Filling a chamber with music is as pleasing to the senses as filling a bathtub with warm pudding. Fully grasp this truism by checking out today's side deal: for $12, you get one ticket to one concert (a $25 value) during the Austin Chamber Music Festival, organized by the Austin Chamber Music Center. The festival's eclectic lineup of talent spans the musical divide, tickling the tonal reaches by way of piano trios, string quartets, and tango-inspired quintets. Depending on your flavor of chambered love, choose one or more of the following concerts:
Cavani String Quartet on Friday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
The Bad Plus on Saturday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Brentano String Quartet on Sunday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m., Bates Recital Hall, UT Butler School of Music, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive
Raul Jaurena and The Texas Tango Five on Friday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Claremont Piano Trio on Saturday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Der Golem performed by Carpe Diem String Quartet and clarinetist Paul Green on Sunday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Escher String Quartet on Friday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 4700 Grover Avenue
Festival Finale with Kelly Willis on Saturday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m., Brentwood Christian School, 11908 N. Lamar Boulevard
Tickets for all performances are uniformly priced. Guests who would like to sit together are encouraged to purchase multiple Groupons under the same name.
The Austin Chamber Music Center's performances have been featured in the Austin Chronicle and on the Austin American-Statesman blog, Austin360.com. The center has won several awards, including the award for Best Chamber Performance at the 2007–2008 Austin Critics' Table Awards.
Things Celtic recreates a vibrant version of Ireland and Scotland through an extensive collection of handmade and unique imports. A library of literature feeds historical, culinary, or cultural appetites, and traditional Irish and Scottish teas transport flavors from across the Atlantic. Silver jewelry bends and weaves in the shape of traditional Celtic knots, crosses, charms, and frames surround Ogham artwork, a rare and vertical form of writing from ancient Ireland. Things Celtic also helps friends passionately display their heritage through flags and traditional and custom-made kilts. The hotbed of Celtic pride also takes part in local events, such as music festivals, beer tastings, and seminars on James Joyce's pop-up books.
When Stewart Ramser published the first issue of Texas Music magazine in December 1999, it sold in two stores. These days, his quarterly publication has subscribers in all 50 states. On each colorful, glossy page, writers showcase the work of Texas musicians from across a wide variety of music, from renowned artists such as Lyle Lovett, Spoon, Bob Schneider, Willie Nelson, and Ghostland Observatory to rising talents. They keep readers further abreast with a calendar of music events from around the state and reviews of native Texans' latest albums. Along with new tunes, the magazine celebrates the history of Texas music with features ranging from an Armadillo World Headquarters retrospective to a ranking of the top 50 classic Texas songs.
Images on the video screen swell right along with the singer as she reaches the chorus of "Livin' on a Prayer," inciting her friends to stand up from the wraparound booth and pump their fists. It's a typical evening at Austin Karaoke, where visitors belt, croon, and warble their favorite songs until 4 a.m. on weeknights and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Nine karaoke rooms accommodate small parties of up to 8 or large parties of up to 50. Ensconced in these private studios, songsters search the computerized catalog for their standard baroque numbers, grab the microphone, and then pour their souls into a premium sound system.
For Connie White and Jane-Michael Stallings, the only thing better than beading is teaching others how to make their own unique jewelry. At Lapis Lane Beads, they get the best of both worlds. Their shop stocks an extensive selection of semi-precious gemstones, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver, and gold-filled wire. With all those materials at their fingertips, they have no trouble designing a full schedule of weekly classes that cover topics such as beading, wire wrapping, and avoiding the temptation to eat every bead in sight.
PaintMe Pottery Studio hosts pottery classes, deals in original creations, and takes orders for custom clayware. Many studios let guests paint prefabricated items, but the staff at PaintMe provide clay and instruction for customers to create their own pieces. They then assist in firing the original artworks in a kiln, before returning them to their creators for painting.