Posts tagged ‘what to do’

July 11, 2012

Austin: My Ambitious Austin Weekend

Waaaaaay back in 2009, I wrote a post called Top Ten Things to Do in Austin … the list still stands as an excellent guide, but as I spend a wedding long weekend in town with locals and not, I thought I’d make a list of things I want to do this weekend. To be clear, this is not a definitive Austin list like the last, it’s a what-hasn’t-Lyssa-seen-yet list!


Workout at The Combine Strength & Conditioning

Hot yoga at Pure Bikram Yoga with my parents

CrossFit Games are this week, so watching my pals compete while eating sweet potato fries and drinking Texas beers (Shiner Ruby Redbird I love you so very much and hope to find you on tap) with other pals at Cuatro’s

Always love running/mostly people watching at Town Lake


Round Rock Express game with wedding crew

Lounging poolside at WET at the W … sure to be similar to the Sky Hotel Aspen scene (Vegas-like).

Sand Volleyball at Zilker

Will I have time to find The Narrows?

Fishing with my dad and playing with my new camera lenses


Tried and loved Easy Tiger and Lick!, now it’s time to make it at least to Elizabeth Street Cafe and hopefully more …


Must visit a craft store or five for supplies for all my recent crafternoons!

Possible massage with Christopher

Always have to hit up Nordstrom Rack with the mama

… we’ll see what else I have time for! I can’t wait!

April 5, 2012

Austin: Easter Weekend Edition

So much going on in Austin this Easter Weekend!

1. Euphoria Music Fest

For the deets and a discount, go here.

2. Grilled Cheese Week

Tillamook Grilled Cheese Week / Loaf Love Tour, the third annual cross-country mobile sampling tour dedicated to bringing tasty cheese to the people, eight local restaurants have created a unique grilled cheese:

Noble Pig Sandwiches serving a Pimento Grilled Cheese made with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar, sweet red peppers, pickled jalapeno and crispy bacon($8), Max’s Wine Dive serving a Smoked Duck and Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Watercress($14), Austin Daily Press featuring a Tillamook Black Forest Ham Grilled Cheese made with a blend of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and Tillamook Monterey Jack cheeses served with Spicy Ranch ($6), J.Black’s Feel Good Lounge, serving an Open-Faced Grilled Cheese BAT with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and Tillamook Monterey Jack,Niman Ranch Bacon, Local Texas Tomatoes, Arugula, and Lemon Aioli($8), FoodHeads, grilling up three specials including a Grilled Tillamook Monterey Jack with Turkey, Jalapenos, Cracked Black Pepper, House Slaw & Honey Dijon on Nine Grain ($7.95) and Hopdoddy Burger Bar offering their version of a grilled cheese in the I Love Lucy Burger, a “Hopdoddy style Juicy Lucy” featuring Angus Beef stuffed with Tillamook Sharp Cheddar ($8).

Saturday, look out for the tour all around town; April 10 they will stop at each of the featured restaurants.

3. Mighty Texas Dog Walk

At the 14th annual Mighty Texas Dog Walk, you’ll have the chance to break 4 world records in one day: “Most Dogs Walked”, a record the event has already achieved two times, “Biggest Fur Ball”, “Most Dogs Sitting At Once” and “Most Dogs Wearing the Same Bandana”.

Fundraising benefits Texas Hearing and Service Dogs, and the Purina Incredible Dog Team will perform, with live music, dog and children carnivals, and much more. Check-in and registration open at 7a, the dog walk course opens at 9a at Auditorium Shores Park

4. 13th Annual Easter Pet Parade

The Hotel San Jose and Jo’s Coffee’s 13th Annual Easter Pet Parade, Benefit and Fair benefits Austin Pets Alive. This year’s event pays tribute to Austin icon and South Congress regular Leslie Cochran (1951-2012) with a Pets In Drag theme. In celebration of Leslie, drag is encouraged for pets and owners, but all costumes are welcome.

Parade kicks off at noon on Saturday, April 7 at the corner of Congress and Annie Street and ends at Jo’s Coffee on 1300 South Congress. Judging will begin promptly after the parade and top awards for the best dressed pets include a night at the Hotel San Jose, Jo’s gift cards, trophies, and more! The event also features booths by local animal rescue and pet-related organizations as well as a bouncy castle and the Easter bunny for the kids. Pre-register at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress until end of day April 6th. Registration is $10 in advance and $20 the day of the parade between 10 am and the parade start at noon.

