1999 SXSW Music Festival


All showcases subject to change

TERRY BOZZIO: Dripping with percussive proficiency, Austin resident and former Zappa -- and Missing Persons -- drummer Terry Bozzio

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Monte Warden

has recently released two albums. The first, Chamber Works, shows Bozzio flexing his composition muscle in orchestrated pieces focused on the drumkit, while the second, Drawing the Circle, records Bozzio playing tongue-on-the-floor tom rolls, cymbal splashes, and snare snaps over recorded-live ostinatos. It's anyone's guess what he'll play live, but whatever is sure to blow your socks off. (La Zona Rosa, 8pm)-- David Lynch

TRISH MURPHY: Although this Austin songstress hurled a ton of buzz at last year's SXSW, it took until just last month for her to ink a deal with local indie Doolittle Records. She follows her self-released and critically acclaimed Crooked Mile in June with an as-yet untitled set produced by Jim Ebert (Marvelous 3, Everything). (Waterloo Brewing Co., 8pm)-- Andy Langer

BLINK: Pure electro-pop for wow people. Ireland's Blink recently pulled off a highly praised performance at Guinness Fleadh, and while they're still a far cry from being a household name to Yanks, that should change as soon as sleepy technoheads in the U.S. glom to the fact that this quartet's melodious techno-rock with dreamy vocals may be the next big thing. (Copper Tank Main, 9pm)-- Marc Savlov

ICECREAM HANDS: If these guys were American, they'd probably be crediting the Archies, Brady Bunch, and the Bugaloos with their sweetly twisted creamsicle pop. Since they're from way down Oz-Strail-ya way, they probably fashion themselves as the thinking man's Bay City Rollers. They're certainly cute enough in a shimmyshimmykokopop kinda way and certainly smart enough in an indie rock kinda way, that their brilliant key changes coupled with playful, intelligent lyrics make us think Monkees lounging on the Left Banke. (Copper Tank North, 9pm)-- Kate X Messer

FRIGG A-GO-GO: Hips will be shaking to this bad-ass, sneer-happy take on garage punk circa 1966. Lafayette, La.'s Frigg A-Go-Go can play it fast and ugly Estrus-style, or they can bring in a little bit o'soul and come out swinging like the illegitimate spawn of ? & the Mysterians. Either way, the quintet's efforts pay off in spades for anyone who follows the sacred teachings of the Nuggets box set. (Red Eyed Fly, 9pm)-- Greg Beets

TOM FREUND: It's a mystery how North American Long Weekend, the major-label debut from this New Yorker, Silos alumni, and Ben Harper compatriot wound up as one of last year's criminally under-heard albums. If Freund's SXSW showcase lands him another deal it won't be a mystery why: He's a world-class singer-songwriter with a knack for compelling narratives and jazz-inflected arrangements. (Ritz Lounge, 9pm)-- Andy Langer

SUGAR PLANT: This Japanese quintet offers fuzzy, computer-generated mood pop perfect for those who love all things Hello Kitty. Their latest double-disc release on World Domination, Happy, features the band's typically precious female vocals trilling about puppy love and daydreams. The live performance promises to be a mellow experience that's sweeter than saccharine. (Atomic Cafe, 9pm)-- Leigh-Ann Jackson

MONTE WARDEN: As both a Wagoneer and solo artist, Monte Warden has been Nashville's perennial next big thing.

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Rick Trevino

That said, Warden has never seemed more poised for country stardom than now; his Asylum debut of divorce-inspired tunes just hit stores and has radio written all over it. Best of all, the release of Stranger to Me means Warden's getting a chance to return to the stage where his songs and good boy charm seem to shine best. (Broken Spoke, 9pm)-- Andy Langer

LATINO RENDEZVOUS: Put together by the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy, SXSW's annual Tejano showcase is always one of the premier events of the music conference. Javier Galvan y Fama kick it off this year with an international sound that emphasizes romantic ballads. Extremely handsome, Galvan is a crooner with a lot of stage savvy. It's a surprise to see the little guy with the big hat and slick voice in this lineup, but it'll be interesting just to see what Rick Trevi--o will do on this Latino night. Whether it's country, Tejano, or just pickin' and grinnin', this Los Super Seven member will no doubt make it worth the trip to the Music Hall. L.A.'s Los Fugitivos put the squeeze on norte--o, and while they're popular both here and on the West coast, it's not often they make it our way. For more norte--o and international, don't miss the rare chance to see Los Mismos from Mexico City perform. This hot and popular band is big down south. Find out why. A band for more than 25 years, La Tropa F can still do a heavy accordionaso that rocks the house down. Considering themselves conjunto musicians at heart, they've received numerous nominations and awards from the Tejano Music Awards held annually in San Antonio. (Austin Music Hall, 9pm-1am)-- Mary Jane Garza

