Pause/Play What happens to the live music capital of the world, when there's no live music? Hosts Elizabeth McQueen and Miles Bloxson explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted live music in Austin, Texas and beyond. Each week listeners will hear from people across the spectrum of the live music ecosystem about their personal experiences, survival strategies, adaptations and what they think is possible on the other side of this pandemic. Produced by KUT & KUTX Studios.
Pause/Play

Pause/Play

From KUT 90.5

What happens to the live music capital of the world, when there's no live music? Hosts Elizabeth McQueen and Miles Bloxson explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted live music in Austin, Texas and beyond. Each week listeners will hear from people across the spectrum of the live music ecosystem about their personal experiences, survival strategies, adaptations and what they think is possible on the other side of this pandemic. Produced by KUT & KUTX Studios.

Most Recent Episodes

What Do We Do Now?

We look at this latest COVID surge in Austin and ask the question — What Do We Do Now? In this episode you'll hear from Desmar Walkes, M.D — Medical Director/Health Authority for the City of Austin. Pat Buchta — Executive Director or Austin Texas Musicians Aubrey Hays — Musician Mike Hidalgo — Musician Autumn Cymone — Musician Matt the Electrician — Musician Erin Walter from Parker Woodland Kate Howard — Musician Jason McNeely — Managing Partner of Hotel Vegas Jung Kwak PhD, MSW — Associate Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing specializing in end of life issues and Medical Ethics. Erin Walter poses for a portrait at Far Out Lounge and Stage on August 5, 2021. Michael Minasi/KUTX Portrait of Jung Kwak, Associate Professor in the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. Photo by Matt Wright-Steel, courtesy of the Texas Exes

What's Changed for Musicians?

We talk to musicians about what's changed for them at this stage of the pandemic. You'll learn what they're doing differently creatively and with their businesses and how they're feeling overall about the constantly changing Austin music landscape. In this episode you'll hear from Jay Wile Sara Houser Jon Fichter from Sweet Spirit and Hong King Wigs Caleb de Casper Rene Chavez Stephanie Bergara from Bidi Bidi Banda Tee Double Hip-hop artist Tee-Double is pictured in his home studio on July 15, 2021, in Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX Caleb De Casper is pictured at the Steinway Piano Gallery on July 19, 2021, in Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

What's Changed for Music Venues?

We talked to three club owners about what's changed for music venues since things have opened back up, plus we explore the saga behind the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. In this episode you'll hear from: Angela Tharp from the Flamingo Cantina Will Bridges from Antone's Independent music business manager Peter Schwarz James Moody from Mohawk AUSTIN, TX. May 27, 2021. Mohawk reopens with a sold out performance of Heartless Bastards with The Tender Things. Michael Minasi/KUTX

For the Fans

In this episode its all about the fans! You'll hear about how they coped when there were no live shows and how they feel now that things are opening back up. In this episode, you'll hear from: Hady Mawajdeh. : Hady produced a great podcast called "Gun Play." You can listen here. Joanna Castillo Jonathan Weldon Jen Leduc Lulu Bryant AUSTIN, TX. May 27, 2021. Joanna Castillo poses for a portrait with three 15-inch high piles of music shirts that celebrate a variety of artists, venues, concerts and festivals. Castillo bought between 40-50 shirts in just the past year to support artists that were unable to perform due to the coronavirus pandemic. Michael Minasi/KUTX Check out Andrew Weber's piece on venues not yet receiving federal relief Let us know your thoughts! Take the Pause/Play Survey! Listen to songs from this episode of Pause/Play AUSTIN, TX. May 28, 2021. Jonathan Weldon, his wife Laura, and sons Pierce, 8, and Oliver, 4, have been organizing small concerts in their front-yard over the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Michael Minasi/KUTX

Is the Pandemic Over for Austin Music?

We ask the question, "Is the Pandemic Over For Austin Music?" You'll hear from public health experts, a musician, a fan, a venue owner and a venue manager about what whether or not the CDC's change in mask guidance for vaccinated individuals coupled with the big reopening in Austin music venues that took place on Memorial Day weekend signals the end of the pandemic for Austin's music scene. In this episode you'll hear from: Jason R. Pickett, MD, FACEP, FAEMS: Deputy Medical Director for Austin Matt Lara: Public Information Officer – City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management The Teeta: Austin based hip-hop artist Sabrina Mikan RN, PhD: Music fan Steve Sternshein: Managing Partner of Heard Presents and Owner of Empire Control Room and Garage Jeanette Gregor — Venue Manager for Mohawk and Co-founder of The Amplified Sound Coalition. Let us know your thoughts! Take the Pause/Play Survey! AUSTIN, TX. May 28, 2021. The Teeta in East Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX You can listen to Jason Pickett's podcast here: https://atcomd.wordpress.com/category/podcasts/ You can follow Sabrina Mikan on @lovefromatx on Instagram. AUSTIN, TX. May 27, 2021. Sabrina Mikan. Michael Minasi/KUTX

To Play, or Not to Play?

