1999 SXSW Music Festival

SATURDAY PICKS

All showcases subject to change

DAMNATIONS TX: With Half Mad Moon (Sire), the Damnations TX are poised to take over the world. The album is an outstanding collection of songs that inject rock & roll lifeblood into folk and country structures, beautified by the vocal harmonies of sisters Deborah Kelly and Amy Boone, and bolstered by Rob Bernard's rock-perfect guitar and banjo work. The live show is even better, and this outdoor appearance will surely be one of the conference highlights. (Waterloo Park, 4:30pm) -- Christopher Hess

SPOON: Some SXSW showcases you never forget. When Austin trio Spoon upstaged Ben Lee (who?) at the Matador party two years ago, Britt Daniel tore through a 40-minute set like he was being chased by wolves. Jagged, unfailingly rhythmic, Daniel's short bursts of pop brilliance just killed, and if you've ever seen Spoon at the Hole in the Wall, you knew this was status quo. Unlike so many "modern rock" bands, Spoon delivers the goods live, and last year's dynamic A Series of Sneaks (Elektra) proved they've got goods to give. (Waterloo Park, 5:30pm) -- Raoul Hernandez



Guided by Voices

GUIDED BY VOICES: It's a sad day in Austin when they tear down the Opera House. Like the Armadillo, the Opera House was sacred musical ground, and you need dig down only a layer or two to uncover one of the venue's last great stands: Guided by Voices, SXSW '96. Considered instrumental to the rise of "lo-fi" home recordings, GBV was anything but some shuffling group of nerds playing music through coke-bottom lenses. They were AC/DC! Power-chord arena rock, dictated by the band's impeccable sense of melody. Outdoors at Waterloo Park? That's a good day in Austin. (Waterloo Park, 7:30pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

JOHNNY DOWD: Looking for something disturbing yet entertaining? Then this Fort Worth-born moving man from Ithaca is for you. His Checkered Past debut, Wrong Side of Memphis, was chock-full of shuddering, soul-tormenting lyrics wrapped in a raw, Fifties film noir sonic blanket. Equally spellbinding live, find out why Dowd popped up on many of last year's "Best Of" lists. (Liberty Lunch, 8pm) -- David Lynch

RIGHT SAID FRED: Surely the world will end when the time between the present day and the era we retro-ize shrinks to nothing. If so, VH1 has hastened the apocalypse with their Where Are They Now segment on this London trio, who brought irony to egotism with their 1992 hit "I'm Too Sexy." (Fat Tuesday, 8pm) -- Kim Mellen

ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION: More a consortium of activists than a band, ADF has been raging against Britain's socio-political machine for six years. Though primarily using dub/reggae in its intended form -- a sounding board for public outcry -- the five Anglo-Indian artists infuse hyper hip-hop- alt-rock to get their message across to a wider audience. (Stubb's, 9pm) -- Leigh-Ann Jackson

JUNIOR VARSITY: Watching Junior Varsity's joyful minimalist-rock celebration of school spirit is almost enough to rectify an unhappy childhood. Only the truly embittered can resist bopping along to songs like "Friday Afternoon Pep Rally." The Houston trio even brought a guy named Bippy in a bear costume to dance at their SXSW showcase last year. (Flamingo Cantina, 9 pm) -- Greg Beets

THE PINETOPS: North Carolina's Raleigh/Durham area has turned into a hotbed for alt.country bands and the Pinetops are near the top of the game. Above Ground and Vertical brims with songs about tragic losers, fallen angels, and down-and-out types. With acoustic ballads and heavy guitars at the ready, the Pinetops call to mind Tom Petty before he got so complacent. (Continental Club, 9pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

RECKLESS KELLY: They're the reigning roots-rock darlings of Austin, but don't let that dissuade you from what will surely be an SRO SXSW showcase. Led by Willy and Cody Braun, RK rode in on the strength of their enormously popular debut, Millican, then snagged Best New Band at last year's Austin Music Awards. They play to packed houses, slinging songs with the abandon of the young guns they are. (Liberty Lunch, 10pm)

-- Margaret Moser

P.W. LONG'S REELFOOT: There had to be a good reason Mac McNeilly gave up his drum stool in the Jesus Lizard, and P.W. Long's Reelfoot is that reason. Powered by McNeilly's unmistakably Bonzo-esque head-down, rhythm-train pounding, P.W. Long's raw deconstruction blues, preserved on two Touch & Go discs, is like an axhandle blow to the gut. Maybe the Charlottesville trio will unearth its cover of "I Am the Walrus," which John Lennon, once he recognized it, would have loved. (La Zona Rosa, 9pm)-- Raoul Hernandez

