After more than a decade here, I’m a self-proclaimed Burqueña, but I once called Austin, Texas, home. The bands that perpetually comprise my personal ATX pantheon—The 13th Floor Elevators, Ed Hall, Scratch Acid, Butthole Surfers and so on—possess a certain magic. My in-progress Burque scenic cosmology indicates Leeches of Lore is that type of defining band. A combination of serious chops, metal/country crossover appeal and lyrical mythos distinguishes them from the sign-of-the-horns-flashing herd. On Saturday, June 21, at Sister (407 Central NW) settle in prior to 9pm for a 21-plus mind-altering gig starring our very own Leeches of Lore, Austinite “thinking woman’s hard rock” foursome Megafauna and double-bassist James Whiton. Five bucks gets you in.
Los Angeleno band La Santa Cecilia conveys Mexican/American syncretism. Named for musicians’ patron saint, the group's work encompasses bolero, bossa nova, cumbia, jazz, klezmer, rock, rumba and tango. Traditional Pan-American rhythms coalesce with classic rock on Treinta Días, which won the 2014 Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album. Experience the sublime immigrant songs of La Santa Cecilia at National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) on Sunday, June 22, at 7pm. If you dig Ozomatli, this gig should definitely be on your radar. Lead singer La Marisoul’s standout vox alone are worth the price of admission, which ranges from $17 to $27. Local mixed-global outfit Mala Maña opens the show.
Care for a slice of Americana à la modernism? On Wednesday, June 25, Low Spirits’ sonic special is Austinite one-man band Possessed by Paul James. In merely eight years, prime mover Konrad Wert has amassed a cult fan base in both his stomping ground, aka the Live Music Capitol of the World, and across the US. While possession is a strong word, it’s not difficult to see why Wert chose the moniker; when he belts out his lyrical poetry and wails on banjo, fiddle and guitar onstage, Wert certainly appears to be infused with the spirit of unbridled self-expression and exploration. Catch Possessed by Paul James at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). This 21-plus concert starts at 9pm, and tickets are $7.
Outlaw country icon Merle Haggard is rapidly approaching octogenarian status, but you’d never know it from his tour schedule. Haggard admired legends like Bob Wills and Lefty Frizzell, but a traumatic childhood found young Haggard embroiled in a life of crime and jail time. Released from San Quentin, he immersed himself in the country-politan scene in Bakersfield, Calif. Johnny Cash encouraged the songwriter to explore his own experiences, including time behind bars. Cash introduced Haggard by saying, “Here’s a man who writes about his own life and has had a life to write about.” And he’s still livin’ and writin’. Hang with the Hag on Thursday, June 26, at Legends Theater (14500 Central SW) starting at 8pm. Tickets range from $30 to $55.