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14-musicWillie Nelson & Family New Year

Dec. 30 and 31, ACL Live

Live from Willie Nelson Boulevard, it’s…Willie Nelson! On Dec. 30, the Red Headed Stranger plays ACL Live at the Moody Theater with country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson. And on New Year’s Eve, he plays again with blues-rock band Vintage Trouble. Father Time Texas and Baby New Year will also make appearances. Seeing Willie Nelson, who has more than 200 albums, live—in Austin—should be on everybody’s bucket list, and what better way to ring in the new year?

  • 12/5 KGSR’s 24th Anniversary Soiree, featuring Spoon with St. Paul & the Broken Bones and James Bay, ACL Live
  • 12/5 The Nightowls second annual Friday Night Fever, Stubb’s
  • 12/6 Penny & Sparrow, The Parish
  • 12/7 Lauryn Hill, Emo’s
  • 12/17 Glass Animals, Emo’s
  • 12/17 Blind Boys of Alabama, One World Theatre
  • 12/26 & 12/27 Toadies, Emo’s
  • 12/31 Bob Schneider’s New Year’s Eve Party, The Paramount Theatre
  • 1/10 Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra with Elias Haslanger, ACL Live
  • 1/22 Kenny G, One World Theatre
  • 1/28 Tesla, Emo’s
  • 1/31 Pat Green, ACL Live
  • 1/31 Railroad Earth with Shook Twins, Stubb’s
  • 1/31 KUTX Live at The Paramount presents Allen Toussaint, The Paramount Theatre
  • 2/5 Guster with Kishi Bashi, Stubb’s
  • 2/12 Alice Cooper, ACL Live
  • 2/13 Lotus, Stubb’s
  • 2/17 Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, The Long Center
  • 2/28 Carnaval Brasileiro, Palmer Events Center


14-holidaySister’s Christmas Catechism: Mystery of the Magi’s Gold

Dec. 26, 8 p.m.; Dec. 27, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., Rollins Studio Theatre at The Long Center

This may be a little too close to home for those of us that attended Catholic school, or it could be just what the doctor ordered for implementing a new Christmas tradition. This hilarious holiday production of acclaimed national play Late Nite Catechism engages audiences young and old as Sister attempts to crack the mystery of what happened to the Magi’s gold while poking fun at viewers, handing out gifts and prolonging the holiday spirit as you laugh your way through Sister’s Christmas Catechism.

  • 11/26–12/28 A Christmas Carol, ZACH Theatre
  • 11/28–12/28 This Wonderful Life with Martin Burke, ZACH Theatre
  • 12/6 A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Music of Vince Guaraldi, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., The Paramount Theatre
  • 12/6–12/23 The Nutcracker, The Long Center
  • 12/8 Conspirare Christmas with Ruthie Foster, The Long Center
  • 12/11 –12/21 Of Mice and Music: A Jazz Nutcracker, The Long Center
  • 12/13 KUTX Live at The Paramount presents Kelly and Bruce’s Holiday Shindig, The Paramount Theatre
  • 12/16– 12/24 Armadillo Christmas Bazaar with music from Dale Watson, Suzanna Choffel, Carolyn Wonderland, Marcia Ball and more, Palmer Events Center
  • 12/19 Robert Earl Keen’s Merry Christmas From the Fam-O-Lee, ACL Live


14-racesHITS Running Festival

Dec. 14, Circuit of the Americas

Experience the magic of the Circuit of the Americas racetrack with HITS Endurance. There’s a little something for everyone, as the festival encompasses a friends and family 1-mile run, and 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon options, as well as a sprint duathlon (2-mile run, 10-mile bike ride, finished with another 2-mile run). You may not be able to run or bike as fast as an F1 driver can drive, but the energy at COTA is palpable, making this race an unforgettable experience.

  • 12/5 Lights of Love 5K, Mueller Hangar
  • 12/6 Run Like the Wind 5K and distance runs of 3, 6, 12 and 24 hours, The Canine Center for Training and Behavior
  • 12/7 ARC Decker Challenge Half Marathon, 5K, Kids Run, Decker Lake
  • 12/14 Austin Jingle Bell 5K, The Domain
  • 1/1 Commitment Day 5K, Life Time Fitness South
  • 1/11 Color Fun Fest 5K, Travis County Exposition Center
  • 2/7 Cupid’s Undie Run, Rattle Inn
  • 2/15 Paramount Break-a-Leg 5K and Austin Marathon and Half Marathon, downtown Austin


Just Opened: Must-Try New Restaurants and Bars

Sa-Tén: From East Side King’s Moto Utsunomiya, and Kome Sushi and Daruma Ramen’s Kayo Asazu, Sa-Tén serves innovative Japanese-American fusion food, and has an equally creative coffee drink menu with BYOB options for the boozehounds. 916 Springdale Road, building 3, suite 101, 512.524.1544.

St. Philip: This spot has delicious pizza, sandwiches, house-made bread and baked goods, and a stellar craft-beer and wine list. 4715 S. Lamar Blvd., 512.358.7445.