GODZILLA MOTOR COMPANY: When local pundits talk about unsigned Austin bands worth deals, Godzilla Motor Company invariably ends up toward the front of the conversation. Led by Texas Music Hall of Famer Jason McMaster, GMC is all old-school, no-bullshit metal, all the time -- with riffs, speed, and surprisingly well-written songs to burn. (Atomic Cafe, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

THE HIVES: If you have any sentimentality for unmitigated chaos boiled down to 90 seconds of ear-splitting sweet release, the Hives are your deliverance. This Örebro, Sweden quintet plows through songs like they're channeling Raw Power at 78rpm. If Barely Legal is any indication of their live prowess, they'll make you happy to be alive and frustrated. (Back Room, 10pm) -- Greg Beets

THE KISS OFFS: This local quintet combines catchy call-and-response boy/girl harmonies with sugar-coated pop riffs and an ever-present dash of sinister decadence for good measure. Their brand-new album Goodbye Private Life (Peek-a-Boo) is chock-full of hummable melodies and memorable lyrics. Just be careful of drummer Dwayne Barnes and his arsenal of homemade stage pyrotechnics. (Flamingo Cantina, 10pm) -- Greg Beets

ORBIT: In this disposable decade of one-hit wonders, chances are that Jeff Lowe Robbins will continue Orbiting modern rock radio with hook-laden hits pelting SoundScanners everywhere. (Babe's, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez



Beaver Nelson

BEAVER NELSON: Seven years after his bout with local next-big-thing status and the obligatory major-label chain-jerking that followed, this ultra-compelling singer-songwriter finally released his debut on Austin's Freedom label. The Last Hurrah wound up one of the year's more vital albums, and anyone who's witnessed his Wednesday night Continental residency knows this showcase will be great. (Continental Club, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

BONEPONY: Nashville's Bonepony drags along a fiddle, mandolin, harmonica, organ, washboard, guitars, and about every kind of weird drum you can think of (plus their own six feet stomping on the stage). The end result, besides their Capitol debut, Stomp Revival, is a bouillabase of Southern gospel, rock, and funk as infectious as a dose of dengue fever. (Steamboat, 11pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

NEKO CASE: Tacoma's Neko Case has one of those voices where she has to hold the mike back from her mouth a few inches when she lets fly a cry as powerful and sweet as the classic country queens. Her Bloodshot debut, The Virginian, was easily one of the best alt.country recordings of 1998, a split 7-inch with Whiskeytown being a nice bonus. (Jazz Bon Temps, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

ROBBIE FULKS: The man who penned the Nashville tribute "Fuck This Town," then cut Let's Kill Saturday Night (Geffen) in Music City, Robbie Fulks is the Don Rickles of the Americana movement. If his last outing wasn't as raunchy as his previous efforts for Bloodshot, it's not because the Chicagoan is any less cocky. (Liberty Lunch, 11pm)

-- Raoul Hernandez

DAVE SCHRAMM: Yo La Tengo vet and current Schramms-man Dave Schramm is a singer-songwriter in the Townes Van Zandt vein, mixing simple melodies, spacious fingerpicking, and a sweet and mournful voice. Hammer and Nails, his second release on Blue Rose, is full of frank and affecting songs. (Flipnotics, 11pm) -- Jay Hardwig

SEAGULL SCREAMING KISS HER KISS HER:If the name alone doesn't get you to the showcase, maybe the bunny shadows will. Then again, this Tokyo trio probably doesn't do them anymore, even if '98 is the Year of the Rabbit. They did when Sweet Home came out, but this two-girl trio probably has their hands full cranking out their aggressive attack. Still, a few bunny shadows ... (Electric Lounge, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

GOLDEN ARM TRIO: The avant jazz movement in Austin is not a huge one, but the Golden Arm Trio has brought the music to the delighted attention of a growing local audience. Graham Reynolds plays piano and drums in the trio, which is sometimes one person, sometimes four, usually three (Reynolds and a couple of horn players), and cartoony compositions with ebullient energy that drive every tune. (Elephant Room, 11pm) -- Christopher Hess

DJ JACQUELINE: Is everybody related in Austin's house community, or what? Sister to 626/Soul spinner Chris Specht, Jacqueline long ago broke family rank and went her own way, tabling her unique housey blend across the state with an assist from longtime manager and Austin scenester James Neil. It's lusciously deep house packed in swirls of beaty goodness, ranging from the occasional white label clatter to more established bassheads and knock-down groove stylings. (Twist, Midnight) -- Marc Savlov



