SXSW

Picks & Sleepers

 

South by Southwest is a game of numbers: approximately 845 showcases/bands, divided by five nights, divided by you. And that's not counting the attendant acts the conference sweeps in every year. If you have time for day parties and in-stores, add four days to those five nights. In fact, it's safe to say that starting with Wednesday night and continuing through Sunday's showcases, there will be some form of music happening somewhere on Austin turf at any given moment. How does the 1998 SXSW schedule look, then? Well, if you can't find 20 or 30 bands worth seeing in that time period, then may we suggest that Ft. Lauderdale is lovely this time of year. For the real music fan, the process of elimination starts now - with "Picks & Sleepers." Year after year, The Austin Chronicle provides what no other media outlet can provide: advance information on over two-thirds of the festival's showcases. Already, in the last two issues, somewhere in the vicinity of 200 showcasing acts have been covered - through features ("Picks to Click," "The Austin Music Awards"), blurbs ("International Bands," "Picks & Sleepers"), and album reviews. In this week's special SXSW pull-out section, there's nearly twice that many bands covered - as well as all the Spoken Word showcases (p.42). How 'bout them numbers? So, while we know the clock's already ticking, take a few minutes to get the inside scoop on a whole lot of bands you know absolutely nil about. See the locals, see the International bands, see your favorites. See a band you've never heard of. There's 24 hours in a day, see what kind of SXSW numbers you can put up. See it all. Let the games begin. - Raoul Hernandez


THURSDAY PICKS



Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth

photograph by Michael Crawford

SONIC YOUTH: Every SXSW, it's the same thing: "Who are the headliners, who are the headliners? Who are the big names?" Fuck the headliners. What about all those little DIY bands with nary a 7-inch to their name? They're the ones who need attention. You want headliners? Here, take Sonic Youth, anticipating the May release of A Thousand Leaves for Geffen. There's your headliner - the royal family of the DIY set. And they're playing before all the other showcases. Happy? Good, get there early. (La Zona Rosa, 7pm) -Raoul Hernandez



JEAN CAFFEINE: When it comes to songwriting, Jean Caffeine can toss back a double shot of wry with the best of 'em, which is exactly what she did on last year's stellar, criminally ignored CD, Knocked Down Seven Times Got Up Eight. If the title doesn't clue you in and you don't know her from her All-Night Truckstop or Pulsillama days, just be prepared to smile when you least expect it and remember how her diamond-hard lyrics sparkled long after SXSW '98 passes into history. (Babes, 9pm) -Margaret Moser


JOHN HAMMOND: Voice. Dobro. Harmonica. In the Deep South, they've been working together for almost 100 years now, and for this reason John Hammond continues telling the story of the Delta blues. With Long As I Have You coming out on Virgin's blues imprint, Point Blank, NY-resident Hammond may not live in the Deep South, but he's still able to howl those words, blow that mouth organ, and play blues slide guitar as well as just about any bluesman he ever covered. (State Theatre, 9pm) -David Lynch


KIM RICHEY: With two Mercury releases to her credit, Kim Richey is one of the few artists who's been able to not only appease but please people in both the Nashville and the No Depression camps. Richey's Bittersweet cemented her talents as one of Nashville's hopes for breaking its reliance on an endless recycling of bad clichés. (Continental Club, 9pm) -Michael Bertin




Imperial Teen

IMPERIAL TEEN: Show of the conference. Right here. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. You've heard things. Trust me, though, this is the one. Because when this decade is just a dream, and people have made peace with the fact that the Nineties truly were just the Seventies inverted (starts with punk, ends with bloat and disco/starts with bloat, ends with punk and disco), they will come to understand that Imp Teen's Slash/London debut Seasick was Nevermind inverted; they're the Talking Head's to Nirvana's Sex Pistols. You're skeptical, I know. Trust me, though. This is the one. (Liberty Lunch, 9pm) -Raoul Hernandez



CHANTAL KREVIAZUK: Boy, there's a pretty name. Kreviazuk? What is that, Scotch-Romanian? What Chantal needs is a surname like, say, Deneuve. That way people could say things like, "Her voice is prettier than her name." As it is, she does have the voice (like a Maria McKee or a Lori Carson) and an earnestness not heard from all those pop tarts masquerading as queens on VH1. (Stubb's, 9pm) -Michael Bertin


JANIS IAN: Yes, that Janis Ian. The renowned folkie of "At Seventeen" turned unlikely openly-lesbian-buddy-of-Howard-Stern comes to display her songcraft, old and new. (Cactus Cafe, 9:45pm) -Ken Lieck


FIREWATER: In his latest guise, former Cop Shoot Copper Tod A. has put out the best rock album of this still-young year. The wildly over-the-top Ponzi Scheme is grandiose and giggly at the same time, like a U2 album where Bono tries to be funny and manages to keep his laugh from curling into a sneer. (Emo's, 10pm) -Jeff Salamon


PRESCOTT CURLYWOLF: In a perfect world, somebody would re-release Six Ways to Sunday, Prescott Curlywolf's ultra-overlooked 1996 Mercury debut. Not that this Austin rock & roll outfit is sitting around waiting. Forging ahead with Funaminal World, their upcoming release for local indie Freedom Records, Prescott has bounced back from their major label ball-dropping with 20 songs in 33 minutes of brilliant lo-fi pop hooks and rootsy textures, all guided by three distinct voices. Call it a comeback. (Hole in the Wall, 10pm) -Andy Langer




PerfumeTree

PERFUME TREE: While major-label trip-hop divas get their navels photographed in Spin, Perfume Tree's Jane Tiley stands center stage, eyes closed, letting cry a siren's song that would run any mortal man aground. On the Portland trio's new World Domination release, Feeler (due April), Tiley and company once again fill their dance club with exotic spells of ambient dub. A band that tours infrequently, yet one that's even more transfixing live, Perfume Tree is paradise found. (Twist, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez



PERNICE BROTHERS: As leader of the Scud Mountain Boys, Joe Pernice sang and played a bleakly purist strain of melancholy country-rock. On the forthcoming album from his new group, he's added a string section and a few other touches that will remind you of the orchestral pop of his Sub Pop labelmate Eric Matthews. Still sounds pretty darn unhappy, though. (Copper Tank Main, 10pm) -Jeff Salamon


TOM FREUND: Although only four songs from Freund's Red Ant debut are currently making the industry rounds, there's lots of folks already calling his spring release an album-of-the-year darkhorse. With some are calling what he does "transient soul," there's also this endorsement from jazz legend Jimmy Smith: "He's like Dylan, but not really." Decide for yourself... before everyone has an opinion. (Babes, 10pm) -Andy Langer


DARDEN SMITH: A longtime favorite Austin singer-songwriter, Darden Smith has come to enjoy his post-Sony DIY existence; touring with his four-by-four, guitar, and amp, and making frequent songwriting jaunts to Nashville. Recently, he even scored a film that's premiering at the SXSW Film Festival, Barbecue: A Love Story. Last year's Deep Fantastic Blue resonated with that enjoyment and the richness that comes from a full life and a keen eye for observation. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez


TINA MARSH & THE CREATIVE OPPORTUNITY ORCHESTRA: Austin-based composer Tina Marsh and her adventurous partners in the Creative Opportunity Orchestra are far too original to fit into established categories, aside from "brave," "challenging," and "adroit." It's all about orchestrated intricacies with a jazz sense of immediacy. And Marsh's voice! From soprano shrills to low bottom blue notes and everything (and I mean everything) in between. (Caucus Club, 10:45pm) -David Lynch




Calexico

CALEXICO: Really, it's only during a conference like this that you get to see a band like Calexico. Ripened in the hands of longtime Giant Sand rhythm duo Joey Burns and John Covertino, Calexico's Touch & Go debut from last year, Spoke, was a real peach - simple, with sleepy songs made for afternoon naps in shady orchards. Orchards in Arizona? Well, the iguanas would like it, and this is iguana rock. (Copper Tank Main, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez



THE DELTA 72: Bringing it back to the people, ladies and gentlemen, Touch & Go recording artists, the Delta 72 (applause). Philly's punk R&B messengers grind riffs like tablets of holy scripture, setting blaze to the bush with a biting organ drone and flooding the staid world of modern rock with rhythms so raw they'll make you shout in reverential enlightenment. (Emo's, 11pm) -Christopher Hess


ANA EGGE: New Mexico launched her, but we're claiming her for our very own. After all, it was Austin where Egge first worked with bass legend Sarah Brown, wrote music with Jimmy Dale Gilmore, recorded her shining debut River Under the Road, and connected with heroes like Shawn Colvin, Steve James, and Iris Dement. She's ours. Her warm blanket of a voice and bluegrass-honed gitpickin' defy her 21 years. Come find out why Austin, Texas is so proud to call Ana Egge home. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, 11pm) -Kate X Messer


JC HOPKINS: Onetime leader of onetime band Flophouse, San Francisco's Hopkins has gone through a Dylan phase, a punk phase, and a jangly pop phase. On last year's Athens by Night, he seemed to be going through a "mature" phase, shooting for Big Star's Sister Lovers and coming a lot closer than the Posies or Teenage Fan Club. (Copper Tank North, 11pm) -Jeff Salamon


RAY WYLIE HUBBARD: In the big book of Texas troubadours, Hubbard's chapter gets skimmed over more often than it probably should. And it's a shame because Hubbard, as evidence by his last Rounder release, Dangerous Spirits - a mean album of redemption and loss - is steadily approaching the status of Lone Star legend. (Antone's, 11pm) -Michael Bertin


Q-BURNS ABSTRACT MESSAGE: The hardest workin' man in show business (well, at least in electronic music), Orlando's Q-Burns Abstract Message throws down a groovadelic, funkified blend of acid jazz, funk, soul, and hip-hop with a dollop of house sensibility. With material out on several comps including Selected Material (World Domination/Eighth Dimension), Astralwerks will be releasing his first LP later this year. (Twist, 11pm) -Leah Selvidge


ROYAL NEANDERTHAL ORCHESTRA: After nearly a year of woodshedding, these ARC angels are making their official debut at SXSW - answering the popular question, "What's Curt Kirkwood been up to?" Exactly what the Meat Puppet's orchestra yields musically is still unknown, but that it includes writing partner Kyle Ellison (ex-Pariah), drummer Shandon Sahm, and former Bob Mould bassist Andrew Duplantis is very, very promising. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 11pm) -Andy Langer


THE BACKSLIDERS: Last year's Throwing Rocks at the Moon was one of the better albums out of North Carolina and one of the better albums in the crushing wave of recent y'alternative releases. Hard to tell which is a bigger accomplishment. The five-piece easily swings from the purity of a Buck Owens to the throttle of a True Believers, and it's all put together with the deft touch of a John Hiatt. (Liberty Lunch, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


IAN McLAGAN & THE BUMP BAND: Unbelievable. This is the Ian McLagan. The man who laid down the opening notes of "Wicked Messenger" on the Faces First Steps. The same man on piano behind Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane (rest his soul) on "Ooh La La." The man who's filled out the sound for everybody from the Rolling Stones to the Georgia Satellites. The man is a living piece of rock & roll history. (Babes, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


DADDY LONGHEAD: It was while watching ex-Butthole Jeff Pinkus yell out his angry songs with hate in his eyes one night like a Marine at My Lai that I was reminded of just how dark and relentless metal was once upon a time. It was the hot, crushing grind of Satan's oil derricks, sung in the tortured cry of some black mass. No hoods and knives for Pinkus and guitarist/vocalist Jimbo Young, but this local trio will slay you sure as the devil likes whiskey. (Emo's Jr., Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


NILS LOFGREN: A singer, a songwriter, and just an all-around good-guitar-player kind of guy, Lofgren has been around for about 25 years and has pulled stints with Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Ringo Starr, and Bruce Springsteen & the E Street band, as well as putting out his acclaimed solo material. (Cactus Cafe, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


OP8: Lisa Germano matches wits and penchants for growly folk musings with Giant Sand geeks John Covertino, Joey Burns, and Howie Gelb to create this subtle and sultry supergroup. Slush, last year's stunning Thirsty Ear release, covered Neil Young's "Round and Round" and Lee Hazelwood's duet with Nancy Sinatra, "Sand," as the pain-quelling quartet swapped vocals and songwriting duties for one of the finest debuts by a side project ever. (Copper Tank Main, Midnight) -Kate X Messer


OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL: Part of the Elephant 6 Collective along with the Apples in Stereo and Neutral Milk Hotel, the book on the Athens, GA quartet is part Syd Barret and part latter-day Fab Four. Even given the lengthy indulgences, it's a completely palatable take on psychedelia, filled with harmonies straight from Brian Wilson's bed. OTC's Dusk at Cubist Castle on Flydaddy is a study on the latest in retro. (Electric Lounge, Midnight) -Michael Bertin




The Schramms

THE SCHRAMMS: Let's put it this way, if Yo La Tengo were White Light/White Heat then the Scramms are Loaded. Dave Scramm was in the original Yo La many many Tengos ago. The Scramms' latest, Dizzy Spell, is a twirling jaunt through some of the best in jangle-rock, from Tom Verlaine to Jeff Tweedy and back again. (Scholz Beer Garten, Midnight) -Kate X Messer



THE BLUE RAGS: The hopped-up and convulsive mix of blues, bluegrass, and piano rags makes the Blue Rags' manic stomp a knee-slapping joy to hear. This North Carolina band's no-bullshit approach to the traditions they explore adds a definite edge to their songs, as evinced on last year's Sub Pop release, Rag-N-Roll. (Ritz Lounge, 1am) -Christopher Hess


JIM WHITE: White, a one-time fashion model, has remolded himself into a first-class fringe character spurting out backwoods psychedelia. White's debut for David Byrne's Luaka Bop imprint, Wrong Eyed Jesus, is sort of a musical Heart of Darkness for the Americana crowd. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


JOHNNY BUSH: Even if Willie Nelson had never recorded "Whiskey River," Johnny Bush would still be one of the country music composers, more on par with George Jones or Ray Price than with the latter-day cosmic cowboys. Bush is revered by both the purists and the pretenders, and when this man donned a black hat more than 30 years ago, he never took it off. (Broken Spoke, 1am) -Margaret Moser


