Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, Unsane, Lola Tried, Nick Shoulders, Esme Patterson/Sabrina Ellis/S.L. Houser, and Jeff Lofton's tribute to Miles Davis

Ley Line
Ley Line (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

Far Out Lounge, Sunday 12

After years of licking our spicy fingers with abandon under the blaring Fiesta Gardens sun, the 30-year-old tradition of The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival pivots to luxuriate at South Congress' spacious, shady Far Out Lounge. With a go-to locale for pandemic-era outdoor listening to pack sauce samples from 15 commercial bottlers and other spicy fare, the Chronicle music team thought long and hard on the ideal alt-weekly-beloved, "Who have I missed hearing live?" acts for the afternoon party. A lineup of Ley Line (7:30pm), Geto Gala (6pm), Indoor Creature (5pm), and Van Mary (4pm), with a DJ set by dub maestro McPullish (3pm), results. Ley Line, local acoustic quartet, moved through languages and musical geographies in serendipitous harmony on sophomore We Saw Blue. Geto Gala united two Central Texas standouts – Bastrop rapper/singer Deezie Brown and alternative R&B local Jake Lloyd – for a nostalgic, Southern-centric February EP. Indoor Creature, local indie-pop sextet, were seen last month leading a buzzing Mohawk with jazz-influenced cuts off aquatic May LP Living in Darkness. Van Mary, emotive indie rock project of singer-songwriter Emily Whetstone, throws fuzzy, lovesick manifestos to hit you right in the gut. Tickets, $10 each, benefit the Central Texas Food Bank. – Rachel Rascoe


Unsane, Exhalants

The Lost Well, Thursday 9

Though landmark noise rock trio Unsane retired, a nascent reissue program has prompted occasional shows. With the blessings of former rhythm section Dave Curran and Vincent Signorelli, guitarist/shouter Chris Spencer convenes like-minded bassist Eric Cooper (Made Out of Babies, Bad Powers) and drummer Jon Syverson (Daughters) to celebrate the release of long-lost original Unsane recordings, as Improvised Munitions & Demo, for a show in Austin, one of the band's touring strongholds. Our own Exhalants, probably the best of Unsane's disciples thanks to their passion for pushing that sound forward, join in. Dining With Dogs opens. Bring earplugs and your current frustrations. – Michael Toland


Lola Tried EP Release

Native Hostel, Friday 10

This lineup has everything: breezy alt-rock, sweet and slow country, punk of the noise and pop varieties. A. Sinclair shimmers with melodic rock zen, Warm Sugar drawls harmoniously with pedal steel, the Gospel Truth blends saxophone squall and guitar bite, and punchy quartet Lola Tried surfs on choppy melodies. The show doubles as an EP release party for the latter, who unveil their first effort in three years. If 2018's kiss-with-a-fist self-titled is any indication ("I wish I let my friends think that I'm dead," goes claustrophobic closer "Room"), come vaxxed and expect sharp hooks and a wicked sense of humor. – Carys Anderson


Nick Shoulders

Far Out Lounge, Saturday 11

Fayetteville, Ark., native Nick Shoulders' yodeling voice echoes with nostalgia and haunting complexity like the forgotten rocky hollers he comes from. The prolific songwriter first established himself playing with bands like Thunderlizards and Shawn James & the Shapeshifters in the early 2010s before finding wider success with his solo work, earnestly evoking country before the genre took brand advertising too seriously with raucous, clever songs like "Rather Low" and "Snakes and Waterfalls." There's nothing wrong with Miller Lite or Georgia pickup trucks in easy-to-sing C-chords, but Shoulders reminds us that country is far deeper than generic white Americana. Big Cedar Fever and South Texas Tweek open. – Clara Wang


Esme Patterson, Sabrina Ellis, S.L. Houser

Hotel Vegas, Saturday 11

Three phenomenal voices, all possessed by artists at exciting junctures in their solo journeys. Esmé Patterson, singer on Shakey Graves' "Dearly Departed," continued to gravitate away from indie folk on exceptional fourth album There Will Come Soft Rains, honing delicate-yet-dynamic high melodies over jangly, enchanting pop. Sabrina Ellis, when not enlivening audiences with A Giant Dog and Sweet Spirit, enthralls with personal and pure songwriting. Former Löwin leader S.L. Houser, meanwhile, appears on the heels of second solo single "Reflection Refraction," an introspective pop realization conveying the feeling of finding yourself. – Kevin Curtin


Jeff Lofton's Electric Thang Does Miles Davis

Stateside at the Paramount, Sunday 12

Trumpeter Jeff Lofton's Miles Davis passion is no secret – the veteran ATX jazz musician has done shows based around the music titan's pioneering work before. Unlike many elites who sing the praises of only the Sixties acoustic sounds, Lofton celebrates the electric work of In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew just as often. Lofton's Electric Thang brings back Chasing the Voodoo Down, a show dedicated to Davis' wildly influential music from that era. Few herald the strange, uncompromising, and insidiously compelling sonic storms on those records, so hearing them live will be a treat. – Michael Toland

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