Crucial Concert Countdown: New Years Eve Edition – Music


New Years 1981

Vegas & Volstead Lounge Hotel ($ 25-30)

Returning after a sabbatical year, the Hotel Vegas and the Volstead Lounge are turning the time machine to pay homage to artists of decades past. The 2019 edition saw a cast of Most Locals celebrating 1959 icons (Buddy Holly included, natch), while the previous year only went back to 2001. This year goes back four decades to 1981 and features alter-ego sets paying homage to luminaries Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Ramones, The Clash, The Pretenders, Blondie, Duran Duran, and more. Scheduled appearances include Moving Panoramas members Leslie Sisson and Cara Tillman replacing Joan Jett and Pat Benatar respectively; DD Dagger injecting his punk energy into the B-52s; and Amplified Heat tapping into the Texas blues fire under the name ZZ Top. Also in attendance will be troubadour PT Banks, with a voice described in these pages as “a piercing arrow of warmth and melancholy”, as well as soul-rock singer Chief Cleopatra and members of the psychedelic Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band. Finally, members of the garage punks Dikes of Holland will pass; one of the many groups detailed in the 2013 documentary Mondo Fuzz, a film shot locally by Andy Ray Lemon, who will play DJ Youth Racket alongside DJ sets from Hollywood Jones and LA Scum. – Greg Stitt

Cory Henry, RC and the Gritz

Antone nightclub ($ 35)

Formerly of jazz funkateers Snarky Puppy, singer / keyboardist Cory Henry has worked with Everyone from Kanye West (with whom he won a Grammy Album of the Year name for Donda) and Bruce Springsteen to Kirk Franklin and Imagine Dragons. The Brooklynite’s 21st-century take on the sweet soul of the 70s / 80s earned her another Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album last year. Something to say and acclaimed for this year’s funky extravagance Best of me. With RC & the Gritz from Dallas, aka Erykah Badu’s musical director RC Williams and his team, this concert won’t be a good touching and emotional moment. – Michael Toland

Nané NYE with BLK ODYSSY, Superstar TC

Empire control room and garage ($ 30)

Welcome to the Jungle NYE paints a wonderfully comprehensive picture of Austin’s top music in 2021. Extravagant indie-soul project Nané set up falsetto-fueled fireworks on last year’s self-titled debut album, also appearing in a local series Twenty Years: Austin. In the most acclaimed local record of the year, BLK ODYSSY blended funk and hip-hop for a tragically revitalizing debut. VINTAGE BLACK. Choreography-fueled pop troupe TC Superstar created the phone addictive anthem “Waste My Time” on As seen on tv, while sad boy duo Me Nd Adam played self-deprecating bags of dirt in the “I Only Feel Alive When I’m Stoned” video. Vincent Antone and Branx join. – Rachel Rascoe


ACL Live at the Moody Theater ($ 69-89)

Good news: Unlike their sell-out concert in Mohawk in July, you have over 24 hours’ notice to get tickets to Spoon’s concert in NYE, where you can expect both old and new hits. Even better news: Seating is always an option, and you’ll come out on a high note with two more sets of preeminent Austin music from the all-new John Doe Pre-Pandemic Transplant Folk Trio, as well as signers from Merge Records. Sweet Spirit, whose label its debut made its way into the top 10 of Kevin Curtin’s “100 Best Albums” list for 2020. – Greg Stitt

NYE Cosmic Disco

The Far Out Lounge & Stage $ 30 (VIP $ 200)

Grooves, grooves, grooves from a lysergic trio of bands from Austin that has over 25 members and all put on a festival-ready show – which is another way of saying it would be fun to get tripped up on mushrooms and dancing. Fit for the concert banner, the psychedelic circus Afrobeat Golden Dawn Arkestra continues to evolve its disco impulses with the recent singles “Phenomenal” and “Success”. The superfónicos rock a bouncy Afro-Colombian funk sound infused with the distinct melodies of a gaita and a voice in Spanish. All three groups feature saxophones, but Viben & the Submersibles lean on the instrument’s elegance with a heavy-keyboard progressive style dubbed “scuba funk”. – Kevin Curtin

Ballroom Blitz with Big Bill, Mama Duke

The ballroom ($ 20)

In May, Spider House’s disco-balled room side reopened and renamed it simply “The Ballroom.” Continuing the outpost started in the ’90s for Best Austin Sounds, New Years Eve features Big Bill, with stuttering 2021 singles like “Coma,” at the perfect precipice of rage and goof. Fearless, awe-inspiring rapper Mama Duke lives to the 2020 title Ballsy, while alternative hip-hop actor Chucky Blk twists complex, eye-catching stories into unexpected forms. On the punk side, the salty-sweet satanism of Lord Friday the 13th, heard on the last EPIrrational hymn, joins Sodomy Cop’s super-fast thrash metal music video. The trio of psychedelic siblings complete the Boleys.– Rachel Rascoe

