ACL Fest, now owned by Live Nation, had many worried that the other ACL – Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta – would also sell out to corporate overlords: Monsanto. Rest assured, the annual fall get-down put on by San Antonio indie Saustex Records remains 100% organic and true to its anti-ACL ideals: inexpensive tickets, locally-sourced lineups, and indoor plumbing.
The four-night fest over consecutive weekends kicks off this Friday at Eastside moto-tavern the Lost Well with “The Monsters of Costume Rock,” a lineup organizer Jeff Smith pegs as “Musicians whose parents wouldn’t let them play with dolls.” Grease-painted revelry commences via homegrown freak metal improvisers the Shut-Ups, locally garage-rockin’ homo pirates the Swishbucklers, Austin’s sci-fi punk unusualists Pocket Fishrmen, cross-dressin’, scuzz rockin’ San Fran golden gals the Grannies, low-budget ATX arena rockers Chasca, and Boston’s notorious mock rockers the Upper Crust, a frilly gang of 18th century aristocrats playing power rock in powdered wigs.
“Extra backstage security has been secured as, no doubt, some fights are going to break out between band members jockeying for mirror space and makeup containers,” cracks Smith.– Kevin Curtin
Once the singer for Steve Vai, Vancouver’s Devin Townsend wields his own six-string fury with omnivorous musical personality and an impish sense of humor. Whether in service of extreme metal jesters Strapping Young Lad and puppet metal act Ziltoid the Omniscient, or under his given name, he leans into burly progressive rock as his latest LP, Transcendence, affirms. Tech death troops Memories in Broken Glass (from Alice) and Of the Sun (from Austin) support.– Michael Toland
Hormones bandleader and longtime Chronicle music scribe Tim Stegall turned 51 this month. In celebration, the galvanizing Alice native enlists Tex-punk notables including Riverboat Gambler Mike Wiebe, Nervebreaker T. Tex Edwards, Buxf Parrot from the Dicks, and original Hormones bassist Ron Williams. Resurgent Red River quintet Eastside Suicides splay an abundance of New York Dolls-incanting sneer power, while the Punks on Parade ply suds-swinging street punk. The Boleys open, nodding subtly to the Melvins and Blue Cheer.– Greg Beets