Some say Austin marches to the beat of a different drummer. We're convinced the city broke off long ago to start its own band. First stop: Waterloo Records. It's possibly the best independent music store in the South, if not the world. You'll dig the specialty sections, expert staff, and free in-store performances throughout the week. Back on Congress Avenue, descend the stairs to the Elephant Room, a club known for its smooth jazz. Editor's tip: Breathe easily. Austin recently passed a no-smoking ordinance in the city's businesses.
An eclectic lineup keeps the Continental Club one of the city's best live music venues. The club's rich history draws the big guns of rock and alternative country in unannounced sets, so you might get lucky and catch the likes of Kris Kristofferson or Sheryl Crow. Because of its popularity, arrive early or prepare to wait. You could be standing in line with a tattooed biker or a fresh-faced kid in tight Wranglers. Either way, don't be too surprised at how much you have in common when you strike up a conversation with them. That's so Austin and so why you'll love it.
left: You can barely turn around without finding a show here.