Wednesday Picks

The Chronicle sez see these SXSW acts now

All showcases subject to change

Tacks, the Boy Disaster

8pm, Tap Room @ Six Locally, 2006 was marked by a plethora of phenomenal EPs, like Tacks, the Boy Disaster's self-recorded and -released debut, Oh, Beatrice. Led by the sweeping piano lines and soothing vocals of Evan Jacobs, formerly of Denton's Midlake and the Polyphonic Spree, the quartet weaves a rich tapestry of nostalgic pop hooks that's laced with sensual imagery. – Austin Powell

The Comas

8:30pm, Beauty Bar Patio Brooklyn's Comas follow-up 2004 shooting star Conductor with April's Spells on new label Vagrant. Andy Herod and Nicole Gehweiler's woozy melancholy, set against lush strings and 1990s guitar bash, returns on download "Red Microphones," a confident push forward from their previous trio of releases. Live, the quintet's "Invisible Drugs" go down ecstatic. – Raoul Hernandez

Mr. Lewis & the Funeral 5

8:30pm, Molotov Lounge Greg Lewis is a little confused. He got polka in his Tom Waits, while leading a funeral march through a carnival. Who can blame him? When fedora-wearing, experimentation-loving punk rockers get fed up with the status quo, anything can happen, and it does on the Austin sixpiece's upcoming debut, Murder and the Art of the Dance (Chicken Ranch). – Darcie Stevens

David Olney

8:30pm, Jovita's Some of the most thought-provoking in the singer-songwriter genre comes from David Olney. There's enough Americana in the Nashville resident's sound to generate good notices, but it's the visceral, skin-and-bone strength of his lyrics in recent recordings like The Wheel and Migration that packs his music with muscle and blood. – Margaret Moser

LZ Love

9pm, Continental Club Born in Chicago, raised in Berkeley, and now living in Austin, Love possesses a soul-shaking voice. Steeped in the gospel tradition, she mixes R&B, funk, soul, blues, and rock, and has toured with Parliament Funkadelic, Luther Vandross, and Billy Preston. Last year's debut LP, My Higher Ground, is a testament to her potential as a truly great singer. – Jay Trachtenberg

Low Line Caller

9pm, Hideout Taking cues from Cue and ripping a few pages out of My Education's textbook, local instrumental outfit Low Line Caller doubles up on the drums and synths and crosses its wires with delicate guitar lines. The sextet's spacious debut EP, Continuing Cities, slowly frays at the edges. – Austin Powell

Palaxy Tracks

9pm, Blender Balcony @ the Ritz This Austin indie-rock outfit – formerly a quartet, but now singer Brandon Durham's solo project – is now resurfacing. In January, Durham released a digital special edition of 2005's sleepy Twelve Rooms (Peek-a-Boo), which features nine extra tracks, including some remixes by the Octopus Project and Kent Lambert. – Melanie Haupt

Tammany Hall Machine

9pm, Maggie Mae's Rooftop Austin's Tammany Hall Machine doesn't hold as much sway at City Hall as its namesake, but the quartet's piano-driven pop songs won't make them any enemies, either. Their new sophomore effort, Amateur Saw, packs a heady whiff of early Seventies AM radio crackle, whether your fruit of choice is Raspberries or Apples in Stereo. – Greg Beets

The Channel

9pm, Buffalo Billiards The revolving collective of extended family that makes up Austin's the Channel delight in spectacles, such as their costumed performances of Harry Nilsson's soundtracks to Popeye and The Point. On last year's Tales From the Two Hill Heart/Sibylline Machine on C-Side Records, they produced country-tinged psych-pop with lyrical gestures toward the Silver Jews. – Doug Freeman

Public Offenders
Public Offenders (Photo By Todd V. Wolfson)

Public Offenders

9:45pm, Visions Austin's rep as a breeding ground for activist endeavors takes a turn toward its Northeast outpost as rappers Gator, Lyricist, Phenom, and Black Prophet rally around neighborhood issues of police brutality and gentrification. With two albums and four videos in the bag, the Public Offenders' credo calls for justice gained through the pavement being duly pounded. – Robert Gabriel

