Madeleine Leigh, HONK TX, and Eclipse Mania Leads Our Crucial Concerts

Find some sounds to match the celestial sights this week


Honk!TX

Thursday 4 - Sunday 7, various locations

Invited recently to the Austin Music Commission, yours truly testified about journalism and all-ages music ops. Burned into my soul remains the image of my preschooler sneaking a surreptitious blow on a Honk!TX tuba pre-pandemic. Year 12 now, the marching band summit crescendos the capital’s best free music festival, a four-day brass fantasy of honking, whistling, thumping mania. Thursday: “pre-clipse” takeover of the Ballroom, 8pm. Friday: 6-10pm at Central Machine Works, as well as East Cesar Chavez diner Sawyer & Co. and French brasserie Justine’s. Saturday: all day, for the main event at Mueller Lake Park. Then Sunday’s Pan Am Park parade, 1-6pm. HONK.   – Raoul Hernandez


Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Festival

Friday 5 - Sunday 7, Doris Miller Auditorium

Free and open to all ages, Rancho Alegre Conjunto Music Festival returns for its 19th annual celebration of Tejano and Tex-Mex musical stylings. After losing city funding and almost facing cancellation in 2023, organizers crowdsourced enough donations to keep the tradition alive and well. Apart from local fan favorites Conjunto Los Pinkys and CruzSante, the event ropes in talent as far as Laredo (Kamila y Bella Divas) and Edinburg (Riley y Los Gilitos). Don’t miss headlining sets from luchador mask-donning Los Enmascarados, conjunto classics Rene Joslin y Los Favoritos, and Kingsville foursome Los D Boyz.   – Miranda Garza


Kerrclipse Music Festival

Friday 5 - Monday 8, Quiet Valley Ranch

On the site of the upcoming Kerrville Folk Festival, absolute hallowed ground for Texas singer-songwriters, arrives a special eclipse weekend. As at the main fest, folks can camp out and enjoy a range of Texas-emphasis sounds. Austin reps include Good Looks, THEBROSFRESH, Jomo & the Possum Posse, Phoebe Hunt, and the Flyin’ A’s, as well as a Sunday presentation by solar scientists from the University of Hawaii. On Monday, local psychedelic cult sun worshippers Golden Dawn Arkestra appropriately take the total eclipse set. Passes are available for Monday, two days, and the full weekend, starting at $100.   – Rachel Rascoe


Texas Eclipse Festival 2024

Friday 5 - Tuesday 9, Reveille Peak Ranch

With an expected attendance of over 30,000 ravers and space cadets, Texas Eclipse Festival offers a temporary trek into the cosmos. The electro-drenched musical lineup includes dubstep twosome Zeds Dead, melody maestro Tycho, techno trailblazer Charlotte de Witte, and grime hitmaker Flowdan. Don’t miss headlining sets from DJ duos Big Gigantic and NEIL FRANCES. Apart from its six music stages, the festival hosts art installations, space exhibits, tech activations, and speakers including Inspiration4 astronaut Chris Sembroski. With everything the party has to offer, don’t forget to look up and catch the eclipse. GA passes start at $259.   – Miranda Garza



Photo by Natalie Piserchio

Sheer Mag

Saturday 6, the Far Out

Philly underground rockers Sheer Mag spent a good part of the last decade fending off labels. After putting off new music for five years, the band – beloved for their nostalgic blend of Seventies rock, power pop, and punk – finally signed with Jack White’s storied Third Man Records and released third album Playing Favorites in March. On this headlining tour, the group is sure to play their latest offering’s groovy cuts as well as a host of familiar favorites from their classic-rock-infused arsenal. Local punk outfit Mujeres Podridas opens.   – Elizabeth Braaten


