Sound and the Fury
Shining a light
Boxcar Satan's Saturday, August 7 show at Taco Land with Brooklyn's Rev. Vince Anderson more than lived up to expectations. The night opened with a wild, bluesy performance from the one-man-band known as Ghostwriter, followed by a short, but characteristically blistering set from Boxcar Satan (an homage by guitarist Sanford Allen to the recently deceased superfreak, Rick James, earned a predictable "I'm Rick James, bitch!" from at least one Chappelle Show viewer).
The band closed out their set with a cover of Bob Dylan's born-again anthem, "Gotta Serve Somebody," with Allen introducing Anderson - a bearded, ponytailed, mail-order pastor - as "the grand champeen of panty-dropping gospel." Pounding his piano with evangelical glee, Anderson tore through a raucous set, even baiting the audience into louder participation at one point by telling them: "No disrespect, but you sound like a bunch of Unitarians."
New Pornographers fans who wish the Canadian supergroup would get together more often should get hip to their side projects and solo outings. They might want to start this week: AC Newman (aka Carl), the group's main songwriter and vocalist (Destroyer's Dan Bejar writes the rest) will be swinging through Austin to promote The Slow Wonder (Matador), his first solo record after full band outings with the Pornographers, Zumpano, and Superconductor. It's just what you'd hope a third New Pornographers record would sound like, minus Neko Case's sweet twang and Bejar's enigmatic presence - thrilling power-pop that isn't afraid to have something on its mind other than beer and babes.
The lyrics are just as tough to ferret out, but at least you'll have a ton of fun singing along while you try; "On the Table" and "The Battle For Straight Time" are instantly memorizable, while tunes like the cello-heavy "The Town Halo" are solid chunks of energy that don't require much in the chorus department. Newman will be at the Parish (214 E. 6th Street, Austin) on Wednesday, August 16 with Rogue Wave and the Neins. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets are $10 at frontgatetickets.com.
Graham central station
Veteran singer-songwriter - and former True Believers frontman - Jon Dee Graham celebrates the release of his new CD, The Great Battle, with a gig at Casbeers on Saturday, August 14. The disc, which hit stores on August 10, was produced by guitar virtuoso Charlie Sexton and is available on New West Records. •