SXSW Music Festival

Picks & Sleepers


Saturday Sleepers

THE PEENBEETS: How about geekcore? Has that one been coined yet? Watching Austin's Peenbeets on stage is akin to watching some bizarro hybrid of Saturday morning cartoons and Freedom of Choice-era Devo. It's alternately silly and sophisticated, but it's all pop Babylon, all the time. (Beerland, 8pm) -- Michael Bertin

SUPER XX MAN: As frontman for local power pop sensations Silver Scooter, Scott Garred has distinguished himself with his delicious whine and penchant for heart-tugging tales of alienation, revelation, and longing. Super XX Man began as an outlet for Garred's unreleased home recordings, and the recent release of Vol. IV on Peek-a-Boo Records has showcased a more self-assured side of the delicious Silver Scooter canon. (Blind Pig Pub, 8pm) -- Michael Chamy

R.B. MORRIS: A renaissance man for the 21st century, Knoxville, Tennessee's R.B. Morris is not only a gifted singer-songwriter, but a poet, playwright, and a performance artist as well. His latest release, Zeke and the Wheel (Koch), alternately boisterous, insightful and disturbing is a fascinating look at spirituality. (Cactus Cafe, 8pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

DRUNK HORSE: Oakland, California is a hard place, even if Jerry Brown is mayor. Kicking down stalls with their self-titled Man's Ruin debut, these post-punk rebel rousers cross Mudhoney with the Molly Hatchet buried in your skull. (Emo's Jr., 8pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

LOST GOAT: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Think cowbells, long sweaty hair, big medallions, mustaches, riffs grinding like medieval millstones. No, wait -- think two girls, one guy, all from San Francisco. Their debut Man's Ruin CD Equator is a dream come true for all old-school headbangers. (Emo's Jr., 9pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

DE SANGRE: Houston's de Sangre proves you don't have to be young, white, or stupid to be an angry youth. One of the few rocanroll bands that regularly plays Austin, this H-town fourpiece has been working their solid Principio y Fin for a couple of years now, so somebody better be ponying up some pesos for a follow-up. (Scholz Garten, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

TERMINAL 46: When I was a young boy, I asked my mother "Why?" She just pointed at the sun and said " -- !" And then the wolves came. Austin's first, best, and finest purveyors of industrial crunch and aural agony return with, well, a whole lotta switchblade, switchback slaughter. Expect dead puppies to rain from the sky. (Back Room, 9pm) -- Marc Savlov

RIVER CITY RAPISTS: This all-star punk outfit, sporting current and former members of the Butthole Surfers, Motards, Didjits, and GWAR often find themselves picketed by feminist groups, and yet still they revel in lowbrow songs like "Go Down on Me," "Asshole," and "Fucked Again." Simple, ugly punk rock is what it is, end of story. Check out their Love Hurts EP on Junk Records if you don't believe me. (Red Eyed Fly, 9pm) -- Ken Lieck

EVREN GÖKNAR: If L.A.-based Evren Göknar had taken fewer lessons and used fewer studio toys, he might have invented a new genre on his Burning the Tulips (Spill Records) -- that of indie light rock. Instead, he comes out like a man with a Jeff Buckley jones, whose songs tend to grow into a polished mass of the plunky guitar charm. (Pecan St., 9pm) -- Michael Bertin

QUASI QUA: This Cleveland-based quartet was formed four years ago by guitarist-vocalist Jesse Bryson (son of Raspberries' guitarist Wally Bryson) when he was 16. Quasi Qua's sound has a roots-oriented veneer, but this is a pop band at heart. The group's earnest harmonies are ever so slightly unpolished, which ultimately adds to their distinction. (Iron Cactus, 9pm) -- Greg Beets

SETTIE: This Western Massachusetts singer-songwriter performs as a duo with multi-instrumentalist Brain Fellows, and recently signed a deal with Iguana for their I Know A Girl EP. The title track has landed in two new Freddie Prinze Jr. movies and for good reason: It's a fine slice of pop songwriting that has adult alternative radio written all over it. (Cue Lounge, 9pm) -- Andy Langer

TAMASHA AFRICANA: They may not have much competition, yet Tamasha Africana is more than Austin's only African dance band. Led by the two Nairobi, Kenya natives, vocalists Ben Simiyu and Jackie Odanga, the soukous group also includes guitarists Russell Scanlon and Brad Schultz and Rio de Janeiro percussionist Luiz Carlos Coutinho. Currently putting the finishing touches on their debut, Tamasha Africana make your hips move. Life is a banquet, come join the feast! (Speakeasy, 9pm) -- David Lynch

