SXSW Music Festival

Picks & Sleepers

Patti Smith
Patti Smith

Thursday Picks

THE DERAILERS: Bakersfield by way of Austin. The Derailers' new CD, Full Western Dress, finds the band venturing further into Beatles-esque Sixties pop influences along with their familiar hats-off to Buck Owens. It's country music with an edge, combining influences, and running it all through a Texas filter. (Waterloo Park, 5:30pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

RAY PRICE & FRIENDS: Pop music had Sinatra. Rhythm & Blues has Bobby "Blue" Bland. Country (and Texas) has Ray Price. Sure, plenty of young country singers are smooooove, but precious few have soul like Ray has. If anything, Price's voice and delivery have gotten better with age. With guest stars like real-deal Hank Williams III, don't miss a chance to see an honest-to-God country legend, with genre-defining hits like "For The Good Times," "Release Me," and "Night Life." (Waterloo Park, 6:30pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

SONGWRITERS IN THE ROUND: Jim Lauderdale is one of Nashville's most successful songwriters. Kim Richey has become known for her sassy style onstage and as a songwriter. Best known his songs found on Eagles and Linda Ronstadt albums, J. D. Souther has had his songs covered by the likes of George Strait, Dixie Chicks, and Brian Wilson. Ryan Adams is best known as the leader/singer-songwriter of Whiskeytown. And finally, Nashville-based songwriter, Terry Radigan has recently signed to Vanguard Records. Put them all together and watch the songs fly. (Soho Lounge, 8pm-10pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

HIP HOP MECCA PRESENTS: Bust out the verbal armor. Even platinum plate mail won't shield you from this outdoor lyrical assault, as Tex MCs take their game to some of the industry's sharpest tongues. Flying the Lone Star flag are Austin fixture NOOK, neighbors T-Roc and Ballistix, Houston's Ukalipthis (featuring DJ Disabled), and P.E.A.C.E., jumping the fence from L.A.'s Freestyle Fellowship to represent his native Cowtown. Hieroglyphics poo-bah Del tha Funkee Homosapien headlines the visitors' card: Bay Area Quannum alumni Blackalicious (and maybe Latyrx) put up some thick competition, along with Oak-town's Bukueone and the Southland's Erule. This'll be better than San Jacinto. Fans of the wheels of steel will want to be inside, where the ones and twos will be plentiful at the all-night DJ exhibition featuring Houston's Cee-plus and the Mathmatic DJs, Dallas' Cosmic Crew, Austin's Unfadeable Young Guns and Underdog Turntablists, Phoenix's DJ ZTrip, and New York cutups the X-ecutioners. Think you can handle it? (Velvet/Velvet Patio, 8pm-all night) -- Christopher Gray

WANDA JACKSON: Wanda hardly needs an introduction, especially after she rocked the house at the Continental last fall for her own birthday party. Wanda was one of the first to prove that rockabilly kittens could belt it out and rock just as hard as the cats; with a discography as long as your arm, she'll take you back to 1958 in the blink of an eye. (Continental Club, 8pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

ST 37: If being in a band only meant they had something to talk about with the members of Hawkwind, Austin's ST 37 would be a contented combo. With influences from Can to Wire to Helios Creed to Roky Erickson, ST 37 have many albums on many labels, including their verbose latest, I Like to Talk, If There's Something to Talk About on Emperor Jones (Atomic Cafe, 8pm) -- Ken Lieck

KITTY GORDON: After their self-released Seven earned Kitty Gordon a big buzz for last SXSW's ASCAP showcase, it's been a relatively quiet but not unproductive year for ex-Borrowers Mark Addison and Nina Singh's local pop project. With one album in the can and a follow-up already nearing completion, as well as a live show that's finally jelled, if either album has songs as radio-ready as Seven, this will be their last SXSW as an unsigned contender. (Babe's, 9pm) -- Andy Langer

LUCKY BISHOPS: Go ahead and try shaking a stick at any one of the keychanges/chord shifts/four-part vocal quirks of this Dorset, UK combo. You won't be able to keep up. Cramming the unlikely bedfellows of mad pop and prog rock into one bug-ridden bunk, these Bishops might find their lucky run-in at this year's Rubric Records showcase. (Atomic Cafe, 9pm) -- Kate X Messer