IAN MOORE: If one of Austin's golden boy guitarists pulling a midnight move to Seattle weren't news enough, last year also saw Moore switch labels, from Capricorn to Walter Yetnikoff's BMG-distributed Velvel. The switch follows Moore's ambitiously experimental self-release Ian Moore's Got the Green Grass, followed this year by a Velvel release with the same co-producer, Mark Addison of the Borrowers. For a guy in the midst of so much change, this showcase ought to be a good preview of what's to come. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 10pm)-- Andy Langer

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Fantastic Plastic Machines

THE FRIGGS: This Camden, N.J.-bred cadre of sneering young ladies brought the house down at SXSW '98 with their well-versed take on Sixties-influenced trash pop. Dispensing take-no-prisoner sentiments like "I Thought You Said You Were Going to Kill Yourself," the quartet picks up where Holly & the Italians left off by combining the hooks of the Standells and the tough-girl va-va-voom of Ronnie Spector. (Emo's Jr., 10pm)-- Greg Beets

TERRI HENDRIX: This hard-working Central Texan's two self-released albums have sold more than most locals' major-label debuts, and her new Live at Cibolo Creek Country Club captures Terri Hendrix at her most comfortable-- onstage and alongside Lloyd Maines. There aren't many singer-songwriters around here with songs this well-crafted and even fewer with anything close to Hendrix's onstage flair. (Hole in the Wall, 10pm)-- Andy Langer

THE HI-FIVES: Combining East Bay punk rock energy with Sixties Brit-pop hooks and melodies, Northern California's Hi-Fives know how to put a smile on your face. Last year's Get Down (Lookout!) was packed with nugget after nugget of pop-punk goodness. Their tricks are all time-tested and mother-approved, but the quartet executes its mission with a tightly wound precision that could make NASA blush. (Emo's, 10pm)-- Greg Beets

CHARLIE ROBISON: Although he's gotten more press for his engagement to a Dixie Chick than for hitting the Billboard country charts with his major-label debut, Life of the Party, both are impressive accomplishments. The elder Robison earned the latter bragging right the old-fashioned way-- with great songwriting, like the anthemic "Barlight." He spent last year honing a live show full of energy and first-class musicianship that never fails to convey the album's dark wit and high body count. (Broken Spoke, 10pm)-- Andy Langer

DANNY BARNES: As lead singer and banjer-playin' fool behind many a great Bad Livers album, Danny Barnes enjoys a strong local following a good two years after he packed up and hauled off to the far-flung shores of Port Hadlock, Wash. A solo Flips gig should give ample space for both his fingered flights of fancy and his songwriters' smarts. Look for his solo debut, Danny Barnes and His Oft Mended Rainment, on the picker's own label soon. (Flipnotics, 10pm)-- Jay Hardwig

photo of Charlie Robinson
Charlie Robison

ST 37: This venerable Austin band has been delivering mind-altering space-punk for more than a decade. Last year's Spaceage found ST 37 covering songs by Can, Hawkwind, and Chrome, which gives you a pretty good idea of where the band is coming from. While other bands purvey a quieter brand of space exploration, ST 37 still adheres to a belief in the hidden beauty of unrestrained cacophony. (Flamingo Cantina, 10pm)-- Greg Beets

PAMELA HART: In a town with its fair share of talented jazz vocalists, Austin's Pam Hart has positioned herself toward the top of the heap. Her CD debut of last year, May I Come In?, was a smooth mix of acoustic ballads and studio polished electric arrangements that incorporates R&B and pop into the mix. Whatever the genre, her voice is captivating, and her band is always top rank. (Elephant Room, 10:15pm)-- Christopher Hess

THE BACKSLIDERS: A January "What's Hot, What's Not" list told me that alt.country was "not." Don't tell Raleigh, N.C.'s Backsliders; the quintet's sound melds a myriad of roots influences together on their Mammoth debut, Throwing Rocks at the Moon. Calling to mind Buck Owens, Steve Earle, the Bottle Rockets, and Merle Haggard, among others, the Backsliders are hard-core honky-tonk. (Liberty Lunch, 11pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

BRUCE ROBISON: Bruce Robison has become one of Austin's most consistent recording artists, turning out exceptionally smart and well-written country on both his 1995 self-release and '97's Wrapped, re-released last year to rave reviews and CMT interest by Sony's Lucky Dog imprint. Later this summer, Robison releases his new one for Lucky Dog, tentatively titled Long Way Home From Anywhere. (Broken Spoke, 11pm)-- Andy Langer

STEPHEN BRUTON: Last year's South Austin Musician of the Year, Stephen Bruton has recently stepped from the sidelights to release his debut on New West, Nothing but the Truth. A mix of slinky grooves, talking blues, and wah-wah funk, it gives Bruton ample space to do his own dirty thang. (Jazz Bon Temps, 11pm)-- Jay Hardwig

