Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
A tribute songwriting Legend Cindy Walker, Daikaiju, A Giant Dog & Go Fever, Sonic Movidas with Carrie Rodriguez, and Temple of Angels
By Rachel Rascoe, Raoul Hernandez, Kevin Curtin, Christina Garcia, Greg Stitt, and Kevin Curtin, Fri., Nov. 5, 2021
Bubbles in My Beer: A Tribute to Texas Songwriting Legend Cindy Walker
The ABGB, Thursday 11, 7pm
Sophia Johnson, an English musician lured to Austin by Western swing, can't remember exactly when she first learned of Cindy Walker.
"My dad is a steel player, so I've been listening to Bob Wills as long as I can remember," she shares. "If there was a [Wills] song I liked, I would look up who wrote it – Cindy Walker every time. You know that 'Behind every great man there's a great woman' thing?"
Born in 1918 near Mart, Texas, the undersung late country songwriting legend's expansive body of work spans Ray Charles to Willie Nelson. After organizing a Walker tribute at the 2019 Ameripolitan Awards, Johnson and her Women of Western Swing bandmate Georgia Parker present Bubbles in My Beer, named for Walker's 1947 Texas Playboys tearjerker. At ABGB, the WOWS unite Johnson and Parker with Katy Rose Cox, Rose Sinclair, and Karen Biller as the house band.
"I've been to a lot of these tribute shows, but the house band was always all dudes," says Johnson. "It feels really in the spirit of Cindy to have an all-female house band with some male singers coming up, to flip the script."
Swinging guest vocalists include Brennen Leigh, Teri Joyce, Selena Rosanbalm, Candace Hastings, Bob Appel, Blake Whitmire, Meg Bodi, and more. Proceeds benefit the SIMS Foundation, which Johnson has utilized for therapy since moving to Austin in 2015. The guitarist enthuses over plans to play Walker-penned Roy Orbison hit "Dream Baby" and "Goin' Away Party" – one of her father's favorites. – Rachel Rascoe
DaikaijuValhalla, Friday 5
Levitation now in the books for 2021, flashback to a stupefying instance of literal levitation during Austin Terror Fest 2019. Surfing an instrumentally primal Stooges punkgasm, Kabuki-masked Houston/Austin quartet Daikaiju performed a portion of their Molotov cocktail set on the outstretched arms of the audience, drum kit included. Once said percussion landed back on the ground, they set it on fire while the frontman ran out the front gate with his guitar also in flames. Most jawbones never made it back from the club's lost and found. ATX bruisers Narrow Haunts first. – Raoul Hernandez
A Giant Dog, Go FeverMohawk, Friday 5
A Giant Dog has been a band for – can you believe it? – 13 years so I shouldn't need to tell you they put on an exhilarating, impassioned, sweaty, wild, emotionally resonant show. What might be useful information, at this point, is that the punky, glammy rock quintet's got a pinnacle release on deck: a yet-to-be-announced concept about mythical land Avalonia. Several of the grandiose songs, teased at a backyard concert in May, are still stuck in my head. Speaking of career-best albums, Go Fever's recent LP Velvet Fist – a dialed-in rock sequence powered by Acey Monaro's entertainingly potent musings about life and relationships – hasn't gone a week without touching my turntable. Garage punks Dregs open. – Kevin Curtin
Sonic Movidas With Carrie RodriguezMexican American Cultural Center, Saturday 6
Identifying as "Chicano" carries a certain political tone about pride in one's roots and solidarity with one's group. Thus, "Americhicana," the phrase Carrie Rodriguez uses to talk about herself, makes her a fitting presenter for the 50th anniversary of the UT-Austin Latino Studies program at the MACC. In a new series, the violinist and singer-songwriter will present short films specifically about Latinx musicians. In between, and presumably throughout, she'll also back up those Texan cultural treasures – people like Eva Ybarra, an accordionist from San Antonio who taught herself to play at age of 4 in the 1940s, when macho views dissuaded female instrumentalists. She's now known as "La Reina del Acordeón." Jaime Ospina of Colombian funkmakers Superfónicos and Alex Marrero of rock/funk melders Brownout get their own episodes, while UT's Mariachi Ensemble will also be featured via video. Ahuevo. – Christina Garcia
Temple of AngelsHotel Vegas, Thursday 11
Two well-received tapes and a small slab of wax under their belt since 2017, the ATX portion of ethereal post-punk/shoegaze quintet Temple of Angels met its L.A. counterparts on the coast in September to record an anticipated debut full-length. A year prior, the group stripped down to a duo on YouTube, Bre Morell's powerful voice suspending over the clean flange of a guitar for a reco-worthy take on Blaze Foley's "If I Could Only Fly," performed live at dusk in an Austin field. Essential local punks Mujeres Podridas and Breakout complete the trifecta. – Greg Stitt
Mark Jensen Music FestFar Out Lounge, Saturday 6
Mark Jenson's commitment to community wasn't an obligation – it was inspiration. The Austin music booster and ABGB co-founder, who died out of the blue in June, exuded a giddy enthusiasm while organizing frequent events benefiting local initiatives and nonprofits. Thus, Mark Jenson Music Fest serves as both a celebration of his life and a reflection of his mission. Onstage: all his friends and favorites including Sweet Spirit's Sabrina Ellis, the Ghost Wolves, Wild Bill, Moving Panorama's Leslie Sisson, Corey "Croy" Baum, A. Sinclair, and Star Parks' Andy Bianculli. The love-in kicks off at noon and a $20 suggested donation goes to Mark's wife and young sons. – Kevin Curtin
Soul RebelsFriday 5, Empire Control Room & Garage
Eightpiece NOLA brass institution collaborated with everyone from Robert Glasper and S. Carey to Big Freedia and Trombone Shorty on 2019’s Poetry in Motion.
Shannon ShawSaturday 6, Central Machine Works
Golden-piped garage rock frontwoman steps away from Bay Area Levitation alum the Clams to highlight “Western grit” company Seager’s roundup alongside the Allah-Las, Shooter Jennings, and more. Doors at noon.
Sudan ArchivesSunday 7, Circuit of the Americas
Cincinnati-reared, L.A.-based electro-R&B violinist opens for Tame Impala.
Michael C. SharpTuesday 9, Meanwhile Brewing
July’s Synth Vehicles for Guitar adds to an already impressive catalog exploring Krautrock, ambient New Age, and other kosmische soundscapes.
Mourning [A] BLKstarWednesday 10, The Far Out
Cleveland Afrofuturist septet flexes live soul-jazz/funk, R&B, and electronic under LaToya Kent’s superlative vocals.