One would think with summer here and students headed home for the break that things would slow down in "The Live Music Capital of the World" but one would be wrong. This weekend is a perfect example. There are a couple of big shows out at the Austin360 Amphitheater; Rascall Flats with Sheryl Crow followed by Kiss and Def Leopard. But there is even more goodness happening in and around downtown Austin Friday and Saturday. The Polyphonic Spree, Mellowfest, Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit and Old Crow Medicine Show with Ray Wylie Hubbard and The Wheeler Brothers are all performing. We chose a few shows to spotlight that we like for you. There is so much music goodness we cannot preview every item so make sure to check the notable shows linked below.
Friday, July 11
The Polyphonic Spree w/ Sarah Jaffe, Burgess Meredith - Central Presbyterian Church - 8 p.m. - $23.50
The Polyphonic Spree is a choral, symphonic band from Dallas who deliver a stunning live show. Why the group has not performed in the downtown Central Presbyterian Church prior to Friday's show is beyond us when one considers what a spiritual experience watching the Spree perform is. Sarah Jaffe and Burgess Meredith support a show already worth the ticket price for the headliner, turning the bill into a great value.
Founded by Tim DeLaughter (Trippy Daisy) the band boasts a notable alumnus, Annie Clark better known as St. Vincent who now tours internationally as a solo act. The band features a myriad of instruments including cello, violin, horns, keyboards percussion and incredible multi-part vocal harmonies. The band looks a bit freaky when they take the stage with flowing robes looking like a deranged cult, but minutes into the set fans forget that weirdness and focus on the fantastic musical performance the Spree are known for.
Dee West Benefit w/ Deep Ella, Ben Baxter Band, Kirk Baxley, Dawni McCray - Spiderhouse Ballroom - 5:30 p.m. - $10
Former Examiner music writer, Becky West has organized a fundraiser at Spiderhouse Ballroom to help her mother, Dee West deal with financial hurdles she is facing with impending stem cell transplant surgery. The lineup includes Houston band, Deep Ella along with Ben Baxter, Kirk Baxley and Dawni McCray who will perform on the outside stage. All proceeds from the event will go to HelpHopeLive an organization that helps transplant patients. For those who cannot attend this event, you can click the link above to make a donation.
There will be a silent auction which will include Texas Stars swag (including some autographed items), a wine basket from Twin Liquors which includes three different kinds of wine, albums donated by Waterloo Records, a piece of art donated by a local artist (Amanda Butler), and a voucher for a free horseback riding lesson.
Dawni McCray 6:30
Kirk Baxley 7:30
Ben Baxter Band 8:30
Deep Ella 9:30
Other notable events:
Saturday, July 12
Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit CD release w/ Roxy Roca, Mighty Mountain - The Parish - 9 p.m. - $10
As far as high-energy shows are concerned, Austin music fans could not do much better than heading to The Parish for Sam Pace and the Gilded Grit Saturday. The blues-rock act originally from Milwaukee have made a name for themselves in Austin playing long, satisfying sets a la Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and other hard-working American rockers. This show celebrates the latest release from Sam Pace, "The Rapture." The album was produced by Chris Kress (Dave Matthews, Ben Kweller) at Groovemaster Studios in Chicago.
Also performing is sensational Austin soul band, Roxy Roca along with Mighty Mountain. Advance tickets are still available at The Parish online box office.
Old Crow Medicine Show w/ Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Wheeler Brothers - Nutty Brown Cafe - 6 p.m. - $30
Yes, we realize the headliner is Old Crow Medicine Show but seeing The Wheeler Brothers on the bill with Texas music favorite son, Ray Wylie Hubbard makes this show a no-brainer if you are up for taking a short drive to Dripping Springs. The Wheelers have been touring non-stop on the strength of their follow-up to debut album "Portraits," "Gold Boots Glitter" since last year when the album dropped. Produced by local musician Drew Smith, the album is a fantastic listen from front to back. The Wheelers are a great live act as well. Add OCMS and the venerable Ray Wylie to the action and this one is going to be a fun, Americana-infused evening.
The Nutty Brown Cafe is hosting the show at their outdoor venue in Dripping Springs. VIP tickets at all levels have sold-out but there are still a few general admission tickets left. Our advice is to grab a ticket before they are gone.
Other notable events: