Live Music to See This Weekend

Unpacking Christmas in July

Over the next three days, more than 100 acts – most of them homegrown – play the Red River strip for no charge at the door. Indulge in the Hot Summer Nights free weekend with the aid of our staff picks. Peruse the full lineup here.


White Denim (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

White Denim

Cheer Up Charlies
Fri., July 14, 7pm

Packing the grotto are White Denim in a rare hometown showing, the local jammers laying down frenetic riffs from last year’s seventh LP Stiff. Austin via Kerrville trio the Stacks drops new psych-infused EP Wasted Nostalgia against the Diamond Center’s droning desert rock. Inside, Go Fever closes with delicious pop from their eponymous 2017 debut, Deep Time slays psych-pop, and Seattle’s Iji jangles synth grooves. – Doug Freeman

Octopus Project

Empire Control Room
Fri., July 14, 9pm

Avant-garde instrumentalists the Octopus Project have journeyed through retro-synth stunners (Identification Parade, 2002) and electro-orchestras (Hexadecagon, 2010), yet the quartet still boasts bubblegum playfulness on April’s Memory Mirror. Afro-futurism reminiscent of Parliament Funkadelic comes courtesy of Trouble in the Streets. Sucka Please and CJ Edwards & the Funk Fellowship have the funk dance party covered. – Alejandra Ramirez

Flesh Lights (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Radioactivity, Bad Sports

Fri., July 14, 9:30pm

On the big stage outside, local trio Xetas’ jarring noise pairs with Flesh Lights’ melodic, kinetic chaos, while Radioactivity and Bad Sports roar proto-punk and power-pop, both bands beloved Austin-by-way-of-Denton staples. The indoor bill doubles as a tour kickoff for garage quartet Unknown Relatives, with Pretty Shitty spewing wild, reckless punk and Super Thief playing on the heels of brutal new LP Stuck. – Libby Webster

El Tule

Fri., July 14, 8pm

Indie counterpart to Grammy winners Grupo Fantasma, El Tule inhabits a crossroads of brass bursts, sinewy percussion, and Santana-imbued leads. On their Hecho in Austin series, merengue and big band Latinate swirl heady. Los Kurados, meanwhile, employ horn blasts, guitar shuffles, and curving basslines on ska and reggae. Opening are Afro-Chicano-futurists Cecilia & the Broken Hearts. – Alejandra Ramirez


US Weekly (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

A. Savage (Parquet Courts)

Sat., July 15, 10:50pm

Among the hordes of locals taking over the Red River strip starting Thursday night, one Texas native slips in under a lesser-known pseudonym. Embedded in a Barracuda bill that includes Big Bill, the Zoltars, Residual Kid, US Weekly, and many more, Andrew Savage, typically welcomed by sold-out crowds as frontman of deadpan rock quartet Parquet Courts, flies in solo as A. Savage. “In fact, I’ve never identified myself as Andrew Savage going back to every record I’ve played on in the last 10 years,” explains the Brooklynite. “It’s other people who choose the path of formality and call me by my full name, but to me, I’ve always been a savage.” As for his solo sojourn, Savage found himself with a backlog of work written over time that didn’t quite fit Parquet Courts. – Rachel Rascoe

Golden Dawn Arkestra, Capyac

Sat., July 15, 7pm

Electric and eclectic Afrobeat powerhouse Golden Dawn Arkestra dominates Stubb’s just ahead of their European tour. The 20-piece outfit’s spaced-out sonics echo obvious Sun Ra influences, as well as late Nigerian electro star William Onyeabor. Known for captivating, carnival-like live sets, homegrown duo Capyac work recent four-tracker Fis, a slow builder of Eighties techno and house. – Kahron Spearman

Israel Nash (Photo by Josh Anderson)

Mobley, Israel Nash

Empire Control Room
Sat., July 15, 5pm

Israel Nash garnered international Americana acclaim with his 2011, Steve Shelley co-produced sophomore effort Barn Doors & Concrete Floors, but his locally cut Silver Season four years later fused classic rock and “mind-bending lyricism.” Alt-R&B one-man band Mobley continues his march toward the mainstream with the release of visuals for radio-ready single “Tell Me.” Austin standout rapper Zeale remixed Marian Hill’s “Down” in March. – Kahron Spearman

The Stabbies

Sat., July 15, 10pm

Led by Eric Unusual of the Cruel & Unusual, and Fawn Li, one of the best singers in Austin, the Stabbies combine garage overdrive with art-punk sophistication. Texacala Jones left her 1980s L.A. roots-punk outfit decades back, but continues plying her craft locally. Two Hoots & a Holler maintain three decades at the intersection of Buddy Holly and the Ramones, while Jean Caffeine recent play, Sadie Saturday Night, revisited her 1970s S.F. punk youth. – Tim Stegall

Crocodile Tears (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

The Reputations

Waller Ballroom
Sat., July 15, 9pm

A big stage commingling of vintage R&B, garage rock, Southern soul, and AM pop pivots on the Reputations’ dual-frontwomen, six vocalist dynamic, now among the most transcendent live acts in Austin. This gratis get-down welcomes fellow townies Crocodile Tears, who sound like Elvis Costello in black leather, Southern Gothic jangle sirens the Diamond Center, and Angry Beige, whose mellow psych wafts on the mysterious coo of Davy Molina. – Kevin Curtin

Big Jesus

Sat., July 15, 8pm

Atlanta power quartet Big Jesus revels in amplifier abuse, from trebly shoegaze to roaring acid doom. Soaring melodies and Spencer Ussery’s breathy moan keep the pop side accessible on last year’s sophomore LP Oneiric. Houston’s We Were Wolves lean toward Queens of the Stone Age on 2015 EP Ruin Your Weekend. – Michael Toland

Moving Panoramas (Photo by Daniel Cavazos)

Matthew Logan Vasquez, She Sir

Sat., July 15

Combine Moving Panoramas’ dream-pop with Mike & the Moonpies’ honky-tonk and you get Austin bootgaze. The former kicks danceable new tunes from an upcoming second LP, while the latter rides country breakout Mockingbird. Delta Spirit leader Matthew Logan Vasquez Does What He Wants, headlining grungy ballads. Inside, She Sir previews next month’s melodically fuzzy Rival Island to A. Sinclair’s summer-pitched indie jams and the ragged pop-punk of Magic Rockers of Texas’ Rugged Braids. – Doug Freeman


Golden Boys

Sun., July 16, 6pm

Five years after catalog peak Dirty Fingernails, Austin’s once and future rock & roll hopes remain a feral proposition. John Wesley Coleman, ever busy with a prolific solo career, fronts his old crew after fellow Golden Boy James Arthur sets the scene with the pile-driving space rock of last year’s Digital Clubbing. – Michael Toland

Christeene (Photo by Shelley Hiam)


Cheer Up Charlies
Sun., July 16, 7pm

Sexual provocateur Christeene transcends cheeky cabaret with militant anal anthem “Butt Muscle.” Think Peaches and Mapplethorpe. Total Unicorn’s animated electro-splack hijacks the garish color palette of extreme marketing to more subversive destinations. San Marcos’ Attic Ted ply tent show freakery boasting giant cardboard masks straight out of a Coronet Films trip sequence. – Greg Beets

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More Hot Summer Nights 2017
Hot Summer Nights Bands List Drop
Hot Summer Nights Bands List Drop
100 acts join Red River Cultural District free week in July

Victoria Mycue, June 22, 2017

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Hot Summer Nights 2017, A Savage, Andrew Savage, Parquet Courts, White Denim, Octopus Project, El Tule, Golden Boys, Christeene, Golden Dawn Orchestra, Capyac, Stabbies, Israel Nash, Big Jesus, Matthew Logan Vasquez

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