The Pharcyde and Brownout’s Special Fest Collaboration and More Crucial Concerts This Week
Find Nineties alt-hip-hop pioneers and Caroline Rose at two separate benefits
By Rachel Rascoe, Doug Freeman, Kriss Conklin, Raoul Hernandez, Michael Toland, Elizabeth Braaten, Carys Anderson, and Derek Udensi, Fri., Nov. 10, 2023
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.
Been There 2 w/ the Pharcyde & BrownoutEsperanza Community, Saturday 11
In 2021, Been There launched as a private party among supporters and residents of the Esperanza Community, a complex of emergency housing located off Highway 183 South. This year's fest welcomes the public to The Other Ones Foundation's innovative complex, which has since upgraded from tents to climate-controlled mini shelters. Alongside former Beyoncé drummer Nikki Glaspie & the Homies, Talking Heads tributers HeartByrne, Como Las Movies, and Croy & the Boys, the noon-to-10pm lineup centers a team-up between homegrown Latin-funk sustainers Brownout and unsung Los Angeles alt-hip-hop pioneers the Pharcyde, who provided an early launching pad for J Dilla's beats. Founding members Slimkid3, Fatlip, and Imani will perform.
Aaron Brown of organizing Onion Creek Productions made the connection, having already linked Brownout and Grupo Fantasma's shared members with the likes of Bernie Worrell, Chali 2na, and Gene Ween for past UtopiaFest collabs. Grupo/Brownout guitarist Beto Martinez emails: "[Aaron] pitched the Pharcyde collab to us, he worked with [Slimkid3] on a song for his recent film, Home Free. We all got on a call a couple months ago and after some introductions and discussion, we decided this would be a fun undertaking and we set to work on the music." Brownout vocalist Alex Marrero adds: "It is always a great deal of fun & an honor to collaborate with legends from different genres ... We always grow as a band when we do things like this. It's special." Find $50 tickets at toofound.org. – Rachel Rascoe
S.L. Houser Album ReleaseMohawk, Friday 10
Sara Houser's musical evolution continues to intoxicate. 2019's last Löwin LP, Heavy as the Sun, heralded the local songwriter's heavier synth sound, which she leaned into with a series of summer singles under her own name. Now S.L. Houser gets a proper release with her new Hibiscus EP on Spaceflight Records. Awash in dark dreams, the more personal new songs cut with a heavily hooked Eighties influence behind her swooning vocals. The turbulent beats of new experimental trio Club Coma open with this year's eponymous LP, along with the bedroom-pop grooves of San Gabriel. – Doug Freeman
Seismic Dance EventThe Concourse Project, Friday 10 – Sunday 12
Annual house and techno fest Seismic Dance Event returns with a stacked lineup boasting some of the biggest names in electronic music. British DJ and producer Chris Lake, Grammy-nominated deadmau5, and pioneering sound designer Kaskade headline Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, respectively. The impressive roster of over 30 acts also includes Eli Brown, Boys Noize, Mau P, Chris Stussy, Walker & Royce, and Anfisa Letyago – offering plenty of options for EDM enthusiasts across two indoor-outdoor main stages. With weekend passes sold out, daily tickets start at $165. – Elizabeth Braaten
Thelonious Love, Jonny JukeboxSwan Dive, Saturday 11
MC Thelonious Love wields a fresh pulse with the unveiling of third LP Love Me Naught. Rumbling baritone verses map the artist's life story, dissing opposers on standout "Petty" and reciting gratitudes on lo-fi closer "Supper." Exuding Y2K nostalgia and effortless bravado, Austin R&B/hip-hop artisan Jonny Jukebox brought video games to life before The Super Mario Bros. Movie or Five Nights at Freddy's with 2016's Adonis XIV – layering 8-bit jingles over jumping 808s and introspective storylines. Follow-up U > EVERYTHING ELSE solidified with features from Pleasure Venom and Magna Carda. On Saturday, Houston's Rob the Hippie and Moody Bank$ open. – Kriss Conklin
Oliver Rajamani’s Zamora OrchestraParamount Theatre, Sunday 12
Full orchestral return to local live performance since 2020 – and conducted by Austin Symphony Orchestra maestro Peter Bay, no less – Oliver Rajamani debuts 10th album VASI in spectacular fashion at the historic Paramount. Expounding Indian Western, a contemporary fusion of Indian folk with European Romani music and Lone Star Americana, the LP soars on string orchestration while stirring in honeyed melodic sweeps and worldly percussion. Jazz legend Diane Schuur, Hungarian Romani fiddler Roby Lakatos, Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparyan, and French guitarist Amati Schmitt guest on VASI, whose release promises appearances among them and more. A pioneer of ATX globalism musically, Rajamani returns in grand style. – Raoul Hernandez
Collin Shook TrioMonks Jazz, Sunday 12
Bill Charlap TrioParker Jazz Club, Monday 13
Jazz performed by piano trios has a special sparkle to it, and we're lucky to have two groups making the scene early this week. The proprietor of Monks Jazz, Collin Shook doesn't take the stage himself as often as we'd like, but when he does, he brings standards and originals to effervescent life. New Yorker Bill Charlap doesn't have the name recognition of a Brad Mehldau or Joey Alexander, but he's a pianist's pianist who makes the songbook sound fresh and new on recent album Street of Dreams. If you like to play air piano, these are your nights. – Michael Toland
Free Lunch Benefit w/ Caroline RoseRadio/East, Tuesday 14
Free Lunch nourishes Austin's unhoused community by providing nutrient-rich cooked meals to the Eastside Esperanza Community and local free fridges. This benefit show also helps establish Radio Coffee's new Montopolis location with a solo set from songwriter and Free Lunch volunteer Caroline Rose. Where their pandemic release Superstar traded early folk efforts for pop sheen, March's The Art of Forgetting blurs all lines of genre, following tinny vocals and acoustic arpeggios with modulated synths and Spanish-tinged guitar. Opener BRUCE toes a similar line, serving tongue-in-cheek confessionals to the tune of bubbling keys or, at other times, soft strums. – Carys Anderson
L’RainThe Ballroom, Thursday 16
Past touring dates with Animal Collective and Big Thief approximate the tweaked experimental pop and slushy indie rock sides of L'Rain, aka Brooklyn songwriter Taja Cheek. The title of last month's Mexican Summer release, I Killed Your Dog, punches up the third album's fearless, mood-based multiplicity – stretching from "Pet Rock," an ode to her past in guitar bands, to the haunted music box vibe of "I Hate My Best Friends." – Rachel Rascoe
Music Notesby Derek Udensi
A Benefit Event for the UnhousedHole in the Wall, Saturday 11
Happen Twice and Brendan Tyler of Brides put together an event with all proceeds going to local charity Street Forum Mutual Aid. Bands set to play include Daydream Twins, EXOTIC FRUITICA, and Oklahoma rockers Heavytrip.
Doja CatMoody Center, Monday 13
In an era where some lament the lack of true pop stars, this endlessly viral 28-year-old held a proverbial gasoline can to her fame in 2023. Though hip-hop- and R&B-heavy new LP Scarlet didn't sell as well as expected for her stature – or maybe as expected, after she told attention-starved fans to "get a job" – the L.A. native earned her career's second chart-topping single with "Paint the Town Red." Promising Top Dawg Entertainment signee Doechii opens.