No Law & Order

Photo of Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck

Thanks to the addition of Wednesday night South by Southwest showcases two years ago, the Austin Music Awards aftershow choices are no longer limited to the Iguanas' annual festival-eve set at the Continental Club. In 1997, for instance, Tito & Tarantula laid waste to Steamboat as Jimmie Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton's headlining Awards set was catching fire. Last year, Tommy Tutone was making nostalgia with a capital "N" at Bob Popular after Austin's annual Prom. With showcases heavily weighted toward the locals, Wednesday nights are a good opportunity to support some of the best talent in Austin, from the ultra-wry country witticisms of Charlie Burton, to the chaotic pop brilliance of Daniel Johnston, Ed Hall-sized stomp of Pong, exotic desert rhythms of 1001 Nights Orchestra, and the always affecting songcraft of Ana Egge (see "SXSW Record Reviews"). A goodly portion of out-of-town talent helps whet appetites for the ensuing long weekend of SXSW madness as well, with the punk meltdown of Caustic Resin, slowcore sway of Lullaby for the Working Class, and chamber grace of Tin Hat Trio among the many reasons to make this official first night of SXSW your first foray into serious club-hopping. One final reason: Jeff Beck at La Zona Rosa, 10pm. Maybe this Wednesday night you can tape Law & Order. --Raoul Hernandez



1001 NIGHTS ORCHESTRA: Founded over a decade ago by Kamran Hooshmand, Austin's 1001 Nights Orchestra performs folk, classical, and original music of Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Sephardic, and Afghan origin. After listening to their release Salaam on local indie Chocolate, you'll know why they're the perfect band to open a showcase titled
"Texas, It's Like a Whole 'Nother Country."
(Jazz Bon Temps Room, 9pm) -- David Lynch

KNIFE IN THE WATER: This nascent local quintet resurrects the glory days of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra over a cauldron of melodic post-rock. Their self-released debut Plays One Sound and Others conjures cinematic visions wrought in lyrics you can actually hear, backed by spooky Hammond organ and pedal steel that could make a grown man cry. (Copper Tank, 9pm) -- Kim Mellen

Photo of Knife in the Water
Knife in the Water

ENDURO: Enduro's keening keyboards, caterwauling guitars, heavy-equipment percussion, and the brilliant ruckus they create when combined aren't the only reasons to check out this youthful trio; these local boys can also shake a tailfeather if the mood strikes them right. Last year's Half Rack of Sugar was coated with just the right amount of crushed-velvet, strobe-lit sleaze to make it the perfect mood music for making a move on that hot second cousin at the family reunion. (Electric Lounge Pavilion, 10pm) -- Christopher Gray

STRATOTANKER: Good Lord, it's 1978! Stratotanker's The Miracle of Flight (1998, on Anisette) is an admirably screwy CD loaded with Television-Voidoid-Pere Ubian goodness: string-scrapey, agit guitar coping with the head-hammering clatter of many-tiered rhythms, and vocals right out of the Don Van Vliet bin of Loony Tunes, Inc. Ahhhh, yes. If you missed the Slits, Gang of Four, and Devo the first time around, let this second (third? fourth?) wave soak in a bit, okay? (Copper Tank North, 10pm) -- Kate X Messer

CAUSTIC RESIN: On 1998's The Medicine Is All Gone (Alias), Caustic Resin constructs many-layered echo-pedal rock that's as much Pink Floyd as it is Treepeople. Live, this Boise, Idaho quartet jacks up the swirling psychedelia for even more stoned-out cerebrum bashing, sending out menacing waves of sound that crash and keep crashing against Brett Netson's dire vocals until the energy subsides and drifts back into space. (Emo's Main Room, 11pm)
-- Christopher Hess