March 7, 2012

SXSW 2012

A funny thing has happened to SXSW, which I started to write about in last year’s SXSW wrap-up post: it has tipped. That is, it is no longer a little festival for the geeks of three respective industries, it’s a destination festival for an unheard-of combination of (startup) companies, corporations, and consumers (aka Spring Breakers). There’s possibly nothing else like it in the world, that lasts for so many days and so completely consumes a city (Carnivale?).

So for the first time in FIVE years, I’m not going to SXSW. And much to my surprise, when I let the people and PR companies throwing the parties and events surrounding SXSW interactive, film, and music know that I won’t be in town for it this year, the vast majority have e-sighed and said something along the lines of wishing they weren’t going to be in town either.

We are so jaded, Austinites.

Rambling aside, many of you will be in town, and even if you aren’t going big (which I cannot even pretend to recommend anymore, it’s beyond exhausting), below are six things you should probably take a look at …

1. Daytime Party List

Since I won’t be compiling the massive spreadsheet I have in the past, you NEED the 2012 SXSW Daytime Party List from Sperry Media. This is the first draft, a final will be published next week. I cannot stress enough, if you might possibly maybe be thinking about possibly hitting up a party, RSVP RSVP RSVP. And RSVP again. Except not really, just make sure you RSVP once.

Alternatively, Do512 has a SXSW take over on their always-happening website and you can:

2. Check out the new stuff, like a work collab

Texenza Coffee shop (4th and Congress) during South by Southwest is turning into a great place to collaborate and work. They’ll be giving away free breakfast, lunch, coffee, and drinks to anyone who stops by. March 9-13 from 9a-7p. You probably have actual work to get done, so stop by and do it while networking your face off.

3. Check out the old standbys, like the Four Seasons’ morning acoustic music showcases

Four Seasons Hotel Austin and KUT-FM 90.5 are once again teaming up for early-morning music. Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17, $10 gets you a breakfast taco and unlimited coffee, while the money goes to Austin’s Seton Shivers Cancer Center at Brackenridge Hospital. New this year, The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Austin will offer complimentary hand massages and mini-facials throughout each day’s event. The music schedule (each artist performs a 30-minute set):

•Wednesday, March 14 (7 – 11am) – Lost in the Trees, Grace Woodroofe, M. Ward, Cotton Mather
•Thursday, March 15 (7 – 11am) –  Kat Edmonson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Jimmy Cliff, Punch Brothers
•Friday, March 16 (7 – 11am) – Ruthie Foster, Motopony, James Mercer, Trampled by Turtles, Nneka
•Saturday, March 17 (8am – 12noon) – Sons of Fathers, Glen Hansard, Justin Townes Earle, Nada Surf

4. Another app

You will go into new app overload during SXSW, but the good news is that the cream will rise to the top and the rest will simply get deleted (though somehow apps are never really deleted, but I digress). One possibility for widespread adoption is a new geosocial service called glomper. The mobile-and-web app ties together check-ins and sharing across already active social platforms facebook, twitter, instagram, foursquare, etc. but is strongly event-focused—so it’s more about partying. You can see all the events nearby by type/date and you will be able to share your plans to visit them before they start and then to check-in when you arrive.

Launch event Mar. 11 from 3-7p, at the Launch787 next to Moonshine. Free but you need to RSVP:

5. Spa getaway in town(ish)

Hiatus Spa + Retreat is doing a SXSW Escape promo—book a service for 25% off, or any two services for 30% off. GET A MASSAGE FROM CHRISTOPHER. / 1611 West 5th Street #155 / (512) 362-5777

Lakeway Resort and Spa on Lake Travis is 18 miles northwest of downtown Austin. They’ve got events all week for families, but even if you’re not staying there, you can get away and enjoy the Hill Country Festival with live music and kids activities on March 10th and 11th at 3p or a St. Patrick’s Day Beer Garden + entertainment on March 17th at 6p. The spa at the resort has also put together the San Saba Spa Delight, a 50-minute signature facial and a traditional manicure for $148 to rejuvenate during or after your SXSW adventures. Post-SXSW, refresh with a nightly rate of $125 for March 18 – March 22 only. Promo code is SPRING.

