August in Austin
Plenty of acts and events worth braving the heat to see
August is probably the least hospitable month in Central Texas. It's hot hot hot; not in a good, Buster Poindexter kind of way, but in an "I'm not going to leave the house" kind of way. For music fans, the heat is not a good excuse to stay at home; plenty is going on this month that's worth a little sweat. Just think of it as a warm-up for the Austin City Limits Music Festival in six weeks, which promises to be a lot more punishing than a relatively dustless night out downtown.
As far as bad weather humor is concerned, the August lineup at Stubb's really can't be beat. Things kick off in a chilly way Tuesday with British rock band the Arctic Monkeys (get it? the arctic is cold?), who, like almost every other Britrock band to explode with an impossible level of hype, should have been dead albums ago. On Monday, things stay cool with the Decemberists (they'll also tape an episode of "Austin City Limits" the following night). Fans of the Portland group shouldn't miss this show — the band is about to going on hiatus, so it's probably the last time they'll be around this neck of the woods for a while. And just when you thought the corny weather tie-ins were done, Blue October and their army of passionate fans hit the Waller Creek Amphitheater Aug. 19. Other shows this month include Avi Buffalo (Saturday), Bush (Aug. 17) and STS9 (Aug. 26).
Another way to beat the heat is to go to well-air conditioned venues like ACL Live, which will host horn-powered classic rockers Chicago this weekend (Aug. 6). Next week there will be a handful of "ACL" tapings (Decemberists and Gillian Welch, Aug. 9; Jeff Bridges, Aug. 10) which you might be able to snag a seat to if you keep an eye out for ticket giveaways this week on the ACL blog at austincitylimits.org/interact/blog . Alt-rockers from the '90s Stone Temple Pilots stop by Aug. 16, followed by Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club featuring Omara Portuondo on Aug. 26.
If you want to get out of town, the first night of the Dia De Los Toadies at the Whitewater Amphitheater (Aug. 26-27) is sold out, but there are still tickets available for the second day, which promises to rock with performances by Austin metal pros the Sword, the Black Angels, Ume, Quiet Company, the Whiskey Folk Ramblers and of course, Toadies. Then there is top 40 hitmaker Ke$ha with LMFAO at the Cedar Park Center (Wednesday ).
If indie rock is more your thing, Mohawk has Woods, White Fence and rising local psych rockers Holy Wave (Friday); Gardens and Villa (Aug. 10); Dum Dum Girls (Aug. 12) and Handsome Furs (Aug. 26). Veterans are represented here as well, with and Olivia Tremor Control (Aug. 31). Beerland has Sacramento noise rockers G Green with Air Traffic Controllers (Aug. 10), local punk favs the Dikes of Holland (Aug. 11), Crisis Hot-lines (Aug. 12) and psych pop duo Yellow Fever's tour kickoff (Aug. 26). Local groups hitting Emo's include Followed By Static, John Wesley Coleman and the Beta Rhythm (Aug. 18) and the Calm Blue Sea, My Education and Clouds are Ghosts (Aug. 19).
On the other side of Congress Avenue, Antone's has Charlie Robison, Jackie Bristow and Brian Keane Friday. Next week it's three nights of music with Guy Forsyth, Scott H. Biram and Kalu James (Aug. 11), Monte Montgomery (Aug. 12) and the Ian Moore Band reunion (Aug. 13). Suzanna Choffel and Quiet Company share a bill (Aug. 19). A few blocks away at Momo's, catch local Americana/rock/soul all-stars the Coveters on Tuesdays (today, Aug. 9, 16, 23, 30) or some of the musicians that comprise the collective, including frontwoman Suzanna Choffel (Aug. 27) and Warren Hood and the Goods (Sunday, Aug. 14, 28). If you like the Stones, check out King Corduroy and the Smokestack Horns performing the entire "Exile on Main Street" (Aug. 18) with guests Tim Crane (T-Bird and the Breaks), Dan Dyer and Drew Smith, among others.
If you prefer more intimate surroundings, the Cactus Cafe has performances by Jon Dee Graham (Aug. 12) and David Ramirez (Aug. 26). The Nutty Brown Cafe has quite a bit going on this month, too, with Bruce Robison (Wednesday ), the Gourds (Aug. 13, 20), Cody Canada and the Departed (Aug. 17) and Band of Heathens (Aug. 27).
It's a big month of music, with shows small and large, for a variety of tastes before our next wave of fests hit. Don't let anyone tell you there's no reason to go out in the heat.
More August events
Centroamericantofest. One-day events showcasing authors and musicians from Central America. 7:30 p.m. Saturday . $12. Cactus Cafe, 2247 Guadalupe St. www.cactuscafe.org .
"Servant of Two Masters." Free show presented by Penfold Theatre and the City of Round Rock Parks and Recreation Department. "Masters" is a comedy that promises mayhem, Marx Brothers-style slapstick and plenty of plot twists. 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 21 , with one Sunday show at 8 p.m. Aug. 21. Round Rock Amphitheater, 301 W. Bagdad Ave, Round Rock. No reservations required, picnics welcome; food and drink will be for sale. www.penfoldtheatre.org .
"Down the Drain." Austin playwright John Boulanger writes a dark comedy specifically for actors Martin Burke and Meredith McCall, two of Austin's favorites. Aug. 11-28. Hyde Park Theater, 511 W. 43rd St. www.hydeparktheatre.org .
Jonathan Dotson & Thales Smith. Presented by Austin Classical Guitar Society. 8 p.m. Aug. 11. $5. Cactus Cafe, 2247 Guadalupe St. www.cactuscafe.org .
Ring of Fire. 13- 26- 42-or 84-mile bicycling course that begins and ends in Luckenbach. All ages. With live music and free beer. Saturday. Go to www.redlicoriceevents.com for full schedule of course, music and registration fees.
Run, Recycle, Refuel: Livestrong Austin Marathon "Trash Run" (or walk). 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 9. Starts at Botticelli's Restaurant, 1321 S. Congress Ave. The event starts with a briefing on what goes to compost, recycling or trash. Then folks head out and clean up Congress Avenue (one group goes to Riverside Drive and back, the other to Oltorf Street and back). youraustinmarathon.com
Sweet & Twisted Triathlon. The all-woman race has moved to Camp Champions in Marble Falls. Aug. 21. Go to redlicoriceevents.com for information on the schedule, registration fees, child-care options and pre/post-race recreation at the camp.
Austin Italian Festival. 4 p.m. Aug. 21, Laguna Gloria. www.atasteofitalyinaustin.com .
NOCC Balance 5K and Kids' K Race. The Austin chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition sponsors this event, which leads into Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in September. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 28 at the Domain. Go to www.balanceaustin.com for details and to register.
Austin Fashion Week. Aug. 20-27. fashionweekaustin.com .
Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. Spicy, hot fun in the sun. Beginning at 11 a.m. Aug. 28, Waterloo Park. www.austinchronicle.com .
Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. The 10th year for this feast of improv, sketch and standup. Aug. 31-Sept. 5. www.outofboundscomedy.com