WAMMO: For the last year and half, Wammo has been in and out of Brian Beattie's studio working on what's tentatively titled either Faster Than the Speed of Suck or Monkey Semen, Monkey Doodoo, the follow-up to '96's Fat Headed Stranger. Who will release the album is still anybody's guess, but the local punk/poet/Spanker promises his "Wammojam" will be an "absolute download of mind-numbing soundflood" and nothing like his debut. (Electric Lounge, 11pm)
-- Andy Langer

RUBINCHIK'S ORKESTYR:When a bunch of likeminded local musicians, under the guidance of Mark Rubin, bassist for the seminal Austin bluegrass band Bad Livers, got together in the name of klezmer and found a forum at Flipnotics Coffeespace, Austin found itself blessed with Rubinchik's Orkestyr. With tuba, clarinet, accordion, fiddle, guitar, and the occasional vocal on a Russian or Bosnian ballad, as on their 1998 release Flipnotics Freilachs, Rubinchik's Orkestyr waltz their way through spirited and true takes on Jewish and Eastern European folk musics. (Jazz Bon Temps Room, 11pm) -- Christopher Hess

LULLABY FOR THE WORKING CLASS: The 10 or so members of this Lincoln, Nebraska folkestra reach out to fellow Northerners like Palace and Rex, but their unique Americana could only have sprung from souls stuck in Midwestern isolation. Their tranquilizing, sit-down, acoustic live sets guarantee decompression for the underpaid and disaffected.
(Liberty Lunch, 11pm) -- Kim Mellen

CHARLIE BURTON: This sardonic songster and retired Rolling Stone country music critic writes some of the sharpest songs in old Austin-town, lacing his floorwalkin' country and R&B fare with a wry and literate wit. Hot off the presses is his "one-CD box set," One Man's Trash, a 23-tune compilation on Bulldog Records that spans Burton's career, from 1977 to the present. (Broken Spoke, 11pm) -- Jay Hardwig

TOM HOUSE: "I am a white man," sings Nashville's Tom House on the title track of his Checkered Past debut, This White Man's Burden. "I am not threatened, I am not frightened, I am not sweating this new world coming. Just down the road, this white man's burden is not my load." Maybe not, but House is a white man -- just listen to that reedy voice of his. He sounds like a hillbilly. Soul comes in all colors. (Hole in the Wall, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

Photo of Deathray

DEATHRAY: Already a big festival buzz, Deathray is Sacramento-based guitarist Greg Brown and bassist Victor Damiani's first post-Cake project and Capricorn's biggest 1999 priority. For once, the hype seems worth believing: Their self-released single, "My Lunatic Friends/Now That I Am Blind," is full of energetic Moogs, power chords, and melodies that are both strikingly original and instantly unforgettable. Their Capricorn debut is due this summer. Get your first and perhaps most intimate look now. (Steamboat, Midnight) -- Andy Langer

LOS PINKYS: Anchored by the twin squeezebox sounds of old-timer Isidro Samilpa and not-so-old-timer Bradley Jaye Williams, Los Pinkys rule the roost as Austin's most prominent conjunto outfit, blending waltz and polka rhythms with the lilting melodies of Tex-Mex tradition. After two releases for Rounder, the Pinkys have put out Los Sanderos on their own, playing the straight conjunto of their live sets: strong, sweet, and built for dancing. (Jazz Bon Temps Room, Midnight) -- Jay Hardwig

MOUNT PILOT: This Chicago quartet got its start in 1994 as an acoustic duo, and released their first album as a full band on Austin indie Doolittle Records in 1997. Help Wanted, Love Needed, Caretaker is full of country-bluegrass that swings, though folk and rock make up a good part of the mix. This distinctly American blend of forms is clean and tight on the album, but onstage the energy bumps up the rock part a good notch and a half. (Liberty Lunch, Midnight) -- Christopher Hess

