STEVE RILEY & THE MAMOU PLAYBOYS
La Zona Rosa, Saturday 4While Wayne Toups & Zydecajun were still unconfirmed at press time for their Friday gig at LZR, Steve Riley & Co., are definitely on for Saturday, and if you caught this New Orleans Cajun crew's rockin' dopsie of a set this summer on Sixth Street, you know to bring every ounce of your dizzy, dancing, party spirit, because Riley's accordion will whup ya good. Dis da real thang, sugar pie, dance wit` me until ya cry.
DRIVIN' N' CRYIN', MOONPOOLS & CATERPILLARS
White Rabbit, Friday 3Once hailed as the savior of the South, Georgia's Kevin Kinney may not be General Lee, but he's still Drivin' n' Cryin' through burning fields of hand-wringing pop, which on the band's new release, Wrapped in the Sky, sounds like a back-alley scuffle with the BoDeans. Equally (and possibly more) engaging are Moonpools & Caterpillars, an L.A. by way of the Philippines quartet, led by the Cranberry-Sundays sounds of singer Kimi Ward Encarnation, found on the band's pretty pop debut Lucky Dumpling. Live, she should turn the Juliana Hatfield trick.
STRETFORD, MISS UNIVERSE, HORMONES
Hole in the Wall, Friday 3Do I really have say anything about the names on the marquee here? Need I drop the three "P's" (power, pop, punk)? Or names like Carl Normal, Michelle Rule and Tim Stegall? And I better not have to tell where these three Jiffy-pop explosions are from. If I do, then just send me $60 and your address in El Paso, and your Chron subscription will start right up.
Emo's, Saturday 4For damn near two decades now, the Dickies have been ranting about some girl in Texas, who promised herself to them if they would only come here. Well, that girl may well be dead by now, but if she isn't, the high-speed powerpoppunk of the Dickies -- finally making their Austin debut -- just might kill her. Live, the band's razor-sharp sense of humor may be blunted and their killer melodies may be hard to make out, but the supersonic speed of Dickies classics like "You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)" and newer blasts like "Roadkill" are enough to raise the dead -- groupies, et al. -- Ken Lieck
Antone's, Sunday 5Like so many in Austin, Guy Forsyth (that spanker on Asylum street) and his barrel-house blues are easy to take for granted. Not so after listening to his new Antone's CD, Needlegun, a one-eyed and foaming bucking bullroar of an album that puts to shame most of the contemporary blues albums out there. He's about to hit the pavement and gore the unsuspecting in other cities, so catch the thunder now.
Continental Club, Tuesday 7Despite the fact that country rocker Jim Lauderdale is seen as an "alternative country" artist in L.A. and Nashville, he's decidedly more straight and narrow in Austin's truly "alternative" country universe. This, however, doesn't mean Lauderdale's new one, Every Second Counts, isn't full of toe-tapping, catch-yourself-singing numbers, which evoke everyone from Little Feat and Dr. John to Rickie Lee Jones. Roots-rocker Jesse Dayton opens.
JO CAROL PIERCE
Cactus Cafe, Thursday 9Love from a woman's perspective. Not something new, except if that perspective is Jo Carol Pierce's and it's the one found on her new Monkey Hill CD, Bad Girls Upset by the Truth. If you per chance weren't in Philadelphia early this year and missed the stage version of Pierce's musical monologue, here's your chance to see this witty, Austincentric vision of life in Texas. Look for her Waterloo Records in-store Friday 3.
EVERCLEAR, RUTH RUTH, MAGNETO USA
Electric Lounge, Thursday 9Three bands, three pop-punk premises, and still enough variation amongst them to make this one a strong bill. Everclear, most recently seen blowing away Filter at Liberty Lunch, is out supporting Sparkle and Fade -- distinctive as both Janeane Garafalo's favorite album, and a nice collection of tight songs that lay off the hokey lyrics just in time for a monster hook. If Ruth Ruth's "Uninvited," featuring the best radio sing-along chorus since "Come Out and Play," is any indication, their Austin debut should be an interesting first-look at a rising band. Which brings us to Magneto USA, who are headed to El Lay to record their Hollywood debut, making this a last look for a while. -- Andy Langer
Liberty Lunch, Thursday 9A thundering herd from Buffalo, Mercury Rev went grazing in a different, more drug-laden pasture for their new record, See You on the Other Side. The end result is the resonant impression they're living on the art rock/sonic jazz periphery and probably won't come back because their musical layerings are truly stupendous. -- Taylor Holland ALSO PLAYING
Friday: Jerry Jeff Walker, Hang 'em High
Saturday: Bob Dylan, Ian Moore, Austin Music Hall (Sunday too); Burn, Necrofix, Back Room
Sunday: Mad Cat Trio, Gingerman Pub
Monday: Don Walser, Babes
Tuesday: Christina Marrs' Speakeasies, Ritz
Wednesday: Lunachicks, Rancid, Liberty Lunch
Thursday: Ian McLagan, Continental Club