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
Mohawk, 912 Red River
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
Veteran ATX pop acts Poor Yorick and Coffee Sergeants warm up the annual drum circle.
Chris Elliott (formerly of Late Night With David Letterman and the lamentably let-go Get a Life, among others) will be present, along with director Adam Resnick for this screening of his starring film vehicle of a fancy lad who ends up a shipmate on a fishing boat.
10PM, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar
It's the movie that ushered in the concept of the summer blockbuster. Spielberg's interpretation of Peter Benchley's ultimate beach story is a near-perfect blend of popcorn thriller and well-crafted narrative.
7PM, Flix Brewhouse, 2200 S. I-35, Round Rock
Yes, the Hideout's been around for a while, now – but goodgawdamighty they're fresher than ever: The Threefer Three improv troupes, yes. Thu., 8pm. $5. Free Fringe Just about anything goes, because yes. Thu., 10pm. Free. Control Issues The audience is in control. Fri., 7:30pm. $5. The Big Bash Some of the best performers in town – an improv dream team – invite you to this party on the stage. Fri., 8pm. $15. Pgraph Presents Now playing: Parallelogramophonograph and Glassworks from Wisconsin. Fri., 10pm. $10. Golden Improv in the silent-movie manner. Straight-up Mack Sennett, yo, but your director is Marc Majcher! Sat., 6pm. $10. Austin Secrets The smash hit returns, with all your sins remembered. Sat., 8pm. $12. Maestro A whole stage-full of wild imps, battling for victory. Always recommended, especially if it's your first time seeing live improv. Sat., 10pm. $12. The Weekender Student showcases, veteran vehicles, and more. Sun., 8pm. $5.
This Sixth Street venue has also been commandeered by the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival. See our special section for schedule! $10
Velveeta Room, 521 E. Sixth, 512/469-9116
She's a writer for The Onion and Heeb? Yes. And a voice actor for "Venture Brothers" and "Samurai Love God," right? Yes. And her stand-up's killed at all the major festivals? That's also yes, so whatcha gonna do? Reserve some tickets? April 22-25. Wed.-Thu., 8pm; Fri.-Sat., 8 & 10:30pm, $10-21
A site-specific dance on an island in the middle of Lady Bird Lake? A group performance where the island's inhabitants, "each with their own story of arrival and attachment to this place, harvest the flotsam and jetsam of mainland life to create a unique world forgotten by time"? You want to catch this unique spectacle of movement and memory that Ellen Bartel, Dany Casey, Lisa del Rosario, Alyson Dolan, Jude Hickey, Amy Myers, Emily Rushing, Drew Silverman, and Aron Taylor have created for Ready, Set, Go!, you'll need to check the website before you catch the ferry to Indigo Island. Sat.-Sun., April 25-26, 4pm, Free
Due to Art Alliance Austin, the city's gonna rock with an explosion of art – visual, sonic, kinetic, you name it – for two days, with much of Downtown in vigorous celebration of local creativity, featuring a selection of diverse works from Tiny Park, Wally Workman, Pump Project, Camiba Art, and Co-Lab Projects. Also, live music from East Cameron Folkcore, The Nightowls, Jitterbug Vipers, Elizabeth McQueen, Amy Cook, Elias Haslanger & Church on Monday, and more. Bonus: a mild inundation of food trucks and a dazzling array of beers and coffees and cocktails. And your fellow citizens, too: all living artworks of one form or another – highbrow, lowbrow, refined, crude, comfortably quotidian, resplendent in their relentless humanity. Sat.-Sun., April 25-26, 10am-6pm, $10-75 (free, ages 11 and younger)
This is an encaustic art exhibition about bees, curated by Lola Baltzell of International Encaustic Artists and juried by acclaimed entomologist Dr. Barrett Klein, representing 12 artists from eight states and three countries, and briefly colonizing that most excellent gallery in the Canopy compound. Through May 30
Art.Science.Gallery., In the Canopy compound, 916 Springdale #102
Celebrating the four elements of Hip Hop culture: graffiti arts, MCs, DJs, and breakdancers. Featuring live painting outside and an exhibition of large wildstyle lettering, character-based and abstract aerosol paintings, and smaller pieces in a variety of media. Also, yes, DJs, MCs, and dance crews from around the city. Curated by Nathan Nordstrom and Rachel Koper, rocking the ATX courtesy of Blue Genie Art Industries and friends. Sat., April 25, 6-11pm, $5