CUT CHEMIST: Deep in the "found sound" vein lies Los Angeles-based Cut Chemist, who creates whole works from snippets and samples of vinyl you didn't know existed. A lauded studio whiz, he has tracks on Audio Alchemy and the critically acclaimed Deep Concentration compilations. (Twist, 1am) -Leah Selvidge


EL FLACO: Writing "Picks & Sleepers" every year that call El Flaco "Austin's best perennially unsigned band" is getting old. And although they continue to righteously rock live, it's not hard to tell from their latest demos that Austin's best metal boogie band is getting a little pissed, too - which means whoever finally ponies up the bucks for El Flaco's major label debut is going to get one helluva aggressive, hook-heavy doozy. (Emo's Jr., 1am) - Andy Langer


JOE ELY: With Twisting in the Wind due in May on MCA, Joe Ely will probably be testing out new material, which advance word has as more rockin' than his last widely heralded release, Letter to Laredo. Hell, Ely doesn't need an excuse to rock or burn down La Zona Rosa, so Twisting in the Wind is only an album title. (La Zona Rosa, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez


GIANT SAND: Howe Gelb and associates make their annual trip to our little South by soiree, and "trip" is always the right word, as Giant Sand sometimes gets lost in their own heavy aesthetics. Luckily, the borderline transcendent moments the band inevitably stumbles across - the moments where the dusty Arizona textures converge into cohesive collage of sounds - are ample reward for those braving the lapses. (Copper Tank Main, 1am) -Michael Bertin


SAND RUBIES: Unbelievable as it was, the Artists Formerly Known as Arizona's Sidewinders actually played the Hole in the Wall last SXSW. Rocked it actually, just like the old days - the Auntie Ramos' Pool Hall days. And "Witchdoctor." God bless 'em, they played "Witchdoctor," Dave Slutes screaming into the mike as Rich Hopkins bent over his guitar trying to wring every last distorted note from it. Amazing. Sometimes you do get a second chance. (Hole in the Wall, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez


JASON AND THE SCORCHERS: Before Ryan, before Jeff and Jay, hell, before there was hardly anything for the folks at No Depression to write about, there was the flamethrower cowpunk of head Scorcher Jason Ringenberg - the Dick Clark of electrified hick rock. Of course, before Jason and the Scorchers, there was Skynyrd. (Liberty Lunch, 1am) -Michael Bertin


ROCK*A*TEENS: Ambling out of Cabbagetown, Georgia, the Rock*A*Teens have a tinny, twangy sound that hits you right down there by your first broken heart. Their faraway elegies for busted-up romantic utopia are a punk geek's version of a Judy Blume passage. As awkward as this sounds, the Rock*A*Teens still manage to play and have fun in their own unique and gangly way. (Westside Alley, 1am) -Greg Beets


THE SILOS: The Silo's 1987 release Cuba has the same "Hardly anybody bought it, but everyone who did started a band" distinction as VU's first album. The Walter Salas-Humara-led Silos are still writing some warm rural-urban hybrid tunes and still sound as laconic and penetrating as they did a decade ago. The new album will be out in April... in Europe. No U.S. release date is scheduled. D'oh! (Babes, 1am) -Michael Bertin


ANDERS PARKER: This solo turn from Varnaline's songwriter should be an interesting study in the connections between the high-minded SST punk of the Eighties and the more intimate brand of Seventies progressive rock. Parker's songs express a survivalist's exuberance in the midst of desolation, and his slow-moving approach stays fresh even when you're 10 minutes into it. (The Library, 1am) -Greg Beets


TODD SNIDER: Still so much better than the offbeat Seattle tribute that put him on the map, Snider has his third album due in April on MCA. Yet as good as Viva Satellite may be, it's hard not to get the impression that Snider's albums are really just an excuse for him to tour, as his live sets with the Nervous Wrecks are really where his protest songs and unruly Southern rock anthems come to life. (Waterloo Brewing Company, 1am) -Andy Langer


STRETFORD: This pop/punk plus horns wellspring led by Manchester-bred Carl Normal is slowly but surely closing in on a decade of making the evenings of Austinites who feel the need to jump up and down. While 1995's Crossing the Line (Unclean) provided a fine introduction to Normal's deft songwriting, advance word on their new album (label yet to be determined) is nothing but superlative. (Bates Motel, 1am) -Greg Beets


L'USINE: L'Usine favors the opaque and disturbed side of sound, using distortion and fuzz to construct unexpected sounds and rhythm. L'Usine is also featured on the One - Texas Electronica compilation and will be releasing more material through Face Records later this year. (Twist, 2am) -Leah Selvidge


THURSDAY SLEEPERS

STEPHEN DOSTER: After 21 years of gigging, this criminally underrated Austin singer-songwriter released his debut Rosebud just last year. Not surprisingly, it plays like the kind of debut only a veteran could make, combining delicate melodicism and a conversational delivery. Even less surprising is how this stuff kicks live, with Brian Standefer's cello and superdrummer J.J. Johnson turning this gloomy pop into something nonetheless celebratory. (Steamboat, 8pm) -Andy Langer


SHIFT: The next Bush? Maybe. But they're from the States and they don't feign disaffection. Shift are a straight-up, radio-friendly rawk band that knows what they want to be and don't take it too seriously. Their Columbia debut, Get In, combines elements of pop and hardcore for an irresistible, rough-hewn sound. (Stubb's, 8pm) -Leah Selvidge


GRAND MAL: Led by former St. Johnny frontman Bill Whitten, this New York outfit is following a pair of heralded indie records with a jump to Slash, who have an August release planned for a no-frills set featuring a ballsy pairing of T. Rex aesthetics and Sonic Youth methodology. Add a reputation for perfectly sloppy and wholly unpredictable live sets and this one begins to look like one of the conference's better sleepers. (Electric Lounge, 8pm) - Andy Langer


THE HAMICKS: Fresh off a self-booked month of West Coast dates, this Austin-to-Chicago quintet ought to be hungry in more ways than one come showcase time. The self-described retro-futurists combine space age, New Wave, and the unspeakable antics of inspirational frontman Bob Taylor. While last year's Ventriloquist Conartist (Framed) showed the band's darker side, the Hamicks also have plenty of obvious crowd-pleasers like "Sweet Little Attention Getter" and "Jack Off." (Emo's Jr., 8pm) -Greg Beets


SEBASTIAN CAMPESI: At 76 years young, San Antonio's Sebastian Campesi has been playing jazz violin longer than they age the wood on most Stradavariuses (Stradavariae?). In a career that spans more than 50 years, Campesi has played with everyone from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis. To hear him play a few standards - any standards - is to walk on in the clouds. (Victory Grill, 8pm) -Raoul Hernandez


SERVOTRON: From Atlanta, meaning they stand in solidarity with Man Or Astroman? in reviving the Fifties look-to-the-skies-for-flying saucers revivalism, Servotron are Devo, D-E-V-O, right down to the mechanized computer-punk sound and the catchy songwriting. (Emo's, 8pm) -Phil West


THE AMAZING ROYAL CROWNS: Whereas most punk bands are jumping on the ska skateboard, Rhode Island's Amazing Royal Crowns wisely look to the Reverend Horton Heat for inspiration, doing the rockabilly freakout with slapping stand-up bass and plenty of swing where the stinging lead guitar might be. Just as fun as the Bosstones, but without that Dickey guy. (Emo's, 9pm) -Raoul Hernandez


QUAQUAVERSAL: quaquaversal is ambient techno at its finest. Deep sonic textures and soundscapes are layered with a beat and make for some aurally transcendental journeys. They're featured on the One - Texas Electronica compilation on Face Records and also have a full length available through Whirling Pool. (Twist, 9pm) -Leah Selvidge


HOLLY McNARLAND: Thank the lord not all Canadian women sound like Sarah McLachlan. Holly McNarland is fearless but not grating, and blunt but not Alanis Morrisette. Post-punkers might recognize the name of guitarist Joey Santiago (the Pixies) on McNarland's debut "Stuff." (La Zona Rosa, 9pm) -Michael Bertin




Ursa Major



URSA MAJOR: This big dip into the Austin music bucket is comprised of three li'l lervly supernovas who've made their names in other bands or ventures. They've all made luscious local noise: Pam Peltz with the Living Pins and Toby Dammit; Andy MacGuire with Spoon and handful; and Suzie Martinez with handful, Hormones, and Tallboy. (Bob Popular, 9pm) -Kate X Messer



BIRD: Bird's frontman Jason Colette is revisiting rock and pop's simple past - paint by numbers chord progressions, easy and airy melodies - but anybody who can work in a gratuitous Steve McQueen lyrical reference is okay in any fake book. (Copper Tank North, 9pm) -Michael Bertin


PAT BOYACK & THE PROWLERS: Influenced by the Vaughan Brothers' song delivery and style, Utah-born Dallas resident Pat Boyack spills forth with gritty R&B and blues. No frills, no crossover, no crap - just pure tube amp guitar tone and all-around powerful playing as in last year's Kaz Kazanoff-produced Super Blue & Funky, Boyack's third release on the Bullseye Blues label. (Antone's, 9pm) -David Lynch


CINDERLEAF: This San Antonio pop band describes themselves as "high energy-low maintenance," which wouldn't mean anything if their upcoming What If I Can't Shine release wasn't so damn easy to like. Not only does it overflow with attitude, emotion, and melody, it also has a string of radio-ready hooks - enough to create a buzz on San Antonio's influential 99.5 KISS FM. (Bob Popular Upstairs, 9pm) -Andy Langer


PAM HART QUARTET: In a city with many wonderful jazz singers, Pam Hart is one of the best. Her brand-new self-release May I Come In? is a soulful mix of traditional jazz and more contemporary jazz/R&B tunes. On the CD, the songs are a nice balance of the old and the new, evoking a feeling of Billie Holiday or Nancy Wilson set to more contemporary arrangements. Live and in person, she'll melt your heart. (Caucus Club, 9pm) -Christopher Hess


EVAN & JARON: Last year, Jimmy Buffett found this four-piece Atlanta act and delivered them to Island, which is releasing their Danny Kortchmar-produced set, We've Never Heard of You Either, next month. Until then, they'll no doubt continue to thrive off a well-earned live reputation for adding serious groove and a powerful pop aesthetic to their contemporary folk foundation. Jackopierce who? (Fat Tuesday, 9pm) -Andy Langer


KIND OF LIKE SPITTING: Well done. Finally someone has found a setting for the lo-fi living room denizens like this Portland based no-name: the SXSW songwriters showcase at the Library. And while this guy is a solo act with an acousticism, don't think this is folk. It's punk. Still fucked up and confused, but directed inwards. You know how that feels. (The Library, 9pm) -Raoul Hernandez


METRO STYLEE: Performing self-described soul garage ska, this young NYC septet (bass, vocals, guitar, alto sax, tenor sax, trumpet, and "grooves") is lead by the energetic singing of Trish Verdolino. Borrowing rhythms from Jamaica and giving them affable horn arrangements and an urban twist, Metro Stylee put their best foot forward in the contemporary ska arena. (Back Room, 9pm) -David Lynch


PLASTISCENE: Who knows if L.A.'s Plastiscene has one damn thing to say? They like to rock and feel good. According to band legend, brothers Roger and Colin Gisbourne's mom went to England to meet the Beatles and met their dad instead. Some will herald this sampled Rutlemania as naïve genius; others will be debating that whole nature vs. nurture thing until last call. (Electric Lounge, 9pm) -Kate X Messer


MARYANN PRICE: Like most jazz singers from Texas, there's a whole lot of swing to Maryann Price - still best known for her work with Dan Hicks, but prouder of her association with Ray and Dave Davies. Her latest CD, Hot `n' Cole, may be a career highlight in a long one that has had many, and at the down-home shrine known as the Victory Grill (and following violinist Sebastian Campesi, one of Price's favorite musical partners), this little ol' showcase should be nice to come home to. (Victory Grill, 9pm) -Raoul Hernandez


BOXCARS: The stellar country duo of Christine Albert and Chris Gage produced one of last year's most pleasant surprises, the sleeper Jumpin' Tracks. Outstanding vocalists and songwriters both, Austin's Gage and Albert are as at home swingin' as they are pickin'. (Twist, 9pm) -Christopher Hess




Seela

SEELA: Why this young singer-songwriter isn't mentioned in the same hopeful breaths as other locals like Ana Egge, Trish Murphy, and Kacy Crowley is a genuine mystery. It's certainly not for a lack of songs, soul, or live spark. With Brian Beattie recording and shopping her latest demo, could this be the year? (Ruta Maya Coffee House, 9pm) -Andy Langer



CLARISSA: Longtime frontiersmen of the Chapel Hill indie scene, the members of Clarissa have paid their dues, and their latest Mammoth release, Blood and Commons, shows them reaping the rewards. Ornate and moody arrangements surround the vivid, bleak vocal imagery like a bristly blanket that's grown too comfortable to wash. (Liberty Lunch, 10pm) -Christopher Hess


CLOWNS FOR PROGRESS: This NYC trio plays like a faster, punker version of the Cult circa Electric. If you like your rock balls on, this is the place to be. Their recent 7-inch on Last Beat isn't a rib sticker, but give Clowns For Progress a few days in the steam room with Mutt Lange and you might have something. (Copper Tank North, 10pm) -Greg Beets


THE GEEZINSLAWS: Texas' answer to Homer and Jethro have been pumpin' bellylaughs out of crowds for longer than I've been in Austin. Best known in recent years for their rap crossover, "Help, I'm White and I Can't Get Down." (Broken Spoke, 10pm) -Ken Lieck


LITTLE JACK MELODY: Denton's Little Jack Melody & His Young Turks produce novel and charismatic songs that create a circus cum stratosphere, lounge-meets-cabaret, musical milieu. Add adventurous instrumentation of horns, South American rhythms, a good old-fashioned harmonium, and a few textured ballads, and you have the recipe for one helluva weird, fun ride on Little Jack's melodic reality coaster. (Ritz Lounge, 10pm) -David Lynch


MURDER CITY DEVILS: And from the raunchier side of the punk-rock-R&B scene comes the Murder City Devils, Seattle's answer to the Delta 72. The lead singer may look confused up there in his Dockers, surrounded by all that black, silver, and pomade, but these boys know well how to rock your ass. And remember, it's hot up there too. (Emo's Jr., 10pm) -Christopher Hess