Neko Case

BELLATRIX: They're from Iceland, they're four-fifths female, and their debut G recalls the glory daze of those other Icelanders, the Sugarcubes. Bellatrix rock in that strangely Icelandic fashion with soaring, machine-gun vocals and stop-start electronic backings, but they also have their hands firmly in the pop-rock pie. (Bob Popular Main, Midnight) -- Marc Savlov

BEULAH: The new pop movement is not Sugar Free. Headlining the confectionary Chicago indie's label showcase, San Francisco's Beulah are part and parcel of their hometown's spontaneous explosion of sweetmeat 'n' potatoes pop, dripping with honey-glazed harmonies, and, on their upcoming sugar rush of bounce -- When Your Heartstrings Break -- hee-hawing horns. Yummy. Top of the Pops, Ma! (Buffalo Club, Midnight)

-- Raoul Hernandez

BOTTLE ROCKETS: Big Muddy has inspired heavyweights including Mark Twain, Jerome Kern, and the Man in Black, but when the producers of the recent PBS documentary River of Song wanted to capture the soul of Mississippi, they turned to this blue-collar, bare-knuckled Festus, Missouri outfit. (Liberty Lunch, Midnight) -- Christopher Gray

CIBO MATTO: Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori create spastic punk/funk/hip-hop odes to food and feminism. Anticipate old-school b-boy chants and rigorous vertical leaping. Hint: Come prepared with well-cushioned Pumas, Adidas, and the like. (La Zona Rosa, Midnight) -- Leigh-Ann Jackson

FASTBACKS: What's an American band doing smack dab in the middle of Japanese night? Chalk it up to having the aesthetic of Japanese pop abandon. Years before Seattle placed itself on the musical map, the Fastbacks were churning out pop that demands adjectives like infectious and metaphors like helium. (Electric Lounge, Midnight) -- Phil West

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE: After the electronica wars, heavy metal darted from beneath the atomized ashes of music like the heavily-armored cockroach it is. Featuring survivors of the seminal stoner band Kyuss, QTSOA emerged first on Man's Ruin, and then last year on Loosegroove with their eponymous debut -- a '98 "Best of" with its liquid groove and ancient metal riffs. Metal is eternal. (Emo's, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

THE SADIES: Two brothers twanging on Link Wray-style rumbles, spaghetti-western themes, and occasional Delmore Brothers-tinged country, plus a brother occasionally sawing away on fiddle. Think Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, but also think Toronto's Sadies. (Maggie Mae's West, Midnight) -- Jerry Renshaw

CESAR ROSAS:Horale. Cesar Rosas is the man. The only vato to do more for Ray-Bans than Tom Cruise, Rosas has also given this great melting pot country of ours Los Lobos, and now on his first solo album for Rykodisc, Soul Disguise, Rosas dishes up exactly what you'd expect: a growling, backseat, rockin' & rollin' blend of American roots-rock 'n' soul and traditional Mexican "Angelito" music. (Antone's, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez



Cesar Rosas

VIVA MALPACHE!: Thanks to the success of Ozomatli, the music industry is catching a clue that some of those Mexicans in L.A. play music. Better yet, this gente has a built-in demographic. ¡Viva Malpache! aren't hip-hop like ol' Ozomatli, rising up in full Clash revolutionary skank instead, but they are from the U.S. capital for la raza, and their Grita! debut proves L.A. is fertile brown soil for a cash crop waiting to be reaped. (Scholz Garten, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

JIMMIE VAUGHAN: He is the king of Austin guitarists, the one that little brother Stevie looked up to. Last year's Epic release, Out There, was as good as his first in 1993, Strange Pleasure, though Vaughan has always taken issue with being described as an "economical" guitarist. "I play balls-to-the-wall stuff," he protests. He does, too. (Austin Music Hall, Midnight) -- Margaret Moser

HARVEY SID FISHER: How do you create a legend? By throwing a handsome, graying man in a tuxedo, surrounding him with women in silly outfits and public access TV cameras, and having him croon in a nasal voice about the signs of the Zodiac. Well, at least in the case of Harvey Sid Fisher, whose Zodiac Songs video has catapulted him to underground fame, resulting in cameos in big-budget flicks like Lethal Weapon 3 and regular taped appearances on Craig Kilborn's The Daily Show. (Flipnotics, 12:30am)-- Ken Lieck

ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS: Strap on your washboard, grease up that slide whistle, grab that ukulele on your way out the door -- Austin's celebrated 10-piece all-acoustic throwbacks are back with Hot Lunch, the Cold Springs release that finds them playing their usual mix of ragtime, country, blues, vaudeville, and novelty tunes, hammed up and delivered Tin Pan Alley style by some of the flat-out best musicians in town. (Pecan St. Ale House, 1am) -- Jay Hardwig

MAN ... OR ASTROMAN?: Aliens have crashed down in Auburn, Alabama, with the message that true space rock is not that druggy, drifty psychedelia; it's manic surf-or-spy. The coolest concept rock since Devo. (La Zona Rosa, 1am) -- Kim Mellen

SARGE: Elizabeth Elmore has called her postgrrl pop outfit "Team Dresch meets That Dog meets Jawbreaker." Others called last year's The Glass Intact on Mud "a stripped down indie crush party" (Rolling Stone), "hopelessly seductive" (Spin), "a sonic version of X-Ray vision" (Greil Marcus), and "indubitably fresh" (Robert Christgau). (Electric Lounge, 1am) -- Andy Langer

SCHFVILKUS: Derived from the Yiddish word "Shpihlkes," meaning restlessness, hyperactivity, or literally, "pins and needles." Syn: see Medeski, Martin & Wood. The Nasville trio's 1998 debut, Ambidustrious, finds all manner of reeds and horns tingling over the top of a restless rhythm section that pulses like jazz and pops like fusion. (Elephant Room, 1am) -- Raoul Hernandez

SEXTON SEXTET: If, how, or where Will and Charlie Sexton fit into Universal's brave new world is still unclear, but Austin's once and future goldenboys of singer-songwriter rock & roll forge ahead anyway with a work on their much-delayed album. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 1am) -- Andy Langer



Waco Brothers

WACO BROTHERS: Once a year, Jonboy Langford and his gang of louts ride into Austin and shoot it up with a lethal hail of Clash-meets-Cash gunfire. Wacoworld, the posse's relentless gallop through the dust 'n' bones tombstone towns of John Ford's Old West -- their fourth for big boss Bloodshot Records -- carouses like Saturday night at Belle Starr's saloon, until the whiskey goes sour and they start killing people. Call the coffin maker. (Jazz Bon Temps, 1am) -- Raoul Hernandez

THE SCABS: SXSW stress relief won't come any better than the Scabs, the Ugly American's more popular alter-ego. Over the last two years, what started out as an intentionally offensive nine-man lounge act has evolved into Austin's most recklessly funky band. (Antones, 1am) -- Andy Langer

MEAT PUPPETS: Curt Kirkwood has reconstituted the Meat Puppets moniker with Pariah vets Shandon Sahm and Kyle Ellison and bitchin' bass-boy Andrew Duplantis (the artists formerly known as the Royal Neanderthal Orchestra), and starting with a recent SIMS benefit at Emo's, have begun blowing people's hair back all over again -- good timing now that Rykodisc is rolling out deluxe versions of the former trio's SST catalog. (Liberty Lunch, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

SATURDAY SLEEPERS

All showcases subject to change



MARYANN PRICE: Blessed with a stunning voice, Maryann Price made her way to Austin some years back. The onetime vocalist with Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks, the Kinks, and Asleep at the Wheel, Price's gorgeous pipes are equally at home with swing and jazz and country. The Price is right. (Victory Grill, 8pm) -- Margaret Moser

HANK DOGS: When you're Rykodisc/Hannibal head Joe Boyd, and your history includes work with Nick Drake, John Martyn, Sandy Denny, and Richard Thompson, you get excited about mysterious South London folk songs like those wrapped in the beguiling three-part harmonies of the Hank Dogs. (Antone's, 8pm) -- Raoul Hernandez



Hank Dogs

THE IDIOTS/THE JACK SAINTS: Remember Eighties Bay Area hardcore? Meet the Idiots and the Jack Saints, two of San Francisco's modern-day practitioners of the form. Their Man's Ruin split CD finds the Idiots in the three-chord 130mph mode, with vocals reminiscent of a pit bull with a sore throat, while the Jack Saints play more riff-oriented adrenaline punk. A one-two punch mom would hate. (Emo's Jr., 8/9 pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

