Thursday Sleepers

SXSW picks & sleepers

All showcase times subject to change

Sleepers for March 17

AUSTIN THEREMONIC ORCHESTRA

8pm, Hideout Debuting at the Alamo Drafthouse after heartwarming cold war music doc Theremin, these half-dozen local practitioners of "Good Vibrations" may have grown in ranks. Towered over by New Wave-era axeman Steve Marsh, ATO's initial 20 minutes were dizzying. – Raoul Hernandez

FILM SCHOOL

8pm, Buffalo Billiards Primarily the brainchild of Oakland's Krayg Burton, with help from Pavement's Scott Kannberg, Film School's two dreamy releases (Brilliant Career; Alwaysnever) are best listened to loud, alone, and with the windows open. – Audra Schroeder

THE RITE FLYERS

8pm, Habana Calle 6 It's almost as if the Rite Flyers are an unband, gathering together for the one-off gig or record (2004's eponymous release on Paisley Pop). Longtime local musos Steve Collier and John Clayton cobble together multidimensional power-pop that changes its hairstyle on a dime. – Melanie Haupt

AWESOME COOL DUDES

8pm, Room 710 Austin's Awesome Cool Dudes push a deconstructed amalgam of punk, synth-pop, and laptop hip-hop. Hints of Devo, early Beck, and even Meadowlark Lemon abound on the quartet's self-released Slam Dunk Contest. – Greg Beets

BE YOUR OWN PET

8pm, La Zona Rosa Remember when the Donnas were all 16, 17? Nashville's Jemina Abegg-led punkies do, as does hip Beggar's Banquet subsidiary XL Recordings, who's putting out the scrappy "Damn Damn Leash" now. There's a reason these snappers are opening one of the hottest showcases of SXSW 05. – Raoul Hernandez

KISSINGER

8pm, Flamingo Cantina Kissinger parlayed 2000's Charm into a loyal local following and extensive regional touring. The road-loving quartet did duck into the studio with Donnas producer Robert Shimp last year to record Me and Otto, which ups the riffery quotient by half. – Christopher Gray

THE ROSEBUDS

8pm, Parish There's nothing to dislike about this Southern-fried trio headed by spouses Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp. He's got Gomer's accent, and she's hot. The Carolinians' debut, Make Out (Merge), is chockablock with clanging, limb-thrashing pop-punk and poignant breakup songs. – Melanie Haupt

EDIE SEDGWICK

8pm, Velvet Spade Edie Sedgwick, aka Justin Moyer, is part iPod-toting karaoke drag queen, part celeb teat-sucker. Debut Her Love Is Real, but She Is Not (DeSoto) features songs like "Martin Sheen," "Christian Slater," "Arnold Schwarzenegger I," and "Arnold Schwarzenegger II." – Kate X Messer

TUXEDO KILLERS

8pm, Velvet Spade Patio Before the first clangy notes are strummed, odds are George Dishner will be nearly naked. Tuxedo Killers are one of ATX's newest additions, paying homage to Iggy's Stooges and Gibby's Surfers. The fourpiece's LP, Spiral Haircase, is Texas-branded scratch punk at its finest. – Darcie Stevens

THE PLOT TO BLOW UP THE EIFFEL TOWER

8:45pm, Emo's Jr. Wait 'til it happens, fellas, then, like I Am the World Trade Center, they'll be reading you the PATRIOT Act. Love in the Fascist Brothel (Revelation), hardcore rants and right-angle punk prog, won't help these San Diego boys' case. – Raoul Hernandez

THE CRACK PIPES

9pm, Jackalope Austin's Crack Pipes bind punk's ragged intensity, R&B's peacock strut, and Stones leer with authentic gospel fervor. 2003's Snakes in My Veins contains crackling highlights like high-voltage come-on "Cinnamon Roll" and the aptly named "H-Bomb"; follow-up Beauty School is due next month on Emperor Jones. – Christopher Gray

Z-TRIP

9pm, Elysium Arizona's Z-Trip promotes a cappella rap with hard rock instrumentals, his remixes bolstering the verses of Freestyle Fellowship and Del with Roland 808-derived enhancements. Debut Shifting Gears is due on Hollywood Records this April. – Robert Gabriel