AMBERJACK RICE: Austin's Amberjack Rice is one of those rebellious singer-songwriters that's not afraid to scare a few folkie purists out of the room with instant classics like "KY" (which "doesn't stand for Kentucky - especially when you come from Tennessee"). Check out his CD Bicycle Vigilante for a taste of the full Amberjack Rice band, wherein he performs under the name "Ian Moorehead." (The Library, 10pm) -Ken Lieck


MARC OLSEN: A Seattle-based guitar virtuoso, who embellished the work of Sky Cries Mary and Elastic Purejoy, Olsen eschewed all wank for the spare beauty of simple strums and steel on his modest, from-the-heart Tunnel Songs. His expertise with shy but sleek atmospheric music with depth probably served the makers of Under Heaven well, a film screening at the SXSW film festival for which Olsen did the score. (Library, 10:30pm) -Raoul Hernandez


LONESOME BOB: Bob is like David Allen Coe's less-foul-mouthed sibling; the voice resemblance is as similar as the straight delivery with the main difference being that Coe tackles rednecks, while Bob, on his Checkered Past debut, Things Fall Apart, tackles God. (Scholz Beer Garten, 11pm) -Michael Bertin


THE BOGMEN: Another New York City car crash of avant styles and guiles with art rock pretensions running head-on into neo-New Wave - all on the band's Arista release from last year, Closed Caption Radio. Slightly Shudder to Think, and way Wall of Voodoo, the Bogmen will probably do no such thing. (Iron Cactus, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez


HORMONES: Snot-nosed, spikey-haired, capital-P punk rock for those who either didn't live through it the first time or barely made it out alive the last - just like head-Hormoner, singin'-spittin'-scissor-kickin' Austin-based rock-crit, Tim Stegall. The Alice, Texas native earnestly channels both Pat Boone and Johnny Thunders. See which crypt he and his band of merry men kick tonight. (Bates Motel, 11pm) -Kate X Messer


FLICK: A young band from a small Missouri town (Stockton, if you must know), Flick have a mature and big sound. Fun and spirited rock with pop sensibilities, Flick's eponymous debut EP features five catchy, smart tunes all penned by brothers, Oran and Trevor Thornton. (Stubb's, 11pm) -Leah Selvidge


MAMOU PRAIRIE BAND: From the musically rich heart of Louisiana, Lafayette, the Mamou Prairie Band is a high energy traditional Cajun folk quintet packed with guitars, fiddles, accordions, bass, and drums. Once you hear their music, showcased on their 1996 Swallow release Oh, Yaille!, you'll need the strength of 10 Grinches plus one to keep your butt from moving. (Fat Tuesday, 11pm) -David Lynch


PIGGIE HAT: With the mean age of this local quartet hovering around 16, it's no wonder its homebase club Steamboat is starting a series of high school band nights. Led by guitarist/songwriters Jo Dee Purkeypyle and Sean Crooks ('boat owner Danny's kid), Piggie Hat is obviously coming of age at dad's club, because Johnnie Goudie and Soul Hat never sounded so good as one band. (Steamboat, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez


LARRY SEAMAN: It's a long way from punk rock days, back when Larry Seaman first entered Austin's musical consciousness, and the path has taken more than a few twists and turns. The years have given his music and songwriting a rich patina, imbuing it with grace and truth while keeping the edge and quirk ever present. The more things change.... (The Library, 11pm) -Margaret Moser


NUMBER ONE CUP: When this Chicago quartet first appeared a few years ago, it was tough not to hear their patchwork rock as just another chunk of Pavement. But once that DIY sound became as common as gravel, it got easier to hear past the stylistic tics and notice what's distinctively charming and peculiarly pissy about these guys. (Electric Lounge, 11pm) -Jeff Salamon


"SCRAPPY" JUD NEWCOMB & THE SOUTHBOUND MONARCHS: Despite the complete lack of information about the latest outfit of this Austin Music Award-winning guitarist, Newcomb's long, lean licks resonate with deep love for Memphis soul and other Southern affections, and that alone is reason enough to catch him. (Babes, 11pm) -Margaret Moser




Susanna Van Tassel

SUSANNA VAN TASSEL: As long as thar's a Broken Spoke, thar'll always be a towner or out-a-towner that's never been to the best honky tonk in Central Texas. And there's no shame in that, son, but time's a-wasting, and with pretty, young Susanna Van Tassel up at the mike proving why God made country singers and Texas on the same day, well, let's not stand here wagging our tongues. (Broken Spoke, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez



MIKE NICOLAI: This Austin songwriter's self-titled debut CD is still accumulating quiet but reverent praise for its wry introspection and the grey-colored-glasses view of the world. Nicolai sings life as it's lived, blending a Texas demeanor with a Midwestern sensibility, creating snapshot stories about the small things that mean nothing and stick with us. (The Library, 11:30pm) -Christopher Hess


ANT MAN BEE: This local outfit's wildly grabasstic approach to music has given birth to a sound that while based on skill - odd time signatures, even odder time changes, etc. - has a style that prevents it from degenerating into bloated self-indulgence. In other words, they don't allow their technical proficiencies to screw up their ability to rock out, and with another guitarist recently added to the lineup, it should be easier for them to pull off the duality on stage. (Babes, Midnight) - Michael Bertin


BEDWETTER: Although garage bands trying to find the middle ground between the Ramones and Cheap Trick are a dime a dozen, few come as consistently close as Bedwetter, a San Antonio trio that recently relocated to Dallas. Their recent Wet Sounds release is a real lo-fi pisser - full of MC5 hooks, Jawbreaker melodies, and El Flaco boogie. And with that mix, how could the live show possible miss? (Bates Motel, Midnight) -Andy Langer


ANDREW BIRD'S BOWL OF FIRE: Imagine the famous Hot Club performing under the influence of a New Orleans' hot summer and you'll get the gist of Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire: the blistering temperature heats up the quick instrumental interplay, but the oppressive humidity can also slow things down to a mournful march. No surprise, though: Bird has toured and recorded with the Squirrel Nut Zippers and his Rykodisc debut Thrills was recorded in the Crescent City. (Ritz Lounge, Midnight) -David Lynch


CHER UK: Don't try to out-drink or out-play these Kansas City bombers or you'll just end up a beaten man. Miss the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, etc.? Show up at a Cher UK show and get your socks rocked off. (Hole in the Wall, Midnight) -Ken Lieck


COCKEYED GHOST: With their second Big Deal album, Neverest, and a California Music Award nomination, these Poptopia veterans are gladly sharing a left coast buzz with The Negro Problem. And as well they should, because their post-punk wit and an oddly seductive stage presence looks like it ought to make them one of the most charming Los Angeles hopefuls since Redd Kross. (Copper Tank North, Midnight) -Andy Langer


SARA HICKMAN: Hickman brings the kind of exuberance to her music that gives "female singer-songwriter" a good name. Even when exploring miseries, her sweet but not sappy voice really sustains her and gives her a kind of grace. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


HIVE: L.A.'s Hive spins some dense drum and bass with dizzying aplomb. Combining elements of hip-hop, rock, and funk, the patterns are tight and the beats abstract, making his a style that's truly cutting-edge. He's got a single coming out on ffrr as well as a full-length by the end of the year. (Twist, Midnight) -Leah Selvidge


HOUSE OF LARGE SIZES: Claiming to have "survived grunge" and "major-label apathy" (Columbia), this Iowa trio's new W.A.R.? release, Glass Cockpit, bears it out, running Seventies metal and smelly punk rock through the same feeder and producing a fine grain blend of taut, edgy guitar riffs, bass lines, and beats that only three musicians who have been playing together for 11 years can harvest. (Buffalo Club, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


PETE KREBS: In his hometown of Portland, Oregon, Krebs is a busy man. A strong part of the novel bluegrass collective Golden Delicious, a starring role in his rock band Hazel, and a developing solo acoustic career keep him well in the public eye and made him the hit of last year's NXNW. His solo material is smart and introspective, and comes off well in an intimate setting. (The Library, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


54 SECONDS: Miami transplant Jez Spencer got to town just in time to hurl some buzz at last year's conference, and has spent the subsequent year honing his live show (featuring drummer J.J. Johnson) and producing a stunning demo of sonic swirl and introspective pop, Four-Track Mind. Right now, he's getting more attention from the record weasels than hometown crowds, so go ahead, mark this down as the one time they know something we don't. (Steamboat, Midnight) - Andy Langer


LUCKY STRIKES: The Lucky Strikes are not profit-taking bandwagoneers. Craig Marshall and his band have been resurrecting the lost art of the American pop standard since well before small scale vice became de rigeur yuppie behavior, and they will probably continue to do so skillfully long after you throw out all of your Cigar Aficionado magazines. (Caucus Club, 12:30) -Michael Bertin


JUNO: Blinding white noise from the Pacific Northwest led by Arlie Carstens' wonderfully high-pitched Bob Mould whine. Been feeling nostalgic lately? Need a little old school Hüsker Dü? This is the place to be. (Bob Popular, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez


CHERRY POPPIN' DADDIES: A crass act for sure, the Cherry Poppin' Daddies helped pioneer the swing scene out West - swing, not jump blues, the Daddies infuse with ska before sending it over the top. With four LPs - including last year's Zoot Suit Riot - and almost a decade of tireless touring to their credit, this band has been around about as long as anybody since the actual Fifties. (Emo's, 1am) -Michael Bertin


MC OVERLORD: Every year, Austin's most ambitious hip-hop hopeful seems to get that much better. 1997 was no different. After dropping his best album yet, The Dark Side, Overlord's Steamboat residency only grew funkier and funkier, thanks in equal parts to his own increasingly impeccable lyrical flow and the hot buttered rhythms of bassist Yoggie Mussgrove and drummer Brannen Temple. Even if Austin weren't so unrepresented at the real rap showcase, this would still have been the only live hip-hop show that mattered. (Steamboat, 1am) - Andy Langer


FRIDAY PICKS

GUY FORSYTH: It took balls for Guy Forsyth to step away from a sure thing - the Asylum Street Spankers - but big balls he's always had. To him, it just means he has to work twice as hard on Guy Forsyth, and few work harder than this local bluesman. Besides, wailing on those harps and barking out authentic originals - and doing it well - takes all the balls one man's got. (Antone's, 9pm) -Raoul Hernandez


KAMRAN HOOSHMAND & 1001 NIGHTS: Who would have thought that Texas' capital city would be the home to a nearly world-class Middle Eastern ensemble? The many folks who check out Kamran Hooshmand & 1001 Nights' live appearances, that's who. A 1001 Nights musical trip makes stops in Spain, North Africa, into Turkey, Persia, and Syria. One listen to their live Chocolate Records release Shaalam will start you packing that suitcase. (Caucus Club, 9pm) -David Lynch


MARCHEL IVERY: Upholding the broad style of a long line of Texas tenors, Marchel Ivery is a sax player from the upper ranks of the old school. In 1997, Ivery released Marchel Meets Joey DeFrancesco on Dallas' Leaning House Jazz label to great acclaim, DeFrancesco's organ a surprisingly natural counterpart to Ivery's often blinding sax work. Art Blakey once called him "fire personified," and that about says it all. (Elephant Room, 9pm) -Christopher Hess




David Poe

DAVID POE: With Marc Ribot's guitar playing and T-Bone Burnett's production, it's no surprise that David Poe's self-titled 550 Music debut was critically acclaimed. What's surprising is that AAA radio hasn't been as quick to support him, because his sophisticated songwriting and beautifully understated arrangements make him the newest standard for the underappreciated male singer-songwriter contingency. (Westside Alley, 9pm) -Andy Langer



MOON SKA RECORDS PRESENTS: From the Skatalites' current tour to the proto-ska band bangin' it out in your neighborhood garage, why the re-interest in ska? For the same reason it was popular originally in Jamaica in the Sixties, and then again in the late Seventies and early Eighties: British Two-Tone ska has a frenetic upstroke beat that makes your heart racin' to start lacin' up those dancin' shoes. New York's indie all-ska label, Moon Ska Records, showcases a handful of its bands for all those in need of a ska fix. Here's the lineup: From L.A., Mobtown, a 10-piece that focuses on the Sixties, Two-Tone, and Latin and jazz flavored ska (9pm). Next, Skoidates are a Missoula-based sextet specializing in blending oi!/ska, jazz, punk, and old school (10pm). The Robustos, an Atlantic nine-piece that puts its ska/rocksteady/reggae into jazz and pop settings (11pm). Issac Green & The Skalars, a mix of poppy old school-flavored Latin jazzy soul ska from St. Louis (Midnight) primes headliner, Skanic, a San Diego nine-piece, who fashion fodder for dancing ska fans who dig pop horny ska delivery. Haven't you gotten those shoes laced up yet? (Back Room) -David Lynch


CHOKEBORE: Unlike some AmRep bands - and we won't name any names (Cows) - this L.A. quartet knows how to play the chords between all the heavy ones. Sure, the bass kicks out like a cramp while Troy Bruno Von Balthazar croons with insistent melancholy (his friends call him Balkie). Given a few minor keys, however, and he'll just as happily sing under the droning post-punk squall, putting you at ease just long enough to be jerked outta your complacency just like all those other AmRep bands. (Emo's, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez


2 SKINEE J'S: On their upcoming Capricorn debut, this New York outfit outfunks the 311/ESPN set with some grand guit-hop - all about big chords and bigger grooves. Better yet, the J's have a reputation for touring like it's going out of style, leaving promise here for what's reportedly a fully realized Sun Ra-style stageshow. J-Funk, anyone? (Stubb's, 10pm) -Andy Langer




Diana Jones

DIANA JONES: Having won her share of songwriting competitions with compositions that glow with grace and poise, Jones displays a willowy voice that conveys the joy and pain of her songs as fully as if they were written into your mind. Austin's Jones is one of the more captivating voices developing modern folk music. (The Library, 10pm) -Christopher Hess



DOYLE BRAMHALL II: Although this former ARC Angel has spent the last year venturing back from Los Angeles for the occasional money gig at Antone's, this showcase promises to be less about blues than it is about smart pop - the kind featured on his criminally underheard Geffen debut from two years ago. (Antone's, 10pm) -Andy Langer


