The Maturity of Punk? Never! Not if you're Johnny Rotten. Presumably still rolling in all that shameless reunion lucre, plus the fat paychecks of his recent radio snide-shows, the Antichrist is alive and well with a hefty record contract with Virgin (take that, you corporate whores!). Now, he's trying to get you to buy his major-label debut, Psycho's Path, which might win title of the year. So, if you want to curse him for selling out, or just see someone who nearly imploded a frigging empire up close, Wednesday's your night. If you're lucky, maybe he'll even give you
Antone's, Friday 1
Ask anyone who's seen him play, and they'll tell you Earl "Sexual Telepathy" King is it. The shit. Unfortunately, there aren't many of those bluesmen left. King hangs out in hometown New Orleans, where like other local legends Mem Shannon and Snooks Eaglin, he isn't always financially able to tour (plus, his label, Black Top, runs off a shoestring PR budget). But he's here, and anytime he hits Antone's his hip-grinding guitar licks always send the club to another level -- straight to the swamps.
Cactus Cafe, Saturday 2
Welsh-born Dublin resident Katell Keineg bolts on the big towns' Lilithpalooza weekend (Orbit, Skeleton Key, and the Old 97's do likewise) for a side trip down our way. On her sophomore Elektra effort Jet, she and co-producers Eric Drew Feldman (PJ Harvey) and John Holbrook (engineer, Natalie Merchant's Tigerlily) land between Margo Timmons and Maura O'Connell on a solid set of songs centered around Keineg's otherworldly pipes.
Hole in the Wall, Saturday 2
Formerly Celindine, Houston's Trompedo share a similar pedigree as local heroes Spoon -- opening for Pavement, the Grifters, Archers of Loaf, and Railroad Jerk -- and an affinity for local knob-spinner John Croslin, who worked with them on an upcoming LP. Indeed, it was Britt Daniel's idea to bring them to the Hole, a place his own band plays all too rarely these days. Come early and catch Kiss-Offs' fever.
GET IN THE VAN
Bates Motel, Saturday 2
There's not much funny about grand theft auto, especially for the Dead End Cruisers, whose van was jacked from behind the Bates earlier this summer. On the sunny side, this Saturday-night punk-rock extravaganza featuring the Cruisers, the Hormones, the Lower Class Brats, and Econoline offers something of a silver lining. Proceeds go toward a replacement cruiser for the Cruisers, so dig deep.
SKELETON KEY, BABOON, UFOFU
Electric Lounge, Sunday 3
Skeleton Key is only a couple of years old, but they could have been the house band for Luc Sante's Low Life, a messy, fluid-spattered 1991 paean to the seedy core of the Big Apple. Abrasive, head-splitting, oddly poetic, the quartet's roughhousing, gutbucket stage set far eclipses Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon, their grueling major-label (Dreamworks, no less) debut. DFW-area stompers Baboon and UFOFU start the cacophony.
MOONSTOMP II TOUR
Emo's, Sunday 3
Five, 10 years hence, when the inevitable Nineties nostalgia rush kicks in, ska will be near the top of the list (right up with that "grunge" stuff). NYC's Moon Ska label is accumulating quite a catalog, and the second installment of their Moonstomp tour finds St. Louis' Isaac Green & the Skalars (plus friend DJ Wade spinning between sets), Boston's Skavoovie & the Epiphones, and Connecticut's Spring Heeled Jack skanking the night away with the stuff of future Rhino packages.
Broken Spoke, Tuesday 5
Debra Peters is a mainstay of Broken Spoke Tuesday nights, cover-free occasions where they don't even open the back dance hall. Long-time accordionist with the Cajun-tinged Love Saints, Peters also represents one of the Spoke's, and one of Austin's, finer qualities: no matter what night of the week, there's always music worth eating, talking, tipping, or dancing to.
Continental Club, Wednesday 6
What is American art? Jazz? Charley
Russell? Tennessee Williams? I say it's Elvis, and I suspect San Francisco's Lee Crow, Elvis Herselvis, would agree with me. Backed by the Straight White Males, Crow's channeling of the King transcends gender, sex, even politics, to arrive at a rhinestoned, gyrating revelation -- something you can get down to no matter who you are. Now that's art.
Friday: King's X, Back Room; Ezra Charles & the Works, Top of the Marc; Concerto Grosso, Elephant Room; Wannabes, Hole in the Wall
Saturday: Tenderloin, Electric Lounge; King Cheese, Ego's; Don Walser, Broken Spoke
Sunday: Two Hoots & a Holler, Midlife Crisis, Saxon Pub; Grazmatics, Artz Rib House
Monday: Bob Meyer, Sullivan's
Tuesday: Los Pinkys, Gulf Coast Playboys, Antone's; Trish Murphy, Dizzy Bloom, Bob Popular
Wednesday: OMC, The Murmurs, Steamboat
Thursday: Stephen Doster & Will Sexton, B-Side