“There is no place in the world I’d rather be than right here in Texas,” Annie Clark — better known by her stage name, St. Vincent — said three songs into her Thursday night ACL Live set, beaming as the audience applauded wildly.
I, on the other hand, would have preferred she move 6 inches to the left.
A moving curtain obscured three-quarters of the stage for the first several songs of Clark’s 90-minute performance, blocking many viewers’ lines of sight. Not exactly the best way to build momentum, but if the show opened with a smolder instead of a roaring flame, it also served to represent Clark’s metamorphosis into a live solo artist. The avant-garde pop star’s decision to perform without a backing band on her Fear the Future tour has polarized some fans, but her steely determination and cacophonous outbursts proved so captivating that, by the time the curtains opened completely to reveal the singer in a pink leather bodysuit and matching thigh-high boots, it was clear St. Vincent would be running her own show. (She plays a second show Friday night.)
Clark has divided her current tour into two acts, the first a chronological romp through her first four albums: 2007’s “Marry Me,” 2009’s “Actor,” 2011’s “Strange Mercy” and 2014’s “St. Vincent.” As the demure pop leanings of her earlier material gave way to more abrasive sonic textures, the author lost herself amidst the explosive beats and disorienting strobe lights. She wrung dissonant slabs of noise from her signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar and spat off the stage during “Cheerleader,” swishing the lyrics around in her mouth before delivering them with a sneer: “I don’t wanna be your cheerleader no more.”
She wasn’t. We were all hers.
Moments like these showed Clark’s penchant for vintage arena rock largesse, but she displayed pop star candor when she unstrapped her guitar and sat down in the center of the stage to sing the vulnerable alt-ballad “Strange Mercy.” Artists often use their stage personas to build a wall between themselves and their fans, but Clark eagerly engaged the audience between cathartic performances.
“We all know the world is on fire right now and everything is insane. We’re at a crucial arc in human history,” she said before playing electro-funk banger “Digital Witness,” whose “What’s the point of even sleeping?” refrain sounds like Prince’s “1999” updated for disenfranchised millennials. “But you know what? There’s always something to dance about. There’s always something to be joyful about. So let’s (expletive) go!”
Clark devoted act two exclusively to her latest album, October’s “Masseduction.” A close-up of the singer wearing a stupefied expression swelled on the video screen behind her and gave way to the album’s crackling opener, “Hang on Me.” Surrealistic videos of crumbling telephone cakes, bandaged women receiving plastic surgery and hyperspace time travel accompanied other songs, and Clark hurled herself into the material with such vigor that an already-spirited act one turned out to be merely a warm-up. She ripped tasteful solos on the hypnotic “Los Ageless” and the sensual “Savior,” and she silenced the room with the spellbindingly melancholy “Happy Birthday, Johnny.”
Before playing the yearning, towering “New York,” which solicited the loudest applause of the night, Clark thanked the audience for their enthusiasm and boasted that she had “been to at least two keg parties here when my sister was at UT.” She buttered them up further by changing the song’s opening line — “New York isn’t New York without you, love” — to something more geographically appropriate: “Austin isn’t Austin without Texans.”
“It’s a little bit of circular logic, but just go with it,” she deadpanned after the ad-lib. And go with it, we did — because ACL Live isn’t ACL Live without St. Vincent.
Capital One is returning to Antone’s during South by Southwest this year, filling the confab’s first weekend with four shows mixing national acts such as Benjamin Booker and Warpaint with notable local talent including Shakey Graves and Band of Heathens.
The shows run Friday, March 9, through Monday, March 12, with live music from 9 p.m. to midnight each night (plus DJ Manny spinning from 8 to 9 p.m.). Admission is free for SXSW registrants; there’s also a free general-admission line for the public, if the room isn’t full with badge-holders.
