Lite + Brite Monthly: May

Hello, what’s up, and welcome to the May monthly edition of the Lite + Brite newsletter.

May is here, folks, which means it’s your last chance to get in your outdoor fun before the mercury rises in the ol’ thermometer. To help you out, below we’ve listed 30+ things to do this month, many of them outdoors. We put this list together for the planners among you so you can schedule in all the wacky, arty, creative stuff that May has in store. For you last-minute types, we’ll be back in a day or two with our regular edition of weekly event picks.

Speaking of picks, we’ve got something new for you this month. People often ask us where we find new music in 2024. We’ve got our ways (if you really wanna know we can talk your ear off)—but better than teaching you to be a music nerd, you can take advantage of our nerdery. The two of us have compiled a full playlist of newly released music we’re loving this month, featuring a lot of indie rock, a few household names + lots of fresh faces. We love these tunes and we’re excited to share them with you. More info below (or click here).

Lastly, this month we spoke with Cheerful Secrets, whose site-specific theater productions Flood of Spirits and Overheard on a Train you’ve seen gracing these very event listings. Scroll down to check out the interview (or click here).

If you’re not already a subscriber to this newsletter and you want to be, click here. We send out one email a week, usually on Fridays, plus this bonus monthly edition around the start of each month. Please support us by contributing to our Patreon and by forwarding this email to your friends who enjoy things like listening to music and leaving the house sometimes.

Let’s do fun stuff!

—Leila + Brian

What We’re Listening to

Rather than just giving you a single music pick from each of us, we have graduated into a full-on playlist. We picked out 20 songs released within the last year or so that we’re excited to share. This playlist is mostly indie rock with the occasional foray into indie-ish dance music. There’s lots of extremely new tracks, a couple songs by some well-known artists with new music, and artists from both Austin and all over the world, many of whom were here in town during South by Southwest. We hope you’ll give it a whirl and find some new favorites.

Listen on
Spotify / Apple / YouTube

Sculpture Club – Drive Too Fast
GIMMY – Bathrooms
Two-Man Giant Squid – I Was a DJ in 2015
O. Wake – Riper than Ripe
Blue Hawaii – Belly Ring
Luxxury – Strangely Familiar
Nuovo Testamento – In My Dreams (Powerhouse mix)
Ricardo Autobahn – The Hands of Porsche (Helen Love Remix)
Psymon Spine – Boys
Holy Wire – Worse for Wear
MGMT – Dancing in Babylon ft. Christine & the Queens
The Sooks – Sunburnt Smile
Y Dail – My Baby’s in the FBI
Juanpalitoschinos – Me Hago Mal
Donny Benét – Forbidden Love
Flamingosis + Marc Rebillet – Feel Yourself
Le Couleur – Moderne, Transgressive et Excessive
Discovery Zone – Pair a Dice
Nabihah Iqbal – Sunflower

Looking Ahead to Upcoming Events 

Our weekly newsletters will include many more listings, but here are a handful of events that we know are planned for the next month. We’re giving you the heads up now in case you want to pre-buy tickets or block off the time.