Carl Perkins Birthday Bash

Saturday 6, Continental Club

South by Southwest 1997 keynote speaker Carl Perkins repeated the term (“What’s a keynote? I’m no keynote”) to a hushed ballroom, completely unfamiliar with it. Afterward, in some small room at the Convention Center, a clutch of media enjoyed private audience with the rockabilly pioneer (1932–1998), who indeed loomed larger than life: his hands, voice, toupee. Guitarist, bandleader, and amp tech Jeremy Slemenda and his Jerrells gather a first annual twang-off for the Tennessean, benefiting homegrown health care provider for musicians HAAM and commingling ATX genre notables including Bill Kirchen, Rosie Flores, Marti Blom, Jake Penrod, Little Rachel, Guitar Grady, Tjarko Jeen, etc. Don’t step on anyone’s blue suede shoes.   – Raoul Hernandez



The Hangmen

Saturday 6, the Lost Well

When L.A.’s Hangmen appeared in 1989 with a Capitol Records debut, their Stones-meets-Gun Club noise got lost in the gap between jangly college rockers and the hair-metal hordes. Fortunately, singer/songwriter Bryan Small persevered over the decades, honing his songwriting to an ultra-sharp point alongside the like-minded souls (including longtime label Acetate Records) that bring it to life. Indeed, the band’s latest, 2023’s exceptional Stories to Tell, may well be their best. The Hangmen rarely venture beyond the West Coast, so this gig is a rare treat. Austin’s rising-star glam-punks the Oxys and veteran power punks the Meanhearts open.   – Michael Toland



Destroyer of Light Album Release

Saturday 6, Hotel Vegas

After 12 productive years, Austin metal mainstays Destroyer of Light have announced the end of the road. Like any good headbangers, though, they’re not going quietly: The hard-rocking quartet leaves behind one final album, the expansive, genre-fluid Degradation Years, and will embark on a 17-city tour through the South, North, and Midwest in support. To kick off that jaunt, DoL celebrates their career at Hotel Vegas with a sort of “State of ATX Metal” sendoff, including stoner psych icons the Well, fellow subgenre-agnostics Transit Method, and newcomers Five Armed Swordsman.   – Michael Toland



Host Kelsea Ballerini (Photo by John Shearer for CMT)

CMT Music Awards

Sunday 7, Moody Center

For the second year in a row, Austin will play host to the Country Music Television Awards. The awards, hosted by Kelsea Ballerini, will gather some of the genre’s biggest stars at the Moody Center, where the show will broadcast live. Notable performances include Jelly Roll, whose three CMT victories last year made him 2023’s winningest artist; Keith Urban, whose 20th CMT performance will set a record; and reunion performances for mega acts Sugarland and Little Big Town, who are celebrating 20 and 25 years of breakout success, respectively. Fingers crossed that Beyoncé reprises a 2016 CMA Awards appearanceto celebrate her new country album Cowboy Carter – though chances are admittedly slim. The awards air on CBS, 7-10pm CST, and will also stream live on Paramount+ with Showtime. Limited award show tickets still available.   – Abby Johnston


Eclipse UTOPiA

Friday 5 - Tuesday 9, Four Sisters Ranch

A spinoff of the annual UTOPiAfest, Eclipse UTOPiA offers the best seat in the house to the “Great Texas Twoclipse,” where the paths of last year’s annular eclipse and this year’s astronomical event will cross. Focusing on Texas-centric talent, the 46-artist lineup is headlined by soul-pop force Sir Woman, funk-driven electro-rock duo Ghostland Observatory, and Latin neo-soul searchers Caramelo Haze. Make sure to check out side quests like acroyoga, disc golf, and an abundance of featured workshops. Don’t forget your star-studded corsage for the anticipated space prom! Passes start at $350.   – Miranda Garza


