at Luna on
97 problems, but a gig ain't one
Country-pop standouts the Old 97's went three years between releases before reuniting last year to make their sixth album, Drag It Up, their first for New West Records. The Woodstock, New York, and San Diego, California sessions for that record inspired the band to return to basics, which in this case meant converging around a single mic and capturing songs in a single take.
In keeping with the spirit of that project, Rhett Miller and his mates - who formed in Dallas in 1993 and reached a peak with two thoroughly excellent late-'90s albums for Elektra - will record a live CD at the venerable Gruene Hall on Friday, June 17. Adding to the appeal of the gig is the fact that roots-rock maverick Bobby Bare Jr. will serve as opening act. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets are $15. Call 830-629-5077 for more info.
Rayz of light
C-Rayz Walz earned his rep as a fierce underground battle emcee who ran with New York's fabled Stronghold crew. His solo debut Ravipops sold more than 20,000 copies, and before long he joined the roster of Definitive Jux, an indie label which has basked in the aura of emo rap in recent years.
Walz is currently touring behind his second LP, Year of the Beast. For the creation of the album he worked in seclusion for 18 months, along the way burning his cherished collection of rhyme books to start the writing process fresh. The phoenix-like rebirth has proven extremely successful for Walz, who has delivered an album which builds on his most recent works and takes them to a higher level of accomplishment. Walz - joined by J-Live and Vast Aire, among others - will perform at Emo's in Austin (603 Red River) on Monday, June 20 as part of the self-proclaimed "Best Damn Rap Tour." Showtime is 10 p.m.