Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Abhi the Nomad, Marina, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Nick Cave + Warren Ellis, Sam Pankey, the Austin Music Awards, and more
By Kevin Curtin, Christina Garcia, Raoul Hernandez, Gary Lindsey, and Michael Toland, Fri., March 4, 2022
Abhi the Nomad
Scoot Inn, Friday 4
Abhi the Nomad crafted the thumping falsetto funk and clever existential raps of Abhi vs The Universe in the proverbial bubble – composing and tracking his fourth album in a home studio while the world withstood waves of plague. Only now is the September release materializing onstage.
"It's bringing that energy from zero, in my room alone, to 100 with the band around me," assesses the singer/rapper/producer. "Translating those feelings to the stage can be difficult, but we just went through the ringer opening for Bryce Vine in the Midwest, driving through a snowstorm and doing all the crazy-ass tour shit that we used to do."
With shows in L.A. and NYC also on the docket for March, Abhi rolls into the Scoot Inn this Friday alongside Khary, Magna Carda, and Deezie Brown. There, locals will first hear AvU filtered through Abhi's live unit, which he refers to as an "elixir" bringing the material to life.
"Having the music change and elevate with these amazing players backing me is what brings it to another level. They change the way I perceive it, so I hope it's the same for other people." – Kevin Curtin
Marina, Pussy RiotACL Live, Friday 4
Marina Diamandis is like Raid for pop inanity. The Welsh chanteuse's fifth LP Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land is pro-Earth, pro-witch, pro-woman, anti-injustice, and anti-male-dominated-capitalist-war-caca writ large, thriving on electro-pop and balladry. Fitting tourmates: infamous Russian hooligans Pussy Riot – the musical arm of the activist group who's been in and out of Russian jails and, just last week, minted a pro-Ukrainian NFT. Championing free speech, LGBTQIA rights, and women's rights, they eff the system with electro-clash and punk style. – Christina Garcia
Mardi Gras: Walter "Wolfman" Washington, the Nth PowerAntone's, Saturday 5
Jalal Antone's "grab and go" po'boys populate between here and Houston, so Crescent City tastes permeate his nephew Clifford and niece Susan's Home of the Blues from the get-go. New Orleans son Walter "Wolfman" Washington remains precisely the post-World War II Gulf Coast roots digger they opened their hearts to on the Sixth Street of the Seventies. His smoldering soul at 78 matches that of fellow NOLA pioneer Irma Thomas on "Even Now" from his most recent R&B prize, My Future Is My Past. Wolfman's Taj Mahal-like croon, neon guitar ripples, and swampy rhythms bubble & boogie. Heaven on a bun. – Raoul Hernandez
Nick Cave + Warren EllisACL Live, Saturday 5 & Sunday 6
Nick Cave has had the good fortune of working with some incredible musicians since the Bad Seeds' inception and even more through collaborations, but the moment Warren Ellis joined the Seeds for the Let Love In sessions in 1993, there was no turning back. The shamanlike Australian can create as much ambient darkness on his microKORG and a violin as an entire chorus singing Mozart's Requiem. Whether Cave and Ellis are layering complex emotions for one of their many soundtrack collaborations or driving it home fast and gritty for their alter ego art-punk band, Grinderman, they're always on the tip of intensity. – Gary Lindsey
Feed the Peace AwardsParamount Theatre, Sunday 6
Turk Pipkin's Nobelity Project recruits a stellar lineup in support of his nonprofit focused on educational and environmental progress in East Africa, Latin America, and here in Central Texas. With local legends the Lost Gonzo Band serving as anchor for the evening, the gala hits deep into the blues with Shelley King and Carolyn Wonderland, while Marcia Ball funks up the keys with her Gulf Coast flair. Amy Nelson and Cathy Guthrie's Folk Uke slices their wit against Jimmie Dale Gilmore's indelible twang, and X's John Doe squares alongside Bob Schneider's eclectic rock croon. Feel good doing good. – Doug Freeman
Austin Music AwardsEmo's, Tuesday 8
Like the Grammys, but for the Austin family. The AMAs include live magic from Money Chicha collab'ing with Gina Chavez and Kiko Villamizar, Sir Woman, Greyhounds with Carolyn Wonderland, and We Don't Ride Llamas, plus tributes to James Hand and Nanci Griffith – more in "Faster Than Sound." – Kevin Curtin
Sam PankeyMonks Jazz Club, Thursday 10
A mainstay at Monks Jazz, bassist Sam Pankey hasn't only logged time with Ephraim Owens, Elias Haslanger, Daniel Dufour, and Monks creator Collin Shook, but also with Heartless Bastards, Marmalakes, Mother Falcon, and more. Boasting brand new EP A Bad Rhyme That's Beaten You, the consummate bottom-ender showcases his own melodic jazz compositions alongside a killer band that includes drummer Dufour, guitarist Jon Lundbom, pianist Sean Giddings (subbing for EP keysman Shook), trombonist Michael St. Clair, and woodwinds master Sterling Steffen. Space is limited, but there's a livestream if you're seatless. – Michael Toland