As citizens of The Live Music Capital of the World, Austinites have a reputation to uphold. We are not only supposed to love music, we are expected to know music. We are to be informed of the ins and outs of Austin’s music scene. But where can one find the “authentic” musical arenas?
Enter Austin Music Map, “a participatory documentary project that explores Austin’s sonic geography, creating portraits of the venues and spaces where musical communities gather.” KUT Austin, Localore and Zeega have teamed up in search of something beyond Austin’s mainstream staple venues and found the vivacious musical margins that our sentimental hearts have hoped still exist.
Their search and findings have resulted in an interactive website that follows counterculture music and musicians to backyards, dive bars, churches, the woods, and in extreme cases — sewer ducts, documenting the places where people make music in a more intimate and casual way.
At the party, guests can preview the to-be-launched website and also get involved in the grassroots project. A photo booth and map station will be on hand for participants to share stories about their favorite Austin music experiences. Stations on site will allow revelers to dig into the communities that have Austin Music Map has already documented.
Just like the website (which will document the underground stories of Austin's musical history), the Austin Music Map launch party will be include an eclectic mix of performers for its inaugural celebration. The party will feature sets from NickNack, Susan Torres & the Squeezebox Mafia, the Minor Mishap Marching Band and White Ghost Shivers.
The project doesn't stop once the site goes live in December, says organizer Delaney Hall (of KUT). "The goal for the next eight months is to refract the Live Music Capital of the World into a patchwork of compelling stories from across the city that reveal something unique about the lived experience of music in Austin.”
If you can venture out to the ND on Saturday night, you'll be one of the first to witness an impressive collection of the hidden musical communities that collectively generate vital Austin tradition. And if not, you can still help shape Austin Music Map by submitting your own Austin music memories.
Austin Music Map's launch party takes place at the ND on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. for $5. The website is expected to debut to the public in early December.