Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

Urban Heat, Jonathan Terrell, Dayglow, Marcia Ball, and a smattering of metal headline our recommended shows

Escuela Grind (Photo by Jonathan Vahid)

Wayfarer, Wake

The Lost Well, Tuesday 6

Exhumed, Escuela Grind, Castrator

Come & Take It Live, Thursday 8

Only two seasons envelop Austin: summer and not summer. Unfailing and pointedly, the former ceases annually on the Monday after the second weekend of ACL Fest, which this year touched off a soggy, unseasonable chill that dampened Thanksgiving. Dueling metal bills 48 hours apart now descend winter on the Lone Star seat of unkind mind grind.

Three days after helping christen Decibel Magazine's initial Metal & Beer Fest in Denver, the Colorado capital's reigning black metal mystics Wayfarer and like-minded Scandinavian sound sympathizers Wake from Calgary, Alberta, break off for seven dates together – escorting Jack Frost to Eastside biker bar the Lost Well. The latter Canadians landed their sixth album and first with Metal Blade Records, Thought Form Descent, at No. 12 on Decibel's year-end Top 40 amid phrases including "remarkable achievement," "unrelenting intensity," and "rage with washes of beauty."

Thursday, Exhumed marks three decades of South Bay (Area) goregrind with career-high LP To the Dead, a death metal song dump by ex-band members summating the quartet's maniac extremity. Even so, ladies' night there at Come & Take It Live may prove a coup. Although dark Pacific Northwest queen Hulder dropped off the package, New England metallic hardcore breakouts Escuela Grind and international all-women OSDM ascendants Castrator will shriek in her stead.

In front-hellions Katerina Economou and Clarissa Badini, respectively, wails the future of root metallurgy: feminist, outspoken, dominant.  – Raoul Hernandez

Urban Heat Homecoming

Hotel Vegas, Friday 2

Like a mother beckoning her children inside from the backyard, Austin welcomes Urban Heat home battered in synth scrapes, bearing tired grins, and asking restlessly for five more minutes. The second-wave post-punk trio closes out their first national tour with Atomic Music Group. The electro-punk theatrics of TV's Daniel serve as a hearty preamble to the commanding baritone of Urban Heat bandleader Jonathan Horstmann, alongside the dark pulses of Dragon Rapid with recent single "New Dawn Fades." A worthy five more minutes indeed!  – Mars Salazar

Jonathan Terrell, Whitney Rose, Lucas Hudgins

The White Horse, Friday 2

Nobody's writing a better country hook in Austin today than Jonathan Terrell. Since 2020's Westward, the troubadour's tireless touring has included a stint with Midland that polished his hard-hitting country ballads for bigger stages, and latest EP A Couple 2, 3... brings the songs to match – a natural storyteller having found his sound. Terrell returns to his White Horse home base with the breathy, suave honky-tonk of Whitney Rose riding 2020's sharp We Still Go to Rodeos and Lucas Hudgins' low, indelible croon opening the dance floor slinging "Them Little Thrills" after a decade away.  – Doug Freeman

Dayglow Night Two

Stubb's, Saturday 3

Among the biggest, and definitely most-streamed, pop artists to rise out of Austin – Aledo, Texas-raised Sloan Struble skyrocketed after uploading 2018 debut Fuzzybrain during his first (and only) year studying advertising at UT-Austin. As Dayglow, the one-man positivity producer returns from international touring around third LP, People in Motion, for a Stubb's milestone. Rather than Ritt Momney on the first sold-out night, Day Two earns hometown guests. Dayglow band guitarist Colin Crawford offers his first-ever live performance as solo outlet Colin's Music, the only artist platformed on Struble's own Very Nice Records, after the choreo-integrating, dynamic pop presence of TC Superstar.  – Rachel Rascoe

Marcia Ball, Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King

The 04 Center, Monday 5

Elvis warned us about a blue Christmas, but what about a blues one? Texas trifecta Carolyn Wonderland, Marcia Ball, and Shelley King blows through Austin for one of four Home for the Holidays performances across the state. The holiday-themed show features Christmas and cold weather classics, joining each of their interpretations on the genre: from Wonderland's blistering guitar to Ball's swampy Louisiana lilt to King's rootsy gospel vocals. Missing the performance at South Austin's 04 Center? Each of the women will also take the stage at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, Wonderland/King on Dec. 18 and Ball's Pianorama on Dec. 21.  – Abby Johnston

DJ Paul

Antone's, Tuesday 6

Three 6 Mafia's co-founder DJ Paul, alongside his late brother Lord Infamous and Juicy J, played an instrumental role in helping build the foundation of Memphis hip-hop. Paul and Juicy J share co-production credits on most of the collective's efforts, with horrorcore beginnings preceding mainstream success in the latter half of the group's career via tracks such as "Stay Fly" and "Poppin' My Collar." In recent years, Paul's helped produce records for Drake ("Talk Up"), the Game ("La La Land"), and Freddie Gibbs ("PYS"). Locals J Soulja and Shirt Off Fe provide opening support.  – Derek Udensi


Empire Garage, Friday 2

The Nashville-born alternative pop singer belts with a fury akin to that of Demi Lovato on debut album, Loneliest B!tch in America. Austin's Primo the Alien opens. – Derek Udensi

Samara Joy (Photo by Meredith Truax)

Ryan Davis Trio

Parker Jazz Club, Tuesday 6

The pianist leads a triumvirate tributing Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Another session occurs Dec. 20, if you're a Christmas observer not quite in the uncontrollable-holiday-humming mood. – Derek Udensi

Samara Joy

Paramount Theatre, Wednesday 7

New York City's latest jazz sensation recently earned two Grammy nominations – including one in the Best New Artist category – three months after releasing her Verve Records debut Linger Awhile. The 23-year-old teams with Dianne Reeves and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to spread holiday cheer for the JLCO's annual Big Band Holidays tour. – Derek Udensi

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