APOLLO SUNSHINE

9pm, Exodus The Elephant 6 era might be over, but this technicolor Boston trio does the Sixties-pop psychedelic sugar-rush so well, it's a shame there are so few of their ilk left. A follow-up to '03's energetic Katonah is due soon. – Michael Chamy

THE NATIONAL

9pm, Buffalo Billiards Matt Berninger's shadowy tenor is pure Joy Division, Smiths, Psych Furs, but stepping up into their new Beggars Banquet debut, sophomore snapper Alligator, this Brooklyn quintet is poised for the same sort of success as retro boomerang Interpol. – Raoul Hernandez

THE NATURAL HISTORY

9pm, Club de Ville The Natural History might be from Brooklyn, but they step away from dance punks and no-no-wavers by blending Elvis Costello's soul with Gang of Four's best basslines. Debut Beat Beat Heartbeat made minor waves, but tentatively titled The People That I Meet promises more genre-dodging. – Audra Schroeder

THE NEIN

9pm, Velvet Spade The slightly uneasy juxtaposition of sound manipulation and pop embedded by Durham, N.C., quartet the Nein apes humanity and dread. The loops from Steel Pole Bath Tub's Dale Flattum make upcoming debut LP Wrath of Circuits (Sonic Unyon) much more than just another indie rock record. – Darcie Stevens

BLOOM

9pm, Co-op Bar Glammed power trio Bloom, featuring classically trained brothers from Florida, debuted Osinner (Fighting), a sticky mélange translating the eyeliner prance of T. Rex through the Eighties into the Hot Hot Heat of today. – Kate X Messer

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW!

9pm, Whisky Bar The cheerleader chant kicking off totally boss and brand new Justamustache (Frenchkiss) should be a dead giveaway. If it's not, the hopped-up post-punk mania of this Detroit quartet soon flashes itself: Poster Children. These kids are now. – Raoul Hernandez

PARKAS

9pm, Saké on Sixth Much like their namesake, this Ontario group's latest disc, Now This Is Fighting, covers you with spare, twangy pop and blues. They signed to Endearing in 2003, and this year, they head south as the "pallbearers of pop." – Audra Schroeder

NATHAN HAMILTON

9pm, 18th Floor @ Crowne Plaza If you're a fan of country-fried Americana and roots-rock, Nathan Hamilton's your man. Hamilton's been wowing Austin with (three) well-received albums, including the recently released Live at John T. Floore Country Store. – Melanie Haupt

JANE BOND

9pm, Momos Originally from Lexington, Mass., Jane Bond refers to her music as old-timey, but with roots in jazz, country, ragtime, and blues, it's fresh and free. Her latest is 2004's Volume II: Live From the Continental Club, but recently she's been recording demos with some of Tom Petty's and Bonnie Raitt's bands. – Jim Caligiuri

GO BETTY GO

10pm, Emo's Annex L.A. Latinas and Warped Tour alumnae Go Betty Go prefer to call themselves chiquitas picantes instead of punks, but EP Worst Enemy gasses up the Bratmobile for a high-speed joyride that should thrill anyone disappointed by the Donnas' Gold Medal. – Christopher Gray

MOJOE

10pm, Vibe Soulful enough to pull off Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," San Antonio's Mojoe wears its heart on its bass drum. As vocalists T.R.E. and Easy Lee testify, their backing band embarks upon spirited excursions through channels of funk, jazz, and hip-hop, as heard on Mojoe's 2003 debut, classic.ghetto.soul. – Robert Gabriel

HEARTLESS BASTARDS

10pm, Club de Ville With Fat Possum debut Stairs and Elevators, Erika Wennerstrom's Cincinnati trio slaps expectation across the face. Her alto growl and blues-rock guitar combined with a throttling low-end and pulsing kick produce a record without genre. – Darcie Stevens

LOW FREQUENCY IN STEREO

10pm, Drink From shades of Interpol to epic, instrumental guitar pulls and even a splash of surf, last year's Travelling Ants Who Got Eaten by Muskus forecasts this Norwegian quartet's moving heaven and Earth live. – Raoul Hernandez

THE OKTOBER PEOPLE

10pm, Hideout The billowy, two-guitar drift of this New Mexico weather machine is pure Explosions in the Sky until Sean McCullough whispers or emo-tes. Either way, the rainbow on the cover of the group's eponymous debut captures the natural wonders of TOP. – Raoul Hernandez

