Have you got your Thanksgiving turkey yet? While the holiday is still a week away, you might want to get with it, as turkey supplies are down, and prices are up. How much? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, turkey prices are 23 percent higher than a year ago. In fact, the typical Thanksgiving feast will cost you 14 percent more than last year.
Oh, and as a public service, I will remind any first-time turkey roasters that you need to start thawing that bird early. And I mean early, like several days beforehand. This mistake was made at a Richards family gathering several years back, and let’s just say that the Mexican food we had that day was really good. For your convenience, a defrosting chart may be found here. Oh, and first timers should also be sure to check for the packet of giblets nestled within the bird. But that's another story for another time. Now, on to this week's concerts!
Power popsters The 1975 will be at the 713 Music Hall tonight, in support of their most recent album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language. The tour is billed as “The 1975 at Their Very Best,” a name that — appropriately, given the band’s penchant for irony — harkens back to greatest hits albums from the ‘60s. Lead singer Matty Healy has cultivated an image that might be classified as “bratty,” recently moving into the “disturbed” category with a performance a couple of weeks ago at Madison Square Garden.
During the show, Healy followed a bit of crotch grabbing (while huffing something from a tank) with an unnerving (which was probably the point) display: eating some raw meat, doing a few pushups, and then crawling inside a hollow television set. He apologized for the first part (“I’m sorry if you came with your dad and I was touching my dick.”) but let the rest of the performance speak for itself. It is comforting to know that someone is continuing the tradition of stagecraft pioneered by Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop. Though if you see a live chicken or a snake onstage, look out!
If any band has the right to say (in a collective Marlon Brando impression), “I coulda been a contender!” it’s the Arc Angels. On paper, it all made sense. After Stevie Ray Vaughan’s passing, Austin guitarists Charlie Sexton and Doyle Bramhall II joined up with Vaughan’s rhythm section of Tommy Shannon (bass) and Chris Layton (drums). Their first album was a hit, they secured performance spots on network television, and they brought the house down every night on tour. Quickly, however, things took a turn for worse, with the group’s existence resembling an episode of MTV’s “Behind the Music.” Interpersonal problems and drug addiction killed the initial momentum, and a whole bunch of potential was wasted. The Arc Angels have reunited periodically, though, providing a partially happy ending à la the obligatory third-act redemption in “Behind the Music.” The Austin rockers will perform tonight at the Heights Theater.
And speaking of our state’s capital, Angela Strehli, Austin’s Queen of the Blues, will be at the Mucky Duck on Friday to celebrate the release of her latest album, Ace of Blues. For the new record, Strehli recorded a collection of songs by the musicians who inspired her: Muddy Waters, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Elmore James, and Chuck Berry among others. Check out Bob Ruggiero’s recent interview with Strehli, in which she explains how she acquired the nickname “Ace” while performing at the Austin blues club Antone’s. Tickets are tight, but the show will be livestreamed so that no one misses out.
If guitarist Joe Satriani were not known as one of the most able shredders on the planet, he would have plenty of recognition as a pedagogue, with a list of distinguished pupils that includes Steve Vai (Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth), Larry LaLonde (Primus), and Kirk Hammett (Metallica). His albums Not of This Earth and Surfing with the Alien were the first in a continuing series of instrumental discs (18 at last count) which artfully combines technical skill with (thankfully) melody. Satriani will be at the House of Blues on Friday, performing for an overwhelmingly male audience comprised primarily of guitar players. Want a chuckle? Holler out, “Hey, does anybody have a pick?” and see what happens.