Wednesday Sleepers

SXSW Picks & Sleepers

Wednesday Sleepers

All showcase times subject to change

JAWBONE

8pm, Red Eyed Fly A one-man Motor City blues band with a penchant for racket, Jawbone (Bob Zabor) was one of the last performers under the patronage of legendary UK deejay John Peel. It's not hard to see why: In a landscape littered with Black Keys and Bob Logs, 2003's Dang Blues is a backyard stomp with rough edges to burn. – Christopher Gray

AMERICAN VODKA

8pm, Blender Bar Balcony @ the Ritz Joining forces last year through a mutual love of Crazy Horse, psych rock, and Tito's Handmade Vodka, these four esteemed local warriors stem from the royal Austin spaceblood of ST 37, My Education, Fires Were Shot, and Winslow. – Michael Chamy

BOYSKOUT

8pm, Lava Lounge Patio San Francisco's Boyskout brandishes ambisextrous neo-lezzie affect(at)ions, living up to their debut, School of Etiquette (Alive). The Cali quartet is also a torchbearer in the relay between the Waitresses, Missing Persons, Elastica, and now. – Kate X Messer

MELONIE CANNON

8pm, Opal Divine's Freehouse Nashville's Cannon sings at the intersection of Music City commercial appeal and bluegrass purity. The daughter of famed producer/songwriter Buddy Cannon, her self-titled debut on Skaggs Family Records was released last fall to warm reviews. – Jim Caligiuri

Maggie Walters

8pm, Lounge @ Crowne Plaza Kelly Willis as an indie diva? Maggie Walters' bedroom voice sounded equally pure and pleasing recently on her self-titled local debut, written entirely – to good effect – by the 24-year-old scene newcomer. Slip her on for size. – Raoul Hernandez

SEAN COSTELLO

8pm, Antone's Costello's self-titled debut on the Tone/Artemis label draws from a variety of blues, soul, and roots music and channels them through his youthful, Atlantan touch. His songwriting nods to Johnnie Taylor, Al Green, and Dylan. – Margaret Moser

CUE

8pm, Velvet Spade When Explosions in the Sky found success with their lulling guitars building into crescendos, the local scene got a needed boost in the instrumental department. Now Cue takes the stage singing a similar tune, made their own with the addition of violin. A full-length record is in the works. – Darcie Stevens

DJ RAPID RIC

8pm, Back Room Austin's DJ Rapid Ric equips himself with only the most lethal of Texas rap armaments. With Chamillionaire hosting his latest mix CD, What It Dew; Paul Wall doing the honors on his former, Fistful of Dollars; and OG Ron C tweaking Chopped & Screwed versions of both, Ric's allegiance to Swishahouse runs bayou deep. – Robert Gabriel

ENDOCHINE

8pm, Nuno's This Austin quartet is slowly making waves with their pop song structure wrapped in a hard rock blanket. Multiple vocal harmonies don't hurt, and neither does recording their sophomore Day Two with producer Lars Goransson (Cardigans, Cotton Mather, Fastball). – David Lynch

GARY GRAVES

8pm, Pecan Street Ale House Somewhere between Daniel Johnston and Che Guevara, Austin anarchist Gary Graves' Love Is a Dangerous Thing rambles from florid explorations of sexuality to scathing swipes at race relations and politics, pitched against a pregnant acoustic guitar dangerously close to splintering. – Christopher Gray

HOBBLE

8pm, Room 710 Wearing nothing but shorts and tube socks, Hobble vocalist Oriah Lonsdale is a mighty wind of Angus Young-style onstage rage. The Austin quartet's last album, 2003's Gods Work, explored sacrilege and sadomasochism (among other things) as it crunched through an aural assault that begs for Mutt Lange treatment. – Greg Beets

LUKE TEMPLE

8pm, Maggie Mae's Luke Temple's elegant way with words and movements ranks with the greats: Cale, Lennon, Buckley. Raising goosebumps and inciting gasps and tears, his debut EP was but a taste. His first LP coming in April, Hold a Match for a Gasoline World, simply kills. – Kate X Messer

THE TALK

8pm, Saké on Sixth Fast pop on the upstroke never rusts, but Justin Williams' not-saccharine vox powers this Charlotte fourpiece's silver-plated guitar tear. The Talk's solid, snappy It's Like Magic in Reverse doesn't have a rearview mirror. – Raoul Hernandez

