Lite + Brite Monthly: July

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

July is here in all its fiery splendor, and this month is absolutely jam-packed. We’ll leave it to you to explore our events section, but we wanted to call your attention to one specific event. For almost as long as we’ve been here in Austin we’ve been organizing No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea (and before that at its earlier incarnation, Guan Yin). It was part of what led us to start this very newsletter. Neither NLNL or West China are going away, but both are changing, and July 11 is the last time we’ll be able to do NLNL there. If you’ve ever come and had fun, or considered checking it out, we encourage you to help make our last dance in the dark there a memorable one.

In this issue of the L+B Monthly, we’ve got an interview to commemorate another long-running event that’s having a final blowout. Poo Poo Platter is ending their 12-year run at Elysium this month, so we spoke to founder + producer Bubu about the troupe and some of what made its tenure both memorable and messy. We also have lots of ideas for summery things to do in Austin courtesy of writer, editor, and podcaster Jillian Anthony.

If you saw last month’s newsletter you’ll know that we created a Summer playlist with the help of friends and Lite + Brite subscribers. Well, it’s done and ready to go, and you can play it all Summer long (as we did at the beach last week). It’s full of indie rock, radio pop, phantasmagoric R&B, first-wave punk, + mystic cumbia. Check it out 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

L+B Summer 2024 Playlist

We asked for your help last month in amalgamating some of your favorite songs of the summer. We picked a couple ourselves + enlisted the aid of you and a few friends and now it’s borne fruit. Our requirements were simple: everyone gets one song, and it needs to be represent Summer to you. (If you submitted a song and you don’t see it, it’s probably because you submitted more than one so we had to pick).

Listen on
Spotify / Apple / YouTube

Johnny Dynamite & the Bloodsuckers – Straitjacket Summer Love
Taylor Swift – I Can Do It With a Broken Heart
Lou Hayter – Time Out of Mind
Nikki & the Corvettes – Summertime Fun
Shuggie Otis – Strawberry Letter 23
The Avalanches – Since I Left You
Holiday Sidewinder – Escape & Retreat
Paige Kennedy – Lingerie Model
Sonido Gallo Negro – Fantasmagoría
YACHT – Second Summer (RAC Remix)
Lindstrøm – Drift
Poolside – Next to You

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.

  • July 3: Fourth of July Weekend on the Lake at Ski Shores
    Get patriotic w/DJ, live bands, photo ops, swimmin + surfin
  • July 5-7: ¡Estar Guars! at the Scottish Rite Theater
    Latino sketch comedians mash up Star Wars with border walls & ICE troopers
  • July 5 + 19: Float Films at Austin Motel Pool
    Watch classic blockbuster films while floating a pool w/themed cocktails
  • July 6: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Musical: The Aerial Show at Sky Candy
    Aerialists, burlesque + variety performers invoke the musical episode of Buffy
  • July 6: Geekgasm Revue at Kick Butt Coffee
    Burlesque + drag performers pit Star Trek vs Star Wars in a geek battle royale
  • July 7: Lowrider Cruise at Chicano Park
    A parade of lowriding cars will cruise over to a park cookout
  • July 7: Dyke Car Wash + Movie Night at the Museum of Human Achievement
    Your car or bike has never been cleaner, + enjoy “Lesbian Movie Screening” after
  • July 10: The Austin Salon at 1109 Angelina St.
    Talks about perception, reality, + the nervous system
  • July 11: The Final No Lights No Lycra at West China Tea
    Our last dance in the dark at West China
  • July 11: The Galactic Salon at Kick Butt Coffee
    Sci-fi-themed burlesque, “semi-nude readings,” live music, + performance art
  • July 11 + 18: 4D Theory Thursdays at Community Garden + MoHA
    “Short readings in art + cultural theory” on “xenopoetics” w/discussion
  • July 12: Richard Simmons Birthday Party Bus at the Town Lake YMCA
    Dress up as Richard Simmons to sweat to the oldies in the ART bus + Barton Springs
  • July 12-13: Gayer Than Show Tunes at Austin Playhouse
    Queer burlesque performers performing to classic show tunes
  • July 13: Promqueen’s Second Annual Prom at Austin Cinemaker Space
    Prom-themed album release w/DJ, immersive art, photo booth, + live music
  • July 13: Blood + Brushes at Kick Butt Coffee
    Three horror makeup artists compete while live music plays
  • July 13: Super Sweet 16 at Co-Lab Projects
    Live music, karaoke, water balloon fights help raise funds for Co-Lab
  • July 13: Bonerstock 99 at Come and Take It Live
    1999-themed “filthy performance art,” burlesque, aerials, fire-breathing, + more
  • July 13: The Woodland Faerie Trail Closing Day at Zilker Botanical Garden
    Explore artist-crafted faerie homes throughout the park
  • July 13: A Tribute to Spacemen 3 at EastSide Cinema
    Local live musicians pay tribute to cult psych band Spacemen 3 + light show
  • July 18: Latino Moonlight Serenade at Lady Bird Lake
    Float on the river under moonlight listening to live Latino music
  • July 19: Eno at AFS
    A documentary about Brian Eno edited together live by the director
  • July 19-21: Classic Game Fest at the Palmer Events Center
    A big festival of vintage video games + consoles
  • July 20: Student Athlete at Almost Real Things HQ
    90s basketball-themed art, live music, + free throw contest
  • July 20: The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever at Balance Dance Studios
    Dress up as Kate Bush + perform her Wuthering Heights dance w/a flashmob
  • July 20: Femme Films at Moontower Cider Co.
    Short films by local directors explore the female perspective
  • July 26: Existence Is Resistance at Terrazas Branch Library
    Puppets tell the tale of surviving in Nazi-occupied Europe
  • July 26: Shrek Rave at Empire Control Room
    The green dance trend that’s sweeping the nation: Shrek
  • July 27: Warehouse Demolition Party at 4211 Todd Ln
    Lasers, live art, DJs, + circus performers in a big warehouse space
  • July 27: The Final Poo Poo Platter at Elysium
    Alt burlesque troupe goes out with a bang + big guests
  • July 27: First Anniversary Party at We Luv Video
    Anniversary party set to spill over to all of North Loop
  • July 27: Hyde Park Storytelling at Batch Craft Beer
    Storytellers ply their trade in a local craft beer spot

