Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Oliver Tree, Christian McBride, Beach House, Daniel Fears, Kydd Jones, and more recommended shows
By Kevin Curtin, Raoul Hernandez, Christina Garcia, Clara Wang, Michael Toland, and Rachel Rascoe, Fri., March 25, 2022
Stubb’s, Saturday 26
The last time Oliver Tree graced an Austin stage, at ACL Fest 2019, the injured singer whirled around in a gold-painted wheelchair affixed with a microphone stand, wearing a giant foam cowboy hat. That novelty headwear could be seen as seminal imagery for the meme-keen artist, whose latest visual concept is a gratuitously crying cowboy.
"I cry a lot. I'm a very emotional guy. I don't really cry from being sad as much as I cry from being moved," says Tree, who says his latest release – a collection of country-themed, pop punk-accented, acoustic guitar-driven sad boy bangers titled Cowboy Tears – addresses a stigma. "In America it's like, 'Don't cry, suck it up, toughen up,' and I think that's bullshit."
That masculinity complex gets lampooned with recent clips of his emotional cowboy face on the frame of a bodybuilder that Tree claims is actually him: "I was upset because I was working out with three different personal trainers, drinking Muscle Milk for breakfast and Muscle Milk for dinner, but I ended up essentially being tricked into taking steroids which, to me, was just not cool."
As for performing in Texas, where cowboys still exist, Tree says: "I've been seeing a lot of cowboys coming to these shows and some of them even have cowboy tears tattoos and customized hats and jackets. The country community has really embraced me." – Kevin Curtin
Christian McBride’s New JawnDell Hall @ the Long Center, Friday 25
Trio-ing up with beat mage Questlove and key sage Uri Caine in repping his hometown on 2001's The Philadelphia Experiment, Christian McBride could well become the subject of a future documentary by the Roots drummer-turned-in-demand filmmaker (The Summer of Soul). Grammy-winning double bassist by way of load-bearing jazz support beams both historic (Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea) and modern (Brian Blade, Kenny Garrett, singer/spouse Melissa Walker), the soon-to-be half-century-old former prodigy here leads a foursome of trumpeter Josh Evans, sax blower Marcus Stickland, and kit hit Nasheet Waits. Expect the unexpected, and get there early for ATX dynamo the Brannen Temple Express. – Raoul Hernandez
Beach HouseMoody Amphitheater, Friday 25
Sufficiently succulent at 84 minutes, or twice the Baltimore duo's usual LP length, Once Twice Melody refused to be shortened. In a recent interview, Alex Scally said the self-produced pandemic album and eighth full-length needed space for "deep-cut boredom level," but those psychedelic, languid, faintly nightmarish waltzes with icy tones from organist Victoria Legrand, who warms up every song with her deep voice, though spare and more organic, are not dull. Try the online "setlist creator" to vote for your favorite dream-pop entries on their Austin stop. Ami Dang brings her sitar along for opening duties. – Christina Garcia
Daniel Fears, Urban HeatFar Out Lounge & Stage, Friday 25
Like many artists who grew up in God-fearing families, Houston-raised R&B crooner Daniel Fears discovered his talent for music on Sundays with his mama, who was Lakewood Church's music director. After intense classical music training from UT undergrad and Yale conservatory, where the trumpeter was sidelined with a lip injury, Fears turned his efforts from interpreting others' work to creating his own introspective, instrument-driven compositions with 2020 EP Canopy, a quietly profound cross between Frank Ocean and John Mayer. Gothic machine Urban Heat pounds with synth and drums that go harder than driving through Downtown during SXSW, while Torre Blake uplifts with dynamic R&B songcraft. – Clara Wang
Dayne Reliford QuartetParker Jazz Club, Tuesday 29
Pianist Dayne Reliford has been exploiting his bachelor's degree in jazz studies since moving to Austin to tickle the ivories for a living. The Houston native has manned the keyboard for Andre Hayward, Michael Hale/Mac McIntosh, Hannibal Lokumbe, Robin McKelle, Brian Donohoe, and supergroup JARS, with Progger's Matt Muehling. JARS bassist Ryan Hagler joins Reliford's quartet for this gig, alongside saxophonist Michael Malone and drum monster Brannen Temple, ATX jazz veterans both. Keeping that kind of company so early in his career tells you everything you need to know. Part of Parker Jazz Club's Texas Jazz Society-sponsored Live On-AIR series. – Michael Toland
Kydd Jones Comedy JamAntone's, Wednesday 30
After a busy South by Southwest, Kydd Jones picks back up his genre-mashing Comedy Jam – which the Austin musician/organizer energetically compared to the Buddy vs. Reggie scene in The Nutty Professor. Fresh off exploratory 2022 hip-hop/R&B record Onyx D'Or, the artist performs alongside fluid, retro-inspired guitarist Yadin Kol. Austin comedy fixture LaRon Wright hosts the evening, featuring fellow locally sourced laughs from Lauren Compton, Andre Ricks, Symply Courtney, and Genivieve Clinton. DJ uLOVEi – regular of Barbarella, Mala Vida, and more – adds to the mix with an affinity for throwbacks. – Rachel Rascoe