MONDAY I doubt very much that Michael Cera's vanity band Mister Heavenly is any better than the band Keanu Reeves played bass for, Dogstar, but awesome local tech-dance-funkers Freshmillions landed the opening slot for their gig at Scoot Inn. If you're not on the Freshmillions train already, get moving.
WEDNESDAY There aren't a lot of bands in Austin or anywhere with better songs than Pataphysics. And yet I feel like I overlook them a lot of the time when I get to listing off my favorite locals. I'm not sure why that is, exactly. I suspect they need to play more shows. They are doing so Wednesday at Emo's so that's good news for us both. If you go, listen to "Girl, You Make Me Feel Like a Weirdo" before doing so. Being able to sing along is a big part of their appeal. They combine sock-hop melodies with demented 8-bit era keyboard sounds, they have stage presence to burn, and every time I've seen 'em the other bands have been good too. For the experimental-minded, Bubbleface continues their December-long Wednesday run at Club 1808. It's always free, and I hear they have some cool guests this week.
THURSDAY One of the very first Austin bands to send me a CD for review was Glafiro & Solid Ghost, an intriguing mixture of soul, Latin, and modern rock who didn't stay alive quite long enough for me to ever see them play. That's a bummer, but at the Parlor (for free) this week you can see the component parts: bassist Ariel Sauceda is now with Good Lazy System, and frontman Glafiro Robert is playing joined by drummer Alex Salinas. Enough heckling might inspire a proper reunion.
FRIDAY The big Red River institutions both have appealing local shows this day: Mohawk's got The Eastern Sea, For Hours and Ours, and Pompeii; Emo's has Ringo Deathstarr and Follow That Bird!. Interesting, most likely not intentional cross-programming there. You've got a bunch of sensitive guy bands and then down the street, bands with female members that are pretty loud and fuzzy. I haven't seen The Eastern Sea since just before they left on their fall tour. I hope they are holding that lineup together as they work on their album. Turnover kept them from really clicking as a live band for me, even though I adore their EP's, right up until that last show. I think they've gotten their reps in now. For Hours and Ours, on the other hand, are a guaranteed good time. Their fans are crazy.
SATURDAY I'm impressed that eight-piece Rich Restaino & The Obits even existed in the first place. Busy people with schedules have to be hugely committed to make a rock band with pro arrangements and exquisitely sweet three-part vocal harmonies click. The band is taking some time off after their show Saturday at Rockin' Tomato. They are well worth discovering before they do. They link together new wave and classic rock effectively, and their shows have an infectious team feeling. Nearly everybody takes at least one lead vocal and with that many happy, engaged people on stage there's a party going before the audience even enters into it. UPDATE: Rockin' Tomato gig was cancelled. But you should still go see Rich play music somehow. I guess I owe you a replacement Saturday pick. Here's two: La Snacks at US Art Authority; many noise bands including Sex Bruises at Club 1808.
I'm always receptive to any feedback regarding omissions, factual errors, busted links, or outright fabrications. Have a merry week.