Wednesday Picks

All showcases subject to change


1001 Nights Orchestra

7pm, Copa Austin's foremost Middle Eastern band has been providing the soundtrack to Persian nights in Austin for more than 15 years. Led by Iranian multi-instrumentalist Kamran Hooshmand, the fourpiece's 2002 release, Music From the Middle East & Beyond, traversed the spectrum of Arab music from Israel to Afghanistan, Turkey to Armenia. – Thomas Fawcett

White Williams

8pm, Antone's Twenty-four-year-old graphic designer, Girl Talk protégé, and recent Domino signee Joe Williams, the composer and vocalist behind White Williams, is the poster child for clip-art pop. His debut, Smoke (Tigerbeat6), recorded on a laptop over the course of two years, is a hallucinatory synthesis of fractured beats, New Wave synths, and Roxy Music, with flourishes of German drone and Beck's sardonic sentimentality. – Austin Powell

Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears

8pm, Emo's Main No artist comes at today's soul revival with the punk attitude of Austin's Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears. The 26-year-old Lewis leads a horn-fueled blues revue that's equal parts Otis Redding and Lightnin' Hopkins and would sound at home on the Fat Possum label. His eponymous and indie 2007 EP started the buzz both locally and nationally. – Jim Caligiuri

Nightwatchman

8pm, Esther's Follies Last year, Tom Morello told the Chronicle he wanted to be known as "the Woody Guthrie," or failing that, the "black Robin Hood of acoustic music." While the audioslave's solo debut as the Nightwatchman, 2007's One Man Revolution, was largely overshadowed by a Rage Against the Machine reunion, Morello continues crusading from the picket lines. All hell couldn't stop him now. – Austin Powell

Bear in Heaven

8:30pm, Maggie Mae's Gibson Room With a slow nod to Eno and Can, Georgia-born, NYC-based quartet Bear in Heaven has created quite the pastiche on scintillating debut Red Bloom of the Boom (Hometapes). Epic lightness and atmospheric layering mesh with blips of space rock coitus interruptus, and vocalist Jon Philpot stays high above the clouds but not in a druggy, annoying way. (Also: Friday, March 14, 8pm @ Antone's.) – Audra Schroeder

Steve Reich

9pm, St. David's Episcopal Church New York minimalist composer Steve Reich is the host and guest of honor at classical music publisher Boosey & Hawkes' inaugural SXSW showcase. From early tape loop compositions such as his hypnotic soundtrack for 1965's Oh Dem Watermelons to presaging electronica with works like 1987's Electric Counterpoint, Reich has consistently redefined the vanguard. Initially composed for Pat Metheny, Counterpoint will be performed at the showcase by guitarist C.E. Whalen. – Greg Beets

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth

9pm, Red Eyed Fly Austin loves chaos, and local sevenpiece When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth has it in spades. With two drummers, two guitars, two singers, and a bass, Dinos ripped through the tasty Snacks (Emperor Jones) last year, but they switch from metal to grunge live. Part Awesome Cool Dudes and part Tuxedo Killers, Dinos provide sophomore LP Not Noiice this spring for further investigation. – Darcie Stevens

Zookeeper

9pm, Central Presbyterian Church Chris Simpson honed chops with Mineral and later the Gloria Record, but with solo venture Zookeeper, the Austinite has found his calling, and it ain't emo. Simpson waxes philosophic all over 2007's Becoming All Things (Belle City Pop!), but where structure and melody once stood strong, country-fried daydreams and a family atmosphere now reside. – Darcie Stevens

Pataphysics

9pm, Club 115 The hyperactive, cranky brainchild of Pat Healy, ATX's Pataphysics is the aural equivalent of eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda. The quintet swirls around Healy's contortions and aerobics, coding synth-punk paeans to forefathers Devo, and its cover of Red Krayola's "Hurricane Fighter Plane" alone is worth getting some bodily fluids on ya. Healy and friends channel that energy into a debut on the local Business Deal Records soon. – Audra Schroeder

Bruce Robison

9pm, Pangaea Bruce Robison has always come off more Opie Taylor to his brother Charlie's Eddie Haskell. It's worked well for both: Bruce's "Wrapped" and "Angry All the Time" have been cut by George Strait and Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, respectively, and also recorded by his wife, Kelly Willis. His It Came From San Antonio EP nods to the previous generation of Texas legends like Guy Clark and Doug Sahm. – Michael Bertin

