SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST MUSIC CONFERENCE
Austin Everywhere, Thursday 19 - Sunday 22
Above all, you've got to have a plan. During the day, go to the parties, barbecues, and panels, but be sure to get some rest. Practice moderation. At night, things can get complicated.
The safe route is to commit yourself. Stay downtown? Plenty to do. Thursday night you can see Rounder artists Ray Wylie Hubbard, Tutu Jones, and Susan Tedeschi at Antone's, Ian McLagan and the Silos at Babes, Robyn Hitchcock at the State Theater, Dele Mandeyah at the Flamingo Cantina, and the Delta 72 at Emo's. Or maybe you want to try something different. Since you're in Texas, check out the NARAS's superstar Tejano Extravaganza at the Austin Music Hall, or head to the other side of town and the historic Victory Grill for the Catfish Records showcase, with Sebastian Campisi and Maryann Price. Also Thursday, legendary country joint and first-time conference venue The Broken Spoke will have a hot home-town lineup with Hot Club of Cowtown, Susanna Van Tassel, and Johnny Bush.
Now listen, don't wear yourself out, because Friday is gonna be nuts. Maggie Mae's West rocks it south of the border style with the L.A. supergroup Psychotic Aztecs, featuring Tito & Tarantula's Tito Larriva. Antone's hosts their own label's showcase, with Doug Sahm, Kim Wilson, Angela Strehli, and Lou Ann Barton sharing the headline slot. BMI offers Nick Lowe, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jim Lauderdale, Lee Roy Parnell, and the BR5-49 at the Music Hall. The Back Room is ska-ville with Moon Ska's showcase, while local punk label Peek-a-Boo Records will be kicking ass at the Bates Motel. Austin indie Watermelon Records holds court at the Continental Club with Don Walser, while Austin's younger country faction hold their own Camelot, with Reckless Kelly, Gourds, Damnations, Old 97s, and Kelly Willis at Liberty Lunch. Finally, Leaning House Records brings real jazz to the Elephant Room with saxman Marchel Ivery, pianist Fred Sanders, and drummer Earl Harvin.
Saturday starts off with a free show in Waterloo Park, featuring three of Austin's most noted guitar heros - Ian Moore, Junior Brown, and Jimmie Vaughan. The State Theater offers Native American Night, while The Texas Union Ballroom has some impressive names in Peter Case, Loudon Wainwright, Cheri Knight, Iris DeMent, and Billy Bragg. The Library has its songwriter series, while at Stubb's, Dale Watson and Jack Ingram hold the stage for Johnny Winter. Label showcases are a safe bet on Saturday; Bloodshot Records set up shop in the Copper Tank's Main Room, Man's Ruin occupies Emo's, Trance Syndicate/Emperor Jones take over the Atomic Cafe, and Doolittle records sit in at the Hole in the Wall. While Jennyanykind hide out in the Iron Cactus, Buddy Guy will be tearing up Antone's. And there's more, so much more, but for God's sake be reasonable.
For Sunday, get in on the tradition and close the weekend with Alejandro Escovedo at La Zona Rosa. Tito Larriva, sans Tarantula, and Jon Langford, sans Waco Brothers, open. Steamboat, Emo's, and the Electric Lounge all offer full showcases, and the Hole in the Wall has the Who Whoot night. Good luck, we're all counting on you.
Music Stores Everywhere, Thursday 19 - Sunday 22
These in-stores are a good way to free up valuable showcase time, but like showcases they can change unpredictably, so doublecheck times with stores. Otherwise, ours is a fairly complete list, so where times are listed, say, 3-6pm, followed by bands, the first name represents the first band on, and so on with bands starting at the top of every hour. Here goes: ABCD's has Monte Montgomery Thursday, 6pm, while Tari Karkanen, 17 Hippies, Sonic Joyride, and Cheri Knight all perform, Friday, 2-7pm; Saturday, Garageland, Happy Valley, Superego, Ginger Leigh, and Brutal DFX go 1- 6pm. Border's has shows every day, starting Thursday with Sonic Joyride at 6pm, and Mount Pilot and Todd Thibaud on Friday, 7pm. Saturday and Sunday, 7- 9pm, Borders features its Songwriting Circle with Damon Bramblett, Tim Carroll, Duane Jarvis, Kevin Gordon, Sissy Siero, Troy Campbell, Trish Murphy, and more. Down on the drag Friday, Sound Exchange offers Vaz (featuring ex-members of Hammerhead), the Urinals, and Cable starting at 3pm. Saturday, Grace Brawn is 3pm. A little further north, Thirty Three Degrees will have Leshi Auld Cootie, Search Party, Knife in the Water, and Crackpipes from 2- 5pm. Richard Davies is there at 6pm on Thursday. Friday, from 2- 8: Handsome Family, the Pilot Ships, Chris & Jason of Windsor for the Derby, Bardo Pond, Eight Frozen Modules, Frontier, and to rococo rot. Saturday from 3- 6pm is a Peek-a-Boo Records party with Kiss Offs, Poopiehead, Vidi Vitties, Junior Varsity, and Silver Scooter. Going 6- 8pm is the Sandwich Records party, with My Friend the Atom, Transona Five, and Vena Cava. Tower has a full schedule every day. Thursday (3- 7pm): Fred Sanders, The Aquabeats, Owen Temple, and Kamran Hooshmand
& 1001 Nights. Friday (2- 7pm): Susan Tedeschi, Buddy Guy, Ana Egge, the Damnations, and Mariachi Estrella. Saturday (1- 5pm): Tito & Tarantula, Chris Whitley, Big Back Forty, and Trish Murphy. Waterloo's schedule is likewise packed, starting Thursday (2-6pm): Ricardo Lemvo, Fred Eaglesmith, Kramer, and Apples in Stereo. Friday (2- 6pm): Buffalo Daughter, Johnny Bush, Michael Weston King, and Duane Jarvis. Saturday (2- 6pm): High Llamas, Peter Case, Loudon Wainwright, and Fastball.
Austin Music Hall, Wednesday 25
For a moment there, about four years ago, it looked like "Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me)" was a fluke: radio-friendly trip-hop with an amusingly dank palette and not much else. Boy, were we wrong. Beth Gibson & Co. take heartbreak and soul-numbing malaise to a gorgeous new extreme with their recent release, a chilly collection of lullabies for the emotionally stillborn. Live, they're rumored to leave audiences shell-shocked with zombie eyes and frostbitten circulatory systems. Kiss me, baby, I'm dead.
- Marc Savlov