The Paramount Theatre presents Holiday Swingin'! A Kat Edmonson Christmas
Kat Edmonson is an award-winning songwriter and singer who will perform swingin' Yule-tide favorites such as "Jingle Bell Rock," "O Christmas Tree," and "Let It Snow" as part of her festive show.
Cap City Comedy Club presents Jason Banks
Jason Banks is a stand-up comedian whose unique and refreshing style of comedy has helped him emerge as one of the top rising talents on the comedy scene. He has been featured on Tru TV’s Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks, Sirius Satellite Radio, and Kevin Hart’s LOL Network. In addition, Jason is a member of Comedians on South High, a podcast recorded out of Columbus, Ohio with fellow comedians Bobbie Dodds, Kenny Mock, and Jared Blinsky.
Bill Burr (Slight Return)
A Grammy-nominated comedian, Bill Burr is one of the top comedic voices of his generation achieving success in TV and film as well as on stage. Burr sells out venues internationally and his Monday Morning Podcast is one of the most downloaded comedy podcasts.
Burr’s animated Netflix series, F Is For Family, premiered its fifth and final season in 2021. He also premiered the Roku series, Bill Burr Presents: Immoral Compass.
58th Annual Austin Trail of Lights
The 58th Annual Austin Trail of Lights, powered by H-E-B, will return to its traditional, in-person format. The longest-running holiday tradition of its kind in Austin welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests from Central Texas and around the world each year for its jubilant displays of lights.
The trail now features more than 2 million lights illuminating the park, 90 lighted holiday trees, and more than 70 other holiday displays and lighted tunnels.
Visitors seeking a first-look at the most beloved, and longest running holiday tradition of its kind in Texas’ capital city, can attend the 9th Annual Night Lights Preview Party on December 2 presented by Broadway Bank, or participate in the 11th annual Austin Trail of Lights Fun Run on December 3, presented by Chuy’s.
Penfold Theatre Company presents A Christmas Carol Classic Radiocast
Penfold Theatre Company presents A Christmas Carol Classic Radiocast, the cherished masterpiece brought to life with live foley sound effects and an all-woman company of actors voicing Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, the Spirits, and dozens of others. Together, they will tell the stirring story of an ice-hearted miser who is given a last shot at redemption one miraculous night.
The performances from December 8-17 will be at Old Settler’s Association of Williamson County in Round Rock, and the performances on December 22 and 23 will be at Driskill Hotel in Austin.
CultureMap Emails are Awesome
Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From employers to non-hierarchical art, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.
1. Google soars to No. 3 in prestigious list of Forbes' best employers in Texas. Austin continues to hosts the best of the best employers in Texas, as Google and Apple move into coveted spots on Forbes' list.
2. Country icon Willie Nelson returns to traditional 'hillbilly' inspiration in new album. Nelson's new LP, Bluegrass, is his first album-length tribute to the traditional country genre.
3. Austin art collectives bring work made by 1,000 local hands to Burning Man. 500 Austinites helped dye and tie scraps of fabric in a flowing mosaic that became an unmissable part of the Playa.
4. More closed home sales in Austin show growing homebuyer confidence. The latest data showed the first increase in closed home sales year-over-year since February 2022.
5. Famous Austin furniture store Louis Shanks shutters last remaining locations. The furniture retailer first opened in 1945, and had been operated by the Shanks family for four generations.
We're almost there. Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL Fest) is poised to take over Zilker Park across two weekends – October 6-8 and October 13-15 – and while Austinites surely have a running list of all the bigger touring acts that they want to see, they may not be aware of the many great locals on the lineup.
So, here’s a rundown of the 22 Austin-based artists that will be playing during either weekend. Take a look, make some notes, and go show some support! Don't forget to hydrate and get a snack between sets, too!
Asleep At The Wheel (W1)
Kick off weekend one of ACL with a fest tradition: a set from country legends Asleep At TheWheel, who have performed at just about every ACL since the festival’s inception in 2002. They’ll play on Friday, October 6, at 12:55 pm on the Honda Stage.
Die Spitz (W1)
With a raucous live show and their well-received 2023 EP, Teeth, Die Spitz have been one of the most buzzed-about bands out of Austin this year. You can catch the upstart rockers on Saturday, October 7, at 11:45 am on the Tito’s Stage.
Pop and R&B fans will find a lot to like when it comes to Arya, an up-and-coming songstress who now calls Austin home after having grown up in Serbia. Her set will take place on Saturday, October 7, at 11:45 am on the T-Mobile Stage.
