Desert Daze

I’m back from visiting the desert with a bunch of Austin amigos and happy to say we all survived tent camping during THE ONLY time it has rained or stormed in this area since I moved here. That was seven months ago! Of course it would happen on a night we were set to see a favorite band (Tame Impala) and sleep beneath pieces of fabric under the stars. My tent is more of a Central Texas or Southern California, warm, dry weather style, and wasn’t really designed for all-weather conditions, so I was impressed that it held up during a whole night of rain with only one tiny leak.

We made it back to the campsite/car area and sought shelter in the bathroom structure after the Friday night shows were canceled. Luckily, this all happened early in the festival so by Saturday we were feeling much drier and ready to head back out for 2 more days and nights of music and enjoying a festival on the shores of a gosh darn glorious lake. If you haven’t tried it, you probably should.

Desert Daze

Midsummer Music

I'm calling it midsummer here because, really, what good could come of admitting that it is anything else but that? And also, does summer ever end in Southern California? I will keep you posted.

This time of year has been good for me and the music scene. I got to see a best band play a best show at the Ace Hotel Theater in Downtown, LA. It was the night before my yoga teacher training and a last minute decision that I'll stand by for all of time. 

Ace Hotel Theatre, Los Angeles

The next week, another best band played a pretty wild and unexpected show at the Hollywood Bowl. There were new songs and dancers and it was something good for me to see.

Also major thumbs up for having found friends here who are into similar music, which is a positive contributor to my not having to be the lonesome girl who just wants to enjoy a show, but I have sometimes been that girl and it was quite alright.

Hollywood Bowl

In the Trees

Hi friends! There's a new moon on the horizon, and this week is delivering the excitement of renewed energy and possibilities. How could it not, when it started out like this? (For me, at least!)

Joshua Tree camping

The weekend took me back to Joshua Tree National Park where I camped with a new friend and got to see one of my favorite bands in funky little Pioneertown

Yo La Tengo at Pappy & Harriet's

Yo La Tengo at Pappy & Harriet's

I have a picture of Georgia, the drummer, on my 2018 vision board and, while I will say that my intention was to play the drums like her, I will accept the universe's offering of getting to see her play the drums in person.

I can tell you that Pappy & Harriet's is a magical venue that is well-worth checking out, and if you happen to be doing so, why not stay at the Black Rock Canyon Campground in Joshua Tree?  It just might be the thing for you.

Hi View Nature Trail Joshua Tree

The Skylark Lounge

I visited a new place last week.

If you get tired of Dirty 6th Street or restored houses designed as bars that all feel the same, you could go here:


Maybe you like music. They have it. Maybe you like pizza. They have it. Maybe you like large backyard patios where you can hang out with friends or smoke things from any of your different devices. They've got that, too.

Enjoy your weekend, Austin!

Sounds on Sounds

Well, this is a little late, but I went to a music festival.

Beach House (hardly pictured) @ Sound on Sound

Beach House (hardly pictured) @ Sound on Sound

At first I was skeptical about the Renaissance Faire/music festival combination, because I like both of those things, but thought they might distract from one another when placed in the same spot. However, I quickly found that the Sherwood Forest fairgrounds are quite magical and really cater to an off-the-beaten-path (read: trippy) festival experience! There were trees and surprises everywhere, and the Texas weather was even starting to feel vaguely like fall. I got to be a VIP, hang out with my friend Jessica (an empowered, hot lady who sells port-o-potties and has found a sneaky way to infiltrate the festival circuit), and also re-live OutKast at ACL a la 2014. If there's anything more I should be asking for in a weekend, I do not know it yet.

Big Boi @ Sound on Sound

Big Boi @ Sound on Sound

The Scene

If y'all are getting tired of these not-so-humble weekly Austin brags, stop reading now! Because we're about to talk about live music in the "Live Music Capital of the World", and there's bound to be some boasting. But in a world where some people can count the number of concerts they've seen on one or two hands, it's really something to get to be around so much music on a daily basis.

Cream Cheese Accident @ One-2-One

Cream Cheese Accident @ One-2-One

In the past month, I've seen old folks jam in a strip mall, friends play their hearts out with free tamales in the background, and newly formed IT rock bands get onstage for the first time at one the biggest venues in Austin.

My friend Chris's new band @ Mohawk

My friend Chris's new band @ Mohawk

Concrete Robot @ The Gatsby

Concrete Robot @ The Gatsby

We've got jam bands, EDM, hip hop, psych rock, synth pop, and whatever other words people are combining to describe sounds these days. There really seems to be something for everyone. Sure, some of our live* music is better than other types, but it's always here and it's usually happening. My ear drums may not make it past 50, but my dancing feet feel happy and my heart feels fresh.

Sometimes A Legend @ CheerUp Charlies (please excuse the terrible-ness of this photo)

Sometimes A Legend @ CheerUp Charlies (please excuse the terrible-ness of this photo)


*=I am using the terms "our" and "live" pretty loosely here. Shout outs to any kind and patient neighbors who have ever heard me trying to play drums in the garage.

ACL Time! How to: Music Festivals

Regrettably, I did not post this in time for Weekend One of ACL, but there's still plenty of time to prepare for Weekend Two, or any other Fall Festival that might have your palms wet with anticipation. Here are some tips from a 4th timer:

Austin City Limits Music Festival

1. Honesty is (almost never) the best policy

Last week, I courageously asked my supervisor to leave early for ACL on Friday and she said no, but told me that she could have said yes if I'd been sick, leaving for a trip, or if my family was visiting. From this I have learned to bend the truth to the exact opposite limits of possibility. Get the flu, invite an imaginary friend to town, let your grandma die for the third time this year. Do what you must to gain a brief glimpse of freedom!

