Alex Maas’ Captivating 13th Floor Lineup and More Crucial Concerts This Week

From sunn O))) to Carolyn Wonderland, Shelley King, Marcia Ball’s holiday show


Alex Maas

w/ Little Mazarn, Up Around the Sun, Mello Meddo
The 13th Floor, Saturday 25

Alex Maas solo is a different trip – similarly hypnotic to the spiraling sonics of his flagship psych band, but comparatively stark and gentle. A Black Angels show hits you, but a Maas show sits with you. His 2020 debut, Luca, was described by the Chronicle as a variety pack of "ancient folk, bass-heavy antigravity bops, and vintage pop" showcasing his sweet and eerie voice. His appearance at the Angels-affiliated Red River enclave stacks a captivating lineup. The bucolic outsider folk of Little Mazarn, with Lindsey Verrill singing and Jeff Johnston on the bowed saw, captured the calm eccentricities of small-town life with recent EP Honey Island General Store. Up Around the Sun conjoins the rhythmic clawhammer banjo of Jerry Haggins with the resonant six-string voicings of Tim Kerr for instrumentals hearkening to both Appalachia and Ireland. Meanwhile, heady alternative noise quartet Heavy Meddo intrigues as alter ego Mello Meddo.  – Kevin Curtin

TsuShiMaMiRe

Hotel Vegas, Friday 24
Meridian Buda, Sunday 26

As the poster declares – Legendary Japanese Emo Art Punk Rock Trio Since 1999!! – TsuShiMaMiRe reprises face-melting South by Southwest stops dating back to 2015, which no doubt primed this town to welcome theatrical shredders like Otoboke Beaver so warmly. Still jamming on new sweet-then-scratchy singles like "Psychedelic Soliloquy," the band sources 100% Austinite tourmates, as their U.S. tour kicked off with A Giant Dog accompaniment out west. Local surplus-riffers We Are the Asteroid back the Texas dates. If you miss the 7:15pm Hotel Vegas early gig, TsuShiMaMiRe unexpectedly takes on Buda, Texas, to wrap up their run, with special guest Suckling.  – Rachel Rascoe

Sentimental Family Band, Theo Lawrence

Sam's Town Point, Friday 24
Sagebrush, Wednesday 29

Bridging continental divides with a shared love for midcentury country classics, Texas-bred trio Sentimental Family Band and French Canadian crooner Theo Lawrence present a match made in steel pedal heaven. The former, guided by vocalist Camille Lewis' alluring drawl, breathes new life into the mid-1950s Nashville sound with their swoon-worthy take on alt.country, exemplified most recently with bittersweet single "Talking to Strangers." Lawrence's recent slew of local dates marks an indefinite return to Texas for the highwayman, who embarked on an impressive one-month, 21-show tour of Austin honky-tonks last year. On Friday, jazzy genre-busters the Point join the festivities, while acoustic threepiece the Hushabyes contributes dreamy harmonies on Wednesday.  – Genevieve Wood

Semihelix, Ground Clouds

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co., Saturday 25

I bear no musical talent, so as far as I'm concerned, every musician makes the job look easy. Semihelix, however, especially so. Geannie Friedman writes these breezy pop songs that sound simple enough, complete with a lyrical optimism that buoys her chiming guitars. Yet strong melodies keep such positivity from feeling vacuous. September single "Renovate" bounds with the contentment of a latter-day Sonic Youth, like "Incinerate" times 10. "Everything is changing, rearranging, so enjoy the present time," Friedman advises, and you can't help but listen. With the Be Cool EP, neo-soul project Ground Clouds adds psychedelia to the bill.  – Carys Anderson


The Talib Kweli Show DAWA Benefit

Superstition, Tuesday 28

ATX Urban Art: Layers of Graffiti, Street Art, Mural, and Mosaics in Austin, Texas debuted at the Texas Book Festival this month alongside 1990s music time capsule A Curious Mix of People. A 678-page doorstop, the former's epic visual index catalogs Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action founder Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone on p.428. Christening an HQ on East Springdale recently and maintaining the DAWA Fund, the Riders Against the Storm MC flies in mission faithful Talib Kweli and a band. SXSW veteran, X Games gladiator, Grupo Fantasma collaborator, the Brooklyn rapper tops RAS, THEBROSFRESH, Buck Rodgers, Zeale, and Moody Bank$.  – Raoul Hernandez

Home for the Holidays

The 04 Center, Wednesday 29

However you celebrate, there are few better ways to kick off the holiday season than with Austin legends burning through some seasonal tunes. Carolyn Wonderland and Shelley King have torn up stages on tour together the past couple of years, with the pair of songwriters uniting to trade their respective electric and acoustic blues guitars from recent albums Tempting Fate and Madame Mystic. For the special holiday show, they wrangle piano powerhouse Marcia Ball to throw her distinct, bluesy Gulf Coast flare into the Yuletide fire as the trio kicks off a regional tour.  – Doug Freeman


sunn O))) Shoshin Duo

Paramount Theatre, Wednesday 29

Though inspired by Seattle's drone metal pioneers Earth, fellow Pacific Northwesterners sunn O))) long ago surpassed their mentors in artiness, theatricality, ambition, and, somehow, volume. After a series of fruitful collaborations and expansions, the band celebrates its 25th anniversary by returning to its core duo: Guitarists Greg Anderson and Stephen O'Malley zero back in on the robed, befogged, and mesmerizing drone that's always been the black heart of their distinctive sound. Former and future fellow travelers – singer-songwriter Jesse Sykes (the Sweet Hereafter), her guitarist Phil Wandscher (ex-Whiskeytown), and multi-instrumentalist Bill Herzog (ex-Citizen's Utilities) – set the inscrutable scene first.  – Michael Toland




Music Notes

by Derek Udensi

Pussy Riot

Emo's, Saturday 25

The Russian feminist activism/performance art group performs its Riot Days show with a lineup of Maria "Masha" Alyokhina, Diana Burkot, Olga Borisova, and Alina Petrova. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Mexican Coke

The 13th Floor, Sunday 26

Houston band named after the popular soft drink headlines the final act of the Red River locale's Sunday Hardcore Matinee trilogy.

Andrea Magee's Monday for Music Helps

C-Boy's, Monday 27

A frequent performer on Mondays at C-Boy's, the Belfast-born singer-songwriter throws a special Music Helps fundraiser in the spirit of GivingTuesday. Special guests include Kevin Russell of Shinyribs, the Watters, and Cari Hutson.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Crucial Concerts, Alex Maas, Little Mazarn, Up Around the Sun, Mello Meddo, Sentimental Family Band, Theo Lawrence, Semihelix, Ground Clouds, Talib Kweli, Home for the Holidays, sunn O)))

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