Traditional Music Fest
Dougherty Arts Center, Sunday 14What do Irish, Scottish, gospel, Hungarian, Romanian, Scandinavian, Brazilian, blues, jazz, country, and swing music all have in common? Fiddles? Survey says... close, but no Cedar Street cigar. Pipes and tin whistles? Dancing? No and no. Answer: they're all loved equally by the Austin Friends of Traditional Music, whose yearly, one-day version of SXSW once again comes packed with sounds from across the globe -- Chaski, Sambaxe, Csardas & Kolorash, The Grazmatics, and Asylum Street Spankers are but a few. This family affair goes 2:30-9pm, and oh yeah, there'll be plenty of fiddles, tins, pipes, whistles and dancing.
THE BANDED GECKOS
Waterloo Ice House 6th, Friday 12As someone recently reminded me, there was a time when music was all there was. No Sony Trinitron 30-incher, no Cineplex, no 101X. Just rural folk sitting on their porches entertaining themselves, playing some banjo, fiddle -- maybe a mandolin -- and singing tunes that cared not about categories like folk, country, swing, Celtic. They just all blended together, like those lovely male/female harmonies. The Banded Geckos (Houston-by-way-of-Santa Fe) remember such a time.
Cactus Cafe, Friday 12 & Saturday 13Fondly remembering the days that Lyle Lovett and Guy Clark used to play the Cactus Cafe are a given. Darden Smith, however, is a singing-songwriting reminder that local artists still come up through the Cactus system -- and better yet -- still play the place they sound so at home in. Peter Keane opens.
Cafezino, Saturday 13When one thinks diva -- in Austin anyway -- one thinks of Toni Price, or perhaps Julie Burrell. In reality, there are a bunch of 'em, and you need look no further than the local jazz scene, which sports the talent and voices of Tina Marsh, Pam Hart, and Hope Morgan. You might have caught her at the occasional "Women in Jazz" gig, but Hope Morgan's regular haunt these days is Cafezino, where hearing her "Lush Life" voice is the perfect counterbalance to all that caffeine pulsing through your veins.
Electric Lounge, Saturday 13Pennsylvania's answer to the Gin Blossoms (earnest, rocking guitar jangle), the Idle Wilds are blipping the Soundscan meters here in Austin thanks to Alternative radio wars. Keep it or spike it? Javelin Boot, and Cling open. Dick Tingler's Karaoke at 8pm.
STRETFORD, PORK, MISS UNIVERSE
Hole in the Wall, Saturday 13Who has the best three-band bills in town? Hole in the Wall, that's who. You've seen these local bands a hundred times before -- Carl Normal and Stretford's brittle pop, Pork and their lo-fi punk, and Miss Universe's amalgamation of pop and punk -- but when you put them all together on one bill, there's hardly a better line-up in town on a Saturday night -- or any night, really.
Elephant Room, Sunday 14Having done his adolescence in San Antonio, and later spending time in Austin playing with Elias Haslanger, James Polk, and Rich Harney, guitarist Scott Sherwood is familiar with the local jazz scene. That's why he now makes his home back East. He's back for one night, though, showing off the wares of his new CD Siren Song.
Black Cat, Monday 15We will make the Wayne the Train comparison not because Rick Broussard plays country music straight out of the Thirties and Forties (he doesn't), but because he's an earnest young man, with a purdy voice, whose love for roots -- all of 'em -- results in the kind of homespun, down-to-the-core, real Texas stuff people move to Austin for. For proof, check out his new CD, Shadow Man, or catch him every Monday at the Black Cat.
Back Room, Wednesday 17Word from the Back Room these days is that metal is out, industrial and, perhaps, rap is in. D.R.I. (originally from Texas) skirt the "metal" rap only because they started out a bleeding-raw punk band, became a thrash outfit during the dog days of early-Eighties hardcore, and now inhabit a mosh pit equally at home in a metal club or a punk dive. Acid Bath and Nosebleed support.
PAPA MAILI & THE INSTIGATORS
White Rabbit, Wednesday 17Anders Osborne's quarterly visits to the White Rabbit have already had a local effect: Killer Bee's guitarist Malcolm Welbourne has put together his own Louisiana, slide-guitar, swamp thang (featuring Frosty the Drum Man). It happens at the White Rabbit every Wednesday in January.
Continental Club, Thursday 18Alternative rock is dead, leaving country music and jazz all alone minding the store. That suits me just fine; maybe it'll mean better jazz coming through town. As for country, we've got that covered in every possible form here in Austin, so we'll just sit back and see who's smart enough to corral Mary Cutrufello and her Strat. ALSO PLAYING
Friday: Pervis, Pocket FishRmen, Emo's
Saturday: Storyville, Kris McKay, Continental Club
Sunday: Alex Coke, Manuel's
Monday: Bill Carter & Will Sexton, Pearls
Tuesday: Motards, Buzzcrusher, Flamingo Cantina
Wednesday: Derailers, Antone's
Thursday: Charlie Sexton, Cactus Cafe