SLASH'S BLUES BALL
Back Room, Sunday 6
Why should Austin care about Slash's latest, post-Guns `n' Roses vanity project? Because The Artist Formerly Known as Saul Hudson is still the non-traditional guitarist's guitarist, flush with both soul and style -- elements those G3 wankers overlooked. Plus, the reported set list is promising: classics ("Stone Free" and "Funk #49") and obscurities (AC/DC's "Night Prowler," Commodores' "Brick House"). Sound worth swallowing a little pride for? -- Andy Langer
LOOSE DIAMONDS, DAMNATIONS
Saxon Pub, Friday 4
Tucked halfway between two Lounges, the Horseshoe and the Electric, the Saxon Pub is an excellent place to watch Loose Diamonds, who were roots-rock way before roots-rock was cool. Opening, are the Damnations, two sisters bringing Child ballads and the Carter family to the post-punk indie crowd. Together, betcha these two locals steal the evening from all the fancy roadshow interlopers coming to call (see "Roadshows"). Bet on it.
OLD SETTLERS BLUEGRASS & ACOUSTIC MUSIC FEST
Round Rock, Friday 11 & Saturday 12
See story, p.60.
THINKIN' FELLERS, CRITTERS BUGGIN'
Electric Lounge, Friday 4
Music critics and other three-chord pop fetishists probably want to avoid this one. Seattle trio Critters Buggin' features two former New Bohemians (no kidding!), but joins Galactic and The Gluey Brothers in presenting space-funk-jazz as America's trip-hop. Frisco's Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, a monstrously prolific outfit that plays the musical genre-map like a drunken game of Risk, headlines with a set so spastic and all-inclusive even openers Brown Whörnet might learn something.
MORRIS DAY & THE TIME
Liberty Lunch, Saturday 5
Ready for a little "Jungle Love"? Besides issuing one of the Eighties' great calls to carnality, these Minneapolis funkateers also spawned mega-producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, while achieving immortality as, according to the Lunch's press release, "the band that kicked Prince's ass in Purple Rain." Think about what they might do to your ass.
Blue Flamingo, Saturday 5
Harry Pussy wants to offend as many people as possible. What Alternative Press calls "true hate noise without specific politics," the Florida trio passes their charmingly titled, kidney-stone songs ("Pussy Control," "Fuckology") at volumes that would make Neurosis cringe. Don't say we didn't warn you.
DROPOUTS, BIGFOOT CHESTER, SIR FINKS
Hole in the Wall, Saturday 5
Muddy Waters, meet Sid Vicious -- y'all be nice. Even if that's not actually how the Dropouts began, the San Antone quartet does have a rippin' new CD on Unclean called Come On, with feral garage-blues to match maybe Bigfoot Chester, stomping and howling like leadfooted, wounded coyotes marauding the Chess graveyard for spare meat off Howlin' Wolf's bones. The Sir Finks add a tube-shootin' coastal vibe to this holy mess.
BLONDE REDHEAD/RAILROAD JERK
Emo's, Sunday 6/Tuesday 8
Wheedling and needling, like a child tugging at your pant leg, these two NYC bands work their strange, seductive rhythms into your subconscious -- more like an earwig, actually. Blonde Redhead, featuring Kazu Makino, do it with the insinuating, high-pitched drilling of their new Touch & Go effort, Fake Can Be Just as Good, while Railroad Jerk do it with pre-Skeleton Key trash-folk steam engine songs found on their latest Matador effort, The Third Rail. Stop squirming. -- Raoul Hernandez
Continental Club, Monday 7
Apparently, the Big E influenced certain Siberian musicians -- namely these guys -- even more than Neil Diamond and Richard Nixon's drug policy. Combining Zhenya Kolykhanov's hip-swiveling, Fifties fixation with rollicking Russian folk melodies left over from Igor Yuzov and Oleg Bernov's days in Limpopo, and Austin native Avi Sills' TCB drumming, the Red Elvises say spaceba. Spacebaverrahmuch.
Texas Union Ballroom/Electric Lounge, Thursday 10
Thursday looks like Austin's biggest hip-hop night of '97 -- at least until Snoop gets here. Philly's Roots start things off at UT, appropriate because not only is their near-legendary live show both literary and cultural, but their show-stopping hip-hop history lesson is itself nothing short of educational. As for the organic Jungle Brothers, who schooled both A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, their moniker abbreviates to JB for a reason: a long tradition of ultra-funky, Afro-centric hip-bop, continued on their new Raw Deluxe. Strong Island's Hyenas in the Desert, a new, street-smart set of Chuck D. protegees, and Relativity's MOP open at the Lounge. -- Andy Langer
Friday: Christian McBride, Bates Recital Hall;
Rat Dog, Susan James, Austin Music Hall
Saturday: Sixteen Deluxe, Electric Lounge
Sunday: Junior Brown (early), Johnny Bush (great), Continental Club; Guy Forsyth, Antone's
Monday: Del Dragons, Saxon Pub
Tuesday: Scabs, Steamboat
Wednesday: Richmond Fontaine, Club DeVille
Thursday: Pablo Moses & the Meditations, Liberty Lunch; Strunz & Farah, Backyard