SXSW Saturday Showcases
Wonder if Austin's legitimately weird and who's keeping it so? Park here. Multimedia publishing house Monofonus Press prints small runs of carefully packaged literary works and various LP oddities, with a catalog that runs the gamut from Tim Kerr paintings to weird interactive video games on YouTube. This showcase runs the gamut from WTF noise (Shit and Shine) and sexy garage rock (Kay Leotard) to the heavy drone of Thousand Foot Whale Claw's Dope Moons Volume One, with Warm Climate and Expo '70 to boot. Must-see act Protomartyr comes cut from the same Detroit punk scene as Tyvek, while Spray Paint's been drawing rave reviews locally for its two-guitar pileup of Trance Syndicate noise, no wave intensity, and psych-eval lyrical assessments. Formerly known as YellowFever, Deep Time achieved maximum results with minimalist restraint on the Austin duo's eponymous effort for Hardly Art, angling K Records bounce with girl-group sway, earworm melodies always shifting like a Rubik's Cube. As headliner Sun Araw, Cameron Stallones dropped both The Inner Treaty (Drag City), a work of spaced-out synths and strobing drum loops, and Icon Give Thank, an avant-dub collaboration with composer M. Geddes Gengras and reggae vocal legends the Congos. – Austin Powell
8pm, White Horse
In the overflowing clusterfuck of a SXSW Saturday night, out-of-towners can enjoy what we locals would hear on a normal visit to the White Horse. Each of these six Austin acts are regulars on the small corner-pocket stage of the popular Eastside honky-tonk where whiskey shots are downed by guys with neck tattoos and girls in cowboy boots and skirts. Country singer/songwriter Noel McKay opens with Hill Country ballads ranging from sincere to playful. Then comes one of Austin's best guitarists, Mrs. Glass, a sharp-dressed picker with a deep microphone moan that will make you want to move here just for his Tuesday night residency. Afterward, cerebral songwriter Ramsay Midwood leads his band through a set of psychedelic country blues from a witty, dark comedy perspective. Wood & Wire, a string band quartet with deadly musicianship, tight harmonies, and classic songwriting bats cleanup. Rural music recedes from the Urban Achievers Brass Band, a soccer-team-sized collection of horns playing New Orleans' style tunes with a Texas tilt. Closing is John Beauchamp's once flatlined roadhouse country band Them Duqaines, who use hot guitar, train beats, and primo fiddling to keep the energy up until the house lights come on. – Kevin Curtin
8pm, North Door
Tastemaker blog BrooklynVegan plucks talent from around the country for its annual showcase, erring to a metal crowd for this year's collection. Maryland's Full of Hell dirties its hands with the blending of the grimiest hardcore punk and sludge into a massacre of sound. Forth Worth's Pinkish Black released its self-titled debut last May, with Suicide, Magma, and Scott Walker as influences. The hellish, death-centric fury from the blues stockyard city hits like a smack in the face, but offers ambient refuge somewhere in the chaos. Bearded quartet Mutilation Rites, hailing from the same birthplace as BrooklynVegan, continues the sonic assault with grimy black metal from the not-so-mean streets. Baroness' John Baizley closes the night with an acoustic guitar rather than Baroness. After what he's been through recently, expect harrowing folk metal. – Abby Johnston
Get Hip Recordings
8pm, Parish Underground
Rather surprising that Get Hip's star act the Cynics won't be on this bill, considering they'll be touring around this time and the long-running label was initially built to showcase those venerable garage-punk warhorses. That's okay – there'll be plenty of carport-rockin' to be had, commencing with lysergic droning by New Orleans' Bipolaroid. Locals the Ripe offer some 13th Floor Elevating of their own. Atlanta's Subsonics wouldn't be outta place on a bill slotted between the Gories and Oblivians. Austin's the Ugly Beats wheel the Farfisa on, as well as a crunchier guitar sound and some of the strongest songwriting of the evening. Dallas institution the Mullens then takes over for all of us who prefer a strong dose of Stooges/Dolls power-snot in our R&B. Vancouver's Authorities continue that line, adding song titles like "Teenage Piss Party." – Tim Stegall
Last Night Hip-Hop
8:00pm, Club de Ville