A.J. CROCE

10pm, 18th Floor @ Crowne Plaza With "Don't Let Me Down" climbing the charts, A.J. Croce is poised for stardom. And if the name sounds familiar, he is the son of Seventies songwriter Jim Croce. His debut, Adrian James Croce, is deliberately styled after his father's popular tunes. – Margaret Moser

TUCKER LIVINGSTON

10pm, Lounge @ Crowne Plaza Son of Lubbock cosmic cowboy Bob Livingston, Tucker Livingston inherited enough songwriting genes to make last year's self-titled debut a poetic gem of reflection and melancholy. More recently, he's been fronting a full-fledged rock band featuring the beguiling Beth Garner on lead guitar. – Christopher Gray

BELL x1

11pm, Soho Lounge Produced by Jamie Cullum before he was jumping atop pianos, this Dublin quartet's 2003 debut, Music in Mouth (Island), lilted with a rootsy pop twinkle landing somewhere between the UK's XTC and the U.S.'s Varnaline. – Raoul Hernandez

POLLY PAULUSMA

11pm, Nuno's At home in the UK, this critically acclaimed Cambridge graduate has successfully tapped into the Damien Rice crowd. Last year's Scissors in My Pocket reveals haunting melodies and cinematically complex character studies. – Andy Langer

STEVE POLTZ

11pm, 18th Floor @ Crowne Plaza While the San Diego-based, ex-Rugburner's 2003 Austin-produced Chinese Vacation is a fine representation of his songcraft, you ain't seen nothing until you've witnessed his laugh-out-loud stage raps and his audience solicitation. – Andy Langer

HOTEL LIGHTS

11pm, Habana Calle 6 When Ben Folds Five folded into simply Ben Folds, few wondered what happened to drummer Darren Jessee. The voice behind Hotel Lights, DJ's Chapel Hill, N.C.-based slow-rock quartet, self-released an eponymous LP debut conjuring Pete Yorn dancing with Will Sheff. – Darcie Stevens

JOY ZIPPER

11pm, Pecan Street Ale House Long Island bedroom psych-pop duo Joy Zipper draws deep on the Jesus & Mary Chain/My Bloody Valentine axiom. Their second CD, American Whip (Dangerbird), hits U.S. shelves with accolades from the UK press. – Greg Beets

BEST FWENDS

11pm, Velvet Spade Those mourning the demise of Canada's rambunctious Unicorns, fear not. Local transplants via Fort Worth, Dustin Pilkington and Anthony Davis, are Best Fwends forever, and with a new 7-inch released overseas by Bloc Party imprint Moshi Moshi, there's no telling where the duo's Casio anthems will land them. – Darcie Stevens

VIVA VOCE

11pm, Latitude 30 Anita and Kevin Robinson of Portland, Ore., are a seemingly normal couple, but there's a darker side to their love. Within the inner sanctum of their living room, the duo cuts a dreamy mix of bass-heavy pop and hot, throbbing rock. The Heat Can Melt Your Brain is the result of this sinful union. – Audra Schroeder

ZZZ

11pm, Flamingo Cantina Amsterdam drum/organ duo zZz is all Big Beat. Their retro-futurist psychosexual freak-out is given song form through vocals bearing the performance sensibilities (or lack thereof) of Jim Morrison, Iggy Pop, and Lux Interior. – Greg Beets

TURING MACHINE

11pm, Whisky Bar Knowing this NYC instrumental trio was named after English theoretician Alan Turing doesn't make the moniker any catchier, but it does help unlock the complexity theory of their psychedelic math/kraut rock. 2004's Zwei (Frenchkiss) was a dense, at times deafening tribute to Turing. Diagramming available. – Raoul Hernandez

DEVOTCHKA

11pm, Copa This Denver quartet, beloved for their Valentine's Day ball, specializes in a rock/gypsy jazz fusion and knows how to rock an accordion. Their third LP, How It Ends (Cicero), has finally garnered them national attention. – Melanie Haupt

THE REPUTATION

11pm, Friends Led by former Sarge guitarist/vox Elizabeth Elmore, the Reputation combines tough guitar with melodic pop, but it's the ebullience and vulnerability in Elmore's voice that sets the Chicago quartet apart. Second LP, To Force a Fate (Lookout!), came out last spring. – Greg Beets

