SXSW Picks and Sleepers

Friday Sleepers

All showcase times subject to change. Please check official SXSW schedule.

JETPACK: Nashville rock quartet Jetpack pops off into the galaxy of Weezer, which orbits the old moon of Redd Kross. In other words, last year's self-titled debut was all nerd-boy vocals and lighthearted power chords. (Momos, 8pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

BLU SANDERS: It's entirely fitting that singer-songwriter Blu Sanders splits his time between New York and Austin; his songs are somehow singularly gritty and laid-back. Last year's 5 to Care About EP was a slice of truth in advertising, and he's also having success as a songwriter -- Jack Ingram is currently enjoying a radio revival with the Sanders-penned "A Little Bit." (Cactus Cafe, 8pm) -- Andy Langer

JOHN EDDIE: Who the hell is the guy sharing a bill with Willie, Lucinda, and the Jayhawks? Winds up Who the Hell Is John Eddie? answers said query for Lost Highway via this Virginia singer-songwriter/ friend-of-Springsteen debut. The Jim Dickinson-produced release offers up a series of witty and biting country-tinged songs and ends with an anthem, "Play Some Skynyrd." (Austin Music Hall, 8pm) -- Andy Langer

COIN-OP: Brighton's entry into the New Garageland Sweepstakes sees its derivative oozing out of refreshingly different pores, as this synth/guitar foursome -- tearing up clubs across the UK and releasing slab after slab on Fierce Panda -- finally give Richard Hell, the Buzzcocks, Johnny Thunders, Brian Eno, and the Fall their due. (Blender Bar, 8pm) -- Kate X Messer

OVA LOOVEN: After the disillusion of the New Order-for-the-late-Nineties outfit Antarctica, the members delved further into electronica. The result is Ova Looven, a collaboration between the ex-Antarctica members and National Skyline guitarist and Austin resident James Minor. Their upcoming 58:34 has one foot in electronica and one foot in the current Eighties synth-pop revival. (Privilege, 8pm) -- Michael Chamy

CANOE: New Austin trio Canoe, featuring Bedbug's Joe Salinas on the skins, comes off like an irreverent Grandaddy with their snarky hodge-podge of trash rock and hooky pop. Their debut is out this spring on SF's Amazing Grease Records. (BD Riley's, 8pm) -- Michael Chamy

BAHRAIN: Fronted by Austin psyche-punk veteran and bassist supreme Scott Telles of ST 37, Bahrain spews cold, detached synths, a more compact punk rock outlook, and a mysterious, vaguely political name. (Red Eyed Fly, 8pm) -- Michael Chamy

BONGZILLA: Not hiding their inspirations or affectations, Bongzilla melts psychedelia and sludge core for the Green Army. Stash was released by Relapse in 1999, showcasing the Madison, Wis.-based quartet's sweet-leaf, power-sludge take on Black Sabbath and Eyehategod. Last year's Gateway was the latest chapter in their celebration of the sacred sacrament. (Emo's Annex, 9pm) -- David Lynch

LAZY COWGIRLS: Long-running L.A. favorites, the Lazy Cowgirls have been releasing album after album of rootsy punk rock since the mid-Eighties. Since then, the onetime Indiana émigrés have found a comfortable niche on Sympathy for the Record Industry. (Beerland, 9pm) -- Christopher Gray

YAKUZA: Chicago jazzcore junkies Yakuza create some interplanetary kind of Zorn/Tool fusion and make it sound not dorky. It would be a natural transition, say, for kids currently suckling on the juicy System of a Down teat to graduate to this band's big bad lovin' sippy cup. (Elysium, 9pm) -- Kate X Messer

DAN BRODIE & THE BROKEN ARROWS: Melbourne, Australia's Dan Brodie & the Broken Arrows are surely the only band to act as tour support with Paul Kelly and as the backup band for Tony Joe White. Their multifaceted talent exhibits itself in the band's distinct sound, which draws as much from Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan as it does from Nirvana and the Gun Club. (Mother Egan's, 9pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

NORRIN RADD: The noble Norrin Radd of the planet Zenn-La became the Silver Surfer in order to save his world from destruction at the hands of Galactus, the devourer of planets. Yes, Marvel Comics are big in Berlin, too, as German singer-songwriter Gandulf Hennig has adopted the Silver Surfer's alter ego as his own, and apparently a whiff of the storyline's tragic fatalism. (Cedar Street, 9pm) -- Michael Chamy

