Crosstalk: Black Fret Rebrands As Sonic Guild, and Superstition Nightclub Announces Grand Opening

Austin music news headlines of the week

The Sonic Guild Ball on Dec. 3 (Courtesy of Sonic Guild)

Black Fret announced a rebrand as Sonic Guild while awarding $260,000 in grants to local artists at their ninth annual ball last Saturday. Donor-nominated artists graced the stage at ACL Live at the Moody Theater with two-song sets ranging from modern rap to soft country, broken up by co-founder Matt Ott and select Black Fret members awarding the 20 local acts $10,000 to $15,000 grants. Along with the milestone of donating over $5 million in support of the creation and performance of local music, the name change accompanies the organization's ongoing national expansion. Their Seattle chapter has distributed over $150,000 since beginning in 2020, and the Colorado chapter awarded their first grants this year. Fanfare began with hip-hop fusion trio Blackillac, following up August EP Amber Room. The impassioned voice of Scott Strickland poured like honey in a blues-infused soul serenade, while Beto Martinez evoked Santana on guitar with Money Chicha, featuring musicians from Latin funk collective Grupo Fantasma. Modern R&B artist Mélat spread her smooth vocals across the captivated audience, one member of which cheered, "Habesha!" in reference to her Ethiopian and Eritrean heritage. After recent single "Somebody's Gotta Lose," Indoor Creature extended funk and jazz rhythms as their colorful silk button-downs reflected the bright spotlight into a rainbow. Fierce rock threepiece Annabelle Chairlegs howled through reverb and ravenous attitude. Other Austinites recognized in the 2022 Sonic Guild class include: Abhi the Nomad, Aubrey Hays, Bonnie Whitmore, Buffalo Nichols, Daniel Fears, Graham Weber, Jo James, KVN, Me Nd Adam, Natalie Price, Nik Parr & the Selfless Lovers, Pussy Gillette, Quentin and the Past Lives, and Urban Heat.   Mars Salazar

Boiler Room returns to Austin at new rave sanctuary the Concourse Project this Saturday, Dec. 10. Co-hosted by local Latinx collective and Coconut Club frequenters Perreo Club, the night marks the end of a five-year dry spell for local fans of the London-based music broadcasting platform, which spotlights underground artists across genres. Tickets may be sold out, but fear not: Boiler Room livestreams each of its sets, allowing fans from across the globe to party from the comfort of home at Saturday provides a much-needed showcase of multicontinental reggaeton talent in a city that all too commonly prioritizes techno and EDM. Local tastemakers and global sensations alike grace the turntables for a whopping 14 total acts, 7pm-4am. Argentine artistry runs deep, with high-profile acts Trueno, DJ Tao, Alan Gómez, Ms Nina, and Kaleb Di Masi bringing their hard-hitting mixes to the stage, while Honduras-born Isabella Lovestory and the Bay Area's La Favi craft their own infectious brands of pop- and R&B-inspired reggaeton. Austin's Cuatro Gato co-founder Su$$ie pu$$y and Houston native Sines ensure Texas holds its own alongside international heavyweights.   Genevieve Wood

Superstition, a new nightclub at the long-vacant site of former male strip club La Bare, kicks off programming with a bang. Introducing a big-name electronic and dance music emphasis, Chromeo DJs the Dec. 29 grand opening, followed by Dillon Francis on Dec. 30 and Justice on New Year's Eve. Tickets started at $34, and all three shows already sold out (aside from bottle service tables starting at $3,000). NoCo Hospitality runs the new 110 East Riverside club, with investment from Elevate Development Partners and exclusive booking rights to C3 Presents. On Superstition's website, the FAQ section includes a dress code reading "upscale and fashionable attire required," prohibiting "athletic gear & apparel ... shorts (denim, biker, sweatshorts), torn or cut-off clothing, sports team attire," and flip-flops. Last time Francis came to town, in January, he played Eastside electronic venue the Concourse Project, opened by local promoters RealMusic Events last year.   Rachel Rascoe

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