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Shows and Showcases

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With the new year bearing down on us, details are starting to emerge about 2013's SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.

The biggest is that rock 'n' roll savant Dave Grohl has been tapped as the keynote speaker. What he'll discuss is anyone's guess but after having played with Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Tenacious D, Queens of the Stone Age and more, there's certainly no shortage of material to pull from.

Also in the SXSW swirl is a possible merging of last year's Boise showcase with showcases of bands from Seattle and Portland, Ore., to create a more prominent Greater Northwest Showcase. Boise Weekly will keep you posted as details develop.

But there are some shows happening in Boise, as well. Since most touring bands use the holiday season as downtime, that gives Boiseans a chance to check out local talent.

A good place to start is Pengilly's on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when Americana rockers New Transit will do hump-day proper. The show starts at 9 p.m. and is as free as the majestic bald eagle.

On Thursday, Nov. 29, Liquid is the place to be for all your folksy needs, courtesy of Possum Livin', which dishes out some of the bluest grass in town. If there is a better local banjo and five-part harmony cover of Social Distortion, BW doesn't know about it. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and is free.

One touring band that shouldn't be missed is Portland, Ore., sleaze-rockers Black Pussy. The slinky fuzz-tone guitar leads over straight beats and moaning vocals sound straight from '70s psych-rock, with elements of Iron Butterfly, T. Rex and Deep Purple, as well as more modern guitar-based bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Fu Manchu.

That show goes down at Red Room, Monday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. and costs $3. Scatter and Gather, and Retrobates will open.

Another touring act worth your time this week is Seattle-based indie-folkster Piko Panda, who performs his catalog of quirky ballads at Flying M Coffeegarage in Nampa on Saturday, Dec. 1. Hearts will be melted and glockenspiels will be spieled. That show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $3. Tex and Holy Weak will open.

And finally, you can fuse the whole shebang together at The Crux Friday, Nov. 30, with Boise band and hipster dreamboats Shades, Chicago space cadets Gauntlet Hair and visual projections provided by Anti-Magic. The show goes down at 9 p.m. and costs $5. Cameron Andreas, behind CAMP and Wave POP, spins records afterward.