PONG: Austin, Austin, rejoice! Ed Hall is back. Remember Ed? The finest singer-songwriter on the Trance Syndicate roster? You know, author of Gloryhole, Motherscratcher, and LaLa Land. The big lumbering dude with the club foot and hunched back. You know, one of the best acts in Austin? Well, now he's back, with his buds Gary, Larry, and Lyman. And another guy. Oh happy day! We've been waiting for this since Larry moved back from Thailand. Now the gang's all here. Ed? We missed ya. Bad. (Electric Pavilion, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

DANIEL JOHNSTON: It's quite a comeback this disturbed songwriter has made in the last two years. After a series of long stays in mental institutions and a seemingly unremovable set of mental blocks, Johnston, who Rolling Stone once called one of the best songwriters in the world, is not only back writing, he's also performing his uniquely heart-rending and honest songs of love, loneliness, and obsession. Expect a few emotionally tearing solo numbers and additional works from his new Tim/Kerr album. (Electric Lounge, Midnight) -- Ken Lieck

GULF COAST PLAYBOYS: Following Los Pinkys' showcase, Bradley Jaye Williams sets down his three-row accordion and straps on his one-row for another round of roots music, moving a coupla hundred miles east to plant hisself knee-deep in the bayou for a bit of Cajun nonesuch. It's not all Williams, either; this Austin seven-piece simmers, smokes, and smolders as one. But don't take our word for it: Check out the self-released Gulf Coast Playboys Live, recorded at Club 21 in Euland, TX. Et Tois? (Jazz Bon Temps Room, 1am) -- Jay Hardwig

KILLER BEES: More than just a killer reggae band, Austin's Killer Bees also kicks out the funk, world, and dance tunes. The Bees can just as readily sting you with their punchy riddems as soothe you with their smooth-as-honey Latin melodies. Fifteen years together has given the band a handful of albums, such as their Massive release, Love Songs for Amerika, and a road-tested, audience-approved live show. (Flamingo Cantina, 1am) -- David Lynch

SELF: Every SXSW that Self showcases they seem to come away with one of the better day-after buzzes. After all, they can't help but stand out; they're certainly the only band in Murfreesboro, Tenn. with the balls to merge bubblegum pop and old-school hip-hop. Fresh off best-of-album contributions to the For the Masses Depeche Mode tribute and the Dead Man on Campus soundtrack, Self enters this year's festival in support of their third Spongebath/Dreamworks set, Breakfast With Girls. (Soho Lounge, 1am) -- Andy Langer

WANNABES: Having mopped up the bars of Austin for over a decade with their Rutlesesque pop and Ted Nugent guitars -- while also enduring several Hunter Darby moving-away scares -- it's only fitting that the Wannabes were around long enough to open for Cheap Trick on a recent three-night stand at La Zona Rosa. Preparing locals for Cheap Trick's full-LP run through Heaven Tonight, the 'bes provided some heavenly muscled pop of their own, just like they do for Austinites when Cheap Trick isn't playing the Hole in the Wall or Electric Lounge. (Electric Lounge, 1am) -- Raoul Hernandez



REBECCA CANNON: True to her name, the Austin-based ex-vocalist for the late, great Sincola explodes onstage like a fireball, going from scream to whisper even while shifting into fifth gear. Her last band, Scarlitt, plied some of Sincola's theatrics, but Cannon cheerfully admits the conceit of naming this band after herself. If her showcase were a billboard, it would read "watch this face." (Soho Lounge, 9pm) -- Margaret Moser

COAL: Alterna-country is such a misnomer. Most of what falls under that record store divider card leans heavily toward either, A) the not-really-that-country, hippie hee-haw of Gram Parsons, or B) the rootsy pure nonsense of, say, classic cutup Minnie Pearl. Vancouver's Coal hits the vein more befitting the name. Ever hear the Cowboy Junkies? Emmylou Harris' latest forays? Or how about that other great white norther, Neil Young? (Iron Cactus, 9pm) -- Kate X Messer

Photo of Eden a.k.a.
Eden a.k.a.