Shawn Colvin, “The Starlighter” (Amazon Music). A sequel of sorts to her 1998 children’s album “Holiday Songs and Lullabies,” Colvin’s new album further plays out her fascination with composer Alec Wilder and illustrator Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s music book “Lullabies and Night Songs.” Though the 14 songs are based on traditional standards such as “Hush Little Baby” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhody,” this record isn’t just for kids; Colvin’s exquisite, sophisticated arrangements make “The Starlighter” a richly rewarding musical experience for listeners of all ages. She’s also created a series of enchanting illustrated videos to accompany several songs, including this one for the title track:
Wilson Marks, “Peregrine.” A singer-songwriter who draws heavily upon jazz overtones, Marks has been one of Austin’s more prolific recording artists in recent years, following 2015’s “What Was Made for Weathering” with last fall’s “Gift of a Magpie” and now this 13-song collection. Working with upright bassist Daniel Durham and drummer Aaron Parks, Marks maks music that’s refreshingly all over the map, from the minute-long piano vignettes “First and Last” and “Tacit” to the exploratory instrumentals “Petrichor” and “Backwards Foreword” to the five-minute offbeat rambler “Traveling Song.” Release show Feb. 24 at Cactus Cafe. Here’s the track “Rainbows”:
Arielle LaGuette, “Case of the Times” EP. Following up last year’s self-titled debut EP, LaGuette consistently charmes on these five folk-and-jazz-influenced tunes that focus on her sweetly swinging vocals and ukulele playing. Release show Feb. 22 at Stubb’s indoor. Here’s the opening track, “Won’t Lose With Love”:
MARCH 2: Sue Foley, “The Ice Queen” (Stony Plain), in-store March 4 at Waterloo Records.
MARCH 2: Ralph White & Steve Marsh, “Two Distinguished Gentlemen,” release show March 2 at Beerland.
MARCH 2: Sarah Sharp, “Wake” EP.
MARCH 3: Soap Boxers, “Fabricated Hollywood,” release show March 3 at One-2-One Bar.
MARCH 8: Progger, “Dystopia,” release show March 8 at One-2-One Bar.
MARCH 9: Uncle Walt’s Band, “Anthology: Those Boys From Carolina, They Sure Could Sing” (Omnivore).
MARCH 9: Patterson Barrett, “Give ’Em What They Want,” release show April 10 at Saxon Pub.
MARCH 16: Caroline Says, “No Fool Like an Old Fool” (Western Vinyl).
MARCH 23: Sword, “Used Future” (Razor & Tie), release show March 21 at Mohawk.
MARCH 23: Erika Wennerstrom, “Sweet Unknown” (Partisan).
MARCH 23: Johnny Chops & the Razors, self-titled.
MARCH 30: Holy Wave, “Adult Fear” (Reverb Appreciation Society).
APRIL 13: Wood & Wire, “North of Despair” (Blue Corn).
APRIL 13: Josh T. Pearson, “The Straight Hits!” (Mute).
APRIL 14: Andy Macintyre, “Melomania” EP, release show April 14 at Antone’s.
APRIL 20: Ty Richards, “Welcome to Flat Earth.”
APRIL 20: Arkansas Dave, self-titled (Big Indie).
APRIL 27: Mobley, “Fresh Lies, Vol. 1.”
MAY 4: Shakey Graves, “Can’t Wake Up” (Dualtone).
MAY 4: Jeff Plankenhorn, title TBA.
MAY 25: Patricia Vonne, “Top of the Mountain,” release show May 26 at Continental Club.
The South by Southwest Music Festival added a slew of new artists Thursday, and with this round, we’re starting to see some significant names roll in. California rockers Cold War Kids and Wavves, synth pop duo Sylvan Esso and “Young Dumb and Broke” teen icon Khalid have all been added.
Indie rockers Speedy Ortiz, electro duo Classixx, rock duo Japandroids and Russian protest punks, Pussy Riot also slide in on this go round. as do Americana act Old Crow Medicine Show and rappers Homeboy Sandman, Doughbeezy and MC Frontalot. Indie rockers Superchunk and rapper DMC will represent for the old school at the fest.
