Austin Insider’s Guide
Tribeza Talk March 2018
An Insider’s Guide to What’s Buzzing Around Austin
by Nicole Beckley
As SXSW has branched out over the past few years with EDU, focused on education, and Gaming, focused on the gaming landscape from tabletop to e-sports, in 2018 the organization tackles a new space: wellness. The inaugural SXSW Wellness Expo aims to present goods and services for body and mind and host health-oriented workshops, speakers, and fitness classes. Visit the expo at the Palmer Events Center March 10 and 11.
As a member of The Bright Light Social Hour, Curtis Roush has played energetic psych-rock in Austin for more than a decade. But to create his debut solo album, “Cosmic Campfire Music,” released February 9, Roush wanted to take a different approach. Drawing on the desert landscape of Marfa, Roush wrote an album of songs with a softer shoegaze feel. “All the songs are deeply personal in their themes,” Roush says. “It’s dealing with standard song stuff like breakups and finding new love, and I was dealing with the loss of The Bright Light Social Hour’s manager and [bandmate] Jack [O’Brien]’s brother Alex, who passed away a couple years ago.”
The result is an album that’s personal lyrically, as well as musically, as Roush played every instrument on the record. “I’d always had ideas in the back of my head, like, What if the drums were a little more like a ’70s studio drummer? So having a solo record gave me an opportunity to run wild with all that.” Photograph by Matt Lief Anderson
Since the 1970s, Gary P. Nunn has been a staple of the Austin music scene, and he’s got the stories to prove it. Released in January, the 72-year-old’s memoir, “At Home With the Armadillo,” chronicles life and shows on the road over the past few decades.
An integral part of the early independent music scene in Texas, Nunn’s “London Homesick Blues” song long served as the theme to “Austin City Limits.” He hasn’t slowed down since. His song “The Last Thing I Needed, the First Thing this Morning” was recently recorded by Chris Stapleton. Photo by Valerie Fremin
The STARS At Night
Good news for Hill Country cinema lovers: The magic of the movies has gotten a lot closer. Sky Cinemas opened its doors in late January. Created by the team behind downtown Austin’s Violet Crown Cinema, the Dripping Springs theater promises to screen a variety of films, including independent and blockbuster releases, and offer local beers and made-to-order food. Picture date night with a shorter drive.
“I’ve been a big fan of the Missed Connections section and remember in college my roommate and I would stay up late and look for the best ad or the funniest ad and would share them back and forth,” says Chelsea Bunn. The Craigslist personals category for strangers and acquaintances looking to connect served as the inspiration point for the Bunn-directed improvised stage show “Missed Connections ATX” at ColdTowne Theater. The show’s performers create scenes and musical numbers inspired by real Austin ads, often featuring encounters at Barton Springs and Hippie Hollow.
“Austin definitely has its own unique, quirky Austinite voice in the ads; we [see] a lot of love letters to folks keepin’ it weird,” Bunn says. The show debuted in 2017 and enjoyed a sold-out run. In case you missed it, just like a missed connection, you’ll get a second chance to catch it on Saturday nights until March 24. Photo by Steve Rogers
2017 was a busy year for musician Whitney Rose. In January she released a six-song EP, “South Texas Suite,” and in October she put out her third full-length album, “Rule 62.” “I’m constantly writing,” Rose says. “It’s a good way to stay sane on the road too, keeping creative.” A native of Canada, Rose grew up on Prince Edward Island. “[It’s] basically 10 percent beach, 80 percent farmland, and 10 percent small town,” Rose says. Raised on country music, Rose felt called to Austin, making the move permanent in 2015. See Rose most Tuesday nights during her happy hour residency at The Continental Club until her European tour begins in April.
Read more from the Music + Film Issue | March 2018