Fronted by Marlon Sexton (the son of guitarist Charlie Sexton), Shooks will be taking the stage at ACL for the second time since 2021. The band’s versatile indie rock sound can be experienced on Saturday, October 7, at 12:45 pm on the Tito’s Stage.
Calder Allen (W1&2)
Since last year’s release of his debut album, The Game, singer-songwriter Calder Allen has been on a steady ascent through the ranks of local acts. You can see him at both weekends of the fest – for each one he’ll play on Saturday (October 7 & 14) at 2:45 pm on the Tito’s Stage.
Ben Kweller (W1&2)
Celebrated indie rocker Ben Kweller has spent a good bit of the summer on the road with Ed Sheeran, and that will roll into appearances at both weekends of ACL. Look for him on each Saturday (October 7 & 14) at 3 pm on the Miller Lite Stage.
Ellis Bullard (W1)
Get a “true-blue honky tonk” experience via Ellis Bullard, who will be making his ACL debut justas he’s gearing up to release a new album, Honky Tonk Ain’t Noise Pollution!. You can see himon Sunday, October 8, at noon on the Barton Springs Stage.
Wesley Bray And The Disciples of Christ (W1)
Take a break from the noise of ACL and enjoy a spiritual moment with Stubb’s Gospel Brunch regulars Wesley Bray And The Disciples of Christ. They can be experienced on – of course – Sunday, October 8, at noon on the Tito’s stage.
Jane Leo (W1)
Centered around Jane Ellen Bryant and Daniel Leopold (of Leopold And His Fiction), Jane Leo are responsible for some of the catchiest alt-pop tunes you’ll find in Austin these days. Their ACL set is on Sunday, October 8, at 1 pm, on the Tito’s Stage.
Grace Sorensen (W1)
R&B/neo-soul artist Grace Sorenson has previously been a part of ACL as support for other acts, but she’ll make her full debut at the festival during Weekend One. Her performance will happen on Sunday, October 8, at 1:30 pm on the BMI Stage.
Jimmie Vaughan (W2)
Weekend two of ACL will get underway with a performance from guitar afficionado Jimmie Vaughn. Don’t miss his blues-filled performance on Friday, October 13, at 12:55 pm on the Honda Stage.
Just after wrapping a supporting run with the popular Japanese band CHAI, Font will play their first ever ACL Fest. The post-punk act puts on a dynamic show and shouldn’t be missed on Friday, October 13, at 12:55 pm on the American Express Stage.
Huston-Tillotson University Jazz Collective (W2)
If the Huston-Tillotson University Jazz Collective isn’t on your radar, they should be, as they will be putting out some of the smoothest sounds you’ll find at the fest this year. Catch the urban contemporary jazz ensemble’s set on Friday, October 13, at 1:15 pm on the Tito’s Stage.
We Don’t Ride Llamas (W2)
From a love of the game Rock Band as kids to playing ACL, it’s been a heck of a ride so far for the four siblings behind We Don’t Ride Llamas. If you like bands that offer a little bit of everything sound-wise, then don’t miss their set on Friday, October 13, at 1:40 pm on the Miller Lite Stage.
Nemegata will be heading into ACL hot on the heels of their sophomore album, Voces, which the band describes as a “transcendent Afro-Indigenous Colombian odyssey.” You can see them on Saturday, October 14, at noon on the Barton Springs Stage.
Rattlesnake Milk (W2)
Country, punk, rock — Rattlesnake Milk is every bit of that and very much worthy of a slot on your “bands to see” list. Their set will go down on Saturday, October 14, at 1:15 pm on the BMI Stage.
Just a week before she takes the stage at ACL, hip hop vet Blakchyl will release an anticipated album titled Better Than I Imagined. Hear tracks from it and more on Saturday, October 14, at11:45 am on the Tito’s Stage.
The Moriah Sisters (W2)
If you miss out on Wesley Bray And The Disciples of Christ during weekend one of ACL, you can still get your gospel fix in the next go-round with The Moriah Sisters. Their performance will take place on Sunday, October 15, at noon on the Tito’s Stage.
Kathryn Legendre (W2)
With “Cigarettes,” her brand new single in tow, “singer-songwriter, honky-tonker, and Hill Country gem” Kathryn Legendre will make her ACL debut. You can see her sure-to-be-charming set on Sunday, October 15, at noon on the Baron Springs Stage.
After years in Torino Black, Sisi has begun rolling out solo tunes, including a recent one titled “Lyin’ Cheat.” You can check out the singer-songwriter on Sunday, October 15, at 1 pm on the Tito’s Stage.