2a. Remember you're a human

In spite of your animal ears or alien attire, you still have to drink water, eat food, and walk/ride/roll yourself out when all the things end. See 2b. for recommendations.

2b. Granola bars

What a world! There are tens, if not twenties, of types of these things available to us at every grocery store. If ACL, save all your food calories for Amy's Oreo Shakes and eat these as meals. Mix it up or you'll end up hating Clif bars for life, until they introduce the new nut butter filled flavors upon which you will rejoice. Variety is the spice of snacks. And don't waste your time with any cereal bars. 

3. Treat your feet

If you're over 25 and not cool or hip, consider taking the insoles out of your running shoes and putting them in your posing-ass cool hip flat-bedded shoes. I'm old and this is a real suggestion.

4. Be open

Talk to the people around you. Ask them if you can touch their Zuru air chair because, what? If your friends are all going to a different show, go see the ones you want to see on your own. But don't be too stuck to your pre-planned schedule. Leave time for grass laying, traipsing, and general BS-ing. It'll all be fine.

5. Cancel Monday

I'm writing this after working on a Monday after Weekend One and so, yeah.

ACL Fest Austin TX

Wake-up Call

In college, I knew a friend whose mom was about to take a new job in education after taking several years off from the working world. The week before her first day, she started setting her alarm earlier and earlier so that she could practice waking up on time. Back then, I thought she was being a little dramatic. I wondered, could it really be that hard to adjust to a pre-8 a.m. schedule?

After my first full week of 7:30 a.m. clock-ins, I don't wonder that anymore. Now that the school year is in full swing and we barely have time to get dressed, work, eat, exercise, and take care of all the adult business like laundry/groceries/keeping the roof tied down, just to do it all over again the next day, I find myself wanting to squeeze as much fun into the weekends as humanly possible.

Fortunately, this one contained enough music, friends, tostadas, and new stomps around familiar territories to keep my summer-jonesing heart fulfilled. 

Concrete Robot @ The Sahara Lounge

Concrete Robot @ The Sahara Lounge

B played one of our favorite venues for the first time. I helped our sweet Nicole warm her adorable new home. Our lady Lacey turned 30 in the midst of house shows, slip-and-sliding, and chicken sh*t bingo (if you didn't know, well, now you know). We even got to flex our cultural sides with the eye-opening Elliott Erwitt photo exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center.

The very smooth Wild Toast @ Trevor's house

The very smooth Wild Toast @ Trevor's house

Oh, and there were biscuits (unphotographed due to lack of time), pinatas (unphotographed due to lack of sobriety), and turtles (photograph below). 

Turtles at the University of Texas Austin

Turtles at the University of Texas Austin

I'm ending Sunday with a happy heart and an inspired soul. I hope you, too, had a weekend to make your long weekdays feel like no big thang at all.

Full Moons & Frisco

This weekend got us into some happening "new-to-me" Texas activities. On Friday night, we went to my first Full Moon Swim at Barton Springs, and on Saturday I hesitantly rode in the band van all the way to Frisco, TX to watch B play a show. The two short days flew right by me, but I had a great time and learned some new, not really very surprising things.

Things I learned about Austin this weekend: Austin is a place where people of all ages will gather monthly to swim in 60 degree water at night, howl at the moon, dance, most likely get naked, and probably do some types of drugs. However, this time there were a lot of supervisors walking around the area so I think the naked dancing and drug-doing was not as much as during full moons of the past. Still, anything at Barton Springs gets a 10/10, would do again.

Full moon at Barton Springs

Things I learned about Frisco this weekend: The Frisco Bar has the nicest bartenders of any bar ever. They are just plain cool and friendly without even a hint of better than you bartender superiority. Also, being in Texas, Frisco has a Whataburger and that Whataburger serves honey butter chicken biscuits and that's really all a Texas town needs to be good enough for me. Thank you Frisco for your hospitality and Fouled Out for an awesome show!

Fouled Out @ The Frisco Bar

Fouled Out @ The Frisco Bar

How-to: Labor Day, Austin style

1. Find a lake house

Lake Travis in Austin, Texas

Long, end of summer weekends beg for water. Rent a lake house, make a lake-residing friend, start a relationship with someone who lives on a lake, take over an abandoned dock, etc. Do whatever it takes! It's an investment in your future and you (probably) won't regret it. 

2. Let there be music

Concrete Robot @ Hole in the Wall

Concrete Robot @ Hole in the Wall

Few things could be called "Austin style" without live music. I followed in the footsteps of Spoon/St. Vincent/Doug Sahm/Natalie Portman/a bunch of other famous people when I was treated to my first show at Hole in the Wall on Saturday night. Then, on Sunday after the lake, our smelly, lakey selves wound up at a house show to hear our friend, Jimmy Dee's, angelic vocals. It was all super cool and musical and Austin-y. Plus, there were Oreos. Yay!

3. End it with a free day of yoga

Free Day of Yoga Austin, Texas

I am only half sure that it falls on the same day each year, but this Labor Day happened to coincide with Austin's Free Day of Yoga which brings us tons of different style yoga and meditation classes all over the city. I was happy to help out with my friend David's yoga and meditation in the morning and to enjoy another yoga class in the afternoon. What better way to wrap up your non-laboring weekend than with your choice of stretching, kirtan chants, gong meditations, and/or reiki energy circles?

Cori Dombroski yoga teacher