Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Jackie Venson, Curtis Roush, Tim Kasher, and more local shows to see this week
By Kevin Curtin, Doug Freeman, Alejandra Ramirez, Julian Towers, and Genevieve Wood, Fri., Jan. 6, 2023
Jackie Venson Residency Launch
Antone’s Nightclub, Saturday 7
A couple days before Christmas, Jackie Venson's TikTok posted a clip of the singer/guitarist in a moment of tranquility onstage, soloing and vocalizing in the outro of 2020 single "Make Me Feel." Ten days later, that video had been viewed nearly 1.5 million times – ushering a wave of celebrity endorsements.
"The future is bright," fellow Texan Erykah Badu tweeted. Vernon Reid, guitarist and visionary behind Living Colour, admitted he was "somewhat aghast at my own appalling geetar nerdness" as he gushed: "Badass! [Love] the Taste. Tone. Feel!" adding that her playing "leaves that addictive bugaboo 'speed' off the table upfront, without dismissing it a priori." Michael McKean, of Spinal Tap and Best in Show fame, also lauded Venson, revealing he was turned on to her music by his Better Call Saul co-actor Bob Odenkirk.
Austinites, of course, are already well aware of Venson's spectacular musical communication, most recently documented on Love Transcends Live in Austin. Her fifth live release – braced by the primo pocket of drummer Rodney Hyder and bassist Marcus Clark – includes an absolutely possessed version of "Always Free" that singes the speakers. Venson kicks off a month of Saturdays at Austin's Home of the Blues with local gold-standard lyricist/producer Kydd Jones opening. – Kevin Curtin
The Last Ride With the Pleasure Tide
The Lost Well, Saturday 7
Gary Lindsey's not a man you'd expect to be leading a gospel service, but then, his isn't a typical gospel. For the past eight years, Lindsey unleashed his Pleasure Tide monthly at the Lost Well, transforming the Webberville Road dive bar into a raucous and righteous communion of rhythm.
"At first it was just wanting to have fun with friends, singing about drinking," offers Lindsey of the residency, which ends this Saturday. "But as time went by, it literally helped me to recognize the connection I have with the entire universe right now. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's absolutely true. What was at first just something to get together and celebrate, came to mean a celebration between spirits and between souls."
Behind Lindsey's dieseled growl, the octet (which features Lindsey's fellow Chronicle contributor Kevin Curtin) preaches a folk-punk sermon of hard times, hard liquor, and hard fast community, united by a string theory of universal harmonics. Especially following the pandemic, the Pleasure Tide shows spewed with a joyous evangelizing of interconnection.
"We are all a living song," Lindsey declares. "And when everyone comes out and we toast and we have that togetherness for that one moment, they're doing it for that message." – Doug Freeman
Curtis RoushGeraldine's, Monday 9
While keeping busy alongside comrades in the Bright Light Social Hour with the September release of Riders Against the Storm-assisted "The Sheriff," guitarist Curtis Roush's solo work remains dormant since debut Cosmic Campfire Music. The 2018 record showcases pastoral calm and soft acoustics that wander like an unhurried vagabond. TBLSH's psychedelic embellishments remain among blanketed reverb and ethereal harmonies, but Roush's arrangements lean to introspective meditations with tender intimacy. Particularly, single "Real Love" cruises interstellar as synth blossoms over country twang. – Alejandra Ramirez
Sean Bonnette, Tim Kasher, Veronica EverheartThe Ballroom, Tuesday 10
While the trendier singers of 2000s emo were proudly exerting their right to whine, it's the man who once dismissed his heart as "the ugliest organ" – Cursive vocalist Tim Kasher – who's ultimately still around. Across jerky song structures and anxious, self-deprecating rants, the classic Cursive songs stretch Kasher's words to the point of exhaustion, as though directed against the very anger that energizes their breakneck pace. Kasher's solo work offers no similar escape, sitting with those sour feelings in somber singer-songwriter gloom. Ideal touring partner: folk punk misanthrope Sean Bonnette, bandleader for AJJ and Kasher's peer in abrasive self-loathing. – Julian Towers
Funhouse, Bad Spring, Big School, StabHotel Vegas, Thursday 12
With 2021's Muerte en Paraíso, heavyweights Mujeres Podridas released one of the most head-banging Austin albums in recent memory, due in large part to John Morales' sludgy, in-your-face guitarwork. His pursuit of punk perfection continues as part of new quintet Funhouse, whose debut demo strikes a balance between melodic surf-rock and mosh-inducing hardcore. Expect a healthy dose of BS: Fresno's Bad Spring and Toronto's Big School chug into Austin together, preaching the gospel of swoon-worthy pop punk on their 10-night, seven-state sweep of the Southwest. Local fourpiece Stab joins. – Genevieve Wood
Die SpitzStubb's, Thursday 5
Hotel Vegas, Friday 6
The rising, all-woman local punk band performs twice during Free Week. Catch them providing support for Sunrose at Stubb's or setting things up for Dregs at Hotel Vegas.
Bien Lit!Sahara Lounge, Friday 6
DJ Chorizo Funk spins cumbia, reggaeton, and Afrobeat all night with guest DJ Kickit.
Twice As Good FestFeels So Good, Saturday 7
The printing shop continues its impressive expansion with yet another mini-festival. Pop punkers Sad Cell open; Floats headline.
Angel WhiteSwan Dive, Saturday 7
For those looking for some hip-hop during this year's musical celebration, Chucky Blk will perform before Dallas native Angel White headlines with twangy Western pop. Uncommon People open.