With the bandsDive bars fuel The texas city’s late-night music scene, but there are also plenty of places to shop, eat and go a little batty
“Focused fun” is how Whiskey Shivers’ fiddle player and vocalist Bobby Fitzgerald describes Austin, Texas, one of America’s most famously eclectic and independent cites. “Everyone here is trying to enjoy themselves and do what they love, but they’re all very serious about it. You gotta get stuff done,” he says.
That mindset makes Austin a prime destination for any dedicated band looking to enjoy the journey of (hopefully) getting their big break. Like everyone in the band, who’s musical style has been labelled “trashgrass” and “hardcore roots”, Fitzgerald was neither born nor raised in Austin, but quickly adopted the city as home.
Contrary to the cut-throat nature of the music industry, the Austin scene is known for its good vibes. “Everyone wants to help everyone,” he says. “We’re all just trying to get to the same place.”
TOP FIVE: Messing with texas
1 THE WHITE HORSE
500 Comal Street
“A honky-tonk dive bar on the East Side. A taco truck outside, usually a couple of horses tied up out front. Bikes everywhere. It’s loud, dirty and kinda smells like pee,” says Fitzgerald.
3 CONGRESS AVE BRIDGE
111 S. Congress Ave.
Stake out a spot on the bridge early in the evening in order to see the largest urban bat colony in North America make its post-sunset flight. Don’t worry, they don’t fly above the bridge, but even from a distance, there is a distinct batty smell.
4 UNCOMMON OBJECTS
1512 S. Congress Ave.
This antique shop is like a museum of the absurd, but with a Texas bent: stuffed armadillos, cow-skin lamps and vintage bizarre dolls. The city’s motto isn’t Keep Austin Weird without reason.
5 BOULDIN CREEK CAFE
1900 S. 1st St.
“I didn’t realise until a couple of months eating here that they don’t have meat on the menu, which is strange in Texas. But it doesn’t matter; it’s just so damn good,” says Fitzgerald.
Capital times in austin
Nothing’s more Texan than football. And on Thanksgiving Day (November 27) you can catch the Texas Longhorns in action against local college rivals TCU.
Descendants of German settlers and fans of partying keep the beer and sausage tradition alive in New Braunfels (established in 1845 by a German prince) from November 2-11
THE EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR
Musicians and artists in the city’s coolest neighbourhood open their studios to the general public for two weekends: November 15-16 and 22-23.