Weekend music picks: Eric Church, Mobley, Blackheart finale, more

Levitation Fest band the Black Angels helps close out the festival with a Sunday show at Stubb’s. Contributed/Alexandra Valenti

Thursday-Sunday: Levitation. The psych-rock festival has moved from outdoors to nightclubs, with big shows including Electric Wizard at Stubb’s on Friday, Ministry at Emo’s on Saturday and Wooden Shjips at Empire on Sunday. Check out our full preview:

Levitation sends psych sounds through Red River Cultural District

Friday: Mobley “Fresh Lies” release at Waterloo Records. The adventurous electro-pop artist doesn’t consider this new release an album. Instead, he thinks of it as an album-sized excerpt of an ongoing project, his exploration of the relationship between man and country cast as a romantic love song. This idea is as old as the traditional Irish ballads that are a latent influence on his work, but the specifics make the concept potent: He’s a black man in modern America. The release, cast as volume one, collects new works with some of his most powerful (and popular) singles like “Tell Me” and “Swoon.” These are big songs with soaring vocals and incisive lyricism that deliver a gut punch in the context of a jilted lover, and feel devastating carrying the failed promise of a nation where so many are haunted by placelessness in a place that should be all of ours. Free 5 p.m. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. waterloorecords.com — D.S.S.

READ MORE: Austin360 Artist of the Month feature on Mobley from August 2017

Saturday: Eric Church, Steve Earle & the Dukes, Texas Gentlemen at Austin360 Amphitheater. Originally scheduled for last September, this show was postponed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The new date comes with a support-act change that’s a plus or a minus depending on whether you like Church more for his pop or his country instincts: Native Texan troubadour Earle and his band replace previously scheduled Elle King. It’s good fortune that up-and-coming Dallas outfit the Texas Gentlemen, booked on the original bill to open, are able to return this time. $35.50-$129. 7 p.m. 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd. austin360amphitheater.com. — P.B.

Saturday: Wood & Wire, Kalu & the Electric Joint at Scoot Inn. This remarkably eclectic bill of locals with stellar new records out pairs hot bluegrass-country with hip funk-soul. Wood & Wire’s “North of Despair,” issued earlier this month, combines leader Tony Kamel’s storytelling, mandolin ace Billy Bright’s hot picking and more. Kalu & the Electric Joint’s “Time Undone,” released in December, teams accomplished singer Kalu James with guitarist JT Holt on a diverse set of groovers, blasts and ballads. $16. 7 p.m. doors. 1308 E. Fourth St. scootinnaustin.com. — P.B.

Sunday: Joey Bada$$ at Emo’s. The young upstart from Brooklyn, whose arrival on the national scene as a teenager was heralded by 1,000 (legitimate) Nas comparisons, is one of the most talented rhyme-slingers of his generation. His solid 2017 release, “All Amerikkan Badass,” was a portrait of an artist trying to make sense of a country unable to wrest itself from the grip of the injustice silently entwined in its aspirational origin story. Now 23, and off the cannabis, he’s one of the artists leading hip-hop into a new golden era. $26.50-$28. 7 p.m. doors. 2015 E. Riverside Drive. emosaustin.com — D.S.S.

Sunday: Final night at the Blackheart. Easily the best place to hear live music in the Rainey Street district, the Blackheart recently announced that it’s closing at the end of April. The bar’s support of local acts was significant: Full-band shows in its backyard on weekends were supplemented with midweek songwriter gigs in the front room. The final night will feature short sets by more than a dozen Blackheart faves from 5 p.m. on, including Mrs. Glass, Harvest Thieves, Megafauna, Croy & the Boys, Christy Hays and Mike Schoenfeld. The first band to play the venue’s stage six years ago was Not in the Face, so it’s fitting that they’ll close things down at 1 a.m. Free. 86 Rainey St. blackheartbar.com. — P.B.

Sunday: Steve Kilbey & Amanda Kramer at Pershing. This is a very late-added but also super-cool show, teaming Kilbey — leader of the great Australian rock band the Church — with keyboardist Kramer, who’s spent the past 15 years touring with the Psychedelic Furs. East Austin club the Pershing is normally a members-only place, but it’s open to the public for this rare special event that, according to the show announcement, will include “songs by The Church and solo songs by Steve Kilbey as well as eclectic interpretations of other songwriters, plus some storytelling.” $25-$100. 5 p.m. 2415 E. Fifth St. eventbrite.com. — P.B.

ALSO PLAYING

Friday-Saturday

  • Mike Flanigin Trio with Jimmie Vaughan & George Rains at C-Boy’s
  • Kris Kimura Quartet at Parker Jazz Club

Friday

Saturday

  • Sure Sure, Lowin, Sawyer at Antone’s
  • Trace Bundy at Cactus Cafe
  • Johnny Nicholas & Hell Bent, Mandy Rowden, George Ensle at Saxon Pub
  • Crying Monkeys Brazilian Choro at Townsend
  • Nakia & the Blues Grifters, Van Wilks at One-2-One Bar
  • Dale Watson at Broken Spoke
  • Lost Counts, Emily Gimble at Continental Club
  • Adrian Ruiz Quintet at Elephant Room
  • Mayeux & Broussard, Summer Dean, Dave Insley at White Horse
  • Dunebuggy record release, Rite Flyers, Jessica Riddle, more at Carousel Lounge
  • Damn Torpedoes (Tom Petty tribute) at El Mercado Backstage
  • Super Creeps (David Bowie tribute) at Highball

Sunday


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