Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

Water Damage, TisaKorean, a tribute to Mandy Mercier, and more recommended shows

Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
photo by Brenda Ladd

Mandy Mercier: A Life of Music, Friends, and Love

Giddy Ups, Sunday 14, 3pm

Known for impactful live performances and lifelong connections in Austin music, Mandy Mercier died on Monday, March 27, on her 74th birthday. As an accomplished singer and instrumentalist, Mercier played shows with and in the bands of artists like Townes Van Zandt, Lucinda Williams, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore in the generative Eighties Austin scene. In an excellent 2001 profile on Mercier, the Chronicle's Margaret Moser wrote: "Singer, songwriter, guitarist, fiddler, lover, and free spirit wrapped up in one, Mandy Mercier is less a jack-of-all-trades than a force of nature."

Growing up in Westport, Connecticut, Mercier studied classical piano and violin in school but also developed an interest in traditional blues artists like Mississippi John Hurt and began playing guitar. A residency at NYC's Lone Star Cafe connected her to musicians from Austin, where she relocated in 1980 and was quickly embraced at Threadgill's, Armadillo World Headquarters, and elsewhere. Friends will share memories on Sunday, with Brad Bobiskey, Lost John Casner, George Coyne, Dan Earhart, Beth Galiger, Don Ray Houdyshell, Lady Jake Jacobson, Elliott & Janice Rogers, and more on hand to perform. Giddy Ups also plans to show a video and photo montage in memory of Mercier.  – Rachel Rascoe

We Are the Asteroid, Pussy Gillette

The Lost Well, Friday 12

Having survived a recent monthlong trek through Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and Italy, a homecoming parade now welcomes We Are the Asteroid and Pussy Gillette. Both proper international ambassadors for the heavy, freaky sounds from Austin, WATA – featuring all-stars from Ed Hall, Pain Teens, and Butthole Surfers – scrambles brains with ingenious compositions that are equally psychedelic and psychotic while the Masani Negloria-led Pussy Gillette kerrang hard-charging power trio punk with yelling-in-your-face lyricism. Black-gloved disco-rock menace Sex Pümp, fronted by Fuckemos' Russell Porter, wasn't on the Euro tour but kinda seems like they could be from Berlin.  – Kevin Curtin

Body Tape, Luxury Television, Queen Serene

Hotel Vegas, Friday 12

Careening between wiry acoustics and post-punk electronica, Body Tape pieces together a kaleidoscopic collage of Daniel Johnston, the Garden, and slowthai. The side project from techno supplier Blank Hellscape's Ethan Billips dispenses a cathartic debut record via erb, a whiplash release featuring lush lo-fi lullabies and head-smashing grime. Glorious psychedelia and melodic post-punk offer a steadier warmup to the headliner's back-and-forth BPM, via opening acts Fuzz Wahh, Queen Serene, and "Postcore?" band Luxury Television. Save your gym time for another day, Body Tape's Vegas set is expected to be an unorthodox HIIT workout.  – Laiken Neumann

Water Damage, the John-Pauls

Hotel Vegas, Saturday 13

The John-Pauls' new second LP, Bon Mots, plays off traded leaded vocals – Phillip Niemeyer's scouring Lou Reed deadpan to Mikila Zaorski's ennui-soaked, twanged trill. Layered atop the gritty post-punk triple-guitar riffs, the quintet manages to swerve both gritty and hypnotically dreamy. Water Damage meanwhile unloads industrial ambience behind the droning barrage of last year's Repeater. The experimental sevenpiece leans on a double bass (Nate Cross, Jeff Piwonka) and triple drum (Thor Harris, Greg Piwonka, Mike Kanin) attack, accented by Travis Austin's bowed guitar and George Dishner's maddening synth.  – Doug Freeman

Danielle Ponder, Chief Cleopatra

Antone's Nightclub, Tuesday 16

Grounded in eras of gospel, Danielle Ponder's fervent voice leaps from gentle buzzes to cyclonic cries, reverberating and scratching the soul. Some of Us Are Brave, the Rochester, N.Y., attorney's aureate faith-filled 2022 debut, unfurls an enduring hope to "Hold hands in love/ Fight on for truth" ("Darker Than Blue"). The daughter of a pastor melds personal experiences with her teenage discoveries – R&B, pop, blues, rock, and trip-hop – to convey a universal body of work. Her latest single, "Roll the Credits," sinks into overflowing gratitude. Local soul-rock celestial Chief Cleopatra accompanies Ponder on the third stop of her spring tour.  – Angela Lim


Empire, Wednesday 17

TisaKorean turned 11 the same month that Atlanta snap pioneers D4L released their infamously idiotic/gloriously goofy ear-parasite "Laffy Taffy." This fact makes total sense when you listen to the Houston rapper/producer's music – a chiming, chaotic vision of Aughts-era ringtone rap as pure Pixy Stix id, with aesthetics derived from MP3 blogs and nascent social media sites. Most perplexing, this proudly adolescent voice in hip-hop is nearly 30. Of course, age is but a number; this is music for anyone who sees no meaningful difference between a stripper's pole and the kind you'd slide down on the playground.  – Julian Towers

Daniel Foose Trio

Monks Jazz, Thursday 18

Last seen at Monks with singer Christian Wigg and Grammy-recognized Steven Feifke, bassist Daniel Foose splits his time between Austin and his day job: playing with Lady Gaga when she's in jazz mode. In that capacity, Foose has participated in Grammy winners like last year's Love for Sale. He's also logged time with Stevie Wonder, Terence Blanchard, Jon Batiste, and the proverbial many more. Foose released Of Water and Ghosts, his debut album as a leader, in 2016. Expect songs from that LP and new compositions, as well as fireworks between Foose, drummer Adam Jackson, and guitarist Bruce Saunders.  – Michael Toland

Sludge, Hot Cakes, Rat Church

Feels So Good, Thursday 18

Since their 2021 inception, Sludge has gained momentum with their angsty but dreamy, mosh-filled sets. A staple in the local house scene, the fourpiece alternative rock group couples their riot grrrl influence with beachy grunge – plus a thrifted, bold aesthetic to fit perfectly among the independently crafted and vintage clothing racks at Feels So Good's South Austin space. The Austin band's spacey songs will complement the psychedelic soundscape forged by Hot Cakes' deep, haunting vocals and echoey instrumentals. Sludge's funky, cinematic single "Greg Abbott's Maxi Pad" will also suitably follow the political loudness on Rat Church's "Kill Your Local Nazi."  – Katie Karp

Music Notes

by Derek Udensi
Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

DC the Don

Stubb's, Friday 12

Milwaukee-born, Los Angeles-cultured rapper who played AAU basketball with LaMelo Ball. A fan-made Lonzo Ball highlight package from 2017 – soundtracked by the eldest Ball brother and DC rapping over the instrumental to Drake's "Free Smoke" – currently counts nearly 7 million YouTube views. His most recent project, FUNERAL, was released last Friday. Floridian $NOT ("GOSHA") headlines; J Soulja performs inside for the aftershow.

Mother’s Day R&B Jam

H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, Sunday 14

The second iteration of the event once again keys in on nostalgic R&B with artists such as Keith Sweat ("Twisted") and SWV ("Right Here").

Coheed and Cambria

Stubb's, Wednesday 17

Lead vocalist Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched yelping and peculiar enunciation of simple words paired with intoxicating progressive rock riffs polarizes like pineapple on pizza. "Jess-eeee, bad boy! ... Jesssss-eeee!" San Francisco band Deafheaven ("In Blur") opens.

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