Thursday Showcases

Thursday

Free Latinate

Bajofondo
Bajofondo

6pm, Auditorium Shores Stage

The Cool Kids are the odd ones out in the Latin-centric night, but the Chicago hip-hop duo likes to roll that way anyway. The Kids dropped a mixtape last spring, Gone Fishing, and must still be waiting for a bite since their long-delayed debut LP, When Fish Ride Bicycles, has yet to surface. Featuring eight musicians from Argentina and Uruguay, Bajofondo's credited with reintroducing acoustic tango to a worldwide audience by fusing it with electronica, rock, lounge, and other forces. Gustavo Santaolalla fronts the band when he's not working on film scores (Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Babel). Timeless yet contemporary, sizzling yet poised, they lit up Austin's One World Theatre last year and promise the same here. Ozomatli takes the drum circle once more to the people, the socially conscious rockeros pulling from all L.A. has to offer, mixing thumping cumbias, funk, rock, and hip-hop and then doling it out piping hot. Between the sultry elegance of Bajofondo and the high energy of Ozomatli, no one should leave Lady Bird Lake without a new groove in their backbone. – Belinda Acosta

Todo Austin/The Austin Tejano Music Coalition/DiverseArts

Los Texas Wranglers
Los Texas Wranglers

7pm, Kenny Dorham's Backyard

Here's a showcase that highlights the diversity of musica Latina in Central Texas. Three-time Grammy winners Little Joe y la Familia pioneered Tejano music, blending conjunto, country, blues, and rock. Long known as the King of the Brown Sound, Little Joe's career spans more than 40 years and more than 50 albums, his most recent being Classic Night in el Chuco. Fellow Grammy-winning Tejano stars Ruben Ramos & the Texas Revolution of Austin have pushed similar numbers, while the enduring Ramos has also lent his superb vocals to all three Los Super Seven albums. Lassoing pure conjunto with Texas country, Los Texas Wranglers have likewise taken home multiple awards throughout Texas, including the Austin Music Awards' Best Latin/Traditional Band for 2007-08 and 2008-09. Hot off the recent release of Volumen II, El Tule is fast becoming a local favorite, combining elements of cumbia, Afro-Cuban, rock, merengue, salsa, and reggae. The 10-piece leans heavily on art, history, and Hispanic culture, often focusing on legends and tales of the mystical. – Jay Trachtenberg

Memphis Music Foundation

8Ball & MJG
8Ball & MJG

8pm, Barbarella

The timeline of Memphis music is storied and grand, something the Memphis Music Foundation – sister to Austin's own Music Foundation – already knows. Much like us, Memphians take pride in their live music scene and care about the well-being of their musicians. Here, the MMF makes pit stops at two of the city's more prominent genres: rap and folk. Now-local singer-songwriter Cory Branan's subtle roots-rock rests six degrees from Star & Micey, a trio whose AM radio lilt wouldn't be out of place in 1970s Memphis. Duo Lord T & Eloise call themselves "aristocrunk," mixing powdered wigs with ghetto curlers for one of the more bewildering rap pairings this side of the Mason-Dixon. (Bonus points for the song "Make Dat Monet.") Goner Records' resident love doctor Harlan T Bobo drops latest gut-spiller Sucker in April. Hill Country Revue's actually from Mississippi, but the quintet's tattooed Southern rock is comfortably close to Tennessee. Headliners 8Ball & MJG fill the thug void left by Three 6 Mafia. – Audra Schroeder

Americana Music Association

Hayes Carll
Hayes Carll

8pm, Antone's

No one should be surprised at the broad expanse of music falling under the umbrella of the Americana Music Association. Jim Lauderdale, for example, gives Nashville something to brag about with his lightning picking and ear-to-ear grinning that fits everyone from Ralph Stanley to Lucinda Williams. Another Nashvillian, Elizabeth Cook, leans more to the folkie side of country, but make no mistake, her back-porch version of the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" is a sleeper. Hayes Carll has been not-so-subtly loading his Texas singer-songwriter kit with equal slices of humor and vision, the combination that won him the association's 2008 Song of the Year for "She Left Me for Jesus." The Court Yard Hounds is the name for two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks, sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, who take their charming sibling harmonies out of the arena and bring them much closer to home. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals close it out with a twangy groove that sounds like it comes from a lot farther south than their native Vermont. – Margaret Moser