The festival home team will include Austin artists Whisky Shivers, the Digital Wild, Riders Against the Storm and Sertified.
Festival organizers have also released a limited number of wristbands, now available online at wristbands.sxsw.com/music for $179.
Abisha Uhl (Minneapolis MN)
The Afroknotts (Houston TX)
Alejandro Franco (Mexico City MEXICO)
Amy Becker (London UK-ENGLAND)
Ari (Mount Vernon NY)
A-Town GetDown (Austin TX)
August Eve (Los Angeles CA)
Ayuma (Austin TX)
B-Hi (Harlem NY)
B1 (Austin TX)
Barrie (Brooklyn NY)
Betonkust (Breukelen NETHERLANDS)
Big Ro (Austin TX)
Billa (New York NY)
Billie Eilish (Highland Park CA)
BLANG (Orange County CA)
Blvck Spvde (Saint Louis MO)
Bre-Z (Philadelphia PA)
Brooks Mosher b2b Submersible Machines (Austin TX)
Buffalo Blanco (Monterrey MEXICO)
BUHU (DJ Set) (Austin TX)
Buxton (Houston TX)
Calvin Martyr (Killeen TX)
Cha’keeta B (Austin TX)
Chaz-O (Bridgeport CT)
Cheryl Rivera (Puerto Rico PR)
Chris Anthony (Brooklyn NY)
Chris Berardo (Silvermine CT)
Chrissi Poland (Jersey City NJ)
Classixx (Los Angeles CA)
Clear Soul Forces (Detroit MI)
CLOVES (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
Cold War Kids (Silverlake CA)
Colin Elmore & The Danville Train (Nashville TN)
The Compozers (London UK-ENGLAND)
Confucius Jones (Austin TX)
Dany F (Medellín COLOMBIA)
Dee Jay Silver (Nashville TN)
Deer Vibes (San Antonio TX)
Demo Taped (Atlanta GA)
The Digital Wild (Austin TX)
DJ Chip Banks (Youngstown OH)
DJ Costa (Boston MA)
DJ DB 405 (Oaklahoma City OK)
DJ J Heat (Orange NJ)
DJ RLE (Nacogdoches TX)
DJ TradeMark (Austin TX)
DMC (Queens NY)
Don Q (Bronx NY)
Dontae (San Diego CA)
Doughbeezy (Houston TX)
Dr. Joe (Austin TX)
Dre’ L.O.C. (San Antonio TX)
Duhrdy (Austin TX)
Durand Jones & The Indications (Bloomington IN)
Eliot Lipp (Austin TX)
Epic B (Brooklyn NY)
Eric Slick (Richmond VA)
Essaie Pas (Montréal CANADA)
Faze Miyake (London CA)
FEDEL (Tulsa OK)
Findlay (London UK-ENGLAND)
Finneas (Los Angeles CA)
Five 2 Oh (Corpus Christi TX)
Folk Family Revival (Houston TX)
Folk Uke (Austin TX)
Frank Waln (He Dog SD)
G-Jet (Austin TX)
Germans (Brooklyn NY)
G Flip (Melbourne AUSTRALIA)
grav3y (Austin TX)
Harddrive (Austin TX)
Hardwork Movement (Philadelpia PA)
Harry Edohoukwa (Dallas TX)
Homeboy Sandman (New York NY)
HorseShoe Gang (Long Beach CA)
I Am Bearwood (Austin TX)
iLL Fated Natives (Philadelphia PA)
Interstellar Funk (Amsterdam NETHERLANDS)
In The Valley Below (Grand Rapids MI)
Japandroids (Vancouver CANADA)
Jaykae (Birmingham UK-ENGLAND)
Jay Prince (London UK-ENGLAND)
Jillisa Lynn (Rochester NY)
Jim-E-O (Austin TX)
Jonathan Terrell (Austin TX)
Josh Rouse (Nashville TN)
Kadence (Oklahoma City OK)
Kajmir Kwest (Los Angeles CA)
Khalid (El Paso TX)
Kojo Funds (London UK-ENGLAND)
