Sorting through the spring flood of new records and old festivals, plus a deeper look inside George W.'s iPod
With the winter doldrums safely behind us, outside is the only place to be on these glorious spring days. A soundtrack for your great outdoors
AUSTIN MARLEY FEST: Praising Jah and benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank, the springtime staple returns to Auditorium Shores. Seven dollars for one day, $10 for two (plus two canned food items). One love with the Carlton Pride Band, D.R.U.M., Wookie J., Aimann Raad & Grimy Styles, Tribal Nation, Mau Mau Chaplains, Shantytown Underground, and more. (Saturday & Sunday)
OLD SETTLER'S MUSIC FESTIVAL: Mandolins and banjos ring out at the Salt Lick as the smell of barbecue permeates the air. Pickin' and singin' by the Red Stick Ramblers, Bela Fleck, Cooper's Uncle, Kasey Chambers, Railroad Earth, Reckless Kelly, Rodney Crowell, Austin Lounge Lizards, Jimmy LaFave, dozens more. Single and multiday tix available at Waterloo, Encore, Stubb's, 888/512-7469, and www.frontgatetickets.com. (April 21-24)
EEYORE'S BIRTHDAY: The one and only. A.A. Milne's despondent donkey rings in his 42nd year at Pease Park with the Mau Mau Chaplains, Tribal Nation, Fire and Isis, and that confounded drum circle. Free. (April 30)
OLD PECAN STREET SPRING ARTS FESTIVAL: More than 100 bands, including Ghandaia, WT Special, String Theory, Chad Thomas & the Crazy Kings, Lemurs, Lost John Casner, Teye y Belen, and the UT Afropop and Brazilian ensembles, descend on Sixth Street for the downtown perennial. Free. (April 30-May 1)
SHINER B.A.S.H.: A 90-mile bike ride from Austin, San Antonio, and Houston to the little town with the big brewery culminates in a concert with Robert Earl Keen, Kevin Fowler, Daryl Lee Rush, and Shiner's own Bill Pekar. www.shiner.com. (May 14)
New bands and new albums are as ubiquitous as wildflowers. Or is that allergens? No matter: The air is alive with new local music right now.
The Sound of Music
1986: Fans of Grand Champeen, Prescott Curlywolf, GBV, and Dinosaur Jr take heed: this spanking-new local trio is ripe for adoption. One listen to the hyperactive guitars and melancholy sentiments of their upcoming 10-song debut and you'll know why.
PETER ELLIOTT & THE SELLOUTS: Rock & roll cabdriver and former Brewtality Inc. frontman's new outfit combines tongue-in-cheek lyrics with punchy delivery. Their punk rock take on Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" could've been precious, but is instead priceless.
GONE WITH THE GHOSTS: Formerly Death at Sea, locals Mark Nathan and Bryan Bowden recruited onetime Ozma singer Daniel Brummel for this seven-song demo of intelligent modern rock. Tuneful and versatile enough to make a whale of an album someday.
JOHNNY GOUDIE, Boy in a Box (F+M): Back on his own after a spell in Endochine, Goudie returns to the glossy, atmospheric rock of his Elektra days. By turns delicate, sarcastic, and infectious, Box displays Goudie's melodic talents in full bloom.
HOGNOSE, El Sombrero! (Arclight): Exactly what you might expect from a band called Hognose: Thick, deliberate, irascible metal that might as well have the Stars and Bars tattooed on its forehead. In a word, brilliant.
BILL JERRAM BAND: Exuberant roots-pop from the former Danglers frontman, who's learned lessons from Elvis Costello and Two Hoots & a Holler, among others, quite well indeed.
PURCHASE NEW YORK, In Vitro Veritas (Indierect): Local quartet's densely layered reveries, reminiscent of Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and Spaceman 3,make In Vitro's titular womb reference hardly a coincidence. Total-immersion rock.