XCELLA

8pm, Chuggin' Monkey Local quintet Xcella's brand of dancey indie pop is a breath of fresh air in a hipster humidor. Xcella comprises current and past members of Austin's Coco Candissi, Experimental Aircraft, and the Swells. Double keys, guitar, bass, and drums create a vintage, psychedelic party. – Darcie Stevens

THE BRILLIANT MISTAKES

9pm, Tambaleo Taking their name from an Elvis Costello song, the Brilliant Mistakes draw upon the pop, folk, and soul sounds of the Sixties and Seventies. The NYC quartet has drawn raves in the Big Apple for their second album, Dumb Luck, and they're working on a follow-up. – Jim Caligiuri

DEVIN DAVIS

9pm, Velvet Spade Patio In the tradition of Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything?, Chicago's Devin Davis plays just about everything on his 2003 debut, Lonely People of the World, Unite! (Mousse), with its keen grasp on Sixties/Seventies pop, rock, country, and soul. – Greg Beets

DOLOREAN

9pm, Maggie Mae's What started as a solo folk guitar performance at the Jasmine Tree Chinese Restaurant in Portland, Ore., in 1999 has turned into a group of musicians performing the songs of Al James as Dolorean. Their second album, 2004's Violence in the Snowy Fields (Yep Roc) travels the same shade-covered road as bands like Iron & Wine. – Jim Caligiuri

The GRASCALS

9pm, Opal Divine's Freehouse If they come off like Nashville pros, it's because they are. Think of the Grascals as the bluegrass Chieftains, keeping the musical tradition alive through the trends. That's what Dolly Parton thought when she tapped the sixpiece to open for her tour last fall. – Margaret Moser

JETSCREAMER

9pm, Friends Lodged snugly in the cabinet between Big Black and the Blues Explosion, Jetscreamer is a power trio with dual slide guitars out front. Smelling a bona fide Texas roadhouse rumble, UK's Bella Union snatched up these Dentonites and their debut, Starhead, in 2003. – Michael Chamy

JUPITER AND TEARDROP

9pm, Nuno's This Glasgow quartet's debut EP, Bring Me Down, just released in the UK, specializes in brainy, emotional indie rock, with the potential to be Travis Jr., but not quite yet. Singer Geoff Martin, who earned acclaim for 2002 solo album Something Good, might just be on to something. – Melanie Haupt

THE KODIAKS

9pm, Beerland If Austin's Kodiaks make it all the way through a set without breaking anything, it's an off night. Frontman Yoshi's spastic energy pours out in a precariously high-strung ballet of contortions and conniptions, while guitarists Tom and Mike provide cover and Lisa the drummer keeps everything from going completely off the rails. – Christopher Gray

THE SIGHTS

9pm, Stubb's England's the Coral took SXSW by storm last year with their organ-ridden epics. The Sights are Detroit's version of the same, with a bit more Jack White and half as many members. The trio's third LP is due this April on James Iha's Scratchie Records. – Darcie Stevens

WE ARE SCIENTISTS

9pm, Hard Rock Cafe Another Wire-y trio from Brooklyn, WAS' EP, The Wolf's Hour, leavens its jabbing guitars and hypertensive rhythms with pop smarts that take out the sting but leave the bite – until easygoing closer "Callbacks Under the Sea" saddles up the acoustic for an Old 97's-style ride out West. – Christopher Gray

AMERICA IS WAITING

9:45pm, Hard Rock Cafe Picking up where fellow Texan resisters At the Drive-In left off, America Is Waiting delivers a calculated fusillade of punk rock agitprop that is loud, tight, and passionate. Produced by the Paper Chase's John Congleton, the group's In the Lines EP (DieDieDiamond) captures their Dischord-style railings. – Greg Beets

THE GRIS GRIS

10pm, Club de Ville It's 1969 and you're hanging out at an SF dive out of your mind on 'ludes. Fronted by Oakland's young Greg Ashley (originally from Houston), the Gris Gris exorcises demons via effects-laden catharsis. Their self-titled album was eerily reminiscent of Ashley's solo album, Medicine Fuck Dream, injecting Texas psych into California pop. – Audra Schroeder

THE CHAPTERS

10pm, Blender Bar Balcony @ the Ritz Mastering the Joy Division/Interpol blend might seem old-school, but Austin's Chapters do it so well. Their new Bleeding All Over This Town (Has Anyone Ever Told You?) blends Rick Gonzalez's pained vocals with anxiety-laden synth into a musical joy for the depressed loner in all of us. – Darcie Stevens

