Jess Williamson, Stay Black & Live, Babestock, and More Crucial Concerts

Recommended shows for the week in Austin

Courtesy of Antone's

Jess Williamson

Thursday 13 – Friday 14, Antone’s

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jess Williamson has spent the better part of the year on tour, but her specially named “Deep in the Heart” leg returns her to her home state. Over two nights at Antone’s, Williamson will bring 2023's showstopper Time Ain’t Accidental to life, along with cuts from her four other full-length albums. The Texas dates are a fitting addition for Williamson, who continues to draw on Texas and its ethos for inspiration even after decamping to L.A. Boot-stomping Austin fourpiece Rattlesnake Milk opens on the Texas dates.   – Abby Johnston

Music Under the Star

Friday 14, Bullock Museum

After seven years, Austin’s beloved music series Music Under the Star returns brighter than ever. Officially in its 15th year, the concert series will give music lovers an opportunity to experience the freedom of a balmy summer accompanied by a soundtrack of some of Austin’s most beloved artists, starting on June 14 with jazz-funk outfit the Peterson Brothers and Dallas-based folk/soul fusion songstress Kamica King. Bring a blanket and some refreshing drinks as you sit out on the Bullock Museum lawn and celebrate summer soft with a carefree Austin. Dates: June 14, July 19, and Aug. 9.   – Cy White

Radio Coffee & Beer’s 10th Anniversary

Saturday 15, Radio Coffee & Beer

Though the 2023-launched offshoot Radio/East has quickly become a destination music venue, the Menchaca OG assembles a pretty killer bill to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Repping all sides of our bustling music scene, the beer garden enlists longtime Radio residents the Bluegrass Outfit and Scrapelli, the 25-plus-piece “renegade circus brass band” Minor Mishap Marching Band, and Grace Rowland (without her bandmates from the Deer). Elsewhere, the lineup includes breezy indie rockers the Stacks, jazz-fusion group Mockjaw, R&B singer Motenko, dreamy psychedelic outfit Redbud, and, curiously, Arizona-born pop star Vaishalini.   – Carys Anderson

Courtesy of Scoot Inn

Camera Obscura

Saturday 15, Scoot Inn

Though the arrival of Camera Obscura’s new Look to the East, Look to the West is 11 years removed from their last record, the quintessential Glasgow indie-poppers rang recognizable as ever on selects like “Big Love.” Singer Tracyanne Campbell sat on the cover, nailing energetic twee under light country/electro influence and consistent observational humor. Unfortunately, the only set list possibility from the band’s ebullient 2001 debut – produced by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch and later reissued by Merge – appears to be “Eighties Fan.” I’m sure 4AD favorite “French Navy” will suffice.   – Rachel Rascoe

Stay Black & Live

Saturday 15, George Washington Carver Museum

A livestream launched in 2020 in solidarity against a global health crisis and race-related violence, Stay Black & Live now manifests as a barbecue, community carnival, and concert. Houston tag-teams Austin’s historic George Washington Carver Museum with its tours and screenings, via dual headliners in Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s New Orleans funk-hop crew Tank & the Bangas and Geto Boys rapper Scarface. The Greater East Austin Youth Association parades in honor of 159 years of slavery abolition in Texas starting at 10am, while local Afrobeat blowers Zoumountchi touch off the music at 4pm. Programming including films, slam poetry, and a Free Your Mind Symposium continues through Wednesday.   – Raoul Hernandez

Babestock Music Festival

Saturday 15 – Sunday 16, Cheer Up Charlies

I am a product of the house that Jack built (#IYKYK). Singing my heart out and dancing my baby knees weak to the likes of Robin S. and CeCe Peniston. Putting my lungs and my ankles in peril when Cajmere ominously proclaimed, “It’s time.” Then at a curious 12 years old, I started sneaking peeks at late-night video hours on MTV, where I was baptized in the church of Bjӧrk and her effervescent case of Big Time Sensuality. Some decades later, my knees are tried and true, my voice is obnoxious, and I have been introduced to Babestock, the first (and FREE, honey) electronica festival featuring only femme-identified and gender-expansive artists on the whole damn continent! For all the grown babes out there (21+, kiddos), Cheer Up Charlies will be the place to be starting on Saturday, June 15.   – Cy White

Billy Harper Quintet

Sunday 16, state theatre

Résumés don’t come much more impressive than Billy Harper’s. Born in Houston and a graduate of the University of North Texas, the saxophonist earned slots with Gil Evans, Lee Morgan, Randy Weston, Art Blakey, and even, for one of his last sessions, Louis Armstrong. He forged a career as a leader with extraordinary albums like Capra Black, The Awakening, and the classic Black Saint, the first album on the powerhouse Italian label that took its name. Also a member of supergroup the Cookers, Harper last dazzled Austin in 2022 alongside legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille. It’s simple: Do not miss this.   – Michael Toland