  • May 1 – 5: The Amazing Acro-cats at the Long Center
    Watch as acrobatic cats act catty + sometimes do tricks (if you are lucky)
  • May 3: Bullride at the Museum of Human Achievement
    Table read of a script for a film about erotic rodeo clowns + special guests
  • May 3-5, 10-12, 17-19, + 24-27: May Market at Blue Genie Art Bazaar
    Browse n buy art from local artists all month long
  • May 4: Austin Outdoor Living Tour at homes throughout Austin
    Check out prominent works of landscape architecture across town
  • May 4: Art Salon Aesthetic Mystique at Curia Arcanum’s House of Curiosities
    Art focusing on the transcendent, “fantastic creatures,” + fortunes told
  • May 4: Reuse on the Runway at Mueller Branch Park Pavilion
    Fashion show w/”focus on inclusivity, reuse + challenging” conventions
  • May 4: Fiesta Austin at Fiesta Gardens
    Celebrate Cinco de Mayo early w/live music, DJs, food, + cornhole
  • May 4: May the 4th Be with Y’all at Central Machine Works
    Celebrate everything Star Wars w/costumes, kid stuff, lightsaber battles, + more
  • May 4 – 5: Austin Record Convention at the Palmer Events Center
    A riot of records, a cavalcade of vinyl, + even the odd CD, cassette etc
  • May 4 – 5: Pecan Street Festival on E. 6th
    Downtown shuts down to make way for vendors + live music
  • May 4, 11, 18, + 25: Overheard on a Train at the Downtown CapMetro Station
    Enjoy immersive theatre while you ride on board Austin’s only train
  • May 9: No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea
    Our own dance party in the dark w/music from DJ Brian Blackout
  • May 10, 11, 16, 17, + 18: Moonfall at dadaLab
    “Immersive + interactive mythic fantasy ballet”
  • May 10-12 + 17-19: Aurora at the Paper Plate Gallery
    A play mixing small-town Texas life and UFOs
  • May 11: Food Fight at Hi Sign Brewing
    Comedic pro wrestlers + drag performers unite for a good cause
  • May 11: Pun-Off World Championships at Brush Square Park
    Punning linguists from all over the world pun competitively
  • May 11: Where Does Peace Begin? at Collection Rert
    Artists tackle existence in a world where terrible things happen
  • May 11: Hyde Park Storytelling at Batch Craft Beer + Kolaches
    Storytellers ply their trade in a local craft beer spot
  • May 11: Imole Fantasy Faire at Tiny Minotaur
    An otherworldly vendor market w/questing + kid-friendly stuff
  • May 15 – 19: Cine Las Americas Film Festival at AFS + other locations
    View films of all kinds made by Latinx filmmakers from Texas + beyond
  • May 17: Fallout ATX at Elysium
    Celebrate the world of Fallout w/games, DJ, photobooth + Nuka Cola bevs
  • May 17 – 18: Flourish at Capital Venue
    Performances by fire spinners, aerialists, + acrobats wielding LED props
  • May 17 – 19: Affordable Art Fair at the Palmer Events Center
    A large-scale art fair focusing on affordable art pieces for sale
  • May 18: Cirque Vida at Radio East
    Radio-themed circus arts by aerialists, contortionists, + acrobats
  • May 18: Mortified at the Highball
    Folks tell tales of adolescent angst in a new comedic light
  • May 23: No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea
    Our own dance party in the dark w/music from DJ Brian Blackout
  • May 23 – 25: Kaleidoscope at KMFA
    Modern dance focusing on color + works by living composers
  • May 23 – 26: ATX Sketch Fest at Coldtowne
    A multi-day celebration of sketch comedy
  • May 25: Slam Portal at Central Machine Works
    Interdimensional pro wrestling by one of the successors to PWR
  • May 25: Summer Arts Festival at Contracommon
    Family friendly art activities + live music performances
  • May 26: Texas Mushroom Conference at UT-Austin
    Fun guys n gals giving talks about mushrooms + other fungi
  • May 30 – June 2: ATX TV Festival at various downtown venues
    “TV camp for grown ups” w/panels, premieres, stars, + screenings
  • May 30 – June 2: Texas Burlesque Festival at the Long Center
    A big celebration of all things burlesque + vaudeville
  • June 1: Pancakes and Booze at the Far Out Lounge
    “Balls to the wall” art show w/ pancakes + adult bevs

The Austinites Behind the Curtain: Cheerful Secrets

We love spotlighting local creatives who are responsible for the events that we list. Remember, there would be no pig parades, facial hair competitions, dance shows in quarries, or sound installations in tree houses without the individual people who organize and promote them. You can read some of our previous interviews on our website.

In this month’s issue, we spoke with Rebecca Maag, the producer behind local immersive theater company Cheerful Secrets. Check out a little bit of the interview below, or click through to read the whole thing.

Lite + Brite: Tell us about the origin of Cheerful Secrets. What was your first event?
Rebecca Maag, Cheerful Secrets: I formed Cheerful Secrets right at the end of 2022. I was aiming to produce my first show as part of FronteraFest, a theater festival which happens in Austin every year in January-February. That first show, Flood of Spirits, was really the springboard for me. It was a good idea that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I wrote, directed, produced, and performed Flood of Spirits first at Hillside Farmacy as part of FronteraFest 2023, and then later that year, I brought it to The Driskill, where we sold out our eight-day run leading up to Halloween.

L+B: Cheerful Secrets’ current production, Overheard on a Train, is running every weekend through the end of this month. We did it a couple weeks ago, and it was so fun: the writing was excellent; it was a unique afternoon activity to do with friends; and it got us onto the commuter rail for the first time ever. How would you describe Overheard on a Train to someone who hasn’t been yet?
CS: It’s an interactive immersive experience that happens on board Austin’s commuter train. You and three friends will sign up as a group, and you’ll receive a script when you board the train. During the train journey, your foursome will read the script to each other, out loud. (It’s a “table read,” and you are the actors!) You won’t know the plot in advance; instead, your collective story will unfold as you turn each page and deliver each line. The experience lasts two hours, includes a free drink at intermission, and we start and end downtown.

L+B: What’s next for Cheerful Secrets? Any events or opportunities coming up that our readers should know about?
CS: I intend to bring Flood of Spirits back to the Driskill this October, but this time it will be dinner and a show. So, expect a higher ticket price that will include a prix fixe menu from the Driskill chefs, and a little bit of extra time to dig into the real-life history before the show begins. I’m also creating an opportunity for playwrights and screenwriters to work on new storylines for Overheard on a Train—see more details about the Cheerful Secrets Writers’ Room! Follow @cheerfulsecrets on Instagram or sign up for the mailing list at to find out what comes next.

