Five Can't-Miss Free Week Shows

American Sharks, Sailor Poon, and Peelander-Z headline a packed slate

There's no time to nurse the New Year's Eve hangover when Austin's finest up-and-coming musicians fill the stages at Red River District venues starting January 1. Here's a few of our picks for the first half of the slate. Check our Music section for all of our recos, reviews, and photos and our Free Week page for all the shows!

Peelander-Z, Dead Music Capital Band, Drakulas, Gold Leather, Cowboy Irie

Mon., Jan. 1, Empire Control Room

Peelander-Z (Photo by John Anderson)

Nothing says “Welcome freaks to another 365 days of weirdness” like superhero Japanese spazz rock. Except maybe the Dead Music Capital Band, Austin’s zombilicious horn ensemble that never met a genre – from heavy metal to show tunes – they couldn’t turn into a brass fantasy. Riverboat Gamblers spin-off Drakulas, gloom poppers Gold Leather, and country/reggae blenders Cowboy Irie also party like it’s 2018. – Michael Toland

Sailor Poon, Big Bill, Geranium Drive, Jana Horn, Obscured by Echoes

Tue., Jan. 2, 9pm, Hotel Vegas

Sailor Poon (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Two of Austin’s cheekiest freak-out acts team up for a zero-dollar-suggested show. Sailor Poon and Big Bill contended for 2017’s best track title with “White Male Meltdown” and “Clint Eastwood Is My Dad,” respectively. Poon’s B-Sides & Rarities teases their fuming, fem-centric live madness, while Big Bill’s Stand by Your Bill swings clever absurdism to new heights. Psych sleuths Geranium Drive fulfill the venue’s reverberation requirements, with a demure note from songwriter Jana Horn. – Rachel Rascoe

White Dog, Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol, Think No Think, Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad

Tue., Jan. 2, 9pm, Volstead Lounge

Think No Think (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

White Dog claims to have been frozen in 1971, a not-unfounded assertion given the Austin act’s bong-loaded acid rock. Goofy name aside, Rickshaw Billie’s Burger Patrol cranks a similar gear, updated for the alt-rock masses. Veteran psych-rock power trio Think No Think continues pimping its latest acclaimed missive Silent City, while Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad drag garage rock to the haunted beach. – Michael Toland

Ghost Wolves, My Education, Residual Kid, the Well, Honey & Salt, and more

Wed., Jan. 3, 7:30pm, Barracuda

My Education (Photo by John Anderson)

Both Barracuda stages run full blast, stagger-scheduling nine of underground Austin’s most vibrant young acts so you can catch every last note. Headlining the indoor stage: feral, mixed-gender garage-blues duo the Ghost Wolves (12:40am), with Sire Records majordomo Seymour Stein’s fave U-18 millennial grunge act Residual Kid at 10:30pm. That grants you time to bounce outside and see the Well’s Sabbathoid fuzz-busting (11pm) and Honey & Salt’s young Minutemen math-funk at 10pm. – Tim Stegall

Riverboat Gamblers, American Sharks, Eagle Claw, Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad

Thu., Jan. 4, 8pm, Barracuda

American Sharks (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Even if winter blows a frozen trail across Austin this evening, Denton’s transplanted kings of Detroit punk mania, the Riverboat Gamblers, preside over a bill torrid enough to set Barracuda’s indoor stage aflame. American Sharks ply Ramones-tempo stoner sludge, while Eagle Claw offers instro-metal akin to vintage Iron Maiden. – Tim Stegall

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