Good news, y’all. I survived! SXSW Music was a whirling swirl of musical madness, so much so that I needed an extra week to recover. But here I am, ready to navigate over 200 weekend shows to bring you my three favs.
This weekend, we recommend legendary Latin music, a local music fest for the ages, and an intimate evening with three of Austin’s finest songwriters. Keep listening local!
Friday, March 29
Grupo Fantasma album release w/Tomar & the FCs, Bourgeois Mystics
@ Mohawk Outside (912 Red River) – 9 p.m. – Tickets
Anytime Austin’s premier cumbia/salsa/rock/everything else band releases a record, it’s an event. Nearly 20-year veteran of the local music scene, Grupo Fantasma’s eclectic sound has captured the hearts and ears of discerning listeners around the world.
The group’s brand new album, “American Music: Vol. VII,” continues its trend of upbeat, danceable Latin music, while keeping a strong eye towards social issues.
Tunes like “The Wall” lay a tight funk bass line against a timely critique of immigration politics, while “LT” sends come-hither vibes through sexy, soul groove curls and punchy brass.
And don’t forget “Let Me Be,” a rad and rowdy funk jam punctuated by guest vocals from our beloved Tomar Williams of Tomar and the FCs. A record worth celebrating.
Also playing: Tomar and the FCs and art-funk act Bourgeois Mystics.
Saturday, March 30
Blanton Block Party
@ Blanton Museum of Art (200 East MLK) – 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Free
Take a moment and check out this incredible lineup put together by Blanton Museum of Art. Starting with one of Austin’s top-shelf guitarists and closing with hip hop luminaries and activists Riders Against the Storm, I can’t think of a better way to experience live music this Saturday.
And the lineup is:
- 11 a.m. – Jeff Plankenhorn, soulful americana
- 12:30 p.m. – SaulPaul, positivity-driven acoustic hip hop
- 1:30 p.m. – Mariachi los Gallos, authentic mariachi music
- 2 p.m. – Money Chicha, Latin psych/cumbia band
- 3:30 p.m. – Texas KGB, americana/country four-piece
- 5 p.m. – Good Field, melodic rock
- 6:30 p.m. – Shy Beast, glorious indie pop/rock (prepare to dance)
- 8 p.m. – Donovan Keith, explosive soul and funk
- 9:30 p.m. – Riders Against the Storm, socially-conscious hip hop duo
Sunday, March 31
Graham Wilkinson, Kalu James, Sydney Wright
Finish off your weekend with good coffee and great music from three of Austin’s finest songwriters. While it isn’t clear who’s headlining the show, the quality on hand will be exceptional.
Graham Wilkinson’s groovy singer/songwriter acousti-folk sound will fill the room with good vibes, and Sydney Wright’s indie pop wizardry will entice and enchant the audience (loop pedals and synth not required).
And since I’ve never seen Kalu James of Kalu & the Electric Joint doing his thing solo, I have no idea what to expect. Anticipate top-notch songcraft from one of our fair city’s finest musicians. An exceptional evening of music all around.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where will you be going for live music in Austin this weekend?