Keep Austin Venues Weird

Mohawk hosts local and national talent, as well as other events such as a karaoke night. Mohawk has a style inspired by Native American culture.

Photo Credit: Elizabeth de Regt

A local show is a great way to blow off steam when students finally get a break from the stresses of essays, tests and internship hunting. In the live music capitol of the world, there are plenty of options for entertainment. From indie to punk to dream-pop-psych-garage (yes, it’s a thing), each venue is unique in its flavor and audience. Here are just a few of Austin’s favorites.

The Mohawk

The Mohawk, which has a style inspired in part by the Native American culture of the Northeast, is one of the most flavorful clubs in Austin. From its periodic Karaoke nights to the much-anticipated Beard and Mustache competition (Feb. 22), this club never ceases to entertain.

“The Mohawk is a collaboration of artists, musicians and music-lovers, many of whom are natives of Austin and have been immersed in live music since childhood,” said Cody Cowan, The Mohawk’s general manager. “We love good music. It is in our bones. It puts fire in our hearts. We want to share this with fellow music lovers.”

The Mohawk’s location also has a rich and interesting history.

“We are located on the bottom of a cliff; our neighbors above us are the German-Texan Heritage Society,” said Cowan. “This site was chosen in the mid-19th century because the cliff created a sheer wall against hostile Native American infiltration up into the settlement. In current times, would-be patrons have been known to break into the GTHS to climb down & sneak into Mohawk shows.”

These sneaks were all expelled of course.
As if that’s not enough, Cowan added that if students need an additional reason to frequent The Mohawk, there is “whiskey and lots of hotties, guys and gals.”

The Buzz Mill

The Buzz Mill is a quality “oh-so-Austin” coffee shop and bar that doubles as a folksy local music venue. Unlike your typical bar, The Buzz Mill employs a unique theme, which is lumberjacks and all things wooden. Yes, you read it correctly. Upon entering The Buzz Mill, you will be welcomed by beavers and bears and wooden furniture galore (oh my!).

Woodsmen, lumber ladies, studiers and partiers alike are all welcome to eat, drink and be merry at The Buzz Mill.
“They have different types of cider and Sunday brunches that consist of mimosas and all-you-can-eat pancakes and bacon,” said English junior Lauren Beck. “As a venue, they book bands who fit the theme they’re going for. I have seen so many extremely talented folk artists play at The Buzz Mill.”

Your experience at this venue is sure to leave you feeling fat, happy and well versed in woodsmen tradition. Celebrate your Wednesday by listening to fun, flavorful bands at The Buzz Mill’s weekly event, Hump Day Honky Tonk.


Located on East Sixth Street, Parish is a larger venue with a capacity of up to 450 people. It is a favorite hub of music legends and local musicians alike. Past artists include Bowling for Soup, Ben Gibbard, OK Go, NEEDTOBREATHE and Dierks Bently.

If you climb the stairs to the second floor, you are in for a truly wonderful musical experience. The atmosphere is dark and sometimes smoky, lit by the candelabra-like chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and then of course, the stage. Sterling Wright, junior psychology and classical archeology major, said that he really loved the closeness he got to experience with the bands. There are no fences five feet away from the stage to facilitate crowd control.

“If the guitar-man sweated I got a full dose of it,” Wright said.

Before or after the show, patrons can satisfy midnight munchies or have a drink at Parish Underground, which is a restaurant that occupies the entire first story of the building.