Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Tegan & Sara/Local Natives + Bernie Worrell + Black Congress + SXSW Overflow + More

bernieworrellorchestra1Damn. Feels like I missed out on a whole lot of awesome stuff this week, being out of town (and not in Austin, sadly); I’m currently attempting to make up for lost time & get back into the swing of things, so bear with me, eh? There’s some excellent shows happening tonight, Friday, March 15th — here’s what I think looks cool:

Tegan & Sara/Speak @ Warehouse Live (sold out!)
Local Natives/Superhumanoids @ Fitzgerald’s (sold out!)
Alright, so I feel compelled to group these two together, not because Canadian pop Wondertwins Tegan & Sara sound a damn thing like jangly, rambling indie-folk-pop guys Local Natives, or because they’re at the same venue (they’re not), or because hey, I like ’em both quite a bit, but because posting about either show feels a bit like saying “hah-hah!,” Nelson Muntz-style, since they’re both sold out. Sorry, y’all, but if you don’t already have tickets to either of these shows, you’re pretty well screwed.

I wanted to mention them, though, to point out one interesting/cool fact: these are two awesome-yet-relatively-indie bands, respected and liked by a lot of folks but without a lot of exposure ’round these parts, both coming through town while a lot of this city’s music cognoscenti are up northwest in Austin, and both shows still sold out. Hot damn. In a lot of years, one of those bands would be lucky if they could sell out their show at this time of year; the fact that both did makes me hopeful for the current state of the music-fan scene here…

Bernie Worrell Orchestra @ Last Concert Cafe
Yes, yes, yes. Can’t get into the “big” shows tonight? Well, never fear, because I’m betting you can still go by Last Concert Cafe and witness the awesomeness that is the Bernie Worrell Orchestra, led by the legendary Bernie Worrell, aka That Guy Who Made All Those Weird Watery/Warbly/Squelchy Keyboard Sounds On Every Classic Funk Album Ever.

Seriously, the guy’s amazing — one listen to anything off of Parliament‘s Up for the Down Stroke or Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome, and you’ll see what I’m talking about. In more recent years, he’s also done stuff with Talking Heads, Les Claypool, & Praxis, making every one of ’em weirder and funkier at the same time.

Obnox/Unholy Two/Black Congress/Hamamatsu Tom & the Resigning Popes @ Rudyard’s
And if badassedly funky keys aren’t your thing, and raw-throated, heavy-ass post-punk rawk is, well, here you go. I dunno Obnox or Unholy Two, I’m afraid — although I think one of the guys in Obnox used to be in This Moment in Black History, which is a bad I liked once upon a time — but Black Congress are awesome in that punch-you-in-the-face (and steal your beer) kind of way. Oh, and Hamamatsu Tom & the Resigning Popes are damn great all on their own.

SXSW Overflow Fest, featuring Kal Marks, Big Mess, Tom Blacklung and the Smokestacks, Pillage & Plunder, Viva DeConcini, Walk The Plank, Rob Marcus, Yusif!, The Getaway, Otonana Trio, & Charles Ellsworth @ Super Happy Fun Land
Already talked about this one a bit, so I won’t go into it again, but trust me, you could do a whole lot worse this evening than go hang out up at Super Happy Fun Land for tonight’s installment of their SXSW Overflow Fest. Particularly cool (in my book, at least) are Big Mess, Pillage & Plunder, Tom Blacklung and the Smokestacks, Kal Marks, & Charles Ellsworth

Runners-Up:
King Automatic/The Anomalys @ Fitzgerald’s
Dash Rip Rock/El Vez/The Schitzophonics @ The Continental Club
Shawn Whitaker/Whore of Bethlehem/Turbokrieg/Termination Force/Versklaven @ The White Swan
DJ Mark Lee (Khruangbin)/Dy’Lan and Friends @ MKT Bar (1001 Austin; free!)


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