Texas Piano Professors

Doris Miller Auditorium, Sunday 17

The shows are coming fast and furious as students settle back into a new semester and the night life. In one Austin weekend, you've got Pearl Jam, The Ramones, R.E.M., Peter Case, Ronnie Dawson, Storyville, Medicine, Los Pinkys, Toni Price and Sue Foley, Seaweed, El Vez, The Derailers, Wayne Hancock, etc... It's insane. So, how 'bout relaxin' - relaxin' and soaking in some of that Austin blues tradition? That's what Sundays are for, or so sez the city and state who are issuing proclamations for Sunday's Tribute to Texas Piano Professors like Grey Ghost (inset), and the recently departed Erbie Bowser, pictured above right with T.D. Bell - who will play with his Blues Specialists. Also playing this tribute and fundraiser for Bowser, Lavada "Dr. Hepcat" Durst, Grey Ghost, and the late Ural Dewitty are golden gospelers Bells of Joy, Blues Boy Hubbard, James Polk & Martin Banks, Jake Andrews and many others. Starts at 7pm.


Flamingo Cantina, Friday 15

Elouise Burrell returns to her former home-town with the S.F.-based, funky world-music troupe, Amandla Poets. As Burrell does her vocal acrobatics with founding Poet Dumile Vokwana, the rest of the band - complete with dancers and horn section - whirls through furious South African dance rhythms, and snaking rasta beats. It's a full scale, Sly Stone production that went over great ay SXSW '95.


Cactus Cafe, Friday 15/Saturday 16

The Austin crashpad for singer-songwriters hosts two good ones on consecutive nights. On Friday, "Rock My Plimsoul" Peter Case brings the largely acoustic sounds of his wonderful new Vanguard release, Torn Again, to the Cactus, reminding us that Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar aren't the only songwriters with country twangs and contemporary takes on folk & roll. Saturday, Watermelon celebrates the release of Eric Taylor's eponymous debut on their label, and the Houston songwriter celebrates a couple of decades of craft that has influenced the likes of Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith. Whip out the acoustics, boys.


Cafezino, Saturday 16

A preview of the yearly "Women in Jazz" concerts (October 13 & 14 at the Live Oak), this cozy Cafezino show features the smoky charm of four of Austin's premiere jazz divas: Pam Hart, Hope Morgan, LaDonna Jones, and Willie Nicholson. Turn the love light low.


Liberty Lunch, Saturday 16

If you didn't score tickets to Pearl Hamster or don't necessarily want to watch Eddie Chedder sweat, you can put your best baseball cap on backwards and bop along with the goofy psycho stage shenanigans of Retarted Elf. And if you break a sweat yourself, not to worry, it means you're probably even cooler than you thought you were. Crowd surfing is thoroughly encouraged. The costumes and the props are almost as fun as the driving, soul-searing funkathon
- which on this night is gratis. Free. - Abel Salas


Zilker Hillside, Saturday 16 & Sunday 17

Moving through puberty and into adulthood, the annual Zilker Park Fall Jazz Festival turns 15 this year, and in music town Austin, that's practically mandatory retirement age. Not so crotchety though, is this years lineup: On Saturday, Paul Glasse (3pm); Austin Jazz Workshop (4:15pm); Greenstreet (5:30pm); Hope Morgan (6:45pm); and Big Band Sound of Austin (8pm). On Sunday, there's Round Trip (3pm); J.W. Davis (4:15pm); C02 Orchestra (5:30pm); Maryann Price (6:45pm); and Tomas Ramirez (8pm). Both days are free. Bring a blankee.


Chicago House, Sunday 17

In Spanish there's a saying: En su casa le conocen, which translates to `they know 'em at home,' but really means `I've never heard of 'em, but I'm sure someone has.' In the case of Czech bluegrass band Druha Trava, that `someone' is the entire continent of Europe it seems, as these Czech Grammy winners mine the cross-continental equivalent of Appalachian mountain music.


Electric Lounge, Monday 18

One of those last-minute bookings that oughtta relieve those Stormy Monday Blues. Missoula's cerebral trio Silkworm, fresh from the indies C/Z and El Recordo, bring their angular smart-rock, and anguished love-rock to the Lounge, before Matador gets them in the fall. D.C.'s Edsel, themselves making the jump from Grass Records to Relativity in October, are a good pairing with similar art-noise textures dressing up pop songs. Good double bill.


Broken Spoke, Wednesday 20

Hard to break into the Austin country scene if you're (a) female, and (b) a Nashvillian (musically speaking, that is). But Patty David's giving it a shot, and so's the Broken Spoke, so maybe we all should. David's new album, Let Me Be the One, gets a preview here, and so can you.


Erwin Center, Thursday 21

The H.O.R.D.E. tour of the blues set, B.B. King's annual Blues Tour sports the singular talents of Blues Boy King, Austin's own Jimmie Vaughan, Etta James, and Jay Geils with Magic Dick and Elvin Bishop. The last two years have been loose, fun affairs, with King delivering the real goods at the end of the evening. Vaughan ought to give him a run for the money.


Friday: Ronnie Dawson, Continental Club

Saturday: Seaweed, Into Another, Drop Kick, Emo's; Los Pinky's, Jovita's; Celtic Music, Dougherty Arts Center

Sunday: R.E.M., Radiohead, Natalie Merchant, South Park Meadows; Hank Williams Tribute, Continental Club

Monday: Lou Ann Barton, Antone's

Tuesday: Itzhak Perlman, Bass Concert Hall

Wednesday: Marilyn Manson, Back Room

Thursday: X/XX5 Fringe Fest, Electric Lounge

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