Kelley Deal’s résumé is nothing less than impressive. She broke onto the music scene in 1992 when she joined The Breeders, led by identical twin sister and Pixies member Kim Deal. Even casual music fans would recognize the trademark bendy lick of “Cannonball” from 1993’s Last Splash, a song that for which the music video was directed by Spike Jonze and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and an album that The Breeders supported with a tour on which they opened for some band called Nirvana. The Breeders didn’t release a follow-up to Last Splash for another nine years, but Kelley was successful with various other projects in the meantime, heading alt-rockers The Kelley Deal 6000 and forming a supergroup with members of Skid Row and the Smashing Pumpkins called ‘The Last Hard Men.’ After releasing two more albums with The Breeders in 2002 and 2008, Deal has formed yet another band with Mike Montgomery of Ampline. That band is R. Ring, who will be playing the Terrace this Saturday with Archie Powell & The Exports at 9:30.
After decades of making loud music with her various projects, R. Ring is a departure for Deal, with songs that are dynamic and described in their bio as “sparse, chaotic, abrasive and lulling, often within the same song.” Deal has traded in the aggressive vocals common of The Kelley Deal 6000 for a more melodic and relaxed approach. Predominantly acoustic guitar, the instrumentation makes no effort to be flashy, stripped down to complement Deal’s honest vocals. Their sole release so far is a 7″ for this past April’s Record Store Day (which you can listen to at Misra Records), but there is no shortage of buzz surrounding this duo of rock veterans. Make sure to check them out on Saturday.
Opener Archie Powell & The Exports are also a must-see, a power-pop quartet from Chicago. Their tunes are nothing short of infectious, making your heart shake like the tambourine that makes an appearance in many of their songs. A mix of Elvis Costello and The Replacements, pure rock guitars and Powell’s boyish voice make the band’s catalog a collection of feel-good tunes, even though the subject-matter of their songs is often commentary on the darker aspects of life. Their third album, May’s Great Ideas in Action, is no exception, featuring “Powell’s signature blunt, sardonic lyrics,” as Sam Clark of Playground Misnomer describes them. You can preview that album and the band’s other releases for free at their bandcamp, so there’s no excuse to not be singing along with every catchy hook tomorrow night. Also head over to their YouTube channel to view their collection of fun, humorous music videos.
Both bands are definitely worth your time tomorrow, and it looks like this heat wave is supposed to let up by then, so it should be a great night for music. Watch R. Ring play “Fall Out and Fire” at the Texas State Capitol Building for this year’s SXSW below, and we’ll see you at 9:30 on Saturday.