Weekend's best live bets: Joy Formidable, Girls, Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and more
Catch the Joy Formidable tomorrow night at the Bluebird.
With pretty much the entire music world holed up in Austin this weekend for this year's edition of SXSW, it's amazing that there's any musical options to choose from this weekend at all, much less decent ones. Alas, though, there are still plenty of compelling reasons to leave the house. Girls get the Gothic going tonight, while the Joy Formidable brings its jubilant brand of indie rock to the Bluebird Theater tomorrow night. Over at 1STBANK Center, meanwhile, the arena hosts a pair of back-to-back shows from Miranda Lambert and Kelly Clarkson. Page down for this weekend's best live music bets.
GIRLS @ GOTHIC THEATRE
Christopher Owens and Chet White formed Girls in 2007, when the two met in the Bay Area. Owens, who was brought up in the Children of God cult, had effectively been cut off from the kinds of cultural knowledge most kids experience before the age of sixteen. Once he had access to more music, he made up for lost time and, like White, experienced the whole punk and hardcore thing before moving on to music with more emotional nuance. As Girls, Owens and White have written dreamily evocative pop songs crossed with threads of experimental guitar rock and R&B. Even in its sweetest moments, there is an urgent tension to the the music that draws you into the act's emotional wake. Incandescent, psychedelic melodies haunt the songs of these Girls.
MUNLY & THE LUPERCALIANS @ BENDER'S TAVERN
Jay Munly's presence can be a bit frightening at times. And with some of the Lupercalians wearing black robes and cone hats and others wearing burlap hoods at their shows, the whole experience treads on the verge of being downright creepy -- probably not something you'd want to take your five-year-old daughter to. But if you wanted her, or anyone else, to get a completely different take on the children's tale Peter and the Wolf, written over seventy years ago by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, just park her between a pair of speakers and have her behold the dark glory of Munly & the Lupercalians' Petr & the Wulf. There's still some of the gothic country of Slim Cessna's Auto Club, of which Munly is co-frontman, but sometimes the twang is stripped away in favor of a completely different musical experience that can be as joyous as it is sinister.