Only the Beginning

Wednesday Night SXSW "Sleepers"

Last year, as the Austin Music Awards were kicking off South by Southwest at the Austin Music Hall, the Wednesday night showcases being tried out around town for the first time were confined to 17 venues and approximately 85 acts. This year, with the experiment an apparent success, there are 30 local clubs putting on Wednesday night SXSW showcases and some 150 bands are playing. Yes, it's here - SXSW - and so is the Chronicle's tried and true way of supplying as much information on as many bands playing the conference as space permits: "Picks &Sleepers." And this is just the beginning. Next week, in a special SXSW pull-out section, there will be three or four times as many "Picks and Sleepers," twice as many "SXSW Record Reviews," and a complete round-up of spoken word artists playing the conference. Wednesday's "Sleepers," then, are indeed only the beginning. - Raoul Hernandez

BLANCHE: Blanche's debut, Companion, is a self-described "Halo-phonic microgroove full fucking frequency recording." In other words, Canadian alt-poppers Blanche are sick of lo-fi pretension and they play like it. Incidentally, singer Daphne Diamant is also sick of the androgynization of music, claiming, "When I go see a band, if I don't feel like I want to have sex with any of the band members, I consider them a lost cause." Okay. Excellent. (Tropical Isle, 9pm) - Michael Bertin

GANDHI IN VEGAS: Pop from both left field and our own backyard (well, Houston, anyway) hinging on soft/loud tension, smart lyrics, and off-kilter drumming. Singer/guitarist Matt Brownlie's twentysomething sneer adds an additional edge to the tongue-in-cheek formula followed by all graduates of the Pavement School of Not Taking Yourself So Seriously. (Iron Cactus, 9 pm) - Phil West

BOY WONDER: Boston-based quartet fronted by singer-songwriter Paula Kelley. Their latest release, Wonder Wear, is chock-full o' power pop, crunch guitar, and a poppy Kelley stringing you through smart, sprightly sugar bombs. Musical diabetics beware. (Atomic Cafe, 9pm) - Leah Selvidge

COTTON MATHER: Bearing the torch of melodic rock, this Austin quartet brings an experimental elegance to their craft akin to many of the better bands of the Sixties. They recently continued to expand their horizons with kontiki on Copper Records. (Liberty Lunch, 9pm) - Ken Lieck

THE ROBERT EALEY BAND: There's a certain amount of cachet that comes from being a veteran of the Jacksboro Highway clubs and jukejoints, and few names come with more respect for that distinction than that of Robert Ealey. His easy command of the audience is merely a side benefit of his years of playing the bar circuit; the payoff is in his legendary Texas blues, honed as only the notorious Fort Worth strip can do it. (Antone's, 9pm) - Margaret Moser

LAURIE FREELOVE: This former Two Nice Girl is what's so special about Austin; that you could see a songwriter of her caliber on a regular basis - like on a Tuesday or something. And she would be terrific every time, her strong-minded grace provoking a myriad of emotions. Her indie release of a couple years ago, Songs From the Nineline, still resonates with that KUT "LiveSet" magic. (Electric Lounge, 9pm) - Raoul Hernandez

GFIRE: Psychedelic trance isn't really too common on dancefloors in the states, but local trance denizen gfire spins true to the style regardless. With a unique melodic style, she brings a special vibe to the dancefloor that will set your spirit free. (Twist, 9pm) - Leah Selvidge

HALFWATT: Despite the name and the fact there's only three of 'em, this band uses - and produces - a hell of a lot of electricity. Short, to-the-point songs featuring melodic bass by a Wannabe and energetic vocals from a former junior high school teacher. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 9pm) - Ken Lieck

THE HORSIES: Austin's own pup & pony party show is a helluva way to kick off a conference. The Horsies playact Prez Prado, beckon Noam Chomsky, wank over Junior Brown, and could score your next porno movie or fit right in with the Hair Bear Bunch or Banana Splits with nary a costume change. It's a rare gig, so expect to see a lot of foxy Austin scenesters there. (Fat Tuesday, 9pm) - Kate X Messer

JANET LYNN BAND: If Austin can claim its own Sweetheart of the Rodeo, it must be Janet Lynn, the hometown girl who can sing the boot polish off most of her competition. With an ace honky-tonk band that includes husband Brent Wilson, a smoky belt to her voice, and no small flair for songwriting, Lynn's years in the business have paid off for her with style and class. (Broken Spoke, 9pm) - Margaret Moser

