SXSW Music Festival

Picks & Sleepers


Thursday Sleepers

TIM EASTON: Easton may be known to some as the frontman for Columbus, Ohio's Haynes Boys, but on his solo albums he really works the whole Townes Van Zandt and John Prine storyteller vibe to full effect. Add arrangements that cover the entire mini-gamut of the Americana sub-genre. (Cactus Cafe, 8pm) -- Michael Bertin

DARYLL-ANN: This Amsterdam-based quintet trades in slightly off-kilter psych-pop tunes reminiscent of Skylarking-era XTC. Their mellow arrangements, swell melodies, and sweet harmonies would color Andy Partridge, and maybe Todd Rundgren, proud. (Waterloo Brewing Co., 8pm). -- Greg Beets

THE MOONEY SUZUKI: The best thing about Estrus bands is a contemporary punk fury that would sound right at home on Nuggets. One spin of this NYC foursome's 7-inch, and you'll be immediately depressed if you don't live within a cab ride of CBGB's. (Emo's, 8pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

ETHYL & METHYL: Better known as Maryann Price and Chris O'Connell, this Catfish Records duo jumps easily between cocktail country, bluesy bluegrass, and jazzy swing. Their harmonies are as impeccable as their credentials; Price was one of the Lickettes with Dan Hicks, and O'Connell vocalized with Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel. (Top of the Marc, 8pm) -- Margaret Moser

LLAMA FARMERS: That the NME has placed this band on the Keneckie-Ash continuum suggests they are loud, occasionally melodic, and obviously young. "A less derivative take on the hardcore than Idlewild," says Select; "Distorted pop chuggery," says Kerrang; "Exuberant soaring grunge-pop," says Time Out London. Cute li'l things, says I. The album is Dead Letter Chorus, the label is Beggars Banquet. (Buffalo Billiards, 8pm) -- Mindy LaBernz

THE CRUMBS: Hailing from Miami, this trio adds a boozed-up skronky sheen to the traditional Lookout! Records pop-punk canon. The Crumbs' overdriven songs have the take-no-prisoners approach of the Stooges and the MC5, but there's also a hint of deep fried rockabilly thrown in to clarify the band's position relative to the Mason-Dixon line. (Emo's Jr., 8pm). -- Greg Beets

JIM ROLL: With a label whose roster boasts Stephen Bruton, Jon Dee Graham, and Billy Joe Shaver (New West), a new album produced by onetime local/forever Silo Walter Salas-Humara (Lunette), and local management, Nashville's Jim Roll might as well live in Austin. He's from Chicago originally, which is also where Jeff Tweedy is from, but then Wilco always sounded like a River City band. (Cactus Cafe, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

SUPEREGO: Every Sunday night Paul Minor and his band of ringers hone their FM-inspired power rock just a little more. Currently on their third LP, these Hole in the Wall linchpins offer weekly rock & roll history lessons, mixing their own meaty originals around a wide array of covers. Oh Yes My Friend. (Gallery Lombardi, 9pm) -- Christopher Gray

JUBILETTES: Four lovely ladies and as many lovely harmonies, the Jubilettes have made traditional gospel sounds (of all things) part of the local club scene. Featuring Asylum Street Spanker Christina Marrs, the band recently re-emerged from hiatus to help all the nightlifers in need of salvation. (Austin Scottish Rite, 9pm) -- Michael Bertin

FORTY-FIVES: Basking in the radiated B-3 glow of their 1999 Ng disc Get It Together, this Atlanta trio shimmy like the Make Up and strut like the Young Rascals, subliminally asking, "Do I make you horny, baby?" Oh, behave! (Stubb's, 9pm) -- Christopher Gray

THE CHUBBIES: Not an ounce of flab on this duo of taut lean-mean Suburban Rock Dolls. They'll be bringing lipstick-smeared sound to promote their upcoming Sympathy for the Record Industry CD, American Swagger. (Copper Tank North, 9pm) -- Kate X Messer

WALT WILKINS: Originally from Texas, Walt Wilkins has called Nashville home since 1994. An admired songwriter who has had songs cut by Ty Herndon, Pat Green, and Ricky Skaggs, Wilkins' debut Fire Honey & Angels is a varied collection of American musical styles, containing rich images, refined melodies, and top-notch musicianship. (Caucus Club, 9pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