Left coast legends the Pharcyde headline, but hit the Club early so you don't miss UK import Jamieson, who raps like an energetic Streets over Little Brother beats on last year's I Came, I Saw, Vol. 3, his fourth release in three years. Tallahassee duo After the Smoke parlays the retro rhythms of The Cool Kids with Theophilus London's penchant for style, while Bronx native Max Burgundy goes as deep as a forensics team on last year's The Murder of Mark Fuhrman mixtape, a discourse in what it's like to be "Born Loser." More optimistic is Austin's own Cory Kendrix, a slick-talking rapper whose affinity for saliva preoccupies last year's laid-back Free Beer mixtape. Also out of the ATX, the world awaits Gerald G's I Am Mr. 512; grime rapper Dubb Sicks' November release, Beauty From Without, gets you acquainted with Sixth Street; and the League of Extraordinary G'z keeps the city streets on lock. They wrestle Queens trio Children of the Night, San Antonio duo Mobbin' No Sobbin' (the smoked-out combo of Western Tink and Beautiful Lou), the Weeknd affiliate Billionaire B, and Chicago rapper Omen, whose A Glorious Cool EP pours a bottle out for J Dilla. – Chase Hoffberger
8pm, 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn
Mississippi's eclectic showcase kicks off with native Texan Kallie North, having taken root in the Delta to pen her upcoming debut, polished country tunes steeped in "Life on the Backroads." Rosco Bandana runs indie folk into the swamps with its debut disc, last year's Time to Begin, the Gulfport septet capable of rambling unruly and energetic even on Jason Sanford's most introspective and lovelorn ballads. Charlie Mars' smooth southern croon and easy rolling acoustic guitar cast an enchantingly mellow spell. Following up the breakout success of 2009's Like a Bird, Like a Plane, the prolific Oxford, Miss., songwriter's sixth LP, Blackberry Light, spins soulful AAA radio gold. Laying down electrifying blues, Jackson's Eddie Cotton Jr. rips standards and his own originals with equal versatility and a gospel flair, complemented by the grittier blues and southern funk of Grady Champion's latest, Tough Times Don't Last. The Good Paper of Rev. Robert Mortimer unloads an experience unto itself, the funeral director leading a service of blues, funk, and rugged soul that could only be born on the Delta. – Doug Freeman
8pm, The Stage on Sixth (Indoor & Patio)
In their fourth annual showcase, magazine turned TV channel turned record label Nat Geo brings yet another loaded bill of rhythm peddlers from Brooklyn to Buenos Aires, Italy to Israel. With two stages and staggered time slots, the showcase promises a nonstop barrage of global grooves. São Paulo trio Bonde do Role opens the indoor stage with a brash interpretation of Brazil's booming baile funk, while Brooklyn eightpiece Red Baraat assaults the ears with an insane mix of Indian wedding music, D.C. go-go, and second-line brass. It's an almost impossible act to follow, but Cali vets Ozomatli are up to the task. After all, the Grammy-winning septet raised such a ruckus at SXSW 2004 that nearly half the band was arrested. Local Latin orchestra Grupo Fantasma grabs the torch before Bajofondo closes with new-school tango. Hi Rhythm opens the patio stage with the signature Seventies grooves they cooked up as house band for Memphis' Hi Records, home to soul giants Al Green and O.V. Wright. Israeli born with Ethiopian roots, the stunning soul-jazz vocals of Ester Rada make her a good bet for breakout artist of the festival. Jamaican institution the Skatalites – still boasting two original members from their Sixties heyday – shut the patio down. – Thomas Fawcett
8pm, 512 Rooftop
The improbable rise of New Orleans bounce from hyper-regional project music to national prominence happened as fast as the asses you'll see jiggling on stage at this stacked showcase. The frenetic and call-and-response music has been bumping NOLA wards since the early Nineties, but in the past few years, it has landed in The New York Times and on NPR thanks to breakout artists like Big Freedia and showcase headliner Katey Red. The latter, along with most bounce acts garnering national attention, is openly gay and transgender, a so-called sissy, but that's by no means synonymous with the genre. Cheeky Blakk sums up the night's theme in "Left Cheek Right Cheek," which demands, "Work them hips, work them thighs/Bend that ass over, now exercise." Commanding the booty to clap will be late Magnolia Shorty protégé Magnolia Rhome, Ha Sizzle, Big Choo, Diamond Dolls, and more. Also of note, the self-proclaimed "first white boy to make the beat," Culotta Rock. Where my shakers at? – Thomas Fawcett
Psychedelic Light & Sound
8pm, Holy Mountain
Local promotion collective Psychedelic Light & Sound claims its aim is to "overload the senses." The galactic journey begins with Föllakzoid, the Chilean space-rock wonder with quintessential new LP II on the hip Sacred Bones imprint. Label- and citymate the Holydrug Couple follows with liquid crystal acid pop from its own new Noctuary. Getting Sergio-Leone-wasted on peyote, Spindrift wafts into the SoCal desert, baking its faux soundtrack music in an electro-acoustic crust. Shifting continents, Berlin's Camera begets Krautrock so unabashed on its debut Radiate! that it's led to patronage by Neu!'s Michael Rother. Taking a break from recording album No. 3, Brooklyn's Royal Baths indulge in the strain of psychedelic grunge expected from ex-members of hipster psych acts Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. Also incubating a new record, SXSW vets the Warlocks close by burning down the stage with their droning riff rock. – Michael Toland