MIKE NESS: Lead singer and guitarist for legendary punk band Social Distortion, Mike Ness' first solo album, Cheating at Solitaire, finds the

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Jesus Alemany of ¡Cubanismo!

king of Orange County turning up the twang for a great bunch of songs. He's been there, he's done that, he's lived through it, and there could be no better venue than the Continental Club for this show. (Continental Club, 11pm)

-- Christopher Hess

LEON RUSSELL: Leon Russell's successes may be on a sliding scale, but his talent as a musician, composer, and arranger are almost without peer. Based in Nashville, Russell is in a bluesier frame of mind these days, and coming from a man who's written some of the loveliest ballads ("Superstar," "This Masquerade") in rock history, that's not a bad thing. Neither is his showcase guest Willie Nelson. (Stubb's, 11pm)-- Margaret Moser

HOUNDOG: Houndog is David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Mike Halby (Canned Heat), a low-groaning blues duo intent on channeling the Mississippi Delta from their home in L.A. On their self-titled Columbia Legacy debut, Houndog goes primeval, digging deep enough into blues roots to get damn near six feet under. Think R.L. Burnside on downers. (Antone's, 11pm)-- Jay Hardwig

THE SMUGGLERS: In their native Vancouver, this quintet has become an institution over the last decade, never wavering from their formula: a raw garage sound, an infectious sense of humor, and a boatload of energy. (Emo's, 11pm)-- Phil West

ROLLERS REDEFINED: Austin's queens of the jungle, this trio of local junglista homegirlz have spent the last two years bringing the flammable, bass-heavy thunderbeats of the U.K. jungle scene to Central Texas. If jungle still hasn't caught on in the U.S. as it has elsewhere, you wouldn't know it to watch a set from these three: The halls are packed, the vibe is somewhere south of sexy, and the dancers are sheened in club-slick sweatbaths, ecstatically unaware of anything but da beat, da breaks, and da bomb. (Twist, 11pm)-- Marc Savlov

TA MÈRE: They say the key to a good live show is to play music that makes ladies dance. If so, then Ta Mère are very successful. Linchpin of Austin's Latin music scene, the local sixpiece describe what they play as world music, but that's a bit of a misnomer as they only cover a small portion of the globe. What they do cover-- swing, Latin, gypsy, merengue, rumba, salsa-- they cover very, very well. (Saengerrunde Hall, 11pm)-- David Lynch

MICHAEL FRACASSO: Austin's Michael Fracasso bolstered his reputation as a unique and talented singer-songwriter with '98's World in a Drop of Water, his light, emotive voice carrying more force than a shout. Produced by Charlie Sexton, World offers the wisdom of experience, and a wealth of memorable melodies. (Flipnotics, 11pm)

-- Christopher Hess

RICHARD BUCKNER: Is Richard Buckner the best singer-songwriter going? Both of Buckner's MCA releases, Devotion & Doubt and Since-- as well as his Dejadisc debut, Bloomed-- reveal a dark visionary with the voice of dissolution itself. This is what Townes Van Zandt was doing all those years before someone-- everyone-- noticed and said, "This is the best singer-songwriter going." (Caucus Club, Midnight)

-- Raoul Hernandez

BR5-49: Austin's Damnations TX are to Chicago's Freakwater as our Derailers are to Nashville's BR5-49, who play Johnny Horton-inspired neo-traditionalist country. Forget that Brian Setzer guy, this is honest rockabilly worthy of those swing lessons. (Stubb's, Midnight)-- Kim Mellen

HENHOUSE: Save the jokes, the girls have heard 'em all and they still play like madwomen at a barndance. What would you expect from a flock that includes Rosie Flores, Cindy Cashdollar, Sarah Brown, Lisa Pankratz, and Marcia Ball? If that roster doesn't ring any bells, let their scrappy sound seduce you into their crazy quilt mix of country and blues. Bonus: They're also backing rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson. Eggcellent! (Soho Lounge, Midnight)

-- Margaret Moser

MIKE McGRAIN & PLUNGE: Brass and New Orleans. What more needs to be said except that trombonist Mike McGrain's '97 debut on Rounder jazz imprint Accurate, Falling With Grace, plunged with tuba, sousaphone, and alphahorn, and soared with pure Crescent City spirit. "Brass avant-groove," he calls it, and at the Victory Grill it should go over like Fat Tuesday. (Victory Grill, Midnight)

-- Raoul Hernandez

¡CUBANISMO!: When Havana's ¡Cubanismo! played La Zona Rosa in August, they lit the house on fire, playing vintage Cuban son-style jazz to a packed and passionate crowd. A horn-heavy 15-piece ensemble, ¡Cubanismo! boasts a lineup of musical heavyweights, infested with rhythm and fronted by the astounding Jesus Alemany on trumpet. Their latest on Rykodisc, Reencarnacion, plays hot, fast, and fine, as ¡Cubanismo! surely will here. (Saengerrunde Hall, Midnight)

