Austin Insider’s Guide
by Tiffany Mendoza & Mackenzie Dunn
WHO IS MANCHILDATX (AND WHY IS HE EATING PEANUT BUTTER)?!?
And what does he look like? That’s the question that musician Rich Malley pondered while envisioning his latest album, My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10 Million. The result is as irreverent (and ironically awesome) as it sounds. After playing in several Austin bands (Kamikaze Refrigerators, Happy Family, and Horsies) throughout his career, ManChildATX (Malley’s fictional persona) is his first go at fronting a solo act. His latest work delivers alternative pop songs with influences of punk, funk, rocksteady, and electronic. To conceptualize the album, Malley teamed up with Leslie Bonnell (owner of Stitch Lab sewing school) and husband Ron Marks (graphic designer and owner of WorkMarks) and local photographer George Brainard to create the image of ManChildATX. Inspiration came straight from the album’s tracks. “The title song is my ManChildATX persona boasting about how talented and popular he is. I was trying to strike a balance between a character who’s pompous and over-important but also totally ridiculous,” says Malley. The result has plenty of swagger, and complements Malley’s humor. For instance, in lieu of a release party, Malley livestreamed the album from his bathroom for a few selected listeners. The quirky idea evolved into a full-fledged concert complete with lights, lasers, and a fog machine. If you missed the loo-based debut, ManChildATX is available from local stores, iTunes, Spotify, and manchildatx.com.
NEW GROWTH: BEARDBRAND
From Abraham Lincoln to the men of Duck Dynasty, beards have adorned men of all stripes throughout history. “Beards are ingrained in our DNA. It is the most natural thing to wear a beard. The key is to have confidence,” says Eric Bandholz, owner and founder of Beardbrand, a line of grooming products that offers everything a gentleman might want or need to make sure his whiskers look their best. “In previous years, beards held a certain stereotype. I wanted to create my own kind of beard community, where professionals and stylish men felt like they belonged,” Bandholz says. Enter the target audience: the urban beardsman. “The urban beardsman is a bit of a Venn diagram—he is both stylish and rugged. He’s a man who cares not only about his facial hair, but also about style, career, and independence.”
A BETTER BARRE
When you’re ready to sweat your sins away, you can belly up to the other barre at MOD FITNESS. Located in a stylish bungalow on South Lamar, the studio offers classes that combine Pilates, yoga, cardio, and strength and resistance training. Devotees of the method (instructors demonstrate a series of conditioning exercises targeting thighs, glutes, core, and arms for a well-rounded workout) think barre work is the method to slim and tone, develop energy and endurance, and improve posture and flexibility. “After 60 minutes your body will feel strengthened, lengthened and refreshed after a night on the town,” says the studio’s founder, Marnie O’Donnell. “For the ultimate hangover cure, try MOD Burn, a 45 minute amped-up version of MOD’s signature class infused with cardio bursts to burn fat, detoxify the body, and boost the heart rate. You will leave this class feeling strong, accomplished and rejuvenated.” You’ll have fun, too, powering through the burn to upbeat playlists. Whether you want to balance a weekend of excess or jump-start your fitness goals, a trip to this barre is time well spent, sans hangover (although you will definitely feel a burn the next day).
MORNING AFTER 101
We’ve all been there—after an enthusiastic night on the town you find yourself with less than lucid thoughts and a headache to boot. Your excess can be diminished in a few delicious sips if you know how to order at Juiceland, Austin’s go-to juice bar, with 11 locations (10 in Austin—the newest is at 29th and Guadalupe—and 1 in Brooklyn, NY). Juiceland’s owner, Matt Shook, suggests redemption with a Brazilian Kisses smoothie (fresh apple juice, açaí, and banana) on the morning after, especially if you add supplements of mate and ginger. “The smoothie is packed with açaí, which has antioxidants and nutrients out the wazoo. Ginger will soothe an upset stomach, and mate is just stimulating enough to get the blood flowing again,” says Shook. He stresses that the most important things to focus on, for a hangover cure, are replenishing vitamins and rehydrating. “Go for drinks that are nutrient-dense and easily digestible,” Shook adds. “Alkalizing greens and B vitamins always help.”
MOD Photography by Leah Overstreet