100% Austin news, info, and entertainment, straight to your inbox at 6 a.m. every morning.
In five minutes, you're fully informed and ready to start another great day in our city.
This year has been a bit of a downer for the Austin music scene. With cancelations of events like ACL, South by Southwest and pretty much every concert this year, Austin is sorely missing its world-famous trait of being the live music capital of the world.
However, just because musicians aren't gathering as much in person these days doesn't mean music isn't happening. Nine months into the pandemic, Austin musicians are getting their music back out there.
Combined with Waterloo Records reopening after months of shut down on Nov. 2, Austin is slowly starting to feel like its old self again.
Don't miss these newest tracks from Austin's own.
Willie Nelson & Karen O, "Under Pressure"
This cover by Austin country legend Willie Nelson and vocalist for band The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Karen O, came about to draw attention to struggling music venues all over the country. "Under Pressure" a slowed-down, withered take on the Queen classic is achy and mourning, indicative of the state of many industry professionals.
Jackie Venson, “Vintage Machine”Twitter
Austin up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jackie Venson dropped her long-awaited, visually driven album "Vintage Machine." The album is futuristic and ethereal, with trippy effects and the guitar riffs Venson is famous for. Venson plans to hold a live release party on Nov. 20.
Daniel Fears, “Canopy”
Daniel Fears spent years performing with other notable locals like Wild Child and Ley Line, but Fears takes on a new sound all on his own this time. Fears harkens musicians like Frank Ocean and James Blake in his work, with drawn out vocals and tranquil soundscapes. A trained saxophonist, Fears offers tones of soul in his music.
Jamestown Revival, “A Field Guide to Loneliness” EP
Indie-folk duo Jamestown Revival wrote its new EP post-COVID-19, wishing for company in a lonely time. The members, Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance, wrote the songs from their homes, locked away in quarantine. The songs are gently introspective and provide easy listening, though it is clear the writers had solitude on the brain, especially in tracks like "Loneliness." The duo has plans to start recording their next full-length album this month.
Vallejo, “Amigos Amigos”
Hailing from Austin, Vallejo is the last name of three brothers who make up the rock band, plus a few additions. Vallejo has been making music for 25 years. The newest album, "Amigos, Amigos," features collaborations with artists from all over the Lone Star State. The Latin-esque beats and meaningful vocals will get you out of your seat.
- 90% of Austin's live music venues won't survive past October ... ›
- Austin Bergstrom brings live music back to its terminal - austonia ›
- 11 ways to get your Austin live music fix online - austonia ›
- Some Austin live music venues reopen to smaller crowds - austonia ›
- Missing local TV channels like KVUE? Here's why - austonia ›
- Beloved Austin native Willie Nelson receives COVID vaccine - austonia ›
- Red River Cultural District and Vans team up on a limited edition design - austonia ›
- SXSW: Willie Nelson talks love, music and smoking weed - austonia ›
- Austin officials push back against state bill on noise levels - austonia ›
- Willie Nelson to host cannabis convention for 88th birthday - austonia ›
Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
- Matthew McConaughey featured on the cover of People Magazine ... ›
- Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey talks preserving Austin ... ›
- McConaughey to showcase Texas talent in winter storm benefit ... ›
- Texans vote McConaughey in latest governor poll - austonia ›
Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."