Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Trail of Dead, Opeth, Mykfresh, Big Laugh, Rattlesnake Milk, Deezie Brown, and more recommended shows
By Julian Towers, Michael Toland, Kevin Curtin, Tim Stegall, Kevin Curtin, Morgan-Taylor Thomas, and Greg Stitt, Fri., Nov. 26, 2021
Friends of the Dead Fall Fest
Far Out Lounge, Saturday 27
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead host a diverse cadre of bands in their orbit: Eagle Claw, Garrett T. Capps, Lord Buffalo, Greenbeard, Think No Think, Band of Bastards, Narrow Haunts. Kicks off at 6pm.
In 2002, hometown legends ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead released Source Tags & Codes – a fiery, autumnal grasp at immortality that is the band's consensus masterpiece, and in this writer's opinion the greatest album of all time, period. Across 11 tracks of existential anxiety, Conrad Keely and Jason Reece seized a brief major-label moment to rage against, well, the briefness of moments, crafting epic art-rock tapestries that swell toward the stars but never betray their origins as hardcore dreamers.
For me, no other album – and certainly none of the group's succeeding seven – comes close, and on Saturday they may very well play zero songs from it. Accepting that fact is what defines true fans of this ever restless band.
Even as they shrink to successively smaller labels, Keely and Reece will always describe themselves as climbing an upward arc. In 1994, the band pitched a tent far above their heads with the intention of one day filling it, and understandably dismiss the resonance listeners find in the gap itself (especially circa 2002). Instead, they probably perceive last year's ornate, layered X: The Godless Void and Other Stories as the closest they've come to bridging it completely. Let's hope they never do. As the bands supporting them Saturday will surely testify, Trail of Dead's ambition, passion, and reckless self-belief IS Austin music. – Julian Towers
Opeth, Mastodon, Zeal & ArdorACL Live, Friday 26
Opeth long ago dropped the "death" from their progessive metal equation, but the Swedish titans continue to make imaginative music using the power smooth dynamics they always have. The quintet's stateside tour for 2019's In Cauda Venenum was postponed by the pandemic, but better late than never. Supporting the exceptionally strong new LP Hushed and Grim, another concept album driven by personal loss, Atlanta's Mastodon's own distinctive vision of prog metal makes for a perfect complement/counterpoint. Swiss occult gospel metal act Zeal & Ardor opens in support of last year's political EP Wake of a Nation and next year's self-titled new record. – Michael Toland
MykFresh, Jugg FrostFlamingo Cantina, Friday 26
This "Blackout Friday" event brings in Dallas-area rapper MykFresh, who extols big booties and the hustle. 2021 track "Still Married 2 da Game" is an impressively breathless autobiography of going hard. Also on the bill is Austin's surprisingly self-aware white gangster rapper Jugg Frost, whose gun-heavy "Grease Boy Anthem" just got certified gangster by Crip Mac, the funny member of L.A.'s 55th Street Crips who went viral on the comedic interview channel Channel 5 News. Crip Mac said: "Wooo. Hard shit right there!" – Kevin Curtin
Give Thanks For HardcoreFar Out Lounge, Sunday 28
The Austin Music Awards' 2020 Best New Venue winner hosts a plethora of Austin's finest modern day moshpit punk outfits, plus touring Wisconsinites Big Laugh, for a post-Thanksgiving old-school Sunday hardcore matinee. Work off that L-tryptophan hangover by slamming your partner do-si-do to Saintpeeler, Mothman, and Black Mercy. But pride of place goes to Disowned, featuring one of Austin's heavy best rhythm sections in bassist Alyssa Leigh and drummer Armando Lopez, and young thrashcore heroes User Unauthorized. – Tim Stegall
Rattlesnake Milk, Lucas Hudgins, Henri HerbertSagebrush, Thursday 2
Henri Herbert plays that boogie-woogie piano style with metronome-shattering speed and incomprehensible exactness. The France-born, UK-raised viral instrumentalist, who's been a local fixture since 2019, collects dropped jaws every time he sits down at the keys. Lucas Hudgins' instrument-of-awe: his voice. The honky-tonker with a rich, bassy baritone recently toured with Charley Crockett and issued a compelling comeback single "Them Little Thrills." Headliners Rattlesnake Milk make high-energy flatland garage twang for people with calloused hands, tweaker-cousins, and an ear for concise storytelling. – Kevin Curtin
Deezie BrownC-Boy's Heart & Soul, Thursday 2
Holding down Thursdays all month at the South Congress juke-joint, Deezie Brown's been keeping audiences on their toes with surprise appearances from Jake Lloyd and EC Mayne. When the musical magician takes stage, an eclectic explosion of high-octane intensity and boisterous sound spew from the C-Boy's cement walls. The Bastrop native pulls from his Central Texas childhood and societal adversity to construct his unique hip-hop funk sound, present on February Lloyd-collabo Geto Gala. Sure to mirror his already established performance credibility, his residential finale commences at 6:30pm with San Gabriel slated to guest. – Morgan-Taylor Thomas
By Greg Stitt
Danielle NicoleSunday 28, Antone’s
Kansas City blues rock staple hit No. 1 on Billboard’s blues charts with 2018 sophomore bow Cry No More, riffing originals alongside works by Prince, Blind Willie Johnson, and Bill Withers.
Off With Their HeadsSunday 28, The Ballroom
Ryan Young’s knack for cloaking exceptionally self-loathing lyricism under energetic Minneapolis punk rock hurtles toward year 20.
LagwagonTuesday 30, Meanwhile Brewing
A South Austin brewery lawn with the prospect of seating is downright serendipitous for fans of the Goleta, Calif., punks, this evening celebrating album six, 2003’s Blaze.
Knife in the WaterThursday 2, Hotel Vegas
No stranger to slowcore and avant-garde folk dalliances, Aaron Blount’s country outfit last enlisted Graham Low’s cello for a straight-ahead C&W take on Marvin Rainwater’s “Tears (Won’t Make the Cotton Grow).”