TEMPLO DIEZ: French multi-instrumentalist Pascal Hallibert hopped a train to the Hague to find his Velvet Underground, a sonorous, country-flecked, lo-fi pier-and-beam Palace built on whispers and regrets. Last year's Hoboken was a looong way from Paris. (Spill, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

ROESY: Traditional singer-songwriter meets modern Irish melody maker. That's Roesy in a nutshell, much closer to the contemporary Paul Brady than singers of yore like Tommy Sands. His new album, Sketch the Day, Paint the Night, highlights his gentle music with marvelous vocal work. (Hard Rock, 9pm) -- Margaret Moser

BILLY ADAMS: One of the great things about Fifties rockabilly is that when you think you've heard it all, another one comes along. Nashville's Billy Adams playing in the mid-Fifties only to ditch rock & roll in favor of the ministry. One listen to "Rock, Pretty Mama," the signature tune from his Rockin' Thru the Years, and you'll believe he's the real thing. (Continental Club, 9pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

STROLLER: This Nashville quartet probably has a Remington in its gun rack for just such a comparison, but Ryan Adams' sparkling roots pop could use a bit of the Beatles swagger found on Stroller's endearing, self-titled debut from last year. Somebody call Sub Pop. (Iron Cactus, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

SHEARWATER: Shearwater headman Will Sheff pulls double-duty with Austin favorites Okkervil River. This project sees him match wits and tunes with Jonathan Meiburg, also of Walking Spanish, and come up with pop songs as spare and hypnotic as anything on Kranky. Last year's Everybody Makes Mistakes (Misra) transformed Shearwater from side project to band-in-demand. (Hideout, 9pm) -- Christopher Hess

CAESAR: "Fronted by Jarvis Cocker look-alike Roald Von," this Amsterdam trio specializes in "garage pop slacker anthems," according to their press. According to their Excelsior CD, that would be peak-era GBV. (Momos, 9pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

CONDOR44: Seems reductive to compare this Tokyo combo to fellow country buds Buffalo Daughter, but therein lies a similar lilt and scree. Where BD goes a bit more for the electronic jugular, the Condor approach is more stringy, sexy, and systemic -- a holistic body work-over with gentle lady vocals atop jazzy power chord pummelings. (Mercury, 9pm) -- Kate X Messer

CARISSA'S WEIRD: It's probably the tremor in Jenn Ghetto's voice, combined with Sarah Standard's violin and Jeff Hellis' piano, but the chilly chamber pop of this Seattle fivepiece burrs a little Björk. Their Sad Robot release, Song About Leaving, has a Low Pop Suicide lilt and plenty of strum. (Club DeVille, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

SUPER XX MAN: Former Silver Scooter frontman Scott Garred up and left Austin for Portland, Ore., last year, but still plays solo as Super XX Man. His Vol. VI: Collecting Rocks is out next year on Portland's Lelp Records and is reportedly about his grandfather's boxcar travels from Minnesota to Oregon. (BD Riley's, 10pm) -- Michael Chamy

CHRIS LEE: Where in the name of Jeff Buckley are all these young men with young haunting voices and faraway songs falling from? Brooklyn boy Chris Lee comes by way of North Carolina's alt.country Pine State Boys, and if his June release for Austin's new indie Misra Records is any indication, the third time will be the charm in the recognition richly deserved sweepstakes. (Hideout, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

STEVEN McDONALD GROUP: "It's a definite hiatus," said teen babe from Monsanto Steven McDonald about L.A.'s legendary Redd Kross recently, "but the length of hiatus is indefinite." While busy overseeing the CD reissue of RK klassic Neurotica last year, the younger McDonald brother also found time to issue his own group's This Is Not a Rebellion, This Is a Mass Awakening EP, a chip off the power-pop sugar cube. (Momos, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

WHIRLWIND HEAT: This guitar-free trio of Michigan 21-year-olds are White Stripe Jack White's first signing to his V2 imprint Third Man Records. Their White-produced Do Rabbits Wonder? features plenty of beautifully twisted artsy garage rock that's equal parts B-52's and the Stooges. Spastic frontman David Swanson has the presence, charm, and charisma Andrew WK would kill for. (La Zona Rosa, 10pm) -- Andy Langer

