Monday, January 24, 2011

Show Picks Now!

I'm still dazed and confused from Free Week, when I worked myself so hard to write about every band that I had opinion on that I ended up in the hospital. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to do a music blog that takes advantage of my close listening skills without discouraging every band I come across from ever playing again. It's tricky. Here's some shows you might go to this week, if you like local music.

MONDAY Ringo Deathstarr at Emo's. The trouble I have with "shoegaze" music is that the musicians often take the name literally. Just because some late-80's British bands thought it was cool to be completely motionless doesn't mean every current band influenced by that style has to stand still as well. The last time Anna and I saw Ringo they invited up some other local music friends to jam and then knock stuff over on their last song. It looked like they were having so much fun! That makes a big difference.

WEDNESDAY A late update! Atmospheric instrumental space rock band Landing Station play Headhunters. Should be a free show. I have the Landing Station CD and it's pretty compelling for minimalist music. I wonder how loud they are live.

THURSDAY I hear people say that Austin has no good punk bands. Not true! It's just that there are so many bad punk bands that finding the good ones involves a lot of legwork. Let me save you some time and recommend The Creationists and Bang Bang Theodores, who play together 1/27 at Scoot Inn. Good arrangements, strong vocals, and big melodies from bass and guitar separate these two bands from the pack.

FRIDAY I discovered Transmography because their Michael Frazier doubles as the drummer in La Snacks; the bands toured together last year. Transmography is another one of those video game music/indie rock hybrids that are so prevalent nowadays. I haven't seen them live yet, but I hope to check them out Friday. They're releasing the first in a series of color-coded EP's and are asking fans to come attired this weekend in bright yellow. The show is at Beerland. Anna C. says she is interested in this concert because Awesome Death is playing it. Their combination of punk rock and theremin is more than she can resist. Also, at Beauty Bar art rockers paperthreat are having a release party for their new single. Can't wait to find out more about that; they're one of my favorite new bands in Austin. I've been listening to John Vinyard quite a bit for the next Demo Sweat column. If you're into the minimal, lyric-driven Iron & Wine neo-folk style, perhaps go check him out Friday at the Central Presbyterian Church (200 East 8th).

SATURDAY I haven't seen Amplified Heat in a few months and I feel like it's time to go check them out again. The last I checked in with them they were finding an original voice by blending in hardcore punk with their Jimi Hendrix-Clapton-Zeppelin classic rock center. White Ghost Shivers are playing with them, and that's a band I've been recommended several times. I recommend World Racketeering Squad shows all the time because I'm a big nerd and those guys are proof positive that being a nerd is no handicap to rocking triumphantly. They've been talking up this band Conquistador Incorporated for weeks. I've only listened to Conquistador's CD a little bit so far, but they are intriguing... kind of a mixture of Ween-ish genre shifts and Tool-like heavy guitar. Some of the tracks on their Ballads CD are awkwardly political, but when they hit the mark they're something new and substantive. Going to try and see them really soon.

SUNDAY My friends Justin, formerly of Sissy Face, and Andrea, currently of Bubbleface, have joined forces to start some sort of face-related supergroup. (That would be a good band name, Facial Supergroup. I can see it on t-shirts even now). They will mix Justin's guitar pop background with Andrea's interest in pure experimental noise and you can see them for the first time 7 Sunday at Blue Velvet (vintage store at 2100 Guadalupe).

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