BLU: Blu Sanders has become Austin's young songwriter's songwriter. Teirra, his 1998 debut, featured a batch of compelling and dramatic songs in the Counting Crows/Van Morrison vein and his new material is equally encouraging. He recently held his own in a Too Many Guitars song swap with Jon Dee Graham, Stephen Bruton, and Fastball's Miles Zuniga. (Speakeasy, 9pm) -- Andy Langer

Ray Price
Ray Price (Photo By John Carrico)

BLUE NOISE BAND: Enigmatic in musical character, this local avant-jazz quartet riffs on everyone from Tito Puente to John Zorn. Their 1999 debut, Multi-Purpose (Aerosol), firmly established the Blue Noise Band as a force in the burgeoning arena of eclectic Austin artists who have cobbled together a fan base from disenfranchised scenesters of every stripe. (Elephant Room, 9pm) -- Greg Beets

JENNYANYKIND: The southern revival rock & roll of Jennyanykind has been bumped up a notch since the addition of a Fender Rhodes player, and their new Yep Roc release I Need You shows that this Chapel Hill quartet continues to reap the benefits of their fleshed-out sound while still revolving around the songwriting and guitar-picking talents of leader Michael Holland. (Opal Divine, 9pm) -- Christopher Hess

NARAS URBAN SHOWCASE: Thanks to a lil' album called Sittin Fat Down South, spacious, sultry Houston became the hip-hop Sin-derella of '99. New Orleans and Atlanta might still get the baller's share of Down South ink, but if you like your beats & rhymes bottled up into a refreshing brew of funk, trunk, and crunk, Hustle Town is it. Even the Texas NARAS chapter is down with these Lone Star riders, or else they wouldn't be underwriting this big-tyme Bayou City blowout. Dope House Records' South Park Mexican, whose Third Wish is currently blowing up major, headlines with compadres Grimm, Low G, and Rasheed; Sittin' Fat vets Yungstar and the Botany Boyz each have a bloc to push their recent efforts; plus Lil' Flex, Lil' Flip & H$E, Powda & Choc-Stilli with RP Cola, and Galveston's Lifestyl. Even the thought of a new NFL team isn't half as exciting as these hustlas. (Back Room, 9:30pm-2am) -- Christopher Gray

RONNY COX: A prime candidate for SXSW left-fielder of the year, presently Ronny Cox is more famous for his work in films like Robocop, Total Recall, and the Beverly Hills Cop trilogy than his song stylings. But anyone who saw him match that towheaded hillbilly banjo picker lick for lick in Deliverance might be curious to find out what he and his Martin have been up to since. (Pecan St. Ale House, 9:30pm) -- Christopher Gray

54 SECONDS: That leader Spencer Gibb is the son of a Bee Gee (Robin) isn't so much a secret anymore, nor is it the real reason to see 'em. See 'em because Gibb's one of the town's most inventive guitar players and his haunting songs are full of surprising depth and passion. They're also a super-tight live outfit, featuring drummer J.J. Johnson, organist Stewart Cochran (Jimmy LaFave), and bassist Glenn McGregor (Ten Percenter). (Speakeasy, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

COTTON MATHER: In this, the dumbest music town on earth, Cotton Mather draws a crowd smaller than a flea circus. In London, however, they sell out clubs and will soon open three dates for their biggest fans, Oasis, in Europe. They look cool, sound cool, and can only stay underappreciated for so long. (Gallery Lombardi, 10pm) -- Mindy LaBernz

RICK TREVIñO: Gone is the cowboy hat, the cowboy boots, and the Columbia contract. In their stead, short curly hair, a goatee, and a new appreciation of his heritage thanks to last year's Grammy-winning Los Super Seven project. The hometown and baby face remain, as does Treviño's sweet-voiced croon and country-pop playfulness, and most importantly of all, his fervent audience. (Austin Music Hall, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

GOLDEN ARM TRIO: When Graham Reynolds, sole permanent member of Golden Arm Trio, isn't busy conducting symphonies or composing pieces for string quartets, he's pounding out -- on both piano and drums -- some of the most fascinatingly cartoony avant-jazz to be found here in the River City. The Trio can take many forms, but is usually Reynolds and a couple of horn players, and any show is a nothing short of a mind-jarring adventure. (Elephant Room, 10pm) -- Christopher Hess

