Austin Music Awards, Texas Independence Day kick off busy March
1. Austin Music Awards at ACL Live
7:55 p.m. Feb. 28. $35-$150. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. ama2018.com.
Moving the annual awards show out of South by Southwest’s time-window was probably long overdue, as the event tended to get lost amid the mid-March maelstrom in recent years. Its first year unattached to SXSW since 1986 (before SXSW existed!) will feature marquee visiting guests Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, Alejandro Escovedo and John Fullbright; local favorites including the Black Angels, Third Root, Riders Against the Storm and David Ramirez; and a first-class house band led by Charlie Sexton. A “very special surprise guest” also is promised. Proceeds benefit the SIMS Foundation. — Peter Blackstock
2. Tetractys’ Composer Portrait: The Music of Sam Lipman
2 p.m. Feb. 25. $10-$15. 4th Tap Brewing Co-op, 10615 Metric Blvd. tetractysnewmusic.com.
This second installment of a new concert series will feature the music of Sam Lipman, who was hired last year as a composer-in-residence at the University of Texas. Lipman is among the performers of the show on tenor saxophone. The Composer Portrait will feature several of his new works, including a sneak preview of an opera-in-progress, as well as his film-scoring work, and will conclude with some jazz. Dialogue between composer and audience is encouraged.
3. Yard Dog Art Gallery’s “Imagined Cities”
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through April 1. Yard Dog Art Gallery, 1510 S. Congress Ave. 512-912-1613, yarddog.com.
Nate Otto, an image maker from Chicago who has done murals for Nike, Facebook and many other companies, has a new solo show at Yard Dog. His work explores urban landscapes and architecture — with themes of gentrification, development and decay — filtered through his own vision. The inherent and ongoing change in the urban space is among the ideas Otto tries to tackle with his graphic, stylized and simplified drawings, paintings and murals.
4. Texas Wine Growers Tasting at Mattie’s
6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27. $10. 811 W. Live Oak St. eventbrite.com/e/a-texas-wine-tasting-at-matties-featuring-the-texas-wine-growers-tickets-42659332211.
Mattie’s at Green Pastures — the restaurant revamped last year in a stately old mansion — is hosting a special wine tasting with the Texas Wine Growers group. You’ll taste a variety of reds and whites from Texas wineries that source their grapes entirely from the state, including William Chris Vineyards, Westcave Cellars Winery, Lewis Wines and Calais Winery. The mission of the group is to spread the importance of location (the land, air, water and weather) in growing grapes.
5. The City Theatre’s “Noises Off”
8 p.m Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday through March 11. $15-$25. 3823 Airport Blvd. 512-524-2870, citytheatreaustin.org.
Called the funniest farce ever written, Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” is the most outrageous comedy about putting on a comedy. With rollicking wildness centering on a second-rate theatrical troupe, the show within a show combines classic slapstick, British naughtiness, and nonstop humor from a manic menagerie of performers rehearsing a flop with a doomed opening night. Doors slamming, mischief onstage and off, and an errant herring all figure into the plot.
6. Texas Independence Day at the Driskill
6:30 a.m. March 2. Free. 604 Brazos St. driskillhotel.com/happenings/texas-independence-day.
What better place to spend your celebration of Texas’ independence from Mexico than at Austin’s oldest hotel? The Driskill, established 50 years after the Republic of Texas formed, will have a full day of activities, including a Sun Radio Live broadcast starting at 7 a.m. and an Allen’s Boots pop-up shop at 8 a.m. Texas whiskey tastings will kick off in time for happy hour. The day will conclude with Texas Tribune trivia as well as live country music from David Touchton and the Sophia Johnson Band.
7. Independence Brewing’s Cowboys from Helles Release Party
2 to 7 p.m. March 3. Free. 3913 Todd Lane, Suite 607. independencebrewing.com/newsandevents.
Independence has a new beer geared especially for Texans, and the East Austin brewery is celebrating in a particularly Texas way: with a mini rodeo. The afternoon will feature live music, including headliner Hillbilly Orchestra, a mechanical bull, games and a costume contest, and more fun activities. Real live cowboy Tommy Ward from the Lockhart Cowboy Company is also stopping in from 3 to 5 p.m. to teach some roping skills. The Rollin’ Smoke BBQ truck will be on site for grub.