Ceci Bastida

10pm, Continental Club As a teen, Bastida fronted the seminal Mexican ska-punk band Tijuana No! before joining popster Julieta Venegas' band as a keyboard player and backup vocalist. There are still rhythmic elements from her younger days on solo EP Front BC, but start to finish, it's a broader Mexi-pop experience. (Also: Thursday, March 13, 11pm @ Flamingo Cantina.) – Michael Bertin

Earl Greyhound

11pm, Vice Between Matt Whyte's prog-timbered vocal swells and guitar riffs, Kamara Thomas' funk-laced bass, and Big Ricc Sheridan's booming backbeat, NYC's Earl Greyhound lays soulful harmonies across Led Zep's fire-branded blues cut with Hendrix psychedelics. After two years of touring behind 2006 debut LP Soft Targets (Some Records), the trio is finally in the studio preparing its sophomore offering. – Doug Freeman

Percee P

11pm, Habana Annex Backyard Percee P has perseverance by the pound. What was to be his 1992 major label debut fell victim to label drama and relegated him to underground lore. The fast-rap pioneer finally caught a break when he ran into the Stones Throw crew while hustling one of his legendary mixtapes outside Fat Beats in New York. The label released the Bronx native's aptly named, Madlib-produced debut, Perseverance, in 2007. – Thomas Fawcett

Car Stereo (Wars)

11pm, Beauty Bar As the lead suggests on his 2007 debut LP, The Bandit, "All Units Converge." No fucking joke. ADD in your ears, Car Stereo (Wars), aka Christopher Rose, is Austin's premier masher, blending Dead Prez with Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana with Avril Lavigne. – Chase Hoffberger

Bowerbirds

Wednesday Picks

11pm, Central Presbyterian Church Raleigh, N.C., trio Bowerbirds lives an organic life off the grid and makes music the same way – clear, gentle, serene. Phil Moore's delicate words breathe out from artist Beth Tacular's accordion as Mark Paulson's violin cries on 2007's Hymns for a Dark Horse, reissuing in June on Dead Oceans. This is what the new folk movement should sound like. – Darcie Stevens

Daniel Lanois

11pm, Pangaea Lanois has produced some of the most important albums of the past quarter-century, collaborating with Bob Dylan, U2, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson. His own fifth studio release, this year's Here Is What Is (Red Floor), accompanies the SXSW documentary of the same name, interjecting conversations between songs blooming with Lanois' soulful poeticism and viscerally textured steel guitar, piano, and percussive arrangements. – Doug Freeman

Be Your Own Pet

11pm, Emo's Main Don't think for a second that success has spoiled Be Your Own Pet. The Nashville punks may have aged a few years older since dropping their bombshell debut, but sophomore LP Get Awkward, due March 18 via Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace imprint, promises more adolescent angst and blitzkrieg bopping, the Beyond the Valley of the Dolls-inspired first single, "The Kelley Affair," dabbling in surf-punk. – Austin Powell

Martha Wainwright

Wednesday Picks

12mid, Club de Ville So far, this newlywed's biggest claim to fame is ... being a Wainwright! The Brooklynite's expressive singing debuted eponymously in 2005, but she contributes regularly to others' work, including brother Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall (Geffen) and the Heavy Circles, who boast a coterie of heavily pedigreed players. (Also: Thursday, March 13, 11pm @ Maggie Mae's.) – Melanie Haupt

Frightened Rabbit

12mid, Maggie Mae's Rooftop What's refreshing about Glaswegian pop outfit Frightened Rabbits? No curveballs. The duo of brothers Grant and Scott Hutchison lays it all out there on Sing the Greys (Hits the Fan). It's raw and rambunctious but completely listenable, like Nick Cave after a particularly refreshing night's sleep. – Michael Bertin

Willowz

12mid, Beauty Bar Backyard Cult filmmaker Michel Gondry loves Anaheim garage popsters the Willowz so much he soundtracked them to both Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep. Latest CD Chautauqua (Dim Mak) is part folk, part Troggs-era garage-a-rama, and it will rock your ass whether you like it or not. – Marc Savlov

The Golden Boys

12mid, Lamberts If you thought Central Texas was all SRV, think again. Austin's Golden Boys aren't about to curb their love of Lee Hazlewood or Roky Erickson, and last year's sophomore freak-out, Whiskey Flower (Emperor Jones), proved it with drunken keys, vintage guitars, and Lone Star. A new album is in the can, so expect the fivepiece in delightfully rare form. – Darcie Stevens