JUNIOR VARSITY: Gimme a "J!" Gimme a "V!" JV!! JV!! JV!! Sean!! Matt! Kim! OK!! OK!!! OK!!!! Hey, nothing second string about this boss Houston combo. They kick the b-u-t-t of the stuck-up varsity squad just like those peppy cheerleaders on Saturday Night Live. Ouch! I hope they wear those tight little sweaters! (Bates Motel, 10pm) -Kate X Messer


JERRY JEFF WALKER: It's strange but true: Jerry Jeff Walker is a SXSW virgin. The chance to promote his brand new Belize-influenced album, Cowboy Boots and Bathin' Suits, was enough to break with tradition, however. What? You say you never noticed Jerry Jeff hadn't played? Maybe that's because we've begun to take this hometown hero for granted. And besides, since your out-of-town friends have probably already seen Jimmie, Lou Ann, and Doug, what better showcase is there to show off a real Texas legend? (Austin Music Hall, 10pm) -Andy Langer


FRED SANDERS: One of the brightest stars on the Austin jazz scene, Fred Sanders won over the hearts and ears of fans and critics alike with last year's East of Vilbig, a conceptual album of straight-up jazz. A former student of New Orleans master Alvin Batiste, Sanders applies his down-home grace and charm to his combos and compositions in his turn as a bandleader. (Elephant Room, 10:45pm) -Christopher Hess


CALVIN KRIME: It must be the short-teasing summers and the long, relentless winters. What else would explain the screeching vox and idiosyncratic kidney-punching rhythm of the Minneapolis trio Calvin Krime? With enough scary hooks to give your parents nightmares for a lifetime, Calvin Krime are more weirdly acute than their fellow AmRep labelmates. They have the energy of youth, but the uncommon texture of more seasoned outfits. Noisy hardcore mathrock from the Midwestern tundra, featured on their AmRep debut, Dress for the Future. (Emo's, 11pm) -David Lynch


THE KISS OFFS: Slinging the best of the Sixties forward into the Eighties with a mild tinge of psychosis, the Kiss Offs know how to goad an audience into having fun without resorting to derivation. Of all the groups that have emerged from the novel stable of Austin-based Peek-A-Boo records, the Kiss Offs hold the most cachet with those setting out to be musically challenged. (Bates Motel, 11pm) - Greg Beets


JONATHON FIRE*EATER: Major-label puff boys on Dreamworks? Not when singer Stewart Lupton is drunk on fairy dust, and guitarist Paul Maroon is the big, bad wolf snapping at him with sharp, jagged riffs (see Wolf Songs for Lambs). That's when this East Village band can be thrilling as your first glam-bang thank you ma'am. (La Zona Rosa, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez


THE GOURDS: Just days before its street date, the Gourds sophomore effort Stadium Blitzer was delayed so that the folks at Sire/Watermelon could get their hands on it. Damn smart move by Seymour Stein and his minions. Blitzer is a beautiful perversion of all things Appalachian soaked in booze and lit afire. Off some recent dates opening for the Old 97s, the local boys should be sharp. Attendance is compulsory for you out-of-towners (if just to hear their cover of "Gin and Juice"). (Liberty Lunch, 11pm) -Michael Bertin


BILL KIRCHEN & TOO MUCH FUN: Bill Kirchen probably gets a little tired of always seeing his years with Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen mentioned to identify the Washington D.C.-based performer and his band, but it's a glorious history and one worth mentioning. Kirchen drives all the truckstop muscle of his Cody days straight down into the asphalt heart of Too Much Fun, and delivers the goods on time and with the kind of good humor the younger alt.country hopefuls could use. (Iron Cactus, 11pm) -Margaret Moser


JIM LAUDERDALE: Last year, while wandering around the Convention Center floor, schmoozing, I was torn away from talk by a sweetly frayed voice echoing up from the day stage. There was one of Nashville's favorite sons sounding like a cross between Joe Ely and Gram Parsons, his expert songs coming off impeccably pro. Later, during his showcase at Hang 'em High, those songs and his charisma pumped a huge crowd like those you see on all those Garth pay-per-view commercials. Not bad. (Austin Music Hall, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez


OZOMATLI: By all accounts, this politically charged 10-piece collective is L.A.'s biggest-drawing and most consistently entertaining live force - living up to its moniker (the Aztec God of Dance) with a seamlessly funky blend of jazz, hip-hop, metal, and salsa. And since last year's Ya Llego! EP proves they're the rare big band capable of the big transition to album, the appropriately big push Almo Sound has planned for their forthcoming debut definitely makes catching their live now seem like a good way to earn some I-told-you-so bragging rights. (Steamboat, 11pm) -Andy Langer


SALLY TIMMS: Her land of Mekon and honey voice might just trigger the spring and set the bluebonnets to blooming. With recent collaborators the Handsome Family and fellow expatriate Jon Langford's Waco Bros. in town for the same hoe-down, there's no telling what might happen when Cowboy Sally Bunny takes the 1am stage. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, 11pm) -Kate X Messer


UGLY AMERICANS: They may be getting outdrawn locally by the Scabs - their man-for-man alterego - but the Ugly Americans' national hopes fall squarely on Boom Boom Baby, their sophomore effort for Capricorn, which is due in May. Wisely, it combines the Ugly Americans' funky hip-hop focus with the Scabs' punchy wit and retro-soul. How well it does is all up to the tightass radio gods, folks this pre-release peak at their notoriously super-sweaty live show will no doubt loosen up a bit. (Stubb's, 11pm) -Andy Langer


DON WALSER & THE PURE TEXAS BAND: The name "Pure Texas Band" says it all: nuthin' but smooth pedal steel, a countrified rhythm section, and a yodeling geetar strummer still best described as "The Pavarotti of the Plains." Music as big as the open West Texas sky and as comfortable as a porch swing ride after one of those Lone Star long lazy summer days. (Continental Club,11pm) -David Lynch


SYL JOHNSON: Two years ago, Chicago blues legend-in-waiting Syl Johnson played the old Antone's (now a New Age laundry), while everybody else was down at Stubb's watching the Fugees. Guess this music fan missed out, seeing as Johnson is just some obscure blues guitarist on some obscure Austin indie, Antone's Records? Right, and the new, downtown Antone's is just a taco stand. (Antone's, 11:30pm) -Raoul Hernandez


BAD LIVERS: Hogs on the Highway, last year's release on the bluegrass Sugar Hill label, showcases the localish Livers at their unique best: tongue-in-cheek lyrics, driving tuba and stand-up bass, deft fiddle playing, expert guitar strummin' and banjo pickin' performed by a trio but sounding more like a jamboree. (Scholz Beer Garten, Midnight) -David Lynch


LEE ROY PARNELL: For all those that think Fredericksburg resident Lee Roy Parnell is a Nashville hat act, look no further than his recent Gibson guitar award for Best Slide Guitarist, which goes right along with his Grammy nomination for Best Country Instrumental. Like a good Texan should, Parnell can play, and forget about writing songs; last year's Arista release, Every Night's a Saturday Night, only proves why he gets accused of hatism - the boy's got the knack for them purty country twang tunes. (Austin Music Hall, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


PETE DROGE: After a pair of critically acclaimed but still underheard albums for American, this Seattle-based singer-songwriter is making the natural jump to producer Brendan O'Brien's 57 Records, which will debut Spacey & Shakin next month. Although he's still a little too rock & roll for y'alternative, the timing may just be right for someone as inherently rootsy, melodic, and introspective as Droge. Here's betting his live show is a good indicator. (Waterloo Brewing Company, Midnight) -Andy Langer


THE OLD 97s: Gee, how appropriate that 97 was the proverbial banner year for this Dallas-based quartet. Making the jump to Elektra with the raucous Too Far to Care, Dallas' Old 97s went a long way toward shedding their insurgent country skin. No longer a damn good alt.country band, the 97s are now just a plain old damn good band - although, going by looks alone, I still say if these guys weren't musicians, they'd be fixing my computer. (Liberty Lunch, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


LIQUID SOUL: Anybody who went to last year's Waterloo Brewing Company showcase anticipating midline fusion-y acid-jazz from this Chicago collective was no doubt shocked. Liquid Soul delivered a uniquely raw and unbelievably loud set that not only outfunked their ARK21 debut, it also unveiled the festival's surprise MVP - gifted turntable guru Jesse De La Pena. (Fat Tuesday, Midnight) -Andy Langer


POPDEFECT: Veteran L.A. independents Popdefect, with a catalog approaching the triple digits, make their mission to challenge an audience to follow along, jumping from garage rock to surf punk to power pop with a smirk-filled ease. (Buffalo Club, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


SILVER SCOOTER: This local trio has an extraordinary flair for creating bright collegiate poptones that sail through the ether like the smell of curry. Last year's The Other Palm Springs (Peek-A-Boo) wound up on virtually every Best-of-1997 list in town, not to mention college playlists nationwide. With a set list that's stacked with hit singles in waiting, Silver Scooter won't let go of your ears once they get you through the door. (Bates Motel, Midnight) -Greg Beets


EARL HARVIN TRIO: Drummer Earl Harvin is a big part of the reason Dallas jazz label Leaning House is so damn cool. 1997's Strange Happy saw Harvin paired with pianist Dave Palmer in a brilliant collection of Palmer originals and a couple of Ellington standards. A masterful musician and an accomplished session player, Harvin can blast out a solo with the speed of a machine gun and the fluidity of running water, or he can sit back and spice up the lead of any front line with smooth, thoughtful brush work. (Elephant Room, 12:30am) -Christopher Hess


DOUG SAHM, KIM WILSON, & LOU ANN BARTON: The marquee here really says it all. That and the venue: Antone's. Three Texas/Austin legends, all on the same stage. From out of town? Confused by this whole insurgent retro roots-rock thing? Miss the good ol' ass- kicking blues? It's all right here, friend: Lone Star dust & grit music to illustrate why Texas is the greatest planet in the country. (Antone's, 12:30am) -Raoul Hernandez


ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS: Eschewing the use of "demon electricity," this big acoustic band continues to showcase the best blues, jazz, and novelty songs from the early part of this century. A heartfelt gospel set, which they perform at brunch every Sunday, may keep them from going to hell for Nasty Novelties, their recent EP of songs grandma never sang. (Continental Club, 1am) -Ken Lieck


THE BOTSWANAS: Whoo hoo! The Archies meet Iggy and get what's coming to them. Big time! The Botswanas' 1997 release, Mockers and Rods (Feralette), is a 90mph joyride through punk, pop, and garageland. This Connecticut quartet also has an album out in Spain, The Botswanas, Por Favor. ¡Por supuesto! is the obvious response. (Emo's Jr, 1am) -Leah Selvidge


BR5-49: Used to be you couldn't mention Nashville's true country sensations around these parts without getting grumbles about how the Derailers were just as good. Well, now that the Derailers have come out blasting on Reverb Deluxe, we can get back to liking these rollicking good time country boys, who know just about every song ever written and will play for you if you can stop dancing for just five seconds. (Austin Music Hall, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez




Five Fingers Of Funk

FIVE FINGERS OF FUNK: Portland, Oregon's Five Fingers, devotees of the Maceo funk school and headed by the rappin' Pete Miser, are a talented octet with a vibrant young following. More rap than what their digital nomenclature leads on, their mostly original hip-swingin' tunes are the product of the alto sax, trap drum set, t-bones, congas, trumpet, and bass, enhanced by the sounds and scratches of DJ Chill. (Fat Tuesday, 1am) -David Lynch





Golden Delicious

GOLDEN DELICIOUS: "Well it's a hootenanny (bah-dum-dum-dum-dum)/ It's a hootenanny (bah-dum-dum-dum-dum)/ It's a hoooooo-tenanny... " Old School. That's the title of the debut disc from Portland, Oregon's Golden Delicious: Old School. Yeah, like really old, like back before there was 'lectricity. "Hootenanny all night long." (Copper Tank North, 1am) -Michael Bertin



SHOULDERS: Ever seen one a'them horror movies that's set in a circus? This is that put to music. Shoulders take you on a roller-coaster ride through tales of preachers' daughters, crazy uncles, dead clowns, and various and sundry criminals of the soul - all told while dead drunk. Some songs may include an accordion solo at no extra charge. (Scholz Beer Garten, 1am) -Ken Lieck


SWAMP DOGG: Whether you're talking swamp pop, Miami funk, or straight-out blues, Swamp Dogg is one artist who knows how to gumbo. His iconoclastic life view and musical identity preclude his ability to toe the line (witness his Pointblank/Virgin 25-year career retrospective Fuck the Bomb, Stop the Drugs), and we're all better off for it. (Victory Grill, 1am) -Greg Beets


VALLEJO: One really couldn't ask for a better AOR rock band than Vallejo - nor for a better debut than the one reissued by TVT last year. Belonging spiritually to the Seventies while booming sonically like the Nineties, Vallejo captures a band in the throes of Santana and Soundgarden; the rock quotient is high for men while the rock star quotient is in the red for ladies. Oh, those cute brothers, they're already classic rock. (Stubb's, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez


KELLY WILLIS: Austin's own angel-voiced country crooner is getting set to release her long-awaited comeback, and when it sees the light of day, we can expect all eyes to fall on Kelly Willis. You can compare her to Loretta or to Kitty, but to be honest, that wouldn't be fair to Willis, who will no doubt carve her own niche among the classic voices of country. (Liberty Lunch, 1am) -Christopher Hess


