Airlines is one of Austin’s most popular bands and for good reason. The band plays an addicting version of Afro pop, with front woman Meera Chandy taking the genre to an entirely new level as she has mastered the trills and pentatonic scales of the style with an ease that pulls us into the music. After watching their performance at Central Market where they performed the song “Visa Vie” you will want to head to The Sarhara Lounge this weekend to see the group perform while dancing until the club closes.
Saturday, January 2nd
LoWin is a local band that plays gorgeous indie pop in the vein of Canadian group Purity Ring, and after listing to the band perform their song “Best Laid Plans” in their rehearsal space in East Austin, LoWin is certainly not a group to miss, as they will be playing in the small confines of The Belmont, the perfect setting to hear the group’s enveloping music.
Known for its African flavor, The Sahara Lounge has put on some great acts over the years and one of them happens to be Austin band Huerta Culture, an act that brings together instruments used in a traditional rock band alongside sizzling flavors from other more non-traditional instruments, making the groups music one of a kind. After watching a previous performance at now defunct music club Momo’s below, you will want to attend this show as a good time will be had by all.
Ramsay Midwood, one of Austin’s favorite musicians, will be bringing his brand of honest and personal country music to Austin Beer Garden and Brewery as we ring in the New Year. While he would do just fine as a solo performer, once his band kicks in during his songs, everything becomes a magical and unforgettable experience that you will want to see for yourself.
With a name like theirs, you would think that The Bitchin’ Baja’s flat out rock, but actually they are quite the opposite, though they still put out fantastic tunes. On tracks such as “Bueu”, the band play a very trancelike style of music that takes influences from smooth jazz, which sounds different than what we usually hear around Austin. While their songs can be a bit on the long side (the track mentioned above goes slightly over twelve minutes), the band will be a treat to see, particularly if you are looking for something a little more calming to watch this weekend.
Bluegrass act Sour Bridges will be hitting the stage at Spider House this weekend to perform their catchy songs that bring the house down. While Austin has a few bluegrass bands, Sour Bridges is the next group in town that has the potential to hit it big, alongside their peers MilkDrive and Wood & Wire. It’s clear after listening, that Austin needs more of Sour Bridges and their chosen genre within its limits, so we suggest you run down to catch the Sour Bridges perform at one of Austin’s hippest spots.
Sunday, January 3rd
Moonlight Towers is a local act that rocks, and does it hard. Sounding similar to Jamestown Massacre, the band is simple in its delivery, while also performing songs that are memorable. Demonstrating this on “Come Back To Tara”, the song has the potential to become a popular track with their fans during live shows and for anyone else just discovering them.
Austin stoner band Greenbeard will be hitting up Hotel Vegas this weekend to take part in Free Week. Sounding dirty, muddy, and slightly dangerous Greenbeard is an act that 90’s rock fans will enjoy for their fuzzy and simplistic approach to music, which after listening to a few of their tracks, we guarantee that listening to the band will become a chronic occurrence.
Energy is what local punk rock band Rebel Flesh are all about and the Spider House is the perfect space to the showcase the group’s rowdy punk tunes, while throwing in a bit of flashiness that we hear in traditional rock bands. Immensely talented and lively, Rebel Flesh is a group that will certainly draw a crowd wherever they perform.
If you would like to read more of Lauren Gribble’s features, you can head to her website Listen Here Reviews.