OV Recommends: Four local sets to catch this weekend

halloween in austin

Undoubtedly, “the Live Music Capital of the World” is spectacularly riddled with concert showcases 365 days a year. While some exhibitions are A-list favorites like neo-funk producer, GRiZ and contemporary R&B pioneer, Usher, Austin is noted for it’s sustainable mantra relating to local talent. The city is deeply rooted in united creativity and strives to further the successes of our creative vanguards. This Halloween weekend, the concrete jungle will, per usual, be pulsing with eclectic, local resonance. For those of you feeling conflicted as to which shows to attend this holiday weekend, let OV alleviate your anxieties with this carefully selected list of the finest local, live performances.


This spunky, warm, alternative outfit is especially important to check out this weekend. As of Thursday, the six-man outfit released their debut album: “Like A Diamond in the Rough, You Shine.” The band is a collaboration between Jake Miles, Nathan Wilkins, Harrison Anderson, Zeke Jarmon, Mary Bryce and Annie Long. In recent months, SMILE has accelerated it’s following using a very simple tactic- Playing. Good. Music. Their sound is a fully immersive experience–you will leave a show covered in rhythm. Although the band puts forth the talent of six artists, they lay on a foundation of raw individual ability as seen in their video recording of “i dunno.” Their unique personalities radiate through their posture alone–they carry an overall abstract disposition that translates smoothly into their music. The dreamy, rock n roll vibe SMILE possesses is the sound of progress in alternative music. Their album release party is Friday, October 28 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at a sure-to-be-bumpin house party. To request an invite to the event, visit SMILE’s Facebook page and send them a message!

Blunt force

In recent years, electronic dance music has witnessed the inception of new (and brilliant) sub-genres. EDM is often scrutinized for it’s unfortunate tendency to praise producers who simply, “push buttons.” These do-the-least DJs take away from the dexterity and innovation that keeps the community marching into musical progression. Austin based, electronic duo, Blunt Force is a laudable testament to the advancement and improvement of electronic music. The handsome twosome Brain Gustafson and Deniz Baykal use contemporary funk influences to capitalize on an already popular realm of music. Gustafson, the duo’s producer, actively turns tables, dupes drops and blasts deep, funky bass with a contagious smile on his face. Baykal, the ensemble’s drummer brings a sense of gravity to cynical music consumers. His impressive and effective proficiency on the drums serves as a platform for the integration of classic instruments- a reminder that EDM is not strictly defined by Moog synthesizers. The musical chemistry between the two radiates vicariously through future funk and groovy womp. Gustafson and Baykal are revolutionaries in an often repetitive genre and you can check their sound out while they open for Bass Physics this Saturday for Empire’s Halloween Throwdown. Doors open at 9 p.m.

the eastern sea

Influenced by bands like Broken Social Scene and The National, this Austin native indie rock band, The Eastern Sea has taken the city by storm in recent years. Their recognition has transcended locality as they’ve gained praise on a national scope. Their coffee house vibes, and calming side effects guarantee an intoxicating possession. The self proclaimed “folk and roll” outfit is a combination of Matthew Philip Hines, Tomas Garcia-Olano, Kevin Thomas, Kurt Lammers and Andy Beaudoin. The Eastern Sea is reinventing alternative music and defining it as a more-than-relevant genre in 2016. Their nostalgic, kind sound will be resonating with enchantment Saturday night at Barracuda as they open for East Cameron Folklore. Doors are at 9 p.m. and tickets are available for a humble $8.

hippie house event

This unique, DIY showcase of local music and art is a distinguished alternative to mainstream concert infrastructure. The grassroots concert series is hosted by local music enthusiast and party planning wizard, Andrew Hall. The house party serves as an occasion for community togetherness through art, networking and of course, beer. This Saturday marks the second ever hippie house affair. The inaugural function was well received and vigilantly and creatively executed,  securing it’s return for round two. Alongside enterprising local vendors and great food, musical acts include multi-dimensional, electric world-funk band, Trouble In The Streets and new-to-the-scene southern rock trio, Gasoline Boots. This weekend’s theme is, of course, Halloween. Dress your weirdest, come uninhibited and enjoy an evening with authentic, soulful Austinites. Doors are at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $5 at the door. Explore the event’s Facebook page for location information.

Featured photo courtesy of Adam Nyholt.