Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
HAAM Day, Ron Carter, and Pecan Street Festival lead our recommended shows
By Kevin Curtin, Doug Freeman, Julian Towers, Michael Toland, Raoul Hernandez, Kriss Conklin, and Derek Udensi, Fri., Sept. 15, 2023
HAAM DayEverywhere, Tuesday 19
There's no shortage of ways to support the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians during their biggest annual community fundraiser. You can make a donation – every $100 contributed equals $700 in health care services – or assist by spending money at myriad businesses donating a portion of the day's sales. Or just feed the tip bucket at over 200 free performances occurring around town, some at unexpected locales like SharpeVision Modern Lasik, where the Peterson Brothers jam (11am). The Lake Austin H-E-B has a stacked lineup including Mélat (6am) and Rosie Flores (5pm). Outside the Willie Nelson statue, see Ray Benson (11am) playing after Marcia Ball (10am) or hit Fareground for Big Wy's Brass Band (11am) and Uncle Roy & Spice from Sir Woman (1pm). Other HAAMy recs: Flora & Fawna outside the Long Center (5:30pm), Shinyribs at ABGB (7pm), Taméca Jones at Antone's Nightclub (9pm), and a Paul Simon hoot night at Sagebrush (8pm). Flying out Tuesday? You can still support with Doug Strahan at Gate 24 (11:15am). Find a full rundown of performances and participating businesses in this issue's special insert or at myhaam.org. – Kevin Curtin
Briscoe Album ReleaseScoot Inn, Friday 15
Having recently graduated from UT-Austin, Briscoe's Truett Heintzelman and Philip Lupton lead off their first national tour with a hometown release of their debut LP, West of It All, on powerhouse indie imprint ATO. The multi-instrumentalist songwriting duo kicks with the kind of folk-pop lilt that rose over the last decade with bands like the Lumineers, yet cuts a decidedly Texas slant into the genre, literary but playful. The harmonies and twanged, banjo-plucked restlessness of lead single "The Well" capture their slightly askew Hill Country outlook, as the album pulls between cathartic howls and suavely aching ballads.
– Doug Freeman
Scowl, Militarie Gun, MSPAINTThe Ballroom, Friday 15
"Hardcore adjacent." Throw a rock at punk Twitter; you'll hit that snotty put-down before you can bash out a blast beat. Translation for the blessedly not-online: A "hardcore adjacent" band is a group that has put their scene credentials into jeopardy through the crime of ... writing progressive, genre-bending songs. That description fits each band on the lineup here – be it Scowl's bubble-grunge fury, MSPAINT's synth-punk futurism, or the jock-jam Beatles stylings of Militarie Gun. Call it an advertisement for their tour as hardcore event of the season. And for any complainers, well, the only thing "adjacent" to Austin's straightforwardly ferocious Mugger is your face to the floor. – Julian Towers
Ron Carter TrioParamount Theatre, Saturday 16
Ron Carter made his name as the bassist in Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet, alongside pianist Herbie Hancock, drummer Tony Williams, and late saxophonist Wayne Shorter. In the grand scheme of jazz, though, that was just five years in a decades-long career as a sideman, leader, composer, teacher, and steady heartbeat of thousands of records and concerts. With his profile recently raised by the PBS documentary Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes, the jazz master brings his current trio with guitarist Russell Malone and pianist Donald Vega to the Paramount for a rare Texas appearance. Simply unmissable for jazz fiends. – Michael Toland
Pecan Street FestivalSixth Street, Saturday 16 – Sunday 17
Edwin Waller (1800-1881) designed the ATX grid employing river names for north/south thoroughfares, while east/west streets – above his objection – took after tree species. The latter eventually adopted his original idea of numeric designations, so twice a year Sixth Street marks its origin with this free May/September romance. Three hundred vendors and 40 musical acts stage at Trinity, Neches, and Red River to celebrate cooler temps. Saturday (11am-10pm), dance duo Vapor Caves, rapper Blakchyl, sitarist Indrajit Banerjee, and party spinner Henry Invisible headline. Sunday (11am-8pm) CenTex-Mex treasure Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto Siempre tops out alongside electro Latinx from Cilantro Boombox. – Raoul Hernandez
Marry Cherry, Farmer’s WifeHotel Vegas, Tuesday 19
Steeped in fuzzy distortion and hollow reverb, Austin's Marry Cherry summons Sixties psychedelia with Britpop flair. The quartet's summer singles play like a grittier reincarnation of the Stone Roses. Whereas "Colors" paints snazzy rhythms with zipping basslines and pattering bongos, latest release "Won't Die Slow" churns buzzy guitars into ear-splitting drone. Bubble-grunge getup Farmer's Wife joins the penultimate night of Marry Cherry's September residency, delivering splintering riffs and twisted tales via debut EP There's a Monster. Darkwave duo Dragon Rapid opens. Proceeds will be donated in observance of HAAM Day. – Kriss Conklin
Broken Social SceneStubb's, Tuesday 19
Two years deep into the 20th anniversary tour for his band's – or rather, loose-knit collective's – most beloved album, Kevin Drew is releasing his third solo album. It's called Aging. You cannot accuse Kevin Drew of lacking a sense of humor. And you likewise cannot accuse You Forgot It in People of aging. More than any of their Aughts indie contemporaries, the smeary, crayon-colored post-pop abstractions of Broken Social Scene's sophomore breakthrough seem permanently unstuck in time. Indeed, nearly every song has become a mixtape perennial for successive generations of lovestruck teenagers (remember when Lorde name-dropped "Lover's Spit" on "Ribs"?). – Julian Towers
Music Notesby Derek Udensi
FreewayAntone's, Saturday 16
Former Roc-A-Fella Records signee headlines with support from locals Kydd Jones, JahleelFaReaL, and Clova (@clovayoda on IG).
Galactic EmpireCome & Take It Live, Tuesday 19
May the shred be with you! This costumed Pennsylvania-based band adds a unique metal twist to songs from the Star Wars franchise. Japanese metalcore group HANABIE. supports.
Paul Simon Tribute at HAAM DaySagebrush, Tuesday 19
Songwriters such as Akina Adderley, Kalu James, Matt the Electrician, and Suzanna Choffel pay homage to the Newark-born singer-songwriter as part of citywide concerts benefiting the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.