The BoDeans embodied the jangle pop zeitgeist of the 1980s, operating on the same existential plane as Del Amitri or R.E.M., albeit nowhere near Stipe and Co. in terms of influence. In the '90s, the BoDeans were perhaps best known for their hit (and Party of Five theme song) "Closer to Free." Since then, it's as if the group went into hiding, perhaps fearing the post-TV-theme fate of the Rembrandts. Clap Clap Clap Clap. Touring in support of Resolution (Rounder), their first album in eight years (color Soundbites surprised it hasn't been even longer than that), the BoDeans team up with former porker-of-Sandra Bullock and Austin resident Bob Schneider and his easygoing Adult Album Alternative (that's "Triple A" in rock-speak; see Matthews, Dave). The middlebrow menagerie rolls in to City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, Wednesday, July 28, for the nice, round amount of $20. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this 21+ show. Details too minute for this column may be found at calproductions.com or by calling 733-6262.
Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Congress (er, Club Congress), fans of aging, keyboard-poking Brits will be pleased to take in Levinhurst, a trio consisting of founding Cure member Lol Tolhurst and vocalist Cindy Levinson (a third, not-pictured-in-the-headshot member, Dayton Borders, engages in "intricate musical crafting"). Tolhurst, who was booted out of and subsequently sued the Cure prior to 1989's Disintegration, professes great admiration for bands like The Rapture and Interpol (curiously, they're both performing with the Cure on this summer's "Curiosa" package tour), but evidence of such hip influences are nowhere to be found on the group's debut, Perfect Life. Soundbites hears a lot of Enigma and Cocteau Twins in the simple, synth-based ethereal pop of Levinhurst, not that there's anything wrong with that. Decide for yourself Wednesday, July 28, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. Half a sawbuck (that's $5 for the Gunsmoke-onics impaired) gets you in the door, unless you're Robert Smith, in which case you should lose the lipstick, dude. Musica Obscura and Music Video, two fine young groups that want to make sure you know it's music that they're playing, open the bill. Call 622-8848 and holla for more.
Finally--again on Wednesday, July 28--there's hirsute hitmaker Kenny Loggins, still with a career and everything in this new millennium. Famous for such gems as "I'm Alright" (and all the gopher-dancing it inspired), "Footloose" (and its concomitant honky-dancing) and "Danger Zone," which is perhaps the quintessential '80s action-sequence soundtrack song (if that category didn't exist heretofore, it does now), Loggins has lately been cementing his reputation as a prince of adult contemporary: His newest album, It's About Time, features contributions from countrybot Clint Black and Mullet Pride Movement founder Richard Marx, presumably because Loggins didn't suck enough by himself. Loggins will "rock" TCC Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. Tickets range from $35-$50, a small price to pay for the opportunity to throw your panties at such a handsome bastard. Doors are at 6 p.m., and tickets may be purchased via calproductions.com.
Get your Ball on at City Limits, 6350 E. Tanque Verde Road, Monday, July 26, at 7 p.m. Opening duties handled by Evening. The only way to procure tickets for this free, all-ages event is by listening to KFMA's notorious Frank Show (5:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays) and thereupon dialing quickly at the proper Frank-instructed time. The TW is not responsible for any dick joke fatigue incurred by listening. KFMA is located at the 92.1 megahertz frequency modulation on your radio dial.
Regardless, Elysium is an interestingly fraught record. As we say in the music biz, piano is the new guitar. (Or was it "Pink is the new Black"?) Clearly, this notion is axiomatic for the Velvet Teen, as Elysium places a higher priority on the ivory than a poacher does. Furthermore, the album features no guitar whatsoever. Radical! Produced by the ubiquitous Chris Walla (recent work includes production for nearly every band on the northern West Coast and membership in Death Cab for Cutie), Elysium hints most strongly at Jeff Buckley's Grace, only with less falsetto and more string instruments. When singer Judah Nagler's not busy channeling Buckley, you hear hints of his training at the Thom Yorke Academy of Vocal Histrionics. (Note: No such academy exists.)
The Velvet Teen appear with Polar Bears and The Americas Tuesday, July 27, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., for $6. The punctual should arrive at 9 p.m. More info can be yours by calling 884-0874 or visiting solarculture.org.
Eleni Mandell performs at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., Tuesday, July 27, at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, so pay at the door, grab a chair and sit on the floor. (That's an old rhyme my old man taught us; admission is, in fact, free.)
Acey's place is firmly established in the zipper pouch of so-called "backpack rap," a dismissive term used to lump together literate, stylistically varied MCs by their audience, which tends to skew toward college students (thus the backpack) and white kids.
None of this categorical claptrap matters, however, when Aceyalone takes the stage, because besides being a gifted rapper, he's a charismatic, commanding performer. His most recent album, Love and Hate (Red Urban), features guest appearances from a veritable who's-who of hip-hop's intellectual set--PMD, El-P, RJD2 and Anti-Pop Consortium all make significant contributions.
Tame One and Simple Mathematics join Aceyalone on Tuesday, July 27, at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. All ages are welcome to this $12, 9 p.m. show. Dial 622-8848 for info.
The "entertainment gap" is further filled by a new series at The Loft Cinema. The inaugural "Live at the Loft" features a noisy pairing of local fashion punks The Okmoniks and the somehow enjoyable screeching of the lovely ladies of Winelord. The series kicks off in The Loft's Upstairs Theatre, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 23. Admission is $4. Although somewhat indeterminate at press time, the premise seems to be that the bands will be playing in front of video footage of their own creation. Our guess is that you might see clips of Alf behind the Okmoniks; surely Winelord will sport scenes from some bacchanal? Only one way to find out.