6. Three rules to live by

I posted 11 SXSW Rules last year, but let’s face it, there are really only three important rules: (1) drink a thousand times more water than you think you need to, (2) wear your sunscreen unless it’s raining which it might be, and (3) relax—there’s no way you will ever make it to everything, so enjoy what you’re doing and forget about the rest.

January 26, 2012

Aspen: X Games 2012 … it’s all about the music

Last year I was super psyched to go to X Games and really surprised no one would go with me!

… then I went.

… and now, I will probably not ever go again either. (I also happen to be in Park City this weekend, yay!)

It’s awesome, yes, that X Games are in Aspen. But it’s really crowded, the views are not awesome, and the lines for the buses are beyond ridiculous.

However, the music in town for X Games is also ridiculous. Ridiculous. So we have to appreciate that!

Saturday the always-free Hi-Fi Concert Series at the base of Aspen mountain features AWOLNATION, at 5:30p. Although I enjoyed Big Boi last year, AWOLNATION is definitely a hot-hot act right now and sure to please the X Games crowd.

Belly Up has some stellar acts, a few of which are already sold old (Deadmau5 sold out in a flash and caused a lot of drama to boot):

xgames belly up music aspen

Plus Sunday night TheGoodLife! & Louie Vito present Raekwon & Ghostface Killah with very special guests DJ Spider & 12th Planet.

Heading to the actual X Games? Map below:

Buttermilk Mountain Winter X Games Aspen 2012 spectator map. Click here to download the large version of this map.

EatAspen has a list of all the X Games deals in town here.

July 1, 2011

Aspen: 4th of July

Aspen loves Fourth of July more than most cities. As always, there will be fireworks on Aspen mountain. Which I can see from my porch [brag]. AWESOME! For the other fun:4th of July AspenJuly 4th Aspen


June 18, 2010

Austin: Weekend Hops & Pops

Saturday: Hops

From 2-5 pm, taste your favorite (512) Ales plus
 the newly re-released Belgian Style Strong Ale 
(512) ONE.2

. Get three free tastes. Buy a pint glass for $5 and your new glass becomes the tasting glass (bigger tastes). I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pecan Porter (pictured) but I’m pretty sure it’s a winter beer😦

407 Radam, F200
 (Between South 1st & South Congress

Sunday: Pops

Hopefully you already know Sunday is Father’s Day. Hit up the Dad Rocks concert at The Mohawk from 5-8pm with your pops and hear local bands English Teeth and Car Stereo (Wars), snap pics with Annie Ray, nosh on Frank hot dogs (coincidentally, my own pops is NAMED Frank, so that’s cool), and nab Tiff’s Treats, Waialua Soda Works Hawaiian sodas, and GoodPop Popsicles for dessert.

Children under 12 are free. Tickets are $20 from Front Gate, and the event directly benefits Austin Music Foundation.

June 17, 2010

Aspen: Um, duh? Food & Wine Classic Weekend

It’s this weekend, kids. If you didn’t have the $1,185 to buy the big tickets, or even the $295 to buy a 1-day pass (steal! if that’s your cup of tea anyway), you can still enjoy the Food & Wine melee with the rest. Word on the street is that there are over 100 private parties in addition to the official Food & Wine events, and the shops and stores along the mall are pulling out all the stops to get people inside (read: free wine and food).

Since I didn’t win two free passes from the plastics site, I’ll be wandering around town looking for cool stuff to participate in. I pretty much equate this to a fancier SXSW, where you don’t need anything but your own two feet to walk around and get into some fun parties and events.

I mean, Aspen is a small town. There are only so many places for celeb chefs Jacques Pepin, David Chang, Giada DeLaurentiis, Michael Symon, Morimoto, Thomas Keller, and Top Chef judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons to go …

From my short time here, I’d recommend they:

  • Get chippers at Paradise Bakery
  • Try Brexi Brasserie – it’s just across the street from the main part of the fest, and it’s AWESOME
  • Eat a burger + sweet potato fries from J Bar or Belly Up, both feature free-range meat and crisp fries
  • Get the Kale Salad at Peach’s Corner Cafe. People watch. Eat your delicious, refreshing salad.
  • Hike Aspen Mountain. You need to burn calories, and the view cannot. be. beat.
  • Visit Carl’s Pharmacy. A General Store throwback if I’ve ever seen one. You must go upstairs too.