STEPHEN BRUTON: This local singer-songwriter and first-class guitarist has been busy balancing solo shows, his sideman work with both Kris Kristofferson and Bob Schneider's Lonelyland, and the preparation of a follow-up to Nothing But the Truth, his criminally underrated 1999 album for New West. With one of the best groove-oriented bands anywhere, line up alongside the smart out-of-towners for this pre-studio showcase. (Cactus Cafe, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

POSTER CHILDREN: This Champaign, Ill., foursome has a staying power that is damn-near immortal in this business of throwaway pop stars, and that's due entirely to a dauntless creative energy and irreplaceable chemistry that continually makes them one of the most inspiring live acts going. New World Record for SpinArt, shows they're only improving with age. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 10pm) -- Christopher Hess

ASYLUM STREET SPANKERS: Though they've had many personnel changes in recent times, the Spankers' founding spirit remains: unamplified, vocal-driven, vaudevillian acoustic goodness from the tongue-in-cheek center of Americana. Their new Hot Lunch was produced by acoustic guitar whiz Bob Brozman and Daniel Thomas. (Austin Scottish Rite, 10pm) -- David Lynch

Rick Treviño (r) and Los Super Seven cohort Ruben Ramos
Rick Treviño (r) and Los Super Seven cohort Ruben Ramos (Photo By John Carrico)

ROBERT BRADLEY'S BLACKWATER SURPRISE: For over 20 years Robert Bradley made his living busking on the streets of Detroit. One day his future backing band heard him singing on the streets outside the studio where they were working on another project. Part Motown, part gospel, and part straight-up rock & roll, Time to Discover, their latest for RCA, hits shelves this spring. (Antone's, 10pm) -- Michael Bertin

ASTRID: Edwyn Collins produced the debut from this Scottish fourpiece who the NME describes as "chirpy, bouncy, cartoon urchins" who produce "hyper-melodic buffoonery." Three of the four grew up on one of the remotest and bleakest islands off Scotland's northwest coast, and yet, according to Melody Maker, they write "songs so utterly ace that if you give 'em a chance, they'll soundtrack your entire summer and beyond." (Park Ave, Thursday,10pm) -- Mindy LaBernz

MARK EITZEL: Eitzel is the Mr. Happy Go Jump off the Golden Gate Bridge sine qua non. Okay, he is a bit of a downer, at least musically, but somewhere in those somber songs the former American Music Clubber speaks words so heartfelt that it's hard not to listen. (Texas Union Ballroom, 10pm) -- Michael Bertin

HAZELDINE: Hazeldine rose from the deserts of New Mexico in 1997, releasing When Bees Fly on Germany's Glitterhouse label. Three women who know how to rock and twang with equal intensity, they spent part of '99 in Europe touring with Wilco. They're currently writing and recording their next collection of songs for release later this year. (Opal Divine, 10pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

WAMMO: After an abortive stint with the short-lived Mercury Record offshoot Mouth Almighty, Wammo continues to tear up Austin stages with unrelentingly on-target spoken word work, and as washboard player/vocalist for the Asylum Street Spankers. His latest, Faster Than the Speed of Suck, a masterful collage of styles and subjects that emulates the Firesign Theatre, remains unreleased, so someone must release this great album -- soon! (Austin Scottish Rite, 10pm) -- Ken Lieck

JERRY LIGHTFOOT & THE ESSENTIALS: If your neck is craned far enough to the left, that's Jerry Lightfoot you'd see coming out of the field there, packing one of the bluesiest albums of last year. His Catfish Records release, Better Days, was a solid serving of Gulf Coast Soul, a regional genre that has suffered in recent times but is revived gloriously. Look for Lightfoot to play with sometime vocalist Jerry LaCroix, whose stint as Edgar Winter's singer in the Seventies plants him firmly in the legends category. (Top of the Marc, 10pm) -- Margaret Moser

HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN: The specialty of this local trio -- Elana Fremerman, violin and vocals, Whit Smith, guitar and vocals, and Kevin Smith, bass -- is Western swing. Their new Hightone release, Tall Tales, was recorded the good ol' fashioned way: one room, one mike. Imagine Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys trading licks with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli's hot jazz. (Continental Club, 10pm) -- David Lynch

KELLY HOGAN & THE PINE VALLEY COSMONAUTS: The sweet and booming voice of Kelly Hogan is as much a part of the Bloodshot sound as any washtub bass or electric guitar could be, and her forthcoming Beaneath the Country Underdog is gonna drop a few jaws, hoo-boy. (Scholz Garten, 10:30pm) -- Christopher Hess

FASTBACKS: Though these Seattle punk boys have opened for their upstart neighbors like Pearl Jam and the Presidents of the United States of America, they've never cracked the mainstream. Festivals like this were made, in part, to remind us of the inherent superiority of bands such as these, in the face of their prolonged inability to hit the proverbial big time. Show them love. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 11pm) -- Mindy LaBernz

ORBIT: Four years after debuting the perfect pop hooks of their A&M debut Libido Speedway at SXSW, Boston's Orbit comes crashing back down to the conference with the self-released, EP-length Tonedeaf, which clamors with Jeff Robbins prodigious songwriting talents ("Radio Whore"). Self-released? Christ, the music industry has no fucking clue. (Maggie Mae's West, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

SUGAR SHACK: With a lineage that stretches back to mid-Eighties slopcore heroes the Party Owls, Sugar Shack is Houston's most enduring punk band. The quintet's 1997 album, Five Weeks Ahead of My Time (Estrus), is a sweaty, driving collection of two-minute madness that makes you want to spit your beer straight up in the air. (Emo's, 11pm) -- Greg Beets

Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill

SHAVER: Texas songwriter Billy Joe Shaver is often mentioned in the same breath as Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, and for good reason; he's written a number of songs for them over the years. Live, the sixtyish Billy Joe and his son Eddie delivers the goods with humor, passion and soul. (Cactus Cafe, 11pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

BRAMHALL: Doyle Bramhall II spent last year backing Roger Waters live and supporting his second solo effort for RCA, Jellycream. Bramhall's most guitar-oriented effort since the Arc Angels, it alternates between lush pop and gritty rock. Better yet, his solo shows -- occasionally guesting Wendy & Lisa, and always featuring ex-Soulhat guitarist Bill Casiss and drummer J.J. Johnson -- have been dynamic affairs. (Antone's, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD: This band has Bill Monroe spinning in his grave so fast, if you could hook him up to a generator, he'd light up Lubbock. Descended from the wilds of Wichita, Kansas, this Bloodshot band pushes bluegrass way past the breaking point on their latest CD, In the Mud, with its paint-peeling banjo, mandolin, and lyrics about whiskey and murder. Imagine the Clampett's truck going off a cliff. (Saengerrunde Hall, 11pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

FIVEHEAD: Fivehead's local debut, It's Not All Good and It's Not Right On, was easily one of this city's best indie rock offerings last year. Pounding drums and high-flying bass lines lay a foundation for dual lead guitars and smooth, understated vocals, pushing tunes like "Hookshot" into the realm of songs you can't stop singing to yourself. (Blind Pig Pub, 11pm) -- Christopher Hess

KIERAN KANE: One of the founders of the Dead Reckoning label, Kieran Kane is a highly respected Nashville-based songwriter whose songs have been recorded by the likes of Alan Jackson, George Jones, and Emmylou Harris. His latest CD, Six Months, No Sun, is a prime showcase for his ability to blend catchy melodies with his simplistic mastery of language. (Caucus Club, 11pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

TWO OHM HOP SHOWCASE: Austin might get the credit for being the base of musical innovation in Texas, but anyone who follows the goings-on in dub, electronica, and spaced-out rock knows that Denton is where it's happening. Witness the showcase for Two Ohm Hop, a small label from this small town north of Dallas/Fort Worth. The evening's headliners, Sub Oslo, twist dub into ambient masterpieces that use wandering electronic melodies and the low-end Jamaican groove music to luscious ends. Stumptone oscillates from an ethereal, dreamy blend of pop to all-out explosions of raucous punk. Last year's self-titled release did not get the attention it deserves. Mandarin likewise leans on mood as much as structure, with tones and melodies that suggest the Sea and Cake in looser arrangements. Two Ohm Hop shares the Ritz stage with Last Beat Records, whose representatives Captain Audio and Pleasant Grove offer perfect complements for the evening's sounds. (Ritz, 11pm-1am) -- Christopher Hess

