Steamboat, Saturday 10A fortnight ago it was The Mermen (whom Dick Dale has written kind words about) who grabbed their boards and ran down to our shoreline. Now -- now, boys and girls -- it's the Big Kahuna, the progenitor of surf guitar who's waded into the water, playing the 'boat, where no guitar has ever sounded bigger, louder, more totally erect. Twenty years down the tunnel haven't slowed Dale, and this is the Sixth Street show to close it down and post flood signs for. NYC's country-rock twister, 22 Brides, and Austin's hard-rocking Vallejo open the evening.
Liberty Lunch, Friday 9The Meters recently returned to their original appellation of Funky Meters, but they really didn't need to -- their name has been synonymous with the genre since funk`s earliest days. Give up the funk tonight (Thursday) after Innocence Mission and 16 Horsepower (doing a separate, earlier show), or Friday night, all night. Omar & the Howlers open Friday. -- Christopher Gray
Erwin Center, Friday 9Comprehensive as it is, George Strait's recent 4-CD Strait Out of the Box is only the beginning. Strait's loping Western swing has ruled country music for over a decade, and he shows no signs of stopping. His Ace in the Hole band is live gravy to Strait's chicken-fried steak. -- Christopher Gray
Icon, Friday 9This is one of those shows that by all rights shouldn't be here, but rather confined to both coasts. Yet some computer screen has blipped up the fact that Austin and San Antonio actually have vibrant dance scenes, so this German dance duo -- with their hit "Be My Lover" having already climbed to the top of the dance charts and currently riding high on the pop charts (#8) -- is whirling through Icon with a frenzied, glitterball rush of pounding drum machines and heart attack rhythm & screaming. Studio 54, where are you?
White Rabbit, Friday 9 & Saturday 10Atlanta's Urban Shakedancers are a southern boogie rock band whose musical resemblance to the Black Crowes -- and in particular the similarity between frontman Robert Paige's singing and that of Chris Robinson -- is probably why their Atlanta benefactors have taken them on a couple tours. Then again, Paige's slide playing sounds more like harp on record, evoking Blues Traveler. Darn, now I'm lost in the whole H.O.R.D.E thang -- did I mention this jamming quartet also did H.O.R.D.E? It's two nights in Austin, whatever the case, so bring on some hempilation.
NEUROTIC OUTSIDERS, HOG
La Zona Rosa, Sunday 11I know La Zona Rosa, and it's no Viper Room. So whether the appearance of the Viper's house band, the Neurotic Outsiders, winds up anything more than a gawk-at-has-been-celebrity orgy remains to be seen. Reportedly, they're recovering rockers looking for a sober side-project, but the Neurotic boys are also rumored to be a punk tribute (Damned, Sex Pistols covers) looking for a quick touring tune-up before they record their own album. And although the project may reek of a desperate "day job" search, it also might just plain reek, because Guns `n' Roses' Duff McKagan has butchered punk too many times before while Duran Duran's John Taylor is clearly more new wave than punk. But the fact that ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones is on guitar and Guns' drummer Matt Sorum is aboard as well, makez this show well worth a gamble. Hog, who's upcoming Geffen debut,Nothing Sacred, manages to be Dookie and Appetite For Destruction rolled into one, opens. -- Andy Langer
NOFX, HAGFISH, SNUFF
Liberty Lunch, Monday 12There's a guy fondling a sheep on the cover of NOFX's new album, Heavy Petting Zoo, but don't let the bad taste fool you. Underneath the de rigeur Epitaph wall of noise, there's Beach-Boys tight harmonies and serious ska. Less dour than Bad Religion and less derivative than Rancid, this is punk rock that smokes -- and that you can hum along to real easy. Hagfish in the middle, and Snuff opens. -- Christopher Gray
Continental Club, Monday 12While the Mary Chapin Carpenters of the world have moved on to bigger and better venues, the Kim Richeys on the scene (the Nashville scene of course) are still kicking up dust at little ol' honky-tonks like the Continental Club. Good place for her to let that purdy Carpenter/Rosanne Cash voice recreate the smooth, smart, and spunky songs (yes, they're her own) of her most recent release, Kim Richey. If it don't fly at the Continental then you best send it back to Music City.
Emo's, Wednesday 14/Thursday 15Well, well, well, what have we got here? Two of Emo's most consistently crazed club favorites playing consecutive nights. Man, there goes Wednesday and Thursday. Ornery, obnoxious, redneck, fist-pumping post-punk -- done Seattle style by the Supersuckers, and Southern swamp blooze style by Tenderloin. Fuck, yes. Spank me! ALSO PLAYING
Friday: Jonathan Richman, Electric Lounge
Saturday: Pavement, Spoon, Dumptruck, Liberty Lunch; Kris McKay, Cactus Cafe
Sunday: Monte Montgomery, Saxon Pub
Monday: Bill Carter & Will Sexton, Pearl's
Tuesday: Don Walser, Jovita's
Wednesday: Savoy Brown, Antone's
Thursday: Dave Alvin, Billy C. Wirtz, Big Sandy & Fly-Rite Boys, Buddy Miller, Continental Club