THE BLACK MARIA

11pm, Eternal Bearing no relation to the Todd Rundgren song, Toronto's the Black Maria deftly walks the tightrope between hard modern rock and emo. Their well-juiced debut, Lead Us to Reason (Victory), came out in January. – Greg Beets

PEOPLE IN PLANES

11pm, Co-op Bar Coming off UK dates with Jamie Cullum and the 22-20's, this unpretentious South Wales fivepiece is playing their second Stateside show, reportedly filthy with A&R. And yes, their impeccably written pop songs, with just the right retro-rock splashes, are that good. – Andy Langer

THE TUCKER ROUNTREE SOUND

11:45pm, Elephant Room A young ATX jazz guitarist and composer, who cites Pat Metheny, Eric Johnson, and John McLaughlin as his primary influences and recently released a debut, No Goodbyes. – Jay Trachtenberg

STRIKEFORCE DIABLO

11:45pm, Redrum These elder, Gainesville, Fla., punks did themselves in a few years back, only to "undisband" and release a new slab of emocore, The Albatross and the Architect (No Idea). Since then, the trio's been eliciting fuzzy Mike Watt grins and Jawbreaker grimaces. – Kate X Messer

MONEY WATERS

12mid, Vibe Who do you get if you graft Devin the Dude's cool sense of humor onto Cee-Lo's burly flamboyance? Dallas MC Money Waters, whose drawled narratives defy categorization when performing songs from his stellar 2003 debut, The Porch, along with a live band. – Robert Gabriel

PANTHERS

12mid, Blender Bar @ the Ritz New York's Panthers grabbed the Vice hype by the horns with '04's Things Are Strange, Pink Floyd psychedelia and DFA rhythms convulsing to the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Megaphone in hand, Panthers are pouncing. – Darcie Stevens

PITTY SING

12mid, Eternal Their name might sound like dialogue from Pootie Tang, but NYC's Pitty Sing obviously can't get enough Echo & the Bunnymen and Ride. Also nodding to the Lightning Seeds, Pulp, and the Shins, their self-titled CD could be a soundtrack to a lost John Hughes film. No wonder Or Music signed this Pitty. – Christopher Gray

THE SUNDRESSES

12mid, Club de Ville This Cincinnati trio plays anything but light and bright. Instead, their muse is naughty and nocturnal, a siren who likes rock & roll with plenty of grit. Debut The Only Tourist in Town (Hooray) joins the tube-soaked guitars with bass, trombone, concertina, xylophone, drums, and piano. – David Lynch

DEADMAN

12mid, Nuno's Deadman is alive. Spiritual even. That's why Daniel Lanois asked Deadman's Steven and Sherilyn Collins to join him on a Dallas-area stage last year. Drawing from the vocal harmonies of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, Deadman's spirituality is documented on new EP In the Heart of Mankind (One Little Indian). – David Lynch

HUSKY RESCUE

12mid, Latitude 30 Perhaps it's Husky Rescue's intention to replicate the stark landscape of their native Finland. Behind Marko Nyburg's one-man musical landscape is actually the work of 20 of his closest friends from across Helsinki. The result is a spare but wistful work called Country Falls. – Kate X Messer

HALLEY

12mid, Hideout After splashing on the scene with stunning 2002 debut Forget the Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us, Austin's Halley has spent the interim reconciling their dual desires to be purveyors of melodious overdriven rock and multitextured Sigur R–s-worshipping sound-painters. Michael Chamy

PAIK

12mid, Blender Balcony @ the Ritz Unlike their space rock counterparts, Motor City trio Paik has been rocking for almost a decade. The Terrastock vets' fourth album, Satin Black, whips up sludgy fuzz-frenzies before doubling over into a mad mess of drone. – Michael Chamy

VIKING SKULL

12mid, Back Room With a name like Viking Skull, they're either going to sing about dragon ships or deliver a fist of iron to the brain. Choose the latter, because Viking Skull is English metal of the heavy variety. – Margaret Moser

FATAL FLYING GUILLOTEENS

12:10am, Velvet Spade Patio The Fatal Flying Guilloteens are one of the few recent Houston bands to catch on with Austin crowds. Since 2003's Estrus LP Get Knifed, their rambunctious garage/noise mash-up sounds have been right at home in A-town. Be prepared to duck. – Christopher Gray