The Black Angels

12mid, Bourbon Rocks Patio Austin quintet the Black Angels' 2006 debut, Passover, was brooding war-time hysteria in the form of dark and droning psychedelia. The bad vibrations ripple through the second wave of Texas psych leaders' sophomore album, Directions to See a Ghost, due in May on Seattle's Light in the Attic. – Austin Powell

Noisettes

12mid, Vice Formed in 2003, London's Noisettes sear strains of crash-and-burn cocktail jazz to vintage post-punk, leaving an electrified air of instability in their wake as vocalist/bassist Shingai Shoniwa goes from Norah Jones to Karen O in seconds flat. The trio's debut LP, What's the Time, Mr. Wolf? (Motown), and subsequent tour with TV on the Radio endeared them Stateside last year. – Greg Beets

Blue Mountain

12mid, Pangaea One of the original 1990s alt.country bands, Oxford, Miss.'s Blue Mountain re-formed in 2007, six years after disbanding. Picking up where they left off, the trio, led by guitarist Cary Hudson and bassist Laurie Stirratt, has been touring heavily since last summer to rave reviews. They plan on releasing two new albums this summer, a collection of new tunes and new recordings of old material. – Jim Caligiuri

Does It Offend You, Yeah?

12mid, Parish Having dispensed their own brand of electro-fusion to the likes of Muse, Bloc Party, and the White Stripes, this UK-based trio went on to win the Guardian's Worst Band Name award, to which we reply, "Fuck the Guardian!" Now there's a snappy band name. Single "Battle Royale" bests Kinji Fukasaku two outta three. (Also: Friday, March 14, 9pm @ Emo's Main.) – Marc Savlov

Witch

Wednesday Picks

12mid, Bourbon Rocks Indie guitar god J Mascis kick-started his career behind the drum kit for hardcore punks Deep Wound. With his metal side project, Witch, the Dinosaur Jr. frontman returns to the back seat, supplying thunder for the band's Black Sabbath stoner-sludge. Rounded out by Kyle Thomas and Asa Irons of Feathers and bassist Dave Sweetapple, the quartet's second showing, Paralyzed, due later this year on Tee Pee, marks a welcomed return to Kyuss' Sky Valley. – Austin Powell

The Hard Lessons

12:10am, Soho Lounge The Hard Lessons are from Detroit, not in sound so much as swagger, and they go from thick and nasty guitars to sugary-sweet hooks with ease and confidence as Augie Visocchi and Korin Cox trade effortless vocals. A manic drummer known simply as "the Anvil" rounds out the band. The trio's working its way through compiling B&G Sides Vol. 1-4 (Quack!). – Michael Bertin

Copter

12:45am, Tap Room @ Six Evil is as "Evil" does, and the bluesy superfuzz of Birmingham's non-Paradise garage squallers Copter "Testify" to that via their subsonic, sternum-pulverizing, basso profundo CD, Strangest Tales (ColdRice). They're mad for the racket and riding hot rails to hell, bluesy neckbreakers bound for glory or feedback, possibly both. – Marc Savlov

The Black Keys

1am, Emo's Main Akron, Ohio, duo the Black Keys play gritty, hardcore blues, but their upcoming, Danger Mouse-produced second effort for Nonesuch, Attack & Release, takes their 21st century Delta sounds to new heights of sophistication. Guitarist/vocalist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney have moved the Delta to more urban climes. – Darcie Stevens

Parts & Labor

1am, Habana Calle 6 Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map. Brooklyn's Parts & Labor scribbled all over mine with a Sharpie, tore it up, and made it smell of foreign substances with last year's noisy razzmatazz of the same name. The Jagjaguwar threepiece is melodic and furious, and with the addition of new drummer Joe Wong, the roof might explode. (Also: Thursday, March 13, 12:30am @ Mohawk.) – Darcie Stevens

The Aggrolites

Wednesday Picks

1am, Flamingo Cantina This L.A. quintet, comprising members of Vessels and Rhythm Doctors, has had a busy year. After releasing the critically praised Reggae Hit L.A. (Epitaph) last June, the practitioners of "dirty reggae" provided instrumentals for labelmate and Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong's solo album, A Poet's Life, as well as contributing songs about fruit to children's show Yo Gabba Gabba. – Melanie Haupt