8pm, Red 7 Patio
Mastodon's original masters always cage a quality metal set, and this year's no exception. Colorado's Call of the Void kicks the evening off (the cliff) with bad-tempered if nimble-footed deathcore from its debut, Dragged Down a Dead End Path. The fertile Richmond, Va., metal scene burps up Inter Arma, whose psychedelic black metal cuts wide swaths across its label debut, Sky Burial. Atlanta's co-ed quartet Royal Thunder also drinks the spiked Kool-Aid, its epic stoner metal as much mystic float as earthy crunch. Acid flash forwards figure just as prominently in the spaced-out metal of North Carolina's ASG, taking a break from recording with producer extraordinaire Matt Hyde. Providence's Howl takes its name from Allen Ginsberg's groundbreaking poem and its sound from the world's biggest Tyrannosaur – expect cuts from its upcoming bonecrusher, Bloodlines. Ditto Savannah powerhouse Black Tusk, whose stripped-to-the-bone swamp metal gets an upgrade with fresh tunes. – Michael Toland
8pm, Cedar Street Courtyard
The mission statement of former Hot Water Music singer Chuck Ragan's Revival Tour, now on its sixth run, remains to take acts who are generally known from playing in bands and present them in an intimate, acoustic setting. On this double-stuffed bill, Ragan brings us semiacoustic indie rockers the Drowning Men; Austin Lucas, who boasts a quivering bluegrass voice and cutting punk lyrics; and multi-instrumental local fireplug Possessed by Paul James. Blues, folk, and gospel yearling Valerie June, who's voice seems lifted out of an old Edison cylinder recording, precedes gentle emo-folksinger Rocky Votolato and some unfiltered charisma from singer-songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs. The soulful dirt-road rock & roll of Glossary makes way for tour organizer Chuck Ragan, former Get Up Kids' singer Matt Pryor, and Twin Falls, which features Dashboard Confessional vocalist Chris Carrabba. Frank Turner, the Brit who's penned some of the better punk-influenced folk in recent years, headlines with his band the Sleeping Souls. – Kevin Curtin
Songwriters Across Texas
Pulling some of the best talent featured on the local television show, the stampede wrangles established legends and emerging artists. Earl Poole Ball sets the stage with fire-branded honky-tonk piano that backed Johnny Cash for decades, along with everyone from the Byrds to Buck Owens. Rockabilly Filly Rosie Flores continues her resurgence on last year's Working Girl's Guitar (Bloodshot), while also championing likeminded but overlooked female rocker Janis Martin on the posthumous Blanco Sessions. The sultry southern soul of Leeann Atherton remains one of Austin's hidden gems, powerful and tender in the same breathy flourish, while Mississippi native and longtime Austin mainstay Omar Dykes grinds his signature blues from Omar & the Howlers' 2012 disc, I'm Gone. Brennen Leigh's throwback country twang and bluegrass blossomed on 2010's The Box, poising the local songwriter for breakout. Best known for his guitar work with Merle Haggard, Redd Volkaert's Telecaster virtuosity threads throughout Austin's music scene, most notably with honky-tonk supergroup Heybale! alongside Earl Poole Ball's piano. Steven Collins, principal of the choogling southern rock outfit Deadman, runs solo with his ballads to end the night. – Doug Freeman
Chaos in Tejas
8:15pm, Red 7
The fastest-growing lil' fest in Texas, Chaos in Tejas borrows market share from SXSW to preview this year's lineup. Led by the Marked Men's Jeff Burke, the Japan-based the Novice keeps its Denton parent's faith with intensely performed but melodically solvent garage punk. Rooted in the Lone Star State, Parquet Courts calls NYC home, though the rattling, melodic post-punk found on its acclaimed debut Light Up Gold would be at home anywhere. The bracing noise pop of Tampa's Merchandise, which offers all its releases as free downloads on its website, finds a spot between amp-frying distortion and plaintive melody so sweet it should come with a toothbrush. Booming out of Dallas with a slash-n-growl, the bludgeoning thrashcore of CiT vet Power Trip recalls prime movers in the Eighties underground metal scene. A totally self-contained entity, Seattle duo Iron Lung sprays EPs, LPs, and 7-inches over the landscape at the furious pace its grindcore/power violence demands. Its latest single lasts 20 seconds. – Michael Toland
Doug Freeman, Fri., May 17, 2013
Jim Caligiuri, Fri., May 17, 2013
Raoul Hernandez, Fri., May 17, 2013
Abby Johnston, Fri., May 17, 2013
Kevin Curtin, Fri., May 17, 2013
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