- PRINCES: Play Juanita's.
American Princes, the energetic, local-gone-national pop and rock group newly signed on Yep Roc Records (home of names like Tres Chicas, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers and Billy Bragg), will be playing at Juanita’s on Main Street on Saturday, June 17.
Since last we spoke with them, which was around South-by-Southwest in Austin in mid-March, this is what’s up, according to guitarist Collins Kilgore: Being signed on Yep Roc is great for them, giving them a few nickels to rub together and a nice studio to record in; they recently played a festival in Atlanta that included big names like De La Soul and Big Star (their idol; they do a cover of Big Star’s “Don’t Lie To Me”); they got to meet and eat lunch with the Flaming Lips, though the food was more milquetoast than rock star-like, according to Kilgore — “sandwiches and chips and salsa.”
And, though they’ve starting touring and doing bigger and better things with their band, they still have their day jobs.
“We know lots of bands that are way more successful than us, and they still need to maintain their income with day jobs,” Kilgore said.
Two Princes are in the service industry, and two others work nights in a law office. No new material for the band as of yet, as they are working on promoting their newest record, “Less and Less,” breaking new American ground with touring.
Kilgore also gives us news about Tel Aviv, a keyboard-driven punk band that recently based out of Fayetteville, but has moved back home after the band members finished school at the UA. Tel Aviv also completed a new album, “Underwaters,” that Kilgore says is “fantastic.”
Tel Aviv and Chris Denny are part of Saturday’s show with American Princes. Denny has been hailed by local wags as one original “golden voiced” vocalist with an appreciation for dust-bowl era folk and blues, and he writes wise, careworn songs that reflect an age much older than his 20-something years.
Admission to the 9:30 p.m. show is $7. All ages.
Kilgore invites all of the out-of-towners, including the masses expected by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies convention –- even, he says, the “stinky old editor types … wait, don’t quote me on that,” he laughs. Too late.
In other news, Kilgore visited the studio of David Lowery (of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven fame, and who recorded American Princes’ latest album), where Lucero has just finished their last album. Kilgore says simply about Lucero’s new record: “Bruce Springsteen.” We can’t wait.
Also, for AAN convention-goers, another slice of local flavor at the Afterthought on Kavanaugh on Saturday, June 17: The Amy Garland Band, fronted by Louisiana native Amy Garland, who writes original songs, influenced by Willie Nelson and Townes Van Zandt, and sings in a sensual alto with the best back-up in town. Nick Devlin is on guitar, Mike Nelson is on bass and Garland’s husband, Bart Angel, plays drums. It’s great, salt-of-the-earth songwriting, on the folk and acoustic side of country-rock.
As a side note, the Afterthought is a non-smoking venue, which is probably nothing new to the bigger-city folks. The Amy Garland Band starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $5.
On Friday, June 16, the Big John Miller Band will be at the Afterthought with funk, soul and blues for lovers of the Motown sound of Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Barry White.
Big John just recently replaced longtime guitarist Jason Hale and bassist Larry Mann with Brian Dethero (formerly of Charlotte Taylor and Gypsy Rain) and John Davies (most recently the bassist for Michael Burks), saying he wanted to go in a “bluesier” direction. Hale and Mann will go on to other projects; Hale says they have “other coals in the fire.” Admission to the 8 p.m. show is $5.
Two girls (and one dudette) just wanting to have a little fun at Downtown Music on Capitol Avenue on Friday: The Chicklettes do ’70s punk in an ’80s wardrobe, a punky mixture of saucy Cindy Lauper and a little toughness like Wendy O. Williams. Scrim will open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 for all ages.
Salty Dogs, the area’s best original toe-tapping, down-home good ol’ boy country, will be playing the White Water Tavern on Thayer Street on Friday. Yoakam, Owens, Strait, Williams (Sr.) are all conjured and rolled up in a foursome that also wears fancy honky-tonk togs. They start at 10 p.m. Admission for 21 and up is $5.
And there’s Southern, heavy-drinking, good-time rock music in the late, late night with Jeff Coleman and the Feeders at Midtown Billiards on Friday. The club, just down the street from Juanita’s, will be featuring music from 1 a.m.-ish to about 4 a.m.-ish. It’s a private club; memberships are available at the door.
We have worn a hole in our copy of cello-centered goth band Rasputina’s 1997 album “Thanks for the Ether” in anticipation of the group’s upcoming performance at Vino’s Brewpub on Monday, June 19. It’s an eerie rock trio with a fixation on the Victorian era, covered in layers of opium smoke. The group was originally formed in the ’90s by Melora Creager, a classically trained cellist who toured and recorded with Nirvana on its last tour before Kurt Cobain’s death. Several lineup changes and many albums later, the band now includes fellow cellist Sarah Bowman (who has a project with her twin sister, called the Bowmans) and percussionist/timpanist Jonathan TeBeest. A forthcoming new album is due soon, following last year’s “A Radical Recital.” Rasputina is for lovers of classical, Edgar Allen Poe, daguerreotype photos, and turn-of-the-20th-century nostalgia twisted into an alternative rock format. Admission is $12.
And we can’t forget to suggest Sticky Fingerz on Friday with the young guys from Baton Rouge, the Benjy Davis Project, an acoustic rock ensemble with songs about easy-going good times. Special guest Rick Brantley is almost the opposite of the BDP, performing rock and country songs of social protest. Brantley starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5.