JAKE ANDREWS: He's been trying to shake the "Little" from his name, and since he's competition to Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang, who can blame him? Naturally, he's not as seasoned as the oldtimers, but his young, fresh love for the time-honored blues is welcome in a world of "Texas Flood" imitators. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 9pm) -- Margaret Moser

AT THE DRIVE-IN: Sounding like Rage Against the Machine at times, this El Paso output sees the value in rapping serious words over heavy guitar riffs and a hunkering, thundering rhythm section. (Electric Pavilion, 9pm) -- David Lynch

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: DCFC is at least one Doc Marten step ahead of your average shoegazing Elliott Smith distillery. This Pacific Northwest combo's debut, Something About Airplanes, peals back layers and layers of texture -- almost Bach-ian complexities and weavings -- along with contemplative cleverness (almost Beck-ian?!) in the lyric department. (Red Eyed Fly, 9pm) -- Kate X Messer

DEMI SEMI QUAVER: A returning SXSW showcaser from the Asian quarter, Tokyo's Demi Semi Quaver seems to take its name from singer Emi Eleonola's dramatically piercing demi semi quaver of a voice, which fluctuates in pitch almost as quick and often as the band somersaults from hard guitar attack to accordion-led cabaret. (Electric Lounge, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

JESUS CHRYSLER SUPERCAR: Luckily, Mesa Arizona's most popular live rock & roll act is almost as good as their name. Latterday Speedwagon, their second indie set, is heavy on hooks, volume and angst, and comes across part Meat Puppets, part Toadies. (Babe's, 9pm) -- Andy Langer

HAPPY APPLE: Happy Apple adds another line to the map of modern directions in jazz. Part of the Solution Problem, the Minneapolis trio's release on No Alternative, is a frenzied marriage of free-form improv and grooves, drums/bass/sax complemented by Rhodes and trumpet. The language is familiar, but they're saying something different. (Elephant Room, 9pm) -- Christopher Hess

HOT HEAD SWING BAND: Dixieland rags soaked in amphetamine lab goodies. Take a snort, and this fast-paced and swinging Minneapolis octet, led by the flapperesque vocals of Dana Thompson and featuring plenty of horns, banjo, ukelele, and piano, starts to resemble Austin's 81*2 Souvenirs. (Caucus Club, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

LINDA MCRAE: After eight years with Celtic rockers Spirit of the West, Vancouver's Linda McRae has gone solo, bringing her strum, drum rhythms, and alto inflections to Flying Jenny. Drawing inspiration from Charlie Louvin and Neil Young, Flying Jenny is contemporary folk with a touch of country, a collection of ballads, blues, and love songs far removed from McRae's Celtic roots. (Maggie Mae's West, 9pm) -- Jay Hardwig

TRAILER BRIDE: The whiny-sexy-cool voice of Trailer Bride frontwoman Melissa Swingle lends an otherworldly charm and creepiness to the songs on Smelling Salts, the Chapel Hill band's 1998 Bloodshot Records debut. Between the cloudy-headed slide of "Wildness" and the meandering two-step of "Porch Song," Swingle and company are hitting a new nerve in insurgent country. (Jazz Bon Temps, 9pm) -- Christopher Hess

LISA RICHARDS: Australian-born Lisa Richards spent seven years in New York's East Village, polishing her glass-clear voice and writing songs, before moving to Austin. Her debut, Not Quite So Low, is often joyful, sometimes haunting, with a built-in tension between the low-end instrumental work and Richards' upper-register vocals. (Flipnotics, 9:30pm) -- Christopher Hess

THE BLACKS: This Chicago-based insurgent country outfit was weaned on psychedelic hard rock, Hank Williams, Tom Waits, and Louis Armstrong. With last year's Bloodshot debut, the Eric Ambel-produced Dolly Horrorshow, the quartet's gaudy, strangely alluring, twang-edged rock & roll -- and with three singers -- bloomed. No wonder they made No Depression's Top 50. (Jazz Bon Temps, 10pm) -- David Lynch



Damon Bramlett

photograph by John Carrico

DAMON BRAMBLETT: Whether or not Watermelon ultimately winds up releasing this local singer-songwriter's much-anticipated debut, chances are this likable performer is more than capable of breathing live life into alt.country's touring market; his tracks on the latest Kelly Willis and Charlie Robison albums steal a little thunder. (Pecan St. Ale House, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN: The best thing New York City's Electric Frankenstein have going for them may be Frank Kozik's cover art to their Listen Up, Baby! (a split CD with Kentucky's the Hookers). But if their unflinching, Supersucker-style garage-punk weren't so damned catchy, they wouldn't be on Kozik's Man's Ruin label in the first place. (Emo's,10pm) -- Christopher Gray