EDEN A.K.A.: Although we rarely look to Australia for California-influenced acoustic pop, Eden a.k.a. delivers with Karen Eden's knack for balancing tight melodies and sweet harmonies, which makes her one of her country's smartest singer-songwriter exports. Better yet, Eden a.k.a are Lilith alumni, meaning they're no strangers to reproducing their album's lush landscapes live. (Steamboat, 9pm) -- Andy Langer

PEENBEETS: The best-dressed Chronicle music critic Greg Beets and his band make gay girls go straight and straight girls go straighter with their pop culture-drenched teeniebopper punk. The only band in Austin with a theme song, commercial breaks, trivia moment, and squeal-worthy stage presence. Let the bra-flinging begin. (Emo's Jr., 9pm) -- Kim Mellen

HALFWATT: This Austin trio masks a schoolgirl crush on pop-song melody with an equally intense fascination for steely sound FX and a wry attitude, but like Yo La Tengo or the late, lamented Lush, they can't conceal those candy-coated choruses. Another thing they've got going for them (besides always having a place to play, as drummer Mike Henry runs the Electric Lounge) is the bristling "Necroplex," surely one of the liveliest songs ever written about a city of the dead. (Electric Lounge, 9pm) -- Christopher Gray

JIM ROLL:'s faithful propagandists have been singing the praises of Ann Arbor's Jim Roll for some time now and didn't hesitate to call last year's Ready to Hang one of the genre's landmarks albums. As good as the album was, the real reason to get excited is Roll's new demo, recorded last month in Austin with producer Walter Salas-Humara and guitarists Jon Dee Graham and Gurf Morlix. Salas-Humara and other Silos will back him for this sure-to-be-interesting showcase. (Liberty Lunch, 9pm) -- Andy Langer

VIPER HORSE: Wouldn't you know it would be former Adult (huh-huh) Paul Ahern, now half of Viper Horse, to spend his whole set at the recent ELO Hoot Night, um, entertaining (?) the crowd with selections from the Xanadu soundtrack (yikes)? Landing somewhere between Doo Rag and Do What?!?, Viper Horse sports a nifty cover of Johnny Cash's "Big River" as well as all the razor-tipped zaniness fans have come to expect from Mr. Ahern. The clean-underwear rule is definitely in effect. (Emo's Main Room, 9pm) -- Christopher Gray

ZULU AS KONO: A throwback to Austin's post-punk freakout bands of the Eighties as well as Trance Syndicate fare from earlier this decade, Zulu as Kono unleashes a terrifying, torrential downpour of electrical storm guitars accompanied by a thunderous rhythm attack, all called down by bellowing-from-the-mount vocals. Having just released a small pressing of their eponymous debut, Zulu as Kono is the only sign of nature's fury in an otherwise benign Central Texas winter. (Electric Pavilion, 9pm) --Raoul Hernandez

DOE NUTS: Some members of this band draw their paychecks from Austin's Number One British-style pub -- the Dog & Duck -- but when they're off the clock and onstage, it's USA all the way, baby: an East Village sneer, Motor City muscle, and a decidedly Texan appreciation of Sir George Jones. There's more than a little Vegas vamping in frontwomen Doe Montoya and Julie Lowery's interplay, while the band (Robbie Arazia, Hunter Darby, Steve McCarthy) conjure thoughts of Prince jamming with Boss Hogg -- that's the NYC horror-blues band, not the short fat guy from Dukes of Hazzard. (Soho Lounge, 10pm)
-- Christopher Gray

DANCEHALL BOYS: Since their birth in 1994, this Austin five-piece has been loyally marching in the brass-happy footsteps of the Bacas and the Pateks, two of Texas' most celebrated Texas-Czech bands. It's not just polka, mind you, but waltz, Western swing, and whatnot, played with an ear for the crisp and regal tones of Czech tradition. A CD of the same, An Evening in Dubina, is available in limited release. (Jazz Bon Temps Room, 10pm) -- Jay Hardwig

DRIPPIN' HONEY: Who'd a thought a bunch of Dutch guys could play such down-and-dirty grubby-gutbucket drinkin'-cheap-wine-under-a-bridge woman-done-left-me dog-done-died blues? Amsterdam's Drippin' Honey does just that, with heavy guitars, grimy production, and soulful vocals from somewhere down in the swampy nether regions of the Netherlands. Their CD Drip Drip owes more to Jon Spencer than to Eric Clapton. (Maggie Mae's West, 10pm) -- Christopher Gray

JAMES HAND: A veteran of several hangovers' worth of north Texas honky-tonks, Tokio's James Hand hauled his heartbreakin' tenor to town for the first time last November. Four months and four gigs later, the 46-year-old former bullrider and truck driver has Austin's country crowd talking, and those words are nothing but good. Recently signed to local indie Cold Spring Records, Hand's fresh out of the studio with some of Austin's finest -- Dave Biller and Ethan Shaw; look for his label debut in June.
(Broken Spoke, 10pm) -- Jay Hardwig

THE SHINDIGS: One-two-three-four! From the cover of Sick Teen magazine to your very own garage, Austin's Shindigs do it faster, louder, and harder than pert near everyone else. Brandishing a brand-new CD, their first, Melissa Bryan and posse shred things up big time while meditating on such topics as visiting UK pop stars ("Gaz"), true love ("Walk With Me," "Breathe"), not-so-true love ("Too Good to Last"), and mixology ("Whiskey on My Mind"). Brassier than Britney Spears, Bryan can always hit you one more time. (Electric Lounge, 10pm) --Christopher Gray

ONEIDA: The slightly schizophrenic nature of Brooklyn's Oneida ends up a positive attribute on their 1997 Turnbuckle records release, A Place Called El Shaddai's. They mix their post-punk rock with occasional electronic effects, violin, and saxophone for an intelligent and understated stab at rough-edged originality. (Atomic Cafe, 10pm) -- Christopher Hess

HOTWHEELS JR.: Plying aesthetic, freewheeling guitar noise à la Dino Jr., the Grifters, or the Fall, this low-key local quartet has stealthily morphed into one of Austin's most consistently satisfying live acts over the past few years. This month's release of the pulse-quickening Head Driver, with its head-scratching lyrics and skull-bashing riffs, is the long-overdue recorded statement from a band that knows what it wants and isn't afraid to turn up to 11 to get it. (Hole in the Wall, 10pm) -- Christopher Gray

Photo of the Reggae Cowboys

Reggae Cowboys

REGGAE COWBOYS: Riding the rasta range down out of Toronto, the Reggae Cowboys mix Sergio Leone imagery with Jimmy Cliff grooves; Buffalo Soldiers traipse around Tombstone all throughout their 1996 album Tell the Truth, which tacks on a visit to the Hotel California at the end (maybe that's what Don Henley needs: dreads.) Saddle up, mon. (Flamingo Cantina, 10pm)
-- Christopher Hess

TRAVOLTAS: Firm-jawed, beefcake dreamy beach-boy muscle pop from the Netherlands, ja! Produced by none other than Marky Ramone, that means only one thing: Rock & Roll will never die, doggone it!!! Thank Joey-Johnny-DeeDee that these foreign guys don't bother taking up their own culture. (Emo's Main Room, 10pm) -- Kate X Messer

BROWN WHÖRNET: One of the hardest bands in Austin to classify, the weird cacophonous explosion of sounds emanating from Brown Whörnet has accompanied Daniel Johnston, Wesley Willis, and Nosferatu (as part of the Alamo Drafthouse's popular series of pairing local bands with silent film classics). What about avant-garde? No, too staid. Post-punk? Nah, too limiting. Not of this world? That's the one. (Electric Pavilion, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

