Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Fest, Borzoi, International Jazz Day, Ladyfang, Juan Wauters, and more

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Festival

Central Machine Works, Friday 29
Far Out Lounge, Saturday 30
Stubb’s, Sunday 1

If higher education should be free, then music festivals should be, too. Because once Band becomes mandatory, sonic converges could rate as compulsory. First field trip – the completely GRATIS Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Festival. Here are some reasons why the fiesta is essential:

Reason No. 1: Co-Founders Piper LeMoine and Baldomero "Frank" Cuellar. "After many years of declining health, Frank desperately needed a kidney transplant in late 2019," writes in LeMoine. "Thankfully, I was able to donate one of mine in June 2020. We're both doing great."

Reasons No. 2-4: Central Machine Works on Friday, Far Out Lounge for Saturday, and inside/outside at Stubb's Sunday. San Antonio squeezebox sovereign Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto Siempre, 9pm Friday; rising Alamo City accordion rock star Brenda Martinez, 7:30pm Saturday; and 86-year-old Austin conjunto mainstay Johnny Degollado, 4:30pm Sunday.

Reasons No. 5-7: LeMoine handicaps. Conjunto Puro Corazon: "Eight accordions! They all play at once at the beginning and ending of the set, and each accordionist plays a tune or two during the set."

Ernesto & Chano Cadena: "A legendary conjunto family in Alice. Ernesto spent many years singing with his uncle Chano before starting his own group. We love Ernesto because he has such a strong working man, blue collar persona. Think Springsteen if he had actually worked in the steel mills."

Los Cucuys de Rodney Rodriguez: "Considered one of the best in Conjunto music right now." – Raoul Hernandez

Blue Jean Queen

Cheer Up Charlies, Friday 29

Before recently joining the popular piano-pounding, ol'-school rock & roll spectacle Low Cut Connie, Rockyanne Bullwinkel had been a local powerhouse vocal presence in acts like Bad Lovers and the Reputations. Bullwinkel now makes an appearance as her pop persona Blue Jean Queen, which released two great singles: a titular track reminiscent of True Blue-era Madonna, and "Wild Wild Woman," which justifies her "outlaw pop" tag with bad girl essence, pop balladry, and steel guitar. Friday's CUC assembly also features psychedelic art-pop favorites Calliope Musicals, synthwavers Urban Heat, and darkwave brooders Haunt Me. – Kevin Curtin


Hole in the Wall, Friday 29

Borzoi, on Friday, emits "Passing" – the trio's first new music since 2018 LP A Prayer for War. Sonically harsh yet compulsively danceable, the delightful single rides a noise-disco stab over which hooting, redline vocals are unified with squiggly, treble-cranked, guitar lines demanding headphones to absorb the stereo panning. The band, which annually tricks South by Southwest into listing them as Australian, plays Hole in the Wall with Sarah Ronan's alt/post-punk outfit Queen Serene, shoegaze-rockers Welcome to Heck, and NYC noisy rockers A Deer a Horse.  – Kevin Curtin

International Jazz Day

Long Center, Saturday 30

Jazz in the afternoon? It must be International Jazz Day! Four Lone Star jazz orgs program the lineup, which means a nice variety, all of it golden. Texas Jazz Society brings in the Wasabi Big Band, the Women in Jazz Association graces us with ATX veteran Pamela Hart and her Quintet, and the Austin Traditional Jazz Society dials back to pre-bebop with the Silver Creek Jazz Band. The Austin Jazz Society breaks out the heavyweights with the Austin Jazz Royals, led by saxophonist Elias Haslanger, trumpeter Ephraim Owens, and trombonist Andre Hayward – improvisational monarchs all. Singer Christian Wiggs hosts. – Michael Toland


Valhalla, Saturday 30

Ladyfang's playful showtime energy exemplifies the quartet's eclectic tastes and magnetic artistic expression. Made up of guitarist Brett Marcom, bassist Tyler "Chocolate" Schutte, beatkeeper Rocky Joseph, and vocalist Cara Juan, the roommate-esque bunch bounces off each other like neurons, conducting electric pulses and creating cosmic reactions. Alt-rock trio Tough on Fridays and recent 2022 Austin Music Awards Best Rock act winners the Dead Coats bring a grunge edge to the Red River tavern, solidifying the triple-threat lineup with hot tunes and a steamy atmosphere. – Morgan-Taylor Thomas

Juan Wauters

Mohawk, Tuesday 3

Juan Wauters' music feels guileless, even sometimes like music for children ("Disfruta la Fruta"). An Uruguay-born New Yorker, the songwriter's lo-fi, bilingual, folk-inspired indie sound might transmit the innocence of, say, a Wes Anderson film, or the sweetness of Daniel Johnston. After roaming parts of Latin America to collaborate in native styles for his excellent 2019 LP La Onda de Juan Pablo, a reflection emerges on Wauters' fifth LP, 2021's Real Life Situations. Begun before the pandemic with tracks from as far back as 2016, RLS includes collaborations with nine artists, including Mac DeMarco and Homeshake, for another genre-hopping experiment; North American this time. – Christina Garcia

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