SECRET WEAPONS (Pet Peeve): Two-thirds of Bedbug back singer-songwriter Ashleigh Daniel for refreshingly frank tales of boys, girls, friends, and family. Daniel keeps it raw and real without sacrificing humor for histrionics.
THE SUMMER WARDROBE, Sometimes Late at Night EP: Former Superego and Flying Saucers axeman Jon Sanchez's latest crew pairs lonesome steel guitar with meandering tempos. Cue it up for your next midnight drive into parts unknown.
VACATION GOLD, December 1972 EP (Freeride): Former Space Truckers ditch the effects pedals (mostly) for forceful and fleet near-punk. Interesting dissection of the feminine psyche on "Magazine."
YOUNGMOND GRAND, The Sculptures Fall EP: Strong debut from the heirs to Fivehead's ragged indie-rock throne. If you don't recognize yourself or your friends in "Break Guitars," you obviously don't live in Austin.
Lafayette rocker C.C. Adcock, who had graciously squired TCB and Chronicle senior writer Margaret Moser around his hometown not 48 hours before, pulled into Austin's annual Louisiana Swamp Romp just after Geno Delafose last Saturday evening with special guest Doyle Bramhall Sr. on drums. Despite injuring his leg immediately before going on, Adcock romped with a sweltering suite of bayou humidity. Tres bon!
With Republicans now besieged by outcries over Terri Schiavo, Social Security, Tom DeLay, and astronomical gas prices, the media is right there with a probing examination of ... the president's iPod. According to Monday's New York Times, W cranks George Jones, Alan Jackson, Van Morrison, and locals the Gourds, Alejandro Escovedo, and James McMurtry while mountain-biking around his Crawford ranch. However, the Department of Homeland Security successfully suppressed several other songs from becoming public knowledge until an old Daily Texan buddy now in the White House press office e-mailed TCB the complete list. Here's a few the Times missed:
The Beatles, "With a Little Help From My Friends"
The George W. Bush Singers, Songs in the Key of W (album)
The Clash, "Rock the Casbah"
Dixie Chicks, "Travelin' Soldier"
Green Day, "American Idiot"
Emmylou Harris, "To Daddy"
Morrissey, "November Spawned a Monster"
Bob Mould, "Theme From The Daily Show"
OutKast, "Gasoline Dreams"
The Beatles, "When I'm 64"
The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again (WMD remix)"
Congratulations to black sheep boys Okkervil River, fawned over by New York Times music scribe Kelefa Sanneh in Saturday's "Critic's Notebook." Frontman Will Sheff, saith Sanneh, writes songs "full of elegant phrases and unexpected images that tell or don't quite tell stories of characters trying to find out if they need each other." Elsewhere, PitchforkMedia.com gave 7.2 out of 10 to Single Frame's new Body/End/Basement, reviewer Jason Crock opining that Body "retains both the distorted, damaged electronics and the brevity of their debut."
Bullet the Blue Sky
1999's Rock Opera, the funniest, most true-to-life film ever made about the Austin music scene, finally gets its long-overdue DVD release Saturday at Room 710, with sets by Opera alumni Honky, Castle Siege, Gun Totin' Meateaters, and Los Platos. DVD extras include a live score by Tia Carrera and a drinking game guaranteed to get you as wasted as the guys in the movie.
European vacations: Local soul-garage combo the Stepbrothers have been invited to play the Crossroad Festival July 21-24 in Gijon, Spain, where they'll join Los Lobos, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and headliner Little Richard. Come November, power-metal standard-bearers Ignitor take to the skies to rock the Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany, for the Keep It True V Metal Fest.
iTunes-approved local psychedelics 54 Seconds celebrate bassist Rachel Loy's birthday with a party at 7pm tonight (Thursday) at 4506 Avenue H, which they'll film for an upcoming DVD. Tucker Livingston & the Wildhearts and DJ Good Nation join in the fun.
Early voting for the May 7 election starts Wednesday, so vote, dammit!