BUKKA ALLEN: After taking a well-received solo turn last year with a self-released debut, the son of Terry and longtime Ian Moore organist has been working up another batch of introspective dirges, lullabies, and waltzes. Good chance to see why so many think Allen could wind up the latest in a long lone of great Lubbock-raised songwriters. (Speakeasy, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

CHRIS PEREZ: Like everything else at this year's Grammys, San Antonio's Chris Perez is a Hispanic musician who looks good adorned in gold. As in a trophy for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Performance. Once identified solely as Selena's widower, Perez's Hollywood Records debut last year and the subsequent award it won should eradicate said tagline. (Austin Music Hall, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

CYPRESS HILL: Buenos dias, Latinos y gringos. CG here comin' at ya live in Spanglish with the straight dopa on Sen-Dog, Bobo, B-Real, and Muggs' Los Grandes Exitos en Espanol. "Yo Quiero Fumar," and so will tu, on these muy bueno bong hits of authentic East L.A. Latino lingo. Even if the only Español you know comes from a menu, Exitos will make you fluent in pachuco quicker than you can say "Berlitz." (La Zona Rosa, 11pm) -- Christopher Gray

SEELA: Something Happened to local singer-songwriter Seela. First she struck up a friendship with ex-Glass Eye bassist Brian Beattie, then she released her second LP on his New Improved Music indie. The results: an atmospheric landscape of everything Lilith. When the A&R crews start wondering what happened between that first album and Something Happened, tell 'em Seela happened. (Mercury, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

DOLLY VARDEN: Chicagoland's Dolly Varden made of one of the smartest Midwest American pop albums ever put to tape with 1998's The Thrill of Gravity. Whereas most Americana bands are one-trick, one-note, one-speed specialists, Dolly Varden ranges from expansive and moody to glowing, always evincing vestiges of country and pop psychedelia. (Opal Divine, Midnight) -- Michael Bertin

Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston (Photo By John Carrico)

BLUE RAGS: A slight departure from the frenetic, high-speed roots romp of their younger days, Eat at Joe's, this Asheville quintet's second for Sub Pop was a more songwriterly affair, but you can bet they still bust serious acoustic ass when they tear into their ragtime rock live. (Hole in the Wall, Midnight) -- Christopher Hess

BACKYARD BABIES: Sweden has quite a crop of hard-rockin' bands these days, what with Turbonegro, the Hellacopters, and now the Backyard Babies. The band's Scooch Pooch CD, Total 13, slams together an amalgam of metal, glam, and Detroit that will melt the chrome off a bumper. (Red Eyed Fly, Midnight) -- Jerry Renshaw

GOUDIE: Austin's never really known what to make of Johnny Goudie and his pop bands, but Metallica's Lars Ulrich has a few ideas; his Elektra imprint releases Goudie's Peep Show in May, the LP glistening with a slick sheen and catchy songs bridging the gap between Radiohead, Placebo, and the Smashing Pumpkins. (Maggie Mae's East, Midnight) -- Andy Langer

THE RADAR BROS.: California is sinking into the ocean, and L.A. trio the Radar Bros. is going down with the ship. Instead of wallowing and wailing, though, they're squeezing every bit of emotion out of every smog-fuzzed syllable, every piano plink, every delicately distorted chord, with results part Pink Floyd, part Titanic orchestra. (Copper Tank North, Midnight) -- Kim Mellen

STEVE EARLE: Perennial musical outlaw turned keynote speaker Steve Earle headed out on the bluegrass highway last year with the Del McCoury Band, trying his hand at classical mountain music with his own batch of tunes called The Mountain. It's classic Earle, if not instantly classic bluegrass, and if you can get past that idiot who's always at his shows screaming his lungs out for "Copperhead Road," you'll see an artist who has continued to work his rock and country roots like few are able to do. (Stubb's, Midnight) -- Christopher Hess

