There are just a few more days to familiarize yourself with all the unique local artists that are performing at Austin City Limits and with 23 local bands on the lineup, you've got your work cut out for you.
Out of the 203 shows that are planned across the festival, 23 artists call Austin home, which is more than 11% of the total lineup.
I've outlined my favorites with an *, so you can narrow down your playlist when it gets down to crunch time.
Aaron Stephens, Saturday, Oct. 2 at 12:05 p.m. on the VRBO stage
Chicago born, McAllen, Texas, raised and Austin-based, singer-songwriter Aaron Stephens is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in soulful guitar. His velvet voice moves in between genres, from gentle acoustics to funk. Listen to "Yesterday's Favorite (Old News)" and "Walkin'" to get yourself started.
*Asleep at the Wheel, Friday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. on the Honda stage
Now in its 50th year of keeping Austin country, Asleep at the Wheel has been performing western swing music with local legends like Willie Nelson and fellow ACL performer George Strait since before the festival even began. These nine-time Grammy winners have over 20 albums and will remind you what it means to be a Texan.
Audic Empire, Friday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. on the Tito's Vodka stage
Characterized by a unique blend of rock, reggae and blues, Audic Empire has been creating music in Austin for more than a decade. Their new release, "Head Change," combines psychedelic influences and "airtight" rhythm.
Blk Odyssy, Sunday, Oct. 10 at 12 p.m. on the VRBO stage
Hailing from New Jersey, Sam Houston of Blk Odyssy had Texan roots before he even knew it. Blk Odyssy is characterized by a lo-fi sound, comforting tunes and lyrics that confront pressing issues in American Culture.
*Black Pumas, both Fridays at 6 p.m. on the Lady Bird stage
The sound of Austin will be attending for both weekends of the festival with its infectious blues and notable Grammy nominations. If you do nothing else before you attend, make sure you listen to "Colors" and "Black Moon Rising" off the band's self-titled album.
Calder Allen, both Sundays at 1 p.m. on the Tito's Vodka stage
The youngest local artist in the lineup, Calder Allen graduated high school this past May and headed straight for the big time. From a legacy of musicians in his family, Allen has already played major venues like the Continental Club. Check out "Canon in D" and "Little Man" from his repertoire.
Charley Crockett, both Saturdays at 3:20 p.m. on the VRBO stage
The Americana Music Award's Emerging Act Of The Year is taking the stage for two weekends in a row. A born and raised Texan, Crockett's country blues sound shines through on his newest album, a pandemic release called "Welcome to Hard Times."
David Ramirez, Sunday, Oct.10 at 5:30 p.m. on the BMI stage
David Ramirez's most recent album, his sixth since he began making music, titled "My Love is a Hurricane" is a collection of love songs that will pull on your heartstrings. Impactful lyrics and slow tunes are in store on the new album, so check out the title track and "Easy Does It" before heading to the flags.
Dayglow, both Saturdays at 7:20 p.m. on the VRBO stage
An indie-pop project brought to life on UT's campus by Sloan Struble, Dayglow's trendy pop songs have won him spots on late-night TV shows at just 22 years old. Dayglow has two albums to share: "Fuzzybrain," the debut album, and "Harmony House."
Deezie Brown, Saturday, Oct. 3 at 12:15 on the Miller Lite stage
Growing up just 45 minutes away from the Live Music Capital of the World in Bastrop, Texas, Deezie Brown's Bastrop upbringing was full of music. Bonding with his family over hip-hop music influenced his sound in his most recently-dropped EP "Geto Gala."
Gina Chavez, Saturday, Oct. 2 at 5:20 p.m. on the BMI stage
A 2020 Latin Grammy nominee and proudly queer Austin native, Gina Chavez has won 12 Austin Music Awards and is well on her way to becoming a local icon. Chavez's newest album, titled "La Que Manda" or "The Woman in Charge" tells an all-Spanish story of a woman coming into her power.
*Jade Bird, Saturday, Oct. 9 at 12:05 p.m. on the T-Mobile stage
An English singer who recently made Austin her home, Jade Bird is a show in and of herself. With a softly raspy voice and an acoustic guitar in tow, Bird paints scenes in her songs. Listen to "Uh Huh," "Lottery" or her new album, "Different Kinds of Light."
Mike Melinoe, Saturday, Oct. 9 at 12:05 p.m. on the VRBO stage
Mike Melinoe hit rock bottom when he moved to Austin from Detroit, Michigan, in 2018 with only $8 in his pocket and became homeless. Just three years later Melinoe is a thriving artist with four albums, the most recent called "Puu," and is known for his energy on stage.
Missio, both Saturdays at 5:20 p.m. on the VRBO stage
Missio surged when their hit single "Middle Fingers" went live in 2017, hoisting them to national acclaim with their electronic alternative music. Their most popular songs, "Everybody Gets High" and "Twisted" come from their debut album "Loner."
*Nané, both Fridays at 1 p.m. on the Lady Bird stage
Dynamic and authentically Austin, Nané was born from drunken late nights with friends and University of Texas classmates Daniel Sahad and Ian Green. Nané's song "Blue Velvet" is an instant classic with its high-energy, funky beat.
Primo the Alien, Friday Oct. 1 at 1:45 p.m. on the T-Mobile stage
With a "dangerously sexy" style and a sharp sense of humor, Primo the Alien's retro synth-pop music is like riding a motorcycle covered in glitter. Her song "Sexual Safari" is out now on Spotify.
