Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Jackie Venson, Dangerous Toys, Zachary Williams, Cordae, Matthew Logan Vasquez, and more local shows to see
By Raoul Hernandez, Derek Udensi, Robert Penson, Doug Freeman, and Rachel Rascoe, Fri., Feb. 4, 2022
Jackie Venson February Residency
Lamberts, Saturday 5 – Saturday 26
Tallying up the past two years, Jackie Venson breaks down her performances: outdoor shows (60%), reduced-capacity inside sets (30%), cancellations (10%). Four consecutive Saturdays at historic BBQ heaven Lamberts conform to health protocols.
"The last two years, how hard has it been? So the first year, I didn't play at all. The second year things kinda fell into place. And then now, we're in this defiant year, where people are so tired.
"I get it, but I'm sorry, the pandemic isn't over because you're over it."
Plague couldn't have helped September's Southland roots nugget Love Transcends.
"I spent the last two years atomic bombing my following into exponential growth, so this album was, like, 200% better than any release I ever had," reveals the Prince-like ATX native, also a singing-shredding, multi-instrumentalist dynamo. "It's so ironic: 'So Jackie, you are going to make it, but it's going to take a pandemic.'"
Get there early for the R&B fourpiece warming up on opening night, Venson's 32nd birthday.
"My dad's going to open," she affirms.
Andrew Venson taught her everything the headliner's Broadway-loving physician mother didn't.
"He does a really good version of Keb' Mo's 'Dangerous Mood,' a blues song about being hot for a woman," she laughs. "He really plays it up, but he's also a crooner. Women in the audience, they're all like, 'Wow!' He's irresistible. He's got 10 kids for a reason." – Raoul Hernandez
MadeinTYO, UnoTheActivistEmpire Garage, Saturday 5
Yokohama, the December 2021 debut collaborative mixtape for Atlanta emcees MadeinTYO and UnoTheActivist, sees two SoundCloud graduates coming together for a relatively unlikely yet fun pairing. The 16-track project's name and cover art pay homage to Japanese culture – MadeinTYO lived in Tokyo for six years. TYO's energetic style meshes surprisingly well with Uno's whispery, shifty rhyming patterns over a batch of beats primarily owing to the infusion of hyperpop-esque, fast-paced melodies ("Talk to Me Nice," "Margiela Man") into rap as well as the plugg music subgenre's 2021 resurgence ("Mexikodro"). North Carolina's BigBabyGucci opens. – Derek Udensi
Dangerous ToysCome & Take it Live, Saturday 5
Austin monsters of rock Dangerous Toys are for those born too late, who wish they could have partied on the Sunset Strip, crushed cans in the Heavy Metal Parking Lot, or for those who did and lived to tell the tale. It's music for good times with attitude, à la L.A. Guns and Skid Row. Adding more hair to the party, California's Leather Duchess provides main support. The show's at Come & Take It Live, but you'll feel like you're raging in an arena in the Reagan years. Crunch opens up and DJ Devil Woman provides tunes in between. – Robert Penson
Zachary Williams, Buffalo Hunt04 Center, Saturday 5
Dirty Camaro, last year's solo debut from the Lone Bellow's Zachary Williams, originated amid the pain, confusion, and relief of his wife's paralysis and recovery following an accident. That emotional reckoning wrings throughout the LP, but with a playful and, at times, even exuberant recalibration of the songwriter's priorities, both personally and artistically. Produced by Robert Ellis and Josh Block, with guest spots from Anderson East, John Paul White, and others, the album swoons with lush and vibrant charm and stylistic adventurousness, from melodic, loping country to percussive, soulful rock to swelling, steel-tinged gospel. Buffalo Hunt's enticing art-pop songwriting opens. – Doug Freeman
Cordae, BLK ODYSSYEmo's, Saturday 5
Cordae, a 24-year-old rapper with an unabashed adoration for Nineties-era hip-hop, last performed locally nearly two years ago at C&TIL on the penultimate stop of his perfect 33-for-33 sellout Lost Boy in America tour. Now without YBN before his name, he shifts down the street fresh off second studio album From a Birds Eye View. Austinites can also send off BLK ODYSSY before the powerful group drenched in an uncaged sound intertwining jazz, funk, and hip-hop leaves Texas to embark on not only Cordae's nationwide tour, but a probable journey to widespread acclaim. – Derek Udensi
Matthew Logan Vasquez, Why BonnieThe Rustic Tap, Sunday 6, 1–4pm
Ranch Rider Spirits, purveyor of locally made sparkling seltzers, celebrates two years with two selections of locally made sparkling music – presented for free. Known for leading heartland triple-A hitters Delta Spirit and ringleading Americana collaboration Glorietta, Matthew Logan Vasquez joins. The evocative guitarist and wordsmith, based in Wimberley, has nurtured rootsy, exploratory solo efforts from the area since 2014. Returning after bristling indie rock centerpiece Voice Box, Why Bonnie offered singer Blair Howerton's beautifully nostalgic Texas ode "Galveston" in November. The guitar pop quintet semi-recently landed management by Austin's big-name-backing Ten Atoms. – Rachel Rascoe