ARTHUR DODGE & THE HORSEFEATHERS: On his two Barber's Itch releases, '97's self-titled debut and last year's Cadillacs, Ponytails and Dirty Dreams, this Lawrence Kansas veteran has merged rock, country, and acoustic balladry into a twisted lost and found for hard luck love. (Continental Club, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

NINA HYNES: She's from Ireland and she's the soundtrack to all the late-night romances you never had. Mazzy Star meets Serge Gainsborough at the Cowboy Junkies' house. Pure, lovely bliss, rife with lost opportunities coiling out of the fuzzy darkness and ingratiating themselves into your equally fuzzy head. (Copper Tank North, 10 pm) -- Marc Savlov

JACK DRAG: After a series of gloriously fuzzy
lo-fi releases, Boston's Jon Dragonetti & Co.
christened their A&M deal with a super-hi-fi debut that conveyed their obvious pop/psychedelic charm. Now that A&M has folded, the indies will likely get one of their all-stars back. A vital live band. (La Zona Rosa, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

MATT THE ELECTRICIAN: Quintessentially Austin, or to be more exact, South Austin, this singer-songwriter is blessed with a great sense of humor and a winning demeanor. At a Cure Hoot night a couple of summers ago, Matt outfunnied everyone else there -- an achievement, considering the competition included Ken Lieck in a bear suit. And in case you're wondering, Matt really is an electrician. (Flipnotics, 10pm) -- Phil West

TESS MCKENNA: From Victoria, Australia comes Tess McKenna, a down-under diva whose smoky songs and stylish lyrics place her firmly on kd lang's torchlit trail. Last year's Take Me to the Place, on Styletone Recordings, is a moody and often murky bit of ethereal grief, combining McKenna's sultry siren with songs of love gone wrong. (Copper Tank North, 10 pm) -- Jay Hardwig

JOSH ROUSE: Josh Rouse proved a great discovery to many an Austinite when he opened up for Son Volt at an Antone's date last fall, and investigation into his 1998 Ryko release Dressed Up Like Nebraska reveals a classic ear for country melodies where effortless hooks abound. (Antone's, 10pm) -- Christopher Hess

SOLAR COASTER: This trio from Winston-Salem is burning, all right. On last year's eponymous effort for Turnbuckle Records, these three lads set the dial on toast and let rip a propulsive barrage of guitars and pop-smart songs. If this sort of a thing is a crime up in the wilds of Massachusetts, then bring on the kerosene and let's all douse ourselves together. (Red Eyed Fly, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

CHERRY 2000: Trading between barbed vocals of the male and female variety, and slipping them just behind a wall of soft-to-swarming guitars, this Boston band is vaguely reminiscent of those who preceded them in the scene, such as the Dirt Merchants. Their latest CD starts with a 30-second sound sculpture titled "Bulldoze the Fraternities," heading straight into a song called "Rodeo Clown." Coolness. (Red Eyed Fly, 11 pm) -- Phil West

THE MATT POWELL BAND: If you throw a rock in any direction in Austin you're going to hit a talented guitar player. Even so, you'd be hard-pressed to find a finer blues-rock guitarist than Matt Powell, who keeps it simple, letting the loose standard trio format (starring top-flight bassist Roberto Sontoya Ramos) leave room for fretboard exploration and group interaction. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 11pm) -- David Lynch

FENCE CUTTERS: A drum kit is a novelty to many a bluegrass purist, but for this Austin-area acoustic collective, it's all part of the plan. Last year, More Blue Than Green indicated, correctly, that this was more than just a bunch of weekend pickers and grinners. Lead vocals are traded three ways, all hitting the high lonesome in his or her own delightful fashion. (Pecan St. Ale House, 11pm) -- Christopher Hess

FUZZBUBBLE: This New York outfit is a straight-up, no-frills rock & roll band with one key distinction: they're the first rock release on Sean Comb's Bad Boy. Next month, they drop their debut, produced by Appetite for Destruction knobturner Mike Clink. Puffy's word alone makes this one worth a look. (Babes, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

HAMMERLOCK: S.F.'s Hammerlock plays slobberin'-drunk double-barreled tube-top white-trash rock. Their Man's Ruin debut, American Asshole, has a lot more in common with David Allan Coe and Nine Pound Hammer than Son Volt or Steve Earle. No simpering, shoegazing indie-rock sensibilities here, just ugly, sweaty, Dixie-tinged punk rock. Imagine if Black Flag grew up in Alabama! (Emo's Jr., 11pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

