Armadillos to Addictions: a shopping guide for discerning Austinites
Also known as the Stack Attack. With "Texas Platters" otherwise occupied by the annual year-end avalanche of "gift ideas," "TCB" offers 15 recent local releases to divert your holiday green from Time Warner, Sony, and Universal. Let's see what sticks and what stinks.
THE ADDICTIONS (Electric Factory)
The band formerly known as Quatropaw hangs a sharp left into Ratt/Runaways territory. Four dudes in black audition for The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2; Beth Richard becomes the fifth Donna. Trashy and fun.
TOMMY ALVERSON, Heroes and Friends (Smith)
Good-natured honky-tonker knows what he likes: border-town girls, rodeo queens, passing the time of day at the local watering hole. Like a John Kelso column scored by Ray Benson.
THE CHAPTERS, Bleeding All Over This Town (Has Anyone Ever Told You?)
Thickets of spidery guitar and deadpan vox send a "Killing Moon"-like beacon to Williamsburg refugees and wannabes. "The Mouse of Marcos" gives good Love & Rockets, too. Next assembly: the Parish, Dec. 9.
CRAWLING WITH KINGS
Red Eyed Fly regulars revisit early Wilco for dispatches from the down-and-out. Chiming melodies and stormy rockers offer solace, but bleaker than a lost unemployment check.
Globe-trotting local DJ's original compositions favor hypnotic beats pulsing under spacious pyramids of sound. Languid after-hours ambience and bewitching female vox cancel out New Age moments like lengthy wind-chime breaks.
ANDREW DUPLANTIS, Only Funny the First Time (GFY)
Tia Carrera/Jon Dee Graham bassist does lonesome, often acoustic, psychedelic drone. Distinct countryish cast, with depth and hooks to boot. Campfire songs for peyote tea.
FULL SERVICE, 3 Will Ride Forth (Mashup)
Sublime they're not, but the trio's bouncy fusion of reggae, metal, and hip-hop has the strength of its knit-cap convictions (and conventions). Now that 311 is covering the Cure, somebody's got to.
THE INNOCENT, Our Grievances (Vainglorius)
Love songs for the doomed from local quartet fond of mining the cavernous depths of early New Order. Chilly but inviting; disco bass keeps things from getting too morose. CD release Sunday at Beerland.
THE JOLLY GAROGERS, Lost at C Flat Sharp (Explicit Parrots)
Media-friendly scalawags, who invade Mother Egan's Dec. 12, strike again. "Let's Fight Tonight" and "Road to Riches" perfect for anyone who finds the Darkness too subtle. Monster Magnet takes to the high seas.
CAMERO JONES, Love Songs for the Shotgun (Locomotive)
One-man four-track opus through Creedence Clearwater country, stocked with itinerant yarns of jealousy and longing. Zesty guitar tone swampy enough to support an entire ecosystem.
LA LA LAND, Ready? Ready! (Coup d'Etat)
Fuzzy pop with a mordant sense of humor and reluctant conscience. Orchestral bits and moody acoustic fare offset by atmospheric keys; cover of Trio's "Da Da Da" adds a dash of throwaway fun.
THE PLATFORMS, Kicked Off (Ankle Injury)
Equally glam and garage, fashion-obsessed foursome does the "Walk of Shame" with mussed hair and ripped fishnets. Laurie Libido's sneering vox turns come-ons into commands. Part of Trophy's Mod/Glam Freakout Saturday.
SAN SABA COUNTY, San Saba County
The urban cowboy circa 2004: exhausted, restless, romantic, wasted. Easygoing acoustic record with surprising bite; good twin bill with Milton Mapes or Li'l Cap'n Travis.
THE STEPBROTHERS, Baby It's Over (Licorice Tree)
May expend more ounces of sweat per gig than any band in town. Effortlessly gives classic Southern soul new life with punk energy and rockers' smirks. Helluva party album.
