As I walked in through the garage-like doorway at Holy Mountain I realized how laid-back the venue is. It has a bar appeal that is nonetheless homey. The stage—although deserted at the time—fits in with the ambience of the venue. It isn’t too big or small; it’s just right. This is the place to be on Monday nights. This is where comedian Chris Cubas hosts Avalanche: A Night of Comedy and Music every Monday in February (and maybe even beyond).
Cubas—who has done comedy in Austin for about four years—said this all started when James Taylor, the manager at Holy Mountain, approached Cubas about doing a comedy night at his venue about a year ago. At the time, Cubas was in and out of town a lot, but as soon as he got back they started the planning.
“Since I knew him already, it was perfect,” says Cubas, “I liked the idea of doing comedy and music that will fit into the Red River vibe because this is where I hang out anyway, so for me it was a perfect fit.”
Aside from the Red River location, Cubas says the stage and size of the venue provides a friendly environment that works for both a comedic and musical showcase. He is quite invested in this recurring event. He helps do everything from booking the bands, booking the comedic talent, bartending during happy hour and hosting.
“I pretty much handle the whole night; the only thing I don’t do is sound,” says Cubas. “But I know a lot of bands because I’ve worked in bars all over town. They’re friends of mine, so it’s easy to get them to come in and play.”
Don’t expect this event to have amateur comedy. You can enjoy quality stand-up comedy, and there is a lot of it in this town. People from out of town recognize the talent in Austin, arguably more so than the people who actually live here.
“I think what turns people off is when they go to a local open-mic competition, or something like that, and think those comics don’t know what they are doing or they’re new at it,” says Cubas, “Here, you will see five or six comics that are all consistent, seasoned [and] work at the comedy clubs.”
By bringing comedy and music together, Holy Mountain and Cubas hope to create a fun way of cross-promoting each realm of entertainment. This variety show essentially introduces some music fans to comedy that they don’t normally see around town, and vice versa.
“I’m trying to get a nice mix of music, too,” says Cubas. “I want to get more hip-hop acts in here. We don’t get that a lot, so I really want to mix it up. We’ve got the bluegrass stuff coming up and punk rock, and variety is what I like.”
The weekly event, as Cubas mentions, is more about showcasing talent and exposing them to those that aren’t familiar with them. As of now, Avalanche is scheduled every Monday in February, but there are no plans on stopping.
“As long as we keep bringing people in and they’re having a great time, we might keep doing it,” says Cubas. “Right now were doing about five or six comics and then a band at the end of the night, but we’re thinking about adding bands to the lineup based on how the nights are planned out.”
This event has seen a great turnout with acts like Amber Bixby (Moontower Comedy Festival), Cody Hustack (finalist, Funniest Person in Austin), Mac Blake (Stag Comedy), Mike MacRae (Howard Stern) and music by So Long, Problems. Some of the upcoming acts include Joe Hafkey, Bryan Gutmann and Kath Barbadoro.
If you want quality comedy, great music and happy hour prices all night, then Holy Mountain is the place to have a good time on Mondays. Avalanche: A Night of Comedy and Music is scheduled at 9 p.m. every Monday night in February at Holy Mountain—located at 617 E. Seventh St.—and there is no cover.
Check out a video of Cubas performing in Austin below…