GLUECIFER: Oslo, Norway's answer to the Supersuckers, Gluecifer stick to the punk rock & roll ethic like red on Satan. Self-proclaimed "Kings of Rock," frontman Captain Poon rasps and rages like Dave Wyndorf, while the fivepiece's new split CD on Man's Ruin (with Sweden's Hellacopters), would gladly sacrifice a virgin for five more songs. (Emo's, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

HIP BY ASSOCIATION: One of the highlights of the new Day in the Life compilation is Hip by Association's striking contribution, a three-minute slice of bubblegum pop called "Bulletproof Skin." The track serves not only as Austin's first taste of ex-Pariah frontman Dave Derrick and guitarist Shawn Sham's new collaboration, but also as evidence that their powerful live sets aren't lost to the studio. (Electric Pavilion, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

SIOBHAN O'BRIEN: The moody Like a Habit EP from Limerick, Ireland's Siobhan O'Brien makes it clear the Emerald Isle isn't running short of female vocalists. O'Brien's learned well from the Sinead O'Connors of her homeland, but she's also got a strong measure of rebel in her, like Noella Hutton. (Copper Tank North, 11pm) -- Margaret Moser

METRO STYLEE: On their eponymous 1997 debut, this up-and-coming NYC septet (tenor sax, trumpet, grooves, bass, vocals, guitar, and alto sax) uses a skeletal ska foundation to explore the outer reaches of loud rock and energetic vocal soul. With digable horn arrangements under urban-spiced Jamaican beats, Metro Stylee mix Bjork and Fugazi to the ska idiom. (Back Room, 11pm) -- David Lynch

VERBENA: These Foo Fighter touring mates parted ways with their bass player last year and have had several replacements since; their fan pages report either Dave Grohl or Juliana Hatfield will fill in here .If neither makes it, there's still reason to be excited; their upcoming Grohl-produced Capitol debut is their best slice of pop/punk noise yet. (La Zona Rosa, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

CHROME ADDICTS: It's a high-energy mix of swing and jump blues for this Sacramento quartet, peppered by rockabilly rhythms and a wailing harmonica. Take 2, their 1996 release, has seen them ride the swing craze wave to international audiences and multiple pressings. (Caucus Club, 11:30pm) -- Christopher Hess

LUCKY STRIKES: Austin's Lucky Strikes transcend the trend-mongerism of the lounge/swing revival in spades. Their 1998 album, Song and Dance, contains 12 original compositions that capture the plush romanticism of the Tin Pan Alley era in a manner authentic enough to make novices think they're hearing old standards. Well-polished crooner Craig Marshall has one of the best voices in town. (Speakeasy, 11:30pm) -- Greg Beets

THE KING: Come hear "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Come as You Are" as channeled through Belfast postal carrier(!!!) James Brown (his real name, honest to Gladys), who kroons kroonier than your average Vegas Presley and travels with a crackerjack, better-than-karaoke combo that arranges these numbers dead-on (sorry!). (Fat Tuesday, Midnight) -- Kate X Messer

DUFF McKAGAN: Although lots of folks are still buzzing about Sundance's Slash/Duff/Matt Sorum mini-Guns 'N' Roses reunion, McKagan's simply here to promote his new solo album for Geffen, Beautiful Disease. And that's all right, because it sounds like a pretty good straightforward rawk album -- with appearances from former bandmates Slash and Izzy Stradlin. Who shows up for the gig is anybody's guess, but isn't that half the fun? (Atomic Cafe, Midnight) -- Andy Langer

HEAD FIRST: It's from the Netherlands and it's electronica, but it sure isn't the brain-clobbering genre known as Gabber. Head First rely more on streaming basslines cloaked in sweaty fields of lush, green, and occasionally spastic keyboards. Vaguely Lords of Acid-ish in their penchant for swirling, deep bass loops. A kick in the aural cavity. (Bob Popular, Midnight) -- Marc Savlov

HUSKING BEE: Taking their cue in name and otherwise from Hüsker Dü, this Tokyo trio delivers blistering power-punk with a hoarse fury that transcends the language barrier. In tandem with Lolita No. 18 at the '97 Japan Nite Showcase, Husking Bee did more brain damage to the audience than the establishment's sweet drinks could ever accomplish. (Red Eyed Fly, Midnight) -- Greg Beets

