a week on the scene

Satan's Helpers

Nothing stuffs a stocking quite like a burning hunk of Boxcar Satan, so we're all fortunate that the underground blues anarchists have blessed us with a new CD, called Upstanding and Indigent. As with previous BS noise orgies Days Before the Flood and Crooked Mile March, the new disc was recorded with Chad Garrett at Tribal Studios and features a cover painting by local artist/musician James Cobb. Standout tracks include a couple of psychobilly locomotives called "I Got Back" and "Shoot Down the Sun." Boxcar Satan will spread some holiday cheer all over Taco Land on Saturday, December 20, with Oh, Beast.

Echidna Phobia

Local rock quartet the Echidnas make their first appearance at Sin 13 with an all-ages CD-release show on Thursday, December 18. The Echidnas were formerly known as The Ends (itself formed from the remnants of Slowpoke and Clarity), but changed their name last year when they found that they shared the monikers with an Austin band. The E-Kids be joined at Sin 13 by Missing Andy, R.O.M.A., Wholesale Piracy, Meek, Apparatus, and Moonlight's Reminder. Showtime is 7 p.m., and the cover is $5 at the door.

Graham Cracker

In the mid-'80s, Jon Dee Graham was one-third (along with brothers Alejandro and Javier Escovedo) of the guitar army that drove Austin roots-rock powerhouse the True Believers. These days, he's stockier in the middle, thinner on top, and his youthful twang has settled into a husky, wizened growl. But Graham remains an expert purveyor of understated, working-class rock corridos. Whether getting inside romantic obsessiveness in "Restraining Order Blues" or recasting his True Believers slice-of-life classic "One Moment," Graham is the best kind of singer-songwriter: sensitive without being sentimental; a storyteller without faux-poetic pretensions. He'll be at Casbeers on Thursday, December 18, at 8:30 p.m.

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