Martha Wainwright
Martha Wainwright

HOPELESS RECORDS/SUB CITY SHOWCASE: Van Nuys, Calif.-based punk/ska label Hopeless Records was founded in 1993 by video director Louis Posen to release a 7-inch by Guttermouth. Since then, the label (along with its subsidiary, Sub City) has released full-length albums, compilation videos, and even a book. Their SXSW showcase begins with Digger, a sing-along hardcore pop quartet of the 7 Seconds variety from Bethlehem, Pa. Scared of Chaka pounds out distorto-buzzsaw garage-punk with furious energy. Winnipeg's Weakerthans combine eloquent pop-punk with evocative, poetic lyrics; their 1998 album Fallow was named one of the 10 best rock albums of the year by CBC Radio. Finishing things off with a bang is Dillinger Four, a Minneapolis hardcore quintet that revives the genre with clever song structures, witty lyrics, and can't-miss titles like "Portrait of the Artist as a Fucking Asshole" and "Honey I Shit the Hot Tub," (Flamingo Cantina, 9pm-Midnight) -- Greg Beets

MARTHA WAINWRIGHT: The Wainwrights are quickly looking like the Wayans of Canadian music. What with dad Loudon's meandering and oft-interesting long recording career, brother Rufus' self titled showtune-orama, mom Kate McGarrigle's noted career in folk and now Martha's foray as a singer-songwriter, you probably couldn't swing a dead cat in Montreal without hitting a Wainwright. (Maggie Mae's West, 9pm) -- Michael Bertin

DUMPTRUCK: Seth Tiven's perennial also-ran may have 200k miles on the engine, but the garage dweller always turns over. Last year's Terminal was custom-built to Dumptruck specs, multi-tiered concrete construction with steel support riffs and plenty of space for parking. They don't build 'em like this anymore. (Buffalo Club, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

THE HOOKERS: Lexington, Ky. sends these Hookers down our way, and if you know what's good for ya, you'll be polite to them. Their Man's Ruin split CD with Electric Frankenstein is an attitude-fest, as attention-grabbing as a broken bottle held up to your face, with overamped vocals, furious guitar, and pissed-off Neanderthal drums. (Emo's, 9pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

DEVIL IN THE WOODPILE: These three Chicagoans take on such blues monsters as Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Sleepy John Estes, armed with a harmonica, stand-up bass, guitar and harmonica. Their self-titled Bloodshot CD is a boozy interpretation of blues standards, rather than a slavish re-creation of them. (Scholz Garten, 9:30pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

CURSIVE: This emocore quartet is the angsty, Fugazi-worshipping big brother in the arty, Omaha-based incestuous family of bands underneath the umbrella of Saddle Creek Records. The label has also taken in Cursive's sonic cousins Spoon, and fans of power popsters Silver Scooter might recognize the band from 1999's split 10-inch on Crank!. All roads lead to Austin -- even from Nebraska. (Gallery Lombardi, 10pm) -- Kim Mellen

COFFEE SERGEANTS: How many times have you been told that you haven't really heard a band until you've heard them live? The reverse is true when it comes to Austin's Coffee Sergeants. Make no mistake, their catchy brand of floaty pop rock is hardly a burden to sit through in concert, but it's on disc that they truly shine, with perfect, haunting, evocative songs that melt in your ears. The new The Blessing House needs to be heard to be believed. (Buffalo Billiards, 10pm) -- Ken Lieck

DC-9: This new project from ex-Ugly Americans guitarist Max Evans is so new that they haven't played out yet, but it's fair to expect something you wouldn't expect from the Ugly Americans: tight, three-minute power-pop songs with an dual emphasis on solid melodies and tasteful guitar. Former Sunflower guitarist Heath Clarke and ex-Joe Rockhead drummer Pat Brown round out the current lineup. (Iron Cactus, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

PEGLEGASUS: This veteran Texas-via-Rhode Island quartet has never received buzz-band adulation, yet they remain a fascinating Chinese box of kink-ridden indie rock sharpened by pop smarts. Their third album, Tired of Adventures (Mad Entropic), packages their penchant for Minutemen/ fIREHOSE-informed quick left turns. (Buffalo Club, 10pm) -- Greg Beets

