Chicago twofer: hostile blues and unsung soul, respectively.
Saustex Records honcho Jeff Smith built his Austin Corn Lovers’ Fiesta as the antithesis of Austin City Limits. The “other ACL” features all regional music, reasonably priced drinks, indoor plumbing, air conditioning, and cheap ticket prices. Because the purpose of ACLF is providing a counterpoint to the massive festival at Zilker, he followed C3’s lead by doubling his efforts and making the floating mini-fest two weekends this year.
While the second features a surprisingly high-profile booking in Dallas alt.country heroes Old 97’s (Zilker Park ACL vets themselves), this weekend’s festivities are similarly epic, kicking off Friday at Eastside enclave the Longbranch Inn, with local punk hedonists the Bulemics, Houston country-billy kickers the Dollyrockers, legendarily drunk H-town bluesies Poor Dumb Bastards, and Smith’s mainstay cowpunk quintet the Hickoids, playing a throwback set of Eighties weirdness.– Kevin Curtin
Denver R&B diva drops fifth LP Songversation.
The rapid globalization of Korean music makes it easy to forget that the peninsula has a pop pedigree that predates Twitter. No Brain plies sugarcoated, Blink-indebted pop-punk and sports a discography going back to the Nineties. Today, they stand as one of the biggest acts in South Korea.– Luke Winkie
Amsterdam-based London synth-punk pioneers.
Following 2011’s Our Blood with Surrounded signals Richard Buckner finding his muse again after a period of being musically inactive. The new disc features an ambient tone that surprises while being as literate a work as he’s ever delivered. His lyrics, always dense, come from an attempt at writing short stories and though the tale may be obscure, the devotion to sound remains sharp and magnetic.– Jim Caligiuri