8 must-see December concerts, getting festive with Molly Burch, and more Austin music notes
First of all, congratulations to Black Pumas, who just recently landed a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. We knew they were something special when we chatted with the band back in August, so make sure to check out that Q&A to learn more about their meteoric rise.
It may be the end of the year, but Austin’s music scene is hardly winding down. Among this month's highlights is the 5th Annual Austin Music Video Fest, which runs December 10-14, and lots of bands have video and single release parties lined up in celebration. And, of course, there’s New Year’s Eve parties to plan for.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, 'tis the season, and Austin's own Molly Burch just put out The Molly Burch Christmas Album, and is celebrating with a special show at Scholz Garten on Friday, December 13. We chatted with Burch on why she's always wanted to make a Christmas album and what to expect at her special Scholz's show.
What was the inspiration for the Christmas album? Have you always wanted to do one?
I have always wanted to make a Christmas album! I think it’s a very classic thing for a vocalist to do. I love that we decided to make one as my third album. It felt bold and incredibly fun.
Did you immediately know what songs you wanted to cover?
It took me about two months to decide on my track list. I did a lot of research and listening. I wanted to get the perfect balance of deep cuts and songs many people know and love.
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
I think my favorite is “The Secret of Christmas.” It opens the album and it’s just my voice and harp [played by Austin’s Elaine Barber]. I fell in love with the song after I heard Ella Fitzgerald’s version.
The album isn’t entirely made up of covers, there’s a couple of originals. Talk about those.
I wrote two original holiday songs for the album. I wanted them to sound like me and my style but have a festive twist. It was definitely intimidating, but now I feel more prepared for my next Christmas album!
What do you have in store for the Christmas show at Scholz Garten on December 13?
Our Christmas shows are going to be so fun — so people better plan accordingly! We’ll be playing the entire album as well as some of my original non-Christmas songs. Jesse Woods will be there to sing a duet with me. There will be hot drink specials, a volunteer at the merch table registering voters, and a photo booth situation. I can’t wait!
And more December highlights:
Megafauna — December 12 at Hotel Vegas
On Thursday, December 12, at Hotel Vegas, hard rockers Megafauna are set to release a video for their song “Fluorescent Super Moment" off of the band’s latest album, Ghost Coast. The “psychedelic animated” video was directed by Ben Clarkson, who has worked with artists like No Joy, Cakes de Killa, and lots more. Slomo Drags and Pocket Sounds will open the show.
Howdy Gals 2nd Anniversary Party — December 14 at Cheer Up Charlies
Howdy Gals, an all-female booking and promotions group, will be celebrating their second anniversary on Saturday, December 14, at Cheer Up Charlies. They’ve assembled a large, diverse lineup that includes Being Dead, Fanclub, Super Thief, TC Superstar, Borzoi, Blood, Dezorah, Sasha And The Valentines, and Manifest Destiny’s Child.
Emme — December 19 at Cheer Up Charlies
The dream-pop duo known as Emme put out their debut album, Superfluid, on December 6. The release show, however, isn’t until Thursday, December 19, also at Cheer Up Charlies. Be sure to use the extra time to pore over the LP. As for the rest of the bill, it’s rounded out by Lolita Lynne, Housewarming, and Ellis Redon.
A. Sinclair— December 20 at Mohawk
Catpaws, the latest album from A. Sinclair, just came out back in February, but the band has already put together a follow-up single called “Weeds.” The release show for it will be on Friday, December 20, on the inside stage at the Mohawk. Joining one of Austin’s most underrated rock acts will be Will Courtney & The Wild Bunch and Mountain Time.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears — December 28 at Scoot Inn
If you’re busy on New Year’s Eve, but would still like to get in one last big local show here in 2019, then you should aim to catch blues/soul rockers Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears at the Scoot Inn on Saturday, December 28. The always great (and psych-enthused) Annabelle Chairlegs will kick things off that night. Tickets are $18.
Ghostland Observatory — December 31 at ACL Live
One of the bigger New Year’s Eve shows will be going down at ACL Live with Ghostland Observatory and Golden Dawn Arkestra. This will be an all-out party with two of Austin’s most fun live acts, so if you want to enter 2020 riding a wave of elation, this affair is definitely the one for you. Tickets range from $59-69.
NYE 1959! In Dreams — December 31 at Hotel Vegas
Head to Hotel Vegas and The Volstead if you’re looking to indulge in some classic tunes on New Year’s Eve. The party is called “NYE 1959! In Dreams” and it will feature the music of Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and lots more performed by the likes of Moving Panoramas, Amplified Heat, The Stacks, Roky Moon and others. Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 the day of the show.
A Night On Fire — December 31 at Antone’s
To help you ring in the new year, Antone’s will be hosting “A Night On Fire.” The big-voiced Tameca Jones will headline the evening, and Magna Carda, Sam Houston, and Jay Wile will open the show. Tickets are $45, with VIP packages available for $100.