Long before the White Stripes became one of the decade’s definitive bands – hell, before Jack and Meg even met, let alone married and divorced – Jucifer were doing the ridiculously loud boy-girl guitar-drums duo thing, only with Amber Valentine handling the amped-up fretwork and Edgar Livengood (Valentine’s offstage companion as well) pounding out the rhythm. He uses the entire kit, too. Much more metal than the Stripes’ blues-derived sound, Jucifer is one of the heaviest artists in Relapse Records’ formidable stable; their new double album,L’Autrichienne
(French for “the Austrian one”) is due next month. Perhaps not coincidentally, Austrian “heavy zine” Stormbringer called it “ihr bis dato bestes Album vor,” i.e. “their best album to date.”This video
for “Pontius of Palia,” from 2006’sIf Thine Enemy Hunger
, should give you and idea where they’re coming from.
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You may well have seen Jucifer, formed in 1993, before. Since 2001, Valentine and Livengood have forsaken the college-town comforts of Athens, Georgia, for a nomadic existence on the road. Jucifer pulls into Super Happy Fun Land Sunday night – don’t forget those earplugs.
As for the rest of the weekend, the local-music buffet is especially hearty. Beloved ‘90s punks 30FOOTFall have one of their periodic reunions at the Mink tonight with Dig Dug and Latch Key Kids, as Felipe Galvan & Sus Carnales continue their rise from the ashes of Los Skarnales with Austin roots-rock royalty Two Hoots & a Holler at the Continental Club. Recently reformed local traditional Celtic group Clandestine brings some “Shetland Tunes” to the Mucky Duck for two shows, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Pasadena-born Dale Watson does it like Johnny Paycheck used to at Blanco’s, Rudyard’s has a good indie/noise bill with Potbelly, Kvalla and Awake, and metalheads Chrome 44 terrorize the Scout Bar.
Saturday, Cactus Music continues its grand-opening weekend with two in-stores, “Snakes on a Plane” pop-punks Cobra Starship – whose Warehouse Live Studio show later that night is sold out – at 2 p.m. and local blues-rockers The Mighty Orq celebrating the release of new CD To the Bone at 4 p.m. Texas roots-R&B master Delbert McClinton (“Givin’ It Up for Your Love,” “Lone Star Blues”) visits the Crighton Theater in Conroe, and the even more leathery Billy Joe Shaver catches the fast train not to Georgia, but the Firehouse Saloon.
Finally, our fellow ink-stained wretches at Free Press Houston celebrate their fifth anniversary at Super Happy Fun Land, which has indeed reopened under a temporary occupancy permit, with a hell of a local show. This one’s got former Medicine Show barkers the Sideshow Tramps, punk-schooled DJ Ceeplus Bad Knives, sharp rap troupe the Studemont Project, local alt-pop duo Piano Vines and ridonkulous electro-rappers H-town Zillionaires (“I Ain’t Even Wit Dat”). There’s also something called the “Free Press Houston Clutch-Time Orchestra,” so, in the interest of camaraderie between local publications you don’t have to pay for, we’re just going to leave that one right the hell alone. Cover is eight bucks. – Chris Gray