E from Eels said I could call him Mark.
In his two-decade career, the driving force of the California fivepiece has wedged the letter between his personal and professional lives. On his intimate 11th album released last month, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, he’s putting his given name and face front and center. Literally.
“I was trying to make a record that was just emotionally naked as possible,” he explains. “I felt like the only honest way to present it was to have my name and photo on the album cover in a way that I wouldn’t normally be comfortable with. I’m still not comfortable with it, actually.
“It’s kind of an awful feeling, but it was the only way to do it.”
Eels albums have never been demure. Everett has a knack for taking songs straight from the vein, and while he allows that releasing any album remains a vulnerable experience, this is “doubly so.” Regardless, he offered himself as a martyr for the cause.
“I felt like it was a worthwhile endeavor because I do think it has something to offer the world. I don’t mind taking a bullet now and then.”
Despite his unease, Everett’s looking forward to touring and putting the album behind him. With Austin in particular, he feels he has something to make up for. When Eels last swung through in 2011, customs woes kept their instruments abroad, leaving the band scrambling for gear. Ultimately, it led to a clipped Stubb’s set.
“That was a little bit of a disaster,” he recalls. “The good news is we’re coming from Phoenix, so there’s no chance of our equipment getting stuck in customs. There’s a chance of us all being arrested on our way to Texas, but we’re going to try to take a different route.”– Abby Johnston
Roving DIY gathering C.L.I.T. Fest (Combating Latent Inequality Together) launched a decade ago in Minneapolis to promote activism against gender oppression, homophobia, racism, and body shaming. Austin’s first hosting, organized by members of Feral Future and Tom Grrrl, represents the southernmost incarnation of the annual punk fest.
The three-day event boasting mostly locals (unless indicated otherwise) also spotlights Austin’s wealth of female-fronted punk and hardcore bands. Tickets, $30 for a weekend pass or $12 per show, benefit SafePlace, providing shelter and support for victims of domestic violence and trauma.
Friday @ Cheer Up Charlie’s (7pm) BLXPLTN, Your Heart Breaks (Seattle), Tom Grrrl, Big Bill
Saturday @ Museum of Human Achievement (6pm) DJ Beth Schindler, Brain Attack, Try the Pie (San Jose, Calif.), Mom Jeans, BDGR
Sunday @ Hotel Vegas (1-8pm) Feral Future, Xetas, So Unloved (San Antonio), Mindless, Spoonboy (D.C.), Jail Sex– Kevin Curtin
“We play everything,” ribald Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen told us last year, enumerating “festivals, state fairs, clubs, and huge stadiums.” Power pop’s 40-year champions, who rock and roar beyond that tag’s constraints, load into Emo’s with a catalog of hardy classics including “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” and “Dream Police.” Chicago’s finest face stiff competition from local aggro pop trio Ume, wielding a fearsome live set and killing new LP, Monuments.– Tim Stegall
Celebrating the incalculable support of the Austin scene from this publication’s retiring Senior Music writer, orchestral outfit Mother Falcon hosts a fundraiser for the Margaret Moser Maternal Music Fund, which provides scholarships to attend MF’s Music Lab summer camp. Teen scions the Painted Redstarts begin with a classic alt-rock drive before the Falcon lifts off with string-bending, indie-pop compositions like current single “Dirty Summer.” A new generation of scenemakers aid the originators in supporting the next wave. Full circle Austin.– Doug Freeman