Steamboat, Thursday 29Deja vu. If it seems like this lead "Recommended" just happened, it did. Dick Dale was here only a few weeks ago (see "Live Shots"), but he's back already. The reason? He blew the frigging roof off a packed Steamboat last time. Dale was so pleased, in fact, he called the club a couple days later to say he could swing back after some MTV thing up North. So, Austin, here's the proverbial second chance for all you who missed the first tidal wave to not have to hear over the watercooler how truly amazing the King of Cowabunga Surf Guitar really was.
Liberty Lunch, Friday 3Last time through the Lunch, Black Francis, er, Frank Black was supporting his second solo release, Teenager of the Year, and not having a good time of it. The show was loud all right -- and pissed off -- but the new material wasn't holding up. This time around, however, with histhird and best post-Pixies release, The Cult of Ray, honing all that's seminal about Black (wit, perversity, riffs), nirvana should be reached. Helping him out is Jonny Polonsky, who Black got signed to American for obvious mentoring reasons.
Electric Lounge, Friday 3K. McCarty's recent EP, the between-album pacifier Sorry Entertainer, and the news that her label will soon put out previously unreleased Glass Eye material, proves Hoboken's Bar None records is 100 percent behind this longtime Austin favorite. That's good -- almost as good as McCarty's commitment to Daniel Johnston's songcraft. Best of all, she doesn't oversaturate her hometown with gigs, making this one, as always, a treat. We're behind you too, K.
STEVE RILEY & THE MAMOU PLAYBOYS
La Zona Rosa, Saturday 24Thought I'd died and gone to Southern Louisiana when Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys played Sixth Street this summer with Beau Jocque. It'll be just Riley this time, and that should be plenty the way he makes that accordion jump -- or is that all the folks who jump when these guys get a full head of zydecajun steam up? Both.
SINCOLA, VIOLET CROWN
Hole in the Wall, Saturday 24Just got a preview of the new Sincola album, Crash Landing in Teen Heaven (due in May), and paramedics are still trying to dislodge the ice pick from the base of my skull. It may be their second release on Caroline, but it confirms that their "debut," What the Nothinghead Said, was actually the Austin group's sophomore slump when their still-killer Rise EP is taken into account. Crash... is the one, and the machinery's just warming up for its release. Violet Crown, Larry Seaman's new venture, is just getting started itself, but already folks say they're one to watch.
Victory Grill, Sunday 25The Victory Grill at 1104 East 11th gets a workout this weekend in celebration of Black History Month: Friday, it plays host to the Houston blues guitarist Pete Mayes and Austin's T.D. Bell; Saturday, it gets the day off when the gospel showcase moves to the St. James Episcopal Church; and Sunday it gets a Latin brunch of sorts when Lourdes Perez, Correo Aereo, and Cenzontle resurrect Chicago House's end-of-the-month peña with a matinee (4-7pm) that features guests like Antonio Dionisio highlighting the cross pollination of Black and Latin musical styles in "American" music.
Liberty Lunch, Monday 26Garbage is one of those acts you pray doesn't eschew the heart of Texas in favor of media gigs on the coasts -- especially since they're essentially a studio band. Fortunately, "Queer," and "Only Happy When It Rains" have broken big on radio, so even Austin gets a peek at the industrial dance pop these studio geeks (Butch Vig anyone?) have fashioned with the help of Scottish diva Shirley Manson and her bewitching siren song.
RICHARD BUCKNER & LISA MEDNICK
Cactus Cafe, Tuesday 27Richard Buckner is the post-punk lovechild of Dwight Yoakam & Gram Parson, riding out of the Bay Area's insurgent country scene with tortured tales of the walking wounded. We owe it all to local indie Dejadisc, which put out Buckner's debut last year after the now-upstate WA singer-songwriter went to Lubbock with Lloyd Maines and cut an LP that has a definite Austin vibe. He's hooked up with local-lost-to-L.A. keyboardist Lisa Mednick (you might remember her ownDejadisc debut), and the two have already written some songs together, which they'll do together somewhere in between their own individual sets.
BLUE RODEO, WEEPING TILE
White Rabbit, Wednesday 28Did someone say insurgent country? Try the Lennon and McCartney of the genre, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, whose Toronto-based band Blue Rodeo teams up with Weeping Tile -- friends of theirs with a similar sound, only led by someone (Sara Harmer) who sounds like Joan Osborne.
THE FOR CARNATION
Emo's, Wednesday 28Shoegazer music, yes, but they're $100 shoes. This Kentucky quartet play it low and slow, for soft are the arms of Morpheus -- just check their upcoming, second Matador release, Marshmallows. They're smartly paired with Trance Syndicate's distorto-popsters, Furry Things. Good one. ALSO PLAYING
Friday: Pansy Division, Emo's
Saturday: Joe Lovano, Bates Recital Hall
Sunday: Pian-o-rama, La Zona Rosa
Monday: Don Walser, Babe's
Tuesday: Ugly Americans, Steamboat
Wednesday: Derailers, Antone's
Thursday: George Winston, Paramount Theatre