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 at 10am sharp so be prepared to move quickly!

Check out the full lineup of Late Night Shows and buy tickets here. Ginny’s Austin nightly picks are listed below!

Pro Tip: If planning to attend an Aftershow post-fest, you will most likely need to leave Zilker Park before fest is officially over to make it to the venue in time – something to consider if your top act of the fest is the headliner that day!

Wednesday, October 8

Top Pick: Waller Creek Conservancy Benefit ft. Fitz & the Tantrums

The always dance-worthy Fitz & the Tantrums will headline what is sure to be a fun-filled, high energy benefit for a great cause. Why Not Wednesday, am I right?

Thursday, October 9

Top Pick: Robert Ellis at Stubb’s (Indoors)

Keeping in mind it’s a marathon, not a sprint, spending Thursday evening with up and coming Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ellis. Though some of his music leans a little too country for my blood, when Ellis channels his bluegrass/folk sound, it’s hard not to get on board.

Friday, October 10

Top Pick: CHVRCHES at Emo’s

Though Friday evening has several great shows from which to choose, CHVRCHES is my surefirepick of the night for the sheer fact I have not seen the indie/electro-pop trio despite loving almost everything they have put out thus far.

Runner-Up: The Chain Gang of 1947 at Stubb’s (Indoor); Though at times the band can veer a little too pop for my liking, I really enjoyed them at SXSW this year. Stubb’s Indoor stage is a perfect venue for the up and coming band as well.

Other top picks of the evening: Polica w/My Brighest Diamond at the Parish; Skrillex at Stubb’s (it is ACL afterall…)

Saturday, October 11

Top Pick: Spoon at Stubb’s

What better way to cap of the last night of ACL Aftershows than with hometown heroes Spoon? After paying their dues over the years, it seems the rest of country has caught on to what Austinites have known about the locally based indie rockers with their latest release They Want My Soul. The critically acclaimed new album has done the impossible; it stays true to Spoon’s unique sound – anchored by frontman Britt Daniel’s vocals – while appealing to commercial audiences. But most importantly, Spoon knows how to deliver live.

 

Been there, done that? Check out bluegrass infused songstress Nikki Lane at Lambert’s. Her catchy vocals are blended with just the right amount of Southern twang to keep things interesting. Lambert’s wooden stage and size will be a perfect venue for her.

 

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 shelves Friday, August 22 beginning at 10am sharp so be prepared to move quickly!

Check out the full lineup of Late Night Shows and buy tickets here. Ginny’s Austin nightly picks are listed below!

Pro Tip: If planning to attend an Aftershow post-fest, you will most likely need to leave Zilker Park before fest is officially over to make it to the venue in time – something to consider if your top act of the fest is the headliner that day!

Thursday, October 2

Top Pick: Tito’s Hometown Shindig Presents: An Evening w/Beck

Tito’s Vodka + an artist that I’ve enjoyed since my youth? Yes, please. Beck will headline Stubb’s outdoor stage to kick off the festival just as the ACL gods intended.

My second choice for the evening was tough to pick, as there are two great shows, but ultimately, catching the Roadkill Ghost Choir is hard to pass up. Currently on tour for their 2014 release Tongues, the indie-alt rock band is better than ever. They will be joined by local acts The Eastern Sea and Walker Lukens at Holy Mountain.

Friday, October 3

Top Pick: Head & The Heart + Lucius at Emo’s

Friday’s top pick is almost more about the opening act Lucius than the headliner, and that is saying something as the Head and the Heart always puts on a fantastic live set. After catching them at SXSW, I can say in good faith Lucius is not a band you will soon forget after seeing them live. Having closed out 2013 with a solid follow up album to their eponymous breakout debut, the Head and the Heart will be right at home at this year’s festival.

Rhye at the Paramount Theatre

Not feeling Head and The Heart? In that case, I highly recommend opting for indie/R&B duo Rhye. Held at the Paramount Theatre, the show’s venue is the perfect place for the smooth, airy vocals of singer Milosh paired with the multi-instrumental backing of Robin Hannibal. Their unique sound is both serene and romantic yet alive with soul and jazz.

Other picks: Jenny Lewis w/The Belle Brigade at Stubb’s; Spanish Gold at Stubb’s (Indoors)

Saturday, October 4

 Top Picks: Tegan and Sara ft. The Night Terrors of 1927 at Stubb’s or Diplo at Emo’s

Another day, another decision, this time between Tegan and Sara ft. The Night Terrors of 1927 and Diplo. After easing into the weekend with laidback shows Friday, step it up a notch by opting for one of these two high tempo top picks for Saturday. Canadian sister act Tegan and Sara always put on an energetic live set and the Night Terrors of 1927 know how to bring the drama. Meanwhile, DJ/rapper Diplo knows how to bring the dance.

Other picks: Arum Rae & Emily Wolfe at Stubb’s Indoor

Sunday, October 5

Top Pick: Interpol at Stubb’s

Reach deep inside to find some energy to make it until late night Sunday to catch one band I am especially excited to see this festival: Interpol. Post-punk revivalist band Interpol is back with a new album and a different lineup. Proving change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, Interpol’s new album El Pintor can best be described as a reinvigorated return to form so to speak, but with plenty of fresh excitement to keep it interesting. Catch Interpol at Stubb’s.