-- Jay Hardwig

MC OVERLORD: Admittedly, Austin's urban music scene lacks the cachet of its blues and country genres, but don't tell that to fans of MC Overlord, who have voted him Best Soul/Hip-Hop act in Austin for three years running, or Billboard, which named him one of Austin's Top Five Best Unsigned Bands. With a new CD in hand, House of Funk, he'll be debuting a new set at this showcase. (Steamboat, Midnight)-- Margaret Moser

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Doug Sahm

FREESTYLERS: Voted the best live band by Melody Maker, it's hard to imagine how much better things could get than on the Freestylers debut, We Rock Hard, which combines elements of hip-hop, Detroit techno, and gobs of old-skool beats. This might very well be the showcase to catch if you're interested in music that will do for your sense of fun what hair extensions did for George Clinton. (Liberty Lunch, 1am)-- Marc Savlov

PETE KREBS & THE GOSSAMER WINGS: Pete Krebs' solo album of last year, Western Electric, added accomplished folk artist to the Portlander's résumé of rock and bluegrass with former projects Hazel and Golden Delicious. Now he's teamed with former Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd in the Gossamer Wings, which has just released its debut on Portland indie Cavity Search, whose showcase is always a conference highlight. (Ritz Lounge, Midnight)-- Christopher Hess

THE DONNAS: Class, put down those N'Sync foldouts. I'd like you to meet four new student teachers who just transferred from Palo Alto. That's right, Jeremy, it's in California. They'll be teaching you about punk rock today. No, I don't think they know the Backstreet Boys, Rochelle. They have studied with the Hi-Fives and Groovie Ghoulies, though. To earn their Lookout! diploma, they'll be instructing you in the finer points of L7, the Runaways, and Ramones. Tyler, you play guitar. If you ever stop staring at that picture of Heidi Klum taped to your math book, you might learn something. (Emo's, Midnight)-- Christopher Gray

OLD 97's: Dallas' Old 97's have been a great pop band for some time now, and they're putting out the album to prove it: Fight Songs (due April 27). Instantly likable and generally depressing, its obvious radio-readiness could be the crossover bullet that finally strikes No Depression dead. (La Zona Rosa, Midnight)-- Andy Langer

SIXTEEN DELUXE: Things just keep getting better for Sixteen Deluxe. After releasing the criminally under-heard Emits Showers of Sparks on Warner Bros. last year, the Austin quartet sunk their severance pay into a studio facility where they've been churning out a new batch of songs, all the while maintaining their reputation as an adventurous, heroic, and explosive live act. (Electric Lounge, Midnight) -- Christopher Gray

ELIAS HASLANGER: Perhaps the leading torch carrier for the next generation of Austin jazz stars, saxophone player Elias Haslanger has already built himself quite a résumé. His most recent release, Kicks Are for Kids on local indie Hart Music, introduced hip-hop flavor to his straight-ahead jazz with some exciting results. (Elephant Room, 12:45pm)-- Christopher Hess

FANTASTIC PLASTIC MACHINE: Toyko DJ/ producer/remixer/Magazine editor Tomoyuki Tanaka apparently left enough vinyl for scenemates Pizzicato Five and Cornelius, but you can hear all those years' worth of hording on his two releases for L.A. indie Emperor Norton. Spinning Brazilian bossa nova, French pop, and American Moog, Tanaka's loungecore is hardcore head music. (Bob Popular East, 1am)-- Raoul Hernandez

LORD DOUGLAS PHILLIPS: Equal parts traveling medicine show, good-book-thumpin' revival, and lesbian recruiting campaign, the drums-bass-guitar psychedelic gospel rock triumvirate of Lord Douglas Phillips features local lady legends Terri Lord (Sincola), Darcee Douglas (Girls in the Nose), and Gretchen Phillips (Two Nice Girls). (Emo's Jr., 1am)-- Kate X Messer

BLUE MEANIES: Over their 10-year lifespan, Chicago's Blue Meanies have evolved from groovy, hard-rockin' funk-ska band into what could only be called an avant-punk metal-ska trip. Their timing is impeccably tight, their lyrics genuinely disturbing, and the operatic "Pave the World," from last year's Full Throttle LP, never fails to bring the house down. (Red Eyed Fly, 1am)-- Christopher Hess

PANSY DIVISION: Best known as America's leading gay punk band, Pansy Division's strength lies in their ability to sing about relationships in an unflinchingly astute manner. Last year's Lookout! release, Absurd Pop Song Romance, examined the inevitable letdown of fantasies coming true and the pitfalls of shacking up with friends without wallowing in the sap of pop culture's conventional take on love. They're also a great live band with a killer sense of humor. (Emo's, 1am)-- Greg Beets