Bossa Nova Brazil

Natalia Mallo
Natalia Mallo

9:15pm, Elephant Room

A night of sunny music in Austin's darkest bar! More adventurous Bra-zilian acts can be found around town this week, but this billing offers a nice snapshot of contemporary Música Popular Brasileira. Show closer Pedro Moraes is a rising MPB star from Rio de Janeiro's bohemian Lapa neighborhood who first gained attention by covering unreleased songs by genre masters Paulinho da Viola and Cartola, among others, prior to his self-penned 2007 debut, Claroescuro. Vander Lee, hailing from Belo Horizonte, makes a return trip to Austin as the former pro goalkeeper continues to tour behind 2009's wistful Faro, while Sylvia Patricia of Bahia belts out bossa blues from her sixth release, Adante. Relative newcomer Natalia Mallo could steal the show with her gorgeous vocals and winking charm. The São Paulo singer will play self-penned songs from 2009's Qualquer Lugar, along with new material and covers of everyone from Björk to Chico Buarque. – Thomas Fawcett

Red House Records

Ruth Moody
Ruth Moody

8pm, Stephen F's Bar

From Minneapolis, Minn., Red House Records remains one of the premier folk labels in the United States. With a roster that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary, this House opens its doors to include acoustic-oriented bands and hints of bluegrass. This evening's acts perfectly encapsulate the label's varied focus. Originally from Canada and now an Austin resident, Ray Bonneville is a masterful guitar player, and his blues-based repertoire stretches the genre to unexpected yet definitely funky places. His song "I Am the Big Easy," in which the city of New Orleans speaks to the world, won Song of the Year at the 2009 Folk Alliance Conference. Ruth Moody, a member of the Wailin' Jennys, is known for her ethereal vocals. She hails from Winnipeg, and her Celtic sound is pure yet refreshing, while St. Paul's the Pines bring a loose-limbed rock to their bluesy roots music. – Jim Caligiuri

Paradigm

Brazos
Brazos

8pm, Emo's Annex

Traveling across the decades is the new musical Paradigm. The best thing going for Pete Molinari is that by being British, his stuck-in-the-1940s obsession sounds like more than just a curiosity. The Aussie pop quartet Oh Mercy displayed a 1980s Go-Betweens ease to its songs on last year's Privileged Woes. Bobby Bare Jr. just stepped away from his backers the Young Criminals' Starvation League for an EP of Bread and America covers. The undeceptively named American Bread includes not one but two versions of mid-1970s chart-topper "Sister Golden Hair." Stepping into something more modern, the outgrowth of Martin Crane's musical dinkings spawned not only a full-fledged band in local trio Brazos but a seductively sedate debut in the form of Phosphorescent Blues late last year that earned the band a sweet opening slot for White Denim, who just happens to be the showcase headliner. Crazy how that works (not really ... it's their booking agency's showcase). White Denim has gotten crazy praise across the pond for its Sergeant Trout Mask Pepper's Lonely Dirt Rock Club Band UK releases, Workout Holiday, and last year's Fits. Also on the bill is local post-alternastuff song shambler of note, 1990s vet Centro-matic. After SXSW, überprolific frontman Will Johnson is joining Anders Parker to do a tour of people's living rooms. – Michael Bertin

Automatico/La Banda Elastica Showcase

Copacabana Club
Copacabana Club

8pm, Esther's Follies

Mexico City's Simona incorporates projections into its high-energy performances, further blurring the distinction between the band's experimental post-rock and psychedelic tendencies. Hailing from southern Brazil, Copacabana Club put itself on the musical map in a big way with the irresistible tropi-cool hit "Just Do It" from the King of the Night EP. Coming together in 2005 from various regions of the country but now based in Mexico City, Ventilader mellows out with light rock on latest Olas and has played the all-important Vive Latino festival for the past two years. L.A.B. (Less a Bullshit) from Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, has been together only since last year, but the group's futuristic synth pop has gained comparisons to Depeche Mode, New Order, and Kraftwerk. Exuding a more ethereal sound is Monterrey, Mexico, indietronic trio Uvilov, which explores and improvises on tones and structures using computers and traditional instruments. Resplandor, from Lima, Peru, describes its music as "shoegaze ... with melancholic melodies." The veteran outfit's most recent album is 2008's Pleamar. – Jay Trachtenberg

