Keegan McInroe

1) Free show alert! Wednesday night at the Chat Room, get your ears stuffed with countrified punk folk, bluegrass, and whatever other genres apply to bands that rely heavily on banjos, mandolins, upright basses, and what I assume is a garbage can. That last detail applies to headliner Rock Bottom String Band, a San Marcos sextet that boasts a “trash banger.” Depending on your opinions and stereotypes about Texas State, that could also mean something different entirely. Walker and the Texas Dangers are in the middle slot, and San Antonio’s Barnyard Stompers lead off. BTW, if you read this and imagined that someone in Rock Bottom String Band probably wears overalls, maybe you should try to imagine some winning Lotto numbers, too, because the bassist totally is in this video:

2) Billed as a show that will be “the most epic show of girl power probably ever in the DFW area,” the Rail Club has a lineup of five all-female (or at least female-fronted) hard rock bands on Friday night. If you ask me, “girl power” is a little dated-sounding, but whatever – I’m stoked to discover there are that many rock bands with women in them, though it would be nice to see them scattered throughout male-dominated bills more regularly. Still, if you had no idea such bands existed, this is a great introduction. The show starts at 8:30 with Hathor Rising, followed by Deity of Destruction, Pushed, and Tri-county Terrors, with Faded Grace in the headlining spot at 12:30. Here’s a sample – Tri-County Terrors at what looks like the Gas Monkey:

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3) Gravelly voiced troubadour Keegan McInroe has spent – what, the better part of a decade? Something like a decade, honing his chops as a songwriter, first as the frontman of college jam-band Catfish Whiskey, then as um, gravelly voiced troubadour Keegan McInroe, taking his Texas-influenced, journalistic Americana tunes all over Texas, and then across the Atlantic on a couple trips playing solo across Europe. You might recognize his name from this space, in fact, as Blotch ran updates of his most recent adventures on the Continent, and he’s headlining Lola’s Saturday night in celebration of his new album, Uncouth Pilgrims. Opening the show will be western swing chanteuse Ginny Mac, followed by Charley Crockett in the middle slot.

I’ve probably said this before, but on sheer musicianship alone, Ginny Mac is incredible – even if you hate accordion (like I do, unless it’s Weird Al playing one) she’ll remind you why the instrument is actually amazing despite its innate proclivity for enabling some eye-rollingly precious music. She has a great voice, too, as does Charlie Crockett. If you haven’t seen him because he doesn’t play here that often, definitely don’t miss him. I’ve gotta be honest though: I get that this is the Age of Leon, and packing an artist with a notable image is more important than ever. Charley Crockett’s music is certainly what it says it is – bluesy R&B that leans hard on both his Texan and Louisiana roots (so there’s a distinct Dixieland color to it, too), but I get the feeling that he puts at least as much effort into his look, and it’s just something I have trouble wrapping my head around. I dress like a slob, and having to sweat in an old wool or synthetic fabric suit under stage lights would decrease my enjoyment of playing a live show by at least 12%. That attention to performance appearance makes my head spin, but I applaud the effort, even though I think it sounds exhausting and crazy. Honestly, that’s just me being a jerk, because Ginny Mac and Charley Crockett are a complementary match-up, the kind I can imagine people would pay $20 to sit down at a table in the Live Oak’s music hall and enjoy. Keegan McInroe is always an entertaining performer as well. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a mellower night out at a music venue, this is a good show to see. I get the feeling that Charley Crockett’s life is really like this video:

4) One more for Friday, because the only thing listed for Saturday that really moved my meter was the Pink Floyd Trippy Visuals Experience at the UNT Lasertorium. But yeah, another good concert to attend on Friday night is Wavves and Best Coast (with Cherry Glazerr) at Gas Monkey Live!. Copy editing nerds: what’s the appropriate punctuation at the end of that last sentence? The exclamation point is part of the bar’s name, so my thought was to put a period after it; even though it looks ugly, it seems to respect Gas Monkey Live’s! ornamental punctuation, and it also doesn’t lead the reader into believing I’m more excited about Gas Monkey Live! than I actually am. It’s a good club. Not my favorite, though. I hope the weather’s nice, because Wavves and Best Coast are in the midst of their Summer is Forever II tour, and it would suck to experience that in anything wintrier than clear skies and temps in the low 50s. I think both the headliners are pretty good slices of angsty, reverby California-centric pop, so even if you have to bundle up a little, this is a pretty sweet show, especially if your girlfriend or boyfriend is super into either of these bands. Can you say best pre-Valentine’s Day date night everrrrrrrrr? Sure wish I could watch this Best Coast video without a dumb ad for Sprint or some shit before it:

5) House show alert! And it’s not in Denton! But it’s on a Monday! Cale Tyson is a Nashville-based country artist friend of Chat Room piano man Andy Pickett, and Pickett has put together an intimate musical gathering at 1416 5th on Monday, 2/15 6pm, starting with a solo set from Sam Anderson (Quaker City Night Hawks), Pickett in full-band mode, and Tyson with his backing band. BYOB and bring some cash to put some cash in Cale Tyson’s gas tank. Take a listen to Cale Tyson right here: