Last year, as we revelers sat in the bleachers partaking in the ACF drink special – a shot of Jameson and a beer – Clannad siren Máire Brennan put on a sunset concert in the pavilion of Fiesta Gardens on the shores. Given her Irish spellcasting, any alcoholic side effects were incidental to the buzz. This weekend, Irish folk-pop elder Paul Brady and Glaswegian reel rippers the Paul McKenna Band combine for back-to-back headliner pairings amongst workshops, dancing, and storytelling. Children under 13 get in free. Schedule here.– Raoul Hernandez
One autumnal highlight in Denver remains its annual Halloween Ball staged by beloved local quartet DeVotchKa. This year the group, led by dreamy romantic hero Nick Urata, loads into Austin with a Dia de los Muertos concert; both band and theatre alike will be festooned in the materials of mourning for a mood-appropriate set of Eastern European-influenced indie folk rock. Morrissey-loving San Antonio alt-chicks Girl in a Coma open.– Melanie Haupt
UK folk-punk rewinds new Tape Deck Heart.
Denton indie folk beacon.
Soul music has its fair share of eccentrics but few are more colorful than the original D-O-double-G. That was apparent from the moment the gonzo soul singer born Jerry Williams Jr. in Virginia got on the line from his California home – butt naked with a Bluetooth.
“I just got out of the shower and I’m lotioning down and shit. You can put that in your article, let people know I’m clean. Swamp Dogg was taking a fuckin’ shower!”
Swamp Dogg may be clean, but he’s incredibly filthy and never was very pretty. That’s one reason the self-described “short dumpy motherfucker” abandoned a middling career as a romantic R&B balladeer and adopted the Swamp Dogg persona.
“I was a class A opening act,” says Williams, who also wrote and produced for Irma Thomas, Doris Duke, and countless others. “You couldn’t get no better opening act than me, but I was never going to be a closer as Jerry Williams. I don’t exude all of the romantic shit that Jackie Wilson, Chuck Jackson, and Tommy Hunt – all those guys – exuded. They walk onstage, bitches had brought an extra pair of drawers to throw onstage. Ain’t nobody ever throw anything at me except for some fruit.”
Free from the confines of the mainstream, Swamp Dogg unleashed Total Destruction to Your Mind in 1970, a cult classic steeped in political tension and acid. With a world-view all his own, Swamp laments our “Synthetic World,” exposes the absurdity of racism on “I Was Born Blue,” shills magic moonshine on “Sal-A-Faster,” and fantasizes about wood nymphs on “Dust Your Head Color Red.”
“Wood nymphs are actually sexy,” he tries to explain. “If you could get out in the woods with them motherfuckers you could have yourself a ball. I don’t know, a wood nymph might be some of the best pussy a motherfucker ever had.”– Thomas Fawcett