Young Turks

The XX
The XX

8pm, Mowhawk Patio

Swedish sisters First Aid Kit are aiming for your hearts, not the charts, or so they claim, and they fit right in with the next generation of post-emo alt.country. Not so with Michigan's Salem, which owes at least as much to the soaring harmonics of Ride as it does H-town's drowsy 'Tussin scene. Secretly Canadian artist jj, widely regarded as one of summer 2009's best new artists: Imagine making out with the one you most love atop a pink cotton candy cumulonimbus and you're there. Holy Fuck is the right reaction to this Ontario electro-squall quartet, whose music has attracted the attention of everyone from Thom Yorke to Lou Reed, thanks to the duo's giddy, beat-filled optimism. Did you hear the one about the Wu-Tang Clan member who walked into a bar with another oddly-monikered bandmate and made fun of Bill Murray? No? Rent Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes and see the GZA in his finest, funniest 15 minutes. Finally, London's the XX provides a dreamy soundtrack to your most intimate moments without getting sticky beats all over your li'l black dress. Our vote for best new artist of the year. – Marc Savlov

Emergence Presents: DXSW

Ro Spit
Ro Spit

9:05pm, Victory Grill

Detroit was dealt a real blow in 2006 when J Dilla, indisputably the foremost contributor to his hometown's signature sound, succumbed to a battle with lupus, but his descendents truck on. All Detroit hip-hoppers carry with them a piece of the legendary producer/MC, as Athletic Mic League member 14KT's 2009 instrumental release, The Golden Hour, suggests. Fellow AMLer Vaughan T recently cut his teeth with the subtle bravado of Ann Arbor's Lab Techs crew. Marv Won's January release, Wayne Fontes Music, echoes Vaughan's affinity for the heavy snares and braggadocios attitude of Detroit's finest. The ladies get down, too: Mae Day, Miz Korona, and Invincible, – whose Shapeshifters still gets warranted rotations – all flex hard-nosed vocal stylings that go toe-to-toe with Ro Spit, one of the gruffest and grimiest in Detroit. Only MonicaBlaire, featured on Big Tone's 2009 The Art of Ink, flirts with R&B. Rounding out the troupe are Finale, whose A Pipe Dream and a Promise from last year stomps and swings all at once; recent Red 7 showstopper and heir to the Dilla throne Black Milk; and the granddaddies of it all, Slum Village. – Chase Hoffberger

One Little Indian

Ólöf Arnalds
Ólöf Arnalds

8pm, Victorian Room at the Driskill

Last year, Paul McCartney ditched his 45-year association with EMI and delivered his back catalog to One Little Indian – not bad for a label sprung from 1980's DIY punks. Of course, over the past 25 years, OLI has become one of the most progressive and eclectic labels in the world. The London imprint's latest trend-defining bets land first on San Francisco duo Orchid & Hound, cabaretish piano pop built upon John Constantine's dramatic vocal flights, while Germany's Julia Marcell makes her stateside premiere plying keys and strings in equal parts Amanda Palmer and Regina Spektor. The showcase's most expectant performance belongs to Ólöf Arnalds, the Icelandic beguiler whose stunning 2007 debut, Við og Við, finally saw U.S. release this year. The Múm member's Joanna Newsome-esque folk gets more lush arrangements on upcoming sophomore LP Ókídókí, produced again by Sigur Rós' Kjartan Sveinsson. Sweden's Surrounded shifts gears with Grandaddy-orbiting third disc Oppenheimer and Woodstock. Originality rests with unruly UK quintet Kill It Kid, impressively wrangling an unlikely combination of Antony & the Johnsons fronting the White Stripes behind Chris Turpin's vocals and wild-eyed fiddle and guitar. – Doug Freeman