LAIKA AND THE COSMONAUTS: Growing up in Helsinki, a place with no habitable beaches, kids with aspirations of forming a surf rock band would've no doubt been scoffed at. Not discouraged in the least by their obvious geographic setbacks, these four Finns have charted enough territory with their mile-long discography that they're national heroes. (Hole in the Wall, Midnight)

-- Leigh-Ann Jackson

CHER UK: Mike McCoy's been standing in front of a revolving door of drunkards, misfits, and yahoos for years now, first in Kansas City and now in Austin. He yells while they strum and hit stuff in the style of your early Replacements. To our knowledge, they've never been threatened by legal action by that "other" Cher, but McCoy has threatened that this gig could be the final one for Cher UK. (Babe's, Midnight) -- Ken Lieck

BLACK KALI MA: When Gary Floyd left Austin for San Francisco with the Dicks more than 15 years ago, he took with him much of the fury of the local punk scene and neatly wove it into S.F.'s. In the early Nineties, he surfaced with the critically praised, bluesier Sister Double Happiness, still shaking rock's foundation. With Black Kali Ma, Floyd seems to have drawn in equal parts from the Dicks and SH2, producing a riveting wall-of-noise that levitates from the gut as well as the heart. (Flamingo Cantina, 1am) -- Margaret Moser

GERALD COLLIER: One of the Best Kissers in the World, Gerald Collier just hasn't been the same since he got dumped. That's all he talks about now, carrying around that old guitar. No one paid much attention to last year's cry for help, Gerald Collier (Revolution), but the Seattle singer's delicate tenor and steel player at least brought him to the attention of the alt.country crowd, so there was at least someone to look after this rumpled soul. (Ritz Lounge, 1am) -- Raoul Hernandez

LYNN MILES: This Los Angeles folkie has earned a national following with her beautiful voice and honest and unpredictable songs. Last year's Night in a Strange Town (Philo), is darker than her previous work, and the result is an album that's pensive and plaintive but not without pride. (Iron Cactus, 1am) -- Jay Hardwig

DR. KNOW FEATURING BRANDON CRUZ: TV fanatics will recall Cruz as "Eddie" on The Courtship of Eddie's Father during the early Seventies. Since then, he's maintained a presence in the L.A. punk scene for over two decades. Last year, Cruz released Eddie Is a Punk (Taang!), a compilation of his work with Dr. Know and other bands, featuring a punked-up version of "Best Friend" (the theme from Courtship) recorded with composer Harry Nilsson just weeks before his untimely death. (Babe's, 1am) -- Greg Beets

GRUMPYHEAD: Amsterdam funk-rock with techno overtones, Grumpyhead lives up to their name with punishing beats for bad boys and better grrrlz. With hip-hop toasting layered over an endless sea of snaking basslines and James Brown exultations, Grumpyhead's roots in the burgeoning Eindhove techno scene are clearly apparent. (Bob Popular, 1am) -- Marc Savlov

MONTANA: You won't even have to stand on your head to enjoy this Kinky, Blurry, Fabulously Stained crystal-clear vision from Sydney, Australia. "It's not about the songs, it's not about the music, not about your ego or the way that you abuse it, not about trying to change the world. It's about getting drunk and trying to get a girlfriend." Hey, we're all about that. (Copper Tank Main, 1am) -- Kate X Messer

TEMPTRESS: Mixing good-time glam rock with drag dress, Temptress' dress will remind you more of Bud Light commercials than The Crying Game, but given that their camp attitude is as thick as their mascara, they're not trying to pass as much as they're trying to be a flashy, trashy spectacle. Last year's SXSW set at the Lounge was just that. (Red Eyed Fly, 1am) -- Phil West

TON-UPS: Since Jon Spencer is more interested in having babies and working with hoity-toity remixers like Alec Empire than cranking out greasy shards of lo-fi funk, it's been left to bands like Brooklyn's Ton-Ups to step in and fill the void. Judging by the reverb-strewn kick their Man's Ruin CD Tune Down packs, Spencer might as well have a few more kids, because the Ton-Ups have got him covered. (Emo's Jr.,1am) -- Christopher Gray

LOS SKARNALES: The Bay Area's Aztlan Records and New York's Grita! label aren't the only two indies trafficking in Rock en Espa--ol. Pinche gringo, you forgot about Houston's Pinche Flojo Records, which put out Los Skarnales' Vatos Rudos in '97, a hip-hopping pogo fest of ska-punking raza rock. (Scholz Garten, 1am) -- Raoul Hernandez

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