AMOR BELHOM DUO: Forget Paris. French natives Naïm Amor and Thomas Belhom are part of the Tucson, Arizona, mix now, and have thrown their hat in the ring with the Giant Sand/Calexico stable of desert rockers. Amor and Bellhom have more of an affinity with the restrained soundtrack-ish music of Joey Burns and John Convertino of Calexico, collaborating with them on Amor Belhom Burns Convertino, due to release an album later this year. (Buffalo Club, 9pm) -- Michael Chamy

KISSINGER: Relative newcomers to our town but hardly to music, Kissinger's wave of mutilation has found a welcoming home among the local acid-pop set. With long, tall lead singer Chopqper's spastic stage pantomimes, and the band's taut, spidery hooks, Kissinger stands as the first post-Electric Lounge act keeping the melodically barbed spirit of our much-missed former clubhouse alive. (Blind Pig Pub, 9pm) -- Christopher Gray

EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT: With neutron stars in their eyes and a new self-titled EP in hand, Experimental Aircraft phases their brand of ballsy bliss-rock into an Austin landscape woefully short on shoegazerdom. References to drone masters Bailter Space might be more apt, but when the band hits its stride, they're evocative of the seemingly Precambrian days when My Bloody Valentine walked the earth. (Beerland, 9pm) -- Michael Chamy

TARA MACLEAN: This Canadian Lilith Fair veteran has just released her second Nettwerk album, the Malcom Burn-produced Passenger. It's a smart collection of glossy pop and sensitive singer-songwriter fare delivered by a near-perfect voice, but she's even more powerful live. (Mercury, 9:15pm) -- Andy Langer

UNDERDOG TURNTABLISTS: This San Antonio-based crew of four Filipino DJs is gaining a regional reputation, crossing over to gallery and poetry crowds as well as hip-hop heads throughout the San Antonio-Austin axis. (Velvet, 9:30pm) -- Phil West

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

J.W. ROY: A 30-year-old songwriter from Amsterdam, J.W. Roy has just released his second collection of songs, Deeper Shades, on Munich Records. His bluesy roots rock has been well-received, by both critics and audiences in the Netherlands. His Hootie & the Blowfish-meets-John Hiatt sound might have a similar appeal in the U.S. (Cue Lounge, 9:30pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

SEA RAY: Ranging from the slow and dreamy to stripped-down, Velvets-inspired rockers, Brooklyn quintet Sea Ray twists pop standards to meet their needs. Tobin Sprout recorded their demo, and the songs offer an intelligent if scattered take on the type of post-VU East Coast pop made great by Yo La Tengo and the Feelies. (Beerland, 10pm) -- Christopher Hess

DOUBLE O GO-GO: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to investigate this shadowy Austin quintet. Pay special attention to the dual sax tandem of double agents Max Brody and Allyson Lipkin, but don't let Byron Scott's sinewy guitar catch you off guard. This message will self-destruct ... now. (Hole in the Wall, 10pm) -- Christopher Gray

AMERICAN STEEL: The Bay Area fourpiece is reminiscent of Rancid, only a little more hardcore and a little less Brit. The band's second album, Rogue's March (Lookout), released last fall, is laden with punk nihilism that's catchy without ever turning poppy. (Emo's Jr., 10pm) -- Michael Bertin

REX HOBART & THE MISERY BOYS: Poor Rex Hobart. Songs on last summer's Forever Always Ends (Bloodshot) include, "I Always Cry at Weddings," "Happy Birthday Broken Heart," "Make Me Hate You Before You Go," and needless to say, "Feeling Sorry for Myself." If that's not depressing enough, Solomon Hofer's lump-raising steel guitar will really make you weep like a little girl. (Saengerrunde Hall, 10pm) -- Christopher Gray

GREEN PAJAMAS: Obscure in any environment except a music-lovers festival and say, indie record shops like Minus Zero in London, this Ameri-pop band has been writing pop gems since the mid-Eighties. If you don't know "Peppermint Stick" you may recognize Material Issue's version of "Kim the Waitress." (Atomic Cafe, 10pm) -- Mindy LaBernz

GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI: Oddly monikered Welsh purveyors of prog-rock-tinged aural mayhem. Soft Machine-inspired psychedelic flourishes, wistfully tender melodies, and quirky nursery rhyme lyrics often sung in Welsh defy easy categorization for this particular type of mynci business. Their sixth album Spanish Dance Troupe is just out. (Buffalo Billiards, 10pm) -- Mary Fitzgerald

CRAZY TOWN: With a tasty flow, bouncy beats, and just enough metallic chrome, this Hollywood bunch is more than just the latest Korn by-product. Flexing in the traditional laid-back Cali style, the septet's Columbia CD The Gift of Game checks Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" while offering licks of "Lollipop Porn" much sweeter than Sugar Ray. (La Zona Rosa, 10pm) -- Christopher Gray

FRIGG A-GO-GO: Hailing from Lafayette, La., the garage punks of Frigg A-Go-Go caused quite a stir at SXSW 99 with their organ-propelled songs of sheer spite. Driving tunes like "I Don't Wanna Be Your Man" fit nicely on a mix tape right between ? & the Mysterians' "96 Tears" and the Standells' "Dirty Water." (Red Eyed Fly, 10pm) -- Greg Beets

RED MEAT: San Francisco's Red Meat stirs in gospel harmonies, cry-in-one's-beer honky-tonk, bluegrass, and even a little swing for a potent country cocktail. Ex-Blaster Dave Alvin produced their latest release on Ranchero Records, 13. Besides, how can you not like a band with a song called "The Girl With the Biggest Hair"? (Maggie Mae's West,10pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

JOHNNY DILKS: Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Johnny Dilks has been described as the "love child of Hank Williams and Patsy Montana." Last year, he and his band the Visitacion Valley Boys released Acres of Heartaches on Hightone which likened their work to that of early Western swing bands. (Continental Club, 11pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

SOAK: This fivepiece is the Rodney Dangerfield of Austin bands, with a sound somewhere between a fiery Live and a non-constipated Tool. After putting out widely unnoticed albums on Interscope and Sire, Soak is rebuilding from the bottom up on Dallas' Rainmaker and now on national indie Koch records. (Lucy's, 11pm) -- Michael Chamy

STARLIGHT MINTS: Cool, refreshing pop ditties are the order of the day as Norman, Oklahoma's Starlight Mints mimic the seminal movements of the Kinks and the Velvet Underground while frontman Alan Vest carves a modern sound all his own thanks to his whammy bar and an active imagination. (Copper Tank North, 11pm) -- Taylor Holland

DON MESCALL: A singer songwriter from Limerick, Ireland, Don Mescall has had his songs recorded by Francis Black and Richie Havens. Mescall's reedy vocals recall a young Paul Simon, yet his songs are mature beyond his years. His sole recording to date is a self-released EP. (Cue Lounge, 11pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

BIG FOOT CHESTER: A whopping bloodshot eye-opener to those who think "Austin blues" only means "Stevie Ray Vaughan." Walter Daniels and his crew of gutbucket bruisers have been conjuring the shades of Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Little Walter for years, and live it's never less than a revitalizing bath in that sweet Mississippi mud. (Hole in the Wall, 11pm) -- Christopher Gray

MISS UNIVERSE: Not to be confused with the defunct Austin pop/punk unit, this Amsterdam quartet delivers refined tunes that waver between Automatic for the People-era R.E.M. and slightly tweaked Beatles-influenced pop. (Park Ave, 11pm) -- Greg Beets

LONESOME BOB: As a big, overall-wearing bear of a Nashville dweller, Lonely B is the type of songwriter who looks like he's lived his modern backwoods country songs. 'Course with the lovely-voiced Allison Moorer dueting with Bob on his 1997 Checkered Past debut, Things Fall Apart, that's a good thing. (Opal Divine, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

NOVEMBER FOXTROT WHISKEY: A quintet from Tampa, Florida, November Foxtrot Whiskey has just released its debut CD on Dean Street Music. Their music, a strange amalgamation of skronky jams, quiet interludes, and rootsy country folk, shows traces of early Camper Van Beethoven mixed with Tom Waits and a dollop of Simpsons. (Buffalo Club Patio, 11pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

