The Austin Chronicle

Hard Proof’s Fela Kuti Felabration!! and More Crucial Concerts This Week

Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta, Janelle Monáe, and Mockjaw lead our recommended shows

By Raoul Hernandez, Elizabeth Braaten, Doug Freeman, Kevin Curtin, Rachel Rascoe, and Derek Udensi, October 6, 2023, Music

Looking for the best shows happening in Austin this week? Check out the Chronicle music team’s handpicked “Crucial Concerts” below or in the paper every Thursday. And for our complete listings of upcoming live music events around town, head to Chron Events.

Hard Proof Presents Felabration!!

Far Out Lounge, Saturday 7

Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti – Fela Kuti, to planet Earth – remains the original Afrobeat prophet, just as Bob Marley gifted our globe reggae. Fusing jazz horns with African beats and American funk possession, Lagos' colonel (1938-1997) would mark 85 years of genius Oct. 15, so the Hard Proof crew ignites a Felabration. Brass fanatics, Hard Proof co-founded just such a revolution locally decades ago. Hosting Nigerian oracle Kalu James, they welcome Colombian ritmo avalanche Superfónicos and an all-star mosh initiated by our ever-ripening Latin scene: members of Grupo Fantasma and Black Pumas interlocking with fellow urban funksters Trouble in the Streets and astral fusionists Golden Dawn Arkestra.  – Raoul Hernandez

Godcaster, Borzoi

Hotel Vegas, Friday 6

If there's one thing you can count on Brooklyn art-rock sextet Godcaster to bring, it's energy. Known for their high-voltage live shows and rollicking sound, the group has a youthful, devil-may-care edge that makes them impossible to ignore. In a breakout year for the band, their self-titled sophomore album was met with rave reviews, they recently organized an epic show in an abandoned Bushwick train tunnel, and they're now embarking on an international tour. Mythically (but not actually) Melbourne-bred, Austin-based post-punk trio Borzoi, who just released their first collection in almost five years, and local experimental group Glasshealer open.  – Elizabeth Braaten

Music for the Mind

Arlyn Studios, Monday 9

Jess Williamson's fifth LP, Time Ain't Accidental, lays both heavy and liberating. The June record winds through heartbreak with a devastating longing and emerges with a newly empowered, if searching, sense of self. The songwriter (and half of exceptional Americana duo Plains) returns to Texas to headline SIMS' Lone Star-studded fifth Music for the Mind benefit, also featuring Taméca Jones' soul-stirring R&B as she comes home after a year in L.A. and prepares to release her debut album. San Antonio psych-cowboy Garrett T. Capps launches his NASA Country while Dallas' Angel White showcases his powerful ballads and DJ Boi Orbison keeps the tables turning.  – Doug Freeman

Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta

Sagebrush, Saturday 7

Cult icon to primal rock aficionados, Tav Falco's Panther Burns – formed in 1979 Memphis with Alex Chilton on guitar – stirred up a vision of raw Southern roots music that's resonated with the no-wavers, garage-ists, and psychobillies ever since. The group's irrepressibly artistic, 78-year-old leader, a fanciful character who tangos and directs black-and-white films, still conjures a one-of-a-kind performance with a haunted voice and crack Italian band. He headlines ACL – Austin Corn Lovers Fiesta – with a stacked-to-the-max 15-act lineup that includes Throw Rag/Sean & Zander singer Sean Wheeler leading the Fake Emos, trashy punk trio Pussy Gillette, devil-worshipping honky-tonkers the Beaumonts, post-country ensemble Jane Woe, rumbling garage duo the Ghost Wolves, and corn-toothed cowpunk hosts the Hickoids.  – Kevin Curtin


Butterfly Bar, Sunday 8

It's officially the right time to catch Mockjaw, who's one summer into impressing Red River indie rockers with bustling jazz-minded jams, polishing a debut single, and fresh off a Local Live recording with collegiate tastemakers KVRX. Not to mention, this show's free on the Patrizi's pasta-assisted Butterfly Bar stage. Guitarist/vocalist Sloan Hill, drummer Collin McCord, and keyboardist KindKeith (known for their own enlivening soul/pop project) all met in UT jazz school. Busy Austin bassist Tanner Hoyt joins the snappy, twinkly new effort. Embodying their mellow genre linkage, Keith promises a cover of Aussie art rockers Jaala's 2018 "Good Circuit" via text: "We love playin jazz and fusion music and that's most of what we write, but we've been covering […] this weird indie rock song that's been fitting into the set really well."  – Rachel Rascoe

Janelle Monáe

Moody Amphitheater, Wednesday 11

Is there anything Janelle Monáe can't do? In the age of hyperspecialization, Monáe is a Renaissance artist to the very core, defying rigid categorization time after time by marching to her own beat. At 37 years old, she's already an eight-time Grammy nominee, award-winning actor, and recently authored her first book. Fresh off the release of her triumphant fourth studio album, The Age of Pleasure, Monáe continues to carve her own path by doing what she does best – and that's whatever she wants. Genre-bending Chicago artist Dreamer Isioma and Grammy-nominated producer Nana Kwabena also perform.  – Elizabeth Braaten

Anna McClellan, Lomelda

Batch, Thursday 12

A simpler time, South by Southwest 2018 proved a perfect setting for the devastatingly refreshing, piano-based blast of Anna McClellan's Father/Daughter Records debut Yes and No. The Omaha, Nebraska, indie-folk emotion mixer returns with 2020 LP I saw first light (and a new August "songs and snippets" Bandcamp collection) to kick off her autumn tour in Austin. An ideally triangulated lineup loops in the consistently notable and unpredictable singer-songwriting of Lomelda and prismatic alt-pop of Felt Out, who frequent the hosting kolache shop as both customers and performers.  – Rachel Rascoe

Music Notes

by Derek Udensi

Time for Three

Stateside at the Paramount, Friday 6

ATX Chamber Music & Jazz begins its 2023-24 season with the Grammy-winning trio.

Club X First Anniversary

The 13th Floor, Sunday 8

The Michele Mas/Misti Watts-promoted second Sunday residency – and 2023 Best of Austin Critics Pick for Best Source of Sunday Discoveries – celebrates one year with post-punk act EXOTIC FRUITICA, Narrow Haunts, FLAGS, and DJ Astral Violet.

Ba$e & Friends

Volstead Lounge, Sunday 8

Local rappers Frederick Boom and Southside Hippie support Norman Ba$e at another free iteration of his event series.


Monks Jazz Club, Tuesday 10

Nine pianists pay homage to the late Thelonious Monk by performing various works from his discography. Daniel Dufour and James Suter assist on drums and double bass, respectively.

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