Rock You like a Hurricane

The Press Music Awards Showcase brings a category-five storm of tunes

Guy Schwartz & The New Jack Hippies
Local Musician of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year ("The House Is Burning Down")

Bon vivant guitarist-producer Guy Schwartz has been an integral part of our music scene so long he should be called the Godfather. Unapologetically hippie, the Jerry Garcia look-alike's community approach to music finds him playing with street poet Kool B, hepcat Heath Spencer Phillip, soul diva Gloria Edwards and blues legend Little Joe Washington. He also produced 2002's Homegrown Collective, a compilation benefiting NORML that featured 13 Houston bands doing original songs on their favorite controlled substance. When Schwartz's amp is on he usually has tape rolling, and his recent output has been prolific. -- W.M.S.
Live Sports Cafe, 8 p.m.


Best New Act

Out of the ashes of Sevenfold and 24 Count comes Silverleaf, a modern rock band with a bunch of momentum. Although the group is less than a year old, its singles "Reach Me" and a remake of the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere" have cracked the rotation at the Buzz, and the band has a sponsorship deal with Budweiser. Release of the band's debut CD, which was recorded at Sugar Hill Studios, is imminent. -- J.N.L.
M Bar, 5 p.m.

Blue October: Best Rock/Pop, Album of the Year 
(History For Sale)
Blue October: Best Rock/Pop, Album of the Year (History For Sale)

Hilary Sloan & Aunt Erma's Fillin' Station
Best Bluegrass

Drop the "alt" from "country" around Hilary Sloan. The daughter of bluegrasser Jimmy Sloan, Hilary is as country as musical ladies get here in Space City. She is a first-class old-time country fiddler and has a truly rural vocal tone like Iris Dement. She's played with Greg Wood, Opie Hendrix and the Good Luck Band, but lately has been working hard pushing her own country band, Aunt Erma's Fillin' Station. Whether belting out a Lefty Frizzell classic or harmonizing on the fly behind Reckless Kelly at a Blanco's open-mike night, Sloan is as genuinely country as blackstrap molasses. -- W.M.S.
Suede, 5 p.m.

Slop Jar Junior
Best Funk/R&B/Soul

They're Houston's own Rage/Soundgarden/Audioslave story: Lead singer leaves band for solo career, remaining members recruit equally known former singer from equally known band, new band takes on new name and new sound. SJJ's sound is much harder and more wildly diverse than that of their former outfits (Soular Slide and Global Village) could ever dream of being, as seen on their recently released debut, Anti-Everything. The majority of their sound is a mixture of hard rock and stone-cold funk, and they believe in putting on a show. Singer Chad Strader's onstage antics combine equal parts Spinal Tap, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Muppet Show. You'll never think of "Eleanor Rigby" in quite the same way again... -- B.R.
M Bar, 6 p.m.

Los Skarnales
Best Rock en Español, Best Male Vocalist (Felipe Galvan), Best Bassist (Nick Gaitan)

Who says two-tone ska has to be a black-and-white affair? A typical Los Skarnales show often involves not just two tones, but three: black, white and lots of brown. Ska is also a bit of a misnomer -- the band has been toning down the Jamaican style little by little over the years and cranking up the surf, rockabilly and punk. They even foray into Tejano occasionally -- a guest accordionist joins them on a rockin' border mota ditty "Juana." Flat cap-wearing vocalist Felipe Galvan is one of the best live performers in town, regardless of genre, and the quintet's concerts are as enervating as a double shot of Hornitos with a habanero chaser. -- J.N.L.
BAR Houston, 9 p.m.

Southern Backtones
Best Roots Rock/Rockabilly

From their early days as rocka-punkabilly nuts at Blue Iguana through their 2002 soft-porn eroto-rock statement The Formula, guitarist-singer Hank Schyma and bassist Myke Foster have pledged allegiance to the school that says licks are great, but licks and stage presence are greater. These local rock warriors don't just look like rock stars (and believe us, they know how to dress the part), they are one of the most energetic three-pieces in town. The addition of drummer Mike Blattel has given the Backtones a solid man in the middle. Smoking, big-beat sets are a Backtones trademark. -- W.M.S.
Hard Rock Cafe, 7 p.m.

Southern Lights
Best Rap/Hip-hop

Last time this hip-hop/performance art/band of non-brothas graced an HPMA stage, co-front man Rapsputin and his five-year-old son stood side-by-side and mooned the crowd. Dunno if Junior's gonna drop trou again, but expect something weird to happen. As if rap renditions of Kenny Rogers tunes, odes to puberty manuals, songs about crapping -- and not unrelatedly, James Coney Island -- weren't enough. If I may make bold enough to get my Jesse Jackson on, Southern Lights shows are always exhibitions of exhilaration, humiliation and discombobulation. -- J.N.L.
Brewery Tap, 5 p.m.

Studemont Project
Best Rap/Hip-hop

One of the newest duos to jump onto the Houston rap scene, Studemont Project has made more noise in its short existence than just about any underground hip-hop act plugging away today. Comprising MCs Caption and Article C, this group is taking the sound of the streets to a whole nother level. Maybe because those streets run through the Heights, which are pretty much uncharted territory in the realm of hip-hop. The beats are creative, yet fairly hard-core, even if they are a bit abstract for the typical H-town rap fanatic, and the rhymes are top-notch. -- M.S.
Barcode, 6 p.m.

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