ACL 2014: Friday Top Picks

 Two back-to-back weekends of music means there are even more Austin City Limits Festival to enjoy this year. While the majority of big name artists will be performing both weekends, festival producers decided to shift around some of the daytime slots between weekends to give more smaller, up and coming artists a coveted lineup spot. With 130-plus artists representing every genre of music performing throughout the festival, there are plenty of fantastic bands at every turn. Here are a few top picks to help decide which sets to catch!


12:15 PM – Marc Scibilia – BMI Stage

While you can’t go wrong with ACL staple Asleep at the Wheel (Honda Stage), I am particaluraly excited to see up and coming singer/songwriter Marc Scibilia. His unique, fresh sound draws from soul to country and everything in between. An artist on the rise for sure!

1:00 PM – The Preatures – Austin Ventures

Classic/garage alt rock group The Preatures is one of my top picks of the festival. I can’t stop listening to their latest release, produced by Spoon’s Jim Eno. Make a point to catch them if you can! 

1:15 PM – Temples – Miller Lite

British psych pop group Temples draws influence from that little other British group The Beatles with a throwback, fun sound. Great band to get your dancing feet moving.

2:15 PM – AUSTIN EATS BREAK! (or for a little midday dance party, check out Capital Cities at the Samsung Galaxy Stage)

3:15 Hozier – RetailMeNot Stage

Lake Street Drive – Austin Ventures

Bleachers – Miller Lite

The first hard decision time comes early this year. While the popular choice will be Bleachers, I recommend checking out singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Hozier. His soulful sound and powerful lyrics should be quite the showstopper. For something a little more lighthearted, don’t miss Lake Street Drive. The jazz infused rock group has a good deal of buzz coming into this year’s fest for a very good reason.

4:15 PM CHVRCHES

The indie electro/pop CHVRCHES is one of my top picks of the festival, and with several hit singles, I am hardly the only one excited to catch them. 

5:15PM St. Vincent – RetailMeNot

Sam Smith – Miller Lite

J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Another tough pick, but avant-garde indie rock gal St. Vincent is a personal favorite and always delivers on stage. Between his unique vocals and collaborations with other top artist, Sam Smith is having quite the year, making him the popular choice of the hour (ie, most crowded). As for J. Roddy, I have seen them a few times, and you will not be disappointed.

6:15 PM – Foster the People – Samsung Galaxy

Childish Gambino – Honda

If I am being perfectly honest, I am defaulting to Foster the People for lack of a better option. That being said, they killed it last time they played the fest. However, this for me will most likely be another Austin EATS/beer break!

7:15 PM Belle & Sebastian – RetailMeNot

Belle & Sebastian is one of my favorite festival bands, so you will find me catching the folk-rock group during the 7 o’clock hour before heading to…

8:15 PM Outkast – Honda vs. Beck – Samsung Galaxy

Both will be incredible to catch on the big stage, which has made this girl very indecisive for Friday’s headliner pick! Coin toss it is….

Sunday Funday: Springdale Farm Aid Sip and Stroll 9/28

There are few entities that capture the spirit of Austin’s food culture quite like Springdale Farm. Located just a hop, skip, and a jump from downtown, the urban farm not only supplies produce to some of the city’s best eateries, but it also houses one of my favorite restaurants, Eden East. In addition, the farm also hosts a number of private events such as weddings and fundraisers that are essential to sustaining their viability as a small business.

However, the recent changes to the city’s zoning laws have threatened to temper or even close Springdale Farm’s operations. Keeping up with the city’s changes comes with a hefty price tag, as do legal efforts to obtain permits in order to keep the private events portion of the farm’s operations up and running.

To help raise funds for Springdale Farm Aid, friends of the small, family run business are teaming up for a Sip and Stroll this Sunday. From 1-5pm, over 20 food and drink purveyors including Arro, Barley Swine, Salt & Time, Austin Eastciders, Real Ale, and more will be on hand to put the fun in Sunday Funday. In addition, there will be live music, a silent auction, farm games, and more. Tickets to the event are $50 per person and available here.

Help preserve one of the best parts of Austin’s food culture by supporting Springdale Farm Aid today!

Sunday Funday: Springdale Farm Aid Sip and Stroll 9/28

Springdale Farm

September Happenings, Part I: The Big Give

Austin’s I Live Here, I Give Here is hosting their annual The Big Give party next Friday, September 26. I Live Here, I Give Here is a local organization with a mission to inspire more Austinites to give more to the local philanthropic causes that inspire them. Featuring live music, circus entertainment, French-inspired eats and drinks, the Big Give’s Under the Big Top – Paris themed event will be a fun-filled evening celebrating the many local Austin charities whose good works help so many in our fair city. Tickets, available here, are $110/per person or $195/couple with proceeds benefiting I Live Here, I Give Here. This not to miss event kicks off at 7pm at the Hyatt Regency Austin’s Zilker Ballroom.

More details about The Big Give can be found here. Hope to see you there!

