From humble, mid-Seventies beginnings, this characteristically homegrown event quickly blossomed into the riotous bacchanal we’ve come to expect each winter. At once an extravagant costume ball and a delirious samba dance party, there’s nothing like Carnaval on Austin’s social calendar for spectacle and abandon. For the past decade, music has been provided by the exceptional Beleza Brazil (the carnaval formation of Grupo Saveiro, twice voted “the best Brazilian group in the USA”). Traditional opener, Austin Samba School begins with its 100-plus drum and dance armada.– Jay Trachtenberg
One of North American punk’s most explosive combos, Vancouver’s D.O.A. take one last U.S. swing before 36 years of hard rebel rockin’ make way for mainstay/leader Joey “Shithead” Keithley’s transition to politics. Austin’s long been a touring stronghold for D.O.A., so revel in a final visit from the band who gave punk the term “hardcore.” Rounding out the bill, a festival’s worth of local punk acts like Sniper 66, Nuklear Fishsticks, the supercatchy Dickins, and (full disclosure) my band, the Hormones. $15.– Tim Stegall
Guitarist/composer Fred Frith began his long career with UK prog outfit Henry Cow, bringing avant-garde classical music, free jazz, and socialist politics into rock. For the past 30 years, he’s been a freelance noisemaker (with John Zorn), esteemed professor (currently at Mills College), and, most prominently, a solo improviser. Armed with non-plectrum implements, technique, and an unflagging sense of exploratory whimsy, Frith wields thaumaturgy potent enough to bend reality. A rare Texas show presented by Epistrophy Arts.– Michael Toland
A long-standing Austin tradition, the Hoot Night, aligns with Jesse Sublett to benefit Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM). Appropriately, the most literary of local rockers has chosen to honor rock’s most literary songwriter. Among those interpreting the Velvet Underground and beyond: Jon Dee Graham, the Reivers, Wild Seeds, Kathy McCarty, Kacy Crowley, Why Not Satellite, Kim Simpson, Steve Bernal, and the second generation of musical Subletts, Dashiell.– Tim Stegall
Onetime Ramones drummer (Too Tough to Die, Animal Boy) with locals Brewtality Inc. and the Schisms.
Chicago’s indie mash-hop teamed with local “Baptist rap” crew Space Camp Death Squad.