ERIC MINGUS: Bass-playing son of the bass player, Eric Mingus descends into Austin's premier jazz room followed by a curious gaggle of locals and industry lookers who might be in for a surprise. If his "Judgement" track from Gary Lucas' Improve the Shining Hour on Knitting Factory is any indication, the chops on display are gonna be his pipes and not his pop's. (Elephant Room, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

Johnny Dilks
Johnny Dilks

RICO BELL: Rico Bell & the Snakehandlers combine accordion and country riffs (and more than a touch of Tex-Mex) with lyrics of a gray Britain. The fivepiece's second release on Bloodshot, Dark Side of the Mersey, is a strange, moody affair that shows it doesn't really matter where country music comes from; it's all a frame of mind. (Scholz Garten, 11:30pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

MITTENS: Haven't heard anything in about a year from the Mittens, a real shame in light of good Feelies pop. Casting a series of bewitching indie-cantations on a 1998 self-released cassette, they could be the best band Matador never signed. Maybe it's not too late after all. (Empanada Parlour, Midnight) -- Christopher Gray

POLARA: From Minnesota, Polara are one of the noisiest little secrets out there. Over the course of five years, they've masterfully melded solid pop songs with wall after wall of white-noise guitar. Fans of Jesus & Mary Chain or the Austin stable of noise rock bands should run, not walk, to this one. (Buffalo Club, Midnight) -- Phil West

THE NIXONS: This Oklahoma City quintet has been churning out big fat alternative buzz bin rock & roll for longer than most of their fans can remember. More than ever, their new release Latest Thing has "commercial breakthrough" spray painted all over it, especially choice tracks like "First Trip" and the cheeky "Blackout." (Lucy's Retired Surfers, Midnight) -- Christopher Hess

SCRAPPY JUD NEWCOMB: They don't call him "scrappy" for his tousled good looks. No, Scrappy Jud is a much sought-after player in Austin, as much for his guitar work as his band leadership. From his early days with Troy Campbell and Loose Diamonds to his snappy work alongside Beaver Nelson and Toni Price, Newcomb has honed a lean, muscular sound at home with blues as it is with pop. (Pecan St., Midnight) -- Margaret Moser

POOR RICH ONES: First the Japanese bands, and now the Dutch and Norwegian. Cultural exchange is a beautiful thing. In return for Austin's barbecue and beer, Bergen's Poor Rich Ones humbly offer their producer Mark Trombino's resume, Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, Rocket From the Crypt, and even Austin's sadly defunct Mineral. (Buffalo Club Patio, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

KIM LENZ & HER JAGUARS: Red-headed rockabilly siren Kim Lenz comes down from Dallas for this year's SXSW, with her self-titled Hightone Records CD in her hot little hands. Amid hordes of carefully coiffed bands whose studied mannerisms shoot for Gene Vincent territory but fall short, Lenz's rockabilly is ferociously streak. Rowwwrrrr!! (Continental Club, Midnight) -- Jerry Renshaw

PHIL LEE: Nashville's Phil Lee had his debut album picked as "one of the best new country albums" by the Nashville Scene before it was even released. Shanachie released The Mighty King of Love in January, and the album delivers a winning combo of guitar-slashing roots rock, heartfelt country twang, and his irrepressible sense of humor. (Soho Lounge, Midnight) -- Jim Caligiuri

ANGIE APARO: With the help of producer Matt Sereltic (Matchbox 20, Collective Soul), this Atlanta-based singer-songwriter/guitarist (Angie's a man, by the way) has offered one of the year's quirkiest major-label pop records, The American (Arista). The album's strong melodies, passionate vocals and subtly funky textures make Aparo a natural radio contender. (Speakeasy, Midnight) -- Andy Langer

BABY LEMONADE: The name Baby Lemonade isn't the only thing the band cribbed from Syd Barrett, but with stints backing Love's Arthur Lee, at least one psychedelic pop icon has given the L.A.-based band a bona fide seal of approval, which is more than most neo-psychedelicacies can boast. (Blind Pig Pub, Midnight) -- Michael Bertin