RICHMOND FONTAINE:Miles From, Richmond Fontaine's 1997 Cavity Search release, dug this Portland band out of the shadow of Uncle Tupelo. They play their guitars hard and sing songs from the gut, lamenting blue collars, booze, and broken hearts. (Ritz Lounge, 1am)-- Christopher Hess

PRESCOTT CURLYWOLF: Another year, another SXSW for one of Austin's perpetually underrated rock & roll bands. Last year's Freedom Records release, Funanimal World, was chock full o' songs that should embarrass the Mercury brass that cut 'em loose a few years ago. Although they play less now that guitarist Rob Bernard is also in Damnations TX, they're nearly unbeatable when they do. (Electric Lounge, 1am)-- Andy Langer

WANDA JACKSON: With a career like hers, all you need to hear are the titles of Wanda Jackson's rockabilly hits from the Fifties ("Let's Have Party," "Fujiyama Mama," and "Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad!") to know the Oklahoma native is the real deal. Not bad for a dame whom the Grand Ole Opry wouldn't let onstage 'til she covered her bare shoulders. (Soho Lounge, 1am)-- Margaret Moser

SHAVER: A hero in Texas songwriting circles, Billy Joe Shaver's Victory ('98, New West) was a tour de force of country gospel that was personal, painful, and heartfelt. Simple, spare, acoustic-- with son Eddy on guitar and dobro-- expect father-son Shaver to deliver a shot of redemption along with Billy Joe's trademark five-and-dimer prose. (Jazz Bon Temps, 1am)-- Jay Hardwig

DOUG SAHM: If the Lone Star State had such a designation, Doug Sahm would be known as The State Musician of Texas. It doesn't, but after five decades of making some of the most influential and progressive music in the history of rock & roll, Sahm still makes magic when he plays. Stubb's is the perfect venue for Sahm's barbecue panache, and when he's in hometown mode like this, a night under the stars with his music can be unforgettable. (Stubb's, 1am)-- Margaret Moser


All showcases subject to change

All showcases subject to change

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Los Mocosos

MARTI BROM: Raucous rockabilly gal and one of the Queens of the Continental Club, St. Lou native Marti Brom has been honey-bop-a-re-boppin' around town for quite some time now. Her latest release on Squarebird, 1998's Mean! finds her bitter, blue, and brave in front of a smart combo of Austin's own Jet Tone Boys. (Continental Club, 8pm)-- Jay Hardwig

THE CAUSEY WAY: Gainesville, Fla.'s Causey Way is not a cult, and all they ask is that you ignore them. It'll be difficult, though, as this dada version of Devo promises Y2K survival, feminine hygiene, and popularity amongst your peers with proselytizing pamphlets and Moog-y science punk. Look away! Look away! Don't let them get in your head, man! (Emo's Jr, 8pm)-- Kim Mellen

MOTORPSYCHO: The arms of the Sony corporation reach far and wide, and in this case that's Norway, where Grammy nominees for "Best Rock Act," Motorpsycho, travel on the banner at the bottom of their newsletter: "Space is the Place." (Emo's, 8pm)-- Raoul Hernandez

THE DOLOMITES: It's good to know that the Pogues' irreverent slash-n-burn pop had such a positive effect on this Portland, Ore. band. Their EP, Pass the Buckfast,was three parts Pogues to one part Guinness. Talk about getting' jiggy. (Scholz Garten, 8pm)-- Margaret Moser

NIÑOS CON BOMBAS:Rock en Espa--ol from Hamburg, Germany? Who knew? Apparently la raza at New York indie Grita! Records. Ni--os Con Bombas, according to last year's El Ni--o, resembles its Mexican, Argentinian, and Colombian hermanos in its über melting pot approach to North American rock & roll: equal servings of attitude, beats, funk, metal, and rap. Wonder what "Blitzkrieg Bop" sounds like in Spanish? (Saengerrunde Hall, 8pm)

-- Raoul Hernandez

BIRDDOG: The buzz on Birddog has been swelling since his 1997 release on Sugarfree, The Trackhouse, the Valley, the Liquor Store Drive-Thru, a pretty but creepy bunch of acoustic songs. Drums and harmonica fills out his tunes, but it's the Kentucky native's dark perspective setting the tone. (Buffalo Club, 9pm)

-- Christopher Hess

THE DELUSIONS: Embellished with cellos and organs that make it sound like aliens are on the way, this Seattle band features a spacious, lush sound with plenty of harmonies and the kind of hooks that probe you just after the song ends. (La Zona Rosa, 9pm)-- Phil West

STEPHEN DOSTER: At recent shows from the Inmates, this local veteran's side-project with Jon Dee Graham and Charlie Sexton, Stephen Doster's show-stealing contributions prove again and again that he's one of Austin's most underrated songwriting talents. Better yet, the delicate melodicism and Beatles-influenced fun of last year's Rosebud is just now beginning to come alive onstage. (Jazz Bon Temps, 9pm)