The oft-buzzed-about rapper Quin NFN will swing into ACL Fest more than ready to show why he’s racked up of millions of streams and a dedicated following. Be sure to catch the spectacle on Sunday, October 15, at 2 pm on the Tito’s Stage.
Caramelo Haze (W2)
Beto Martínez & John Speice (Grupo Fantasma), Alex Chavez (Dos Santos), and Victor "El Guámbito" Cruz (Nemegata) are the minds behind the “electro neo-sōl odyssey” known as Carmelo Haze. They’ll be playing on Sunday, October 15, at 2 pm on the Tito’s Stage.
Austin and the village of Bacalar in Southeastern Mexico share a similar ethos — that life revolves around the lake. Overlooking Town Lake, the new upscale Mexican restaurant Bacalar brings the tastes of one famous lake to another, with chef Gabe Erales at the helm.
The restaurant has opened at 44 East Ave. #100, after years of preparation and following controversy surrounding the chef's departure from his last role, at Comedor. A walk-up taco window called Tómalo Taquería is planned for the fall.
Food & Drink
Bacalar is all about duality, from the two lakes that inspired and accompany the food to an especially close collaboration between the chef and real estate and design firm Urbanspace on the interiors.
The menu features globally influenced dishes from the Yucatan region, including Castacan Tacos with pork belly; Squash & Chaya Tamal; and a chef's daily steak cut.
The menu balances on the concept of "comida milpera," or food system interdependence between farmers, suppliers, and chefs, according to the restaurant.
Erales explains, "'La milpa' is a twofold, parallel concept — the 'milpa' being essentially a pre-Hispanic farming system, where you planted complementary vegetables and fruit next to each other, and the byproduct of one is the input of another. [It] allowed people throughout Mexico to have a very flourished farming system with not a lot of water or rich soil. But in parallel to that, it was also thought of as a socio-cultural relationship system."
The restaurant hopes to embody that spirit on the menu, which places special emphasis on food and drink pairings. (Surely executive pastry chef Natalie Gazaui also has something up her sleeve, although the desserts were not explained in detail.)
Bar manager Dragan Milivojevic says he designed the cocktail menu to "follow the kitchen," and Erales points out that some hard-to-find flavors from the Yucatán Peninsula go great in drinks — for instance, cooking pastes called "recados." One of Milivojevic's special flavors comes in the form of a house-made Orgeat syrup derived from mamey sapote, a tropical fruit that many say tastes like sweet potato or pumpkin.
One specific restaurant-bar pairing complements fried octopus aguachile with a corn-infused agave spirit martini. In this pairing, the martini stands in for the more common choice of a corn chip. This also creates another outlet for corn use, as Bacalar purchases surplus grains not grown commercially, in order to support the communities keeping those heirloom varieties alive.
Bacalar also plans to offer weekly pairings of different mezcals with dishes from the kitchen. Milivojevic hopes that the bar will one day have the biggest mezcal program in Texas, and will introduce new people to the spirit.
Bacalar's interior design also aims for a careful balance that is neither too rustic nor too modern.
The team at Urbansapce — which manages famous buildings like The Independent, Seaholm Residences, and Brazos Lofts — points out the importance of the ground-floor location for the restaurant, and aligns itself with a longterm push to make downtown a residential destination as well as a business hub.
Urbanspace principal and interior designer for Bacalar, Merrill Alley, who introduced CEO Kevin Burns to Erales for the collaboration, says the team hopes the restaurant will be an amenity for people living in the residential spaces above at 44 East Ave (both the building's name and address).
Bacalar has been a long time coming for the chef-owner. Erales, who won Top Chef in July 2021, saw his celebration cut short by a very public break with Comedor. His official statement from July of 2021 summarized the situation as follows:
"I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Top Chef; however, I must continue to acknowledge my mistakes including the termination from my former job. To clarify, unbeknownst to my wife, I had a consensual relationship with a co-worker and later reduced her work hours, which in combination was a poor judgment call and led to my termination after I filmed Top Chef. ... My personal growth will be a perpetual apology in seeking forgiveness."
A statement by chef Philip Speer, who still helms Comdedor, echoes the story with the addition that the termination came from “repeated violations of our policies and for behavior in conflict with our values.”
Erales had announced his plans for Bacalar after departing Comedor, but before his Top Chef win, which brought major attention to past events.
He declined to comment further for CultureMap.
Bacalar is now open 5-10 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 5-11 pm Thursday-Saturday, and weekend brunch is coming soon, according to the website.