It’s no secret that live performance drives the Austin music economy. We are, after all, the Live Music Capital of the World. Now, with the city on lockdown and the venues closed, Austin’s music community is reeling. As we settle in for a long stretch of social distancing, the primary revenue stream for most artists and service industry workers has dried up.
One of the best ways to support your favorite Austin musician or music business in these difficult times is to buy their stuff. Yes, that means actually spending money on albums instead of streaming them, but it also means clearing out their merchandise stocks of the cool T-shirts, buttons and other fun items they invest in to promote their music.
Each week we’re highlighting fun gear from local artists along with a spotlight on a local venue or music business. Spend that $25 you would have dropped at the bar on your favorite band’s tee, tank or trucker cap and rock your next office Zoom chat like the ace music supporter our city needs right now.
Dayglow: Could bedroom pop sensation Sloan Struble be Austin’s next big international breakout? Spectacular streaming numbers suggest it’s a very real possibility. After the young Austinite’s triumphant spring tour, set to kick off on March 13, was scrapped, he decided to donate the profits from all the tour merch he had ordered to Sweet Relief, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping musicians and music industry workers weather times of crisis. "These past few weeks have been pretty crazy for everyone, but the entertainment industry has specifically taken a massive blow that’s left a lot of people temporarily hopeless," Struble said via email. "It’s been encouraging to see how almost everyone’s first response to it is ‘How can we help each other now?’ That’s really powerful, and I want to be a part of that." Struble is selling long and short sleeve tees ($30 and $25), T-shirt and signed poster bundles ($35 and $30) and patches ($10) for the fundraiser. yourmajestyco.store/dayglow
RELATED: Merch Mondays: Heart Bones, Vapor Caves, Blackillac, more
DJ Chorizo Funk: Let’s be realistic, it might be a while before you’re able to get back out and Body Rock with your homies, but you can keep the party going at home with gear from Austin’s exuberant dance happening. In addition to tees and tanks ($15-$20), Chorizo stocks Body Rock ATX crop tops ($20), snapbacks ($20), pin packs ($5 for three) and short sleeve hoodies ($20). If you’re a fan of fizzy beverages, you can peruse his Topo Turnt line, which includes embroidered dad hats ($25), tees and tanks ($20) and onesies ($20). And if you’re in NBA withdrawl, he has a wide line of Spurs-inspired gear along with a few Houston Rockets-inspired designs. shop.chorizofunk.com/
Molly Burch: If you’re a fan of flowery indie pop and fluffy felines, standout singer-songwriter Burch has your number. Her beloved cat Prez makes an appearance on a gray T-shirt ($25) and pink sweatshirt ($35) available in her merch shop. She also has vinyl copies of her albums "First Flower" and "Please Be Mine" ($25) along with her 7" "Ballads" ($10), a logo cap ($25) and a sassy tote bag featuring naked ladies dancing ($20). mollyburchmusic.com/merch
DJ Mahealani: Maybe you had to (sensibly) postpone that spring break beach trip, but let your imagination swim freely with Mahealani’s La Sirene Mermaids collection. Austin’s queen conjurer of vinyl spells transforms your favorite artists into graceful sea creatures. Janelle Monae flirts with a sea turtle, Cardi B poses atop a pile of pirate’s booty and Lizzo is 100% that fish. If you’re a landlubber at heart, check out the empowering images from her Girls Raised in Texas collection that feature Lone Star icons like Beyoncé, Selena and Erykah Badu. All designs are available on a variety of garments including classic short sleeve ($17.36) or long sleeve ($25.20) tees, tank tops ($19.69), leggings ($40.39) and A-line dresses ($46.45). There are also stickers ($2.50, $1.25 for 10 or more), phone cases ($21), throw pillows ($21.01) and more. redbubble.com/people/djmahealani/shop
Venue spotlight: Continental Club and C-Boys: With over two dozen T-shirt designs in stock ($27 each), South Austin stronghold the Continental Club and sister venue, C-Boys, have one of the most robust merch shops in the city. Want to express your Austin music pride with a guitar? A hotrod? A cow? They got you. We’re particularly fond of their Defend South Austin designs emblazoned with lightning bolts and skulls that sneer at the gentrification that’s transformed 78704 over the last 20 years. In addition to tees they have an assortment of trucker caps ($20), lapel pins ($12) and screen printed posters ($30-$50). While the clubs are closed, Continental Club owner Steve Wertheimer has opted to donate 100% of profits from merch sales to his employees. continentalclub.com/austin-shop