Austin360 On The Record: John Wesley Coleman III, Leopold & His Fiction, more



John Wesley Coleman III, “Microwave Dreams” (Super Secret). With song titles such as “Jesus Never Went to Junior High,” “On the Couch Again” and “Exotic Tambourine,” it’s clear Coleman doesn’t take himself too seriously. But that’s not to say he doesn’t put time and care into his music. His base is garage-rock, yes, but over the course of nearly a dozen solo albums (plus his tenure in the Golden Boys), Coleman has sharpened his focus, to where little if any space is wasted on this 10-track, 34-minute effort. And in the truest punk-rock tradition. Coleman wasn’t blessed with a naturally great voice but has become a really strong singer. He invests just the right emotional touch in each track, whether it’s a strident swagger on the anthemic opener “Shovel” or a reverent plainspokenness on the country-tinged “See You Tomorrow.” Playing Feb. 4 at Hotel Vegas. Here’s a video for the song “Mama I’m a Big Boy”:

Leopold & His Fiction, “Darling Destroyer.” Often pushing his dramatic vocal delivery into the red, band leader Daniel Leopold mixes hard-edged gutter-punk with more traditional elements of neo-soul on the group’s fourth album. Leopold, who co-produced the 11-track release with Chris “Frenchie” Smith and Vance Powell, wrote most of the songs, but a frenetic take on Bob Dylan’s “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” near the end puts fresh energy into the timeless classic. Following a local release party earlier this week, the band has headed out on an extensive national tour that will keep them on the road until they return for shows during SXSW. Here’s the video for the track “It’s How I Feel (Free)”:

Pollen Rx, “Sunbelt Emptiness.” Building upon two EPs in the past three years, this co-ed ensemble serves up nine engaging indie tunes on their first full-length effort, weaving together elements of old-school garage-rock and modern dance-pop. The songwriting ranges from the rhythmic crunch of “Apartment” to the bittersweet melodicism of “Control” to the angular guitar spikes of “Interstate.” Lyrically, they’re often focusing on societal ills, from ad-overload culture in “Billboard Promises” to environmental issues that run through “Sand in the Well.” Release show Jan. 28 at Cheer Up Charlie’s. Here’s the title track:

Whitney Rose, “South Texas Suite” EP (Six Shooter). A frequent performer at the Continental Club since relocating to Austin from Canada about a year ago, Rose has entrenched herself in the local country community. Her backing crew on “South Texas Suite” features longtime local aces including bassist Kevin Smith, drummer Tom Lewis, fiddler Erik Hokkanen, guitarist Redd Volkaert and pianist Earl Poole Ball, as well as fellow recent international transplant Sophia Johnson. She supplemented three original tunes with two by fellow Austin women songwriters (Brennen Leight and Teri Joyce), and the EP concludes with a brief, frewheeling instrumental that allows her supporting cast to shine. Here’s a preview video for the EP:


  • FEB. 3: Gurf Morlix, “The Soul & the Heal,” release show March 4 at El Mercado Backstage.
  • FEB. 3: Daisy O’Connor, “Lightchasers,” release show Feb. 3 at Cactus Cafe.
  • FEB. 3: Traveling Ones, “Meet Me There,” release show Feb. 3 at Stubb’s indoor.
  • FEB. 3: Ty Richards, “Zillion,” release show Feb. 3 at Swan Dive.
  • FEB. 10: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, “Backlash” (Ingroove), in-store Feb. 10 at Waterloo Records.
  • FEB. 10: Merles, “Hate to Say Goodbye,” release show Feb. 24 at White Horse.
  • FEB. 10: Kathy & the Kilowatts, “Let’s Do This Thing,” release show Feb. 11 at C-Boy’s.
  • FEB. 10: Letting Up Despite Great Faults, “Alexander Devotion” EP (Shelflife), playing Feb. 16 at Barracuda.
  • FEB. 10: Ali Holder, “Huntress Moon” EP, release show Feb. 10 at Cactus Cafe.
  • FEB. 17: Curtis McMurtry, “The Hornet’s Nest.”
  • FEB. 17: Molly Burch, “Please Be Mine,” release show Feb. 18 at Mohawk.
  • FEB. 18: Later Days, “Lost in the Sound,” release show Feb. 17 at Grizzly Hall.
  • FEB. 24: Shinyribs, “I Got Your Medicine,” release show March 3 at Antone’s.
  • FEB. 24: Scott H. Biram, “The Bad Testament” (Bloodshot).
  • FEB. 24: Billy Harvey, “Elephants in the Room.”
  • MARCH 3: My Education, “Schiphol” (Headbump).
  • MARCH 3: Cilantro Boombox.
  • MARCH 10: Sunny Sweeney, “Trophy” (Thirty Tigers).
  • MARCH 17: Spoon, “Hot Thoughts” (Matador), playing March 14-16 during SXSW at Eno’s (the original Emo’s).
  • MARCH 24: Ruthie Foster, “Joy Comes Back “(Blue Corn).
  • MARCH 24: Will Johnson, “Hatteras Night, A Good Luck Charm” (Undertow).
  • MARCH 31: Toma, “Aroma.”
  • APRIL 7: Darden Smith, “Everything,” release show April 8 at Stateside at the Paramount.
  • APRIL 7: Sweet Spirit, “St. Mojo” (Nine Mile).
  • APRIL: Willie Nelson, “God’s Problem Child” (Legacy).
  • SPRING: Ulrich Ellison & Tribe.

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