Forro in the Dark

11pm, Club One 15 With their debut Bonfires of São João, featuring guests David Byrne and Bebel Gilberto, this NYC band of expatriates re-creates classic, popular sounds of northeastern Brazil, as well as putting their own spin on world music by incorporating reggae, flamenco, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Oh, by the way, David Byrne will be in town. – Jay Trachtenberg

Ruthie Foster

11pm, Parish Ruthie Foster boasts the best pipes in Austin. That's reason enough for the Texas native to ditch false modesty and call her latest CD The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster. Foster's deeply soulful vocals dip into gospel and swing toward contemporary folk with R&B panache. When she sings a cappella, the heavens part. – Margaret Moser


11pm, Co-op Bar San Antonio pop quartet Buttercup loves to smile. Last year's breezy Hot Love (Bedlamb) was a culmination of Erik Sanden's lyrics, Joe Reyes' guitar, and years of performance art shows that incorporate the audience instead of numbing it. – Darcie Stevens

Single Frame

11pm, Hideout Adreon Henry deftly balances his time between art and rock, but fortunately for him, the graphic designer's Austin trio Single Frame merges the two like peanut butter and jelly. Last year's remix album of tracks from 2005's decadently jarring Body/End/Basement (Volcom) teased at the static this band will create on their upcoming, fourth LP. – Darcie Stevens

Rob Crow

11:45pm, Mohawk Patio Rob Crow leads alt-rock outfit Pinback. The prolific San Diego-based musician recently released his third – and, arguably, best – solo album, Living Well (Temporary Residence). Best described as Pinback-lite, Living celebrates his relationship with his wife and their first child. – Melanie Haupt

Ray Wylie Hubbard

12mid, Parish Over the last decade, Ray Wylie Hubbard has eased into a multifaceted role: blues shaman, guru to young songwriters, and Texas music legend. His latest, 2006's Snake Farm (Sustain), goes heavy on the grease and rattlesnake shake while reveling in the human spirit and once again displaying Hubbard's knack for extraordinary wordplay. – Jim Caligiuri

IV Thieves

12mid, Buffalo Billiards Nic Armstrong and the Thieves relocated to Austin from their home in the UK, changed their name to IV Thieves, and welcomed a new member, drummer and Texan Elliott Frazier. If We Can't Escape My Pretty (New West), their 2006 debut under the new moniker, updates their Sixties British Invasion sound with more hooky melodies. – Jim Caligiuri

Damien Dempsey

12mid, Copa It must be tough when Bob Dylan and Morrissey vie for your attention. The latter signed the Irish singer to his Attack label and asked him to open at Radio City Music Hall. The barrel-chested musician also earned Best Male Vocalist at the Meteor Ireland Music Awards two years running. Last year, Clear Records released his raw and brilliant Live at the Olympia. – David Lynch

The Black

12mid, B.D. Riley's Like the Band backing Dylan, Austin's the Black, who support local songstress Pink Nasty live, breathes new life into Americana with tinges of rockabilly, Stax soul, and ramshackle folk on Tanglewood. The collective, centered on the songwriting of singer/guitarist Dave Longoria and guitarist Alan Schaefer, is currently sitting on another timeless artifact, the Donna EP. – Austin Powell


12mid, Whisky Bar Known for their atmospheric approach to melancholic songsmithing, McGregor, Texas' Deadman – Steven and Sherilyn Collins – composed a new album of black-and-white photos of Americana, while their touring quintet went out behind 2005's Mark Howard-produced Our Eternal Ghosts (One Little Indian). Robbie Robertson plus desert church plus Daniel Lanois equals Deadman. – David Lynch

San Saba County

12mid, Momo's Austin foursome San Saba County came into their own last year with It's Not the Fall That Hurts, ghostly post-Tweedy Americana tempered with dashes of Kinksy flair. John Saba Jr.'s drifters, lovers, and grifters migrate from country to city and back in search of salvation and peace of mind, both as elusive as a good night's sleep. – Christopher Gray