8 FOOT SATIVA: Bongzilla, meet 8 Foot Sativa, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "most prolific metal band." Make that death metal with throat-shredding GWAR vocals in little need of the lyric sheet inside. "Cocktease" is better misheard with "I love you" following "you suck." (Back Room, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

CHRIS SPECHT: Austin stalwart Specht has been packing them in like disco sardines with his soulful deep house grooves for years now, a testament to his skill behind the decks. Specht has been laying down new tracks while simultaneously making marimbas do nasty, nasty things. (Zero Degrees, 10pm) -- Marc Savlov

GOLDEN ROUGH: Sydney's David Orwell is the golden rough in Golden Rough, his voice a burnished cross between Al Stewart and Jakob Dylan. The Australian fourpiece traffics in the well-wrought sparkle pop of the former and the rootsy rock of the latter. (Continental Club, 10pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

ELIZABETH MCQUEEN AND THE FIREBRANDS: McQueen does the country thing and does it damn well, with traces of Rockpile and Elvis Costello sneaking in from time to time. Those who like Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells won't be disappointed with the young McQueen -- honky-tonk queen. (Broken Spoke, 10pm) -- Jerry Renshaw

DQE: Atlantan lead singer Grace Braun's forays into folk haven't softened any edges, per se, and fans of Half Japanese and Hasil Adkins alike can take heart. Braun's warbling vocals have more in common with Janis Joplin, than Moe Tucker. The 2-CD I'm Your Girl on Dark Beloved Cloud, reveals plenty. (Opal Divine's, 11pm) -- Kate X Messer

KACY CROWLEY: After finally cutting the legal cord from Atlantic, this smart Austin singer-songwriter returned to the studio last month with Jon Dee Graham. It's a batch of typically elegant tunes that will hopefully retain the title of a sophomore Atlantic set that never saw the light of day: Boys in the Attic. (Fox & Hound, 11pm) -- Andy Langer

STAN MARTIN: In the alt.country world, Stan Martin was surely the surprise success story of 2002. His Cigarettes and Cheap Whiskey won raves from critics nationwide and made a mad dash up the Americana music charts. Martin mixes rock with country like Dwight Yoakam and the Derailers. (Broken Spoke, 11pm) -- Jim Caligiuri

CASS McCOMBS: This young New York singer-songwriter hasn't amassed much press yet, but given his instantly endearing new Monitor EP, Not the Way, it would all say one thing: Let It Be-era Paul Westerberg. The "Hanging Party" is here. (Emo's Jr., 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

SUMMER HYMNS: They're psychedelic popsters from Athens, Ga., they're part of Elephant Six, and their members play in Of Montreal and Masters of the Hemisphere. You've heard it all before, but not their upcoming third album on Austin's newest label Misra Records. (Hideout, 11pm) -- Michael Chamy

HELLA: This pair of youngsters from Sacramento-way summon the spirit and anarchy of Captain Beefheart and channel it through chemical-fire riffs and backbreaking drum beats like you haven't heard since Shellac last jolted you from slumber. The follow-up to their last release, Bitches Ain't Shit But Good People, a staggering if brief platter o' rock goodness, should be out later this year. (Privilege Patio, 11pm) -- Christopher Hess

BOAS: Chicago's Boas, who started out under the moniker Mansion, turned raised eyebrows into dedicated stares with the release of their eponymous debut on Overcoat records. Recorded partly at Soma studio, home of Tortoise and all things John McEntire, Mansion rocks unfettered by cool or pretense. (Club DeVille, 11pm) -- Christopher Hess

ENSIMI: For their first album in English, last year's self-titled Ensími, this Icelandic fourpiece memorized the exercises on Dave Grohl's ESL series. Either that or the Foo Fighters moved to Reykjavík. Their third album overall since 1996, Ensími, shudders with frosty programming that ices the rock with glacial dark hues. Bring your flannel muffler. (Spill, 11pm) -- Raoul Hernandez

THE VIA SATELLITES: This new outfit is a bona fide Austin supergroup, featuring Kevin Whitley (Ed Hall, Cherubs) and Carrie Clark (Sixteen Deluxe). Combining the lovely, sometimes-raspy vocals of Clark (think Kim Deal) with Whitley's dog-whistle-pitched vocals and signature drum demolition, theirs is a heavy, sweet sound that'll stick in your craw. (Club 505, 11pm) -- Mark Fagan

