Photo by Ismael Quintanilla III

Another day, another festival in Austin, and that's what fine-tunes our mental health as locals. The Sims Foundation (stylized SIMS Foundation), a local nonprofit for better mental health in the local music industry, understands this delicate balance, offering up the inaugural, aptly named Feel Good Music Festival on May 27 and 28.

Two days of music will hit the Far Out Lounge this Memorial Day Weekend, along with a market, drinks, and food trucks Los Danzantes and Press Kitchen. All of this benefits the foundation, at least in part thanks to vendor donations, and marks Mental Health Awareness Month. This is not the nonprofit's only special effort this month, but it looks poised to be one of the cornerstone events for the season as music events start picking up, but aren't in full swing yet.

This is an affordable alternative, too, to the massive festivals and the crushing crowds of some free festivals that draw in passersby. Single days are priced at $25 in advance and $30 at the door; Two-day passes only cost $40.

It wouldn't be a Sims Foundation event without the local bands. The first day shows off world electronic band Easy Compadre!; current SXSW Artist to Watch according to NPR, Caramelo Haze; popular hard rock band Megafauna; and Latin-psych and Cumbia supergroup Money Chicha.

The new festival folds in an existing occasion on Sunday: "Bob vs Bob by Graham's Give Back." Musicians Graham Wilkinson and Graham Weber have organized two previous cover series in which artists put their own spin on songs by Bob Dylan and Bob Marley, and are returning for their third, including their own covers.

Even though musicians mostly enter "Bob vs Bob" on a solo basis, they will receive support from the festival's "house band," so to speak: Jeff Botta, Joe Beckham, Willie Webster, Trevor Nealon, and Graham Wilkinson.

The following musicians will play in "Bob vs Bob":

  • Cory Reinisch (Harvest Thieves)
  • Ali Holder
  • Courtney Santana
  • Kelley Mickwee
  • Joe Faulhaber
  • Chris Baker
  • Sarah Dossey
  • Jordan Young
  • Evan Charles
  • Jenny Reynolds
  • Kalu James
  • Scott Collins
  • Patrice Pike
  • Suzanna Choffel
  • The Reverent Few
  • Scott Strickl and Tony Kamel (Wood & Wire)
  • Graham Wilkinson
  • Graham Weber

Tickets are available now at tickettailor.com. This event at the Far Out Lounge (8504 South Congress Ave.) runs from 6 pm to midnight on May 27, and noon to 4 pm on May 28.

Caramelo Haze Austin

Photo by Ismael Quintanilla III

Caramelo Haze is one of the four featured bands playing Feel Good Music Festival.

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Space-inspired screenings invade Austin Film Society ahead of Wes Anderson's upcoming release

Asteroid City

Yes, Wes Anderson was born in Houston, but we like to claim the UT graduate as our own here in Austin. With his latest film Asteroid City set for release in just a matter of weeks, the anticipation is high. Thankfully, Austin Film Society (AFS) is helping locals get ready.

On June 9 and 10, AFS will screen a series of three films the Texas director cites as influences on his new project. The series is free and will culminate with a special sneak preview of Asteroid City on June 10 at AFS Cinema.

Set in a fictional American desert town circa 1955, the film follows the itinerary of a Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention. Organized to bring together students and parents from across the country for fellowship and scholarly competition, the convention is spectacularly disrupted by world-changing events.

In true Wes Anderson form, the large ensemble cast features both previous collaborators (Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Adrien Brody, among others) and newcomers in the Anderson universe such as Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jeffrey Wright, Maya Hawke, and more. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May to rave reviews.

The trio of AFS screenings leading up to the sneak peek will include On The Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan, on Friday, June 9, at 5 pm, followed by Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind at 9 pm. The series continues on Saturday, June 10, with John Huston's The Misfits at 5 pm before the Asteroid City preview screening at 8:30 pm.

A new book about the mid-century cinematic influences on Asteroid City will also be available for purchase throughout the weekend series. Edited by Jake Perlin and published by Pushkin Press, Do Not Detonate Without Presidential Approval focuses features essays, photography, and a new conversation between Perlin and Wes Anderson.

This series of films is free, and tickets will be available to the public on Tuesday, May 30. To reserve tickets to these events, click here or visit austinfilm.org.

Lil Yachty, Jenny Lewis, and more join summer schedule for ACL tapings

Summer Sounds

Summer at Austin City Limits isn't just about the festival. The music is flowing in at the Moody Theater, where four diverse new acts will be taped for the world's ongoing enjoyment, even if Austin is too far to visit.

The taping schedule for Season 49 already includes Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Tanya Tucker, and Jorge Drexler, but more is coming. The more recent announcement brings in rapper Lil Yachty, singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis, jazz duo Domi and J.D. Beck (stylized DOMi & JD Beck), and Mexican acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. The latter duo will be accompanied by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, to mark the guitarists' first appearance in a decade.

Lil Yachty beckons to the mainstream youth of 2023, having built a career on recognizable red braids and an absurdist sense of humor in his melodic flows. Still only 25, he is gaining acclaim through his creative approach. Domi and J.D. Beck take an equally, if not even more wacky approach, combining their jazz sensibility with high-profile artist features like Snoop Dogg and Mac DeMarco.

Jenny Lewis and Rodrigo y Gabriela are the more long-established acts — Lewis, a former child actor, known for her honest lyrics and campy style, and the guitar duo known for blending disparate styles like nuevo flamenco and heavy metal. Their appearance with the Austin Symphony will expand the instrumentation of their latest release, In Between Thoughts…A New World.

Austinites can see the live performances if they win passes through KLRU, the PBS station that airs Austin City Limits. Tapings will later be available on KLRU and YouTube.

  • June 28 — Lil Yachty
  • July 7 — Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • July 8 — DOMi & JD Beck
  • July 26 — Jenny Lewis

City of Austin offers bonuses to meet lifeguard staffing shortage

Just keep swimming

It's that time of the year again! Pools are getting busier on the weekends, and that means the demand for lifeguards is on the rise. Right now, the City of Austin is offering pay bonuses to help fill its shortage.

The City currently operates 45 public aquatic facilities, including Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool, as well as 22 neighborhood pools and 11 splash pads.

In an effort to fill over 500 lifeguard positions at pools and summer camps, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has changed its bonus structure. The new structure is tied to the number of hours worked.

To receive the bonuses, an employee must earn a minimum of $20 an hour work between May 21 and August 12 to be eligible for any bonus payouts. For example, lifeguards will receive a $250 bonus for 200 hours of work, and 300 and 400 hours of work will add another $250 bonus.


Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.