Friday Sleepers

All showcases subject to change


The Lovely Sparrows

8pm, Red Eyed Fly 2006's debut EP from Austin's Lovely Sparrows, Pulling Up Floors, Pouring On (New) Paint (Abandoned Love), was a brutally wrought pop gem, a breakup disc between bandmates renovated with Shawn Jones' sneering cynicism. Gathering a loose collective of players for the Sparrows' upcoming LP, Jones' latest retains the ironic slant of his songwriting while deftly layering dense orchestral arrangements. – Doug Freeman

New Bloods

9pm, Emo's Lounge This Portland, Ore., trio is the kind of band Kill Rock Stars and K Records live for. The three ladies incorporate violin and four-four punk beats into call-and-response vocals, adding to the late-1970s/early-1990s punk formula on full-length KRS debut, The Secret Life. – Audra Schroeder

Hearts of Darknesses

9pm, Hideout Fighting through the industrial ruins of laptop maestro Frankie Musarra's 2004 Music for Drunk Driving (Schematic Waste Management) are melodies aplenty, almost Beckian in their experimentalism. His one-man Brooklyn band, Hearts of Darknesses, is music "done in the laziest way in the world." That doesn't translate to the stage, where Musarra once broke his collarbone after entangling himself in the mic cord. – Chase Hoffberger

Herman Düne

9pm, Stephen F's Bar Representing anti-folk's European contingent, Herman Düne follows in the vein of Moldy Peaches and Jeffrey Lewis. The French trio, helmed by Swedish-born David-Ivar, proves as prolific as eclectic, with ninth album Giant (Source-etc) exuding playful Jonathan Richman-like lo-fi pop tunes with appropriate lyrical nods to Daniel Johnston and Calvin Johnson. – Doug Freeman

The Watson Twins

9pm, Buffalo Billiards Nashville-born Chandra and Leigh Watson sing hymnals for the modern age with an angelic delicacy. After moving to L.A. and falling in line with Rilo Kiley and Orphan Train, the Watsons teamed with Jenny Lewis for her 2005 Rabbit Fur Coat. The Watsons put out their Southern Manners EP (Junketboy) in 2006, and a debut LP is due this spring. – Chase Hoffberger

Gary Higgins

9pm, Spiros What was once considered a "lost" album, 1973's Red Hash was rediscovered and reissued on Drag City in 2005, and suddenly everyone wanted to know who Gary Higgins was. The cover showed him red-bearded and bathed in sunlight, and shortly after its release, Higgins was sentenced to prison in Connecticut on a pot charge. The album soaks in his uncertain voice but leaves room for his meditative folk. – Audra Schroeder

Basia Bulat

9pm, Antone's Toronto's piano-perched Basia Bulat scored Rough Trade for her warm winter debut, 2007's Oh My Darling, which may not be stocked at Starbucks but evinces the morning-coffee murmur of Joni Mitchell in the singer's smoky emotionalism. Blondes have more fun. – Raoul Hernandez

Mario Matteoli

9pm, Lamberts Matteoli, frontman of Austin's formerly hard-thinking and harder-drinking roots ravers the Weary Boys, stepped out in 2006 with Hard Luck Hittin', his solo debut. While not a full departure, Hittin' was a popular local tribute to Texas troubadours. – Michael Bertin

Sera Cahoone

9pm, Bourbon Rocks A Colorado girlhood offers but one explanation for 29-year-old Sera Cahoone's high, lonesome sound. Cahoone plays acoustic guitar backed by a country band and comes off like a rusticated, stoned k.d. lang, with lyrical chops to boot. She just released her second solo album, Only as the Day Is Long (Sub Pop), and has performed and recorded with labelmates Band of Horses. – Dan Oko

American Bang

9pm, Cedar Street Courtyard Nashville quartet American Bang has Kings of Leon appeal with full-on devotion to Bon Scott. Newly signed to Warner Bros., Bang's hard at work on Move to the Music, its major label debut chock-full of old-fashioned rhythm and blues. – Chase Hoffberger

