Hotel Vegas, Wednesday 25
Thirty seconds ago, I thought this was a speedy garage band slamming away in the great divide between Nuggets and Gonerfest as Gus Baldwin played wrist-cripplingly frantic barre chord progressions while discharging echoey, staccato shouts into Shure 57. Now, a liquid acid double guitar riff melts into a bass breakdown over which jangle-addict David Rawlinson – looking like teenage Kurt Cobain – delivers a spoken word dream synopsis then falls into an Iggy Pop backbend. A bouncy jam, spiked with Sixties organ, eventually settles into an homage of Santana's "Oye Como Va."
It's the second hump day of Gus Baldwin & the Sketch's residency at Hotel Vegas and I'm blown away. The quintet of familiar faces, including Black Angels/Rotten Mangos multi- instrumentalist Ramiro Verdooren, has an impressive stockpile of material for a new project; a flair for fast, catchy, almost power-pop hooks lifted by bassist Lucas Martins' oohs and aahs; and a primo drummer in Trey Gutierrez from Cosmic Chaos. The SG-wielding Baldwin, cut from spindly rock star DNA, ringleads with punk energy.
GB&tS's monthlong residency concludes Wednesday with the cerebrum-scraping experimental songsters Bad Markings and wild & heavy bass & drums duo Montaz. – Kevin Curtin
Unstoppable Fishbone frontman Angelo Moore graces us with a solid redo for February's ill-fated winter freeze show with the Brand New Step. Imagine if, when Fishbone's original guitarist quit in '93, they replaced him with powerhouse producer and definitive guitar rhythmist Nile Rodgers. TBNS's fun, dance-oriented groove, borrowing from the best parts of soul, rock, disco, and even classic pop, pulls you into the party but isn't afraid to get a little political while it has your attention. Barfield, the Texas Tyrant kick things off at 8pm, Moore & TBNS at 9pm. – Gary Lindsey
A concentrated blend of classic rock and Southwestern psychedelia, High Desert Queen's 2021 debut LP Secrets of the Black Moon takes physical form with a vinyl release. For the uninitiated: Check out the sexy intoxication of "Did She?" or the driving groove metal of "Heads Will Roll." Stoner rock veterans Tia Carrera and cosmic force Bridge Farmers round out a bill loaded with mind-bending sonics. – Morgan-Taylor Thomas
The NFL, not possessing a strong track record of being "Bout It, Bout It," will probably never deem these Southern survivors worthy of a Super Bowl halftime show. But as far as label-centric Nineties rap nostalgia is concerned, this reunion tour promises to be a welcome antidote to Dre Day's self-congratulatory gangsta pageantry. The generous economy of Master P's value-minded release model – epic-length albums dropping monthly, rappers styled as Brand X knockoffs of superstars – has survived its contemporary dismissal only to age seamlessly into today's unceasing hip-hop pipeline. Unburdened by Aftermath ego, the No Limit soldiers – including Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal, Mia X, and Fiend – remain active combatants. Notable exception: C-Murder, jailed for a killing he probably didn't commit, and sure to receive the night's second-loudest shout-out once P has made everyone say, "UHH." – Julian Towers
One of Austin's longest-running Latin jazz groups observes their 45th birthday this year, so they've partnered with the Texas Jazz Society to celebrate. Pianist/writer Robert "Beto" Skiles has been a fixture of ATX music for decades, premiering classical compositions, ballet scores, and more, alongside his leadership of one of the city's ultimate party bands. It's easy for this town to take its veterans for granted, so now is a good time to give the Fairlanes the kudos they deserve. The show will also stream live. No word on cake, but good, swinging, dance-happy times are assured. – Michael Toland
The honorific "Ms.," to me, implies an air of warm matriarchal authority. Fitting for the titular Ms. Mack, whose gravitational stage presence demands you listen up. The charismatic vocalist – fronting the five-year-running universalist funk-soul unit known especially to patrons of the Skylark Lounge and Sagebrush – belts big, but also sinks into the grooves, leaving room to move for her "Daddies." The horn-inflected group's sound anchors upon the body-moving bass of Lauren Michelle, over which Charles Hunter's keys and Leland Isley's guitar work shine. A perfect fit for a church night get-down at Antone's. – Kevin Curtin
Electronic-tinged indie-pop duo hailing from New Zealand returns to tour after releasing its first LP in four years (Space Island). – Derek Udensi
Sir Woman, fresh off their debut studio album, headlines the South Congress locale's quarterly SIMS Foundation benefit concert series. Primo the Alien opens. – Derek Udensi
The Motown Records pillar and former frontman of the Miracles finally returns to Austin after the coronavirus pandemic ruined his original 2020 date. – Derek Udensi
St. Louis' Mike Zito and New York City's Albert Castiglia unite their two bands for an enjoyably bluesy evening. – Derek Udensi
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