Free Week begins. Because it was launched in 2003 by Transmission Events’ Graham Williams, Free Week tends to be most associated with Transmission’s home club, the Mohawk, and other neighboring Red River venues. But it’s not limited to that district, and furthermore, the concept has always been a bit elusive. Many local venues have free shows year-round, of course, while others have a mix of free and cover-charge shows. And then there’s “Three Week,” Hotel Vegas’ $3-cover adaptation for most, but not all, of its early January shows. So it’s a good idea to check venue websites for specifics. A few first-night free highlights, then: The former Red 7 has reopened as Barracuda and features a five-band bill topped by indie trio Moving Panoramas, who released one of last year’s most-talked-about local records. … The Mohawk spreads nine bands across its two stages, including Calliope Musicals and Y0ung Tongue outside and Zettajoule and Blue Healer inside. … Hotel Vegas starts out free before its Three Week shows begin, welcoming Magna Carda, Ume, Megafauna and Outskirts. … North Door gets in on the action with a diverse bill that includes Wiretree, Shivery Shakes and Wrenfro. … Stubb’s goes metal with Insvrgence, Thieves, Dsgns and Ugly Twin on its indoor stage. … Lamberts takes the free road to the west side of downtown with Chakra Khan and Shapescenes. … Down south at Radio Coffee & Beer, fiddler Erik Hokkanen swaps his usual Thursday gig for a New Year’s Day celebration.
Cover: Guitarist Jimmie Vaughan’s run as the 2016 Texas State Musician officially ends with his New Year’s Eve show at C-Boy’s as part of the Mike Flanigin Trio, but their run at the South Congress hot spot extends through Friday and Saturday. … Del Castillo’s Alex Ruiz hosts a tribute to the Gipsy Kings with flamenco dancers at Strange Brew. … The Continental Club goes old-school Austin with big-top rockers Shoulders and the cosmopolitan jazz of 8½ Souvenirs.