FRIDAY SLEEPERS

HIP-HOP NIGHT: Once upon a time, before SXSW could attract big name talent, it was almost solely a conference for ambitious newcomers and indie upstarts. For better or worse, SXSW's hip-hop efforts still reflect those times. No Puffy associates, not even any recognizable names, but apparently lots of fresh and mostly unmined talent. Take Cool Nutz (8pm), a NXNW alumni from Portland. Not only can he weave a convincing street tale, he also owns and operates Just Family Records - a label headz say is redefining Northwest hip-hop. Southwest hip-hop has always been well-represented by Houston, which brings us Ground Zero's four-MC approach (9pm) and a combined effort from PSK-13 & Point Blank (11pm), both of whom are supporting new albums on the Priority-distributed Big Time imprint. Arlington's Epatomed (9:30), a collective fully on the positive tip, also hope to represent Texas nationally in '98 - on the strength of a new demo that's already earning lots of major label interest. Meanwhile, there's Towed Up (10:30pm), a New Orleans trio that have been earning positive comparisons to 3rdBass all along a recent West Coast tour - territory that's providing SXSW with hometown heroes like L.A.'s The Anonymous (1am) and Sacramento's Socialistik (12:30 am), an organic funk outfit that often utilizes live instrumentation. With Oakland's Latyrx (Midnight) pushing new product on DJ Shadow's redhot Soul Sides imprint, and SXSW's first female MC entrant, Steph Pockets (10pm), as well as Scavone (11:30pm), a SXSW alumnus returning just before droppin' a single on New York's Makin' Records, and you've got cause for some genuine excitement... or at least a chance to remember SXSW's old school days, where the process of discovery was more important than the hype. (State Theatre) -Andy Langer


ROCK EN ESPAÑOL: Because rock & roll is a universal language, rocanroll might be a better warning to viewers that there's gonna be subtitles. And don't be such a Neanderthal about it, either, the flick is just as good, maybe better. Starting early (8pm), the night's entertainment begins with the real enchilada from Mexicali, Mexico, Limbo Zamba, before two major stateside producers of rocanroll, the Marin-based Aztlan Records, and the Noo York street toughs at Grita! take over. Oakland's Orixa does the Bay Area menudo - rock, funk, reggae, ska, jam - at 9pm, while their Aztlan labelmates Yeska are in the midnight slot with a far spicier blend of Jamaican ska and Cuban Jazz imported from los angeles. New York's Bay of Pigs introduce the Grita! side of the torta with their hard moshing Santana skank (10pm), followed by Miami's big-hearted, big-ballad, big-roc sounding Volumen Cero (11pm). And just before the lights come back on, The Psychotic Aztecs, led by Tito Larriva and Steven Hufsteter of Tito & Tarantula, perform human sacrifice in this L.A. all-star concern that's sure to blow your ever-loving mind. Like my grandmother says, "Muy Wayno!" (Maggie Mae's West) -Raoul Hernandez


SUPERNOVA: On this Costa Mesa, CA band's new AmRep effort, Rox, the game is no longer "Spot the Influence," it's "Spot the Literal Rip-Off." Mersey! Supernova's buzz says think Devo, Buzzcocks, Richard Hell, but screw the buzz; think super starburst dumbshit rock the likes of Mensclub, Pansy Division, and Pocket FishRmen. Hmmmmm, add Supernova, and suddenly that's a bill that increases about a billion times in brightness. (Emo's, 8pm) -Kate X Messer


MEMORY DEAN: Southern alterna-pop has become quite the cottage industry in the Nineties - much as Southern rock was in the Seventies. Capricorn Records, which built its reputation around the Allman Brothers, has corralled a stable of fresh acts like Georgia's Memory Dean, who do the Southern thang quite well. Though gifted with a knack for hooks and harmonies, Memory Dean till just enough dirt to soil an otherwise lily-white sound. (Stubb's, 8pm) -Sean Doles


ATOMIC DELUXE: It's dangerous to say things like this 'round these parts, but this swinging, slidin' western rockabilly swing band from Salt Lake City sounds so damn fine on their brand new CD, Stories From the New West, they could almost be from Austin. Oh, oh, here come the local authorities. [Glass shatters and chairs are broken.] What I meant to say is don't move here. (Texas Union Ballroom, 8pm) -Raoul Hernandez


THE JUBILETTES: Austin finds itself as blessed in gospel acts as in roots-rockers, but don't try to pin any alternative or hip labels on the Jubilettes. Instead, just close your eyes and let their sweet voices swing low and wide, because that sound of rushing water might just be an open faucet or the River Jordan, and either way, there's nothing like a little spiritual to cleanse the soul or at least save the day. (Victory Grill, 8pm) - Margaret Moser


MARVELOUS 3: Because ASCAP's in the business of songs, even their showcase's 8pm band has a string of catchy tunes. Math and Other Problems, the Deep South debut from Atlanta's Marvelous 3, winds up solving itself: one part Everclear, two parts Cheap Trick, and three parts Elvis Costello. (Steamboat, 8pm) -Andy Langer




The Freight Hoppers

THE FREIGHT HOPPERS: Old-time acoustic bluegrass meltdowns and traditional tunes from the Twenties and Thirties, that's what the Freight Hoppers are all about. Two gals (on bass and guitar) and two guys (on violin and banjo) make up this North Carolina-based quartet. Their 1996 debut on Rounder, Where'd you come from, where'd you go? keeps the traditional music flame alive with interpretations of standards such as "Cotton Eyed Joe" and "Little Sadie." (Iron Cactus, 9pm) -David Lynch



THE DIAZ BROS: Combine the Peter Pan syndrome with some electric guitars and a couple Casio keyboards, and you have the tools necessary to create Austin's Diaz Bros. Singer Phillip McEachern along with members of Prescott Curlywolf live in a musical playground full of big wheels, hotwheels cars, and Battlestar Galactica. (Copper Tank Main, 9pm) -Christopher Hess


HONEYRODS: Guitars, guitars, and guitars. Then even some more guitars. The Honeyrods like to play guitars - two of them do anyway. Much like a Fig Dish album, the Honeyrods' self-titled Capricorn debut is loud and melodic, and tightly wound in nice four-minute intervals. (Stubb's, 9pm) -Michael Bertin


LILY AFSHAR: "She will be a beautiful celebrity," said Andres Segovia about Persian-born Dr. Lily Afshar. That's hefty but deserving praise from the undisputed master of classical guitar. Currently a professor of music in Tennessee, Dr. Afshar has been busy the last handful of years teaching and traveling with her unique talent, winning awards and accolades along the way. Her above-reproach technique doesn't inhibit her soulfulness, displayed in her masterful realization of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's 24 Caprichos de Goya on Summit Records. (Ritz Lounge, 9pm) -David Lynch


JIMMY EAT WORLD: Arizona two-guitar quintet trying to sound DIY, but having a hard time doing so with their major label debut on Capitol, Static Prevails. Guess they'll just have to settle for sounding like all that other major label crap, y'know, Rocket From the Crypt and stuff. (Electric Lounge, Pavilion 9pm) - Raoul Hernandez


DANA AND KAREN KLETTER: Hearing their seamless harmony vocals over piano and violin, you'd think these two women were related. In fact, they're identical twin sisters. But while they may be genetically similar, they bring vastly different histories together: Karen is wrapping up her doctorate in medieval religious history and Dana sang backing vox on Hole's Live Through This. Their eight-year-in-the-making debut on Rykodisc's Hannibal imprint, Dear Enemy, is where these life experiences collide. (Westside Alley, 9pm) -David Lynch


ROLLING HAYSEEDS: Philadelphia's Rolling Hayseeds make gritty country rock for the calmer set. Mature and competent songwriting guides the country melodies, the vocals of both Kevin Karg and Richard Kaufman giving apt treatment to the rural pop. The liberal use of dobro, slide, and mandolin in addition to the raw lyrics and their delivery adds a slightly darker dimension to a sound that hints of the Rave-Ups. (Hang Em High, 9pm) -Christopher Hess


VIDI VITTIES: The local four piece has a couple 7-inchers to its credit thus far on Peek-A-Boo Records. They stray comfortably from a clean guitar pop for their more ambient moments, but never at the expense of melody. (Bates Motel, 9pm) -Michael Bertin


GLOSSO BABEL: Often thought-provoking lyrics placed on top of smooth and deep rhythm, Austin's Glosso Babel combines spoken word lyric delivery (such as the interpretation of an Albert Huffstickler poem) in percussive conversations with bass and guitar - as is found on their DIY release, Babble Lingus. (Mojo's, 9pm) -David Lynch




Hart-Rouge

HART-ROUGE: A roots and folk outfit centered around the family Campagne, their latest, Beaupré's Home, is on Minnesota's Red House Records. Although from Saskatchewan, Hart Rouge currently work out of Montreal, using their bilingual abilities to deftly color their unassuming melodies. (Cactus Cafe, 9:45pm) -Michael Bertin



ABSINTHE: Portland, over the last five years, has had a reputation for great pop bands. The majority of them, however, specialize in a roughly hewn sound, whereas Absinthe is as smooth and cool as flower petals, featuring the high, clear, British-inflected vocals of Nathan Khyber and a brooding pop sound not afraid to mix shimmery guitars with synth. (Steamboat, 10pm) -Phil West


BIG GAME HUNTER: At last year's festival, this young hip-hop collective (two MCs, bassists, and percussionists) was still working the kinks out of its two-hour shows. Now, they not only spearhead a popular scene of progressively rhythm-oriented outfits called TRANSIT, but their own game has grown remarkably into a concrete vision effortlessly combining jazz sensibility with hip-hop's spirit. (Fat Tuesday, 10pm) -Andy Langer


THE BUICKS: Two things should excite you about these Albertans. First are the arpeggiated chords from Murmur and Reckoning. It doesn't sound as fresh or exciting as when it came out of Athens in '83, but it's a welcome imitation anyway. Second is the Clash, whose sound the Buicks bear more than just a coincidental resemblance to. (Babes, 10pm) -Michael Bertin


FERNANDO: The heart-wrenching drama pours out of every Fernando song as if it would be his last. Fernando knows how to whip his devoted local following (Portland, Oregonians) into an emotional frenzy, performing his Dylan-esque narrative balladry with a voice that holds nothing back and the burning, soulful intensity of a house ablaze. (Hole in the Wall, 10pm) -Christopher Hess


RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: The son of Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus has an ever-so-subtle sedative-dosed show tune flair for composition and countryman Ron Sexsmith's nasal passages. (La Zona Rosa, 10pm) -Michael Bertin


44 LONG: Portland pop purveyors 44 Long have impressed pretty much everyone with their debut for Schizophrenic records, Collect Them All. Pop that's alternately noisy and smooth with just a hint of Southern flavorings, every song has a natural ease about it that makes it immediately appealing. (Ruta Maya, 10pm) -Christopher Hess


THE HOLLISTERS: Could these Houston boys be any more Texas? Of course not, and that was a rhetorical question, son. Last year's debut on Austin indie Freedom Records, The Land of Rhythm and Pleasure, was raining country and twang like pecans offa Johnny Cash's pecan tree. Run for cover - after you finish that Shiner, son, let's not go losing our head. (Hang 'em High, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez


JOYDROP: Joydrop on Joydrop: "Jewel on acid, No Doubt with feedback and red hair, or the Cardigans if they'd come from Brooklyn." Sure... except maybe for the feedback bit. (Bob Popular, 10pm) -Michael Bertin


RUBINCHIK'S ORKESTYR: This acoustic endeavor, fearlessly led by Bad Liver Mark Rubin, is a Chinese box of indigenous musical fascination. The Orkestyr specializes in recreating Old World ambience by pulling out everything from deep, throaty Russian funeral music to festive Yiddish drinking songs that'll make you want to throw some plates. (Scholz Beer Garten, 10pm) -Greg Beets


BIRDDOG: This country-boy from Lexington, Kentucky was raised on Merle Haggard and Nick Cave, and he wears these influences on his sleeve, picking his way through dour waltz-like dirges and dark folk melodies. His debut for Sugar Free, The Trackhouse, the Valley, the Liquor Store Drive-Thru, is lackadaisical down-home songwriting with a sharp eye and a sharper tongue. (Hole in the Wall, 11pm) -Christopher Hess


THE MINSTRELS: Vancouver's Minstrels are Merseybeaters with their exuberance still fully intact. I defy you to successfully quell that inexplicable urge to go-go dance. (Babes, 11pm) -Michael Bertin




GAZA STRIPPERS

GAZA STRIPPERS: Rick Sims. On bass. What more do you need to know, except this is the Chi-town legend's newest venture with a couple former Supersuckers? If the band's Bam Bam single is any indication, Sims and company haven't forgotten what the Didjits were to this decaying planet. (Buffalo Club, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez



SLUTS FOR HIRE: This cartoonish quartet - which featured Leaving Train Falling James in its original 1993 inception - plays zesty Hollywood punk rock without all the no-future baggage. If you're damned tired of having woeful tomes embedded in your escapism, you'll get off good on this loud, fast romp through the wonderful, mindless valley of easy gratification. (Emo's Jr., 11pm) -Greg Beets




Abby Travis Foundation

ABBY TRAVIS FOUNDATION: Abby Travis, longtime L.A. scenster, gives good resumé: stints in the Love Dolls, KMFDM, and the Lollapalooza bassist slot for Elastica. This girl's all about drama, Rocky Horror Picture Show drama, the big messy kind, and who the fuck are you to say stop? (Copper Tank Main, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez



CHUCK PROPHET: It's an old Melody Maker quote ripped straight from this Green On Red expatriate's bio: Prophet is "the missing link between Bob Dylan and Paul Westerberg." True enough, which means this studio rat (Jim Dickinson, Calvin Russell, Kelly Willis) may just be as vital as Whiskeytown or any number of alt.country hopefuls - a theory more than proven by Homemade Blood, Prophet's stunning 1997 record for Cooking Vinyl. (Cactus Cafe, 11:15pm) -Andy Langer


RICHMOND FONTAINE: Inevitable Uncle Tupelo comparisons aside, this Portland trio can really rock out, driving their twang-core playlist with plenty of hard-n-fast guitar work. Their Cavity Search debut, Safety, shows their ability for original songwriting and their occasional propensity for heartfelt country dirges, but don't expect no sit-down mope session out of these guys; this will be drunk, loud, and fast - just like you want it. (Copper Tank North, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


CHOREBOY: No local album from last year fared worse than Choreboy's Good Clean Fun... My Ass, and no other local band could have cared less. This is punk for punk's sake, and it's merely an old-school side-project for ex-Big Boy Chris Gates and former Skatenigs Phil Owen and Mat Mitchell ("three angry bald guys singing about skinheads"). But it's a must-see nonetheless, not just because they play so infrequently, but also since their shows so often turn into punk Karaoke - with past cameos from Fear's Lee Ving, Gibby Haynes, and members of the Exploited. (Atomic Cafe, Midnight) -Andy Langer