MARY COPPIN: This Riverside, California-based singer-songwriter has had quite a year. She was invited to play on the main stage at the Kerrville Folk Festival and won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Her self-released debut, A Room Up For Rent, showcases of her unusual vocals and fine songwriting talents. (Cue Lounge, 10pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

MEN OF PORN: You always know what you're getting from a band on Man's Ruin: lean, mean noise machines with a personal stamp of approval from label owner Frank Kozik. Former Ritual Device leader Tim Moss, who's been joined by ex-Swans, Helios Creed, and Acid King members, MOP aren't afraid to bring you odes to "Teabaggin" (if you don't know, I'm not gonna tell ya) and "The Ballad of the Bulldyke" -- both of which appear on their latest disc, Porn American Style. Not for the politically correct. (Emo's Jr, 10pm) -- Ken Lieck

RETO BURRELL: Reto Burrell is a 27-year-old roots rocker from Lucerne, Switzerland, who's been influenced by Steve Earle and Tom Petty. He already has a label, booking agent, management, and legal representation in Europe. With the assistance of producer/guitarist Pete Anderson, Burrell is trying to break in the U. S. (Pecan St., 10pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

JUNIOR VARSITY: Call it shtick if you must, but Houston's Junior Varsity knows how to work folks into a nostalgic frenzy for the All-American high school experience most of their fans probably never had. The trio's new Peek-a-Boo CD Bam Bam Bam! packs 14 sock-hoppin' hits into 20 minutes, including a swell cover of the Floyd Dakil Combo's Texas garage classic, "Dance Franny Dance." (Blind Pig Pub, 10pm) -- Greg Beets

THE FENCE CUTTERS: The band formerly known as the Fence Sitters has evolved from a weekly pickin' session at Lovejoy's pub in downtown Austin into a well-practiced band that mixes up bits of bluegrass and rock & roll and comes out with some damn fine songs. Three solid vocalists and lots of ambitious pickin' made their second independent release, Extended Play, one that'll stay in the CD shuffler for weeks on end. (Opal Divine, 10pm) -- Christopher Hess

THE BILLY NAYER SHOW: San Fran's Billy Nayer Show is one creepy cabaret. Imagine Lou Reed, or better yet, John Cale crooning at your uncle's cocktail party. (Austin Scottish Rite, 10:30pm) -- Kate X Messer

The Halo Friendlies
The Halo Friendlies

DEAD & GONE: East Bay boy meets slutty Gilman St. gal and winds up at the free clinic with a bad case of Alternative Tentacles. God Loves Everyone But You, announces the counselor, condemning his disgraced love to toil in the hard, barren land of Canin -- Dead and Gone. A timeless, unforgiving punishment to be sure, but who needs a moral when you've got mettle. (Atomic Cafe, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

FATSO JETSON: Raised on the early Eighties L.A. punk scene, demigods of desert high rock Fatso Jetson hail from California's Palm Desert region. The fourpiece has a strong back catalog, with their first two on SST, and their third, Toasted, on Bongload. Flames for All, on the appropriate Man's Ruin imprint, is infectious, guitar-driven, with arid melodies with ironically demented vocals. (Emo's Jr., 11pm) -- David Lynch

DOUG HOEKSTRA: Originally from Chicago, but currently hailing from Nashville, Doug Hoekstra is a talented singer-songwriter whose work has drawn comparisons to Beck, Dylan, and Leonard Cohen. His third release, 1999's Make Me Believe (One Man Clapping), drew critical raves from around the world for it's poignant view of life and mix of musical styles. (Pecan St., 11pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

SEAMAN'S QUARTET: The numeric is a misnomer, but Seaman's Quartet very quietly put out one of the most charming albums of Austin's 1999. Larry Seaman has been crafting his art here since the late Seventies and his unselfconscious blend of rock and balladry combines the best of both while avoiding the sticky treacle of most pop flavors. (Buffalo Billiards, 11pm) -- Margaret Moser

CHAPARRAL: Circa 1990, Wednesday nights at the Black Cat Lounge were the hottest thing in Austin Music. The cover was cheap, the beer was cheaper, and when Chaparral took the stage with "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone?" the dance floor was immediately packed. A decade later, Shiner Bock no longer costs $1.50, but the more-infrequent-than-they-ought-to-be Chaparral shows still bring out the crowds who long for country music the way it was before it had to be alternative to be cool. (Broken Spoke, 11pm ) -- Michael Bertin