SUPAGROUP

1am, Fox & Hound Led by brothers Chris and Benji Lee, New Orleans' Supagroup regularly lays waste to clubs as though they were coliseums. Sired in AC/DC's dirty backseat rhythms, Supagroup touches on Southern rock like Black Oak Arkansas and Black Crowes as well. Their second studio album, Rules (Foodchain), comes out May 10. – Greg Beets

BAD WIZARD

1am, Flamingo Cantina To call this Brooklyn fivepiece over-the-top is an understatement. Doubtlessly finding new inspiration in the Mötley CrŸe reunion, Bad Wizard, boasting a new third LP, #1 Tonite!, should bust out a revolving drum kit and some spandex pyrotechnics. – Michael Chamy

EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT

1am, Hideout Austin's purveyors of sonic sweetness have been cranking out reverb-drenched melodies for the past seven years. ExAir's third album is in the works, but the stunning compositions on previous albums like Love for the Last Time blend early Sonic Youth with Low. – Audra Schroeder

22-PISTEPIRKKO

1am, Drink This Finnish legend's Farfisa-fueled folderol has excavated landscapes both primal and synth-tronic, from VU-influenced early-Eighties vinyl to their upcoming Drops & Kicks (Playground) and homage "The Others." – Kate X Messer

SUBARACHNOID SPACE

1am, Blender Balcony @ the Ritz Along with Neurosis, SubArachnoid Space forms the yin and yang of Bay area heavy psych rock. Though now "retired," founding member Mason Jones remains producer of the group's ninth album in as many years, The Red Veil. – Michael Chamy

THE ORANGES BAND

1am, Friends TOB reconciles the artful Seventies scruff of forbears like Television and Mission of Burma with the late Eighties indie-pop of Yo La Tengo and the Pixies. Led by Roman Kuebler, who once moonlighted as Spoon's bassist, the Baltimore quartet followed its Lookout! standout All Around with 2004's Two Thousands (Morphius), a reissue of their first two EPs. – Greg Beets

THE ROGERS SISTERS

1am, Buffalo Billiards This Brooklyn trio released their debut, Purely Evil (Troubleman Unlimited), back in 2003 and won the hearts of those who love herky-jerky, attitude-rich punk-pop in its purest old-school form. They're back with Three Fingers, which bests its predecessor. – Melanie Haupt

THE HEAVY BLINKERS

1am, Latitude 30 Upon first listen to the Heavy Blinkers latest, The Night and I Are Still So Young, you might think it's a Beach Boys rip-off. Not so. The Canadian collective draws heavily from the Sixties orch-pop canon, but the compositions capture the let's-watch-the-sunset zeitgeist the way only Canadians can. – Audra Schroeder

THE GLASS FAMILY

1am, Copa Austin fourpiece the Glass Family is a relative newcomer, but you'd never know it from their marriage of R.E.M., Wilco, and Elliott Smith. Michael Winningham's coaxing vocals meld with keys, triumphant guitars, and steady drums, eventually exploding into a carefully melodic orchestration. – Darcie Stevens

BC CAMPLIGHT

1am, Nuno's Philadelphia's BC Camplight is the brainchild of pianist/singer Brian Christinzio. The project's debut LP, Hide, Run Away, is slated for release on One Little Indian later this year, a collection of cheeky piano-based homages to artists like Burt Bacharach. – Melanie Haupt

BRENT PALMER

1am, Lounge @ Crowne Plaza That Brent Palmer was able to attract the likes of jazz guitarist/producer Mitch Watkins to produce his latest, Stabilize, speaks volumes. Palmer, an East Texas native relocated to Austin, attracted good press for his 1999 EP, Boomerang Shoes, with its many colors of love that pulse with warmth and affection. – Margaret Moser

CHRIS STAMEY

1am, 18th Floor @ Crowne Plaza From the Sneakers to the dB's to his solo work, North Carolinian Chris Stamey is a seminal figure in the evolution of Southern pop. His new Yep Roc-er, A Question of Temperature, utilizes Yo La Tengo as a backing band, with additional assistance from Carolina bluegrass troupe Chatham County Line. – Greg Beets

WEBB WILDER & THE NASHVEGAANS

1am, Antone's "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em." That's the Webb Wilder credo. With the re-release of his 1987 rockabilly cult classic, It Came From Nashville, this month's About Time, his first album in nine years, and his X-Country show on XM satellite radio, we could be at the cusp of a new era of Webbmania. – Greg Beets

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