HARVEY SID FISHER: Yes, that's right; it's the cult hero guy in the tuxedo who sings songs about the zodiac. Whether you've seen him on the nation's public access channels or a friend has Astrology Songs on video, you've probably had "I Am, I Am, I Am the Ra-a-am!" (Aries) stuck in your head for days. Hardly a one-dimensional performer, HSF also sings songs about golf. (Waterloo Brewing Company, 9pm) - Ken Lieck

THE PUSH STARS: For the Boston-based Push Stars, winning the "Best Unsigned Band in America" contest is a double-edged sword: It could be the no-name kiss of record label death, or it could be a wake up call to listless A&R reps. Sounding like a less histrionic version of the Counting Crows' Adam Duritz, songwriter and guitarist Chris Tapper injects catchy melodies and interesting vocal lines in the group's original pop tunes. (Steamboat, 9pm) - David Lynch

SXIP: This multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist master doesn't need to get blood from a rock, he can get music from a tampon, or a paperclip, or a random human cry. And even if he doesn't whip out his patented Tampon Applicator Mouth Organ™, his arsenal of instruments redefines the relation between musician, method, and madness. (Ruta Maya Coffee House, 9pm) - Kate X Messer

BILLY JOE WINGHEAD: This Oklahoma-based outfit claims to peddle "Gothindustrocowpunk," but a recent Hole in the Wall gig proved they're really just good ol' fashioned entertainers - with some genuine theremin action and a shockabilly stage schtick full of cheap thrills that would do the Butthole Surfers proud. (Bates Motel, 9pm) - Andy Langer

WALTER TRAGERT: There's a few singers out there whose voices recall Graham Parker. Strangely enough, they tend to be pretty damn good. Austin's Walter Tragert is one of the best, telling musical stories from the soul and belting them out in style. (The Library, 9:30pm) - Ken Lieck

JULIEANN BANKS: Austin's musical pundits manage to wave the banner of the city's much-vaunted music scene as much as politicos hoping to cash in on the youth vote, but sometimes its most solid components are overlooked. If anyone can claim veteran trooper status in those ranks, it's Julieann Banks, who can go from sultry to sassy and back in the turn of a phrase. (Steamboat, 10pm) - Margaret Moser

CHARLIE BURTON: Charlie Burton saves his laconic Midwestern wit for his lyrics, because he's certainly not flippant about rock & roll. His compact, tuneful odes - found on last year's Rustic Fixer-Upper - recall the days when the young music mingled freely with its jukejoint, honky-tonk, and rockabilly neighbors. In a town with more songwriters than lobbyists, Burton is easily one of the more unsung, underrated, and enjoyable. (Broken Spoke, 10pm) - Margaret Moser

EARTHPIG & FIRE: As the twisted brilliance of his chosen moniker should suggest, Earthpig (aka Adam Bork) is a genuinely unique talent - notable not just as a deft lap guitarist, but also for his profoundly wacky narratives. Way underrated. (Ruta Maya, 10pm) - Andy Langer

GRETCHEN PHILLIPS: Fresh from a two-year stint in San Francisco, Phillips returns to Austin with sharp wit and sweet voice fully intact. Even when she's playing acoustic by herself, Phillips wields all the endearment of a full rock ensemble turned up to 11. Her former Two Nice Girls bandmate Laurie Freelove is also on the bill, so maybe we'll hear some of that band's tunes if we're nice. (Electric Lounge, 10pm) - Greg Beets

LORD VISHNU: Lord Vishnu spins a wide range of drum and bass and is compared to The Invizibl Skratch Piklz and the Beat Junkies. Citing hip-hop as the foundation of his style, he sports some mad turntablist skills which helped him win the Foundations of Groove contest in 1997. (Twist, 10pm) - Leah Selvidge

JESUS CHRIST SUPERFLY: Goddamn! How can three guys make so much noise?!? Yep, this Austin trio makes punk rock, pure and simple, but it's so solid that even a BTO fan can't resist it. (Bates Motel, 10pm) - Ken Lieck

7% SOLUTION: "Space rock" would only be an appropriate term for this well-liked Austin group if it reflected the way they manipulate it - space, that is - stretching notes and drones into shapes and sizes not governed by the laws of gravity. They are easily identified as older stars in the galaxy of pop, but as such, they shine brighter than most others in the night sky. (Ritz Lounge, 10pm) - Raoul Hernandez