San Gabriel, Deep Time, Torre Blake

Radio Café & Beer ($ 15-20)

Known for his longtime participation in the famous trash-grass band Whiskey Shivers, Austin artist James Bookert swaps the loud banjo for a smooth synth in the role of San Gabriel. Born from downtime between tours at a liquor store, the stylistic leap from left field lands elegantly on new singles like “Tape Machine”, with programmed drums and dreamy riffs. Longtime collaborators Jennifer Moore and Adam Jones continue charming sinister post-punk odes under the name Deep Time, off-recording since the debut of Hardly Art in 2012. The light, immersive touch to Torre Blake’s sound evokes synergy pop and R&B – try Magna Carda’s new collaboration “ILikeIt”.– Rachel Rascoe

Spliff Kazoo and his slingshots

A little tropical (free)

I’m surprised Spliff Kazoo even knows it’s NYE ​​because he’s always on island time. His band, the self-proclaimed “# 1 Tropical Western Lounge Act in Austin,” performing in the spacious and comfortable courtyard of Kinda Tropical is an idyllic option for those looking for a New Years experience that is both relaxing and entertaining. A spirit journey from the Bermuda Triangle of hilarious gags and delicious coconut tunes, the tiki crew represents a welcome scene for those who love the Jimmy Buffett concept, but not the music, or those who mean aloha. at the stroke of midnight while in a slow conga line.– Kevin Curtin

A parade of acts of tribute

I don’t need to explain this distinction, but – since I’m paid per word – I will: a “cover band” plays songs recognizable by a variety of artists, while a “tribute” performer. the material of a group. Neither should be confused with a musical “impersonator” who totally immerses himself in the character of an artist like Elvis Presley, Madonna or (for whatever reason) Wayne Newton.

The most artistically viable of these three sets is, in fact, the act of homage. That’s a smart area to grab: The demand for corporate concerts means they earn more than the average original bands, and they don’t even need to write and record music. Going to see a NYE tribute is a solid decision as they are fun and if you get drunk enough you might forget you are not seeing the genuine item. Here are three good ones.


3ten Austin City Limits Live ($ 55-65)

Original material: Talking heads

Is the real act dead? : David Byrne and Co. are still alive, but went their separate ways in 1991.

Creativity of the name: A- (Is Byrne-ing Down the House taken?)

Additional information: Austin act, largely embodying theStop making sense concert film, hits their marks musically and goes full-show with dance choreography and oversized lamp / blazer elements. Andy Harn could be a non-union replacement for Byrne and sings even more like him.

dead eye

ABGB ($ 25)

Original material: Grateful death

Is the real act dead? : Jerry Garcia died in 1995 and four of Dead’s keyboardists perished, but three members continue to perform with John Mayer in Dead & Company.

Creativity of the name: B- (On GD Tributes Index, lands solidly between cringey Grapefruit Ed and Joe Russo’s brilliant Almost Dead)

Additional information: Local Ten Year Dead Tribute anchored by Joe Faulhaber (guitar, vocals Jerry) and Shadd Scott (drums, vocals “Bobby”) who excels with deep and varied set lists and properly nested song transitions. We could all bear to hear “Eyes of the World” right now.

Super crawling

Indian roll ($ 15)

Original material: David Bowie

Is the real act dead?: Yes, Bowie died in 2016.

Creativity of the name: B (Better than the alternative, Scary Monsters)

Additional information: Adam Sultan, former member of Poi Dog Pondering, runs the longtime local Bowie with grace and good nature, covering the Bowie material everyone wants to hear at their annual NYE masquerade fun.– Kevin Curtin

Honky-Tonk fireworks

As the Turnpike Troubadours once foresighted, “cheap champagne doesn’t ease the pain of ringing in the year,” but two steps in 2022 may well be the auspicious signal to turn the page.

The Broken Spoke enters year 58 without legendary owner James White, who passed away last January, but Alvin Crow has been running the Spoke for half a century. From legendary New Years violin strings to classic honky-tonk with the best dance floor repertoire in town.

Meanwhile, the White Horse wraps up its decade anniversary this month with truth slingers Croy & the Boys helping make resolutions with biting wit and country political punk reshuffles on this year.Of course they do EP. The Reeves brothers and Silo Road made the toast.

More room to move may be available on the outskirts of town, and South Austin’s dive favorite Sam’s Town Point has a fight with regulars over the cosmic grooves of Ramsay Midwood, the psyche-tinted country of Rattlesnake Milk. and Cactus Lee settling in their new home port. Driftwood’s Mercer Dancehall is home to classic croon Weldon Henson, who recorded his 2021 live album there, alongside songwriter George Carver ($ 30).

Northeast, Coupland Dancehall hosts the biggest bill to drop the ball with Kevin Fowler ($ 40). Country mainstay Red Dirt proves he can still get itCowardly, strong and crazy a quarter of a century after the start of his career in Texas, with Braxton Keith, from Midland, opening behind his own ascentNeon dreams.– Doug Freeman


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