Magazine article Out

Lone Star Shining

Magazine article Out

Lone Star Shining

Article excerpt

SXSW'S INDIE SPIRITROCKS AUSTIN'S EAST SIDE ALL YEAR ROUND.

Austin has always been Texas's dirty liberal secret, but the last 10 years have been a serious coming-out party. The ATX commonly ranks top -tier among cities for economic prospects and per capita food and leisure spending, while vehemently defending the title of "live music capital of the world." Not for nothing, South by Southwest, the city-consuming confab that brings young musicians, filmmakers, and techies together for a nonstop 10-day party, has become an industry-defining event (its 25th installment took place March 11-20). So how does Austin keep the energy up the rest of the year? Downtown remains gay nightlife central with mainstays Rain (RainOn4th .com) and Oilcan Harry's (OilcanHarrys.com) and rabidly popular video dance night TuezGayz at Barbarella (BarbarellaAustin.com). But forthe freshest action head farther afield, particularly east of the city's major dividing point, IH-35. DAN GENTILE

Slake your thirst at cheap hipster dive bar SHANGRILA (i) (1016 E. 6th St.; ShangriLaAustin.com) or the prewar cabaret-inspired EAST SIDE SHOWROOM (2) (noo E. 6th St.; EastSideShowroom .com), where bartenders shake up vintage cocktails with house-made accoutrements like seasonal preserves and pickles. Try the Velpar, a palate-blasting blend of Texas rum, lemon, St. Germain, and absinthe.

Fizzy, vinegary kombucha on tap and juice-filled fresh young coconuts highlight the new-age vegan menu at CHEER UP CHARLIE'S (3) (1104 E. …

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