My KUTX: Greg Beets & Richard Whymark Tell The Tale Of ’90s Underground Austin Music In ‘A Curious Mix Of People’

Michael Minasi / KUTX

Greg Beets & Richard Whymark

My KUTX // October 7, 2023

The ’90s was a decade of flux for Austin’s music scene. The Armadillo World Headquarters was long gone, Stevie Ray Vaughan was dead by August 1990, and an economic downturn shuttered dozens of downtown buildings. But the flip side of that bust was cheap rents and creative freedom. ’90s Austin is where the Slacker mentality was born, where you could make a nationally-acclaimed movie with absolutely no star power. It’s where you could make rent just by playing a handful of monthly shows with your weirdo band.

Greg Beets and Richard Whymark were firsthand witnesses to this strange and wonderful time. They both started at KVRX 91.7 FM, the University of Texas’s student radio station. They saw how Austin’s ’80s punk icons the Big Boys, the Dicks, and the Butthole Surfers not-so-quietly laid the DIY foundation for the ’90s underground music scene. Downtown punk squats doubled as music venues. An upstart club called Emo’s offered free music every night of the week. Bands were birthed in Vietnamese restaurants. And spectacle was king: day-glo paint, live chickens, or performing on stilts helped transform Austin’s raw sounds into can’t-miss theatrical events.

On October 17, Beets and Whymark release A Curious Mix Of People, their oral history of the ’90s Austin underground, via UT Press. The book is a revelatory and incredibly entertaining read; with each anecdote and archival photo, you come away realizing just how lawless and exciting the scene was. But it also helped launch the careers of Spoon and Sixteen Deluxe, paved the way for the Red River Cultural District, and turned Austin into the official Live Music Capital of the World.

Beets and Whymark are celebrating the launch of the book with a conversation with Sixteen Deluxe’s Carrie Clark, moderated by KUTX’s own Laurie Gallardo, at the Austin Central Library on October 21. Then on October 28, some of the ’90s scene reunites for a show at the Parlor. And this week on My KUTX, Beets and Whymark are the guest DJs. They trace the history of this wild, weird Austin with music from some of the best, brightest, and most controversial bands of the time. Hear My KUTX on Saturday, October 7 at 6 p.m. or listen anytime right here.


  1. Pocket FishRmen – “The Leader Is Burning”
  2. Squat Thrust – “That Don’t Smell Like Chicken”
  3. ST 37 – “Ghosts Of Tempera Nymphs”
  4. Pork – “I Never Knew”
  5. Ed Hall – “White House Girls”
  6. Fuckemos – “Mexico”
  7. Sixteen Deluxe – “Idea” (7″ version)
  8. Sincola – “Rundown”
  9. Stretford – “Suicide”
  10. The Motards – “Self Destructive”
  11. Spoon – “Not Turning Off”

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