Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Tom Carter Benefit #2 + Tyagaraja (Rev’d!) + Electric Attitude + The Pons + Grievous Angels + Ruby Jane + More

On to the next one… It’s Saturday, August 25th, and yep, there’s still a ton of great stuff happening, seriously. Get off your lazy ass and out of the house, eh? Here goes:

Tom Carter Benefit Concert, featuring Sandy Ewen/Damon Smith, Richard Ramirez/Brian Traylor, FLCON FCKER, A Week of Kindness, & GiddyOx @ The Railyard (2220 Commerce; 8-11PM, $5)
Once again, I’ve already talked some about this, but it’s well worth repeating: Tom Carter is good people, and he needs our help, and will most likely need help for quite a while yet, as he gets better. Help him out however you can, including by checking out tonight’s benefit show at The Railyard, with a host of well-respected experimental-type folks. Sandy Ewen, in particular, is pretty damn mesmerizing.

Tyagaraja/DJ Sun/Resolution @ Warehouse Live (Green Room; $8)
This one’s got to go second on the list, in pat because, well, I’ve been listening to Tyagaraja‘s new EP, As Is, which he/they will be releasing tonight up at Warehouse Live, a whole heck of a lot these past few weeks. And not only is it great, it’s really kind of mindblowing. I seriously can’t say enough about the sheer power of the guy’s voice, I swear — when he cuts loose and gets loud, it’s truly something epic, and then he can rein it in and be delicate and quiet with it just as easily. I’ve only heard a handful of people who can sing like that, honestly, in all my years of listening to music.

And hey, the music itself is pretty excellent, too, in a kind of Cat Stevens-meets-Eddie Vedder kind of way. I think Tyagaraja’s songs lend themselves far better to the minimal, basic instrumentation of As Is than they did to his/their last full-length, Open Book — sure, while that was a good album, this is a great EP>. Check out the full review over here, then head to the Warehouse tonight.

Oh, and I think Tyagaraja will be playing with at least a couple of the guys from The Manichean at tonight’s show, so that’s extra-special cool. And as a final bit of awesome: everybody at the show gets a free copy of the new EP. Sweet!

Electric Attitude/The Wheel Workers/The Pons @ Fitzgerald’s
Ah, and then there’s Fitz this evening. Cool, quirky, smart indie-pop/rock gang The Wheel Workers are playing, which is great to see, and so are fun, fun, booty-shaking electro-funk-pop band Electric Attitude, who are very cool live — trust me on that one, y’all.

Added bonus time: they’re playing with Austin’s The Pons, a band who impressed me quite a bit with their 2009 release, In the Belly of a Giant. The band plays straight-up, intense indie-rock like it’s the late ’80s and Hüsker Dü are still alive & well, and that’s an awesome, awesome thing. I haven’t heard all of their latest release yet, last year’s The Blackest Shine, but so far it’s pretty damn cool, too.

Charlie Robison/Grievous Angels @ Firehouse Saloon
I’m not all that up on the country side of things, it’s true, so I really didn’t know what to expect when I took a listen to all-female pseudo-supergroup The Grievous Angels. The trio of Libby Koch, Debbie Forrest, and Lainey Balagia — all of whom have their own separate musical careers & releases, FYI — come off like some long-lost recording by the Mandrells back in their early days, or even better, one by the awesome-yet-underappreciated Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard. Heck, imagine the trio of sirens from O Brother, Where Art Thou? singing songs about love and loss and whatever else, and you’ll be damn close…

Ruby Jane @ Goode’s Armadillo Palace
I hadn’t heard of young Austinite Ruby Jane ’til last winter, when she was leaving Dosey Doe up in The Woodlands with her mother; they were held up at gunpoint, and the thief stole their SUV and everything in it, including all of Ruby’s merch and — worst of all — her instruments, including a fiddle and mandolin that had been custom-made for her. How low can you get, y’all? Ripping off a 17-year-old fiddle player, and in The Woodlands, no less?

Unfortunately, Ruby Jane’s only recovered one of her instruments, a guitar some kind soul spotted next to a pawnshop dumpster; the rest has never been found. But nevertheless, she’s back in town tonight, up at Goode’s Armadillo Palace, and I have to say, after listening to a few of her songs, she’s really freaking good. I guess you have to be, when you’re the youngest person to ever play the Grand Ole Opry… She can not only play fiddle, guitar, and mandolin beautifully, but she also sings beautifully, with a nicely Beth Orton-like voice and a distinctly old-time bluegrass feel. Go and listen.

Runners-Up:
Folk Family Revival/Shellee Coley @ Main Street Crossing (Tomball)
Montrose Rock Revel, featuring The Trimms, Second Lovers, Shotgun Funeral, March to the Sea, Deadend Cowboys, Fox & Cats, The Bad Drugs, & 8eTribe @ Rudyard’s
Taikoza @ Miller Outdoor Theatre (free!)
Irene/Handsome Beast/Collective Dreams/Mockingbird Brother @ Notsuoh
House of Brews, featuring John Evans Band, Black Queen Speaks, The Mighty Orq, & Rainchild @ House of Blues
Brothers Grymn/Ducado Vega/PuraPharm/Atom Watts @ Dean’s Credit Clothing


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