Continental Club, June 12
Who knew the White Stripes would spawn a bunch of guitar-drums duos? Austin garage-rockers Sideshow Tragedy — Nathan Singleton on resonator and Jeremy Harrell on drums — didn’t start out as a duo, but when their bass player quit they just never replaced him. Both self-taught musicians, their brand of garage-blues is about as close to slash-and-burn primitive as it gets, with all knobs turned to 11. Their fifth album, Capital, finds Singleton stretching his writing chops, with the band turning in its most sophisticated disc to date. Not that sophistication is necessarily what these blues bashers are all about. With Eric Tessmer Band and Hooka Hey. (WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH)
McGonigel's Mucky Duck, June 12
As the son of Flatlander Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Colin Gilmore inherited a legacy of country music as wide-open as the South Plains sky, and — no surprise — has turned out to be a gifted and thoughtful songwriter himself, though hardly a carbon copy. The Austin resident has now put out three albums and two EPs since 2004’s The Day the World Stopped and Spun the Other Way, as well appearing on tribute albums to Billy Joe Shaver and Nick Lowe. His most recent LP, 2013’s Kickstarter-funded The Wild and Hollow, mixes his dad’s cosmic Americana with the sharp-eyed power-pop of a band like Squeeze, including a real gem in closing track “Raging Eyes.”
Boom 92’s “Kings of the Mic”
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, June 13
The rise of vintage (or “classic”) hip-hop radio in the past couple of years has logically prompted an uptick in old-school package tours where artists have time to play their hit and a fan favorite or two before passing the mic to the next folks waiting backstage. Topping the bill on this nationwide “Kings of The Mic” jaunt is one of the rap game’s leading old-school heavyweights, LL Cool J, alongside longtime turntable assassin DJ Z-Trip; and Strong Island message mafia Public Enemy, whose rhymes only seem more potent and prophetic with age. Meanwhile, representing for H-Town is only the greatest MC in local rap history, Scarface; and a virtual classic mixtape of Doug E. Fresh (“The Show”), Whodini (“Friends”), Big Daddy Kane “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’”), DJ Jazzy Jeff (“Summertime”), Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 (“The Message”), and the Sugarhill Gang, whose “Rapper’s Delight” could easily be an alternate name for the tour.
House of Blues, June 13
Beth Hart has been a star among industry insiders and hardcore blues maniacs for nearly two decades, but the reason she’s filling mid-size theaters now can be traced back to the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, when Jeff Beck asked her to sing Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind” as part of the evening's Buddy Guy tribute. That was pretty much all it took. Besides the instant bump her lights-out performance on national TV gave her — President Obama led the standing ovation — the broadcast’s producer and musical director wound up co-producing Hart’s next album, this year’s deeply personal (she wrote all the songs herself) mixture of high-powered R&B and more intimate singer-songwriter moments, Better Than Home. With Matt Anderson.
Anderson Fair, June 13
Spring native BettySoo calls Austin home now, and she fits right in among that city’s best writers. It doesn’t hurt to have a voice that causes chills, which Soo uses to great effect on her new album When We’re Gone, a hard look into crumbling lives, burning marriages, and the soft day-to-day psychological violence that fills many lives. Soo is nothing if not empathetic, and songs like “Things Are Gonna Get Worse” are her stock in trade. Misery and depression never sounded so good as when she sings tunes like “Listen” or “100 Different Ways of Being Alone” from the new album. The old spaghetti restaurant is the perfect place to hear this way under-appreciated songwriter. With Jaimee Harris. (WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH)
SIX MORE SHOWS WORTH CONSIDERING
Uncle Lucius: Soulful, rootsy Texas rockers are releasing brand-new LP The Light. Cactus Music in-store at 5:30 p.m., too. (Warehouse Live, June 12)
Blowfly: There’s nobody quite like “The Original Dirty Rapper”; with Modfag and Black Slacks. (Rudyard’s, June 12)
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Festival de Sabor: Featuring Isis “The Voice,” Jorge Orta y su Tumbaka, Michelle Brava, Yamilka Yoko (“La Japonesa Salsera”) and a special tribute to late Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz. (Jones Plaza, June 13)
Project Armageddon: Get a sweet limited-edition PA flask at the local doom-metallers' CD release party and launch towards The Maryland Doomfest; with Sanctus Bellum (reunion show), the Freakouts, PuraPharm and the Wheel Workers. (Numbers, June 13)
Rhett Miller: Two sets all intimate-like with the Old 97’s front man. (McGonigel’s Mucky Duck, June 13)
Hardwell: Dutch mega-DJ is two-time champ of DJ Magazine’s annual “Top 100” poll. (Stereo Live, June 14)