Wiggle room service
Austin singer-songwriter Billy Harvey is the best kind of postmodern pop obsessive. Recording largely by himself on a laptop computer, the Illinois native freely indulges his off-kilter, mildly embarrassing preoccupations on his latest self-released album, Pie, a romper-room ride through the mind of a sensitive, conflicted romantic. “Piggyback Ride” finds him promising to get abs of steel, win a million bucks, and give the girl of his dreams a piggyback ride across the world. But once he wins her love, Harvey can think of nothing better than to hear her say that she doesn’t understand him at all. It’s the kind of honest perversity that might disorient Nickelback fans, but should guarantee Harvey a fruitful career as an intriguing cult figure. Harvey comes to town on Monday, November 14 to share the bill with his pals Buttercup at the Wiggle Room (2301 S. Presa).
Another promising Wiggle Room show over the next week finds intensely jagged punk band Muldoon joining Skullening, This Will Destroy You, Pompeii, and Not the Government on Friday, November 11. Muldoon’s split-CD with Mechanical Boy, Double Feature, demonstrates the quartet’s abrasive power and sure command of dynamics, even in a lo-fi context. Showtime for their Wiggle Room show is 8 pm.
Finally, on the other end of the musical spectrum, piano virtuoso Tony Lara celebrates the release of his latest CD, Sonata, with a performance at the Omni Hotel Lounge on Wednesday, November 16. Lara’s fourth release finds him flexing both his light-classical and jazz chops on a series of solo piano pieces, most of them popular instrumental standards. The self-penned title track sounds like an undiscovered Chopin minuet, while Lara makes elegant work of Duke Ellington’s masterful “In a Sentimental Mood” and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
Lara’s CD-release show will cover the spectrum of his back catalog, with extended solo-piano sections and a Latin-jazz excursion backed by Guy Davis on drums, David Katakalos on bass, and Morgan King on sax and flute. Showtime is 7 p.m.
Compiled by Gilbert Garcia