CORREO AEREO: The acoustic music of Austin's Correo Aereo has become the standard to which traditional Latino groups are compared. This Austin duo plays standard and original Mexican, Venezuelan, and Argentinian music, like that found on their self-released Provinces, using harp, guitar, bombo, violin, quinta, cuatro, and the fanciest maracca work you'll ever see. (Ritz Lounge, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


KING SOUL: This swanky ensemble is led by D.C. transplant Tom Clifford and fully inspired by Stax. Appropriately enough, they're supporting an ultra-funky Freedom debut called Work Your Show! No doubt that's just what they'll do. (Victory Grill, Midnight) -Andy Langer


THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE: The Mystery of Life's pop is easygoing, filled out with a distinctively percussive rhythm. The midwestern band's Focus on the Background EP includes a nifty cover of the Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" and a sluggishly hip version of the Herman's Hermits classic, "I'm Into Something Good." (Bob Popular Upstairs, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


OWLESLY: Shades of XTC and even Joe Jackson surface from a surprising source - a four-member band from backwater Alabama. Their sound, which uses piano to prop up a basic pop set-up, is polished and even delicate, with solid melodies and harmonies placed front and center. (Iron Cactus, Midnight) -Phil West


THE NEW GRAND: If Weezer were hosers. They're not, are they? (Babes, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


THE URINALS: Rising from the ashes of the early Eighties West Coast punk scene that spawned acts like Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, the Urinals' crude brand of art-punk paved the way for later acts like the Minutemen and Mission of Burma. One riff per song, one vocal line, stripped to the bone and raw. (Emo's, Midnight) -Sean Doles


GLUEY BROTHERS: Good schtick is good schtick and the Gluey boys have it down. Sure, their prop-driven theatrics often make for better performance art than music - a metallic funk/rap fusion - but their offbeat punchlines and well-rehearsed stageraps are thoroughly engrossing entertainment, anyway. In a festival full of stuffy wheeler-dealers, this ought to be the common man's guilty pleasure. (Copper Tank Main, 1am) -Andy Langer




The Riptones

THE RIPTONES: Adding to the fine Bloodshot menu with Extra Sauce, the Riptones prove that you don't need to be from the Deep South to serve up a heaping dish of country-blues-rock. In the Riptones case, this dish was cooked in a (mid)Western kitchen by Chicago country-fried chefs and is seasoned with delicious lyrics of relational loss, overdriven twang, spicy rub board, shuffle drum entrees, and stand-up bass bones. Bon Appetite! (Iron Cactus, 1am) -David Lynch



SHALLOW, NORTH DAKOTA: Thank the benevolent powers that be for not pairing Shallow, North Dakota with godHead silo. That's a fate no ear plugs, much less actual ears, could endure. These guys make bands like Killdozer and Tool sound like Muzak. (Babes, 1am) -Michael Bertin


AFRODITE: Led by West African-trained percussionist Sherri Baby, Austin's Afrodite interprets traditional music from Africa, Cuba, Haiti, and other places where the groove reigns. The group's rhythm (drum sextet) and the harmony (vocal quintet) components blend together to turn any venue into a dynamic dance party. (Ritz Lounge, 1am) -David Lynch


DJ BIZZ: Spinning hard-edged, very funky house, this Houston DJ is a resident at Club Some and The Orbit Room in Houston. He's spun in the company of the finest DJs in the country. Keep your ears open for his infamous remix of the Cardigan's "Love Fool" appropriately titled "Luvfoo". (Twist, 2am) -Leah Selvidge


SATURDAY PICKS

JUNIOR BROWN: In Austin, there's always some strange story circulating about ol' Junior Brown - stuff that would make the Star look like Dr. Seuss - but only one thing matters when it comes to the guit-steel tamer; every Sunday when he shows up for his gig at the Continental, he packs the place, then blows the doors off the South Congress club with a set of country tunes and guitar wizardry that could only be described as Jimi Hendrix in the body of George Jones. Now that's a story worth verifying. (Waterloo Park, 6:30pm) -Raoul Hernandez




Jones Benally

NATIVE AMERICAN NIGHT: First of all, divorce yourself from the notion that Native American night is all about chants and whoops! There's some of that sure, but saying it's all Dances With Wolves is like saying all black musicians play blues and all white musicians have no soul. Flagstaff's Jones Benally Family (7pm), the ones with the chants and hoops (father Jones is a world-famous hoop dancer) - and feathers - don't do much to support this, but when you've got a troupe like theirs whipping up traditional Navajo music and dance, what would you rather have? Ska-flavored hip-hop? Well, actually that's exactly what Tempe's Clan/destine cook up - only with a good dose of rock & roll, and a lot of mysticism (7:40pm). Nashville's Cherokee Rose (8:20pm) is my case in point, however, as a New Age folkie, and she leads into a mid-section of a bill that there's virtually no information on except times: Thon-gya! (8:50pm); Roxy Gordon (9:30pm); Indigenous (10pm); and Jerry Alfred & the Medicine Beat (10:40pm). Adjectives kick back in with Blackfire's heavy-handed Danzig brow-beating (11:20pm), while Taos' Robert Mirabal, on Warner Western, does the funky, funky rock dance (Midnight). By 12:40am, you're probably going to be jonesing (benallying?) for some good ol' fashioned chants and whoops and New York's Ulali, an a cappella trio of sweet-voiced Plains Indian descendents, are happy to oblige. Crowning the evening is Chippewa Keith Sincola, whose long career as the Neil Young/Bruce Springsteen of the reservation circuit earns him headlining status. (State Theatre) -Raoul Hernandez



JIMMIE VAUGHAN: People forget, but before Strange Pleasure - even before Family Style - Jimmie Vaughan wasn't such a sure thing. On his Strat, yes - one of the greats - but being a singer and a frontman is a different story altogether, even if JLV spent years playing behind Kim Wilson. That his upcoming Epic album is as eagerly anticipated as it is speaks volumes as to how far Vaughan has come. "Good Texan" indeed. (Waterloo Park, 7:30pm) -Raoul Hernandez


TEISCO DEL REY: Give it up smooth for this Texas surf-rock troubadour. Though guitar pioneers like Link Wray and Dick Dale are the touchstone for Del Rey's crazy prowess, the man also pulls off one hell of a soulful strut when rendering tunes like Ray Bryant's "The Madison Time." His versatility shows no strain even when he tackles obscure indigenous folk or calypso music. (Waterloo Brewing Company, 8pm) -Greg Beets


8 FROZEN MODULES: Ken Gibson of L.A.-by-way-of-Austin's Furry Things describes his electronica side-project as sounding like a drum machine falling down a flight of stairs. That's about right: This is closer to Alec Empire's screw-you techno than it is to any dance-floor business. (Atomic Cafe, 9pm) - Jeff Salamon


GOLDEN ARM TRIO: The Golden Arm Trio flies in the face of the martini jazz movement with elegant and evocative piano/cello compositions that have more in common with film scores than humidors. Their debut CD on Buzz Moran's Shamrock Records just might spread the wealth beyond the provincialism of Austin. (Elephant Room, 9pm) -Greg Beets


THE CORNELL HURD BAND: Trying to find a clever phrase to describe the quirky country & Western music of Cornell Hurd comes courtesy of the man himself, who once casually puffed on a cigar and explained his music as "left-wing swing." While you're out two-stepping, though, keep an ear open to his lyrics - that's where righteous swing turns left wing. (Stubb's, 9pm) -Margaret Moser


LOS STRAITJACKETS: Here's the picture: a quartet from Nashville who wear Mexican wrestling masks and play straight-up, guitar-driven, rockabilly and Fifties roadster rock. Instrumentals. You'd never know their origins or looks listening to their Ben Vaughn-produced Upstart release, Viva Los Straitjackets, but you'd hear top notch new wave surf sounds. (Waterloo Brewing Company, 9pm) -David Lynch


KRIS MCKAY: Just after she stunned locals with a midnight move to Los Angeles, word has it McKay is now legally separated and soon to be divorced from Shanachie - what was ultimately the wrong label for the right McKay record, 1996's Things That Show. Although the track she recently cut for The Newton Boys soundtrack is intentionally retro, the demos she's currently shopping are seriously progressive. Wanna bet she gets another chance? (Fat Tuesday, 9pm) -Andy Langer


JACQUELINE SPECT: Jacqueline spins her own blend of techno, tribal, trance, house, and funk. She's one of Austin's most talented DJs, just recently spinning at the Anomaly party at the Austin Music Hall. Fully dedicated to furthering the local electronic music scene, she's also a partner in Austin's Vinyl Attic, a vinyl-only store that caters to DJs and turntablists. (Austin Music Hall, 9pm) -Leah Selvidge


GRACE BRAUN: Braun's powerful pipes over her folky tunes hearken back to the crooners from the hills of Kentucky and West Virginia. She returns from the world of punk/pop having managed to stay true to her roots through it all. It Won't Hurt, released last year, demonstrates this native Kentuckian's appetite and ability for writing traditional ballads with modern originality. (Cactus Cafe, 9:45pm) -Leah Selvidge


BRAN VAN 3000: Wannabe filmmaker Jamie DiSalvo ditched his celluloid jones, "bought some studio shit," and assembled about 20 musicians of every walk to put together Bran Van 3000 - a sampledelic haze of sounds from a guy whose self-proclaimed tastes include "hip-hop, trip-hop, and ZZ Top." Even if you hate beats, Bran Van's just-released Capitol debut, Glee, has the Hipness Quotient off the board for this nine-piece outfit's showcase. (La Zona Rosa, 10pm) -Michael Bertin


CHRIS WHITLEY: Freshly divorced from Sony, that lone figure you see in the distance in a wife-beater and ripped jeans is none other than the former Chris Whitley. Returning to the stripped down blues of Living with the Law, Whitley's been picked up by the Messenger Records label, which has just issued the guitarist's Dirt Floor, a stark set of wicked blues traveling the backwoods roads from big city to bayou. (Antone's, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez




Geno Delafose



GENO DELAFOSE & FRENCH ROCKIN' BOOGIE: To the Southern neophyte, calling Geno Delafose's zydeco stomp the pride of Eunice, Louisiana must sound charmingly cornpone. Make no mistake though, Delafose comes from a place where accordion proficiency is prized and the competition is stiff. After a few dervish whirls on the dancefloor to French Rockin' Boogie's call of the wild, you'll never think about dark nights in the swamp the same way. (Scholz Beer Garten, 10pm) -Margaret Moser



BY DIVINE RIGHT: Now that Wayne Coyne has gone off playing in the sonic netherworlds, this Toronto trio could probably pull off a better Flaming Lips right now than the Flaming Lips themselves. All Hail Discordia, BDR's third full-length effort, has a cooler-than-thou indie feel, but is somehow completely devoid of pretension. Hot tip: This was one of the big surprises at NXNW last year. (Bob Popular, 10pm) -Michael Bertin


HARVEY DANGER: Somebody get those folks at SXSW an A&R job... every year, when they return from Portland's NXNW, they talk up Harvey Danger. Nobody listened until alternative rock radio recently jumped all over "Flagpole Sitta," a quirky, infectious, track from their indie CD, Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? Big, big label interest followed, which recently ended with London Records announcing an April 6 re-release of the album. The SXSW staff should be proud. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 10pm) -Andy Langer


HIS NAME IS ALIVE: Four-track svengali Warren Defever leads less of a "band" per se than an unforgettable visceral experience. Defever, along with creamy erotic, swirly hypnotic singer Karin Oliver, and skittery drummer Trey Many released 4AD's Stars on ESP last year. The project marked HNIA's departure from their previously sparse, lo-fi landscape to the greener, fertile hills of lush production, and rips more from Brian Wilson than his discredited "life manager" Dr. Eugene Landy ever did. (Electric Lounge, 10pm) -Kate X Messer


SIXTEEN DELUXE: Emits Showers of Sparks. And how. In rainbow psychedelic tones as the reverb drenched guitar of Chris Smith and Carrie Clark pours down in sheets of sound. Warm jets of neon noise on Warner Bros., which just put out the Austin quartet`s fine debut. Somebody light the fuse, the band will take care of the fireworks. (Liberty Lunch, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez


TRISH MURPHY BAND: Just after the 1997 SXSW shindig, local girl Trish Murphy's self-made debut, Crooked Mile, hit the shelves. Loaded with smarts and songs that are equal parts pop and country - but still pure Lone Star - the album has since been lodged on the weekly Texas Music Top 10. Not bad for a virtual unknown this time last year. (Fat Tuesday, 10pm) -Michael Bertin


MOONSHINE WILLY: The Bloodshot stable is deep, and one of its finest, blackest, shiniest stallions is Moonshine Willy, ridden by the wicked, crop-wielding Kim Docter. Crying her tales of woe among the reels and hoedowns, fiddles and banjos, this Chicago-based gang of Dixie rebels whoop it up and live it down - like the hard, bitter pill life really is. You thought last year's Bold Displays of Imperfection was twisted? Wait'll Docter's Bastard Child is born. Woo-wee. (Copper Tank Main, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez


KIMMIE RHODES: With a voice made to sing lullabyes, Lubbock native Kimmie Rhodes is as at home in the cozy confines of the Cactus Cafe as a mother in a nursery. Make that a hospital nursery, as Rhodes has penned enough country beauties to fill a roomful of bassinets, with admirers such as Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris at the window waiting to hold a newborn. This mama does it all. (Cactus Cafe, 10:30pm) -Raoul Hernandez


IRIS DEMENT: If you like tough chicks who don't mince words, then you probably already own a couple of Iris DeMent's albums. Even though the über-distinctive drawl may be somewhat of an acquired taste, there's no mistaking the deep rooted sentimentality and the power in singer-songwriter DeMent's canon - little, three-minute sermons delivered straight enough to scare salvation into the most socially iniquitous. (Texas Union Ballroom, 11pm) -Michael Bertin


JON DEE GRAHAM: With what was undeniably the local album of the year, Escape From Monster Island, former Skunk and True Believer Jon Dee Graham used 1997 to finally and firmly step out on his own. It was an album that not only bridged the gap between Tom Waits and Tom Petty, but also captured a phenomenally poignant songwriter at both the midpoint of his life and the height of his craft. This gig will no doubt be great, but if it leads to someone who can offer wider exposure, that would be even better. (Scholz Beer Garten, 11pm) -Andy Langer