Kris Kasanova (Brooklyn NY)
Kwesta (Johannesburg SOUTH AFRICA)
Kxng Crooked (Long Beach CA)
Lawrence (New York NY)
LAX (Lagos NIGERIA)
Lee Fields & The Expressions (Brooklyn NY)
Levon (Nashville TN)
Lil’ Buck Sinegal (Lafayette LA)
Lil Xan (Redlands CA)
Living Colour (New York NY)
Loki (Austin TX)
Louis Futon (Philadelphia PA)
Lucette (Edmonton CANADA)
Lucy Dacus (Richmond VA)
MC Frontalot (Brooklyn NY)
Mic Taylor (Austin TX)
Miss Lavelle White and the L Men (Austin TX)
mluna (Austin TX)
Mosie (Boston MA)
Naaz (Rotterdam NETHERLANDS)
Nailah Blackman (Trinidad And Tobago TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO)
Navelle Hice (Chester PA)
Neila (Parkland FL)
Niena Drake (Chicago IL)
Niki Ellis (New Britain CT)
Noah Cyrus (Los Angeles CA)
No Parents (Los Angeles CA)
Old Crow Medicine Show (Nashville TN)
Olivia Noelle (Queens NY)
Oscar Black (Hartford CT)
Paul McDonald (Nashville TN)
Pete Molinari (London UK-ENGLAND)
Pixel Terror (Los Angeles CA)
Prophet (Los Angeles CA)
Pussy Riot (Moscow RUSSIA)
Red Dirt Rangers (Stillwater OK)
Redd Volkaert (Vancouver CANADA)
Rel (Charlotte NC)
Ricky Rebel (Los Angeles CA)
Riders Against the Storm (Austin TX)
RJ Comer (White Bluff TN)
RMBLR (Atlanta GA)
Ruby Ibarra (San Lorenzo CA)
Ruslan (San Diego CA)
Sam Himself (New York NY)
Savannah Ré (Toronto CANADA)
SERTIFIED (Austin TX)
Speedy Ortiz (Massachusetts MA)
The Steoples (Los Angeles CA)
Stimulator Jones (Roanoke VA)
STLNDRMS (Atlanta GA)
Street Hymns (Grand Prairie TX)
Superchunk (Chapel Hill NC)
Swoope (Akron OH)
Sylvan Esso (Durham NC)
Tall Juan (Far Rockaway NY)
Tall Paul/Mic Jordan (Minneapolis MN)
Tenille Townes (Nashville TN)
The Texas Gentlemen (Dallas TX)
TITAN (Dj Set) (Mexico City MEXICO)
Tree (Dallas TX)
Turn Up Broz (Rancho Cucamonga CA)
TX Connect (Dallas TX)
Ty Brasel (Memphis TN)
The Ugly Beats (Austin TX)
Uninamise (Brooklyn NY)
Veronica Ortuño (Austin TX)
Vivanativa (Puerto Rico PR)
Waker (Nashville TN)
WAVVES (San Diego CA)
Whiskey Shivers (Austin TX)
Zac Wilkerson (Killeen TX)
This list is subject to change and artists may drop.
More than a dozen artists in town for South by Southwest will play KUTX’s eighth annual “Live at the Four Seasons” shows March 14-17, including Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Ghostland Observatory and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.
The shows run from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday-Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday during SXSW’s final week. In addition to being broadcast live on the air, the shows also are open to the public, with $15 admission including a breakfast taco, granola bar and refillable coffee. Proceeds benefits the Trail Foundation’s Brazos Bluff project.