DEAD WHALE TIDE

10pm, Velvet Spade After a brief hiatus from local gigging and a recent re-entry into orbit opening for Luna, local foursome Dead Whale Tide is back with a bouncier sound. Singer/guitarist Justin Preston, guitarist Don Arias, bassist Zach Ground, and drummer Steve Dayton still own a bass-driven sway that soothes and scathes. – Audra Schroeder

DR. DOG

10pm, Soho Lounge Philadelphia's Dr. Dog takes lo-fi garage sensibility, adds piano, a touch of "Rocky Raccoon," and Conor Oberst emotion. The fivepiece's debut, Easy Beat (National Parking), is simple rock & roll without the pretension or attitude of the current New Wave explosion. – Darcie Stevens

HOLLY THROSBY

10pm, Copa Throsby's tousled, breathy pop originates from Sydney, Australia, but is no stranger to Austin thanks to Mark Kozelek, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Hayden. Last year's On Night explains that in a fashion that might remind locals of Kacy Crowley. – Raoul Hernandez

FOLLOW THE TRAIN

10pm, Lava Lounge Patio Is there any greater indie cachet than cutting your debut in a funeral home? Thus is the story of the Louisville outfit Follow the Train, who build on R.E.M., Cure, and the Church on their new The Great Disturbance (Debauchery). – David Lynch

THE GIRAFFES

10pm, Bigsby's One of NYC's most confrontational live acts, this punk quartet is notorious for pelting its audiences with shot glasses and whiskey bottles. Their self-titled debut for Razor & Tie features the band's self-proclaimed "sexy metal" and next-level musicianship. – Andy Langer

VIDEO SCREAMS

10:15pm, Jackalope Austin's Video Screams buzz with duel guitar/keyboard fury. With 18-year-old Ryan Foster's odd key signature and 17-year-old Roy Tatum's staccato yelps, they recorded with Tim Kerr this spring, and are well on their way to punk rock glory. – Darcie Stevens

CHOPS

11pm, Back Room Blazing trails as a member of Philadelphia's Mountain Brothers, the first major label Asian-American rap group, Chops forgoes sampling for classic moments from vinyl's past. Last year's solo debut, Virtuosity, illustrates a knack for retro keyboard modulations and features guest spots by Kanye West, Raekwon, Ras Kass, and Planet Asia. – Robert Gabriel

The LINUS PAULING QUARTET

11pm, Room 710 C6H8O6 couldn't match immortal 2000 album Ashes in the Bong of God at the name game, but neither was it as schizophrenic. Last year's September Gurls, their fifth LP, brought this Houston psych-rock unit out of obscurity with accessible space-jam nuggets in the mindfuck sunshine of the eternal riff. – Michael Chamy

SKULLENING

11pm, Jackalope Skullening is a San Antonio quartet that shuns guitar in favor of the more dramatic organ, a gothic flavor blending with the thrash. Watching Leonard Guerra pogo onstage to the clatter, chaos takes over, and the outside world disappears. – Darcie Stevens

THE WINKS

11pm, Beerland The Winks engage in a growling punk shakedown that reimagines the Germs as kickass hot girls. Vixen vox Amanda Hugnkiss vacillates between demands like "Spoil Me" and straight-out threats like "You're Gonna Die" while the rest of the band cuts off all potential exits. The Winks' 2003 7-inch EP on Super Secret made keeping a turntable handy worthwhile. – Greg Beets

MICHELLE ANTHONY

11pm, Lounge @ Crowne Plaza A protégé of Jay Bennett, Michelle Anthony's 2004 debut, Stand Fall Repeat, evoked Chrissie Hynde on an alt.country bender. Anthony was an original member of now-disbanded Milwaukee indie pop group Capital 8. – Jim Caligiuri

JESSI ALEXANDER

11pm, Antone's Despite her part in last month's FHM "Country Music's Sexy Stars" cover shoot, this 28-year-old Nashville newcomer is to be taken very seriously: Her Sony debut, Honeysuckle Sweet, offers more than its share of classy, breathy vocals and strong songwriting. – Andy Langer

MARTA G–MEZ

11pm, Copa Like her Peruvian soul sister Susanna Baca, Colombia's Marta G–mez possesses one of those wonderfully smooth and clear voices that showcases the beauty of the Spanish language, well documented in her new CD, Cantos de Agua Dulce (Chesky). – David Lynch

HAYES CARLL

11pm, B.D. Riley's The average Hayes Carll gig is a toss-up between musical set and comedy routine. That suits the Texas Gulf Coast native just fine; for his droll patter is as much the charm of his performances as his well-honed songs. His new CD, Little Rock, includes Billy Joe Shaver producer R.S. Field. – Margaret Moser

RICHMOND FONTAINE

11pm, Vibe Formed in 1995, this Portland, Ore., quartet has five time-honored bittersweet country rock albums under its belt. Their 2004 El Cortez release, Post to Wire, produced by J.D. Foster, features their love for HŸsker DŸ, Willie Nelson, and X. – Jim Caligiuri

THE REDWALLS

11pm, Tambaleo Fresh out of high school and off a tour with Keane, this Chicago quartet hits town in advance of a Capitol debut produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith). Split the difference between past touring mates the Jayhawks and Rooney. – Andy Langer

MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO.