-- Andy Langer

Ni--os con Bombas

On 1998's Welcome to Being Here, multi-instrumentalist Alfred Flores and some of his San Antonio friends cook up Latin melodies merged with jazz rhythms, as in Chick Corea's "Armando's Rhumba," Duke's "Caravan," and the Flores-penned, Methenyesque "Spirits." Complex and rewarding instrumental jazz in the same neighborhood as Lara & Reyes and Strunz & Farah. (Victory Grill, 9pm)-- David Lynch

FL. OZ.: This Murfeesburo, Tenn. quartet thrives on quirky classic pop supplemented by rollicking ragtime and amusing lyrical non sequiturs. The wealth of storylines explored on their album, In the New Old Fashioned Way (Spongebath), filter the complex webs woven by Difford and Tilbrook through the skewed perspective of They Might Be Giants. (Electric Pavilion, 9pm)-- Greg Beets

FONDA: Described as a cross between Nancy Sinatra and Stereolab, Fonda's packed Spaceland gigs and radio attention from KROQ legend Rodney Bingenheimer have made them the most popular Brit-pop band to hail from Los Angeles. Last year's EP, Music for Beginners, made nice use of subtle melodies and vintage organs, but their forthcoming release is reportedly heavier and more guitar-oriented. (Electric Lounge, 9pm)-- Andy Langer

LOS MOCOSOS: This San Francisco all-star collective, which includes former members of Primus, Prince, and Spearhead, may be this festival's biggest Latin buzz band. Their debut, Locos Mocos, grooves on a foundation of Latin ska, hip-hop, and serious swing. Word has it their live party's even funkier, so if you slept on Ozomatli's showcase last year, don't make the same mistake twice. (Saengerrunde Hall, 9pm)

-- Andy Langer

TWISTIN' TARANTULAS: This Detroit trio cranks out blue-collar swing-a-billy such as a Motor City version of the Stray Cats' "Let's Go" on their '96 debut, Attack of the Twistin' Tarantulas. Or how about a Lemmy-on-upright-bass take on Mötorhead's "Ace of Spades?" Raw. Rockabilly. Punk. (Continental Club, 9pm)-- David Lynch

ORANGE KANDY: At a recent performance of Japan's KODO drummers, two troupers dueted at the foot of the stage on hand drums. Poetry. But what were they saying? Toyko's Orange Kandy at least has "Linda" to belt out its hard rock, but the band's alterna-crunch is such a familiar pastiche of American rock & roll, Linda's vocals sound like you can almost get what she's saying.The quartet's Lick This (1998) will leave you looking for an interpreter. (Atomic Cafe, 10pm)-- Raoul Hernandez

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RUMBULLION:If you prefer your vinyl moving at 78rpm, then this acoustic guitar/stand-up bass/ chromatic button accordion combo is your musical Eurail ticket to old-world lounge sans irony. Guided by the ghost of Gus Viseur, this Austin trio trips through Western Europe with original and traditional tangos, fandangos, waltzes, and airs. (Victory Grill, 10pm)-- Kim Mellen

SHANES: While their playlist is eclectic, this six-piece from Trier, Germany lets their true feelings show with a succinct subtitle on their 4U: 1993-1998 release: "The Only Thing That Kicks My Ass Is Polka." Celebrating five years of "hard polka," the Shanes do their ass kickin' in four languages, but those partial to the Queen Mother's English needn't fret: Most of the vox are in the mother tongue. (Scholz Garten, 10pm)-- Jay Hardwig

TAL BACHMAN: For yet another twentysomething guitar-oriented singer-songwriter, Tal Bachman's Columbia debut is surprisingly well-crafted. Production from Bob Rock (Metallica) couldn't have hurt, nor could good lineage; he's Randy "BTO" Bachman's son. Since radio's already all over his anthemic first single, "She's So High," this could be a good chance for a pre-album first look. (Pecan St. Ale House, 11pm)-- Andy Langer

MOOSENOSE JAZZ TRIO: Under normal circumstances, the Moosenose Jazz Trio put on wildly improvised shows, most songs running at breakneck tempos for supernaturally extended periods of time. More Keith Jarrett than MMW, the frenetic and inspired constructions of pianist Misha Stefanuk, drummer Jeff Wade, and bassist Joel Edwards are unpredictable fluid. (Elephant Room, 11:30pm)-- Christopher Hess

EXPANSION UNION: New to TVT/Wax Trax!, this techno duo scored big when their breakaway big-beatesque "Playing With Lightning" found a home in the Wesley Snipes film Blade. James Bernard and George Rodriguez are hardly the second coming of Norman Cook, though. Their more obvious antecedents are Jack Dangers and Meat Beat Manifesto. Funky cold beats mixed with 303 basslines. (Bob Popular, 11pm)-- Marc Savlov