MUNDY: If Mundy's name sounds familiar, then you were probably one of the 11 million who bought the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, featuring this Dublinites' "To You I Bestow." Mundy's acoustically driven songs, with looped electronics, earned him an opening slot for Neil Young and can be heard on his newest, the superfine 24 Star Hotel. If you like David Gray, you'll love Mundy. (Hard Rock, 11:30pm) -- David Lynch

JACK WEST AND CURVATURE: Bay Area jazzer Jack West plays a specially designed eight-string guitar, incorporating alternate tunings, slide playing, simultaneous bass and melody parts, and rhythmic string tapping, joined by trap drums, marimba, lumina, and pedal steel. Full of what he calls "progressive acoustic jazz," West and Curvature put out their fifth Lee Townsend-produced release, Around About Now. (Elephant Room, 11:30pm) -- David Lynch

ALANA DAVIS: Belated commercial success for this perennially underrated singer-songwriter has come from, yes, a commercial -- her take on CSN&Y's classic "Carry On," which anchored a Sony Electronics Super Bowl spot. Expect a batch of new material at her showcase and a flurry of Four Seasons activity; unsigned singer-songwriters this accomplished aren't free agents for long. (Fox & Hound, midnight) -- Andy Langer

TANDY: Named after a character in the Sherwood Anderson novel Winesburg, Ohio, New York's Tandy's organic roots pop crackles with warmth. On 2002's The Lowdown: 1997-2002 (Gammon), songwriter Mike Ferrio captures a longing that recalls forbears like Gram Parsons and Townes Van Zandt. (Opal Divine's, midnight) -- Greg Beets

THE HONORARY TITLE: Brooklyn singer-songwriter Jarrod Gorbel is the Honorary Title. His eponymous, made-in-Austin debut is a diary of anti-social complexes and an exercise in complexity, deftly setting sharply written narratives against shadowy textures. It's made him an A&R favorite and Chris Carabba's hand-picked opener for a recent run with Dashboard Confessional. (Momos, midnight) -- Andy Langer

COLIN GILMORE: Yes, Colin Gilmore is Jimmie Dale's son. As evidenced from the EP he released last year, Four of No Kind, the younger Gilmore goes his own way with a combination of energetic guitar pop and melodic twang. He's currently recording his first full-length with local Mark Hallman producing. (Cedar Street, midnight) -- Jim Caligiuri

REELTIME TRAVELERS: Probably the most talented, ebullient bunch of bluegrass kids to hit the circuit since Del McCoury's boys joined the trade, this Tennessee quintet won big notice on a short string of dates on last year's Down From the Mountain tour. Last year's Livin' Reeltime, Thinkin' Old-Time featured blazing fiddle and an occasional bout of clogging. (Scholz Beer Garten, midnight) -- Christopher Hess

ZEA: As New Wave sweeps across the States anew, it's no surprise that the Continent is floating the same back across the pond. This Amsterdam duo imports herky-jerky electro pop like when Bonzo was still in the White House. (Roxy, midnight) -- Raoul Hernandez

SKELETON KEY: Known for their odd percussion sounds, made with pots, pans, and junkyard debris, Skeleton Key returns after several years of inactivity. Their Ipecac records comeback Obtanium brims with interesting sonic curios, but their avant-funk-punk falls far short of the more melodic Enon, which formerly featured Skeleton Key's percussion section. (Elysium, midnight) -- Michael Chamy

BLACK LIPSTICK: Carrying on the hallowed Peek-A-Boo legacy of candy-sweet pop cut with serious punk snark, Black Lipstick veers into darker climes, suggestive of the Cure if Robert Smith watched a lot of World's Wildest Police Videos. Their full-length debut, Converted Thieves, is due in April. (BD Riley's, midnight) -- Christopher Gray

SPAN: Described by Kerrang as "a shaken and rattled DNA cocktail of Aerosmith and Jane's Addiction," fronted by young-Jagger-doppelgänger Jarle Bernhoft, these moody Norwegian exports' seamless mix of nü-metal and nü-wave has resulted in a Roadrunner debut due later in the year. (Aussies, midnight) -- Andy Langer