THE SKYDIGGERS: No two genres are safe from being wed together. Don't believe it? The opening track on Desmond's Hip City, the fifth album from Canada's Skydiggers, is techno-folk. It's good stuff, but after that things quickly shift into a more conventional acousto-rock mode, distinguished nicely by its dense arrangements. (Tropical Isle, 10pm) - Michael Bertin

SPOON: Since the Soft Effects EP, his plastic will no longer bear the Matador imprint, but Britt Daniel and Spoon are moving to Elektra and the anticipation of the next CD has been growing for months now. Thoughtful construction and intelligent lyrics make Daniel one of Austin's best songwriters, and he only gets better, mixing jarring guitar with pop hooks that would make Elvis Costello wish he were a young man. (Liberty Lunch, 10pm) - Christopher Hess

CITIZENS' UTILITIES: The industrial-sounding name and the Seattle address conjure up something miles from this band's sound - eight miles, you could say. Traces of the Byrds, as well as the Meat Puppets, and even Simon and Garfunkel, bubble up in their clear, direct sound. (Copper Tank North, 10pm) - Phil West

TRONA: Forget the icky schmooz-a-thon. Forget the dusty industry patina. This, my friends, is what SXSW is all about: finding that one band that hits all your spots and yanks all your triggers. Trona's hit mine. With John & Exene/George & Tammy harmony splits, this Boston combo sears like a slug on a Death Valley trail. Their sizzle and spark ignite from terrifying desert desperation cooled only by the murky mud of the River Charles. (Atomic Cafe, 10pm) - Kate X Messer

NATTY NATION: A five-piece that can bring together all the human colors in Jah Rasta's rainbow (foregoing dependence on synthesized sounds), Madison, Wisconsin-based Natty Nation mix their English, Jamaican, and American roots into rock steady, roots, and dub tunes with conscious lyrics sung in three-part harmonies. (Flamingo Cantina, 10:15pm) - David Lynch

TERRI HENDRIX: God knows there's a glut of female singer-songwriters these days, but few hopefuls have the range to be everything to everyone like San Marcos' Terri Hendrix, who's got a divine drawl, serious pickin' skills, and a versatile grasp on pop, folk, and country songwriting. Folks like Hendrix define the sleeper category. (The Library, 10:30pm) - Andy Langer

THE NEGRO PROBLEM: At last year's SXSW, this unisex, multi-racial group's name alone was a scandal. Back in town with a hip, irreverent, Bay Area-sounding slice of pop pomp, Post Minstrel Syndrome, this Silver Lake quartet is rubbing it in some people's faces (mine) that the fab Poptopia tour they were on with well-matched bands such as Imperial Teen never even thought of coming to the land of the dead armadillo. Feh! (Waterloo Brewing Company, 11pm) - Raoul Hernandez

A DON PIPER SITUATION: The raging influx of newcomers to Austin is no new story. So it's nice when one of "ours" departs for the Big Apple and makes his name without our help (sniff). On his debut EP, Piper's loving, surging melodies defy comparison, which of course won't stop me: I hope that John Lennon double-track thing he does with his vocals makes him a Big Star. (Bob Popular, 11pm) - Kate X Messer

BREEDLOVE: In a town known for its Stevie Ray Vaughan legacy, there really isn't much that's good. Count Breedlove in the minority, then, especially when it comes to the SRV factor since the guitar-playing Tyrone Vaughan features prominently in this young Austin band. The real star? Try frontman Dan Dwyer, with the voice, charisma, and songs to carry him far in this bidness. (Steamboat, 11pm) - Raoul Hernandez

DRUMS & TUBA: Wonderfully weird and delightfully entertaining, Austin's Drums & Tuba are a trio, featuring Tony Nozero on drums, Brian Wolff on tuba, trumpet, and pocket trumpet (sometimes simultaneously), and Neil McKeeby's impressive two-guitars-played-at-once aural painting. One of the most original (and one of the best unsigned) bands in Austin. (Ritz Lounge, 11pm) - David Lynch

THE FENCE SITTERS: From far North Buda Texas come the Fence Sitters, playing irresistible, original acoustic music.
Finally, slackjawed countryfolkgrass for the rest of us. Their latest MakeYourOwnDamn Records release, More Blue Than Green, is traditional acoustic music with slide and banjo spinning tales of country woe - with a definite nod to irony. (Copper Tank Main Room, 11pm) - Christopher Hess