Here’s the full lineup, which features a mix of national, international and local acts:
Wednesday, March 14
7 a.m.: Kalu & the Electric Joint
8 a.m.: Knox Fortune
9 a.m.: Bully
10 a.m.: Erika Wennerstrom
Thursday, March 15
7 a.m.: Melat
8 a.m.: Naked Giants
9 a.m.: David Ramirez
10 a.m.: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
The mornings also feature a second stage with children’s music curated by KUTX’s “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child” program. Those performances carry a discounted admission of $5 for adults and children (still including the food and drink amenities, but not access to the main stage). The lineup for those shows:
Wednesday, March 14
8:30 a.m.: Red Yarn
9:30 a.m.: JareBear
Thursday, March 15
8:30 p.m.: Ms. Kat
9:30 a.m.: SaulPaul
Friday, March 16
8:30 a.m.: Laura Doherty
9:30 a.m.: 123 Andres
Saturday, March 17
9:30 a.m.: Lucky Diaz & the Family Jam Band
10:30 a.m.: Sugar Free Allstars
Limited self-parking in the Four Seasons garage is available for attendees until 1 p.m. at a discounted $5 rate.
Vegas-based arena rockers Imagine Dragons hit the road for the North American leg of their “Evolve” tour this summer. The tour arrives in Austin in the heat of summer, with an August 2 appearance at the Austin360 Amphitheater.
Friday: Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Revue at Stubb’s outdoor. When the Black Keys co-founder taped “Austin City Limits” late last year, it was a revelatory experience, in part because of the A-list backing band he brought with him (including studio legends Gene Chrisman on drums and Bobby Wood on keys). The same lineup will be with him for this show, along with bluesman Robert Finley — who had a breakout cameo on that “ACL” show — and opening act Shannon & the Clams, sporting a new Auerbach-produced album. $30-$35. 7 p.m. doors. 801 Red River St. stubbsaustin.com. — P.B.
Saturday: Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Association Hall of Fame Show at Paramount Theatre. The 2018 inductees for this annual event are the late Buddy Holly and Mickey Newbury along with Ray Wylie Hubbard and Liz Rose, with a cast of performers paying tribute to them that’s equally impressive: Eric Church, Maren Morris, Joe Ely, Radney Foster, Larry Gatlin, Lori McKenna, Hayes Carll, Jack Ingram, Hillary Lindsey, Bob Schneider, the Eli Young Band and Chris Newbury. The four honorees will join a group of past inductees that has included Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett and Cindy Walker. $75-$250. 7:30 p.m. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — P.B.
Saturday: Raw Paw Arson Benefit Show at St. Elmo Brewing. At the beginning of the year, local indie publishing house and record label Raw Paw suffered a devastating blow when their studio was burned down in an incident authorities are investigating as arson. The community has rallied to help the collective get back on their feet. They describe this two-stage bash as a “final push” in a two-month fundraising effort. Live band hip-hop crew Sip Sip leads a bill that also includes excellent electro jam outfit Trouble in the Streets and Smiile. The event features an art show of prints “that barely survived the fire.” Free, donation suggested 7 p.m. doors. 440 E. St. Elmo Road. facebook.com/rawpawzine — D.S.S.
Saturday: Capyac presents Who is Donny Flamingo at Empire. We’re dubious about the existence of the 5-foot ice sculpture of a flamingo promised in the Facebook description for this event, but this is a crew that made pancakes on stage during their Austin City Limits Music Fest set, so anything is possible. Ice accoutrements aside, the electro-funk outfit has curated a solid bill of electronic dance music including JackLndn from the U.K., Ishi from Dallas and Wrestlers from Houston. Show up ready to move and groove. $12-$15. 7 p.m. doors. 606 E. Seventh St. empireatx.com. — D.S.S.
