Friday, March 11, 2005

SXSW Battle Plan: Wednesday

In homage to my friend Kent's very useful "SXSW Shopping List," I've decided to develop my own "SXSW Battle Plan" this year. The Chron runs a grid of each critic's top hour-by-hour showcase picks, but if your 8pm pick is at the Cactus Cafe and your 9pm pick is at the Continental Club, it prolly ain't gonna happen. Therefore, I've tried to give myself a handful of options for every hour that take location, travel time, crowds and mood into account. Here's my planned strategy for Wednesday, March 16:

Boyskout, Lava Lounge Patio
Garage-flavored new wave from San Francisco with a surgical sensuality and latent Lene Lovich leanings.

Hobble, Room 710
Hard rock/punk hybrid with a taste for taboo. Tornadic vocalist Oriah Lonsdale is one of Austin's best frontmen.

Pinetop Perkins, Austin Music Hall (7:55pm)
Muddy Waters' longtime piano player now living in Austin. Received Lifetime Achievement Grammy this year. He's well into his Nineties and he still dresses sharper than you ever will.

John Cale & Alejandro Escovedo, Austin Music Hall (8:45pm)
I don't know exactly what they're doing, but it ought to be interesting and probably quite good.

Hubert Sumlin, Antone's
Sumlin played guitar for Howlin' Wolf on his early and mid-Sixties Chess Records sides.

Devin Davis, Velvet Spade Patio
Unable to find a band upon moving to Chicago, Davis recorded Lonely People of the World, Unite! almost all by himself. He has a good ear for Sixties and Seventies Top 40 hooks and plenty of wit. I think he's bringing a seven-piece band for this show.

Susan Cowsill, Cedar Street Courtyard
Best known as the youngest Cowsill ("The Rain, The Park and Other Things"), Susan is a richly emotive singer and songwriter whose latest work is reminiscent of Lucinda Williams. She sang a song at the Pop Culture Press day party last year that just blew me away.

Fantasy's Core, Room 710
Nagasaki band that combines punk, blues and yock-worthy slapstick to grand effect.

Jason Falkner, Tambaleo
I've always had a soft spot for the L.A. Paisley Pop underground. Before going solo, Falkner played with the Three O'Clock, the Grays and Jellyfish, so he definitely knows his way around the stuff.

Drums & Tuba, Blender Bar at the Ritz
New Orleans by way of New York by way of Austin drum, tuba and guitar jazzartrock trio that'll blow your mind with consummate precision. Believe it or not, drummer Tony Nozero and I were once bandmates and next-door neighbors.

Enon, The Parish
Art punk scavengers making dance music for folks about to take a ride on the Logan's Run carousel.

The Octopus Project, Velvet Spade
Though I liked what they were going for with the groovy confluence of synth and skronk, I wasn't completely converted by the OP's first album. I think they've improved greatly since then.

The Thermals, Emo's Main Room
Unhinged Portland pop-punk in the vein of the Buzzcocks, but operating far outside the Underwriters' Laboratories seal of approval.

Elvis Costello & the Imposters, La Zona Rosa
I saw E.C. for the first time at ACL Fest in September, but his short set was plagued by bad sound that left with the wind, so I may try to catch him again here.

Palomar, Tambaleo
Brooklyn indie pop with none of what that implies, Palomar lays down warm left-of-the-dial tones that never get too cute for their own good.

Billy Idol, Stubb's
It would be nice to make up for the time I was denied the chance to see Idol at Astroworld on the Rebel Yell tour because I couldn't get my parents' permission before they went out for the evening (only millionaires had mobile phones back then, kids!).

Sleater-Kinney, Emo's Main Room
If the music of Sleater-Kinney doesn't necessarily drive me to typical critical consensus hosannas, they still put on a great live rock show. If you've never seen them, you should.

The Real Heroes, Tambaleo
Greetings from Russia was one of last year's best local rock albums. Lotsa hooks, glam and wit.

Grupo Fantasma, Flamingo Cantina
Eleven-piece pan-Latin ensemble combining Tejano, funk, jazz, salsa, hip hop, dancehall and just about any other musical idiom that makes men feel stupid for never having learned how to dance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is another Jason Falkner website run by a dedicated fan of his in LA...