GOD BULLIES: With the unpleasant and unfortunate demise of Thrall (another great Alternative Tentacles one-off), Mike Hard has picked himself off the cold dirty floor, put all his clothes back on, and gotten right back into your face with the beast you knew him from before, the God Bullies. No telling what he's up to, but knowing Hard, it won't be pleasant, nor will it be tame. (Emo's, 11pm) - Raoul Hernandez

RON HAWKINS & THE RUSTY NAILS: Hawkins last solo release, The Secret of My Excess, was kind of a gangster popabilly record that fell somewhere between the Reverend Horton Heat and Oingo Boingo. Infected with a "Blow me" ennui, the album's artwork features a picture of Hawkins on the toilet, tie undone, trousers around ankles. The hopefully now-relieved Hawkins has recently started recording and touring with his six-piece outfit, the Rusty Nails. (Fat Tuesday, 11pm) - Michael Bertin

LIQUOR GIANTS: Liquor Giant Ward Dotson, the man behind Eighties cult favorites Gun Club and the Pontiac Brothers, is regarded and reviled as the only songwriter with a strong enough sense of melody and taste for debauchery to step into the vacant shoes of Paul Westerberg. The brand new Matador release, Every Other Day at a Time, is a barrage of perfect pop tunes, every one catchy and senseless enough to win you over. (Liberty Lunch, 11pm) - Christopher Hess

RAY PRICE: With some artists, all you need to know is one song, but with singer Ray Price, the history is everything. A Hank Williams protégé in the Fifties with "Crazy Arms," a country legend who crossed over into pop in the Sixties with "Danny Boy," then re-established himself in country with Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times," Price hit the charts again in the Eighties dueting with Willie Nelson on Bob Wills' "Faded Love." Now in his fifth decade of performing and still whiskey-smooth, Ray Price can do just about whatever he damn well pleases and it will sound good. (Stubb's, 11pm) - Margaret Moser

CHARLIE ROBISON: Despite the critical success of Robison's self-released Bandera in 1995, Warner Bros. recently reneged on releasing a Robison album they apparently found too strange and depressing for country radio. But their loss is Lucky Dog's gain, as they plan to release a similar album later this year. Judging by his stunning live shows, it's just the set of smart songs and lively performances Americana radio has been lacking of late. (Broken Spoke, 11pm) - Andy Langer

VODKA FAMILY WINSTONS: Best drummer in Austin? Easy. Rey Washam. And folks are in for a reminder of just what a powerhouse he really is when his new band - featuring remnants of his old band, Euripides Pants - kick out some serious jams; this is Washam and company doing what they do best - playing the hard stuff. (Copper Tank North, 11pm) - Raoul Hernandez

THE SHAZAM: This Nashville band's eponymous debut on Copper was one of the best albums you probably didn't hear last year. The Shazam are scholars in the school of power pop, and hints of Cheap Trick and the Raspberries rain down like manna. Chunky yet somehow effervescent, their approach has all the sinful goodness of six White Castle cheeseburgers at 3am. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 11pm) - Greg Beets

SLOWPOKE: After a couple of false starts, these Dallasites appear poised to finally make it out of the Toadies' long shadow with Virgin Stripes, their forthcoming Geffen debut. Not only is it full of clever tunes and radio-ready hooks, it's also just raw enough to build a punishing live foundation. (Hole in the Wall, 11pm) - Andy Langer

STARLING: Canada's Starling is doing the same thing to the Kinks and Cheap Trick that Oasis has done to the Beatles. Wonder if Starling is doing the same things with chemicals that Oasis is doing, though? (Tropical Isle, 11pm) - Michael Bertin

TINA & THE B-SIDE MOVEMENT: Putting on a good showcase at last year's conference, as well as a strong album for Sire (Salvation) the year before, this Minneapolis quintet is always ready for a little rough-housing with raw-voiced harmonies from Christina Schlieske and her sister Laura, who could be quite the indigo duo if there wasn't such a Melissa Etheridge get-wild vibe on their album and at their live shows. (Waterloo Brewing Company, Midnight) - Raoul Hernandez

ALVIN CROW: By the time Alvin Crow steps up to the mike tonight, the walls of the Broken Spoke should be oozing with the kind of homegrown country goodness that made Austin famous. But when Crow sets bow to his fiddle and cuts loose with his inimitable nasal drawl behind it, the ghosts of 1,000 dancehall nights will spirit away each and every listener. Accept no substitute: Alvin Crow is 100% genuine cowhide country and a master of the lyrical understatement. (Broken Spoke, Midnight) - Margaret Moser

BROWN WHORNET: Every time you lay ears on this hyper-prolific collective, they're doing something totally different. Brown Whornet's exhaustive two CD-plus-one cassette Value Pak was one of 1996's best local releases. From punk to avant cacophony to funk to klezmer music, the Whornet oozes organic intrigue all over the stage and somehow manages to execute a lot more than most bands could even conceptualize. (Ritz Lounge, Midnight) - Greg Beets

FOLD ZANDURA: With a sound as enigmatic as its moniker, SoCal's Fold Zandura meld the rich, atmospheric rock of My Bloody Valentine with cute `n' clever melodies, coming off like a high school version of the Smashing Pumpkins. When your music is more about texture than about a specific riff, you can make interesting things happen in a live setting. (Atomic Cafe, Midnight) - Sean Doles

HOTWHEELS JR: This Austin troop serves up generous portions of lazy Southern pop rock on a three-beer buzz. It's the kind of music you want at your backyard barbecue this summer, since their tunes are catchy enough to where only a right bastard would dare call the cops on such perfectly warm noise. (Bates Motel, Midnight) - Greg Beets

JESUS PRESLEY: Any of you out-of-towners remember Dino Lee, Austin's own King of White Trash? Dino was packin' rats down his pants way before most of you were big enough to fit in grandpa's smoking jacket. This Jesus from Portland calls on some mighty deities and is at least in the same royal family as Dino. (Fat Tuesday, Midnight) - Kate X Messer

DANIEL JOHNSTON: There's no producer alive nor recording medium yet discovered capable of truly capturing the elegant chaos created by Daniel Johnston's one twisted heart and 88 pounded keys. No doubt, there are only two ways to experience his raw yelp of living life: either sit alone in a room with a scratchy-ass 1969 Panasonic portable cassette player and one of DJ's 52,000 cassette releases or go to this rare-as-bloody-hen's-teeth performance and see him live and livid. (Electric Lounge, Midnight) - Kate X Messer

TARA MacLEAN: A finalist in this year's [nonexistent] "You won't believe how I got signed" contest, lushly throated Canadian MacLean was discovered by Nettwerk Records staffers when she was singing with some friends on the deck of a ferry. The 23-year-old's voice is loaded with honesty and intimacy. (Tropical Isle, Midnight) - Michael Bertin

11:11: Yes, they do listen to a lot of Sun Ra, and they may even play some. From Davis, CA, this quintet plays a groovacious kind of jazz, borrowing in tone and material from the likes of Miles Davis and Eddie Harris. The emphasis is on groove over fireworks, and the loose arrangements allow for interesting things to happen in the spaces. (Caucus Club, 12:30am) - Christopher Hess

RISING LION: Sometimes the simplest way to clue into bands you know nothing about is by finding them in the headlining spot. In this case, the gamble might just pay off as Brooklyn's Rising Lion does roots rock about as good or better than many of their major-label contemporaries. Lead rasta Danny Dred has one of those sweet soul voices perfect to parise Jah with. (Flamingo Cantina, 12:45am) - Raoul Hernandez

PERMAFROST: Bittersweet popsters from Boston, with more emphasis on sweet than bitter, but equal emphasis on male and female vocals. Their latest album, In Harm's Way, is filled with all kinds of clever, starting with song titles like "Happy Birthday to a Friend to Whom I'm No Longer Speaking," and continuing with a song about ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, which only begins to hint at the Eighties-isms running rampant through their sound. (Babe's, 1am) - Phil West

BIG FOOT CHESTER: With the demise of Jack o' Fire, Austin harpist Walter Daniels took his gutsy blues, his harmonica, and his lo-fi bad self over to Big Foot Chester. (Bates Motel, 1am) - Ken Lieck

FLAMING FLAMES OF FIRE: Although Brian Beattie should be busy enough stockpiling new Daniel Johnston recordings and in producing Wammo, Seela, and Kathy McCarty, he's also finding time to perform his own material with a makeshift band featuring Seela, Craig Ross, and drummer John Paul Kennan. What they'll come up with is anybody's guess, but Beattie's already promising a complete lack of focus (pop to hip-hop) and enough experiments to "appeal and please" the festival's most jaded attendees. (Electric Lounge, 1am) - Andy Langer

HAL LOVEJOY CIRCUS: Despite being from L.A., this trio clearly needs to be spreading the news in New York, New York. The trio's hooky, well-produced American Made disc for Fish of Death Records sounds like something Matador discovered and actually wanted to sell - think a mainstream version of Railroad Jerk. The underground snobs will hate it, but that dark edge on those hooks work just fine. (Maggie May West, 1am) - Raoul Hernandez

