Local Music Journalist
With summer’s highly-awaited arrival this leaves a lot of free time to do whatever you want and if you’re as much of a music lover as I am — which I’m sure you are — that means being on the lookout for any shows and concerts going on around the area. If you’re having trouble finding where to enjoy live music, here are some local spots around the San Marcos/Austin area that never fail to have events going on to keep your long summer weeks packed with amazing live performances!
Pearl Street Co-Op is a student housing center located on UT Austin’s west side of campus. Ran by Pearl Street residents, it’s a perfect location beloved by college students alike. Whether you’re visiting from San Marcos or you’re an Austin local, events hosted here are always a good time. During one of their events, you can stay inside and listen to the bands perform or take a break in between sets to chill and cool off by the pool with friends. No matter where you are around this residency, Pearl Street has an incredible community that you don’t want to miss out on experiencing.
The Electric Church is another fantastic Austin-based venue off of East Cesar Chavez Street. With a super cool name like Electric Church, you already know that this is the place you want to spend your weekends. This venue is a favored spot for people who are a fan of raves or EDM with independent DJ’s often performing outside and local bands performing inside so there’s always a wide variety of music to constantly listen to while at the venue. The Electric Church has events going on at all times, so if you didn’t get a chance to go to an event one week, there’s always something going on the following week and trust me you won’t be disappointed by all this venue has to offer.
Ragnar’s On the Compound is a bar and live music venue located here in San Marcos off of Ranch Road. This is one venue that I actually haven’t visited myself yet, but I have heard plenty of good things from friends, making it high on my list of places to check out. Their Instagram bio states “where legends come to play” so I can only imagine the amount of talented artists that have performed there, one of which being San Mo’s Elephant Ears. I don’t hear this place get talked about as much as some of the other popular live music venues here in San Mo but I’m hoping that I can attend a show at this place sometime soon before the summer comes to an end and I hope you can too, so as to give it the recognition it deserves.
Ok, so this technically isn’t a physical spot with a location I can give you but if you follow any of your favorite local bands on social media be on the lookout for any house shows they may be throwing or playing at. House shows can sometimes be tricky to attend especially if there’s limited invites or you have to DM for the address, but they’re totally worth it for a more personal and intimate music performance as the place is usually smaller than that of a typical venue open to the general public. In my opinion, this setting leads to more engagement with fellow attendees as well as with the bands performing. Some great house shows I’ve attended in the past are San Marcos’s Windowshop and Austin’s Flight by Nothing.
Studio San Martian is a local San Marcos art house also located off of Ranch Road. According to their website, “Studio San Martian is a cooperative community arts organization that hosts a wide spectrum of events including art workshops, yoga classes, tea sits, live music, meditations, poetry nights, film screenings, vending events and so much more.” I have a soft spot for Studio San Martian as one of the first live events I attended here in San Marcos was their Friend Fest back in fall of 2021 that I went to with two of my friends. I had a great time meeting new people and listening to the bands perform, some of which were Austin-based bands Wezmer and Gumma. Studio San Martian is one of the great ways to integrate into the San Mo community and to support local vendors and artists selling their work.
Some honorable mentions are Hole in the Wall (located in Austin), Wake the Dead (located in San Marcos), Lazy Daze (located in San Marcos) and The Porch (located in San Marcos).
Don’t miss out on the chance to listen to some spectacular live music this summer at these places and follow their socials down below!
Pearl St. Cooperative-@pearlstreetcoop
Ragnars on the Compound-@ragnarsonthecompound
Studio San Martian-@studiosanmartian
Written by: kadencemakenna