Riders Against the Storm, Friday, Oct. 8 at 1:30 on the Tito’s Vodka stage
This husband and wife duo, Chaka and Qi Dada, have been living in Austin since 2009 and thoroughly identified themselves with the city's robust music scene. Listen to Riders Against the Storm for bumping, rhythmic hip-hop in "Diggy Dah" and "Holy Water."
*Sir Woman, Saturday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. on the Tito's Vodka stage
Lead vocalist of the popular folk band Wild Child, Sir Woman is a solo project put on by singer and multi-instrumentalist Kelsey Wilson. Sir Woman is more pop and has more vocals, plus a side of Wilson that has yet to be seen before. Her new single "Blame it on the Water" is casually entrancing and easy to listen to.
Superfónicos, Sunday, Oct. 10 at 3:30 p.m. on the BMI stage
A funky sound inspired by Indigenous and African roots of the band's Colombian heritage, Superfónicos is produced by Adrian Quesada of Black Pumas, so you can trust it will be catchy. The band asks only one thing: dance beyond your struggle.
TC Superstar, Sunday, Oct. 3 at 2:15 p.m. on the Tito's Vodka stage
An Austin grown solo project by Connor McCampbell, TC Superstar is a synth-wave, retro dance group. His new album, "As Seen on TV," is a nostalgic album that revolves around the idea and influence of television in and growing up in America.
The Teeta, Friday, Oct. 8 at 3:15 p.m. on the BMI stage
One of Austin's most forward-facing rappers, The Teeta is a highly prolific artist that has made a name for himself with the release of his fifth and newest album, "24."
The Tender Things, Saturday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. on the Tito's Vodka stage
The "hippie country band" of Austin, singer Jesse Ebaugh was part of the popular rock band Heartless Bastards before committing to The Tender Things. Love ballads, a touch of twang and bluegrass touches make up his music.
Zach Person, Sunday, Oct. 10 at noon on the BMI stage
Last but not least, an indie-rocker with clear Texan influences, Zach Person's punchy riffs and catchy lyrics are worth a listen. He's got the discography too, with two albums ready to rock to.
Don't forget to listen local when you hit the flags this year!
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Ever had sushi delivered to you on a conveyor belt or tried Ukrainian borsch?
If you're looking for a restaurant that shakes up your dinner, try one of these newly-opened options.
Conveyor belt sushi
For a fun, interactive twist on your typical sushi dinner, head to Kura Revolving Sushi Bar. Upon sitting down, you’ll have a conveyor belt to one side, where you can pluck whichever plate piques your interest, or a screen that allows you to order plates a la carte. You’ll pay by the plate, which tends to be less than a few dollars each, and win prizes if you hit the right milestones.
Korean Egg Toast
Serving all things egg, Egg Bomb opened earlier this month at 808 North Lamar Blvd., taking over the former Ola Poke location. Egg Bomb specializes in Korean egg drop sandwiches, with toppings like cheese, caramelized onions, avocado, salmon and condiments; “Egg Tots,” or fries with eggs and toppings, as well as coffee and sides. You can also find egg toast and squid ink hotdogs at Oh K-Dog.
Tortas at La Plancha
With a desire to fill the torta-shaped whole they saw in Austin’s fare, co-owning couple Mariha Hinojosa and Julian Richmond opened La Plancha, 1701 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, on July 1. The Mexican sandwiches are served on a bolillo bun with toppings including avocado, barbacoa, queso fresco, refried beans, cheese, pickles and salsa. There are other options: Think papas fritas, street corn and mini-churros.
Ukrainian cuisine to-go
You can take your chicken Kyiv to-to at new takeout-only restaurant U-Cuisine, 5610 N. I-35, which opened in mid-June. Ukrainian chefs and owners Alla Shelest and Mariana Shelestiuk said they are trying to bring a taste of their home country amidst a difficult time in history. Try the chicken Kyiv, a dill and parsley-stuffed chicken breast rolled in breadcrumbs; borsch, a burgundy beetroot soup; Holubtsi, beef and pork cabbage rolls; and lviv syrnyk, a chocolatey raisin cheesecake.
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Move-in has started for a new 300-foot tower a few blocks away from the University of Texas at Austin.
Known as Waterloo Tower, the fully leased building totals 229,728 square feet and is located off of the Drag, along 24th Street. The Austin-based developer, LV Collective, says this location offers easy access to West Campus restaurants and shops and connects residents to the UT campus.
With 241 units and 796 beds, residents have perks like Daydreamer Coffee in the lobby and a rooftop amenity level. The rooftop has unobstructed views of downtown Austin and the UT campus, plus private cabana-style seating areas, a hot tub and waterfall edge pool.
The building broke ground in 2020 near the start of the pandemic and was completed ahead of schedule. LV Collective CEO David Kanne noted the particular care to the interiors that ensured the building was "thoughtfully-designed with spaces that capture the vivacity of UT Austin students, as well as provide our residents and guests with an amenity-rich experience designed to accommodate and enrich the college lifestyle.”
The tower came to be through an amendment to the University Neighborhood Overlay in 2019. It allows developers to build more units than are allowed by a site's base zoning if they agree to set aside a portion of units for income-restricted affordable housing. So Waterloo Tower allocated two floors of the 30-story tower to affordable housing.
The architecture of the project was taken on by Austin-based architects BOKA Powell and TBG Partners for landscaping while interiors were carried out by Chelsea Kloss.
Other student developments by LV Collective include West Campus buildings The Ruckus and Moontower.
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