SID HILLMAN QUARTET: Frontman Sid is the nephew of Byrd Chris Hillman. There are slight similarities, but not enough to make you feel like a dumbass for not making the connection. Both have a distinctively American sound at their core, but the L.A.-based Sid Hillman Quartet is not only more rural than pop, but also darker and looser than most its y'alternative brethren. (Opal Divine, 11pm) -- Michael Bertin

CLANDESTINE: If no one has hung the phrase "TexaCelt" on Clandestine, you're reading it here for the first time. The Houston-based quartet play traditional Irish and Scottish tunes (including pipes and fiddle) with a Texas flair and exuberant joie de vivre. So what if it's the day after St. Patrick's, Celt culture is rich with music and song, so indulge yourself. (Speakeasy, 11:30pm) -- Margaret Moser

PUSHY: They're cute, they're brazen, and they've got a Roland and aren't afraid to use it. S.F.'s Pushy are busily redefining the boundaries of electronica by using grrrl power, pop smarts, and gooey clickbeep melodies to take over your heart and your bootie. (Caucus Club, Midnight) -- Marc Savlov

THE HALO FRIENDLIES: Hmmm. Four Long Beach twentysomethings in black Mascara and a tight Acid Wash EP. Reminds me of a vixen I once knew -- Donna. Know her? Little tease. Let's see some ID, missy -- guy could wind up in jail. (Copper Tank North, Midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

BULEMICS: If you're one of those perpetually cynical folks for whom pissed off punk rock will always resonate, the Bulemics are pure chewing satisfaction. Last year's Old Enough to Know Better -- Too Young to Care (Junk) was a strong standout in a sizable crop of local punk recordings. (Red Eyed Fly, Midnight) -- Greg Beets

ACID KING: San Francisco-based Acid King dwells in the nether regions of both sound and psyche in their quest for the unholy grail of riffdom. Led by guitarist and vocalist Lori S., Acid King is every thing their name implies: loud, huge, and disturbed. Their newest on Busse Woods, keeps the volume attack at jugular level, even if you're too spaced-out to know it. (Emo's Jr., Midnight) -- David Lynch

HEROINE SHEIKS: As good as the name is, it might not be familiar, but the indie rock rap sheets behind NYC's Heroine Sheiks probably are. Lead singer and bugler (yes, bugler) Shannon Selberg spent the better part of a decade fronting the AmRep adored Cows. Guitarist Norman Westberg served a similar term with the Swans. And drummer J. Bryan Bowden, who had stints in Crown Heights and Sixteen Deluxe. (Beerland, Midnight) -- Michael Bertin

NOT FROM THERE: This Brisbane, Australia, band consists of expatriates from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Their latest release, Sand On Seven (Kool Arrow), features narrative-style vocals recited over a throbbing bed of Sonic Youth/Nine Inch Nails rock & roll destruction. They recently placed second in the "Best Band" category of Rolling Stone Australia's reader's poll. (Buffalo Club Patio, 1am). -- Greg Beets

ROGER CLYNE & THE PEACEMAKERS: Formerly the leader of the Refreshments, Arizona's Roger Clyne has a slightly different sound. The Peacemakers work the same roots rock soil mined by the Gin Blossoms and the Wallflowers. Their recently self-released CD is titled Honky Tonk Union. (Buffalo Billiards, 1am) -- Jim Caligiuri

ALVIN CROW: No one has yet to pit fiddlin' Alvin Crow against the devil, but if it were to happen, there would be hell to pay. The Austin-by-way-of-Oklahoma performer has been a regular on the stage so long at the Broken Spoke, there ought to be a statue of him at the venerable nightspot. (Broken Spoke, 1am) -- Margaret Moser

SUPERCAR: Blending the creamy dreamy rock sensibilities of Jesus & Mary, Mazzy, and the Bats with modern technocratic savvy not unlike Air, Radiohead, Chem. Bros., etc, this Japanese foursome is just the sensual massage and auraltherapy you'll be needing about this time Saturday night. (Blind Pig Pub, 1am) -- Kate X Messer

SINIS: Full of sound and fury signifying ROCK!, Austin's SINIS brings the Seventies arena rock experience to the small club with flashing light logos, pyrotechnics, synchronized headbanging, and big, BIG anthemic rock songs with crushing power chords. Did I mention that this is ROCK?. (Beerland, 1am) -- Michael Bertin

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