Also, the newly-expanded Saturday Farmer’s Market opens this weekend. It’s located on E. Hopkins from Hunter to Galena and features produce, meats, and artisan crafts from across Colorado. I can’t wait to hit it up!

Last bit of advice for Food & Wine, from a festival-going, wine-drinking pro: Pace yourself. Drink lots of water. FIJI water is owned by an Aspen family and freely distributed within the festival, take advantage of it. Also, wear a huge, fashionable hat and sunscreen. Waking up hungover AND sunburned just adds insult to injury.

May 4, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

I was so unbelievably confused when someone tweeted about a Cinco de Mayo party I posted, because I didn’t post any. But then I took a look at my stats, saw that LAST YEAR’s Cinco post already had 129 hits YESTERDAY, and realized what happened.

So, you overzealous Cinco de Mayo revelers, here is THIS YEAR’S poster:

I went last year, and it was packed and lots of fun. We, however, left the cage and for Z Pizza and a bottle of wine. Lest you be mistaken, food and drinks are not free! But they cost the same as they would at a bar, so if you’re out to party, it’ll do the trick.

March 6, 2010

March Bar Madness

You all probably know about Thrillist by now – the Daily Candy for dudes that chicks dig too. I dig it because the Austin Thrillist dude knows about everything cool before or at the same time as me–which never ceases to impress me. Anyway, the site is hosting a nationwide Bar Madness Sweepstakes – a user-driven, 7-round, nationwide elimination tournament pitting 52 sports bars (about half pre-selected by Thrillist) against each other until only one’s left standing…

Every round you vote in, regardless of how your bars fare, you’ll be entered to win a great big bar tab of up to $4,350.

The 2 bars voted as the Best in Austin by readers were ATX Sports Bar (what? where is this?) and Third Base Sports Bar. Thrillist’s 2 picks were Crown & Anchor Pub and The Tavern (now those I can stand behind … or in …). Now, we vote on the two out of those four bars that should advance to the next round and have the chance to compete to be the best bar in America!

Voting can be done here:

Rep our city with pride. And someone for the love explain to me what and where ATX Sports Bar is …

March 3, 2010


See, with all the buzz, I don’t even need to put the letters in the right order and you know what I’m talking about. Obviously you’ve seen my ridiculously large and always growing FREE PARTY SPREADSHEET. But because the criteria are so strict to get on that puppy (free party, must offer free food and/or booze), sometimes I don’t get to write about some of the other sweet things that cross my inbox. Mainly, stellar pitches from publicists looking to get their bands lots of PR during the hugest music festival ever.

A sampling of a few that sound good to me (but, let’s face it, I probably won’t go see because I’ll be getting drunk/stuffed/my swag on at the free booze/food/swag parties):

Bands: Apteka, Monarchs, Mull Historical Society, Derek Hoke, Jacob Jones, Francis


1) My all-time favorite publicist sends this over:

Apteka is the Chicago shoegaze collective that beat NASA’s ass. Apteka came together through a shared affinity for volume and psychedelia in the summer of love ‘06. While on tour opening for front 242 in the fall of ‘05, guitarist/vocalist Adam Lukas met musical kindred spirit Dino Balocchi and compared Big Muff fuzz pedals. They recruited Jesse Hozeny, a human metronome with a penchant for being rather abusive to his drum kit. So hard does Jesse hit that he, in fact, employs titanium core drums sticks. That’s what they use on the space shuttle, mind you. Unbreakable they said. They were wrong. Aptkea 1, NASA 0.

The band completely smashes the misconception that wall-of-sound guitars equates to dull stage presence. Apteka are a rock outfit under swirling lights, swiping their Ride and My Bloody Valentine influences and injecting them with a heavy dose of PCP.  The group has a lot of awesomeness generally abounding. Have a listen –

Apteka is playing two shows at SXSW, both on Thursday, March 18. They hit up the Buzzgrinder/Buddyhead Official SXSW Party at Annie’s West (706 West 6th Street) in the day and the Kill Red Rocket fantastic newgaze showcase at the Metropolis Apartments Pool (2200 S. Pleasant Valley) later that evening. That’s a pool party dudes, so you know you want to be there.

I say: see, with verbiage like that, how can the band not be awesome? Plus god knows how much Austinites love pool parties.