12mid, Parish The other side of Songs:Ohia's Jason Molina is Magnolia Electric Co. Molina and friends play a brand of country rock that features loose, raw guitars and a dark, melancholic vibe worthy of Neil Young. Their new album, What Comes After the Blues, is set for release in early April by Secretly Canadian. – Jim Caligiuri

BRANDI CARLILE

12mid, 18th Floor @ the Crowne Plaza At 23, this Seattle-area singer-songwriter has already earned a lifetime of Bruce Springsteen comparisons for both her colorful storytelling and penchant for shit-hot, three-hour shows. After a heated bidding war, Columbia releases her debut LP in May. – Andy Langer

FIELDING

12mid, Lava Lounge Patio Fielding is a Long Beach quintet led by husband/wife Eric and Beth Balmer, who spent 2004 setting the (real) OC on fire with their quiet indie rock. Their self-released debut lacks a bit of energy, but this is probably a band that you see live rather than listen to at home. – Melanie Haupt

BLUE MERLE

12mid, Buffalo Billiards More Dave Matthews fans have a Radiohead disc in their collection than would make Thom Yorke comfortable. Those folks are going to adore Blue Merle, a whipsmart Nashville collective that wraps itself in lushly arranged tunes anchored by mandolin and upright bass. Their new Island debut, Burning in the Sun, just might reset the Americana clock. – Andy Langer

EL GATO

12mid, Co-op Bar Folks used to say the Polyphonic Spree sounded like the Flaming Lips, but this Spree-related quartet from Denton sounds like they've served a lifetime apprenticeship at the Dave Fridmann school of hi-fi pop mastery. 2002's secret gem of a debut, We're Birds, was a bus ride to Brooklyn away from being the Secret Machines with better songs. – Michael Chamy

THE ACTION IS

12mid, Habana Calle 6 Veterans of the local scene for nearly a decade, the Action Is got an extreme makeover last year around the nucleus of Adam Farina and Kristina Recla. The turbulence resolves itself on Forget the Alibi, a snappy side that splits the difference between Queens of the Stone Age and Sticky Fingers. – Christopher Gray

MANIKIN

12mid, Beerland While Manikin is firmly grounded in the garage punk ethos, that's no reason not to pursue the emotive mechanics of Joy Division. The local trio released a 7-inch EP on local imprint Super Secret last year with a blistering cover of Joy Division's "Shadowplay," and finished cutting the follow-up to their 2002 self-titled debut. – Greg Beets

MANDARIN

12mid, Friends Last year's Fast>Future>Present beefed up this North Texas quartet's formerly narcotic sound and made for two full-lengths in seven years. The record, released in the UK on Bella Union along with every other good Denton band with a large pedal collection, comes closer to the multilayered zen-rock odyssey that is Mandarin's live show. – Michael Chamy

ASOBI SEKSU

12mid, Velvet Spade Patio This New York foursome's self-titled debut on Friendly Fire channels the static guitar wash of My Bloody Valentine, but it is singer Yuki Chikudate's voice that pulls them out of the fuzz and into a more controlled pop clamor. Their name means "play sex" for a reason. – Audra Schroeder

THE PRETTY PLEASE

12mid, Blender Bar Balcony @ the Ritz Leaving the remains of scene darlings Sixteen Deluxe lost in feedback, Carrie Clark reinvented herself with the Pretty Please. The local trio begs a melodic pop rock with nice fuzzy edges, no surprise given the presence of ex-Ed Hall and Cherubs drummer Kevin Whitley and bassist Matt Hovis from Cotton Mather. – Margaret Moser

PAUL THE GIRL

12mid, Hideout Paul the Girl is a classically trained musician with ample amounts of British quirkiness that add to her already original compositions. Her second album, Electro-Magnetic Blues (Inconvenient Records), was warmly received on both sides of the Big Pond. – David Lynch