BOXCARS: The Austin duo of Chris Gage and Christine Albert teamed up for 1997's Jumpin' Tracks, and caused quite a local stir with their straightforward approach to country singin' and songwritin'. Swinging numbers and sweet and tender ballads are testament to the collaborative power of the two, while rousing covers like Eddie Jones' "I Got Over It" show off their ability to rock out. (Hole in the Wall, 11pm)-- Christopher Hess

44 LONG: Imagine being the Bottle Rockets' little brother. Rather than getting beat up, all the kids would fear you, because your big brother was the shit-kickinest alt.country brawler this side of the Georgia Satellites. Portland's 44 Long aren't quite as Skynyrd, incorporating more pop and even some glam rock, but the foursome's guitars do more than kick a little sand in your face. (Ritz Lounge, 11pm)-- Raoul Hernandez

MECTAPUS: These Ithaca moodmen describe their sound as a "haphazard and curious intersection of musical styles and genres." If pressed, they could loosely be termed jazz, with whiffs of country, R&B, and ambient pop; their debut is a collection of low-impact instrumental grooves, wherein Mectapus grab onto a motif and stretch it out like taffy. (Victory Grill, 11pm)-- Jay Hardwig

BRILLIANT TREES: From Dublin comes this stunner of a sleeper band. Wake Up & Dream ('98, Plush Vibe) urges just that. The infectious Finn/ Gibb Bro harmonies, chimey six-string rhythms, and surging tension/resolve ratio would fit comfortably on any player loaded with New Zealand's the Clean, Chills, Bats, or Verlaines. Not exactly the "Now" Sound, but tomorrow's gotta sound like something. (Copper Tank Main, 11pm)-- Kate X Messer

THE BILLYGOATS: Nashville's able-bodied foursome kick vintage country-pop sensibilities and rockabilly energy into a mix that steers clear of convenient "alt.country" categories. Their self-released CD evinces polish and panache, but also a raw nerviness that keeps them outside the bounds of what passes for "mainstream country" these days. (Speakeasy, 11:30pm)-- Jerry Renshaw

photo of hellworms


ARLING & CAMERON: Emperor Norton's ecstatic electro-poppers Gerry Arling and Richard Cameron are Top 40 hits in their hometown of Amsterdam, making enough collaborative efforts to make Missy Elliott look lazy; their single "We Love Europe" was featured on Japanese airline's flights. With All In, their sights are set on the U.S. (Bob Popular East, Midnight)

-- Leigh-Ann Jackson

SKULPEY: One of the SXSW Cinderella stories is that of Veruca Salt, a girl group with boy guitars waiting for their major-label prince. Call Skulpey the anti-Veruca Salt; the guitars are a bit outside Modern Rock, but singer/guitarist Heather Mount has a girl voice all the boys want. Recordings by the New York based trio are ambiguously commercial, but try the glass slipper, anyway. It might fit. (Emo's Jr., Midnight)-- Raoul Hernandez

HAZE: Mary Parplin has the kind of voice that coils around a phrase like a python, squeezing the air out and rendering it somehow all for the better. Breathy and ragged, that voice is at the heart of Haze's vaguely metallic core. Think Susanna Hoffs after a week inside a small closet with Korn's Johnathan Davis and Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit. (Maggie Mae's East, Midnight)-- Marc Savlov

GRAND MAL: After two heralded indie albums, this New York-based "mutant pop" outfit (featuring ex-Austinite Bryan Bowden) has made the jump to Slash for Maledictions, their long-delayed but just-released set of no-frills, semi-brooding glam rock. The group's reputation for unpredictable T-Rex-style live sets makes this showcase a worthy gamble. (Electric Pavilion, Midnight)-- Andy Langer

HELLWORMS: Victims Family survivor Ralph Spight is one of those skinny little guys whose Les Paul output seems to be in direct inverse proportion to his size; he's the Eddie Van Halen of Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles stable (check the drilling licks on "Mercedes to Hades" from their '98 debut Crowd Repellent). With stickman Joaqin Spengemann and bassist Larry Boothroyd, also in Victims Family, as well as Saturn's Flea Collar-- another Spightfull AT band -- the Hellworms are a nasty little trio with a big, mean sound. (Flamingo Cantina, Midnight)-- Raoul Hernandez

BARBARA K: Once known as the distaff half of Timbuk 3, Barbara K's willowy presence is as striking as ever. That her music is just as enigmatic and intriguing means she's a always pleasure to hear live. She still maintains Austin as her home, meaning its quirks find their way into her music, but that's Barbara K all the way. (Hole in the Wall, Midnight)-- Margaret Moser

