The beginning of January can be a drag. Most of us are broke, detoxing from six weeks of sweets, booze and butter or just staying inside avoiding the cold. Luckily, the folks behind the Red River Cultural District gather together each year to create Austin Free Week. For seven days, Mohawk, Holy Mountain, Red 7 and Beerland host free shows as an incentive for folks to take off the stretch pants, put down the remote and go party.
Running January 2- 11, this year's program boasts lineup runs the gamut from buzzworthy indie darlings as What Made Milwaukee Famous and My Jerusalem to the instrumentals of Jesse Beaman's ethereal My Empty Phantom and the progressive rock of Woodgrain.
With mostly local bands on the roster, Austin Free Week isn't just a gimmick to get folks out of their houses (though that is certainly part of it), it's also a chance to revel in wonderful music created right here at home.
So who else are we looking forward to seeing this year? Make sure to check out rapper Gerald G, whose song "How I Raised" is so good, we're still wondering why it hasn't made him a superstar. Letting Up Despite Great Faults creates dreamy sounds that Pitchfork refers to as "shoegaze-y indie pop." Local rock outfit Ghetto Ghouls remind us of being 17, full of angst and willing to wait for hours in a sweaty VFW hall to hear a punk rock band. And Burning Avalanche plays the rough-edged, southern-inspired rock that Kings of Leon probably once aspired to create before deciding to cut their hair off and start playing pop music.
Also playing during free week are Not in the Face, The Baker Family, Fever Bones, Sour Bridges, The Bee Caves, Summer Swells, Burnt Skull, Obscured by Echoes, RF Shannon, Air Traffic Controllers, Neon Cobra and dozens more.
For the full list, please visit the Austin Free Week website. Check back for the nightly schedule.