In the latest episode of Pause/Play we tackle the question "To Play, or Play or not Play?" We asked 15 Austin Musicians the same questions — Have you performed during the pandemic? Are you ready to perform now? What would it take to make you feel comfortable performing the way we used to pre-pandemic? Their answers provide insight into what it's been like to be a musician during COVID and what kind of decisions artists are faced with now that more people are getting vaccinated and COVID restrictions are loosening. AUSTIN, TX. May 7, 2021. Pause/Play. Tameca Jones is pictured in Central Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX In this episode you'll hear from: Tameca Jones Chinasa Broxton from Tribe Mafia Daisy O'connor Nayome Topaz McGarrigle from Golden Dawn Arkestra Yin & Yang Gina Chavez Corey Baum from Croy and the Boys Jaehross Megz Kelli and Dougie Do from Magna Carda Sara Houser Chris Conde Daniel Fears Let us know your thoughts! Take the Pause/Play Survey! AUSTIN, TX. May 4, 2021. Pause/Play. Jaeh Ross is pictured in South Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX Listen to the Songs featured in "To Play, or Not To Play?" AUSTIN, TX. May 4, 2021. Pause/Play. Topaz McGarrigle, of Golden Dawn Arkestra, is pictured at his home in East Austin. Michael Minasi/KUTX

The Pivot

In the latest episode of Pause/Play we talk to the lunch ladies of Free Lunch, musician J Soulja, the founders of Mosaic Live Wire and entrepreneur and artist Cam the TSTMKR about how they've pivoted during the pandemic. You'll hear from Jazz Mills — event producer and co-founder of Free Lunch Carrie Fussell Bickley — singer and songwriter with Calliope Musicals and co-founder of Free Lunch Caroline Rose –singer, songwriter and producer and lunch lady at Free Lunch J Soulja — hip-hop artist and promoter Dan Redman — founder of Mosaic Sound Collective and co-founder of Mosaic Live Wire Mike Henry — co-founder of Mosaic Live Wire Stuart Sullivan — owner of Wire Recording and co-founder of Mosaic Live Wire Cam the TSTMKR — hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Let us know your thoughts! Take the Pause/Play Survey! AUSTIN, TX. April 20, 2021. Jazz Mills, of Free Lunch, serves fresh fruit at an event. Michael Minasi/KUTX AUSTIN, TX. April 24, 2021. From the left: Dan Redman, Mike Henry, and Stuart Sullivan, of the Mosaic Sound Collective and Mosaic Live. Michael Minasi/KUTX Find out how to contribute to Free Lunch Find out more about Caroline Rose Find out more about Calliope Musicals Find out more about Jazz Mills project Popecoke Check out Behind the Song on The Smokeout's InstagramTV Find out more about Behind the Song Live, Which airs May 4th at 8pm Find out more about Mosaic Sound Collective Find out more about Mosaic Live Wire Find out more about Wire Recording Find out more about Rent a Record Label

The Art of LiveStreaming

We're looking at the art of live streaming. You'll hear the different ways people are approaching it and what it could mean for the future of the Austin music community. In this episode you'll hear from singer and Songwriter Kevin McKinney, Myf Mars from Hotel Free TV, photographer Ismael Quintanilla lll, Jason Reece from ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Evan and Dustin Bozarth & Grego Loboz from Purple Bee TV, Sean Green and Eric Heirt from Safe House, Sarah Keilers aka Dossey and Drew Dunavan from Love and Lightstream This episode has music from, Kevin McKinney, Sweet Spirit, Sasha and the Valentines, Jaime Ospina, Pelvis Wrestley, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, David Shabani, Jagtronica and Dossey. Links: Kevin McKinney Music Hotel Free TV Hotel Free TV's Patreon. Ismael Quintanilla's I Am Here All Day ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead Purple Bee TV Safe House Love and Lightstream Listen to music from this episode

The Reopening

On March 10th the Texas governor re-opened the state. Now businesses can operate at 100% capacity. He also lifted the statewide mask mandate. We talked to musicians, venue owners & staff about how they plan to navigate the reopening. In this episode you'll hear from: Cody Cowan: Executive Director of the Red River Cultural District Stephen Sternschein: the managing partner of Heard Presents which operates Empire Control Room, James Moody: founder of the Austin music venue Mohawk , Kate Holley: illustrator and also manager and bartender at Cheer-Up Charlies, Clayton England: musician and also bartender at the Far out Lounge Mama Duke : singer songwriter and voice over actor Lili Hickman: musician and visual artist We have a survey and we'd love to hear what you think! Go ahead! Take the survey here! Find out more about Mama Duke Check out Mama Duke as the voice of Hip-Hop Hippo Find out more about Lili Hickman's art and her band Flora and Fawna. Check out Clayton England's music Listen to the music by Austin Artists featured in this episode:

One Year Later

We talked to people from across the spectrum of the Austin music ecosystem around the 1-year anniversary of the cancellation of SXSW. In this episode, you'll hear how they've coped, pivoted, evolved, gained new perspectives and dealt with trauma during the last 12 months. You'll hear from singer, songwriter and guitar player Jackie Venson, songwriter, producer and activist Mobley, Stephanie Bergara who fronts the band Bidi Bidi Banda, Maggie Lea co-owner of Cheer-Up Charlies, musician and founder of Austin Texas Musicians Nakia, singer, songwriter and podcaster Walker Lukens, live-event coordinator, screenwriter and co-founder of The Amplified Sound Coalition, Jeannette Gregor, executive director of the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Reenie Collins, and executive director of Austin Texas Musicians, Pat Buchta. We have a survey and we'd love to hear what you think! Go ahead! Take the survey here! Links: Listen to Jackie Venson's music Check out Mobley's new record "Young and Dying in the Occident Supreme" Listen to Nakia's new single "It's Never Too Late." The Amplified Sound Coalition Austin Texas Musicians The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians