Live Music Recommendations for the Weekend

Get into your pre-ACL groove with these live music picks

ACL season always pushes a gust of great acts through town and this year is no different. MC50, Jay Rock, the Growlers, and more stop by before next weekend's festivities.



Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Fr., September 28, 8pm

“It turns out that my challenge is not the Republicans or the capitalists, it’s my own apathy and sense of meaninglessness,” asserts MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer. “That’s one of the reasons we’re out here on tour, to carry a message of determination and self-efficacy – that people can change the world if they go at it wholeheartedly.” Five decades after Detroit’s MC5 recorded rock & roll’s most righteous live platter, the ever-combustable Kick Out the Jams, Kramer’s assembled a new “Five” to sow seeds of revolution amongst his “brothers and sisters.” – Kevin Curtin

Future Generations

Hotel Vegas
Fri., September 28, 9pm

Future Generations formed in the music practice rooms at Fordham University and their velvety synth-pop unfolds in a similar manner. Melancholic snarls, hip-hop drums, translucent keys, and throngy guitar charm. Breakthrough single “Stars” channels MGMT’s pop-sobered psychedelia, while Landscape, their rangey 2018 full-length, builds their case as more than just Frenchkiss labelmates to Passion Pit. – Jeremy Steinberger

Red River Family Fest III

Fri-Sat., September 28, 29, 7pm

An abrasive, abhorrent, and amazing lineup of black metal from every recess of North America descends on Austin for a third time. Among the 20 acts soundtracking two days at Barracuda: Oakland’s Dispirit, led by John Gossard from Weakling; refined riffing from Canada’s Panzerfaust; NYBM favorites Woe; Oregon’s hooded melodic black metal buzz band Uada; and Chicago’s epic duo Fin. – Kevin Curtin

Austin Django Festival

Fri-Sat., September 28, 29, 7pm

Django Reinhardt’s influence remains inextricably wound into the fabric of Western swing. The inaugural festival celebrating the Romani-French gypsy jazz guitarist christens on Friday with French quintet Les Doigts de l’Homme picking as contemporary heirs, and the Intercontinental Hot Club All Stars, a pan-Atlantic supergroup of young virtuosos backing Parisian chanteuse Anaëlle Trumka. – Doug Freeman


Jimmy Smith, Pat McKay

Sam's Town Point
Sat., September 29, 10pm

Jimmy Smith lit out for Montana two years ago, but the co-leader of the Gourds makes a triumphant return to Austin with bluesman Pat McKay. As a twopiece tour de force, the raw roots enthusiasts kick punk raucousness and feral blues while also feeding Smith’s eclectic romps through Americana and Gourds favorites. Former Bad Liver Ralph White opens. – Doug Freeman


Sat., September 29, 9pm

Since 2014 EP Simmer Down, electro minimalist Alexander Kotz has spanned chic deep house and undulating downtempo reminiscent of Jamie xx on his SoundCloud. The Londoner thrives on a one-man setup of synths and a guitar that overlap his soulful baritone. The Grammy-nominated producer’s recent EP Talking gets disco-y, ambient, and eccentric. – Alejandra Ramirez

Diamond Smugglers (reunion/farewell show)

Spider House Ballroom
Sat., September 29, 10:30pm

Since 1995, local vets from the Wannabes and Javelin Boot have milked this gutter-minded Neil Diamond revue for irreverent hilarity. Dormant since 2012, the one-time Veronica Mars guest stars end their storied run Saturday with a benefit for U.S. House District 25 candidate Julie Oliver. – Greg Beets


Slacktober Fest

Carson Creek Ranch
Sun., September 30, 10:30pm

Expanding on annual visits to the Flamingo Cantina, the Slackers now front a party on the banks of the Colorado. Thirteen studio albums in, NYC’s rude boy virtuosos have blended ska with American roots since 1991. Accordion-charged San Antonio upstarts Piñata Protest end on bilingual bursts of Tex-Mex punk. Austin reggae crew the Mau Mau Chaplains, Houston horn punks Los Skarnales, local dub masters Grimy Styles, and jazz-ska septet Rat King Cole precede. – Rachel Rascoe

Sweet Ashton's Sweet Relief

Sun., September 30, 7pm

Twelve local acts and a massive raffle hope to cover medical expenses for the victim of a carjacking, whose medication for PTSD resulted in the devastating effects of Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Dark poet Quin Galavis, witty lo-fi songster John Wesley Coleman III, and cheeky country outlaws Croy & the Boys finalize the charitable event. Further contributions from the Cuckoos; Hi, Gene; and many more. – Rachel Rascoe

The Growlers, Surfbort

Sun., September 30, 6:30pm

Surf/psych/synth favorites the Growlers reach a new chapter on July’s Casual Acquaintances, shedding the polished alt-rock of City Club in favor of guitar jangle and shuffling percussion. While the SoCal sextet’s seventh LP references unfinished business from the 2016 disc, it recaptures the DIY insouciance of debut Are You In or Out? – Alejandra Ramirez

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