2) Monarchs’ lead singer reaches out:

Monarchs, a soulful roots-rock band based in Austin, is comprised of Celeste Griffin (lead singer), Alex Tomaino (guitar), Josh Halpern (drums), and Phil Ajjarpu (bass). This summer, Monarchs will record their first full length LP with producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Heartless Bastards). Monarchs Myspace Page. In the meantime, scope them at the official City of Austin Showcase on March 17th  @ 9PM @ The Ghost Room or one of these unofficial events:

Birmingham Plays SXSW Showcase
Friday, March 19th @ 12PM
Creekside Lounge
Stem and Leaf Showcase
Saturday, March 20th @ 5:00PM
Rainey Manor House Venue
90 I35 S
I say: I have a soft spot in my heart for bands that promote themselves (see: Achachay!)

3. Great Scots:

Colin MacIntyre is one of the UK’s most respected songwriters & performers who performs with a full band under the moniker ‘Mull Historical Society’. A multi-instrumentalist , writer and producer, MacIntyre hails from the Island of Mull (population: 2,000) off Scotland’s west coast. In just a year MacIntyre went from supporting The Strokes on their debut UK tour to selling-out the 2,000 capacity Shepherds Bush Empire, and touring with REM. SXSW 2010 is MacIntyre’s first time appearing at Austin.
@ twitter

Colin is to be showcasing at midnight, Saturday March 20th at the 18th Floor at the Hilton Garden Inn. Colin is also appearing Saturday daytime at Fado’s (obvi?).

I say: Sounds like he’s a big deal in Europe, can he hang here?

4. Electric Western Records Gives Good Promo:

Two separate publicists pitched me two separate artists from the same label, and both sounds great if you’re into Americana or Roots Rock. Check out:

4a: Derek Hoke’s forthcoming record, Goodbye Rock N Roll drops March 16th, during SXSW. His first release and establishes him as a strong country songwriter with shades of Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, and Lyle Lovett SXSW sched:

3/17 – SXSW – The Continental Club – Opening Early for SXSW! – Austin, TX
3/17 – SXSW – Electric Western Records Party @ The Hole In The Wall – Austin, TX
3/19 – SXSW – Flipnotics Coffeespace Cafe @ 4pm – Austin, TX
3/20 – SXSW – Thunderbird Party @ 5pm – Austin, TX
4b: Jacob Jones is a 25-year old singer songrwriter inspired by the music and lives of Johnny Cash, Townes Van Zandt, Bruce Springsteen and John Prine. His SXSW sched:
Mar 17 2010 – Paradise Cafe – SXSW Party – Austin, Texas (12:30pm)
Mar 17 2010 – Plush – SXSW Party – Austin, Texas (3pm)
Mar 17 2010 – Hole In The Wall – Electric Western & American Songwriter Magazine Present “GET YOUR GREEN ON!” – Austin, Texas (7pm)
Mar 19 2010 – Flipnotics Coffeespace – SXSW Party – Austin, Texas (3pm)
Mar 19 2010 – Thunderbird Coffee – SXSW Show – Austin, Texas (5pm)
I say: I love a good PR firm. Good job, Electric Western Records.

5. Francis is here / Francis just won’t quit

Swedish-band Francis has been shocking and awing American audiences with its unique brand of dark, brooding-indie rock. Their showcases include the Mike Galaxy BandPromote Showcase on 3/18 and the SonicBids showcase on 3/19.  With a new album in the works and a self-titled EP just released, don’t miss your chance to see these guys perform, complete with lead-singer Petra wandering through the audience as she belts out her lyrics, before they head back home to Sweden! Download or stream Francis’ music here: /
Myspace: Their SXSW sched:

3/18 – SXSW – Mike Galaxy Presents BandPromote Showcase, 12 noon – Guero’s 1412 S Congress, Austin, TX
3/18 – SXSW – MuseBox Showcase, 5 PM – Rusty Spurs 405 E 7th St, Austin, TX
3/19 – SXSW – Official SXSW Showcase, 12 AM – Friends Bar 208 E 6th St, Austin, TX
3/19 – SXSW – Sonicbids Showcase, 4:30 PM – Maggie Mae’s Upstairs 323 E 6th St, Austin, T
3/20 – SXSW – Sweden Goes SXSW Party, 2 PM – Antone’s 213 W 5th St, Austin, TX

… see? Even if I don’t know jack about music, I can come off looking cool when publicists feed me all the right info. Thanks, guys!😉


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