Ola Podrida

1am, Central Presbyterian Church The cinematic undertones of Ola Podrida's hushed, acoustic narratives are not without reason. Brooklyn-based frontman David Wingo has scored countless indie films like All the Real Girls and Great World of Sound, and his sense of imagery and movement permeates the quintet's stellar, eponymous debut, released last year on Plug Research. Look for the band's stark revision of Joy Division's "Atmosphere" in the new film The Signal. – Austin Powell

The Band Of Heathens

1am, Habana Calle 6 Annex One of Austin's best acts, the Band of Heathens turns on the axis of singer-songwriters/guitar-pickers Colin Brooks, Gordy Quist, and Ed Jurdi. They've just issued sophomore release Live at Antone's, a CD/DVD demonstrating their Americana roots, and they will follow it up in May with an eponymous, Ray Wylie Hubbard-produced studio effort. – Jim Caligiuri

Paul Kelly

1am, Esther's Follies Considered Australia's premier singer-songwriter, Kelly has drawn comparisons to such heavy hitters as Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello for his energizing story songs. His 25th album in a 30-year career, the diverse Stolen Apples (EMI International), was released Down Under in 2007, with a North American release forthcoming. – Jim Caligiuri

Shearwater

1am, Club de Ville Shearwater spent 2007 reveling in the success of Palo Santo (Matador), reissued as a double disc that reimagined the album's original recordings and added bonus material to the impressive and wholly original vision of songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Meiburg. The ensemble just finished Rook, a highly anticipated follow-up, currently scheduled for a June release. – Jim Caligiuri

Ana Egge

1am, Stephen F's Bar What's the statute of limitations on being an Austinite? It's been at least five years since Egge uprooted and headed to Brooklyn, but it was here where she first cut her teeth and returns to on a regular basis. Her latest, Lazy Days (Grace), an homage to slacking, hit shelves in late '07 and features Egge's wondrous voice working the Kinks, Arcade Fire, and Zombies, among others. – Michael Bertin

Tacks, the Boy Disaster

1am, Maggie Mae's Gibson Room Having roots in Midlake, the Polyphonic Spree, and David Chenu's local jazz quintet, Austin's Tacks, the Boy Disaster demonstrates a breadth and beauty few bands are capable of. The quartet's self-recorded debut EP, Oh, Beatrice, recently issued overseas by UK label Ark Recordings, is a rich tapestry of breezy 1970s folk and ethereal imagery, led by swaying piano lines and the gentle vocals of Evan Jacobs. – Austin Powell

Centro-matic

1am, Friends Denton's favorite fourpiece, which specializes in the kind of rattle-mumble-hum no other indie rockers can top, has been lying low in these parts since 2006's Fort Recovery. The good news: This spring heralds the release of a split double album, Dual Hawks (Misra), with one side Centro-matic, the other its alter ego, South San Gabriel. – Melanie Haupt

Charanga Cakewalk

1am, the Rio Austin-based multi-instrumentalist Michael Ramos leads Charanga Cakewalk through a treasure chest of Latin rhythms enhanced by a hypnotic underscore of reggaeton, world beat, and roots rock. The net effect is a whole new musical geography dubbed "cumbia lounge." Cakewalk's second album, 2006's Chicano Zen (Triloka/Artemis), is a hip-swaying, genre-hopping adventure in the innovative vein of the Latin Playboys and Tito & Tarantula. – Greg Beets

Simian Mobile Disco

1am, Antone's The return to SXSW of Bristol electro-remix duo James Ford and Jas Shaw guarantees at least one showcase that will leave your booty bouncing for weeks after. Their new Clock EP came out on Wichita Recordings, but the pair will forever be known as a core component in superchic French label Kitsuné's stable of mad geniuses hijacked from the UK. Godlike in all respects. – Marc Savlov

The Dicks

1am, Elysium Eighties hardcore pioneers the Dicks harnessed the amorphous gut-rage of East Texas otherdom into a roaring wave of transcendence that influenced countless others. A subtle but persistent blues undertow gave punk rock anthems like "Dicks Hate the Police" and "Dead in a Motel Room" wizened, lasting weight. Original guitarist Glen Taylor died in 1997, but the surviving Austin-era Dicks reunited in 2004 and released a live album, Hungry Butt (HotBox), in 2006. – Greg Beets

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Wednesday Showcases
Wednesday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Thursday Picks & Sleepers
Thursday Picks & Sleepers
SXSW Thursday handicapping by the blurb

March 20, 2015

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