GROOVIE GHOULIES: Combining the 1-2-3-4 minimalism of the Ramones with a Saturday morning-friendly version of the Cramps/45 Grave school of ghoul rock, Sacramento's Groovie Ghoulies are always good for some bop-happy laffs. The trio's forthcoming album, Travels With My Amp (Lookout!), will surely resonate with Moldavia-style hooks and a beat you can stab to. (Emo's Jr., Midnight) -- Greg Beets

MILES HUNT: "You know that I've been drunk 1,000 times and these should be the best days of my life," piped ex-Wonder Stuff frontman Miles Hunt on "Size of a Cow," off the Stuff's 1991 breakthrough-that-never-was, Never Loved Elvis. In the U.S., they certainly were his best days, even if the Wonder Stuff took their act from the top of the charts in England straight to the cutout bins in America. Hunt resurfaced on these shores last year at SXSW, performing a fresh acoustic set at the Pecan St. Ale House with all the élan of days past. (Cue Lounge, 12:30am) -- Michael Chamy

CHIP TAYLOR: The singer-songwriter who gave us "Wild Thing" has also achieved notoriety as a golf pro, gambler, and brother to actor Jon Voight. His emotive 1999 release, Seven Days in May (Trainwreck), won acclaim for its portrayal of a seven-day long unworkable love affair. (Pecan St., 12:30am) -- Greg Beets

WAN SANTO CONDO: This oft-overlooked local post-grunge outfit had to hit the road to find respect: they toured with Ben Harper last year and earned a deal with the RCA-distributed Kneeling Elephant. Their debut is due later in the year, but already a batch of demos have generated enough buzz to interest at least one possible red-hot producer: Butthole Surfer Paul Leary. (Maggie Mae's East, 1am) -- Andy Langer

SHINDIGS: Sometimes life sucks, like when the Shindigs call it a day instead of opening for Blink-182 at the Erwin Center like they deserve. This SXSW date is the next-to-last show from chainsaw kitten Melissa Bryan's local punk-pop ensemble, leaving behind last year's fast-paced, supremely hummable self-titled Rock Haus CD. Sure was fun while it lasted. (Empanada Parlour, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

BILL KIRCHEN & TOO MUCH FUN: An Austin old-timer dating back to his purple-hazy days with Armadillo faves Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen, Bill Kirchen now makes his home in the nation's capital, but still makes it down to the Continental Club a few times a year to kick up dust clouds of rockabilly reverb. (Continental Club, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

BARBARA K: Once the distaff half of the quirky pop duo Timbuk 3, Barbara K has moved into the bright future with an introspective, groove-oriented brand of pop rock. The Austin-based musician now surrounds herself with a coterie of professionals who groove with or without shades. (Mercury, 1am) -- Margaret Moser

AT THE DRIVE-IN: On its EP Vaya (Fearless), this El Paso quintet has more going for it than just a healthy respect for Jawbox -- like bulging-vein, punk-fuckin'-rock vocals, expertly wired lean guitar leads, and rhythms so smooth they could come from a turntable just as easily as a trap set. (Flamingo Cantina, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

COLOR: The local songwriter and guitarist team from Seed, who had a college radio hit with 1994's "Stay With Me," have traded name, personnel, and a pop sound for an equally ambiguous moniker, better shorn lead singer and riffier songs. Rumor has it that they're close to signing another major label deal. (Speakeasy, 1am) -- Mindy LaBernz

THE HANGDOGS: Roots-rock from New York? Go figger. The Hangdogs' Shanachie debut, East of Yesterday, sounds more like a band from the Midwest than the Big Apple. Hooky songcraft with twanging guitars and country accents signal there's more to this band than a cursory listen will bring out. (Soho Lounge, 1am) -- Jerry Renshaw

BROTHERS BOUNCE: The Brothers Bounce are fronted by musical heir Rolan Bolan, son of quasi-legend Marc Bolan (T. Rex). Whereas they might get more mileage out of that name in the UK, Rolan's still got plenty of his father in him -- enough to hook up with the Dust Brothers and cover the old man's glam rock classic "20th Century Boy." (Blind Pig Pub, 1am) -- Michael Bertin

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