L+B: What are some of your favorite Austin events or experiences that you don’t produce?
CS: Master Pancake from Alamo Drafthouse is consistently hilarious; I never regret going and I always mention it to guests who come visit. [Editor’s note: We almost never list Master Pancake screenings in this newsletter only because they sell out so damn fast.] I felt the same about Sh*t-faced Shakespeare at Spiderhouse Ballroom, but I haven’t seen it on offer in a long time; I hope that comes back some day! Zach Theatre is my favorite place to see a show because there are no bad seats in that building. And let’s give a round of applause to Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Show, for awesome light installations made available to the public for free!

Read our full interview with Cheerful Secrets here.

All-the-Time Austin Artsy Fun

Our weekly newsletter features upcoming events, but sometimes the activity you’re looking for isn’t an event at all—it’s a place that’s always there. Next time you find yourself on an afternoon when nothing special seems to be going on, you could consider checking out one of these evergreen options.

  • Tiny Minotaur
    Drinking and costumed LARPing, Dungeonsynths performing in the dungeon w/lots of lore
  • The Eureka Room
    Uniquely goofy, silly, + fun immersive games you play with a group. No spoilers!
  • Escape the Box on South Congress
    So you think you can escape boxes. Sure, but what about time traveling boxes?
  • We Luv Video
    The Alexandria Library of video rental. It’s community-run, you can rent movies or watch them in a cinema while literally surrounded by VHS tapes and DVDs.
  • The Goats at Jester King Brewery
    More a theme park geared towards folks who like refermented cherries in their beer (me) than a brewery. I have not experienced the Goat Experience, but I have seen their goats, and I approve.
  • Cathedral of Junk
    A towering achievement to collecting weird old stuff that will spark nostalgia and cause you to wonder at your last tetanus shot timing
  • West China Tea House
    In addition to their events, West China is a wonderful place just to chat with interesting and welcoming people and drink some delicious tea
  • Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve
    A lovely park + nature walk that is protected by a crack corps of dedicated peacocks and peahens. Good luck escaping without some flashy, feathery displays.
  • Laguna Gloria
    The Contemporary Austin’s outdoor sculpture garden. Culture + Nature = Profit.
  • Austin Creative Reuse Center
    A nonprofit shop where you can get any art, craft, or office supplies you can imagine for literal pennies. Eat your heart out, Office Despot.
  • Museum of the Weird
    It’s right there on Dirty 6th but worth a visit. From famous fake paleontology to recreations of horror film sets, there’s lots to see.
  • James Turrell’s Skyspace
    Like Turrell’s best works, this is an art experience which unfolds slowly over time. Watch as the changing colors of sunset remake the space.

Thanks to our Patreon subscribers

A huge thank-you to our Patreon subscribers Amy Hayes, Katie Green, Christina Jue, Colleen MB, Lilly Ettinger, Lena Long, Amalia Litsa, Alexander Freed, Spencer, Kristen Backor, Timon A., Kate Murray, and Amy Wilde. We’re deeply grateful for your support, which allows us to do things like “pay our Mailchimp fee” and “spend hours researching Austin events when technically we should be working.”

If you’d like to support us on Patreon and get access to exclusive member-only benefits, you may do so here.


Recent weeks found us watching brass bands at HONK!TX, watching the eclipse at Bobo’s Snack Bar, and watching dancing forklifts at The Way of Water at Onion Creek. Follow Lite + Brite on Instagram to keep up with our adventures. And come chat with us and the rest of the L+B community on our Discord server!

About Us

How do we choose which events to feature?
Honestly, it’s pretty random. We might include anything in Austin that we, personally, would conceivably want to go to, generally excluding normal concerts, comedy shows, and movie showtimes because there are many other good resources for finding those. (We especially recommend Showlist for live music, The Darker Side of Austin for goth and metal stuff, and the 60+ Weirdest Things in Austin for exactly what it sounds like). This list is by no means exhaustive; it’s just stuff that caught our eye this week. If you have an event that you want us to consider including, send it over.

Who are we?
We are Leila + Brian. We make this newsletter. We do our own events, most often No Lights No Lycra (every second and fourth Thursday of the month), + also BYOT, a party where we share very good YouTubes (here’s a playlist from the last one). We go very hard seeing bands at SxSW (here are playlists of our favorites from 2024). We once got called “local Austin couple” by KXAN. We do some other stuff here and there. We love going out to creative events in Austin, and we want you to join us. Visit us at, and support us on Patreon if you like what we do.

See you next time, champions