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. In each episode, 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.
EPISODE 10: Music and Activism with Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone
Jonathan “Chaka” Mahone from the Austin hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm talks about how his experience as a Black musician in the Austin music community led him to create the DAWA Fund and the Black Live Music Fund. He also explains why his music is the reason he is able to continue to serve the community he loves.
EPISODE 9: Why Margin Walker Closed
Graham Williams, the founder of Margin Walker, discusses his journey in the Austin music scene and explains why nine months into the pandemic he decided to close Texas’s largest independent concert promoter for good.
EPISODE 8: Mental Health During the Pandemic
Hear from mental healthcare providers and people in the Austin Music Ecosystem about mental health during the pandemic.
EPISODE 7: The Urban Music Fest and Homer Hill
In the latest episode of Pause/Play Homer Hill tells the story of the Urban Music Fest and how it’s been hit hard by the pandemic. You’ll also learn the history of the festival, and hear the challenges Homer has faced in his thirty plus years as a Black Business owner in Austin, Texas.
EPISODE 6: The Return of Live Music Part 2
Hear from people across the spectrum of the Austin music scene talk about their live music experiences during the pandemic.
EPISODE 5: The Return of Live Music Part 1
Live Music has returned to Austin, even as COVID cases continue to surge in Texas. Hear about three live music experiences from the perspective of a fan, three musicians and a promoter.
EPISODE 4: Jackie Venson and Austin City Limits
Follow Austin musician Jackie Venson as she makes her debut on the iconic Austin City Limit’s TV show. You’ll hear how Jackie has been pivoting during the pandemic, and find out how Austin City Limits has been adapting to taping shows without a live audience.
EPISODE 3: The Venues
In this episode, you’ll hear from the owners two Austin venues. Brodie Elkins tells the story of Scratchouse which closed due to the pandemic. Then Maggie Lea and Tamara Hoover talk about how they’ve kept their venue, Cheer Up Charlies, afloat and explain what it’s been like to get ready to reopen.
EPISODE 2: The Musicians
In this episode, you’ll hear tell the pandemic stories of two Austin Musicians — Mobley and Teddythelegacy. You’ll find out how their ability to access financial help has impacted their lives, explore what creative projects the artists have been working on, and hear their perspectives on the uprisings for racial justice.
Check out Mobley’s curated reading list for the Austin Public Library — James Crow, a Songwriters Reader
EPISODE 1: The Pause
On March 6th, 2020 the Austin City government canceled SXSW. That decision had an economic ripple effect throughout the city. It also marked the true beginning of the COVID-19 crisis for Austin. In this episode, hosts Miles Bloxson and Elizabeth McQueen explore why Austin calls itself the Live Music Capital of the World. They’ll look at the effect that the cancellation of SXSW and the subsequent shut down of the bars had on Austin through the experiences of some of the musicians, venue owners, venue staff, and music non-profits who make up this live music ecosystem.
Pause/Play Host Bios:
Elizabeth McQueen is an audio producer and podcast host at KUTX 98.9, Austin’s NPR music station. McQueen is also the host of the podcast “This Song,” as well as the producer for “The Breaks,” a hip-hop podcast. Prior to a career in public radio and podcasting, McQueen was a professional musician who started and played for the band,“Elizabeth McQueen and the Firebrands,” and a member of the legendary Western Swing band, “Asleep at the Wheel.”
Miles Bloxson is an on-air talent and podcast producer/host for KUT 90.5 & KUTX 98.9. The Austin,Texas native and University of Texas graduate has a passion for technology, music and pop culture. She has interviewed such Hollywood stars as Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Kristin Chenoweth, Morgan Freeman, Cee-Lo Green, Forest Whitaker, Robert Townsend and many more. She is the host and creator of her very own podcast and lifestyle brand Miles To Mogul.