Long-lasting Boise rockers Built to Spill continue waging guitar wars to big crowds outdoors at Stubb’s, but inside afterward, a pair of upstarts from flyover country team up for Americana sounds both taut and liberating. Oklahoma’s Samantha Crain gives quivering voice to themes of human interaction and deep-rooted wanderlust with stunningly beautiful results. Ha Ha Tonka, a quartet from the Missouri Ozarks, imports fourth LP Lessons, which expands a sonic palette still accessible and hard-charging.– Jim Caligiuri
Back-to-back essentials. Saturday, Chicago transplant Joe Pug plies a working man’s intellectualism with his band, singing for the people their stories and dreams. A perfect date night and true listener show for lovers of the Austin sound. Sunday, the club gets giddy for the pop charms of 21-year-old UK phenom Charli XCX, an international sensation since she was 14. Last year, she tattooed Icona Pop’s worldwide smash “I Love It.” Catch her playing her latest chart climber, “SuperLove.”– William Harries Graham
With debut long-player #LeagueShit having cemented its place as perhaps the finest hip-hop album this city’s ever seen, the eight members of the League of Extraordinary Gz are starting to consider their methods of expansion.
“We can’t really think on an Austin level anymore,” says Lowkey, a prominent voice on #LeagueShit. “We love Austin, and we paid our dues in this scene, but we want it to be one of the most respected releases anywhere. It’s about getting out of Austin.”
How that happens remains to be seen. For now, the League members eye a series of solo projects they’ve been working on since before #LeagueShit took off, including a solo album from Lowkey, a second iteration of Tuk-da-Gat and S.Dot’s White Boy Mixtape series, and W420, a long-delayed Dred Skott album that League genius Reggie Coby plans to finish.
In addition, the group’s looking to continue eulogizing its fallen founder, Esbe Da 6th Street Bully, whose presence remains felt both on the mic and in concept throughout #LeagueShit.
“You don’t want to dwell on it, but you can’t help it,” says Lowkey. “That’s our brother who’s gone.”
The rapper reveals that the LOEGz is piecing together a posthumous solo Esbe LP.
“That’s been the plan ever since he passed away. He’s the best rapper to ever come out of Austin. We owe it to him to show people why we think that. He’s not someone on a T-shirt. It’s a tragedy that he’s not here, so it’s on us to make sure that his kids have something to be proud of.
“We need to give him the legacy he deserves.”– Chase Hoffberger
Jackrabbit Slim no longer searches for his Juliet on last year’s Over With You.
Noise-band apocalypse led by Brooklyn trio, which sandwiches Houston face-melters with local openers Coma in Algiers.