Wednesday SXSW Picks and Sleepers

Wednesday SXSW Picks and Sleepers


10:25pm, La Zona Rosa Splintering away from the backlash that comes from being pegged the figurehead of holier-than-thou backpack rap, Talib Kweli dutifully maintains his Brooklyn-esque dedication to higher standards for hip-hop. While 2004's The Beautiful Struggle (Rawkus) didn't see eye-to-eye with '98's Black Star LP, Kweli's track-record indicates that a rebound, if not an eventual Black Star reunion album with Mos Def, is in store. – Robert Gabriel


11pm, Velvet Spade In the tradition of soul shouters like the late Wilson Pickett comes Black Joe Lewis, who's got a strut to match his fervent pipes. The 24-year-old Austinite has been honing his sound alongside folks like the Weary Boys and Walter Daniels to a nontraditional soul audience – the local Red River scene. His new, self-titled CD is a promise of great things to come. – Margaret Moser


11pm, 18th Floor @ Capitol Place Gone mostly is the speed, noise, and heavy psychedelia that made the Meat Puppets Curt Kirkwood's most famous creation, a college-radio touchstone back in the day. But the man's no casualty. Now living in Austin, his first-ever solo release Snow, (Little Dog), reflects a hard-won peace of mind, although there's room for the occasional 20th-century tweak-out amid the acoustic strains. – Dan Oko


11pm, Soho Lounge Carll's 2005 CD, Little Rock, was his long-awaited follow-up, inspired and influenced in equal doses by the likes of Steve Earle and Ray Wylie Hubbard while deftly avoiding the sophomore slump. Even with those influences hand-stitched to his heartworn sleeve, Carll comes across with witty and brash originality. The estimable Dave Marsh calls it "folk rock as it existed around the time of Another Side of Bob Dylan." Now that's high praise indeed. – Margaret Moser


11pm, Hilton 406 North Carolina's Jules Shear has been making creative pop music for nearly three decades, composing hit singles sung by Cyndi Lauper and the Bangles in the Eighties. His career remains fruitful as evinced by the recent release of his ninth album, Dreams Don't Count (Mad Dragon), which is filled with passion, wit, and melody. – Jim Caligiuri


11pm, Exodus Karl Wallinger seems to be working in four-to-five-year cycles as far as releasing albums is concerned, which implies another World Party LP should be due, oh, right about now. Probably seems longer for fans over here as 2000's Dumbing Up was released in the UK and available elsewhere only as an import. The follow-up, numero six, should hit stores and streets sometime this spring. – Michael Bertin


11pm, Parish Formed around a karaoke machine in Brisbane, Australia, the Grates' lo-fi pop flail is pure slumber-party fun. The trio's playfulness is underscored by a sixth sense for hooks, as heard on "Trampoline" from last year's The Ouch. The Touch (Dew Process). Vocalist Patience Hodgson projects Karen O-like magnetism from a more colorful place. The Grates' debut LP, recorded with Modest Mouse producer Brian Deck, is forthcoming. – Greg Beets

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