uses "a variety of commonplace, discarded, domestic objects to compose sculptural forms that are subsequently cast, cut, drilled, and scraped to reveal the guts
or the polished veneer of the matter." Yes, that's true; another important thing to note is: These completed works, the deconstructions and reconstructions of quotidian materials
, are often complex and always intriguing and just generally look totally awesome
. See our review right here
. Through May 3. Thu.-Sat., 11am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm
. Through May 3. Thu.-Sat., 11am-6pm; Sun., noon-5pm
grayDUCK Gallery, 2213 E. Cesar Chavez, 512/826-5334
Right there in the Salvage Vanguard Theatre Lobby Gallery, it's the first (and final) local exhibition of multiple works by the acclaimed scenic designer Ia Ensterä, curated by Graham Schmidt. No one's got enough fingers with which to reckon the number of gorgeous, ingenious, memorable sets the artist has created for theatre companies all over the ATX over the last several years – especially as a few of those fingers will be on whatever hand's waving goodbye as Ensterä returns to her native Finland this summer. Now here's big photodocumentation of several of those sets, glorying the walls, for edification and fond memories. Through May 9
One of Austin's most compelling visual raconteurs, Ian Shults
, returns with a show of new work – alarmingly good, we say
– to galvanize this elegant Westside gallery that, as usual, knows what's worth knowing in the world of art
. Through April 25.
Black Area Resources Organization and the Austin Justice Coalition are teaming up to bring you an afternoon discussion with the mayor. noon-3pm.
The latest car tech and some recognizable rides (K.I.T.T.! The Mystery Machine!) will be on display for the auto enthusiast or just fans of shiny things. Fri.-Sun., April 24-26, 10am-8pm. $6 (kids free).
Don’t miss the running of the wiener dogs as well as sampling the wares of the bake-off, cook-off, and vendors. Sat.-Sun., April 25-26. $5 (kids, free).
is a 2,000-year-old festival (Austin's celebrated it for 17 years) that brings colorful, 40-foot-long boats to Lady Bird Lake to see which team rows the fastest. The Asian American Community Partnership supplies a bevy of cultural entertainment choices (e.g., music, dance, food, martial arts demos) and kids' activities. On Sunday there will be the inaugural Dumpling Festival and Competition, so you'll have something to nosh on after all that rowing. Sat.-Sun., April 25-26, 10am-3pm. Free.
It's not the somber affair the title might imply. In fact, the live music, carefree atmosphere (aka some nudity), kids area (closing at 4pm), costumes, and impromptu music and dance make for a day of un-self-conscious shenanigans. No parking will be available on site (park and pick up the shuttle at Colorado between 16th & 17th). Coolers, bottles, cans, smoking, and tents are not allowed. Sat., April 25, 11am-dusk. Free.
Pease Park, 1100 Kingsbury, 512/974-6700
Live Louisiana music and Cajun food are the stars here; boiled crawfish given away a plate at a time while supplies last, plus dishes like gumbo, po'boys and étouffée for sale. 11am-10:30pm. $20 (kids, free).
Get all your orchid questions answered by the experts and perhaps buy one or two of the exotic plants. Sat.-Sun., April 25-26, 10am-4pm. Free.
Scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, face painting, live music, habitat presentations, and more get you and the kids in the Earth-preserving mood. 9:30am-12:30pm. Free.
AISD Science & Health Center, 305 N. Bluff Dr.
Austin's biggest foodie confab returns with celebrity chefs and appearances from Texas' brightest culinary talent. It's like ACL, except you won't need earplugs. April 24 - 26.
The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery host three days of "Yacht Rockin'." Full schedule online, but don't share with Jim Messina. April 23 - 25.
All things paleo – national experts, authors, and more. April 24- 26.
The Stars begin their path to the Calder Cup with two home games against Rockford before moving to their turf. Fri., April 24, 7:30pm; Sat. April 25, 7pm. $24-70.
Cedar Park Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park, 512/600-5000