Other top pick of the evening is Tune-Yards with MO at Emo’s. Two great acts, but to get me out on a Sunday evening after a long festival weekend, it’s only going to be Interpol.

 

 

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

Dinner at Henri’s Cheese and Wine

As a devoted disciple to all things cheese and wine, I have been a ready-made fan of Henri’s Cheese & Wine since it opened, and now with a newly added dinner menu, there is even more to love about the South Lamar eatery. Henri’s Cheese and Wine has always offered an expanded lunch menu, but until recently, it shifted to a cheese, charcuterie, and wine spot come nightfall. However, a few months ago, Henri’s began test driving the idea of adding dinner by offering a series of regular nighttime specials, including its ever-popular burger and spaghetti and meatball nights. Now with Chef Keegan Archer at the helm, Henri’s new dinner menu features a diverse range of rustic yet modern small plates created using seasonal, local ingredients.

 

Dinner at Henris Cheese and Wine

White Bean Dip & Seasonal Vegetables

On this visit, we started with a white bean and crudité plate, which was more delicious than any such vegetable/dip dish should be thanks to an unexpected smoky flavor on the vegetables. Up next was a beautifully roasted quail dish served on top of a farro salad. The tender, juicy quail was delicious on its own but even more so when combined with the seasonal salad of fresh figs, thinly sliced cucumber, fresh herbs and goat cheese crumbles.

 

Dinner at Henris Cheese and Wine

Roasted Quail and Farro Salad

Continue reading Dinner at Henri’s Cheese and Wine

Friday Faves

Good Drinks: Pimm’s Cup at Goodall’s Bar
Last week’s Wimbledon Tournament reinvigorated my love for a favorite British cocktail, the Pimm’s Cup. When struck with a craving for a fancy post-work cocktail, one of my favorite go-to spots is the charming Goodall’s Bar at Hotel Ella. One can’t help but feel transported to the heart of the South while sipping top-notch cocktails on the wrap around porch at Hotel Ella. Their version of the classic gin cocktail combines spicy-sweet Pimm’s No. 1 with citrusy housemade lemonade. Garnished with cucumber and blackberry, it’s a perfectly light and refreshing summer cocktail.

Friday Faves

Pimm’s Cup at Goodall’s Bar

Put on your best seersucker and let time move a little slower during happy hour Goodall’s Bar at Hotel Ella Monday through Friday from 4-7pm. 1900 Rio Grande Street. http://goodallskitchen.com

Good Eats: Pimento Cheese Recipe

Speaking of tastes of the South, I recently threw together some spicy pimento cheese spread for friends that was pretty damn tasty, if I do say so myself. To class up the kitsch, I served it on crackers layered with a slice of an heirloom tomato. The secret to a good pimento cheese spread is using homemade mayonnaise, which is a pain but so worth it. Great how-to here. Simple and delicious! Here’s my recipe: Continue reading Friday Faves

July Happenings, Part I: Quesoff, Pig Roast, and More

July Happenings, Part I: Quesoff, Pig Roast, and More

Quesoff IV

It might be the middle of the summer slow down, but Austin’s event calendar is just getting hotter. Here are a few top picks, with more to come soon!

Central Market Wine Week Wednesday, July 9 – Wednesday, July 15

Central Market kicks off its annual celebration of all things wine on July 9 with a week long lineup of events that includes cooking classes, sommelier wine dinners, and winemaker meet & greets. Check out the full range of events here. Want a simple, budget-friendly way to unleash your inner wino? Stop by either location on Thursday, July 9 from 5-8pm for the ‘let the good times stroll’ event to enjoy samples, wine 101, and more for $10/per person. Details here.

Monday, July 14 – Austin Restaurant Week Wrap Party + Pig Roast

Tribeza is hosting the official Austin Restaurant Week Wrap Party on Monday, July 14. Benefiting Meals on Wheels and More, the bash will celebrate a successful spring ARW with a pig roast, live music, Deep Eddy cocktails, and a few area chefs beginning at 6pm. Tickets for the event, held at the Meals on Wheels HQ, are $20 and available for purchase here. 3227 East 5th Street, Austin, TX 78702

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

Arguably the greatest food throwdown of the year, the Quesoff IV at the Mohawk, returns on Saturday, July 19 from 2-6pm. With over 20 teams competing in four queso categories, this year’s event is primed to be the best one yet, especially with competitors representing some of Austin’s best restaurants. In addition to spicy, meat and veggie, the competition has added a new wild card queso category, meaning prepare to expect the unexpected. There will be DJ beats throughout the afternoon and of course, plenty of cold beer available for purchase from Mohawk’s expansive list.

The event is free with RSVP (here). Chips for queso tasting can be purchased for $5/bag. The Mohawk, 912 Red River. 

Continue reading July Happenings, Part I: Quesoff, Pig Roast, and More