White Ghost Shivers

12:45am, Molotov Lounge With enough kitschy charisma to evoke a bathtub gin party, the White Ghost Shivers depart the Asylum Street Spankers' direction for their own self-styled "hokum blues, hillbilly swing, country, and hot jazz." The eightpiece from Austin is shameless when it comes to good old-timey music that would make Cab Calloway holler "howdy ho." – Margaret Moser


12:45am, Beauty Bar Patio Like a 20 milligram time-release capsule of Adderall, Annuals delivers calculated bursts of jubilant, creative pop through a discordant sound reminiscent of Cursive, Evangelicals, and Animal Collective. Led by Adam Baker, the North Carolina sextet's Ace Fu debut, Be He Me, and its follow-up EP, Big Zeus, bounce off the walls. – Austin Powell

Les Savy Fav

1am, Red Eyed Fly If you've ever seen Tim Harrington in flimsy jogging shorts or even naked, you know Les Savy Fav doesn't lack in stage presence. The Brookyln quartet's synthy hookery is a dynamic backbone for Harrington's onstage antics, and while latest singles collection Inches is a good starting place, the live show you'll remember forever, whether you want to or not. – Audra Schroeder

The Applicators

1am, Redrum This road-tested Austin quartet distinguishes itself beyond standard-issue, bad-girl punk rock with irresistible pop chops on second album, My Weapon. Sabrina Applicator's hyperdramatic vocals are the alluring force that drives teased-up confections like "I Need You" and "Hello." – Greg Beets

Patty Hurst Shifter

1am, B.D. Riley's Having drawn comparisons to the True Believers and Replacements, Raleigh's Patty Hurst Shifter could be the next great American rock band. The young foursome have a new, limited-edition EP, Fugitive Glue (Pants on Fire), featuring live recordings, acoustic material, demos, and outtakes, and soon begin work on a follow-up to last year's critically acclaimed Too Long on the Losing End. – Jim Caligiuri


1am, Maggie Mae's Rooftop This Austin quintet relies heavily on New Wave influences à la the Psychedelic Furs. The industrious primates released a self-titled, eight-song EP last September and won fans citywide. The group will wrap up a Midwest minitour with their festival appearance. – Melanie Haupt

Onion Creek Crawdaddies

1am, Jovita's One of the beacons of Austin's bluegrass scene, the Onion Creek Crawdaddies perform an animated variant of the high lonesome sound they call "beergrass." Latest Irons in the Fire, their second self-produced effort, accurately captures the quintet's sense of frivolity and occasional flights of sentimentality. – Jim Caligiuri

Saul Williams

1am, Exodus Aren't all MCs poets to begin with? Or does your average rapper have to first distinguish himself as a slam participant in order to be taken as a Def intellectual? Either way, Saul Williams, the "brightest constellation on land," has both bases covered as his thought-provoking performances straddle the difference between punk rock, rap, and free verse. – Robert Gabriel

Devin the Dude

1am, Visions If his raps are any indication, Devin the Dude's life consists of sticky weed, beautiful women, dodging the cops, more sticky weed, and music. The guy who'd "rather spend my morning digging through some records," highlights hilarious mischief with every candid storyline he spins. Devin's fourth solo album, Waitin' to Inhale (Rap-a-Lot), lifts the gifted Coughee Brotha to new heights. – Robert Gabriel

Scott H. Biram

1am, Continental Club "The Dirty Old One Man Band," Scott H. Biram stomps a mud hole with his amplified left foot, while preachin' and hollerin' his truck-driving tales of "Blood, Sweat, and Murder" through his distorted 1959 Gibson guitar. The Bloodshooter's fifth album, Graveyard Shift, takes a midnight stroll through the boneyard, releasing demons with blood-curling country tunes. – Austin Powell

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Thursday Interview
Thursday Interview

Nina Hernandez, March 20, 2015

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SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015


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