SIN ROPAS: One of the number of attention-worthy spinoffs of Chicago blues-noise legends Red Red Meat, Sin Ropas features Tim Hurley and company churning slow and thoughtful pop through trademark clattery and discordant machinery. Sin Ropas brings to mind an ambient-rock Tom Waits. (Club DeVille, midnight) -- Christopher Hess

WOODSTAR: Ireland's Woodstar play reserved, navel-gazing narco-folk similar to Jeff Buckley or the Red House Painters. The Limerick quintet's 2002 EP, The Last Sad Verse of a Dumb Punk Song, also appropriates the plush, ruminative textures of recent Flaming Lips. (Hard Rock Cafe, 12:45am) -- Christopher Gray

GNAPPY: In a town where jazz clings to life like democracy, Gnappy are Medeski, Martin, and Wood: smart, sharp, and boogie -- rock & roll reality braced with bop chops. The local quartet's snappy (rhymes with Gnappy) self-titled debut from 2001 awaits a shelfmate. (Elephant Room, 12:45am) -- Raoul Hernandez

MINGO FISHTRAP: Mingo Fishtrap is a trip into a storage room cluttered with percussion instruments, baritone saxes, trumpets, guitars, organs, noisemakers, and Mardi Gras beads. They play an irresistible mix of New Orleans-style rock, ranting and raving the whole time, and forcing involuntary booty twitches from the audience. From the Private Bag came out December 2000. (Steamboat, 1am) -- Jerry Renshaw

THAD COCKRELL: Thad Cockrell's motto is "putting the 'hurt' back into country," so you know the North Caroliner isn't a pretty-boy hat act. With a sound that's not "alt" anything, Cockrell has a voice that was made to sing country. His debut for Yep Roc, Warmth and Beauty, is due May 6. (Broken Spoke, 1am) -- Jim Caligiuri

JON AUER: The coolest thing about Jon Auer's most recent album, 61/2, is his cover of Ween's "Baby Bitch," a very sensitive and heartfelt rendition of a terrifically tacky song. He recently toured with fellow ex-Posie Ken Stringfellow; they released a comeback EP in 2001 called Nice Cheekbones and a Ph.D. (Lounge, 1am) -- Melanie Haupt

THE SIGHTS: These veterans of the Detroit garage rock revival love the Zombies and Big Star and unapologetically wear those influences on their sleeves. The result is a psychedelic gem, Got What We Want, and a growing stack of press accolades for what's reportedly an incendiary live show. (La Zona Rosa, 1am) -- Andy Langer

THE BLOODY TEARS: Austin's Bloody Tears deliver amped-up versions of R&B nuggets from the Sixties in a manner that makes like Mr. Chesterfield and satisfies. The quintet's tasteful repertoire includes such hits as the Parliaments' "(I Wanna) Testify" and the Allen Toussaint-penned Betty Wright tune "Shoorah, Shoorah." (Club 505, 1am) -- Greg Beets

ROYSTON LANGDON: Spacehog's founder and frontman has been in New York City recording his debut solo effort, an album that his Web site snippets suggest may be equal parts Beck and Queen. Reports from the road where he's been opening for Todd Rundgren suggest live sets compelling enough to earn pin-drop silence. (Iron Cactus, 1am) -- Andy Langer

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes: Irrefutable proof that punk rock does in fact warp your mind, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes are what happens when members of NOFX and Lagwagon decide to indulge their secret love for Seventies soft rock. John Denver's "Country Roads" and Barry Manilow's "Mandy" are reborn. (Emo's Main, 1am) -- Christopher Gray

THE DRAGONS: Alejandro Escovedo's kid brother Mario kicked off the Dragons by putting together the M-80s, which mutated into the Dragons back in the early Nineties. They traffic in Marshalls and booze, playing punk rock with the emphasis on rock, à la Johnny Thunders. (Beerland, 1am) -- Jerry Renshaw

EARTH: Back from what seemed like permanent entombment is Earth, the Seattle metallic-drone experiment of one Dylan Carlson, who released a series of engaging, if meandering, albums for Sub Pop in the early and mid-Nineties. The band made headlines last year with the reissue of Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars and an unreleased track from 1990 featuring Kurt Cobain on vocals. (Room 710, 1am) -- Michael Chamy

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