COURTNEY AUDAIN & FUZE: Bearing the joyous message of unification, Austin's popular world beat musician blends a sophisticated mix of R&B, rap, and pop, and spreads it like a deliciously sweet glaze over a solid reggae beat. Last year saw the release of Audain's first solo album, FUZE, to critical acclaim, and his recent stage shows with his band of the same name always lure the faithful as well as those who just want to dance, mon. (Flamingo Cantina, 11pm)
-- Margaret Moser

JACKPOT: Jackpot or Grandpa Boy? Two guys with acoustic guitars recording on a two-track in their Sacramento living rooms, or an old Twin Tone legend on his four-track? Hard to say. Either way, while most Paul Westerberg fans probably expect next to nothing from his latest for a new major label, his fans expect even less from buddies Rusty Miller and Dave Teixeira, who are dead ringers for the former Replacements singer on their eponymous CD. Dead ringers. (Buffalo Club, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

DREAMING IN ENGLISH: Last year's release from Dreaming in English is a riff-rife attempt to revive grunge and give it a shot of soul. This Nashville quartet gives a solid and reverent nod to Lenny Kravitz, keeping the subjects light ("Girl I Love You ... But") and the guitars heavy. (Steamboat, 11pm) --Christopher Hess

SEAMAN'S QUARTET: If you're expecting a round of sea shanties, you may be sorely disappointed. Still, Austin veteran Larry Seaman is quite capable of blowing 'em all down with his lyrically potent pop-rock, harkening to his roots in the local punk scene and his love for the cadence of words. It's not hard to find louder, wilder bands, but it is tough to find one with such lovingly crafted material. (Iron Cactus, 11pm) -- Margaret Moser

Photo of Ted Roddy's Tearjoint Troubadors

Ted Roddy's Tearjoint Troubadors

TED RODDY'S TEARJOINT TROUBADORS: In a town full to bursting with country acts aspiring to be the real deal, this ensemble headed up by renaissance man Ted Roddy has consistently proven to be the realest of all. Every Monday night at Ego's, Roddy's rich Conway Twitty baritone blends with the celestial harmonies of the Sparkling Teardrops (honky-tonk angels Teri Joyce and Karen Poston, each of whom also fronts her own band), and top-flight pickers to produce a soulful brand of C&W that's reason No. 437 why us locals consider Austin to be heaven on earth. (Broken Spoke, Midnight) -- Christopher Gray

GIFTHORSE: Don't let the presence of Berry Oakley Jr. on bass fool you. This ain't Southern rock. Well, except maybe for the fact that Bret Levick, lead singer for this Southern California quartet (L.A.), sounds a little like Florida's Tom Petty. Actually, Levick's songs sound a little like those of Art Alexakis -- minus the big rock builds, but with all the sardonicism. (Copper Tank North, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

CINDERLEAF: Last SXSW, San Antonio's Cinderleaf played the conference in advance of What If I Can't Shine, a self-released set that wound up one of the year's smartest Texas-bred power-pop albums. After plenty of hometown airplay on the influential KISS 99.5 FM and a rousing NXNW set, Cinderleaf returns to SXSW with a healthier buzz, here once again to support yet another upcoming full-length effort. (Soho Lounge, Midnight) -- Andy Langer

LITTLE JACK MELODY & HIS YOUNG TURKS: Get out your smoking jacket and lay your ears on velvet for the droll romance and melodic melancholy of this Denton quintet, a neo-cabaret act whose setlist runs from "99 Luftballoons" to Beethoven's Ninth to a host of strange originals. Little Jack's latest on Carpe Diem, My Charmed Life, runs from the suave to the swanky to the sublime in the finest Young Turk tradition. Lounge music? Maybe, but twice as good and three times as inventive as most of what's out there. (Speakeasy, Midnight) -- Jay Hardwig

