Crucial Concerts for the Coming Week
Aubrey Hays, Rod Gator, and the Bright Light Social Hour headline our recommended shows
By Angela Lim, Raoul Hernandez, Carys Anderson, Doug Freeman, Hank Erwin, Julian Towers, and Derek Udensi, Fri., Sept. 22, 2023
Aubrey HaysZilker Botanical Garden, Thursday 28
Mississippi Gulf Coast-born Aubrey Hays howls a torrential cloudburst in 2021 single "Statue," backed by the screams of guttural guitars and a trumpet, before nestling into an outro of dainty arpeggios. "I can dip myself in gold/ And travel to places bought and sold among men/ Oh will I ever be whole again?" the self-described "lyric-forward pop musician" ruminates. Delivered with the musical prowess Hays honed as early as 4 years old, their visceral discography – soon to expand with an EP in the works – unleashes the unknown and sentimental. The singer-guitarist's hypnotizing voice leaps as they cast a spell in the more hopeful "I Wanna See This Through": "Wouldn't it be nice to believe in yourself?" Shrouded in the Rose Garden, the Austin-based storyteller will perform as the fifth and final artist of this year's Music in the Garden outdoor concert series. Enjoy this free, all-ages event, which includes food and beverage options from Downtown Burgers and Austin Beerworks, respectively. – Angela Lim
The Bright Light Social Hour In-StoreWaterloo Records, Friday 22
Sound of our town? The Bright Light Social Hour! Since clicking on in 2010 with their self-titled bow and hippie city anthem "Bare Hands Bare Feet," founders Curtis Roush and Jackie O'Brien morphed with the times, from jam-bandy jalapeño peppers sans socks to the new electro-disco refractors of latest and fifth LP Emergency Leisure. "In contemporizing progressive sine waves into retro-futuristic synthwave, TBLSH relights a spectral niche in Austin chillwave," we wrote. Where once Space Is Still the Place, now the quintet dances, riffs, and pops timelessly Austin: rock, psych, and high – on musical uplift, gourmet local culture, and our Texan oasis. Waterloo, ho! – Raoul Hernandez
Resound x FSG Takeover w/ Model/ActrizMeanwhile Brewing Co., Saturday 23
Come to celebrate the autumn equinox, stay even though you're sweating your ass off like it's high summer. Complete with vendors and food trucks, Resound and FSG's (free!) "Still Hot" takeover of Meanwhile starts early with six local acts. Among them, Never dishes up brief spouts of angular post-punk, Sad Cell cuts through reverb with a pop-punk moan, and Trejo lightens the rock & roll load with dance beats. Things get harsh for the main event, however. Curious New Yorkers Model/Actriz – who debuted with the galvanizing LP Dogsbody in February – veer industrial, though Cole Haden's delicate vocals suggest he just barely chokes them out. – Carys Anderson
Rod Gator Album ReleaseSagebrush, Saturday 23
Rod Gator (né Melancon) has always had the rock in him, with his previous albums delivering a heavy rockabilly punch behind his eclectic Louisiana Southern Gothic songwriting. Fifth LP Conqueror finally lets it all out fully, though, heavy and brutal at times as Gator goes dark with shredding metal riffs and chugging rhythms, brooding moans and rattling screams. Undoubtedly his most epic and cinematic offering in an adventurous catalog that defies expectations, the release caps the all-day Sagebrush anniversary party, which also rolls out Mayeux & Broussard, Conjunto Los Pinkys, and Shinglers. – Doug Freeman
SIPA, BRUCE, Alex CósmicoChess Club, Sunday 24
You've probably been to parties at Horti's house. If you haven't, that's too bad. Formerly of Austin's Whiskey Shivers, Jeff Hortillosa (better known as Horti) plays a release show with his new band, SIPA, consisting of AJ Martka on drums, Thomas Heritage on bass, and Horti himself on guitar and vocals. Two driving groove tracks, self-described as "psychedelic garage jazz," were laid down at Austin's King Electric Recording and will be released digitally the same day. The bill also hosts BRUCE (Calliope Musicals' Carrie Fussell) and Alex Cósmico. – Hank Erwin
Lil Tracy, fish narc, Hi-CMohawk, Tuesday 26
Extrapolating purely from the genre's name, "cloud rap" would seem to promise lethargic MC'ing and hazy, indistinct beatmaking. Indeed, spend a day trolling through early 2010s SoundCloud – you'll hear a lotta that. But that was before the style got a crucial injection of emo passion in the form of GothBoiClique, the L.A. collective that counts fish narc and Lil Tracy as members. (Maybe you saw their showcase at Oblivion Access 2023?) Further proof that lo-fi need not be synonymous with lo-feeling: the manic, Bitcrushed id of opener Hi-C (also in town earlier this year as well for This Is Austin, Not That Great). – Julian Towers
Music Notesby Derek Udensi
Bastrop Music FestivalVarious locations, Thursday 21 – Sunday 24
Sir Woman and Cody Hibbard highlight four days of music across Bastrop. Free shows include Jordan Matthew Young at Copper Shot Distillery and a Keeled Scales artist showcase at Astro Record Store.
Wepa Cumbia Roots FestivalKenny Dorham's Backyard, Saturday 23
Trapiche de Colomboy, Money Chicha, El Combo Oscuro, and Orión García perform as the event returns to its original host venue.
Kim PetrasMoody Amphitheater, Wednesday 27
Petras became the first openly transgender woman to win a Grammy when she and Sam Smith won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Unholy" at this year's ceremony.