Electric Lounge, Tuesday 10
After kicking out the jams for all time in the MC5, Wayne Kramer inhabits the aggro-jazz territory of Helmet and Clawhammer on his recent Epitaph solo albums. His latest, the spanking-new Citizen Wayne, goes even further than that, flirting with funk and ragged rock. Seems the only constants are the guitarist's consistent craftsmanship and informed, cutting social commentary. But hell, you know it's gonna kick ass if the Hormones are opening.
Hole in the Wall, Friday 6
Few acts around town -- or anywhere -- are as at home creating elemental waves of sound as Starfish, and hardly anybody gets more pure pleasure out of it. That's why this year's Frustrated is such a gem: raw forces of nature checked by an exuberant sense of fun. Live, they can blow you straight out of the Hole halfway to Concordia -- on a quiet night. Chapstick and Bedwetter loosen the rafters.
Victory Grill, Saturday 7
Don't call it a comeback, he's been here for years. Or most of them, anyway. Major Burke, blues compatriot of W.C. Clark and any number of others, a native Austinite who played the venerable Victory Grill in his youth, disappeared for a while there, but he's back. Turns out he was building a recording studio, putting it to good use recording the aptly named It's About Time CD.
SNOOKS EAGLIN, EARL KING, GEORGE PORTER
Antone's, Saturday 7
Steamier than Rampart Street in August, New Orleans guitar wizard Snooks Eaglin electrifies the Land of the Rising Sun on his new Black Top CD Live in Japan, running from Fats and Allen Toussaint to Stevie Wonder and the Isleys. Saturday, he joins fellow N.O. axeman Earl King and badass bayou bassist George Porter Jr. for a thick night of Crescent City soul-funk.
CHERRY POPPIN' DADDIES
Atomic Cafe, Saturday 7
Oregon's Cherry Poppin' Daddies get a fair amount of finger-wagging for their name (not from us, though, who deal with the Assholes, Fuckemos, and Butthole Surfers on a regular basis), but not for their infectious, horn-spiked blend of ska and swing. Zoot Suit Riot, a compilation of songs from their first three albums on Space Age Bachelor Pad, has plenty; so will their hyperactive live show at Austin's newest club.
PRINCE BIRTHDAY PARTY
Electric Lounge, Sunday 8
Surprise! This latest tribute to that Purple "Artist" guy, conveniently coinciding with his 39th birthday the day before, features another knockout lineup: the Adults, Brown Whörnet, The Derailers, Drums & Tuba, Ana Egge, Hotwheels Jr., Kris McKay, SXIP, Ursa Major, Michele Solberg, King Cheese, Tiger Bomb, and Not Daniel Johnston. Somebody dedicate "Pussy Control" to Austin's number one Prince fan -- you know who you are.
Hole in the Wall, Tuesday 10
Pat McDonald Sleeps With His Guitar, according to the title of his new CD, and he must dream of biting scenarios that just happen to make perfect pop songs -- the kind that made Timbuk3 peerless when it came to rock satire. As prolific as he is incisive, McDonald plans to play for a while, so pull up a pitcher and enjoy.
Cactus Cafe, Wednesday 11
No less than Dave Alvin, Iris Dement, Katy Moffat, Nanci Griffith, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore bow down to Tom Russell, dueting with the California songsmith on HighTone's new The Long Way Around. Nothing new -- he stole 1994's Hag tribute Tulare Dust from the likes of Joe Ely, Dwight Yoakam, and Lucinda Williams, dropped a jewel in 1995 with The Rose of the San Joaquin, and is as good a songwriter as Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. No opener.
FACE TO FACE
Liberty Lunch, Wednesday 11
Calpunk bands, Dead Kennedys to NOFX, never lost that melodic impulse -- they never wanted to. Face to Face haven't either, not by covering the Cure's "In Between Days" on their new Before You Were Punk collection they haven't -- nor by always finding the punchy hook and singalong chorus on their A&M debut. Aquabats and MxPx support.
KITTY WELLS/HONKY-TONK GALS ROUNDUP
Broken Spoke/Continental Club, Thursday 12
Kitty Wells, who changed music forever in 1952 with "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," still puts in over 100,000 miles a year on the road with her family band (son Bobby opens; husband Johnny Wright backs her). Thursday, she passes through the Spoke for an early evening show, leaving you plenty of time to make it over to the Continental Club for the "Honky-tonk Gals Roundup" with three of Wells' direct spiritual descendents, Libbi Bosworth, Susanna Van Tassel, and Chandler Liberty.
Friday: Darden Smith & Chip Taylor, Cactus Cafe
Saturday: 3rd Annual Louisiana Swamp Romp, La Zona Rosa; Shaver, Borrowers, Steamboat
Sunday: Jubal Clark Benefit, Roadhouse Cafe
Monday: Floyd Domino CD release, Threagill's WHQ
Tuesday: Lucy Kaplansky, Cactus Cafe
Wednesday: Dead End Cruisers, Shindigs, Collegiates, Hole in the Wall
Thursday: Agent Orange, UFOFU, Emo's