Hailing from Portugal, Moonspell has combined doomed romanticism, brooding atmosphere, and power chords longer and to better effect than the sexy sirens fronting Lacuna Coil and Evanescence, or the cartoon vampires in 69 Eyes. The 23-year-old Lisbon quartet, who return to Austin for the first time since 2003, hit an artistic peak on this year’s Extinct, an accessible yet heavy album that pushes far beyond the band’s blackened roots and gothic metal stamp.
“Music for us is most of all self-expression, and we don’t feel like we felt in the early Nineties when we started,” explains singer Fernando Ribeiro via email. “We love our past records and repertoire, but they all tried to capture the spirit of the time. Still waters end up rotting and it’s not for our band to do the same album twice.”
That evolution has earned Moonspell No. 1 albums and sold-out shows in its home country, but gaining recognition stateside remains a struggle.
“We might be too soft for the extreme and too extreme for the more rock/soft goth audience,” admits Ribeiro. “What to do? Tour again, and try to enchant people in the process. We’re not the Satanists torching the churches, or the violent gore-mongers. We’re a quite romantic, emotional, moody band, and we never know if that works with the American crowds in the scene we are playing, which is dominated by way more extreme bands.
“The only chance we have is if people are right now looking for alternatives, and we can only pray they are.”– Michael Toland
A Dallas institution since 1985, Jim Heath fine tuned his reverential moniker by welding Sun Records-style boppin’ to Motörhead-style velocity into the Cramps’ “psychobilly,” his guitar fury ridin’ atop the tumult. The template has proven as influential as the Cramps – just ask mid-billed Detroiters the Koffin Kats, who’ve sounded damned close since 2003. Driving up from San Antonio, Piñata Protest ram accordion-driven conjunto straight into the heart of punk rock.– Tim Stegall
From polka and conjunto to Cajun and zydeco music, accordions remain the instrumental bond of the traditional Texas dance hall. The annual Big Squeeze contest begins with talent shows in eight Texas cities that spotlight young accordionists 21 and under. Saturday’s free showcase on the Bullock Museum’s Lone Star Plaza brings nine finalists from these shows together to compete for three grand prizes. Lead Cajun ace Charles Thibodeaux and conjunto accordion queen Eva Ybarra top the bill alongside 2014 Big Squeeze winners Aaron Salinas, Garrett Neubauer, and Randall Jackson III. 1-5pm.– Greg Beets
Ex-Misfits axe grinder.
Veteran ATX pop acts Poor Yorick and Coffee Sergeants warm up the annual drum circle.