Austin Free Week

These are the shows you just can't miss during Austin Free Week 2017

These are the shows you just can't miss during Austin Free Week 2017

A Giant Dog SXSW Austin
Austin Free Week is here. Photo by Daniel Cavazos

Editor's note: John Laird, host of radio show "Homegrown" on 101X  and editor of the music blog Side One Track One, shares his recommendations for Free Week.

I love Free Week. It’s not only a great way to check out all kinds of local acts, it’s also a good opportunity to provide some monetary support to venues during the slow period between the holidays and SXSW. Get out there.

On Tuesday, January 3, local super photographer Pooneh Ghana is having a birthday bash at Barracuda, and she (in coordination with Do512) has arranged a stellar lineup for it. A Giant Dog, whose 2016 release, Pile, is a fine slice of punk, are set to headline a bill that also features Annabelle Chairlegs, Batty Jr, Sounds Del Mar, and Party Wizard.

Nine-piece rock outfit Sweet Spirit will be taking over Barracuda on Wednesday, January 4. Let them energize you with their infectious anthems. Moving Panoramas and Crocodile Tears are set to open.

Full disclosure, I booked this blowout of a show via my two outlets, Side One Track One and 101X "Homegrown." It features 11 rad and varied bands — My Jerusalem, Fort Never, Think No Think, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Migrant Kids, The Wild Now, Booher, Upper Deck Pets, The Dizzease, Lola Tried, and Solid State Dream Suit — and it’s going to be a great time. See you Thursday, January 5, at Swan Dive.

Penny Loafer PR and Heard Presents have put together a fantastic bill for their show on Friday, January 6, at Empire Control Room & Garage. It features The Digital Wild, Sphnyx, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Calliope Musicals, Darkbird, The Midnight Stroll, A. Sinclair, Otis The Destroyer, Chill Russell, MCG, and FriendsWithBenefits. It’s highly advised that you show up early for this one and then stay until the staff kicks you out.

There’s a big one happening at the The Mohawk on Saturday, January 7. It features two stages with some of Austin’s finest. Outside you’ll find Walker Lukens, Los Coast, Moving Panoramas, and Tinnarose, all of which are accessible, pop-leaning acts who had great years. On the inside stage there’s another set of artists that have been killing it as of late: Quiet Company, Mama K & The Shades, A. Sinclair, Elijah Ford, and Carson McHone. Don’t miss this one.

Getting some sleep on the last night of Free Week would probably be a good idea, but if you’d rather rock, go to Cheer Up Charlies on Sunday, January 8, for My Education, Residual Kid, ST 37, Evil Triplet, Megafauna, Think No Think, BLXPLTN, and Honey and Salt. It’s going to be a loud one, so bring your earplugs.

Here are some bonus shows for the following week, in case you find yourself hankering for more freebies:

On Wednesday, January 11, Barracuda is hosting a show with Dream Home, Growl, The Midgetmen, Chancellor, and Plastique. This one should be sloppy and fun.

Black Books have been fairly quiet for a bit, but they’re set to ramp things up in 2017 with a new record. Be sure to catch them at Empire Control Room & Garage on Thursday, January 12. On the support front, you’ll get two rock acts that put out great albums in 2016 — Megafauna and Residual Kid — plus Zettajoule, Hours Quiet, Count Nebula, and lots more.

Riverboat Gamblers are always a rollicking good time live, so any opportunity to see them for free should be taken without hesitation. The show is at Barracuda on Friday, January 13, with Eastside Suicides and Dream Machines opening.

If you’re looking for a good way to blow your ears out, be sure to head to Barracuda on Saturday, January 14, as there’s a cornucopia of rock 'n' roll set to happen with Scorpion Child, Eagle Claw, OMGWTFBBQ, Megafauna, and Suckling. Such rad raucousness is the proper way to wrap Free Week.