DEXTER FREEBISH: This Austin foursome got their first break during SXSW - without playing the conference. They hooked up with a small label after playing at a local burger den during the fest a couple of years ago, where they played their perky pop for the wristbandless masses who came in off the streets. With a second, somewhat darker release under their belts, they're on the "official" SXSW list this year. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 1am) - Ken Lieck

MINK: Mink are not just promising because they're the latest young Austin band to make the much-heralded Black Cat/Steamboat transition, but also because their groove-oriented retro-pop can turn from bubblegum to gritty on a dime. (Steamboat, 1am) - Andy Langer

GAUNT: The only reason the Seventies were any good is because of bands like Ohio's Gaunt. Good old FM rock & roll, arena-style, lives in the two-chord Ramones tempo of this fast-faster-fastest quartet, but if someone replaced the broken tempo nob, and slowed it down to normal speed, you'd find the glorious riff rock of beer-littered Camaro nights gone by. (Emo's Jr.,1am) - Raoul Hernandez

ROYAL TRUX: Junkie rock. Pure stone junkie rock. Now, no one's pointing fingers at Jennifer Herrema or Neil Haggerty, but some of those lyrics would make Johnny Thunders blush. Worse than that, this bedraggled gang of Virginians churning out post-Stones Southern rock ply you with a musical rasp so low-down and barrel-scrapingly grimy that you can't help but get hooked on their junk. "Dear Doctor, please help me, I'm damaged..." (Emo's, 1am) - Raoul Hernandez

SCROAT BELLY: Think of something akin to the Kentucky Headhunters with the fury of punk and the speed of, uh, speed metal. That's ballpark enough for Bloodshot's bluegrass bludgeoners Scroat Belly. Cowpunk? Not really. The Kansas sextet's concept album, Daddy's Farm, is more like kick-ass chicken scratch. (Hole in the Wall, 1am) - Michael Bertin

STAVESACRE: We're happy to inform you that although Tool couldn't make it to this year's conference, the gracious folks at Tooth & Nail Records have brought in the SoCal foursome Stavesacre in their place. Noun-rock fans (Tool, Helmet, Prong, Korn) won't know the difference, what with Stavesacre's progressive twist on post-punk, featuring chunky guitars, odd time signatures, and dark, emotive vocals. No, it's not the most innovative sound, but it is a difficult style to do well. (Atomic Cafe, 1am) - Sean Doles

TIGERLILIES: Close your eyes. Trust your feet. Here are some stepping stones: Take the leap from Phil Spector to Paul Revere & the Raiders; now hop so that one foot lands on Cheap Trick and the other on the Bay City Rollers; here's where it gets tricky. Take a deep breath, coz this one's gonna skim over the New York Dolls, Brian Ferry, the Style Council, and Duran Duran all in one fell swoop. Cincinnati's Tigerlilies have been here before. Let's see where it leads. (Iron Cactus, 1am) - Kate X Messer

VOLEBEATS: One of the gleaming gemstones in the 1997 musical riverbed - well below the gush of other releases - was this Detroit pop group's Sky and the Ocean (Safe House), a lonesome yet strangely uplifting vision of Midwestern realities as captured by the group's three strong songwriters. A bit stiff on stage, the Volebeats are anything but that when it comes to sound and vision. (Copper Tank Main, 1am) - Raoul Hernandez

YUMMY: Hot on the heels of his disassociation from Capricorn, Ian Moore six-piece side-project nonetheless sounds suspiciously like the four-piece Ian Moore Band. A new direction or same old story? Either way, it has to be better than the name. (Antone's, 1am) - Andy Langer

TED RODDY'S TEARJOINT TROUBADOURS: When it's crying time again and there's no truckstop jukebox nearby, Ted Roddy will feel your pain. Blessed with a mellifluous set of pipes (he pays tribute to Elvis twice a year locally), Roddy knows just about any and every song ever recorded about heartache and heartbreak, and his troupe of cocktail & Western players provides iron-clad moral as well as musical support. Just don't you mistake him for that wussy lounge music. (Broken Spoke, 1am) - Margaret Moser

CLAUDE 9: Claude 9 has been featured on Face Record's Texas electronica collection and has collaborated with local rapper MC Overlord on a 12-inch to be released later this year and is nothing less than phenomenal. Part of the growing underground electronic music scene in Austin, Claude 9 is definitely one to keep an eye on. (Twist, 2am) - Leah Selvidge

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