SHALLOW NORTH DAKOTA: Ever seen a CD as heavy as a manhole cover? Shallow North Dakota's Sonic Unyon release, This Apparatus Must Be Earthed, is laden with cement-mixer rock, as ugly and atonal as boiler-factory racket and as gravity-challenged as a gunny sack full of shotputs. Hope the fire extinguishers are on hand for their overloaded, overdriven amps. Frankenstein himself couldn't have played it better. Some help, please, lifting this CD again. (Atomic Cafe, Midnight) -- Jerry Renshaw

ZOEBLISS: Their CD, 13april, is dedicated to Féla Kuti, which should tell you all you need to know about the band's politics, and equally disarming, their music: left-of-center, hippified trip-hop with a dash of modern folk thrown in for good measure. Vocalist Brenley MacEachern has a voice like strawberry teardrops, in that you'd like to console her and devour her all at the same time. A rousing success at NXNE '98 (yes, they're Canadian. Is that a problem?), the band appears intent on taking SXSW by storm as well, which shouldn't be hard considering how delicious they are. (Iron Cactus, Midnight) -- Marc Savlov

BLU: Over the last year or so, Austin musicians have been busy tipping each other off about Blu, a young local with songs and arrangements so sharp he has veterans wondering how he got this good, this fast. Part of the appeal is his all-star band, featuring drummers JJ Johnson or Chris Searles, ex-Soulhat guitarist Bill Cassis, and Michael Ramos. While Blu's stunning, self-released debut, Tierra, does invite Counting Crows/Van Morrison comparisons, there's plenty of live evidence that he's well on his way to something far more unique and compelling. (Iron Cactus, 1am) -- Andy Langer

Photo of Blu


THE BROODERS: Formed just a few months ago, this band has its roots in old-school Austin pop bands, merging those sensibilities with tinges of country twang and sobering outlooks -- outlooks perhaps best absorbed with the aid of a drink or two. (Hole in the Wall, 1am) -- Phil West

PLUM: Austin is hardly known as a hotbed for hook-laden classic pop songs, but Plum remains steadfast in their exploration of this resilient genre. The trio's third album, Trespassing (Carpe Diem), pays respects to British psych-pop without getting too wrapped up in the hippy-dipdom of the era. Well-crafted tunes like "Hello Love" and "Six Seventeen" would fit snugly alongside Crowded House, Jellyfish, and the Posies. (Steamboat, 1am) -- Greg Beets

TRICKY WOO: It seems even the Cramps aren't making good Cramps records anymore, but their spirit lives on in bands like Montreal's Tricky Woo. This no-frills quartet is all about garage grit and trailer-park attitude; their Sonic Unyon CD The Enemy Is Real will undoubtedly satisfy anyone jonesing for a Jesus Christ Superfly or Sons of Hercules-type fix. And, according to their press kit, they've been known to lick one another onstage. What more could you want? (Atomic Cafe, 1am) -- Chris Gray

OLD PIKE: Last SXSW, this young Bloomington, Indiana act used the conference to formally sign to 550 Epic, a label that obviously appreciated that Old Pike had already released two albums and toured with Ben Folds Five before taking the major-label plunge. The resulting debut, Ten Thousand Nights, features some fairly distinctive Midwestern grassroots style rock and plenty of radio-ready singles -- although like every other Midwestern, grassroots rock act, live play is apparently their strong point. That alone ought be good enough to generate them a buzz at a conference they've already used well once. (Liberty Lunch, 1am) -- Andy Langer

THE CORNELL HURD BAND: Californian-turned-Texan Cornell Hurd may be sorry he ever coined the term "Left-wing swing" to describe his own wry, wisecracking Western style, but here in the press, we're eager to up the ante: Subversive country. Call it what you like, the music of Hurd's band is as pure a two-stepping experience as you can hope for in the sawdust glory of South Austin's venerable Broken Spoke. (Broken Spoke, 1am) -- Margaret Moser

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