The Austin Chronicle


November 6, 2009, Music


1:05pm, Black Stage

Louisville, Ky.'s sluggers have no business still being on the road after multiple pissings on Red River this year. The Kentucky punk-metal trio's open-throttle Relapse Records debut, sophomore LP No Salvation, begs for a follow-up on the heels of its 2007 release. Pencil in early 2010 for more of frontman Ryan Patterson's blue-collar hardcore. – Raoul Hernandez

Royal Bangs

1:10pm, Orange Stage

Another testament to the New Density of indie rock, Knoxville, Tenn.'s Royal Bangs layer clunky rhythms and jerky guitars over electro-infused beats, hitting the sweet spot between LCD Soundsystem's Sound of Silver and White Denim's Let's Talk About It 7-inch. The quintet's second LP, Let It Beep, was released on Audio Eagle, the indie label run by the Black Keys' Patrick Carney. – Austin Powell

Low Line Caller

1:15pm, Yellow Stage

Shedding the instrumental tag in favor of a singer, local quintet Low Line Caller adds a new scene to its Hi Def Soft Core. They're less ambient now, more propulsive and anthemic, and songs like "Killing the Cool" demand a proper LP. – Audra Schroeder

Crystal Antlers

1:45pm, Orange Stage

SoCal organ roasters Crystal Antlers are probably more excited than most at the prospect of headliner the Jesus Lizard, who helped make Touch and Go an indie label touchstone. The Long Beach sextet's April debut, Tentacles, yowled a distinctly Touch and Go spasm, Jonny Bell its crazed Hamilton Leithauser and key man Victor Rodriguez broiling seven minutes of LP closer "Several Tongues." – Raoul Hernandez

Young Widows

2:15pm, Black Stage

Young Widows are furiously lean and uncompromis-ingly heavy. At last year's FFF Fest, this Louisville. Ky., trio got moving early, unfurling its stellar debut Old Wounds in its entirety. This time around, the Widows support a limited-edition four-part split 7-inch series of new jams, featuring Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Pelican, among others. Collect 'em all. – Austin Powell

Foot Patrol

2:35pm, Blue Stage

New EP Chrissy continues tapping out danceable electro-funk, and with the Shoehorns providing the brass backline, Austin's premier foot fetishists truly put the jam in toe jam. The group was also recently on Aielli Unleashed, so you know the Department of Toerections has some dirt on him. – Audra Schroeder

Shonen Knife

3:30pm, Orange Stage

This Japanese trio's been doing Ramones worship since the 1980s, with occasional moments of pop genius (1992's Let's Knife). While latest Super Group doesn't bring anything new to the party, their garage rock is still a trip, and requesting "Tortoise Brand Pot Scrubbing Cleaner's Theme" never gets old. – Audra Schroeder

Vega/Neon Indian

3:35pm/6:35pm, Blue Stage

It all started with a Nintendo Power Glove. Crooner Alan Palomo first gained blog notoriety with Denton's Ghosthustler and its video for "Parking Lot Nights," and the recent Austin transplant has since moved onto these two promising new projects. The retro synth-pop of Vega's Well Known Pleasures ventures into the realm of dreamwave, while the debut from Neon Indian, Psychic Chasms, offers disco on downers with a heavy dose of arcade psychedelia. – Austin Powell

Red Sparowes

4:20pm, Orange Stage

More metallurgists overdue for another payload of bomb squadron instrumentals, L.A.'s Red Sparowes will release last summer's digital EP Aphorisms in stores this month and follow with a third full-length in early 2010. If "We Left the Apes to Rot, but Find the Fang Grows Within" is any indication, this nest soars again after 2006 sophomore levitation Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun. – Raoul Hernandez

The Sword

4:25pm, Black Stage

Metal's big brother program witnessed Metallica strapping Austin's Gods of the Earth into the private jet for opening slots all over the globe. The Sword's tight two-night stand at Mohawk in August introduced four or five new songs following up the quartet's Kemado sophomore effort last year, ranging in roar from Kill 'Em All to ZZ Top. – Raoul Hernandez

Dead Confederate

5:05pm, Yellow Stage

Dead Confederate's Southern surge of ripped rock only partially came to realization on 2008's debut Wrecking Ball (Razor & Tie), but live the Athens, Ga., quintet bruises with impressive force. Frontman Hardy Morris' voice grips with a grunge angst, yet is equally capable of haunting tones as the guitars flare and dissolve. – Doug Freeman

