Their first official release since the drowsy, booger-sugar days of 2012’s I Just Wanna Do Some Coke and Fall Asleep, PBLC return on May 13 with the six track Seagrave EP. Where the first effort was as self-contradicting and all over the place as the title suggests, trading off between pastiche takes on ‘60s surf and the early emo of Cap’n Jazz, Seagrave hones in without losing the cyclonic energy of the 2012 take.
Seagrave’s finest moments occur when PBLC bring in guest musicians to toss their creative energies into the vortex. “Uvas de la Vida” features saxophonist Eddie Vasquez (of SA free jazz trio the Whale) on a ride with PBLC, his looped alto sax tremors swerving in and out of time. On “Peach Blouse,” PBLC tone it down without losing the weirdo factor, with Heidi Moore on violin and Shan Blam on viola to complement the tune’s closing drone. Rising to the occasion, PBLC seem to define their sound in contrast to their guests.
$3, 9pm Friday, May 16, 621 E Dewey, (210) 785-8777
Tejano Conjunto Festival
There's a reason we chose the Tejano Conjunto Festival as our Puro San Anto Festival pick in the 2014 Best of SA issue. Along with our neighbors in the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio is the ground zero for the cross-cultural genre. Presented by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, this year's festival features 26 artists from Spain, the Netherlands and Texas, and workshops on the button accordion and bajo sexto. Edinburg's Los Dos Gilbertos and Corpus Christi accordian shredder Boni Mauricio y Los Maximos headline on Saturday and Sunday night. But this TCF's uncontested stars are the Texas Tornados, the supergroup of accordionist Flaco Jimenez and organist Augie Meyers, performing Friday night. Though singers and SA legends Dough Sahm and Freddy Fender are up in the great Tex-Mex gig in the sky, Doug's son Shawn Sahm and Nunie Rubio have stepped in to continue the Tornados tear across South Texas. Is anybody going to San Antone?
$15-$40 (workshops an additional $40), 6pm-11pm Fri; 9am-11pm Sat;1pm-9pm Sun; Rosedale Park, 340 Dartmouth, (210) 271-3151, guadalupeculturalarts.org
A key feature in Texas-born pianist Jason Moran’s work is presenting jazz in surprisingly different contexts. The 2010 MacArthur grant recipient exhibited a five-day-long performance art piece with his opera-singing wife, Alicia Hall Moran, at New York’s Whitney Museum; improvised with his Bandwagon trio of bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits and a group of skateboarders on a half-pipe built in the middle of the newly minted SFJAZZ Center; and reworked the music of Fats Waller to create a dance party complete with a giant papier-mâché cigar-chewing mask in Waller’s likeness.
The Fats Waller Dance Party, visiting the Carver on May 17, is just what it sounds to be: a dance party. Waller’s Depression-era music was airy enough to get people moving in the clubs, with playful, stride piano tunes like “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Honeysuckle Rose” and the endlessly covered “Jitterbug Waltz.” Though Waller’s innovative material is the stuff of jazz standards, over the years it’s unfortunately been removed from its nigh-century-old dancehall roots. It seemed only appropriate that such fare would find use today with Moran’s more populist approach.
$35, 8pm Sat, May 17, Carver Community Cultural Center (Jo Long Theatre), 226 N Hackberry,
(210) 207-7211, thecarver.org
If you’ve never seen San Antonio’s White Elefant play, you’ve been missing out on a true local gem. But the time is ripe to rectify that. The trio (sometimes quartet) makes organic and moody indie garage rock that is somehow meandering and direct, simple and complex, combining melancholy with a dry sense of humor and a smoldering confidence. In White Elefant’s songs, as in their shows, there’s a gratifying tension between anxiety and release, sharpness and smoothness. After seven years honing their sound and songwriting, the guys will deliver the debut LP Nights & Weekends on Saturday. Representative of their own unique musical history, the album is among the best local offerings so far this year, and the CD release show promises to follow suit. Tempted? Stream the album at withanf.bandcamp.com. You’ll find that the band’s music makes its own case.
$5, 9pm, 502 Bar, 502 Embassy Oaks, (210) 257-8125, 502bar.com
18th Annual Americana Music Jam
Gruene Hall, South Texas' definitive source for the blanket category of roots and American music, presents the 18th installment of its Americana Jam. From 1pm to midnight, Gruene Hall and KNBT 92.1FM showcase an impressive array of acoustic and electric acts, including pop-country outfit Micky and the Motorcars )3:45pm), Houston native Radney Foster (7:30pm) and Curb recording artist and mullet enthusiast Hal Ketchum. Cody Canada and Robert Earl Keen co-headline the jam, with Canada performing his southern rock hits in full regalia at 10:40pm, while Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Keen plays an acoustic set at 10:10pm. Founded in 1996, the jam has benefited a local charity each year, with the Braunfels Foundation Trust as beneficiary for the 2014 bash.
$50, 1pm-midnight, Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene (New Braunfels), (830) 616-1281, gruenehall.com