Here in the Live Music Capital of the World, performances drive the local music economy. With most venues closed, Austin’s music community is reeling, and 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.
Local artists and businesses have been upping their merch game. They’re selling cool tees and tanks, stickers and art to help them survive. They’re also finding creative ways to raise money for important causes.
Now that every day is casual Friday, why not pick up a few new tees from your favorite artist?
Or a sweet mug for your morning coffee? Or koozies for backyard sipping? Sure, it’s not the same as seeing them at a club, but it’s a fun way to bring the spirit of your favorite artist into your home.
If you’re an artist or music business owner, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your merch.
Coffee with Croy: Each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Corey Baum, the artist best known as head honky-tonker for Croy and the Boys, takes to his Instagram and Facebook pages to host his weekly livestream, Coffee with Croy, a rollicking virtual brunch shindig.
To “commemorate this weird time that we've all spent together on Sunday mornings,” he’s teamed up with Revelator Coffee and Fine Southern Gentlemen to produce a special Coffee with Croy mug, he said.
In the pre-pandemic era, Revelator owner Emma Chevalier was a regular at his Country Mondays DJ night at the 13th Floor. Baum had no idea she owned a successful coffee company until “after the lockdown,” he said.
“I had the idea for the mug. She said we should cross-promote and raise money” to help undocumented workers who are forced to weather the coronavirus crisis in the shadows, he said.
Baum spoke to a number of immigration attorneys and immigrant rights activists. Multiple people suggested the Workers Defense Projects emergency relief fund for undocumented workers affected by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, as a worthy cause to support.
The mugs sell for $25, and 100% of the proceeds go to the fund. Purchasing a mug also qualifies fans of country music and caffeine for a free month of coffee if they sign up for a bean subscription from Revelator. Each purchaser also will be entered in a raffle and “one lucky son of a gun will win a six-month coffee subscription, with coffees of your choice,” Baum said.
The mugs went on sale May 16, and within a few days, Baum said he raised almost $900 to support the nonprofit. (revelatorcoffee.com)
Blxpltn: One of the most potent political punk bands of the Trump era, the local three-piece harnesses righteous rage to shout truth to power. Wear your contempt for consumerism, digital intrusion and the status quo on your chest with an “Always Watching” tee, which features an eerie eye staring out of a television, or a “Death Market” tee with a skull peering out of a sliding door ($27.49 each). You can also pick up the band’s stickers for $2.49 each, $4.49 for two or $9.99 for a pack of five. (blxpltn.com/store)
Mike and the Moonpies: The American-Statesman’s Peter Blackstock called “Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold,” the regional country faves’ 2019 release that they recorded at London’s iconic Abbey Road studio, “a classic country masterpiece.” Show your appreciation with a solid black tee emblazoned with the album’s title, or browse the band’s other T-shirt designs, which include a Texas rattler, a country crest and a “Might Be Wrong” design featuring a lyric from their 2018 ode to regrettable behavior ($25 each). Snag a onesie for the baby buckaroo in your crew ($15) or a cool trucker cap ($25). The band also stocks stickers ($5), koozies ($5) and more. (mikeandthemoonpies.bigcartel.com)
End of an Ear: The storefront for the South Austin crate-diggers’ haven is still closed, but you can drop by their well-organized website to purchase albums for curbside pick-up and delivery. Pre-order albums and peruse new releases by genre on the main site, then hop over to the store’s Discogs page, where you can virtually dig through over 3,000 used titles, searchable by genre, price and year. Curbside pick-up is free and the store is offering free local delivery on orders over $75.
If you’ve got a few hours to kill, snap up virtual screening tickets to select music documentaries from Magnolia Pictures, including the 2012 release “Big Star, Nothing Can Hurt Me.” Magnolia will give 40% of the proceeds from your ticket purchase to the indie record store.
And don’t forget to stop by the store’s merch section to pick up End of an Ear T-shirts in black, grey or natural ($12), baseball caps ($12.99) or trucker caps ($9.99) or a special tote bag celebrating the store’s 15th anniversary ($7.99). (endofanear.com)