Austin Music Map: Help Us Build the Map
KUT’s Texas Music Matters is partnering with the national Localore project to create the Austin Music Map: a yearlong effort to go beyond the well-traveled streets of the Austin music scene in search of the hidden places where music is being made. We want your help discovering and documenting these places. To find out how to get involved, visit austinmusicmap.com or call our hotline with stories and tips: (512) 861-8266.
Our first few stories for the Austin Music Map have explored a wide range of musical experiences in the the city. So far we’ve covered conjunto at the Moose Lodge, gospel at Mt. Zion Baptist, electronic music (and formerly blues) at Baby Blue Studio, and lo-fi folk with the Annie Street Arts Collective.
Each of these communities interested us for a particular reason. For the conjunto crowd, music is a way to connect with a tradition that extends back for generations, often to grandparents and great-grandparents. For the members of the gospel churches we’ve visited, music is a mode of worship and a way to elevate their services. The underground electronic community that hosts shows at Baby Blue Studio appreciates the DIY freedom that the unfinished space provides, and the Annie Street Arts Collective creates musical experiences that function a little like treasure hunts.
Our goal for the next eight months is to refract the “Live Music Capital of the World” into a patchwork of compelling stories from across the city that reveal something unique about the lived experience of music in Austin. While we work on more reporting from our end—bouncing around story ideas about tango, hip hop, and punk—we also want to hear from YOU, our listeners and collaborators.
We’ll be launching an interactive website in August—designed in partnership with Zeega, a new nonprofit dedicated to participatory storytelling, and local designers Public School. But even before then, you can get involved in various ways and help us shape the project:
1) Call our hotline at 512-861-8266 and tell us a story about one of your favorite musical moments in Austin. Where did it happen and why was it particularly memorable? A few examples from recent interviews include: Hayes Carll recalling a real “Cheers moment” when he walked into the Hole in the Wall and saw a friend up on stage setting his bass on fire. Or accordionist Susan Torres looking back on a house party she threw that echoed some of the “fiestas de casa” she remembered as a child. And then there’s this story, left on our hotline this week, which describes an evening of sledgehammers, flame throwers, and rioting at The Bates Motel, an iconic old punk dive:
Your story could be big or small, communal or intimate, so long as it means something to you and you can tell us why.
2) Contribute photos to our Flickr pool, which is now 170 images strong and counting. Community members have submitted striking photos of the Carousel Lounge, the Historic Victory Grill, the Elephant Room, and gospel churches, street buskers, marching bands, festival revelers, and more. If you use Twitter or Instagram to share photos, just tag them #AustinMusicMap. You can also “Like” us on Facebook and submit images there.
A couple of favorite recent contributions include the image above of the trombonist line at this year’s Honk!, captured by Flickr contributor zeiss66super and this mural on the side of the Historic Victory Grill, captured by Paul Lowry.
The material you submit to us will form a significant part of our website when it launches in August and your contributions will lead us to corners of the city we never would have known about before. Together, we can build a whole new map of Austin music.