Randy Hill Booksigning & Guy Forsyth Performance

Tuesday 18, waterloo records

Since blues expresses our innermost fears and outermost desires, congratulate Randy Hill on turning his aspirations into homegrown roots history. Austin Blues Monthly’s brief mid-Nineties run saw its editor/publisher talking shop with a who’s who of the genre that helped put the state capital on the world map: Clifford Antone, T.D. Bell, Marc Benno, W.C. Clark, Kent “Omar” Dykes, Blues Boy Hubbard, Kim Wilson, and more. “What Hill managed to pull off – intentionally or not – is a wide-ranging history of Austin blues,” writes ATX historian Joe Nick Patoski of Hill’s new Q&A compendium. Practitioner Guy Forsyth co-signs with fiery live blues.   – Raoul Hernandez

Photo by Ani Liv Kampe, Agnete Hannibal Petri, and ML Buch

ML Buch

Wednesday 19, Radio/East

Heralded as a soft take on alt-rock, a slippery embrace of reverb, an accessible pop future, last year’s Suntub by ML Buch (pronounced “book”) opened up. The fact that the Copenhagen-based composer and producer’s first-ever North American tour kicks off with a Radio/East gig presented by Best of Austin winner Radio Coffee & Beer is kind of astounding. With Brooklyn and L.A. dates already sold out, Marie Louise Buch’s guitar-based music conjures her self-recording environment in the coastal Danish town of Kalundborg, aided in ATX by drummer Rebecca Molina. I request that Radio book Buch’s buddy, fellow Scandi experimentalist Astrid Sonne, next.   – Rachel Rascoe

Photo by Jack Anderson

Juneteenth Celebration With Deezie Brown, the Past Lives

Wednesday 19, Hotel Vegas

Austin doesn’t get a lot of ink for its hip-hop scene, but on his 2022 magnum opus 5th Wheel Fairytale, Deezie Brown pooled his resources to create a defining local statement. Tapping, among others, Malik Baptiste, Mobley, Jackie Venson, and the Peterson Brothers, the Bastrop-born rapper-producer-general artistic multihyphenate spun tumbling beats, buzzing synths, soaring horns, and soulful group vocals into a lush, melodic take on southern Black life. He’s paired on this Juneteenth bill with funk-soul-rock sextet the Past Lives, whose February EP Purple Dreams masters groovy sexcapade soundtracks (“All Night”) alongside Eighties rock rhythms (“Gemini”). Extravagant and unfettered – as we should be, on Freedom Day.   – Carys Anderson

Drive-By Truckers

Thursday 20, ACL Live at the Moody Theater

The Drive-By Truckers’ 2001 double-disc opus Southern Rock Opera arguably serves as the apex of The band’s seminal third LP muscles Southern rock guitar and deeply literate narratives into the first true realization of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley’s vision of what DBT could be: troubadours wrangling the Southern experience in all its contradictions as complex, celebratory, critical, and conflicted. Hood and Cooley remain the powerhouse quintet’s fulcrum as they reissue Southern Rock Opera and perform the entire album alongside other hits, continuing nearly 30 years in to reimagine what the South can be.   – Doug Freeman

Courtesy of Cloud Tree Gallery

Colin McIntyre

Thursday 20, Cloud Tree Auxiliary

Cloud Tree Gallery has become one of the funnest listening rooms on the Eastside, and now there are two of them – the original gallery and the gallery’s Quonset hut twin, the Cloud Tree Auxiliary. The new space is perfect for this month’s Summer Salon series, with its wall of Mondrianesque stained glass and its curving domelike ceiling. Austin Cantorum kicked off the series on June 6 with a stunningly lovely choir performance as audience members relaxed on blankets on the floor. Colin McIntyre presents his meditative sound bath this Thursday.   – Brant Bingamon

RXKNephew (Courtesy of Resound)

Music Notes

by Derek Udensi


Saturday 15, Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex

Proun commences End of an Ear’s new series, pairing music and film with an in-theatre performance at the single-screen Eastside Cinema. A screening of Brain Damage follows.


Sunday 16, Empire Garage

This Louisiana-born MC played a key role in popularizing the pluggnb subgenre of plugg alongside artists such as Summrs. He tours in support of his newest release, Solitary 2.


Tuesday 18, Emo’s

RIAA-certified platinum tracks “Romantic Homicide” and “Here With Me,” both currently counting over 1 billion Spotify streams, first exploded on TikTok for the Fortnite YouTuber turned full-time musician back in 2022. The 19-year-old Houston artist continued his momentum into last year, which saw him perform at ACL Fest and release alternative debut EP Petals to Thorns.


Wednesday 19, Parish

This Rochester rapper blitzes streaming sites with projects – the names and colorful artwork for these tapes alone intrigue with several cultural references ranging from the late Notorious B.I.G. to video game series Grand Theft Auto. New release Till I’m Dead 2 – his seventh of 2024 – exemplifies RXKNephew’s zany unpredictability as he uses a unique flow to attack several electronic music beats. Hit play on a random title and enjoy the ride.

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