BUDDY GUY: In a city that takes its blues more seriously than college football, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone not moved by Buddy Guy's screaming 12-bar blues anguish - a magical tool in the hands of a Grand Wizard. Nevertheless, it's Guy's voice that tells the story of the blues in all its soul-shaking glory. You damn right he's got the blues. (Antone's, 11pm) -Christopher Hess


SEAN LENNON: Following in the footsteps of Julian- er, John Lennon, young Sean is stepping out from beneath the protective wing of you-know-who, who must be proud as hell of the kid's upcoming Grand Royal release, Into the Sun, which sounds very much like the sunny, exotic Beatlisms of young Lennon's backing band at this showcase, Cibo Matto. (Liberty Lunch, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez




Amy Rigby

AMY RIGBY: Now that Diary of a Mod Housewife is about two years old, it'll be worth checking out singer-songwriter Amy Rigby to see if she's settled into her self-proclaimed dual roles of recovering slacker and premature parent - the role that spawned her sometimes mouthy, other times supple solo debut. The former leader of New York pop trio the Shams, Rigby is one of the more under-heralded singer-songwriters around. (Fat Tuesday, 11pm) -Michael Bertin



SYMBIOSIS: Real brothers Deryl and Stan Dorsett are Texas' answer to the Chemical Brothers. (No... that doesn't mean Willie Nelson or Junior Brown cut to a breakbeat, but that seems interesting.) They spin an array of dancefloor techno, moody electro, and drum & bass. Their sophomore release, meta, will be released later this month. (Austin Music Hall, 11pm) -Leah Selvidge


WANNABES: England had the Kinks and the Buzzcocks, Minneapolis had the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, Austin has the Wannabes. Got it? Their playing schedule is switching from bi-weekly to bi-annually, so catch them now while you can. And grab a copy of their poorly distributed Popsucker before you leave town. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 11pm) -Ken Lieck


DALE WATSON: For his win as "Songwriter of the Year" in last year's Austin Music Awards, Dale Watson posed in front of an American flag, which sums up his red-hot songwriting, white sock-country, and blue jean sentiments. I Hate These Songs, he titled his last album, but its truckstop dreams and family values belie that title. Watson radiates sincerity without artifice, a welcome respite from hat acts, alt.country contenders, and adolescent warblers. (Stubb's, 11pm) -Margaret Moser


JIM CUDDY: The name Jim Cuddy might not ring any bells, but the name Blue Rodeo will. Along with Greg Keelor, Cuddy is half of creative content providers for one of Canada's finest North Americana bands (that'd be Blue Rodeo). The band hasn't split, but Cuddy has recently finished work on a solo project, All in Time. His showcase will be all Cuddy all night, and no Blue Rodeo material. (Bob Popular, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


THE FRIGGS: Imagine a female version of the Standells with enough sneer power to light up San Diego. The quartet's Rock Candy CD (E-Vil) is jam packed with contagious garage pop gems like "I Thought You Said You Were Gonna Kill Yourself," the logical successor to Holly & the Italians' "Tell That Girl to Shut Up." It's appropriate that the Friggs originated in Camden, N.J. 'cause they're most definitely industrial-strength. (Copper Tank North, Midnight) -Greg Beets


GOD WITHIN: A Scott Hardkiss (of San Francisco's Hardkiss Bros.) solo project, God Within melds hard-hitting dance beats, lush melodies, and powerful hooks with live instruments (sampled, of course!). An album is due later this year on Columbia, and this rare Austin appearance at SXSW should prove to be the rump-shakin' fest that has become a hallmark of Hardkiss' performances. (Austin Music Hall, Midnight) -Leah Selvidge


JACK INGRAM: After years on the college party circuit, Ingram got some much needed credibility off of Steve Earle's production credit on last year's underrated Livin' Or Dyin'. The resulting material may have rocked too hard for Nashville, but it made for a year of blistering live shows, which, when you call Jerry Jeff Walker your mentor and Todd Snider your only colleague, is all that matters, anyway. (Stubb's, Midnight) -Andy Langer


JENNYANYKIND: One of the most innovative yet underappreciated bands to come out of the Chapel Hill goldmine, Jennyanykind have turned their blues for the afflicted into high art, as witnessed on their last (and strongest) Elektra release, Revelater. Singer Michael Holland may not be grinnin', but he will be pickin', laying down the bluezed out rock riffs with the fluidity of a backwoods banjo man. They can be serious and foreboding or they can just plain rock, but one thing's for sure: Their shows never suck. (Iron Cactus, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


JO CAROL PIERCE: Hasn't Jo Carol been canonized yet? (Cactus Cafe, Midnight) -Kate X Messer


THE JOHN DOE THING: L.A. punk veteran, torch-carrying country rocker, actor. Charismatic renaissance man of many hats, John Doe brings his Thing to town to treat us all to some tasty bits from his massive catalog. His new outfit may not be as loud or as fast as X, but his country leanings show as much grit as the New World. He still rocks and he always will. (Waterloo Brewing Company, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


STORYVILLE: It would be so easy for Storyville to rest on their near-superstar laurels; last year's A Piece of My Soul CD was hugely popular regionally and has kept the band touring heavily, so this show is more than just a showcase. Another act who has cleaned up a couple dozen Austin Music Awards over the years, Storyville carves its niche with Stevie Ray Vaughan's former Double Trouble rhythm section, bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, the gospel-tinged vocals of Malford Milligan, and the sublime guitar of David Grissom. What more do you need to know? (Antone's, Midnight) -Margaret Moser


TRIPLE FAST ACTION: Although this Chicago outfit's much-anticipated debut, 1996's Broadcaster, was a convincing enough piece of pop/punk chemistry, Capitol apparently figured Triple Fast Action didn't match the hype sufficiently. Too bad for them, because TFA's sophomore album for Deep Elm Records, Cattlemen Don't, adds some serious radio-ready hooks and real texture to the mix. Add Local H guitarist Scott Lucas to the touring band. (Buffalo Club, Midnight) -Andy Langer


AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD: Their new, self-titled release on Trance Syndicate is a dormant bomb of wide-open rock that, though building sharp riffs into epic proportions with spacious arrangement, more than fills in the measures with frantic playing and obscured lyrics. It's always loud, but that's about the only predictable thing about these guys when they hit the stage. (Atomic Cafe, 1am) -Christopher Hess


BRAVE COMBO: For over a decade, these polkaholics have been getting good reviews in Rolling Stone and elsewhere for their irresistible platefuls of the world's catchiest dance music, including cumbias, tango, and yes, even ska. Hokey Pokey, anyone? (Waterloo Brewing Company, 1am) -Ken Lieck


BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE: San Francisco mainstays (they've been around since the early Eighties), Brian Jonestown Massacre are Americans who understand what the Brits really meant by psychedelic, shoe-gazer rock. Often compared to Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine, BJM are noisy and melodic (call them a sonic oxymoron) and not for the meek. (Electric Lounge Pavillion, 1am) -Leah Selvidge


VIC CHESNUTT: Athens, Georgia's Vic Chesnutt is very either-or. Either you worship him or you run to commit suicide after hearing him (must be why he doesn't have any detractors around). Scruffy or garbled or scraggly doesn't even begin to scratch the essence of Chesnutt's voice, and his dark sense of humor is a few shades past charcoal, but the paraplegic singer-songwriter's passion and his intensity are unmistakable. (Electric Lounge, 1am) -Michael Bertin


DA HOOL: Da Hool is the moniker for DJ Hooligan, whose single "Meet Her at the Love Parade," was the rage on dance floors across Germany. His Kosmo Records release, Here Comes Da Hool, is a study in progressive trance and the kind of stuff to really lose yourself to. (Austin Music Hall, 1am) -Leah Selvidge


DRILL TEAM: If Fastball and Sixteen Deluxe were one band, they'd be L.A.'s Drill Team. The quartet's forthcoming full-length debut for Reprise, Hope and Dream Explosion, is a thoroughly promising pop firecracker. Its 11 tunes ambitiously bounce between airtight melodies and sloppy noise, singularly promising radio's wet dream and worst nightmare. If their live set is as good, this gig could be a can't-miss. (Babes, 1am) -Andy Langer


JIMMY LAFAVE: Keep on keeping on. Words to live by, and Jimmy LaFave has, another road poet in a long line of Austin's wandering wordsmiths - one of those guys that makes Europeans just ache to visit Texas. Last year's Road Novel on Bohemia Beat must have had some poor soul in Poland dying to experience the miles and miles of Lone Star state that LaFave lays fence along with his posthole solid songs. Welcome to Plant, Texas, friend. (Scholz Beer Garten, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez


SKREW: Although they suffer a bit from Shawn Colvin syndrome (sporadic local play), Skrew has yet to lose any ground in the industrial movement, releasing their fourth full album, Angel Seed XXIII, last year on Metal Blade. Fresh off a recent headlining tour, they bring all the angst and postmodern hooks back home for this showcase, itself preparation for what already looks like the year's best heavy tour, a triple bill with Skinlab and Fall From Grace. (Back Room, 1am) -Andy Langer




Spacehog

SPACEHOG: Following the success of Resident Alien, a larger-than-life pop explosion, those wacky, shaggy hogs return with The Chinese Album, a pretty, precious confection of pop ditties that will likely go Broadway big live - just like everything this trio does under the big, bright lights of rock stardom! (La Zona Rosa, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez





Waco Brothers

WACO BROTHERS: English punk plus Chicago urban rust belt torment plus country stylings equals the Waco Brothers. Sounding like a band of Joe Strummers after graduating from the Johnny Cash school of hard knocks, this quintet is known for their over-the-top live show, although appearances around town probably won't include the fine horn section featured in the title track from their equally-fine Bloodshot release, Do You Think About Me? (Copper Tank Main, 1am) -David Lynch





Johnny Winter

JOHNNY WINTER: Just when you thought you'd heard every blues lick ever played, one of Texas' fine native sons, Johnny Winter, will come up with some demon riff dripping with serious mojo - one that buries itself deep inside your psyche like some primeval urge. There are a few of those on Winter's upcoming Point Blank release, Live in NYC '97, and when you put the man who inspired the white on the Texas flag into Austin's hottest barbecue joint for a headlining slot, you just know you'll be walking away with a few embedded in your person. (Stubb's, 1am) -Raoul Hernandez



PAT MACDONALD: Wear shades too long and everything gets real dark. That appears to be the lesson learned from Pat MacDonald Sleeps With His Guitar, the ex-Timbuk3 frontman's haunting solo debut for ARK21. Whether his lyrical wit is targeted at himself or society at large, what's truly spooky is just how good a songwriter MacDonald has become. (The Library, 1am) -Andy Langer


JOSH WINK: One of America's finest and most eclectic DJ/producers, this prolific Philly native has more remixes, 12-inches, and other material than you could shake a stick at. Wink gets his well-deserved major label debut this June on Ovum/Columbia. Meanwhile, check out United DJ's of America - Josh Wink for a sampling and be prepared to groove endlessly. (Austin Music Hall, 2am) -Leah Selvidge


SATURDAY SLEEPERS


HONKY: Like fried chicken, mustard greens, and cornbread, Honky makes you glad to be in the South. Taking their cues from ZZ Top, Skynyrd, and maybe a jigger of Black Oak Arkansas, this local power trio serves up a mess of punk-infused guitar pyrotechnics and ham-fisted drum fills for the shrunken black concert T-shirt set. (Emo's, 8pm) -Greg Beets


MONROE MUSTANG: Like the little boy at the sleepover who stands in the corner, clutching his sleeping bag and looking at his feet, Austin's Monroe Mustang come on shy at first, but once they feel comfortable with you, they offer up pure sweetness - melodies, psychedelic Syd Barret sounds, and lo-fi warmth. With an upcoming Trance Syndicate debut almost wrapped up, their mom picked out a good present too! (Atomic Cafe, 8pm) -Raoul Hernandez


MEN OF PORN: Deep, dark, and loopy flotsam spinning forth from Frank Kozik's Man's Ruin label. This Omaha-to-San Francisco outfit revels in distorted, psychotic noodling and adrenal glands pumping overtime, but the Men of Porn do manage to keep things entertaining with squeaks, squawks, and of course, novel depravity in the lyrics. (Emo's Jr., 8pm) -Greg Beets


THE ADULTS: Austin's still immature but no longer amateur Adults take staccato punk-ish noise to new lows (that's a compliment). Half the fun of watching an Adults show is trying to figure out whether there's a joke to get or whether you're part of it. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 9pm) -Michael Bertin


TROY DILLINGER & THE DEL DRAGONS: Good old-fashioned rock & roll that's kind to your soul. Central Texas' own, the Del Dragons put their own twist on Stones-esque gritty rhythm and Cosmic Cowboy blues. Theirs is the place where country, blues, and rock & roll live in perfect harmony. (Babes, 9pm) -David Lynch


MUDGIRL: The name is about the dirtiest thing here. In fact, when not making music, Mudgirl (aka Kim Bingham) writes children's books. Hobby aside, Mudgirl is like a cross between a bad-ass reincarnation of the Bangles and a bad-ass Dale Bozio. (Bob Popular, 9pm) -Michael Bertin


THE RADIO KINGS: Driven by the forcefully muscular harmonica playing and vocals of Brian Templeton and the guitar work of Michael Dinallo, the Radio Kings interpret shuffle, swing, jump, soul, and boogie sides of the blues equally well, as their Bullseye Blues debut, Money Road, demonstrates. (Scholz Beer Garden, 9pm) -David Lynch


LEE ROCKER: Gotta figure that Lee Rocker's big ol' bass does the batmobile conversion into a jet-black roadster with flames when nobody's looking, 'cause his hot-rod rockabilly blues - showcased on the new Upright release, No Cats - are as Fifties punk as the blues dives this stray cat is used to playing. (Antone's, 9pm) -Raoul Hernandez


HEADHUNTERS: This local quartet is known for street-level harmonica playing and a bombastic rhythm and blues. How does a non-Dead jamming, malt liquor fueled Blues Traveler-esque band from Texas sound? Like the Headhunter's feral rockabilly, spotlighted on their Voodoo Pie Music single "Black Cat Bone," that's what. (Bates Motel, 9pm) -David Lynch


