10 Reasons You Should Go to UtopiaFest This Weekend

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Photo by Jim Bricker
Fall is upon us, and while it might not feel like it outside just yet, it is closer than you think. With the onset of autumn comes the Great State of Texas' busiest season for music, one that finds festival after festival hitting almost every weekend. One event that I look forward to most every year is UtopiaFest. Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, this small gathering of like-minded music lovers has been very successful in its short life as a festival.

Now in its fifth year of existence, and third pulling national touring acts, UtopiaFest takes place on a gorgeous plot of land located just a few hours northwest of San Antonio in a tiny, no-stoplight town called Utopia. With a 2013 lineup consisting of headliners Galactic, !!!, Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Blackalicious, among others, this is assuredly going to be the best year yet.

While it's always tough committing to something so far away, I assure you that the road trip is well worth it. This is one of the best places you could and should spend a late-September weekend, and if the following ten reasons aren't enough to get you to this one-of-a-kind event, than I guess nothing will.


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Alamo Drafthouse Singalongs Bring '80s Music Videos to Big Screen

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Tokyo, South America, Australia, France, Germany, UK, Africa, HOUSTON!
The Alamo Drafthouse people are known for bringing you great movies and TV to their big-screens every week. Plus, the "coolest movie theater in the world" serves booze, which is never a bad thing, and their "no talking or texting" rules are even better.

With locations coast to coast, the Austin-based theater chain is more than thriving. A new location at Vintage Park in far northwest Houston is coming later in February.

Next Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., the theater is throwing a Totally '80s Sing-Along on one of their big screens, showing classic MTV videos for (hopefully) screaming fans in legwarmers and Members Only jackets.


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Brace Yourselves, the End of the World Parties Are Coming

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Here in Houston, we shouldn't need an excuse to throw great parties, but I suppose the so-called Mayan Apocalypse is a pretty good reason to get shit-housed and listen to local bands.

This Friday almost everyone seems to be throwing an "End of the World" show or mini-fest -- if they aren't putting on a holiday show, which are legion unto themselves.

I'm going to see Dwight Yoakam Friday at the Arena Theatre. It isn't really billed as a EOW show, though I wouldn't mind spending my last hours on Earth in front of Dwight.

Fitzgerald's has a huge "Fitz Navidad" show Thursday night, with an all-star cast of bands playing their favorite Christmas songs. (Yes, favorites do exist.) Watch for Rocks Off's Jef With One F talking to some of these artists later on today.

Locals thelastplaceyoulook are having their third annual holiday party and EP release event at Warehouse Live on Friday night too, though they are concentrating on the merry, Yuletide side of the season, and not the "Earth shattering into millions of pieces and humanity rendered into space dust" part.

I don't really know what you wear to an Apocalypse party. Do you dress like a Mayan king, a zombie Santa, a survivalist? Who knows -- just come ready to jam.


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Top 5 Most Anticipated Electric Forest Artists

Tomorrow I set off to another music festival, although this time it's the farthest north I've ever been. Michigan.

Yeah, I know, I need to travel more.

Rothbury, Michigan will host Electric Forest from June 28 to July 1. The festival has local philanthropic initiatives this year such as a Food Drive, Electric Forest's Music In Schools program, art and music sessions and of course the lineup that most travel to see perform live.

Four days in a tent. Music. Bass. I don't think I have ever been this antsy before in my life. I've been to EDC Dallas in summer of 2011, Lights All Night New Year's event of 2011 and plenty of shows, but for some reason I can't even contain my excitement.


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