14-foodSawyer & Co.: This retro diner features Cajun-inspired comfort food like creole shrimp and grits, and chicken and smoked-sausage gumbo. 4827 E. Cesar Chavez St., 512.531.9033.

Olamaie: Taking you back in time is this classic Southern restaurant. 1610 San Antonio St., 512.474.2796.

Patika: Patika has an in-house bakery program, outstanding coffee and a great neighborhood vibe that make the new brick-and-mortar location a must-visit restaurant. 2159 S. Lamar Blvd.

Fork and Taco: These are fusion tacos at their finest. Uchi alum Casey Fannin serves up innovative taco combos like Asian pear chicken, and pulled pork with soy-maple crema, Asian slaw and cilantro. 4801 Burnet Road, 512.838.6768.

Gardner: The seasonal-vegetable-focused restaurant from Contigo owners Chef Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton will offer the best produce, meat and seafood available. 1914 E. Sixth St., 512.354.1480.

The Knotty Deck: A playful urban tree house joins the Renaissance Austin Hotel to offer local craft beer, specialty cocktails, savory Texas-style dishes and live music. 9721 Arboretum Blvd., 512.343.2626.

Figure 8: The newest coffee shop on the Eastside serves small bites and a great ambiance. 1111 Chicon St.

Black’s Barbecue Austin: The legendary Lockhart institution owned by Kent Black opens a location in Austin. 3110 Guadalupe St.

Coming Soon: Renowned Restaurateur and Chef New Digs

Launderette: Expect great things from Executive Chef Rene Ortiz and Pastry Chef Laura Sawicki, formerly of La Condesa and Sway, for their new concept, scheduled to open in late 2014 on the Eastside.

Shake Shack: Going into the Lamar Union Complex in late 2014 is Danny Meyer’s newest location of the popular burger and custard franchise.

Fixe: This progressive Southern cuisine restaurant stems from Michelin-starred restaurant chef Zach Hunter and Eddie V’s James Robert and Keith House.

Wu Chow: Swift’s Attic owner C.K. Chin and Chef Mat Clouser will open a modern Chinese restaurant in the newly constructed IBC Bank building.

Mongers Market and Kitchen: From seafood distributor San Miguel and Kenichi chef Shane Stark comes a fresh gulf seafood restaurant and takeout spot.

Lonesome Dove: Austin Food & Wine Festival’s grill master Tim Love is bringing a Fort Worth favorite to downtown Austin.


Sittin’ on Top of the World

The University of Texas at Austin has again been recognized as one of the best universities in the world, earning the No. 28 slot in the 2014-2015 Times Higher Education world university rankings, which is considered one of the most authoritative assessments of universities. Austin ranks sixth among public universities in the U.S. Although UT is losing state funding and charges lower tuition than most public research universities in the U.S., it maintains its renowned professorial reputation and educational experience.

Reporting Live from Washington, D.C.

The Texas Tribune celebrated its five-year anniversary last month with plans to expand, thanks to a newly awarded $350,000 grant from the Hewlett Foundation. The news organization is planning to open a new bureau in Washington, D.C., to improve coverage of Texas’ congressional delegation.

Texas Icon

Last month, the Briscoe Center for American History’s Willie Nelson Collection was unveiled at the north end zone plaza of Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium. The Willie Nelson, Texas Icon exhibit features the internationally famous singer-songwriter’s donations of his correspondence, manuscripts, records and awards. Willie Nelson, Texas Icon provides students and fans with a deeper understanding of Nelson’s career, relationships and creative process, and his influence on American culture as an artist, activist and philanthropist. The exhibit also includes photographs and song manuscripts, posters, illustrations and portraits, platinum records, certificates and awards, signed books, screenplays and many personal items.

Race to the Finish

On Dec. 16, the Austin mayoral runoff election will take place, finalizing the race for mayor between Steve Adler and Mike Martinez. With Adler receiving 37 percent of the vote and Martinez receiving 30 percent, neither landed the absolute majority of votes in the race, resulting in a needed runoff between the two. With the municipal election being moved from May to November, Austin’s voting numbers more than tripled this election, but there’s more work to be done; multiple city council members are still involved in the runoff at this point. Early voting begins Dec. 1.

14-newsbeerBeer Me

At the 2014 Great American Beer Festival Competition in October, Texas craft breweries had a lot to celebrate, winning a combined 16 medals. GABF hosts the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served in a public tasting event and private competition, bringing together brewers and enthusiasts of the hoppy beverage. Austin took home four of those medals, furthering our city’s growing industry and appreciation for local and craft beer.

Austin Winners:

Gold: Oasis Texas Brewing Company’s London Homesick Ale (Ordinary or Special Bitter category)

Silver: Thirsty Planet Brewing Company’s Yellow Armadillo American Wheat (American-Style Wheat Beer category)

Silver: Austin Beerworks’ Fire Eagle (American- Style Strong Pale Ale category)

Bronze: Pinthouse Pizza’s Jaguar Shark (Woodand Barrel-Aged Strong Stout category)


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