DAYNA KURTZ WITH TARANTULA

1am, Cedar Street Courtyard This Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter possesses a rich, dusky, soulful voice. Kurtz's third and most recent release, the deliciously noirish Beautiful Yesterday, renders fresh, brooding interpretations of Leonard Cohen, Billie Holiday, and Prince, as well as impressive originals. – Jay Trachtenberg

COLIN GILMORE

1am, B.D. Riley's Comparisons to his father, Jimmie Dale, are inevitable, but Colin Gilmore is entirely different from the famous Flatlander. Originally from Lubbock, the Austinite's debut LP, 2004's The Day the World Stopped and Spun the Other Way, drew raves locally for its wit and youthful charm. – Jim Caligiuri

BLUERUNNERS

1am, Mother Egan's Since the late Eighties, Bluerunners' unorthodox mix of rock, blues, and their Southwest Louisiana heritage has been led by Mark Meaux. The just-released Honey Slides pays homage to Clifton Chenier and Canray Fontenot while keeping their alt-rock sensibilities intact. – Jim Caligiuri

PLEASANT GROVE

1am, Momos Pleasant Grove, named for a suburb of their hometown Dallas, is led by Bret Egner and Marcus Striplin. The foursome released their third CD on Badman in 2004, The Art of Leaving, filled with melancholic melodies laid out over spacious, rhythmic harmonies with an intensity that is only fully appreciated onstage. – Jim Caligiuri

FIVEHEAD

1am, Co-op Bar Game over. This is the last show ever for Fivehead. John Hunt (the Bob Mould voice) now watches the Sox from Massachusetts, while Beaty Wilson (the Mascis/Malkmus voice) works on fantasy baseball in Austin. Last time they had a 1am slot, fireworks flowed. – Michael Chamy

HELLA

1am, Emo's Jr. The latest album from Sacramento duo Hella is like a spazcore version of OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. Guitarist Spencer Seim has his side, Chirpin Hard, and drummer Zach Hill has his, Church Gone Wild. Hella has already destroyed many a speaker with albums like 2004's The Devil Isn't Red. – Audra Schroeder

BROTHER JT

1am, Club de Ville Life in a small town like Bethlehem, Pa., can be a real strange trip, and it's made an acid folk antihero out of John Terlesky, aka Brother JT. Beginning the Eighties in garage rock band the Original Sins, JT slowly became a solo act through the Nineties, releasing several drug- and religion-tinged LPs. His latest, Maybe We Should Take Some More?, offers another glimpse into his weird universe. – Audra Schroeder

ZOM ZOMS

1am, Chuggin' Monkey How Zolo can you get? This weirdo Austin triad picks up the forgotten thread of a genre that may or may not have ever existed. Something about gaudy polka-dot costumes and an indescribably spastic Devo-on-angel-dust sound. The picture says it all: www.tubezomzoms.com. – Michael Chamy

CANOE

1am, Blender Bar Balcony @ the Ritz Justin Preston is a schizophrenic if ever there were one. In local rock trio Canoe, Dr. Jekyll screams and yelps all whilst banging on his poor keyboard. A far cry from the ambient drones in Mr. Hyde's Dead Whale Tide. Canoe's 2003 debut, I Give You Canoe! (Amazing Grease), proffered noise, clang, fun. – Darcie Stevens

THE ENDS

1am, Beerland Local punk rock warhorses the Ends have gotten their Dead Boys-infused catharsis down to a well-wadded spitball science. The fivepiece's second LP, Concrete Disappointment (Dirtnap), landed a solid punch right between sneers and song smarts. – Greg Beets

MIGAS

1am, Jackalope Austinite Jason Morales will drop your jaw and make you thank God for rock & roll. This sludge-happy incarnation formed when Morales still made his home in Seattle. With Mico de Noche cohort Don Stewart, the duo added mind-blowing basher Erik Conn to their stable. Local imprint Perverted Son put out the breakfast lovers latest, Hits-n-Mrs., last year. – Darcie Stevens

MURDER BY DEATH

1am, Saké on Sixth That's right, they're a metal band with cello. Metal cello. Kind of sounds like a town in Virginia, but this Bloomington, Ind., quintet is no cock-rock redux. Murder by Death's 2003 Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them? seethed with desperation and Hitchcockian suspense. – Audra Schroeder

The JOLLY GAROGERS

1am, Habana Calle 6 Avast ye mates! Austin's Jolly Garogers have been storming stages for about four years with a mutinous style of AC/DC-style rock & roll. The sixpiece performs in full pirate regalia, has released two singles, "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Calling in Dead (on Monday Morning)," and has been known to record with local hockey team the Ice Bats. – Margaret Moser
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