Emo's, Saturday 9The Gomez and Morticia of rock & roll tango, cheek to cheek, back into Austin. Clutched in their teeth like a thorny rose, is an angry, edgy set of "punk you" blues - very Pussy Galore once upon a time, very Blues Explosion! now. What a lovely couple that dominatrix Cristina Martinez and her henchman/
husband Jon Spencer, who approach their raw delights like genius degenerates outta some Jim Thompson underbelly shoot-up. It's been many moons since this carnal couple pulled a job in Austin - not since a time when having a major-label debut like Boss Hogg would've been like, like, not killing someone during a heist; yeah, right. Look for their violin cases - carried, too, by Seattle's more feral "blues" screechers, '68 Comeback. Enduro should hold their own as opener.
WINDSOR FOR THE DERBY, AMERICAN ANALOG SET
Quacks, Friday 8Progressive noise pop played upstairs at Quackenbush's coffee space. Austin's Windsor for the Derby have a split 7-inch plus their full-length Trance Syndicate debut out soon, so now's the time to catch this quartet's synth-guitar Euro-tube music; ambient, melodic, and claustrophobic. Denton's American Analog Set are even more ambient, particularly since these Opal dreamscapers are known to use Moog synthesizers. Bring your virtual reality helmet.
EVIL STIG, SINCOLA
Liberty Lunch, Saturday 9Evil Stig is "Gits Live" backwards, should you be out of the know; The Gits were a fast-rising Seattle guitar-slam band before their singer Mia Zapata was murdered. The remain-ing members then became The Dancing French Liberals of '48, who've united with Joan Jett to cut a record whose proceeds go to finding Zapata's killer (the most wanted man in Heroin Town). Frankly, Jett is no Mia Zapata, but fortunately she is Joan Jett, and this probable one-off tour (supporting the one-off album) may be the only way to hear some of those great Gits songs, and hope-fully some of those Jett gems. Pork may open.
NASH HERNANDEZ ORCHESTRA
Donn's Depot, Sunday 10Stepping into Donn's Depot and being greeted by the Nash Hernandez Orchestra is like stepping back into pre-WWII Austin. It's the time of Big Bands - Big Bands with Latin rhythms - and the world swings on a cloud. Nash Hernandez now walks among those clouds, but his son Ruben makes sure the dancefloor here on earth is always crowded.
MANUEL'S JAZZ BRUNCH
Manuel's, Sunday 10Something about the holiday season that's well suited for jazz - something having to do with spirit, which is what you're bound to get plenty of with Paul Glasse, Mitch Watkins, John Mills, Floyd Domino, and Susanna Sharpe.
Continental Club, Monday 11Pianist Glover Gill, from 81/2 Souvenirs, does not have Happy Feet (the band's fab debut). He's got a hip replacement instead. And frankly, I don't know how this gig will raise funds for some of those hospital bills, since the bands playing this benefit have enough members between 'em to pack the Continental. Get a load of this line-up, which features Austin's entire cabaret lounge scene: 81/2 Souvenirs, Asylum Street Spankers, King Valentine Octet, Jazz Pharaohs, Mad Cat Syndicate, Big Town Swingtet, and Marti Brom.
Cactus Cafe, Tuesday 12Is Walter Salas-Humara the most underrated songwriter this side of the Rio Grande or what? His new Watermelon disc Radar is pulsing dark waves of emotional turmoil and truth, but is the message of human experience reaching the outlying areas? Areas lying outside of Austin that is, 'cause here in town, Salas-Humara keeps company with the real songwriters - and in that lot, they know the difference between a song and a bubblegum tiny-tune.
MINUTEMEN HOOT NIGHT
Hole in the Wall, Wednesday 13Since most of the songs on those early Minutemen albums were under a minute, this should be a short evening. Well, with all these bands - Peglegasus, Gourds, Brown Hornet, Swine King, T.I., Prescott Curlywolf, and more - maybe not. D. Boon and Mike Watt would be proud, `cept this ain't no San Pedro punk, it's Austin punk - whether it's the Gourds or Prescott.
TEXAS HARMONICA RUMBLE
Antone's Thursday 14Believe it or not, there's more to the harp than Kim Wilson and Gary Primich. Yes it's true, and there's a host of harp cats from the region playing Antone's Eighth Annual Texas Harmonica Rumble on Thursday to prove it. It was wild last year...
Waterloo Ice House 6th, Thursday 14Did I say Big Band in reference to Nash Hernandez? Tina Marsh has a big band for you. And with the stalwarts like Marsh, Martin Banks and Jay Rozen mixing with Austin young lions like Ephraim Owens and Brannen Temple, you'd better be paying attention, fool. Dis is it. ALSO PLAYING
Friday: Lucinda Williams, Electric Lounge; Buick MacKane, Hole in the Wall; Sixteen Deluxe, Emo's
Saturday: Lucinda Williams, Electric Lounge; Los Pinkys, Jovitas; Lara y Reyes, Elephant Room
Sunday: Monte Montgomery, Saxon Pub
Monday: Bottle of Smoke, White Rabbit
Tuesday: Jesus Christ Superfly, Flamingo Cantina
Wednesday: Kris McKay, Continental Club
Thursday: Texana Dames, Cafezino