La Familia

Amplified Heat
Amplified Heat

8pm, Spill

This Latin showcase features music from the U.S. and abroad with a slant toward classic rock and blues. Austin's versatile Vitera opens the night, busting out Haydn Vitera's Latin alt-rock skills and throaty vocals that belie his otherwise sweet demeanor. The three Ortiz boys, better known locally as Amplified Heat, might as well have their mail forwarded to Electric Ladyland, boasting a time-tested blues boogie with a Texas twist. Argentina's Superlasciva follows, with comparatively mellow, easygoing, pop-rock tunes that have earned the band a faithful following. Guadalupe Plata of Spain makes a pass at bayou blues, effortlessly combining hypnotic percussion, possessed guitars, and devilish bass for a fine tribute to old-school bluesmen, conjured with deep and abiding respect. Texican blues rockers Los Lonely Boys also pay tribute to the past on their new EP, 1969, which finds the Garza brothers – guitarist Henry, bassist JoJo, and drummer Ringo – climbing closer to classic rock heaven with covers of Santana, the Doors, and Tony Joe White. – Belinda Acosta

Barsuk

Wooden Birds
Wooden Birds

8pm, Red Eyed Fly

Barsuk once held down a stellar day party at SXSW, taking over the picnic pasture of Pok-e-Jo's BBQ on Fifth Street. Sadly, urban "progress" has bulldozed the barbecue joint, but Barsuk continues to field some of the Fest's best lineups. This year highlights the label's latest finds and one tried troubadour. Though not yet officially inducted into the roster, Seattle quartet the Globes gets hometown placement to open, subdued and melodic rock settling easily on the northwest's Sunny Day Real Estate. Dubiously named Blunt Mechanic, the new project from Kind of Like Spitting's Ben Barnett picks up the pace and pummel with new World Record but retains Barnett's uniquely wry outlook. While Pearly Gate Music's eponymous debut doesn't drop until May, Zach (brother of J.) Tillman has already stirred buzz with his delicately trembled pop poignancy. Andrew Kenny revived his American Analog Set strum-and-hum upon returning to Austin with the Wooden Birds and last year's meditatively disillusioned Magnolia, and Rocky Votolato's sixth effort, True Devotion, raises his tender tenor from the desperate gloaming of 2007's The Brag and Cuss. New York duo Phantogram closes on a bed of shoegazed electro beats, debut Eyelid Music swaddling Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter in fuzzed bliss. – Doug Freeman

Dialtone Records

Hosea Hargrove
Hosea Hargrove

8pm, Amsterdam Cafe

Eddie Stout's pride and joy is his local Dialtone label, so soulful even the CDs sound like they came straight off vinyl. The Afton, Va.-based Biscuit Rollers favor the blue side of grass, more like the country blues so popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Texas Eastside Kings throw down old-school blues, the kind that wafted in the 1950s out of Austin's Eastside clubs like barbecue smoke and likely featuring Ephraim Owens and Donald "Duck" Jennings. The Texas Blues Preacher himself, the Rev. K.M. Williams, is the gospel when it comes to matching the Lone Star State's country blues with the Delta's muddy sound. The pride of Smithville, Hosea Hargrove entered the Texas Music Hall of Fame last year, a well-deserved accolade for the 80-year-old guitarist. The Westside Horns define Chicano soul, a San Antonio-only horn section paired with the Moeller Brothers for extra good mojo. Closing the evening is Matthew Robinson, another Austin treasure whose guitar muscle made the Eastside a formidable place to wield six strings. – Margaret Moser

Wax Poetics/Dub Spot Presents Funk Aid for Africa/Haiti

Brownout
Brownout

8:20pm, Scoot Inn

For fans of rare and global grooves, this lineup is heavy on Austin acts drawing from the funky diaspora. A psychedelic funk spin-off of local Latin powerhouse Grupo Fantasma, Austin's Brownout cruises through the Aztec cosmos on sophomore release Aguilas and Cobras, while Grimy Styles beckons Augustus Pablo and King Tubby to the séance. Toronto trio Keys N Krates churns live instrumentation and next-level turntablism into party rocking remixes. Miami-via-Kingston rebel love goddess Jovi Rockwell nices up the dancehall with an M.I.A. style. Antibalas connections abound as guitarist Marcos Garcia appears as 8-bit Afrobeat superhero Chico Mann. His solo debut, Analog Drift (Muy ... Esniqui), answers the unasked question, "What if Fela Kuti composed the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack?" Antibalas founder Martín Perna joins Brownout guitarist Adrian Quesada and friends as Austin's Ocote Soul Sounds, which laces a heavy dose of Latin-seared peyote funk from last year's Coconut Rock. The cinematic Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra, led by Los Angeles composer Adrian Younge, cues up new material and the brilliant Black Dynamite film score as Austin's DJ Chicken George and Cali's J-Boogie and Smiles Davis keep it moving between sets. – Thomas Fawcett

