Tonight: Go Celebrate Mark C. Austin’s 40th, And Help Folks in Need, Too
Well, it may be only Thursday (March 23rd), but even still, there’s a ton of things going on, and one of said things looks especially cool. See, local photog/manager/music-lover/tastemaker Mark C. Austin will be celebrating his 40th birthday (young’uns, I swear…), and he’s doing it with a full-on party/charity concert tonight up at The Heights Theater.
First and foremost: Mark is absolutely, utterly Good People. I was nervous the first time I met him, having admired his photography for years beforehand, but he’s just the nicest, coolest, most down-to-earth guy imaginable, always ready to chat and hang out. He’s the kind of social H-town scenester I wish I was, to be honest; I tend to be more the weirdo who hangs out in the corner and just watches everybody else, y’know?
Now, tonight’s lineup — as you can probably guess, given the list of local musician types Mark hangs out with — is pretty damn stellar. Psych-soul heroes The Tontons headline, and while it’s sadly been a few years since I’ve seen Asli Omar, Tom Nguyen, Adam Martinez, and Justin Martinez play, a smile creeps across my face thinking back on the times I have seen them. They’re a powerhouse, live, seriously, just utterly mesmerizing.
Before they hit the stage, there’s Say Girl Say, who are quirky and ethereal and fantastic and alluring, like a cross between the faerie-folk weirdness of Joanna Newsom and the sultry backwoods sirens in O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Us. goes before that, and I’ll admit I haven’t heard his latest stuff, but I’ve loved the hell out of his previously-released music, whether on the electro-pop side or the more roots-folk side.
There’s also Kay Weathers and Romina von Mohr, neither of whom I’ve heard yet but both of whom I’ve heard extremely good things about (and I liked Kay Weathers’ one and only band member, Jennifer O’Brien, in her previous band We Scare Coyotes, so that’s a definite plus). Get there early, like not long after the thing kicks off, around 6PM.
Of course, I can’t leave off the fact that this is a charity concert, because hey, that’s how MCA rolls. The proceeds go to the excellent Donate Life Texas, which helps to provide organ and tissue donations to people who desperately need them. Get out there, have fun, high-five Mark, and feel good about yourself, okay?