Thanks to the Austin outpost of Lockhart legend Black’s BBQ for providing the freebies for this week’s Quarantunes contest! I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be living (and now working) within easy walking distance of this world-class Texas meat purveyor. All about all that goodness HERE.
Governor Greg Abbott announced on Monday that statewide stay-at-home orders will be allowed to expire at the end of the day on Thursday, and that as of Friday May 1, a broadened range of businesses will be allowed to open under certain restrictions and guidelines. In spite of overwhelming disinterest from the public and similar hesitation from most local restauranteurs, a few operators WILL give it a go, and there’s an ongoing list of those HERE. Meanwhile, there’s more nuance to all of this than meets the eye, and it’s almost all bad news for mom and pop restaurant owners across Texas, who were already in dire straits – more on that HERE.
Curiously, in his Monday announcement of all of this, Governor Abbott also seemed to downplay the need for using masks and face coverings in public, in spite of their proven effectiveness in helping prevent the spread of the disease, and thus their clear utility in helping Texans feel more confident about going out and spending money. It’s just the right thing to do – more than just protecting yourself, you’re protecting your fellow Austinites from anything YOU might be carrying. Still wondering whether you should bother to wear one? Learn more HERE.
Regardless of your opinion of this week’s developments, or your personal plans on reacting, it remains true that our local businesses need our support. Most of us have become reliant on online shopping while stuck at home, but now that more retail locations are open for curbside and delivery, it’s time to pause and consider whether that thing you’re about to order from Amazon might be better bought locally. More HERE.
I will admit being a tad miffed that the Dixie Chicks decided to delay the release of their long-awaited new album Gaslighter. I was also bummed that the consolation prize, a great new song called “Julianna Calm Down” which they dropped yesterday, is rife with F-bombs and is thus not appropriate for a family-oriented program such as mine. The debut on Instagram has curiously disappeared, but it’s still up on Spotify as of this writing. If you’re a subscriber, lock the children in a closet and fire it up HERE.
We’ve all been waiting for the moment when any of us, sick or not, could go and get a test for coronavirus – to be sure we’re safe in our homes, to be able to visit our older relatives, just to be free of the uncertainty that has hung over everything for weeks now. And as much as Austinites enjoy complaining about our city becoming too much like Los Angeles, the universal testing dream has apparently arrived for them – a first for any major U.S. city. More HERE.
What fun watching all the love fly around for Willie Nelson on his birthday Wednesday, including a nice gift for all of us – Austin City Limits has made Willie’s 1974 performance on the show available to watch for free! No beard, no pigtails, and I was in kindergarten. Watch HERE.
Waterloo Media co-conspirator John Laird of 101-X wrote a nice piece for CultureMap Austin detailing a variety of shows and fundraisers that our local music venues are trying in order to make it over the hump into the new normal. If you’d like to enjoy live music at the Mohawk, the Hole In The Wall, Barracuda or Antone’s again in the future, find out how to support by clicking HERE.
Similarly, the companies that create and sell the spiffy merch you used to pick up at live music events are having to innovate in order to survive. Nothing like a cool new band shirt on your back to show who’s back you’ve got in hard times. More HERE and on a similar tip, super collectible swag from the SXSW that Never Was (SXSWNW?) is available HERE.
My in-laws live in Fort Worth, and over the last 20 years or so, I’ve really come to love being there for lots of reasons – thus, proud of our friend Leon Bridges, who will conduct a virtual online benefit show tonight (Thursday 4/30) for Southside C.A.R.E.S. in Cowtown, to help the struggling Near Southside neighborhood, an area rich with restaurants, retail and music venues which have been laid low by the pandemic. Starts at 8pm, learn more HERE.
I was reminded to remind you this week that We Are Blood are not taking the pandemic off, nor can they work from home – but donating remains as important as ever, and they’ve gotten very good at handling donations in a super safe manner. A medical emergency is clearly a bad time NOT to give blood, so please do. More HERE.
The Austin City Council, in a pair of moves late last week, freed up $2.5 million to help our sidelined community of local musicians to weather the pandemic, but they’ll need to know how to access that help. More HERE.
Reddit can be a chancy resource to share, but I think one bit on Saturday proved valuable, as a team from Austin Public Health conducted an “Ask Me Anything” session that yielded some interesting and useful information on how the city is handling the coronavirus crisis. Check it out HERE.
While we’re waiting and watching to see what the immediate future holds for outdoor music festivals in the wake of a global pandemic, imagine being permanently stranded inside one! That apparently happened to the attendees of the Tribal Gathering Festival in Panama as the crisis began back in March, and there’s a documentary out on Netflix that details the hilarious and harrowing results. More HERE.
Fans of Texas Longhorns sports may be lamenting the lack of play going on lately, but the UT Athletic Department is anything but short of spirit – they’re firing off an all-day livestream on Friday May 1 titled My Texas Tailgate, which will include a live music portion: Longhorn City Limits “At Home” will start at 6pm Friday evening, including performances from the likes of Hayes Carll, Blackillac, Jack Ingram, Vallejo, Rob Baird, Jackie Venson, the freshly-recovered Ray Benson and a bunch more – looks great. More HERE and Hook ’em.