No Age

5:10pm, Orange Stage

Drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall have branded L.A. with both their bare-bones T-shirts and teen thrash anthems, and new EP Losing Feeling (Sub Pop) offers a more spirited follow-up to last year's atmospheric Nouns. It's the four-song equivalent of fist-pumping and mosh-pitting, then getting on your skateboard and catching some air over a squad car. – Audra Schroeder


5:15pm, Black Stage

Japanese thrash has never come cleaner than Melt-Banana. The trio's been perfecting its speedometer-cracking punk-metal for almost two decades, guitarist Agata, bassist Rika, and singer Yako the squeak and creak to whatever amazing drummer happens to be playing with them. No word of a new LP to follow up 2007's Bambi's Dilemma, but live is when you get whiplash. – Audra Schroeder


5:35pm, Blue Stage

2008's Fools Gold could be the long-lost collaboration of Karen O and Passion Pit, but something about the Kansas City, Mo.-based SSION suggests that comparison isn't eccentric enough. Evidence lies in Boy, mastermind Cody Critcheloe's recent avant-garde collection of SSION music videos that will either leave you scratching your head or icing your calf muscles. – Chase Hoffberger


6:45pm, Orange Stage

Brooklyn's Yeasayer unloads a fevered mass of world rhythms into its clash of experimental art-punk, the trio's harmonized vocals melting into chanted pop bursts that hearken Animal Collective with a more international intonation. Odd Blood, the group's follow-up to 2007's blog-buzzed debut, All Hour Cymbals, promises to stir the psychedelic stew even further. – Doug Freeman

The Cool Kids

7:30pm, Blue Stage

Sneaker freaks worldwide have been waiting on the Cool Kids' debut LP, When Fish Ride Bicycles, for more than a year. So, any day now, guys. In the meantime, fans can drop their lines on the Chicago duo's May mixtape, Gone Fishing, another set of Roland 808-made grooves "bringing '88 back." – Chase Hoffberger


7:30pm, Yellow Stage

A noted expert on the Striated Caracara, singer/guitarist Jonathan Meiburg is no stranger to evolution. That's fitting considering Shearwater has grown from a one-off side project with Will Sheff of Okkervil River into one of the most grandiose and accomplished groups in indie rock with last year's exceptional Rook. The band's sixth LP, The Golden Archipelago, is due in February. – Austin Powell

Les Savy Fav

7:35pm, Orange Stage

If you've never come uncomfortably close to Tim Harrington's sweaty, scantily clothed body, this is your chance. The NYC quintet's still technically on hiatus – 2008's live album After the Balls Drop is LSF's latest release – but if that 3am chunk of recorded post-punk madness is any indication, you're gonna see some balls. – Audra Schroeder


8:30pm, Orange Stage

Evan Mast and Mike Stroud were once part of Ben Kweller's backing band. Then the Brooklyn duo found its niche in the studio, compressing stadium guitars, trippy beats, and slick synths into cell phone ringer-ready instrumental jams. It's an art the two mastered on their third album, LP3 (XL Recordings), which adds splashes of psychedelic tropicalia. – Austin Powell


8:45pm, Yellow Stage

Oh, Dan Bejar, writer of poetically erect songs! 2006's Destroyer's Rubies was a high-water mark for the singer-songwriter, a madcap bluster of Bowie worship and melodic quilling. Last year's Trouble in Dreams gets followed by this year's two-song Bay of Pigs EP on longtime label Merge, a boozy ambient-electro experiment that hollers back at 2004's Your Blues. – Audra Schroeder


Old punks never die, they just play faster. This year, their waiting room is the Black Stage. Houston's legendary speedsters D.R.I. (Sunday, 6:55pm) nailed 22 songs of pure aggression to their 1983 debut. Reno-born straight-edgers 7 Seconds (Saturday, 6:05pm) came close to breaking D.R.I.'s cacophonic sound barrier minus the rage, as remains the case with fellow Better Youth Organization alumni Youth Brigade (Sunday, 3:30pm, plus the documentary, Let Them Know: The Story of Youth Brigade and BYO Records, screens Saturday at the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz), as well as the ridiculously hook-laden, proto-emo of Face to Face (Saturday, 7:45pm). This is Austin, not Boston, but in the Skeeno spirit of walking together and rocking together, hardcore Southies Street Dogs (Sunday, 4:10pm) return with Beantown growl intact. The sound, the fury, the fun, fun, fun. Just watch yourself in the pit, Grandpa. – Marc Savlov

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