DANIEL JOHNSTON: He's lived everywhere from West Virginia to Austin, a stint traveling with the circus somewhere in the middle, and his songs reflect life in a manner told directly from the heart. He's had no national release since 1994's Atlantic Records debut/swan song Fun, but his Austin-only release Rejected/Unknown is due for national release on Which? in July. See if you agree with everyone from Rolling Stone to Mondo 2000, who claim he's the greatest songwriter on the planet. (Texas Union Ballroom, Midnight) -- Ken Lieck

JON DEE GRAHAM: While by no means old, Jon Dee Graham has been around so long he was can't-miss back when when Austin had no traffic (that'd be with the True Believers). After playing sideman to nearly everybody in town, the Waitsy-voiced Graham finally got around to making his own album, 1997's dazzling Escape From Monster Island, which was so rich, it would have been a career for most folks. He then followed that up with last year's nearly-as-impressive Summerland. (Cactus Cafe, Midnight) -- Michael Bertin

BOB SCHNEIDER: Bob Schneider spent the Nineties fronting three of Austin's most popular bands -- Joe Rockhead, the Ugly Americans, and the Scabs -- but only over with his Lonelyland/solo gigs have jaws been dropping; few can believe this sensitive and complex singer-songwriter is the same guy that sang "Pussy Fever" with the Scabs. Last year's Songs Sung and Played on the Acoustic Guitar and this year's much-discussed Lonelyland album represent his depth. (Antone's, Midnight) -- Andy Langer

THE JAYHAWKS: When we last saw our feathered heroes they were, uh, well they were here at SXSW for the release of a new record. Unfortunately, 1997's Sound of Lies fell on deaf ears, which is too bad because, like the rest of the Minneapolis band's catalog, it was full of warm guitars, bittersweet harmonies, and songs that are more sophisticated than they seem on first listen. (La Zona Rosa, Midnight ) -- Michael Bertin

7% SOLUTION: Unlike much of the psycho-ambient mush that passes for transcendental derring-do these days, Austin's 7% Solution delivers a cohesive, exquisitely layered invitation to The Other Side. Conjuring an emotive aural cinema out of guitars and effects, they're nothing short of spellbinding. (Beerland, Midnight) -- Greg Beets

BEVIS FROND: The Bevis Frond's mastermind Nick Saloman is vying pretty hard for that "musical genius" tag. Over the almost 15 years of recording since Miasma, Saloman has dabbled in almost every pop style imaginable, from atonal post-punk and 20-minute guitar workouts to dissonant noise assaults and melodic folk. He's a shoe-in for the title. (Atomic Cafe, Midnight) -- Michael Bertin

The Barkers
The Barkers

THE BLACKS: Pride of Chicago's insurgent twang scene, the Blacks are a trio of urban country punk power. No surprise then that both the band's debut disc, Dolly Horrorshow, and the recently released Just Like Home; they've just recorded "Poncho's Lament" for the soon-to-be-released Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Wait, Vol. 2. (Saengerrunde Hall, Midnight) -- David Lynch

KEVIN WELCH: Kevin Welch is one of Nashville's finest songwriters, and his songs have been cut by Waylon Jennings, Trisha Yearwood, and Ricky Skaggs, among others. A Dead Reckoners, the rebellious group of Nashvillians who started their own label to release the music as they saw fit, he's followed the path less taken and succeeded on his own terms. (Caucus Club, Midnight) -- Jim Caligiuri

LOS LOBOS: The latest in a long line of honors for these East L.A. icons came on a recent Sopranos episode, when several strippers at the Bada Bing ground their way through "Viking," from last year's Hollywood Records debut This Time, as Tony S. and his pals discussed "family business" in the office. This is the band that made rootsiness hipper than Burroughs, and continues to take every chance it gets. (Austin Music Hall, Midnight) -- Christopher Gray

WACO BROS: Fast becoming the veritable heart and soul of SXSW, the Waco Bros, led by the formidable presence of Mr. Jon Langford, never fail to get folks sweating and hollering. The Chicago collective pops up all over town in various forms, but beyond their headlining slot at the Bloodshot records party at Yard Dog, their evening showcase is definitely a conference highlight. (Scholz Garten, 12:45am) -- Christopher Hess

