Balmorhea’s Stranger (Western Vinyl) was designed to take the Austin instrumentalists into concert halls. Gripping and climactic, the locals’ fifth album takes a marked turn toward more guitar-driven compositions, with swelling strings and percussion that hints at prog rock. Experience Balmorhea’s catalog – expansive as a West Texas skyline – in the confines of the historic Scottish Rite Theater, but don’t expect to stay sitting down. Mother Falcon opens both evenings. – Austin Powell
A half-century after “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” topped R&B charts, Beaumont’s Barbara Lynn still strikes a nerve. At 71, her southpaw guitar prowess remains a glory to behold. Chicago’s Renaldo Domino scored minor hits in the late Sixties on the strength of dramatic arrangements and a (well-preserved) high falsetto to rival Smokey Robinson’s. Archie Bell launched Houston into Top 40 consciousness with 1968’s proto-funk workout, “Tighten Up.” Bayou City should pay him residuals for that. – Greg Beets
San Antonio, Fort Worth, Laredo – sure. Midlothian? That’s where Friday headliner Baraja de Oro hails from. Indeed for every Seguin (Conjunto Calidad) there’s a Refugio in the house of conjunto (Randy Garcia y Conjunto Estrella). Here’s the three-day festival’s Friday line-up:
Friday: Conjunto Volcan (8pm), Noel Hernandez (9), Ricky Ruiz y Los Escorpiones (10), Susan Torres y Conjunto Clemencia (11), Baraja de Oro (12mid) – Raoul Hernandez
Fronterafest's all over for another year, people, except for this Short Fringe: Best of the Fest part –and I'm glad to tell you that any night of this line-up is worth seeing, because you'll laugh, you might cry, you will be extremely fucking entertained at all times. [Full disclosure: I helped decide which shows got to be presented again this week.] And "Austin's Best Monologist" – it's true! – Steven Tomlinson debuts his new "How to Use Evernote" piece in the Wild Card Bill. You'd best hurry, though, because these nights (and one matinee) of no-fail theatrical enjoyment are selling out so fast you'd think they were Tim Doyle prints or something! See website for full schedule details. Wed.-Sat., Feb. 14-16, 8pm.
In which Lucky Chaos Theater highlights the deep maternal ethnicity of two disparate (but also eerily similar) forces of nature. Featuring a selection from David Mamet's The Old Neighborhood, a talk-show format with the Asian Mom and the Jewish Mom as hosts, live video calls with real moms, and improv based on audience stories about their own mamas. You seem a little restless, bubeleh – you should get out of the house, go see this show. Go, go. Take your coat. Fri., Feb. 1. 8pm. $10
This puppet show tells the story of the original Spider-Man who quests to bring stories to the world. Will Anansi complete the tasks necessary to win the box of tales? Fri., Feb. 1, 10:30am, Willie Mae Kirk Branch, 301 Oak Springs; Mon., Feb. 4, 3:30pm, Spicewood Springs Branch, 8637 Spicewood Springs Rd.; Tue., Feb. 5, 10:15am, Pleasant Hill Branch, 211 E. William Cannon; Wed., Feb. 6, 3:30pm, Milwood Branch, 12500 Amherst.Free
USA's "premier indoor motorcycle racing series" hits 10 cities this year, including our own Cedar Park. Back-to-back champ Tyler Bowers headlines this lineup of arenacross competitors for two nights of high-flying, obstacle filled racing, with the riders at times mere inches from each other.
Pro racing: Fri.-Sat., Feb. 1-2, 7pm (doors at 6). $15; $10, kids.
Track party: Sat., Feb. 2, 5-6pm. $5 or free with Monster Energy can.
Amateur racing: Sun., Feb. 3, noon (doors at 8am). $15; $10, kids
Men's/Women's Swim & Dive Vs. Arizona/SMU: Fri., Feb. 1, 2:30pm. Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, 646 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.Men's Basketball Vs. TCU: Sat., Feb. 2, 7pm. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River. $8-40.Women's Basketball Vs. Iowa State: Wed., Feb. 6, 7pm. Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River. $8-16.