Dave Mason at One World Theatre
Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s
No Idea Festival at the Museum of Human Achievement
St. Vincent, Tuck & Patti at ACL Live
Philip Glass Ensemble at Bass Concert Hall
Mike Gordon at Emo’s
Fruit Bats solo, Vetiver solo at 3Ten
Wade Bowen, Mayeux & Broussard at Mohawk outdoor
La Cuenta Son Machin at Cactus Cafe
Woggles, Ugly Beats, Blues Specialists at Continental Club
Blastfamous USA, Fort Never, Dark Palaces, Breezah at Swan Dive
Los Texmaniacs, Johnny Nicholas & Hellbent, Delinquents, Denny Freeman at Saxon Pub
Quiet Company, Harvest Thieves, SaulPaul, Dossey, Deer Fellow at Scoot Inn
A-Town Getdown, Carper Family, Little Mazarn at Antone’s
Ella Vos, Freya Ridings at Parish
Afrofreque CD release at Spider House Ballroom
Elias Haslanger Quintet at Parker Jazz Club
Beat Root Revival at El Mercado Backstage
Western Youth at Stubb’s indoor
Go Fever, Honey & Salt, PR Newman, Sun Machine at Hole in the Wall
Ray Prim Quartet, American Dreamer at Townsend
Flying Balalaika Brothers, Atash, Sanco Loop at Sahara Lounge
Rebelution, Raging Fyah at ACL Live
Zigaboo Modeliste’s Funk Revue, New Breed Brass Band at Antone’s
Hippie Sabotage, Melvv, Oliver Francis, Jayfresh & Will Good at Emo’s
Donavon Frankenreiter, Matt Grundy at Mohawk outdoor
Joywave, Sasha Sloan, Kopps at Parish (sold out)
Wilson Marks, John Elliott dual album release at Cactus Cafe
Texas Gentlemen, Ramsay Midwood, Redd Volkaert at Continental Club
Guy Forsyth, South Austin Moonlighters, Shelley King at Saxon Pub
Futuristic, IshDarr, ScribeCash, Ajax Stacks at Barracuda
Magic Giant at Stubb’s indoor
Peterson Brothers at Lamberts
Dale Watson at Broken Spoke
Charlie Christians at Radio Coffee & Beer
MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North at HEB Center
Foreigner at ACL Live
NF, Nightly at Stubb’s outdoor
B.J. Thomas at One World Theatre
Nothing More, Contortionist, Big Story, Kirra at Emo’s
Kevin Griffin, Jaimee Harris at 3Ten
Jordan Davis, Jillian Jaqueline at Parish
Resentments, John Gaar, Denim at Saxon Pub
Imperial Starlighters, Dale Watson at C-Boy’s
Ralph White & Steve Marsh in-store at End of an Ear
The expo is a solid networking opportunity for musicians and industry professionals. Representatives from music support nonprofits and organizations will be available to provide information on resources available to the Austin music community.
Back in the early aughts, local hip-hop production powerhouse Carnival Beats helped reshape the sound of Texas hip-hop, by writing beats for Houston rap songs that became ubiquitous hits. Their catalog includes classics like “Purple Stuff” by Big Moe, “Pourin’ Up” by Pimp C and “Sittin’ Sideways” by Paul Wall. They also produced eight tracks on “Who Is Mike Jones?” the Houston’s rappers breakout release that included the songs “Back Then” and “Still Tippin’.”
The company was family operation built around the music of Salih and Tomar Williams. On March 8, the day before the South by Southwest Festival and Conference kicks off, the brothers are bringing back the old school action with a special showcase featuring H-Town rap heavy Mike Jones, Tamale kingpin, Chingo Bling and more special guests to be announced. They will perform Jones’ classics live with him for the first time.
The event is billed as “The Past, Present, Future Live Show,” so they’ll also be bringing some new heat. In addition to backing the Houston rappers, each of the brothers will showcase his current project, Tomar Williams’ soul powerhouse, Tomar and the FC’s and Salih Williams’ new blues project, Dirty Water will each perform. You can also expect to see a few members of the family’s next generation in the mix too.