The best places in Austin to take out-of-towners for live music and good drinks
You can only spend so much time stuck in the house surrounded by mountains of food and hordes of visiting family during the holiday. If you're hosting family and friends in Austin this weekend, you'll need to entertain your guests with more than just leftovers.
Luckily Austin is full of live music, great bars and good food that will impress your favorite relative or friend. Let CultureMap take some of the stress of holiday planning off your plate with these quintessential Austin evenings for everyone from your uber-hip friend to your rock 'n' roll-obsessed brother.
For the hip friend that wants to "get to know the real Austin"
We all have that friend, you know, the one who insists on having an authentic experience every time they visit. On Friday, take them to see Grape St, The Dead Space and Polio Club for free at The Blackheart courtesy of Side One Track One, a local music and film blog that's been recommending good bands and tunes since 2006. You'll already be on Rainey Street, so eat at G'raj Mahal and then head over to Clive Bar for a drink before the show.
For the uncle that exclusively drinks longnecks
If your uncle is a boots-only kind of guy, then you're in luck. Texas country classic Gary P. Nunn is taking over the Broken Spoke on Friday. First, head to Horseshoe Lounge for a couple of beers before the music starts. Then, treat him to a famous chicken fried steak at the Broken Spoke during opening act Ben Rodgers. Your uncle will be boot-scooting on the dance floor in no time.
For the mom that likes to get down — a little bit
Some moms like to party. But if she's not a native Austinite, you might not want to take her too far down the rabbit hole. Good thing Alejandro Escovedo is performing at The Continental Club on Friday. Your mom might be a little worried about her Thanksgiving caloric intake, so this is the perfect opportunity to burn off some turkey by getting her groove on. And since Mom's buying, taker her to Perla's beforehand and see if you can talk her into an oyster shooter.
For the younger sis who includes emojis in every text message
The Justin Timberlake Sing-along at Alamo Drafthouse on Friday is the perfect outing for your visiting pop music diva. This technically isn't live music, but it makes the cut because it might be the only way you can get your sister off her cell phone during the holidays. Sorry, sis, JT won't actually be here in there flesh. But an Action Pack DJ will be spinning his greatest hits, so it's the second best thing. Since you're already at Alamo, munch on movie-themed pizzas and fried apps.
For the fun-loving grandma
It's time to pay Grandma back for all those times she fed you cookies while your mom wasn't looking. The Braun family — including members of Reckless Kelly and Micky and the Motorcars — make it a family affair at ACL Live on Friday. This show promises to have a great Texas vibe that Grandma will enjoy — especially if you take her to get some margaritas at La Condesa beforehand.
For the dad who grew up in the '60s
Ask your dad if he remembers American Beauty — the album, not the movie. If he does, then take him to see DeadEye at The Parish on Friday. This local Grateful Dead tribute band will be performing the famous psych-rock band's sixth album in its entirety. Before you get your brains melted, introduce your pops to Casino El Camino for an incredible burger or wings.
For the rock 'n' roll obsessed brother who just turned 21
If you still haven't taken your rebellious brother out since his 21st birthday, now's the chance. Tia Carrera, a jam band that describes itself as "sex rock," will be shredding at Swan Dive with Woodgrain, Party Wizard and Boss Battle on Saturday. The cover is only five bucks, which is wonderful news if your bro drinks like a fish and expects you to pay for everything. Before the show, take him to Valhalla for some reasonably priced libations and point out the sweet albums decorating the walls.
For the conservative country cousin
Show your cousin how the city folks do folk music with a show from East Cameron Folkcore on Saturday. This local country-punk-rock-orchestral group is performing at Hole in the Wall with Ben Ballinger, Devin James Fry (of Salesman) and Carson McHone. Swing by the Love Goat before you go because of the drink specials ... and because of the name.
For the single aunt with a thing for musicians
Treat your aunt to a girls' night out for the holidays. Splurge on some cocktails and dishes at TRACE before you head over to ACL Live for a stacked lineup featuring local heartthrob Bob Schneider and his Moonlight Orchestra. Max Frost, Tameca Jones and Erin Ivey will be joining Schneider during this Austin music showcase on Saturday. She's sure to swoon over these local greats.