Rolling Stone

Titus Andronicus
Titus Andronicus

8pm, Beauty Bar/Palm Door

Discussions of relevance gather like moss in Jann Wenner's ear hole as the crème of new American rock takes the field. Following the Dawes are the Whigs of Athens, Ga., promoting third LP In the Dark on Dave Matthew's ATO imprint. With pummeling rhythms, the high-energy trio could take the Kings of Leon, with whom it shares a producer. The Low Anthem slows things down and for the better, as the mainly acoustic Rhode Island trio still rides high on last year's magical Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (Nonesuch). The trio's timeless compositions sound like a Ken Burns PBS documentary scored by Tom Waits. Titus Andronicus is now in "version 6.0" thanks to a rotating cast of musicians, but the real news is that behind founder Patrick Stickles, the punky Jersey band has produced a bona fide concept album, The Monitor (XL), about the Civil War. Philly's emerging fivepiece Free Energy brings big guitars and no small sense of irony. Lastly, the four faux-billies of Deer Tick, another Providence, R.I., band, reiterate their soulful roots rock with last year's Born on Flag Day. Expect fireworks. – Dan Oko

The End

Evan Dando
Evan Dando

9pm, Ale House

"The clown from Slipknot and singer from the Lemonheads meet in a bar" sounds like the set-up to a bad joke, but it makes sense to have them under the End's showcase banner. SX regular Evan Dando surprised most with the depth of his record collection last year with his country/indie take on everyone from Leonard Cohen to G.G. Allin to our own Fuckemos for his Gibby Haynes-produced covers album Varshons. Similarly, Slipknot percussionist Shawn Crahan shocked metalheads in 2004 when he went all Faith No More with side project To My Surprise. Those same headbangers may be catatonic when he steers into more Mr. Bungle seas with the DayGlo ennui of Dirty Little Rabbits, but they can take some rock relief with the sideswipe riffing and down-tuned harmonies of highly touted New Yorkers Goes Cube. That leaves it up to sometime Lemonhead Josh Lattanzi, performing as the Candles, to set the mood for his former boss with the classic American rock from his debut, Between the Sounds. – Richard Whittaker

Saddle Creek

The Rural Alberta Advantage
The Rural Alberta Advantage

10pm, Maggie Mae's Gibson Room

At best, Omaha was just somewhere in middle America before Saddle Creek emerged to catalyze its music scene. Since Conor Oberst and friends set the tapes rolling in 1993, the label has helped rejuvenate the city and become a national indie force. Latest addition to the label the Mynabirds fly first, the project of ex-Georgie James' Laura Burhenn, who brings her smokehouse vocals to bear torching old-school R&B pop à la Dusty Springfield. April debut What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood was helmed by Richard Swift and features support from familiar Saddle Creek cadre. UUVVWWZ drives the other end of the femme-fronted spectrum, with Teal Gardner alternating ponytail-cutting yelps with breathy slink on last year's eponymous debut. Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson let 2008's self-titled debut lead him out off the drug-addled streets to find new life on Saddle Creek for last year's more ambitious sophomore effort, Summer of Fear, surging ruggedly behind his grit-grounded, guttered vocals and sardonic slant. The Rural Alberta Advantage has likewise made the Midwest jump with the reissue of the Toronto trio's excellent inaugural offering, Hometowns, Nils Edenloff's nasally wail hearkening Jeff Mangum and Eef Barzelay against hard strummed and stomped pop. – Doug Freeman

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Wednesday Showcases
Wednesday Showcases

March 20, 2015

Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Trampled by Turtles
Life Is Good on the Open Road (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

Texas Platters
Nakia
Blues Grifter (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Sept. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Automatico, La Banda Elastica, Memphis Music Foundation, Bossa Nova Brazil, Red House, Young Turks, One Little Indian, Automatico, La Banda Elastica, Barsuk, Rolling Stone, The End, Saddle Creek

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle