Formed in 1982 by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, Canadian industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy first infiltrated alternative airwaves and fog-filled Goth clubs with ominous dance tracks like “Smothered Hope.” Marked by Ogre’s distorted, menacing vocals and Key’s haunting layers of synths and beats peppered with samples from horror movies and radio broadcasts (courtesy of Dwayne Goettel, who joined in 1985), the Skinny Puppy sound drew from Cabaret Voltaire while paving the way for Nine Inch Nails. Hammered in with 1988’s VIVIsectVI, the group’s agenda is anchored by animal rights. After Goettel’s 1995 death and the release of the concept album The Process, the outfit dissolved but reformed circa 2000. Now rounded out by Mark Walk, the band returns to SA in support of its 12th studio album, the sinister electro-industrial offering Weapon. $25-$28, 8pm Thu, Backstage Live, 1305 E Houston, (210) 229-1988, twinproductions.frontgatetickets.com. —Bryan Rindfuss
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Born into a musical family in upstate New York, Dr. Lonnie Smith has been described as “guru of the Hammond B-3 organ,” “forefather of acid jazz” and “a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban.” In 2013, NPR likened the 71-year-old legend to a hip-hop star while addressing his perplexing image: “He’s called ‘Doctor’ because ... well, he thinks he deserves the title. And though a stranger might reasonably mistake him for a Sikh, his turban and beard are all about style, nothing to do with religion.” Since releasing the 1967 debut Finger Lickin’ Good, the Blue Note alum has emerged as a musical chameleon, shifting from moody ballads and “jungle funk” to ethereal soundscapes and inspired tributes to Beck and Jimi Hendrix. Often backed by up to 14 musicians, the organ wizard lands at the Carver as leader of his eclectic Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio. $35, 8pm Fri, Jo Long Theatre, Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N Hackberry, (210) 207-7211, thecarver.org. —BR
Fri 1/31 - Sat 2/1
With a clown, a llama, a bunny and a serpent performing, the Overtime rolls out the second original gem in its 2014 season. Written by Deborah Yarchun, Portmanteaux (French for “a large suitcase” or “a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms”) follows a recent college grad who spends her time working odd jobs (catering, tutoring, selling ads and leading duck tours) and “creating soundscapes of her isolated existence.” The arrival of a young anarchist complicates her “life-agenda” and leads to misadventures involving “an ill-fated attempt to fly a kite, urban spelunking and an epic rideshare journey.” Laura Garza directs, offering “a truly unique look at a relationship that begins and ends in a very modern world.” $10-$14, 8pm Fri-Sat, the Gregg Barrios Theater at the Overtime, 1203 Camden, (210) 557-7562, theovertimetheater.org. —BR
Fiction is a four-piece alternative/garage rock band from San Antonio whose self-titled 2013 debut album (available at arewenotfiction.bandcamp.com) was one of those records that stops you in your tracks. Mercedes Smith (guitar and vocals, the latest great SA female singer), Jessica Bartolett (guitar), Mike Piersimoni (bass and vocals) and Christopher Doyle (drums and percussion) are much more than a power rock band—they have strong songs, too. Let’s consider ourselves lucky; after I heard through the grapevine that the band would dissolve, I asked Bartolett and she sent me an email that put my mind at ease: “Mercedes was going to move due to school but has decided to stay in San Antonio and we just started writing our second full length album!” Two of those new, unreleased songs will be part of Friday’s show, which will be opened by Ila Minori and Folly Collage. $3, 10pm Fri, Hi-Tones, 621 E Dewey, (210) 785-8777. —Enrique Lopetegui
D.O.A. Farewell Tour
D.O.A. will be dead on arrival soon, but the band’s last few shows should be as lively as they ever were. Last September, Canada’s influential hardcore punk trio released the stirring live collection Welcome to Chinatown (its third live album and 21st overall), and now the band is stopping at Limelight on Friday to say goodbye, at least for a while—frontman Joe “Shithead” Keithley is once again running for a seat in British Columbia’s legislative assembly. It will be the band’s first Texas show since 1999 and first SA date since 1998.
This isn’t just another punk band coming through town—Keithley (the only original member) and D.O.A. are widely viewed as the cornerstone of hardcore punk typified by ’80s bands like Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains and others known for a sound and attitude that blended punk’s DIY ethics and metal’s ferocity and speed. In those times, frequent destination Los Angeles was a home away from home for D.O.A., and when the band released the classic Hardcore ’81 and invited Black Flag to tour with them, the term stuck: D.O.A. “created” hardcore punk. Also on the bill: Nuklear Fishsticks, NO, Filthy and the Muff Divers and Inner City Scum. $10-$12, 8pm Fri, Limelight, 2718 N St. Mary's, (210) 735-7775, thelimelightsa.com.
Click here to read Enrique Lopetegui’s full story on D.O.A.
Like hardcore pioneers Minor Threat before them, psych-rockers Dead Meadow arose as a reaction to their D.C. environment. But where Ian MacKaye and D.C. punk defied the Reagan-era vibe of the nation’s capital, Dead Meadow branched out against the MacKaye-soaked music establishment itself, opting instead to slow down, space out and get weird. “We grew up playing punk rock in the D.C. scene,” Dead Meadow singer and guitarist Jason Simon told the Current over the phone, “but it reached a point where it became oversaturated with that kind of music. We wanted to do something different, so we got back into bands we all liked growing up: Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Sabbath. It just felt right, like, ‘Let’s do something completely different than what’s around. Let’s get stoned and into long jams and try to do something expansive that can capture the imagination in a way that those bands did for us—try to paint dark, long, moody pictures in your mind.’” With that manifesto, Simon, bassist Steve Kille and drummer Mark Laughlin set out in 1998 to channel their stoned idols, emerging two years later with a self-titled debut release, a blues-drenched, home-recorded and energetic album—the type that only comes from an inchoate band sure of what they want. Nuggets-era jams seep from 2000’s Dead Meadow; long, winding directions in music that pulls heavily from the blues-based, psychedelic Texas innovators the 13th Floor Elevators. ... Remaining true to Elevators’ custom, Dead Meadow’s sixth and most recent studio release, Warble Womb (2013), finds the band searching in a psychedelic, blues-rooted vein. It’s an engaging mix of acid-to-the-head guitar trips atop a grounded rhythmic base, stretched out over an ambitious 15 tracks. The band plays the Ten Eleven on Friday with support from the Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Old and Ill, Mount Sherpa and DJ Smoak. $10, 9pm Fri, The Ten Eleven, 1011 Avenue B, (210) 320-9080, theteneleven.com.
Click here to read Matt Stieb’s full story on Dead Meadow.
It’s the Year of the Horse and the Institute of Texan Cultures is celebrating like they have for the last 26 years–with another huge Eastern culture blowout via the Asian Festival. For its 27th year, the Festival expects to draw approximately 10,000 people to the Institute for a day of music, dance, fashion, crafts, trinkets, body art and, of course, food. On the taste front, vendors run the gamut from Aloha Kitchen to Lao-Thai-Karen, a group for members of that Southeast Asian region’s ethnic hill tribes. There’s also South Asian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Filipino cuisine; obviously there will be no shortage of food. The menu includes Huli Huli chicken with rice, spam musubi, beef and chicken kebabs, samosas, mango lassis, egg rolls, crab rangoons, chicken biryani, chaat, yakisoba, gyudon and curries—to name a few. $5-$10, 10am-5pm Sat, Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E Cesar Chavez, (210) 458-2233, texancultures.com.
Click here to read Jessica Elizarraras' full story on Asian Festival.
Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase
This year, multi-instrumentalist Brian Beattie (who sang and played bass for Austin’s Glass Eye until its dissolution in 1993) released Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase, an incredibly cool CD/60-page book billed as “An Illustrated Earmovie Musical Filmed in Minds-Eye-O-Rooni.” The music is superb (at times blending psychedelic rock with late-Beatles pop and even electrified tango) and the story, set in 1938 Austin, has the magic of an old radio drama. At the book and album signing at Imagine, Beattie will recite a poem and perform two solos; K. McCarty (who plays Ivy’s mom on the album) will sing a song, and then Valerie Fowler (who did the gorgeous illustrations in the book) will do a crankie show featuring “So Far Away,” a 30-foot long by 30-inch tall illustration Beattie likened to “a primitive video.” Free, 4pm Sat, Imagine Books & Records, 8373 Culebra, (210) 236-7668, imaginebookstore.com. —EL
“Segundo de Febrero: Tierra y Libertad”
Signed on February 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the U.S.-Mexican War on terms that resulted in Mexico ceding 500,000 square miles of valuable territory (present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico and part of Colorado) to the U.S. and extending the Texas border to the Rio Grande in exchange for $15 million in compensation for war-related damage. While the treaty has been described as “a bitter lesson in U.S. aggression” and cited in hundreds of court cases surrounding land claims, the Alamo City’s own Centro Cultural Aztlan observes February 2 each year with a commemorative “Segundo de Febrero” exhibition exploring themes of peace between the two countries, Chicano identity and the establishment of “the new American Southwest.” Titled “Tierra y Libertad (Land and Freedom),” the grassroots gallery’s 36th annual offering spotlights Acapulco-born Raul Servín (who arrived in San Antonio back in 1968 to help paint murals for the HemisFair spectacle “Los Voladores de Papantla”) in a group show featuring more than 20 local artists. Free, 6-9pm Sat, Centro Cultural Aztlan, 1800 Fredericksburg, (210) 432-1896, centroculturalaztlan.50megs.com. —BR
Roland Nightrockers’ Birthday featuring World Bizarre
The last night at the current Nightrocker (which is seeking a new downtown location) will be emotional on more than one level. It will celebrate owner Roland “Nightrocker” Fuentes’ birthday, be the last chance to see the grimey space that won Best Rock Club last year and mark the reunion of World Bizarre, the Current’s 1992 Band of the Year. The band (Mike Wampler, John Paul Keenon, Andy Beres, Erik Ogershok and Kevin Timm) will reunite after years of gigging separately (Keenon toured with Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon while Beres joined Martyrhead and Wampler was last seen playing with the Dwarves). “I will continue one way or another, this is what I do,” Fuentes told the Current in 2013. “I may concentrate on my art, but I will always try to bring good music to San Antonio.” Spoken like a true Minister of Nightlife. $5-$10, midnight Sat, Nightrocker Live, 605 San Pedro, (210) 265-3573, nightrockerlive.net. —EL