Zona Tango

9:10pm, Elephant Room The Gotan Project wowed the Austin City Limits Music Festival last September with a grandiose mix of classic tango and cool electronica. Buenos Aires trio Zona Tango serves up similar fare with more jazz, less electronica, and a touch of breezy bossa nova. On 2006 release BrazilTango, the group cooks up its own fusion recipes while reworking classics by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astor Piazzolla. – Thomas Fawcett

Nouveau Riche

9:15pm, Beauty Bar Backyard Fronted by native Minnesotan Nikki Jean and Roots ally Dice Raw, Philadelphia's Nouveau Riche breaks down the walls of pop, rock, and hip-hop with 2005 EP Longtail (Raw Life). The fivepiece finds itself in heavy trances that play perfectly to Raw's bouncy, approachable delivery. Attention never strays far from the beautiful Nikki Jean, whose mystique only magnifies after a listen. – Chase Hoffberger

RTX

9:30pm, Flamingo Cantina This Jennifer Herrema-led reincarnation of 1990s nod-rockers Royal Trux captures the decadently warped vibe of a heavy metal keg party on Quaaludes. 2007's Western Xterminator (Drag City) pits Herrema's pitch-shifted growl against guitarist Brian McKinley's coliseum-worthy solo shreds. – Greg Beets

The Meatmen

10pm, Emo's Annex As unforeseen as an attack of IBS during Holy Communion, Touch & Go Records' founder Tesco Vee's seminal Lansing, Mich., hardcore outfit remains gloriously offensive. Vee's stentorian vocals are seriously hilarious in their own right, but with classic tracks like "French People Suck" and "Pope on a Rope," it's Vee who's laughing last and best. – Marc Savlov

Beat Union

10pm, Maggie Mae's Rooftop Birmingham lads Beat Union are on the verge of releasing debut Disconnected (Science Records), but Paul Weller thus far remains mum on his Jam-spreading musical bastard offspring. Pogo if you want to, or just put on your braces, bust out the Ben Shermans, and dust off your Docs, for there's no malice in a town called Austin. – Marc Savlov

Land of Talk

10pm, Red Eyed Fly Elizabeth Powell might hint at early-1990s grrrl rock, but in Montreal trio Land of Talk, she adds a dose of narcotic pop. The band's debut EP, Applause Cheer Boo Hiss (One Little Indian), skimmed 2006's burgeoning post-punk hip machine, but with Justin Vernon of the superb Bon Iver producing the new and much-anticipated LP, dropping in July, there's bound to be more substance than hype. – Darcie Stevens

A-Alikes

10:20pm, Molotov Lounge Given their revolutionary but gangsta brethren Dead Prez recently incited a riot at a small Washington college, it's only fitting that duo A-Alikes' 2006 debut, I Eat You Eat (Nervous), was a big middle finger to the United States. Ever politically minded, MCs Illuminessence and Karaam's unofficial Sept. 11, 2007, release featured exploding Twin Tower cover art. – Thomas Fawcett

Apes

10:30pm, Flamingo Cantina Brandishing a potent blend of seeds-and-stems rock and horn-rimmed keyboard prog, D.C.'s Apes re-emerged from the holding pen last month with Ghost Games, their fourth album and first with vocalist Breck Brunson. His soaring falsetto gives the theatrical quartet added dramatic heft, though songs like "Beat of the Double" still resonate with the lighter-raising spirit of Black Sabbath's Birmingham. – Greg Beets

Handsome Furs

10:30pm, Bourbon Rocks Patio Guitarist Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and his wife, writer Alexei Perry, crafted modern rock on last year's operatic, reverb-drenched Plague Park (Sub Pop), featuring word-weighty compositions and an ambient drift. A live drummer would help. – Dan Oko

Lexie Mountain Boys

11pm, Spiros OMG, Baltimore loves to party! Fivepiece DIY drone tribalists Lexie Mountain Boys are yet another neon-colored group to ooze out of Maryland's crab shack, though under all the scarves and props and chanting, there's some good, gooey stuff. (Also: Saturday, March 15, 9:40pm @ Tap Room @ Six.) – Audra Schroeder

The Cool Kids

11pm, Emo's Main Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks are Chicago's Cool Kids, ridin' on red rubber tires all over BMX ode "Black Mags" and throwin' it back on "88." With only two EPs on tap – 2007's Totally Flossed Out and January's The Bake Sale (Chocolate Industries) – they pay homage to hip-hop pioneers. Slow, steady, and deliberate, the Cool Kids are the second generation Run-DMC. – Darcie Stevens

Old Time Relijun

11:25pm, Flamingo Cantina K Records mainstays Old Time Relijun are less a band than an experience, a shamanic vision of tortured euphoria cast down from mountaintops into the din of devilish pandemonium below. With Arrington de Dionyso assuming archetypes, the Portland, Ore., quartet finally completed the "Lost Light Trilogy" on 2007's Catharsis in Crisis, a ritualistic unraveling of broken dance rhythms shot through with contorted riffs and saxophone drone. – Doug Freeman

Doujah Raze

11:30pm, Molotov Lounge Born and raised in Alexandria, Va., Doujah Raze didn't come into his own until he headed north for NYC in 2002. The gravel-voiced rapper, who also runs Trilogy Records, just saw the online release of 2007's soul-infused Where You Are and is working on finishing up his next, The Eighth House. – Chase Hoffberger

Akron/Family

12mid, Emo's Jr. Last year's Love Is Simple sounded like Pink Floyd's Ummagumma if it had been recorded in upper Saskatchewan. Akron/Family's orchestral and acoustic incantations have always been the base of their prickly folk, but they're louder than ever on their fourth album for Michael Gira's Young God Records, as the now-trio winds through pastoral and psych rock with a little sonic witchery thrown in. – Audra Schroeder

The Gougers

12mid, Stephen F's Bar When they lost the Sidehill part of their name, the Gougers gained a rhythm section and unexpectedly turned into the band they had in them all along. The Austin quintet's self released 2007 disc, A Long Day for the Weathervane, showed off the songwriting talents of bandleaders and vocalists Shane Walker and Jamie Wilson and contained some of the best alt.country of the year. – Jim Caligiuri

Sia

12mid, Stubb's Aussie-born, London-based Sia Furler shot into public consciousness after her single "Breathe Me" closed out the series finale of Six Feet Under nearly three years ago. The former acid-jazz vocalist just released her fourth solo album, Some People Have Real Problems (Hear Music), and it's all here: scorned lovers, big brass arrangements, and larger than life vocals. Like Joss Stone, only not annoying. – Melanie Haupt

White Rabbits

12mid, Club de Ville 2007's Fort Nightly, their debut off Say Hey Records, pole-vaulted White Rabbits to the top of honky-tonk-calypso's food chain (their term). Featuring two drummers and a piano that adds an appropriate Latin vibe, the Brooklyn sextet pushes honest lyrics from three very expressive and unique vocalists. – Chase Hoffberger

Fleet Foxes

12mid, Bourbon Rocks Sub Pop coughs up yet another band for the beard brigade. The recent signing of this hymnal-happy fivepiece makes the label seem ever more like the 21st century answer to the Band's Big Pink than the former first force in grunge. Brand-new download-only EP Sun Giant rolls onward through the stubble. – Dan Oko

Tilly & the Wall

1am, Habana Calle 6 Patio Though relying on a tap dancer for percussion is an unquestionably novel device, the airy, indie-pop strains of Omaha, Neb., quintet Tilly & the Wall would be captivatingly winsome in any case. The freewheeling ensemble injects enough fun into its pathos to avoid getting ensnared in the hyperemotive eddies endemic along Saddle Creek. The follow-up to 2006's Bottoms of Barrels (Team Love) is due this summer. – Greg Beets

Scouting for Girls

1am, Maggie Mae's Rooftop London-based superpopstars take the piss and then some on their single "Fitter in Your MySpace Picture," but mate, it's so true. Their self-titled Epic debut's just gone platinum despite their own dodgy Web-shots. Boy scouters, girl scouters, bi-scouters, and more will almost certainly discover plenty of beat-emboldened take-homers on the roof. (Also: Saturday, March 15, 11:30pm @ Latitude 30.) – Marc Savlov

The Rascals

1am, Wave Rooftop It's good to have friends. It's even better for your career when one of those friends is Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. With just an EP to its credit, Suspicious Wit, the Liverpudlian trio, maybe partly by association but maybe more through pile-driving garage revivalism, has already assured themselves that they'll never rock alone. – Michael Bertin

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