Deerhoof at Wizard Rodeo and More Crucial Concerts This Week
Austin acts El Combo Oscuro and sleep well. both host album release shows
By Rachel Rascoe, Doug Freeman, Raoul Hernandez, Michael Toland, Laiken Neumann, Elizabeth Braaten, and Derek Udensi, Fri., Dec. 1, 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.
Wizard Rodeo 3The Long Time, Saturday 2
Deerhoof's sustaining anarchic delight would supercharge any realm – whether kicking off recent Bay Area-set film adaptation Shortcomings ("Sit Down, Let Me Tell You a Story."), playing Downtown at Parish on Friday (with locals alexalone and Mental Abortion), or headlining the wonderfully weird Wizard Rodeo fest the next day. The noon-to-midnight whirlwind's placement just east of city limits, at the Long Time sandlot baseball field, perhaps allows the San Francisco band's two-part Travis County stop. They tote their first of 18 career albums sung in Satomi Matsuzaki's native Japanese, March's Miracle-Level.
Upholding the 3-year-old fireside fest's folky essence, other out-of-towners are Durham songwriting scholar Jake Xerxes Fussell and intricate Chicago chronicler Hemlock. Alongside sets by fest organizers Garrett T. Capps & NASA Country, Little Mazarn, and the Tender Things, further Austinites celebrate standout 2023 releases: Pussy Gillette's punk-slumped Permanent Trash, Grocery Bag's psych-scorched debut Break You, and Large Brush Collection's soft, sturdy single "Forgiveness Is a Gift We Give to Ourselves." Seeking more autumnal magic? Try a Bill Baird-assisted drone zone, a cozy house stage featuring Ethan Azarian and Up Around the Sun, or a wizard-constructed mushroom dome. Tickets run $50. – Rachel Rascoe
Courtney Patton, Jamie Lin WilsonSaxon Pub, Friday 1
This year Courtney Patton and Jamie Lin Wilson combined forces for a couple surprise singles, the thematically paired "Hard Time Lately" and "Cheer Up." The co-writes struck the chord of their deep friendship and reminded just how much we all need each other. The two songwriters join for a song swap (and undoubtedly a few duets) – with Patton celebrating the 10th anniversary of her excellent debut LP, Triggering the Flood, and the soulful, bluesy turns of last year's Electrostatic. Wilson continues to drop stunning singles, most recently the gorgeously evocative "South Texas Girl." – Doug Freeman
El Combo Oscuro Album ReleaseThe Far Out, Saturday 2
"We really took our time and went all out with the production, in house," emails El Combo Oscuro capitán John Dell about La Danza de las Sirenas. "Glad we got to include a few slow burners that have been cooking a while." Like tamales for Christmas, the sextet's debut full-length makes a case for Cumbia Capital ATX with lit cumbias, lean mambos, and sidewinder chichas. Guitars and vintage organs wheedle and weave above a ringing percussive backdrop as warm, mysterious, and psychedelic as magical realism. Grupo Fantasma satellite Money Chicha and DJ Beats of Burden pachanga in support. ¡Órale! – Raoul Hernandez
musicNmind Showcase w/ BlakchylFlamingo Cantina, Saturday 2
Grassroots organization musicNmind brings the state's brightest underground rap talent to the venue where their exhibitions launched. Hometown hero Blakchyl and emcee ChiClopz, both of local hip-hop collective Mindz of a Different Kind, take the stage alongside Austin-based rappers Cooley Fly, StormShadow, Frederick Boom, and Bubs Rubino, plus Fort Worth's Cree8ion. While DJ Notion mans the turntables, the night also features a vinyl release party and music video premiere for ATX Files. Advance tickets are free online, or $10 the night of the show. – Elizabeth Braaten
Ephraim Owens QuartetMonks Jazz, Wednesday 6
Ephraim Owens is one of the hardest-working musicians in Austin, partly because he's not in town much. A first-call backup player, the trumpeter spends a lot of his time on the road with the likes of the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sheryl Crow, and more. Fortunately, he's been hanging out in his hometown jazz clubs of late. A mainstay of Monks since the club's inception, Owens brings his brilliant hard- and post-bop quartet to the stage. We don't know who's in the band, but Owens has his pick of the best of the best, so the lineup will be first-rate. – Michael Toland
sleep well. Album ReleaseMohawk, Thursday 7
On the dawn of sleep well.'s sophomore full-length, It's Getting Brighter (out Dec. 8), the quintet steals the Mohawk indoor stage to introduce a new era. Striding away from the playful bedroom-pop of 2019 debut Pictures of Dogs, the San Antonio natives' lead singles opt for swaying head bobs over bouncy hip bumps. "No Bottle" gives the lush atmosphere explored on 2020 EP Graduation Day a darker edge, twirling romantic guitar tickles and lullaby keys into sweeping shoegaze. Middle Sattre and Large Brush Collection round out the Resound- and 101X Homegrown-produced bill with the former's looping layers of experimental folk and the latter's tender, flute-flittered folk rock. – Laiken Neumann
Austin Unconducted x Daniel FearsDraylen Mason Studio, Thursday 7 – Friday 8
Past, present, and future fuse for a fresh take on tradition as nonprofit Austin Unconducted partners with burgeoning local singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Fears. Two nights of sound look to bridge the gap between modern R&B and classical – a genre that the cooperative orchestra, founded in 2021 by a group of friends, aims to rethink through extensive collaboration with contemporary musicians. Fears curates an imaginative program that artfully couples his own music with the works of Bach, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and Charlton Singleton, along with original transitions from members of the ensemble. – Elizabeth Braaten
Music Notesby Derek Udensi
Moon TaxiEmo's, Friday 1
When UT-Austin held the groundbreaking ceremony for the Moody Center in December 2019, this Nashville-based act performed a riveting set that managed a machine-gun-esque drum solo cover of Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy." Lead vocalist Trevor Terndrup and the rest of the pop-dabbling indie rock band tour in support of their latest studio album, Set Yourself Free.
Sonic Guild BallACL Live at Moody Theater, Saturday 2
Seventeen artists nominated as part of Sonic Guild's 2023 season perform for the organization's mega end-of-year event. Notable acts include Big Bill, Como Las Movies, Die Spitz, and We Don't Ride Llamas. Nonmembers can purchase $50 balcony seats.
North2South Austin ExperienceVolstead Lounge, Sunday 3
Dr. Pushkin brings his mini festival, primarily celebrating Ghanaian hip-hop and Afrobeats, to his current home. Other performers include Quata Budukusu and KooKusi.