Studemont Project, Million Year Dance, Peekaboo Theory, the Tontons

By the time these four groups take the Warehouse studio stage, SXSW will mercifully be a distant memory — the hangover may have even dissipated, but don't count on it — and this partial reproduction of last week's Press-sponsored showcase at Austin's Tap Room represents the official end of the SXSW spillover period Houston enjoys every March. But only symbolically, because none of the four is just passing through on their way home. They are home. Together, they represent a very encouraging trend in the local music scene: artists who refuse to be constrained by any one readily identifiable style, instead drawing from several to arrive at an utterly unique sound. This applies across the board: Studemont Project's blend of conscious hip-hop with psychedelic rock and Houston-centric lyrics; Million Year Dance's mystical trance-rock, as moody and otherworldly as Dead Can Dance or Peter Gabriel; Peekaboo Theory's pitting indie and hard-rock guitars against tribal percussion and hip-hop grooves; and the femme-fronted Tontons' juxtaposition of earthy blues and lilting Sundays-like folk-pop. It certainly hasn't always been the case, but at the moment local music lovers have a lot to look forward to. Come see why.

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