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With the Austin City Limits Music festival taking off in the past week, it may seem like this is an inopportune time to make the claim that Houston has a live music scene that can compete. 

No, of course I’m not implying that Houston has something in the realm of live music that competes with ACL, but what I’m talking about here is a whole different type of culture: I’m talking about local live music. 

Local live music consists of local bands and artists that produce original work and occasionally covers. Local artists can come to be known and loved by their performing areas and communities. Over the past 10 years, the local live music scene in Houston has become extremely diverse and inclusive of up-and-coming artists. 

For a while now, Austin has claimed its title as the live music capital of the world, and while the live music scene in Austin is certainly producing a dense force of high-quality work, the reputation that it has built itself has saturated its performer environment. This not only makes it harder for artists to gain experience and grow, it often makes the music sound homogenous. 

The genre of live music performed in Austin doesn’t stray far out of the range of country, ballad blues, and rock. Whereas live music in Houston consists of everything from rap, R&B, Latino music, blues, country, rock, jazz, indie etc. 

Many places have garnered impressive crowds to share in the personal and inimitable experience of watching a local live performer. 

For example, Axelrad, located on 1517 Alabama St., has dedicated itself to live performances every night. Their music calendar consisting of afrobeat, rap, blues, country, rock and many more, can be found on their website. 

On the other hand, Cezanne, which prides itself of being the premier jazz club of the Southwest, has been offering classical jazz trios on the weekends. 

There are so many other great locations that offer live music. Dan Electros often has songwriters showcasing their work, whereas Café 4212 provides an artsy dive vibe with jazz and local blues.

Also, the great thing about Houston is how it supports up and coming artists. So, if you’ve got music you want to share, then show up at the many open mics occurring throughout the week. Together we can make Houston known for what it is: a rich, bustling, and growing live music scene that could give Austin a run for its money.

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