PAUL K: Louisville's Paul Kopasz has slowly developed a cult following with his finely woven punk-hewn folksongs. Whether he's playing with the Weathermen or as a solo act (as he is here), Paul K. has a gift for conveying potentially divisive morality plays without resorting to ham-fisted tactics. He also gives a lashing guitar workout. (Flipnotics, Midnight)-- Greg Beets

MICHAL TOWBER: The hype's already beginning to pile high for this Israeli-born New Yorker's Columbia debut, the Dave Pirner-produced Michal. As well it should; she has a genuinely distinct voice, a diverse set of modern rock textures, and a real knack for autobiographical songwriting. Not bad for a teenager. (Waterloo Brewing Co., Midnight)-- Andy Langer

JOHN SOUTHWORTH: Although this London-to-Toronto transplant's album for Bar-None, Mars, Pennsylvania, plays like a lesson on the history of popular music in the 20th century, it was ignored upon its American release last year. You can spot everyone from Cole Porter to Burt Bacharach to David Bowie in these grooves. While the influence-spotting is fun, Southworth ultimately pulls the disparate elements together to create his own unique collage. (Flipnotics, 12:30am)-- Greg Beets

MR. FABULOUS & CASINO ROYALE: Mr. Fabulous is doing what he was meant to: Mother Fabulous ran a bar in L.A., and Father Fabulous would tip a lounge singer 100 bucks just for singing "Time In a Bottle." Mr. Fabulous naturally sings as if he were Las Vegas-born, but he's all Austin, along with his brassy Casino Royale and the Fabulettes. Watch, one day he will headline Vegas. (Speakeasy, 12:45am)-- Margaret Moser

SOULHAT: Earlier this year, Austin's Soulhat put out its first post-Epic release, a six-song EP that serves as their first recording without founding guitarist Bill Cassis and their last with original bassist Brian Walsh. Despite the lineup changes, Soulhat is arguably just as vital and quirky as ever, thanks in large part to frontman Kevin McKinney's wickedly offbeat lyricism and legendary drummer Barry "Frosty" Smith's still-unyielding sense of groove. (Steamboat, 1am) -- Andy Langer

SCRAPPY JUD NEWCOMB: Jud Newcomb is a sideman with so many local Austin acts like Toni Price and the Resentments, it's amazing he finds time to perform solo. When he does, he attracts Austin's best singer-songwriters, who find his guitar playing as smooth and lean as he is long and tall. (Pecan St. Ale House, 1am)

-- Margaret Moser

DJ REVEREND CATHY RUSSELL: Formerly part of Austin's Rollers Redefined junglista crew, Russell broke away after it was rumored that her take-no-prisoners style of suckerpunch jungle was leaving body parts all over the dance floor. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but she's one of the hardest working hard-cores in Central Texas, playing fierce, ruling jungle with an attitude that'll make even the most cashed of homeslices reevaluate their flight plans. (Twist, 1am)

-- Marc Savlov

SKATENIGS: What little industrial scene ever existed in Austin did so largely because of the Skatenigs, led by Phil Owen, whose credentials include a stint with Ministry on the seminal Beers, Steers and Queers. When the Skatenigs split, the scene fractured and all but died. Presently label-free, their catalog includes a vicious 1993 Megaforce CD, Stupid People Shouldn't Breed. (Back Room, 1am)-- Margaret Moser

TRACK STAR: This experimental San Francisco pop outfit's 1998 debut, Communication Breaks, was diverse and unpredictable but had no shortage of dynamics or melody. After a solid SXSW outing last year, they return this year with a set of what they promise will be all new and unrecorded songs. (Atomic Cafe, 1am)-- Andy Langer

THE TIGERLILLIES: The instantly recognizable pop punk of Cincinnati's Tigerlillies is as infectious as the Clash and as singable as Cheap Trick. 1997's Space Age Love Songs was all over the place, reminiscent of the Buzzcocks, and landed them tour spots with Guided by Voices and Joan Jett. (Maggie Mae's East, 1am)-- Christopher Hess

CANE 141: Gaining pan-European attention must be a feat when you're isolated from the rest of your island, which itself is isolated from the rest of the continent. With Scene From 6am, however, Galway, Ireland's Cane 141 is doing just that. The quartet slaps Celtic cousins Belle & Sebastian with piano noise and otherworldly sonic experimentation. (Copper Tank Main, 1am)-- Kim Mellen

LONELYLAND: Lonelyland's Saxon Pub showcases have revealed Ugly Americans/Scabs frontman Bob Schneider as one of Austin's most promising singer-songwriters. With Uglies/Scabs bassist Bruce Hughes and keyboardist Dave Boyle also on board, Lonelyland focuses more on AAA-style tunes of genuine wit, emotion, and narrative structure than grooves-to-dance-by or the stage show. An album is due later this year, but who puts it out might depend on who catches this SXSW gig and recognizes it's Schneider's best project to date. (Antone's, 1am)

-- Andy Langer

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