Arch Ray Eclipse Fest

Sunday 7 - Monday 8, Arch Ray’s Amphitheater, Fredericksburg

Monday’s solar eclipse is no time to blather on about music. And yet ... the headliner of this two-day soundtrack got us thinking. Back to Eighties college rock when Buffalo threesome the Goo Goo Dolls plied inebriated thrash pop on Metal Blade Records. 1993’s Superstar Car Wash rolled Westerburgian suds prior to A Boy Named Goo breaking them Kings of Leon-style, and paired with platinum ATX trio Fastball (“The Way”), an alt-pop event manifests. Six sets a day starting around noon, including Sunday’s Hank Williams IV, Cory Morrow, and Kyle Park, then the Dolls, Fastball, and Switchfoot on Monday, light up Fredericksburg, which expects a half-million sun worshippers.   – Raoul Hernandez



Graham Reynolds (Photo by Mark Poucher)

Total Eclipse Viewing Party

Monday 8, Long Center Lawn

The interdisciplinary Fusebox Festival is marking its 20th anniversary with an impressive cornerstone booking: a total eclipse. True to Fusebox’s mission, Monday’s viewing party – a free, ticketed event – will feature a mix of artistic mediums, including visual storytelling led by writers Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman, hosting by Radiolab’s Molly Webster, and music by Graham Reynolds, who will add “eclipse” to composing credits that include theatre, ballet, film, and television. The viewing party anchors three days of Fusebox’s eclipse programming, which will kick off the eight-day festival.   – Abby Johnston


Canto de Todes

Wednesday 10, Museum of Human Achievement

One of the many artistically exciting events going on as part of this year’s Fusebox Festival, multidisciplinary artist Dorian Wood pulls inspiration from late Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra to create an immersive 12-hour “canon of songs.” This installation/composition focuses on folk music “as a vessel for social change” and “upends the expectation of the rigidness often associated with witnessing chamber music performances by offering a welcoming space that allows individuals to project their personal, communal joys, and traumas.” Should this interest you, dear Reader, then I must insist you head to fuseboxlive.com to see the full array of exhibitions, installations, and etc. on offer from April 7-14 all around Austin.   – James Scott



Photo by Norma Ventura

Madeleine Leigh Single Release

Thursday 11, Radio/East

As her Ley Line bandmates continue with their own projects – Kate Robberson and Emilie Basez’s Her Mana; sister Lydia’s solo pop turn as Lyd Marie – bassist Madeleine Froncek preps her own upcoming LP, as it is, with her first single release. The album spins as a meditation on her mother’s death, and “Just Fine” sets the tone by winding through weary passing hours, grappling with the vertiginous sense of loss, and waiting for what comes next. Beautifully gentle and moving. Creekbed Carter Hogan supports with their stellar new eponymous LP, alongside the Deer’s Grace Rowland, and Shane Cooley.   – Doug Freeman



Offset (Courtesy of Universal Music)



Music Notes

by Derek Udensi

Offset

Thursday 4, Mala Vida

After booking Mexican rapper Santa Fe Klan during this year’s South by Southwest, the Gabriela’s Group establishment further impresses by bringing the former Migos member Downtown. ’Set released his second solo studio album, SET IT OFF, last October. Find tickets via Ticketón.

Nané Day

Sunday 7, Empire Garage

Jefferson Clay begins proceedings before a ceremony honoring the late Daniel Sahad. Nané closes with their first performance since 2022 as Quentin Arispe (the Past Lives) provides lead vocals.

BLP Kosher

Monday 8, Emo’s

I hysterically laughed when someone first quoted the Broward County rapper’s “Special K” single to me: “Fuck a opp, that boy a bimbo/ Gettin’ low, they playin’ limbo.” Turns out that’s only a sliver of the BLP Kosher experience. He promptly outdoes himself on that same track: “I’m forever smokin’ Nazis/ Imma pass the blunt to Anne Frank.” The wicks-sporting 23-year-old peppers his songs with humorous, outlandishly random pop culture references between overt allusions to his proud Jewish roots. Last year’s full-length Bars Mitzvah amplifies the trap-centric ridiculousness, but also features an unexpected DJ Premier beat (“Endless”) and a second portion that speculatively attempts pop-punk.

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