Austin Music Map: The Annie Street Arts Collective
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.
Lindsey Verrill and Dan Grissom moved into their ramshackle duplex on Annie Street in 2006, and because Lindsey played music and Dan painted, they decided to call themselves the Annie Street Arts Collective.
Six years later, the name fits. Their band—Some Say Leland—rehearses in their living room each Wednesday night, they host performances on a homemade stage in their backyard, and they’ve become known for the secret shows they put on in unusual outdoor locations around the city—in parks and abandoned buildings, sometimes beneath bridges. Perhaps most notoriously, they invited audiences to crawl into a downtown sewer duct during SXSW a few years back. “The acoustics down there are amazing,” says Verrill.
There’s a philosophy behind these guerrilla shows. As Grissom explains, “I went to art school and there was a lot of talk of creating the gallery space for your paintings. If it’s not the proper space for your work to be viewed, you have to do something with the space.” Because Grissom and his friends make quiet, lo-fi music they found it challenging to play in loud bars and clubs. “So we took it upon ourselves to create an atmosphere, which happened to be backyards and houses and the woods.”
For audiences, the shows become a kind of treasure hunt and a way to experience the city in new ways. Performance locations aren’t revealed until the day of, invitations often travel by text or word-of-mouth, and curious show-goers have to traipse under bridges, wander around softball fields, trace dim paths that lead down to the banks of Lady Bird Lake… Whatever it takes to find the small gathering of fellow fans and a circle of candles or christmas lights that denote the performer’s stage.
KUT multimedia producer Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon was at the most recent secret show hosted by the Annie Street Arts Collective and captured a song by Matt Bauer and Dana Falconberry:
Producer Haley Howle reported this story. The next secret show happens Tuesday, June 19th at 9PM, but the location won’t be announced until the day of. Follow the Annie Street Arts Collective on Facebook for details.
Call (512) 861-8266 to tell us about the strangest place you’ve experienced music in Austin. We’ll feature the best story in an upcoming show.