THE WEARY BOYS, Holy Ghost Power
Scruffy bluegrass quintet holds a revival meeting behind the Continental Club (and CD release inside Dec. 10). You gotta sin to get saved, so praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
Armadillos & Angels
It's an Austin holiday tradition up there with the Zilker trail of lights and the Longhorns getting shut out of the BCS. Originally an idea by Lucinda Williams, the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar starts its 29th year next Saturday at the Austin Music Hall. More than 100 local artists and artisans will be on hand to hawk their wares, with live music every weeknight at 8pm. (Other times shown.) Admission is $3 before 7pm weekdays, $5 after 7pm and weekends.
Dec. 11: Sara Hickman (12:30pm); Eliza Gilkyson (3:30); Django Walker (8)
Dec. 12: Ruthie Foster (12:30pm); Toni Price (3:30); Greezy Wheels (8)
Dec. 13: The Eggmen
Dec. 14: Ray Wylie Hubbard
Dec. 15: Austin Lounge Lizards
Dec. 16: Terri Hendrix
Dec. 17: Jimmy LaFave
Dec. 18: The Resentments (12:30pm); South Austin Jug Band (3:30); Van Wilks (8)
Dec. 19: The Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers (12:30pm); Marcia Ball & Sarah Elizabeth Campbell (3:30); W.C. Clark (8)
Dec. 20: Ray Benson
Dec. 21: Albert & Gage
Dec. 22: The Greencards
Dec. 23: Django's Mustache (3pm); Ponty Bone & the Squeezetones (8)
Dec. 24: Shelley King Band (3:30pm); Texana Dames (8)
Glorium throat Paul Vodas' song-shouts riled an Emo's packed with hardcore fans that knew every lyric the Nineties local avant-rockers ever penned. Despite throw-down sets from AM Syndicate and Denton's Paperchase, Glorium proved that the older a band gets, the wiser they become. Ernest Salaz's guitar led the geographically challenged quintet through the hits "The Final DJs," "The Deserter" and cuts off new release Fantasmas, while Vodas tossed his limbs in a dance to the gods. Hopefully, they will answer with future shows.
Bullet the Blue Sky
Shortly after commanding a sold-out La Zona Rosa crowd to "Walk Idiot Walk," Hives frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist and his nattily dressed bandmates stopped by Beerland. Almqvist joined reunited NYC punk/R&B legends the Raunch Hands featuring Stepbrothers guitarist Mike Mariconda onstage, while his mates stood around modeling their white satin jackets. There's a Doobie Brothers joke here somewhere.
'Tis the season: Elysium hosts its third Island of Misfits Toy Drive Friday, with live music, DJs, oil wrestling (sweet!), and a silent auction. Admission is one new, unwrapped toy (suggested $20 value) or a minimum $5 cash donation. Sunday, Lovejoy's holds its own toy drive for the Austin Police Department's Blue Santa program from 2pm on. The Passed Out Fliers perform.
Several bands who paid their dues in Sixth Street's blues trenches, including the Zach Parrish Band, Zak Perry Band, Appa's Blues Power, Gilson Viator, Joe Richardson Express, and Eric Tessmer Band gather at the Ritz Upstairs, 4pm Sunday, for a memorial concert for former Joe's Generic Bar owner Joe Bates, whose October murder remains unsolved. Admission is $5; proceeds benefit the SIMS Foundation.
Local punk vixens the Winks recorded their debut full-length last weekend at the Bubble. Super Secret Records plans to release the album in February, with Italy's Rockin' Bones Records putting out a vinyl version. Catch a preview Saturday at Sound on Sound with Manikin (themselves launching a 7-inch) and the Video Screams.
Ian McLagan & the Bump Band resume their Lucky Lounge residency 6pm tonight (Thursday) after a brief tour of the East and Midwest. McLagan "had 'em dancing in the aisles," says the Cleveland Free Scene.
Keep an eye peeled for VH1's Velvet Revolver (Inside)Out, which premiered Wednesday. Among those shown auditioning for the vocalist job eventually filled by Scott Weiland are Sebastian Bach and Austin's Shandon Sahm, who sang his dad's "She's About a Mover," of course.