SONS OF HERCULES: It's not polite to point, but let me point out nevertheless that for a beer-soaked, flailing-limbed blowout, Austin turns time and again to San Antonio's peerless Sons of Hercules. Reminding the world why San Antone remains one of the greatest garage cities in the nation, last year's arresting Get Lost! whacks you squarely upside your sissy head. Remember the Alamo? (Hole in the Wall, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

THE MR. T EXPERIENCE: Hard to believe the Dr. Frank-led MTX has been around for 10 years and as many albums. But yes, the East Bay's progenitors of the pop-punk sound that made many others rich and briefly famous is still bringing its three-chord mantra and smirking lyrical cynicism to the hundreds. (Emo's Jr., 1am) -- Michael Bertin

HAMELL ON TRIAL: I bet our singer-songwriters can beat up your singer-songwriters. Okay, so he's moved out of Austin, but Hamell on Trial (aka Ed Hamell) is not for pregnant women and people with previous heart conditions. Sure he's just one man with an acoustic guitar, but he beats the crap out of his guitar and the audience with chords and stories so brutal that you'd believe them even if they weren't true. (Austin Scottish Rite, 1am) -- Michael Bertin

REV. KATHY RUSSELL: Gender should mean nada, but, hey, let's face it, folks, the Rev. is the single best junglista DJ Central Texas has ever seen. Testosterone don't mean shit, baby -- this is estrogen's house. (Twist, 1am) -- Marc Savlov

ENON: Comprised of former members of Brainiac and Skeleton Key, Enon picks out the most disparate items at the aural rummage sale and somehow manages to coax them into pop songs much less skewed that you'd imagine. Their new album, Belivo! (See Thru Broadcasting), is likely to resonate far and wide among the avant-rock faithful. (Copper Tank North, 1am) -- Greg Beets

THE BARKERS: Look hard enough into the music of the Barkers, and you just might find the kitchen sink. Forging an alloy of all musics American, this Austin quartet has risen to the forefront of the local scene on the strength of their brash live shows and their debut CD, Burn Your Piano. Most noticeable are Alice Spencer's vocals and keyboards, whether they're attached to a Rhodes, organ, or an accordion. (Opal Divine, 1am) -- Christopher Hess

SONNY LANDRETH: Seems like just yesterday that Louisiana's Sonny Landreth was tearing up the SXSW outdoor stage with guitar work as ferocious as his demeanor is mild. Last glimpsed on one of Delbert McClinton's rolling and tumbling blues cruises, the studio-precise technician is back on dry land where his Cajun boogie still cuts a wide swath. (Caucus Club, 1am) -- Raoul Hernandez

MAN ... OR ASTROMAN?: Man ... or Astroman? are not of this Earth. They crash landed in Alabama, adopted anthropomorphic forms for disguise, and began touring as a "band" to make sure they stayed undetected. They studied Link Wray, then began implementing the results of their research on stages across the world. Just hope this version of Man ... Or Astroman? isn't one of those Clone Projects. They tend to make people feel ripped off. (Emo's, 1am) -- Michael Bertin

SEELY: Atlanta's Seely first came to indie-rock prominence with their 1996 release Julie Only (produced by Tortoise's John McEntire), the first American album released on the hip British label Too Pure, former home of Stereolab and P.J. Harvey. With their new release Winter Birds, Seely shifts focus from soundcrafting to songcrafting, and the result is sublimely Low-down. (Buffalo Club Patio, 1am) -- Michael Chamy

APPLES IN STEREO: Denver, Colorado's homage to Revolver- and Rubber Soul-era Fab Four. Part of the Elephant 6 Collective along with the likes of Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel, the Apples' last release, the Her Wallpaper Reverie EP, was more experimental and less psych pop, but still those guitars gently weep. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 1am) -- Michael Bertin

SIXTEEN DELUXE: A recent conversation with Sixteen Deluxe guitarist "Frenchie" Smith found him joking that the local psych-rock kings' much-anticipated third album was being delayed because the Barkers -- one of the host of clientele at the band's thriving Bubble Studios -- had brought in a mellotron, and he already had a couple of tracks laid down. Then there was something about Yes. Their tantalizing The Moonman Is Blue EP was an exhilarating taste of things to come. (Beerland, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

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