Snapshot: Hot Summer Nights Band Portraits

Favorites from the summer season's Free Week

You've heard of Free Week, the annual seven-ish days in January shebang featuring stacked lineups of top-tier ATX talent held in the Red River Cultural District. But whatchu know about its midyear sibling, Hot Summer Nights? It's essentially the same concept, a vehicle to boost bar profits and audience numbers during notoriously slow late July, but shorter ... and heinously hot.

"No matter what the extreme, you just have to surrender to it, and that's a good lesson for basically all of life's chaos and organization," said Rose McGarrigle of Golden Dawn Arkestra, who headlined Stubb's Friday night in celebration of new album Children of the Sun. "So you adapt, because that's the strength of the human species. They're the most adaptive species on the planet."

"Snapshot" sweated out the local music block party's second edition Thursday-Saturday (full gallery at, intermittently pausing for artist portraits and asking, "What's your ideal hot summer night in Austin?"

Being Dead's Cody Dosier and Juli Keller (who played Barracuda on Saturday): "It starts off with us taking off our clothes and getting into really big robes," says Keller. "And we've just doused ourselves in acrylic paint so our pores are completely covered, we're not even allowed to sweat, we turn off the freezer, off the refrigerator, turn the oven on full blast." Adds Dosier: "And we'll make some duck ... we're drinking cocktails through our gasoline jug, then we mount our horses and ride to the volcano. And that's like the final fireworks. Beautiful, and then it just melts us alive ... it's like a funeral." Quips Keller: "The afterparty is afterlife."

Think No Think's John Dowey (r) (Mohawk, Thursday): "It's what's gonna happen tonight: You set up early, get a few drinks, you watch a bunch of good bands, you play a good set, and then everyone ends up jumping naked into a pool at the end of the night. The best way to liberate yourself after doing all these sweaty activities is a naked pool."

A Giant Dog's Sabrina Ellis (r) and Andrew Cashen (bottom cubby) on the "meat and potatoes" of an ideal HSN (Barracuda, Friday): "We just yell meat and potatoes at each other ... and then it ends in gravy," says Cashen. Adds Ellis: "The loser gets covered in the gravy, if you know what I mean. Whoever's gravy happens second, loses."

Sailor Poon (Barracuda, Saturday): "I think firefighters should be involved," says keyboardist Sarah Cuk. "Really hot, buff, sweaty firefighters. I'd just like to go to the station and chill there to pick up as many hot firefighters as I can." Adds guitarist Madison Whitaker: "I wish firefighters would come to our practices, because we're just so hot, in our underwear, burning, lots of yeast infections."

Golden Dawn Arkestra (Stubb's outdoor, Friday): "I think tonight was the perfect hot summer night, a community coming together," says Rose McGarrigle (bottom left). "It's the longest lunar eclipse in the last century ... and we always have intention, but we always happen to somehow schedule things on events like this serendipitously, which is amazing."

Chief White Lightning's Josh Logan (Mohawk, Saturday): "It'll start out with a couple of joints, I go see some beautiful Austin acts, walk down the city streets, sweat – sweat, sweat, sweat. Live through the sweat, have a couple of drinks, maybe some mezcal, maybe end up taking some mushrooms. I don't know, I let the night take me wherever I go. Whatever the ticket is, I just take it. And by the end of the night, I'm usually hanging out at some afterparty – you know, Electric Church or some other place where other likeminds are. And then go home, A/C on 65, butt-naked after a shower trying to get some sleep. The most magical one would be ending the night at a swimming pool or swimming hole. Summer is about swimming."

Darkbird's Kelly Barnes (third from left) (Thursday, Mohawk): "I'm just gonna hang out at Matt's El Rancho for several hours [and] have loads of margaritas. The afterparty is over at Hotel Saint Cecilia with only a few of my friends that are invited, and we get in the pool there. Some sweet-ass bottles – maybe there's champagne or white wines. We're not drinking red wine on a hot summer night. If you even consider that, you're not invited." Replying to the suggestion that it's starting to sound like a new music video by Sisqo of "Thong Song" fame: "I respect Sisqo more than anyone."

Mobley (Stubb's, Friday): "When I first moved here I was super broke. I still don't use my A/C that much, but I never used my A/C at all when I first moved here. So I guess a nostalgic hot summer night would be a Sonic Route 44 slush that I bought during happy hour and put in the freezer. Then some movie from the library. ... That would be the ideal, sweating it out on the couch."

Emily Wolfe (Mohawk, Thursday): "Honestly, playing a show in a sweaty venue – I love those kinds of shows. It's like a release. Afterward, you go to P. Terry's, you get a double cheeseburger, you get the fries and the shake, you bask in the glory of the show, then you watch Netflix and pass out."

Moving Panoramas' Leslie Sisson (second from left): "As the sun goes down, we go swimming, then we all get cheap sushi somewhere. Then we toast to having a good show, get a little loosey-goosey. Then we're all cooled off, not too hot, and then we play this hot show. Then we go get midnight food somewhere and toast again, and then we go swimming again. So it's a swimming sandwich." At the mention of Think No Think's naked pool party suggestion: "I like that idea. Maybe we should just go swimming with Think No Think."

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Red River Cultural District, Hot Summer Nights, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Rose McGarrigle, Being Dead, Cody Dosier, Juli Keller, Think No Think, John Dowey, A Giant Dog, Sabrina Ellis, Andrew Cashen, Sailor Poon, Sarah Cuk, Madison Whitaker, Chief White Lightning, Josh Logan, Darkbird, Kelly Barnes, Mobley

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