Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week

A DAWA benefit, A Giant Dog album release, and a country showcase headline our recommended Austin shows

$3 Shows' DAWA Benefit

Far Out Lounge, Sunday 20 (w/ Ben Buck, Como Las Movies, KVN)

Inspired by Latin Grammy-winning trumpeter Spencer Ludwig, who started hosting $2 shows in L.A. as a high schooler, Austin-based organizers $3 Shows have been fundraising for various causes since 2009. The next installment benefits DAWA, which provides financial support for BIPOC creatives and front-line workers in Austin. Doubling as an album release party for Austin hip-hop artist Ben Buck's latest, Back Burner '97, the show will also feature genre-spanning artists Como Las Movies, KVN, Global Octopus, Pajama Sam, Vermin the Villain, Midnight Navy, Joseph Salazar, and Suzanna Choffel.

Alongside a defense class offered by Girls Rock Camp, a vendor market features everything from tarot card readers to jewelers. "The lineup, it's a mix of everything, and that's what I do at $3 shows," says series director Lauren Bruno. "Our main mission is to connect the arts community with the social issues community, but that's a very big blanket statement ... It's not only incredible to see the community come together for a nonprofit, but also see the community support all these artisans, and then in turn support one another." Read the full story online on our Daily Music blog.  – Adam Cherian

W.I.T.C.H., Metius

Far Out Lounge, Friday 18

Levitation doesn't strike 'til Halloween, but Austin Psych Fest rebooted this summer at Far Out and this international séance strikes as a Reverberation Appreciation gig. Zambian rock legends W.I.T.C.H. took South by Southwest 2022 by storm; the day party that yours truly caught at Feels So Good's massive space shook, rattled, and rolled witchy Afro-rock. Septuagenarian bandleader Emmanuel "Jagari" Chanda now returns with June full-length Zango, an electric reboot of Seventies spirit possession. As heard on KUTX, second incantation "Waile" summons an epic Zamrock banger. Belgium Zango producer Jacco Gardner supports with Seventies synthwave as Metius, while Austin's Jethro Tull, Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band, opens.  – Raoul Hernandez

A Giant Dog Album Release

Parish, Friday 18 – Saturday 19

Of bands whose greatest records are concept albums, the Beatles existed for seven years before Sgt. Pepper's and Pink Floyd for 14 prior to The Wall. So it's overdue that A Giant Dog, formed in 2008, attempts a narrative arc or character-based approach. Though I guess they could've waited longer – Red Headed Stranger came out 22 years after Willie Nelson's recording debut. That's all to say: Bite is A Giant Dog's best LP. Songs carry the concept – not vice versa – and the punk quintet's fifth album has their strongest ratio of great songs. "I Believe," thriving on Graham Low's penetrating bassline, epitomizes Bite's burdens: technology, escapism, finding one's self. It all centers around the virtual utopia Avalonia, which doesn't feel far away – given the trend of life imitating sci-fi.  – Kevin Curtin

Keep Austin Country Showcase

Haute Spot, Saturday 19

The Haute Spot pulls some of Austin's honky-tonk rockers north for the release of Aaron McDonnell's new EP on the heels of last year's standout Too Many Days Like Saturday Night. The Oregon native continues to lace his country with a harder-kicking sound while maintaining his smooth drawl and touches of Northwest influences. Rattlesnake Milk burns their slow Southwestern blues jams like a desert hallucination from last year's Chicken Fried Snake, while ripping duo Mayeaux & Broussard unloads Gulf Coast Southern boogies with Cajun fervor. Ryan Quiet, who just opened his new Martindale musical hub, Duett's, slings first.  – Doug Freeman

Arooj Aftab

The Pershing, Sunday 20

Watching Arooj Aftab sing at Scholz Garden in 2021, I looked back at the audience and saw something extraordinary: mostly closed eyes, as if in trance. With a rich voice that flutters and drones, the Pakistan-born vocalist can affect listeners with prayerful power. Since her only Austin appearance, Aftab's won a Grammy and collaborated with Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily on album of the year candidate Love in Exile. This evening show benefits ACF Animal Rescue.  – Kevin Curtin

Lyle Lovett & His Large Band Residency

ACL Live at the Moody Theater, Monday 21 – Wednesday 23

Lyle Lovett's Large Band may be the biggest thing in Texas, if not in size then certainly in musical breadth. As showcased last year with his first album in a decade, 12th of June, the Texan fully embraces the swing with a jazz-fueled blast to bleed into his familiar poignant ballads and sly humor. Three nights at ACL Live will bring the album to life and run through a full spectrum of the songwriter's monumental catalog, with bluegrass phenom Sierra Hull evolving her songwriting and the genre to open the first two nights, and Texas troubadour Hayes Carll the third.  – Doug Freeman

Music Notes

by Derek Udensi

Snoop Dogg at SXSW 2014 (Photo by Jana Birchum)

High School Reunion Tour

Circuit of the Americas, Friday 18
Not even a pelvic injury suffered in June can stop Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa from rolling up alongside co-headliner Snoop Dogg this summer. Mac and Devin first attended school together in 2011-2012; "Young, Wild, & Free" from the Mac & Devin Go to High School soundtrack reached the Billboard Top 10.

TexUs Showcase

Flamingo Cantina, Friday 18
Tough-minded Montopolis rhymer 1030 Montana and College of Hip Hop Knowledge affiliate CasinoATX highlight a Texas rap showcase.


Hotel Vegas, Friday 18
Noisy rock locals celebrate their debut album, Cruel, which was released on August 10. Pleasure Venom closes.

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