September Happenings, Part I: The Big Give

ACL 2014 Late Night: Aftershow Weekend 2 Top Picks

Austin City Limits Festival is right around the corner, and you know what that means: ACL AFTERSHOWS! One of the best byproducts of last year’s switch from one weekend to two is that there are now also twice as many Official Aftershows. Whether attending the fest or just hitting late night action, the Aftershows are a perfect way to see a favorite band without too large of a crowd. This year’s lineup is stacked with a bevy of options, but I’m breaking it down to help make the decision making process a bit easier. Tickets will fly off the shelves Friday, August 22 beginning . . . → Read More: ACL 2014 Late Night: Aftershow Weekend 2 Top Picks

ACL 2014 Late Night: Aftershow Weekend 1 Top Picks

Austin City Limits Festival is right around the corner, and you know what that means: ACL AFTERSHOWS! One of the best byproducts of last year’s switch from one weekend to two is that there are now also twice as many Official Aftershows. Whether attending the fest or just hitting late night action, the Aftershows are a perfect way to see a favorite band without too large of a crowd. This year’s lineup is stacked with a bevy of options, but I’m breaking it down to help make the decision making process a bit easier. Tickets will fly off the . . . → Read More: ACL 2014 Late Night: Aftershow Weekend 1 Top Picks

Weekend Field Trip: Jester King Brewery + Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza

Having been a fan of Jester King’s high-end craft beers since they hit the market a few years ago, visiting the brewery has been on my Austin bucket list for sometime now. Jester King specializes in making food-friendly, farmhouse ales in large format bottles. Their brewing process is inspired by techniques commonly used at small, rustic breweries found throughout southern Belgium and northern France. (Read more about their unique process here.

Weekend Field Trip: Jester King Brewery + Stanleys Farmhouse Pizza

Jester King Brewery

As for the beer tastings, no two weekends are the same at Jester King Brewery. The brewery’s focus on small production means the tasting menu is consistently changing. While guests will find staples like Jester King’s popular La Petit Prince, they will also get the opportunity to sample seasonal beers as well. Continue reading Weekend Field Trip: Jester King Brewery + Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza

August Friday Faves, Part I

August Friday Faves, Part IDrink of the Week: Sister Creek Vineyards

Over the past several years, Texas’s once fledging wine industry has finally hit its stride, not only in the growing number of wineries but also in the quality of wines produced. Today’s wine of the week comes from one of these emerging wineries, Sister Creek Vineyards located in Sisterdale, TX. Though Sister Creek has been producing wine since 1988, it has recently begun stacking up awards for their high-quality wines at competitions around the country. I recently picked up this Sister Creek’s 2011 Red Bordeaux blend ($16) while sampling Texas wines at Tasting Buds in Wimberely, TX. Crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot grapes, it is a smooth, easy drinking everyday wine that is light enough to enjoy in the hot summer months. Sister Creek Vineyards wine can be found in Austin at local retailers like Whip Inn, Central Market, and Whole Foods.

New Farm to Table Delivery Alert: Fry Family Farms

While farm to door delivery is a booming concept, Fry Family Farms is unique in that it allows the customer to retain an additional level of flexibility when it comes to scheduling orders and deliveries, customizing basket contents, and price points. Fry Family Farms works with a wide variety of local farms to keep their produce offerings diverse. In addition, the family owned operation plans to expand its farm operations to grow much of the produce themselves using the forward-thinking farming technique of Aquaponics, a form of farming through a self-contained ecosystem. This technique utilizes on average 10-20% of the water used in traditional farming methods – something important in drought-plagued central TX.

Continue reading August Friday Faves, Part I

July Friday Faves , Part IV

Drink of the Day
July Friday Faves , Part IV
Though I pretty much enjoy a glass of red wine no matter how hot it gets outside, come late summer, I start to reach my limit. While a glass of rose or a good craft beer make for a solid alternative, I can never fully shake my hankering for glass of red. I found an answer to my dilemma recently at East End Wines via a delicious bottle of sparkling Shiraz. The Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV is a smooth, well-balanced blend of mainly 3-5 year old Shiraz grapes. The Australian wine is blended with a younger vintage Shiraz, which gives it a rich layer of juicy red fruit without being too sweet. Easy to drink but rich enough to stand up to hearty, spicier dishes. Pick a bottle up of the Chook Sparkling Shiraz NV ($18) at East End Wines, located at 1209 Rosewood, Austin, TX 78702.
July Friday Faves , Part IV

Quesoff IV at the Mohawk Saturday, July 19 from 2-6pm

Mentioned here, the Quesoff IV features over 20 teams in four categories vying for to be named the big cheese of the competition. And, with the addition of this year’s new wild card category, expect the unexpected. Other categories include veggie, meat, and spicy. With each team cooking up at least 5 quarts per entry, there will be more than enough queso to go around, which means the real winner of the competition is you, the taster. Bags of chips for tasting will be available for purchase at $5/bag. See you there!

It’s Go Texan Week Y’all – July 21-27

We Texans have no shortage of things to be proud of, not the least of which is our amazing community of farmers, ranchers, growers and producers across the state. The GoTexan campaign is a State of Texas initiative designed to support products created from Texas ingredients and produced in the state (you have most likely seen the label at your local grocery store). In addition to that component of the campaign, each year, the restaurants across the state join together to celebrate GoTexan Week as a way to highlight their local suppliers and give back at the same time. Participating restaurants, found here, will do this by serving a special GoTexan menu beginning July 21 through July 27. More details can be found here.

Uber + National Ice Cream Day

Continue reading July Friday Faves , Part IV