Eek! It's time for SXSW spillover, the yearly event in which the hordes of bands heading to Austin collect a little gas money by playing our fair area. But I'm not one to complain: Good music is good music, no matter where or when it's played.
The Small Ponds and My Cousin, The Emperor at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton
Caitlyn Cary was once, literally, second fiddle to Ryan Adams in Whiskeytown. After Ryan's solo career (and ego) blew up the legendary alt-country outfit, Cary has managed quite well for herself. These days, the multi-talented songstress works with Matt Douglas, another singer-songwriter of note. Together, Cary and Douglas make an impressive duo that plays fairly traditional folk-rock without all the acrimony (or urgency) of prime Whiskeytown. New York's My Cousin, The Emperor add a bit more of an edge to this interesting bill.
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The Lonely Forest at Club Dada
Hailing out of Washington state, The Lonely Forest are an indie rock band with enough balls and humor to write a song called "Turn Off This Song and Go Outside." And by the way, the song is great. The Lonely Forest's newest effort, Arrows, is set for release next week and should bring the band more critical kudos and, perhaps, a few more admirers as well.
Babar, Girlfriends and Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio
Denton's Babar plays angular, jazz influenced rock that would have made the late, great Frank Zappa smile from ear to ear. Songs titles like "I Used to Travel by Air, But I Don't Anymore" and "I'd be a Weird Lady, Probably" tell a good deal of the story. The SXSW connection of this bill consists of Girlfriends, a noisy power pop outfit from Beantown and Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion, a surf-punk outfit also from Massachusetts.
Muffalo and The Missionary Position at The Double Wide
These days, the term "supergroup" gets bandied about a little too frequently for my tastes. Back in the day, a supergroup had to contain members with a popular pedigree beyond a cult band -- however bad they were, Asia was still a supergroup because it contained members of King Crimson, Yes, etc. I guess we can call Muffalo a supergroup because Derek Myers is from Mondo Generator, Gene Trautmann is from Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal, and Brett Netson is from Built To Spill. How about we just call them an excellent group?
Milktooth, Hello Lover and DeathTree at La Grange
Tennessee's Milktooth play infectious indie pop that reminds me of Cincinnati's Pomegranates. Both bands feature singers who can go from a whisper to a scream in about two seconds and both acts also take the "indie" part of indie-pop seriously. Check out Milktooth's "Your Arrows" as it presents the band's strength most succinctly. Dallas' own Hello Lover incorporate a bit more metal and punk into their material; such should set them apart from the SXSW-bound headliner quite nicely.