THE SHINDIGS: It's hard not to be happy when you're being knocked about by the Shindigs' communal pop-punk. The quartet's John Croslin-produced single is a nice introduction, but the high-ended earnestness of Melissa Bryan's vocals are best appreciated live. Be sure to yell for their version of Blondie's "Dreaming" toward set's end. You will not be disappointed. (Copper Tank North, 9pm) -Greg Beets


ACID KING: The pentagram on a naked woman's chest, from the cover of Acid King's 10-inch on Man's Ruin, should tell you all you need to know about this S.F. trio. That and the name. Right. Remember Acid rock? Yesss!! Like a local trio that also put out a heavy-as-fuck black mass 10-inch on Kozik's label (Daddy Longhead), these three pound out huge, heavy riffs that echo like the hull of a ship in a hurricane. Sleep the black sleep, sinner, tonight you're going to Hell. (Emo's, 10pm) -Raoul Hernandez


BABOON: Best known for their cameo on the execrable Walker: Texas Ranger (a distinction they share with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison), Denton's Baboon turns out a fiery onslaught of post-civilization punk rock with a bottom layer of haunting melody. Last year's Secret Robot Control (Wind-Up/BMG) was one of the most metallic efforts out of Texas in some time. (Back Room, 10pm) -Greg Beets


DOE NUTS: In a bizarre reversal of fortune, this is the flipside of the Diamond Smugglers, with the backup gals up front delivering energetic originals, Steve McCarthy keeping low behind the drum kit, Hunter Darby still on bass and the addition of Robbie from Way Outs fame on guitar. (Copper Tank North, 10pm) -Ken Lieck


THE NEW DUNCAN IMPERIALS: You can color this nothing more than goof-laden cowpunk schtick if you want, but anyone who's over 17 and still laughing at fart jokes should find these Bucksnort, TN boys positively delightful. They've got the funny suits, confetti, and Jägermëister that turns a gig into a show. (Waterloo Brewing Company, 10pm) -Greg Beets


JACK DRAG: This Beantown boy has signed to A&M, and let's hope the major label affiliation won't spoil the lo-fi dub aesthetic he's brought to indie rock. His records sound like they were recorded in his living room late at night with the amps turned down so as not to wake the neighbors; who knows what his live show sounds like. (Iron Cactus, 10pm) -Jeff Salamon


TRAILER HITCH: Clear a place at the table for this ample slathering of nasty white trash thrash from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. All of the pertinent topics are covered, from incest to sniffing glue to wrestling. If anyone attending this year's conference handles cassette distribution for truck stops, today is your lucky day. (Emo's Jr., 10pm) -Greg Beets


BETH ULLMAN: Being married to one of the finest composers in town, Rich Harney, hasn't hurt Beth Ullman one iota. Or is it that being wed to one of the best jazz singers in Austin hasn't been too hard on Harney (hers is not a face for radio)? Either way, Ullman is a prize at the classy Caucus Club, so order one of those expensive bottles of bubbly and bottoms up! (Caucus Club, 10:15pm) -Raoul Hernandez


SCARLITT: It didn't take long for Rebecca Cannon of Sincola to get her new band some attention; Scarlitt was chosen by MTV as one of the local acts to play their huge Sports and Music Festival here last fall. Those who attended their set saw and heard a band that still features many of the earmarks of her former Caroline Records act, with the addition of haunting violin. (Copper Tank North, 11pm) -Ken Lieck


RED AUTUMN FALL: Canadians who, 10 or 12 years removed, do wonderful imitations of Brits like Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen, and the Cure. (Bob Popular, 11pm) -Michael Bertin


MICHELLE SOLBERG: Ever since she played the Austin Music Awards as a 21-year-old, earning buckets of praise for owning this town's most versatile voice, Solberg has fallen just shy of the brass ring. She's nonetheless continued to get better with each recording and almost each show - gigs that feature some truly crafty tunes and a smart band more than capable of matching her ambitious range. (Steamboat, 11pm) -Andy Langer


HOLLY COLE: Canada's Cole has requisite sexiness and sensitivity that enrollment in the Lilith battalion demands, but her Larry Klein-produced Dark Dear Heart has a muscle and maturity not heard in the land of femme FM. (Fat Tuesday, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


CONCERTO GROSSO: Born of the ashes of the Gingbreadmen, Austin's Concerto Grosso mix steady jazz rhythms with a tight, funky back line. They use mainstream and Latin flavors to ground the fusion, and the trumpet work of Ephram Owens gives the mix a solid foot in traditional sounds. (Babes, Midnight) -Christopher Hess


DEAD END CRUISERS: By now everyone knows that the worst thing to happen to punk was Green Day. No one feels that pain more fiercely than this smelly, ripped Clash T-shirt-wearing, leather & safety pins Austin combo, within whom the spirit of anarchy still thrives. (Bates Motel, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


MY BRILLIANT BEAST: Toronto's My Brilliant Beast keeps growing, both musically and numerically. Having filled out the ranks, going from a trio to a quintet, they have also filled out the sound. MBB's latest, Nervous, is definitely for Portisheads. (Twist, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


FRONTIER: Although the four "songs" on Frontier's upcoming Emperor Jones/Trance Syndicate are titled "Summer," "Autumn," "Winter," and "Spring," The Four Seasons it is not. Let's start with the fact that no one in this Chicago trio touched one of the three guitars feeding back for the entirety of the unsettling 4. Sez their bio: "Live they are one of the most pleasantly disorienting rock experiences on the planet... blinding lights, lots of smoke." (Atomic Cafe, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


SAWED-OFF: Although former Skatenigs Phil Owen and Mat Mitchell last surfaced in Choreboy, an unapologetically old school punk project, their new full-time outfit is wholly new school; a twisted, well-sampled, and lyrically driven experiment in industrial that's part Ministry, part Cramps. Better yet, MOD's John Monte and ex-Butthole drummer Theresa Nervosa round out a lineup that makes its long anticipated studio to stage transition/debut right here at good ol' SXSW. (Back Room, Midnight) -Andy Langer


THE DEMONICS: Hot rock turbo punk played à la Seventies like a bunch of other San Fran bands such as Mensclub. This trio isn't nearly as Nugent - at least not on their Man's Run 7-inch - but you can tell that live this is all about knocking down the walls with some serious nitro-fueled, drag-racing roars. (Emo's Jr., Midnight) Raoul Hernandez


MIKE IRELAND & HOLLER: It's odd listening to Sub Pop's foray into alt.country (they'll never live down the Supersuckers' I Must've Been High), and in the case of Mike Ireland's Sub Pop/Sire debut,Learning How to Live, a love of the orchestral side of George Jones and Charlie Rich might just further twist the convention of this bastard genre. He'll probably leave the strings behind, sticking with his regular quartet, but maybe Al Escovedo could lend him a couple sidemen. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


ROYAL FINGERBOWL: The New Orleans trio has an earnestness in their loose amalgam of indigenous Crescent City sounds. Where G-Love sounds like he's trying to sell something that he's not, a similar sound seems to come naturally for Royal Fingerbowl. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, Midnight) -Michael Bertin


COREY GLOVER: That name sounds familiar, doesn't it? Try Living Colour, the hair band that might just have been the precursor to Rage Against the Machine - angry, political, multi-cultural, and harder than any of the L.A. strip bands of the day. A last-minute add to SXSW, Glover has been out of the spotlight for a while, so hopefully he has something worth showing off if he's stepping back into the glare. (Babes, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


ANDY SCHNEIDER: His kilter may be off, but his fine fretboard fingering is spot on. Schneider writes songs in the "D-range" - get it? He's an odd duck. Don't have a Henry Cow, man, but do go to check out his pride and joy, the "Baritone Guitar." Schneider plays a customized six-string bass and manages to yank pop sensibilities out of some very "out" jazzy turns. (The Library, Midnight) -Kate X Messer


THAMUSEMENT: Moving to Austin from New Mexico and back again, ThaMusement have the distinction of putting on the best second-stage HORDE set among local performers two years ago. Their raspy Dave Matthew-isms and a male/female lead vocal harmony setup give them plenty of personality, and some of the songs are right behind. (Westside Alley, Midnight) -Raoul Hernandez


TIM MECH'S PEEP SHOW: Tim Mech's Peep Show became the first Canadian ever to become a finalist in Musician magazine's Best Unsigned Band competition. With the smutty sound of a warm distorted Hawaiian slide guitar outfront, Meech makes a sexual come-on with seductive schlock value. (The Library, 12:30am) -Michael Bertin


WILL TAYLOR GROUP: Having done a Tuesday night residency at the Caucus Club over the past couple of months, Austin composer and viola/violin master Will Taylor should feel right at home at the Caucus with his lean, mean backup trio, featuring Glen Rexach on guitar. Going from Ellingtonia to fusion in the kick of a bass drum, Taylor & Co. can smoke just as easily as they can soften it up and get smoky. (Caucus Club, 12:45am) -Raoul Hernandez


BIG BACK FORTY: Sure it's got a rural feel, but thankfully Big Back Forty is all too happy to step on the distortion box and uncork a good noise break. Their most recent, Bested, shows the Columbus, Ohio-based four-piece is equally as content to rock out and push the pedal steel into the background as it is to indulge in cultivating their own narcissistic misery. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, 1am) -Michael Bertin


JULES VERDONE: Diary of a Liar is a really funny album title. What kind of neurotic would lie to her own journal? Boston's Jules Verdone may hold her cards close to the vest, but it doesn't mean she's trying to pull a fast one. The comparisons to Liz Phair might be more accurate if that Matador babe took a certain stick out of a certain part of her anatomy. No, Verdone's northeastern sensibilities are more in tune with Jen Trynin or Robin Lane or Amy Rigby (who happens to share this showcase night). (Fat Tuesday, 1am) -Kate X Messer


RUSTY: Rusty is making rock music, which is unusual, because while people were waiting for electronica to be the next big thing, pop kind of took over everything, and hence bona fide rock has almost disappeared altogether. This Canadian foursome throws in some melodic hooks, but it's still rock. (Bob Popular, 1am) -Michael Bertin


ENDURO: The hard-as-nails and tight-as-a-drum flailings of Austin's Enduro may place them in the East Coast sonic landscape of brethren-in-the-cause Jon Spencer or the Delta 72, but the Providential roots of this band lead only to the kingdom of Rhode Island. Still, this is flashed-up punk R&B not to be taken lightly. (Emo's, 1am) -Christopher Hess


THE DELPHINES: This L.A. band may include former Go-Gos Kathy Valentine and Gina Schock, but the real draw in the band is singer Dominique Davalos (think Tia Carrera with talent). She's simultaneously the girl next door and a total tough bad-ass. And, no, this isn't a rehashing of Eighties blow-pop. It's a real rock & roll band. (Copper Tank North, 1am) -Michael Bertin


SCABS: Wear suits, sing about pussy. That's apparently what it takes these days to earn a line around the block, as this Ugly Americans side-project does every Tuesday at Antone's. For better or worse, what started as an intentionally offensive lounge project is now just hopelessly funky and fun. Instant SXSW stress relief? (Antone's, 1am) -Andy Langer


PEGLEGASUS: The high-desert weirdness and melodic prowess of Peglegasus is one mine worthy of further exploration. While the scepter of SST Records will never be too far from the band's collective heart, Pegleg's overall aesthetic cuts a kinky swath from the Who all the way over to Stereolab. (Bates Motel, 1am) -Greg Beets


SUNDAY SLEEPERS


WHO GIVES A HOOT: Combining two indigenous traditions, the "Hoot" (bands all playing to a theme, in this case Who covers), and the Sunday night Free For All at the Hole in the Wall, where a Who's Who of Austin musicians gather on the seventh day to proclaim "Long Live Rock." Featuring members of Spoon, Fastball, Prescott Curlywolf, Superego, Morningwood, the Wannabes, and Earthpig & Fire, this sure-to-be debauched evening (in the grand tradition of Keith Moon & Pete Townshend) should prove that Austin's kids are indeed alright. (Hole in the Wall, TBA) -Raoul Hernandez


WHEEL LOCAL 404: With a new album on the way and hardly a name change in sight, Wheel Local 404 are plowing through 1998 in style. Their most recent disc, 1995's Hip Eponymous, showed the band was continuing to improve on the already hooky Austin-meets-Minneapolis styled rock it's been producing since it began as Public Bulletin, San Marcos' prime entry to Austin's New Sincerity scene. (Electric Lounge, 8pm) -Ken Lieck


BONGO HATE: Former members of Austin's quirky pop band, Balloonatic, resurface after a short absence. Perky melodies and an offbeat sense of humor serve the band well, and netted them a prominent appearance on MTV's Austin Stories. (Electric Lounge, 9pm) -Ken Lieck


JAVELIN BOOT: Yes, they've been around even longer than SXSW, but they still look and feel young. Classic pop, simply put, and they always know the right cover to throw into the mix to bring a smile and move your feet. Check out the recent Fundamentally Sound on Pravda. (Electric Lounge, 10pm) -Ken Lieck


FLESHTONES: Just when you wonder what ever became of the exuberant garage-rockers of post-punk, the Fleshtones come hanging around again, banging their guitars and chanting to that irresistible beat like you stumbled on an accidental Mardi Gras parade, but the company's too good to pass up. What the hell, then, give it up for one of the most notorious survivors of the era, and if you rush out to buy Hexbreaker or Roman Gods, don't say you weren't warned. (Electric Lounge, 11pm) -Margaret Moser


ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO: To, he-hem, "borrow" a phrase from the esteemed Michael Corcoran, "It ain't over 'til the skinny Mexican sings." Good one, Corky. As for you, Señor Escovedo, nice work on that new Bloodshot live album - those songs, those elegant, aching songs, never sounded better. Now, if you'd just play "Sleepwalk," we could all go home and go to sleep. (La Zona Rosa, 11pm) -Raoul Hernandez


THE DIAMOND SMUGGLERS: The only Neil Diamond cover band in town that does "Rape Me." Steve "Neil" McCarthy piles on the hair and ham to provide an amazing simulation of Reverend Bluejeans himself, with backup gals and band to die for. Rated "R" for adult language. (Electric Lounge, 1am) -Ken Lieck