The Austinites Behind the Curtain: Poo Poo Platter

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

This month, we’re speaking with Bubu, founder and producer of Poo Poo Platter, which has played a key role in Austin’s drag scene for the past 12 years. In honor of Poo Poo Platter’s final show, which is coming up this month, we asked Bubu to take us behind the scenes. 

Lite + Brite: There’s a diverse and thriving drag scene in Austin. What niche would you say Poo Poo Platter occupies within that? 

Bubu: Poo Poo Platter started as a response for the need to showcase alternative drag where there was nowhere to do it in Austin. But since then it has been a show to feature all types of drag as well as other types of queer performers. What makes us unique is the Elysium stage, which allows us to put more production into our performances. We also feature themes that no other shows do, such as tribute shows to artists other than your Top 40 divas.

L+B: What’s Poo Poo Platter’s origin story? 

Bubu: I’d been living in Austin for about a year and only performed once so far. Then Queerbomb 2012 rolled around. Some of my out-of-town producer/entertainer friends came for that weekend and brought some of their own parties. One was Heklina (RIP), who brought her former show Tr*nnyshack. I performed that night and knew that Austin needed something other than your standard drag shows as an outlet for people like me. I talked to Paul Soileau (aka CHRISTEENE) and asked for his help to get a show started. He connected me with John Wickham at Elysium. John was willing to give me a shot, and the rest is history.

L+B: How do you pick the monthly theme? What have been some of your favorites over the years?

Bubu: Sometimes the themes are random ideas. And sometimes the themes, particularly artist tributes, correlate with particular dates such as holidays, birthdays, album releases/anniversaries, concert dates, etc. The Drag Supreme of Halloween Pageant is always a favorite. Some of our favorite tribute shows have been Dolly Parton, Siouxsie, and Jim Henson.

L+B: How much do you work with each performer on their act before the show, and how much of it comes as a surprise to you on the night of the performance? 

Bubu: Every performer works independently for their own performance. The only thing we do in advance is make sure our songs and concepts are not duplicated within each show. So it’s always a surprise as to what each performer is doing.

L+B: What’s the most memorable or unexpected thing to ever happen at Poo Poo Platter?

Bubu: I think the one thing everyone will always remember is when there was actual poo poo on the Poo Poo Platter stage. Of course it was an accident. The theme was Hot Summer Mess. It lived up to its name.

L+B: With Poo Poo Platter coming to an end, what’s next for you?

Bubu: Rest and relaxation! And then I’ll explore other creative outlets. I’m not quitting drag. But I will no longer be producing regularly scheduled drag shows.

What Are You Looking Forward to? with Jillian Anthony

In this new series, we ask professionally fun Austinites to tell us about some of the events + activities they have on their radars. First up, we have Jillian Anthony, a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Tribeza and Austin Monthly and is the former Editor-in-Chief of Time Out New York. Jillian also writes a newsletter, Cruel Summer Book Club, and hosts a podcast of the same name, all about making space for your art and yourself. She wrote up an old-school NO BUMMER SUMMER bucket list, and today we wanted to share a few of her top picks with you. 

1. Experience the Deep Eddy trifecta
1. Take a dip at Deep Eddy pool ($5). 
2. Grab a burger and a frozen drank up the street at Pool Burger
3. Head next door to Deep Eddy Cabaret for a nightcap. 
That’s a summer day in Austin done right.

2. Dive into the Fern Gully of Texas

Get ready to splash around in a real-life oasis at Blue Hole Regional Park. Make sure to make a reservation in advance (either for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., $12) and hit the road to Wimberley. This natural swimming hole is encased by ancient, shady Live Oaks, and has a couple of chain swings for adventurous kids and adults alike. Pro tips: Ice chests and inflatables are allowed, and there’s a lot more shade in the grassy areas after 4 p.m.

3. See Legally Blonde in Zilker Park

Celebrate Zilker Theater Productions’ 65th anniversary with a free, Broadway-caliber production of the musical Legally Blonde, starring dozens of talented locals. On Thursday through Sunday, July 12 through August 17, drop off your chairs and ice chest packed with your favorite picnic goodies to secure your spot at 6 p.m.; head next door to Barton Springs to fling yourself off the diving board and beat the heat; then return to watch the show starting at 8:15. What, like it’s hard?

4. Surf the karaoke to club pipeline on a Thursday

The sun’s out till 9 p.m. and it’s still 90 degrees anyway, so if you don’t go out dancing, you’re wasting those hot summer nights. Kick things off on the early side at Outer Heaven so you can get the stage to yourself while you belt out “Jolene,” then grab a car or a scooter and head to Coconut Club or Cheer Up Charlie’s to shake it under the stars.

5. Howl at the full moon

The next full moon is on July 21. Once the sun goes down, head to Barton Springs ($5) for a moonlit dip, and join everyone else in a heavy howl at the Buck Moon to celebrate Cancer season. Awhooooooo!

What are you listening to while you engage in these summer shenanigans? Is it our collaborative summer playlist? Cool, glad to hear it. Is our collaborative summer playlist still missing your personal Song of the Summer? Don’t let that happen; add your pick today!

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 Bones Malones, 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