No Love: The Best of The Week
Photo: Def Jam
It never ceases to amaze me at all we tend to have going on in this city. Even on a holiday weekend, there’s still plenty to do this week full of great locals, plenty of laughs, and even some legends. Here’s how your weekend should get planned.
Things start off on Wednesday over at Fitzgerald’s, when Philly’s Man Man make their way into town. Man Man is basically a pop band with a little of the weird mixed in. They’ll be here in support of their latest offering, last year’s “On Oni Pond.” The album showcased a little more of a folky vibe in it’s simplicity. Keeping things simple, Adam Schatz of Man Man’s other band, Landlady will open things up. Landlady has this very interesting approach to their sound, which is folk rock pop; if that makes sense. Their recently released album, “Upright Behavior” was one of the better things to come from Brooklyn in recent memory, since Kevin Devine’s dual releases last year. The doors are at 8:00, and the tickets are between $12.00 and $17.00 for the all ages show.
If country music is more your speed, then you could head over to House of Blues for the twang of the Buck Yeager Band. Buck plays this mix of old school country with a hint of nineties country thrown in. It’s not the literal pop crap that litters the CMA’s nowadays, and it’s more like what’s left of country music’s greats. It’s over in the Crossroads room, meaning that you can grab a bite and a show. The doors are at 6:00 and it’s all ages.
There’s a slight chance that you’ll remember The Ataris, as well as their lead singer. After a meltdown a couple of years back, the band has pretty much reformed, and lead singer Kristopher has been doing shows again. About half of those have just been him doing their songs solo and acoustic. Well, despite the best efforts of Scout Bar, that’s what’s coming on Wednesday; Roe performing solo. Sorry, the website is a little confusing. If you’re a fan of the band, I’d suggest making it for this one, as they don’t seem to be around much anymore. Scout Bar has put the reggae of Houston’s Tydings on the show, which is an odd coupling; but they’re a good act to catch. They’ll be joined by The Weeds, also from Houston as well. The Analog People get things started for the all ages show with doors at 8:00, and tickets between $10.00 and $14.00.
On Thursday, you could get over to IMPROV as fast as possible, to try and catch one of John Witherspoon’s sets. You might remember Witherspoon as Mr. Jones from the film “Friday,” but he’ll always be the Mr. Jones from “Hollywood Shuffle,” to me. Witherspoon is a seasoned comic, who’s been zigzagging from movie sets to comedy stages for years, and he’s a pretty hilarious guy to boot. As usual, IMPROV will utilize two Houston greats as openers. In the feature slot, the hilarious and off the cuff humor of Theo Taylor. And in the opening slot, comedy legend and Outlaw Comic Andy Huggins. There’s one show on Thursday, one on Sunday, and two on Friday and Saturday. The show Thursday is at 8:00, it’s 18 & up, and the tickets are between $22.00 to $32.00.
At Rudyard’s you can catch the dreamy pop from Houston’s Mantra Love. This band has a rich and lush landscape to their sound, complete with reverb vocals and trippy guitar. It’s like Spiritualized and Roky Erickson had a baby. They’ll have Houston’s Cactus Flowers, who will bring a bit of psych rock from North Houston. Bell and Tom will be getting things started with their trippy sounds. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 8:00, and the cover is $6.00.
Starting at the Joke Joint Comedy Showcase on Thursday, you can catch the hilarity of Atlanta’s Tom Simmons. Simmons has been on Comedy Central, BET, and Showtime to name a few. He’ll have a tough act to follow, as San Antonio’s riotous Jay Whitecotton will be in the feature slot. Whitecotton is one of those Texas comics everyone should see at least once, and his irreverent humor is top notch. I would guess that one of Houston’s up and coming comics would be in the hosting seat as well. There’s one show on Thursday, two on Friday, and two on Saturday. The Thursday show is at 8:00 and the tickets are $16.00.
You could catch some improvisational comedy from those over at Station Theater also on Thursday. This week, they’ll be performing their Structure show that will feature comedians performing The LaRonde style. If you’re unfamiliar with said style, it features two characters being introduced at a time, then explores the various ways in which the two could exist so to speak. They’ll have Padded Cell and Launchpad 3.0 as openers, which are both new comedic performances. The doors are at 8:10 for some reason, and the tickets are $6.00 for the BYOB show.
On Friday over at Numbers, the ladies of Dem Damn Dames will be performing their latest show in part with their continuing once a month series at the iconic club. The show this month, titled Babes of Broadway, will have a Broadway theme and it will feature some out of town guests from the Stars & Garters troupe of San Antonio. Acts like Black Orchid, Coco Simone, and Pystol Whips will bring their Alamo city flair alongside a newcomer in Nick The Vegan, and feature performer Lady Jae of Houston Burlesque Review. Lady Jae will make a triumphant return to Houston only at this show. It sounds like one heck of a party that should entertain as well as tantalize. The doors are at 7:00, the show is at 8:00, and it’s an 18 & up show. The tickets fall between $15.00 for presale, $20.00 at the door, and $30.00 for VIP seated. As with all of these shows by the troupe, your ticket will include a FREE entry for that evening’s “Classic Numbers” dance night, taking place after their performance.
There might be a chance that you want to get your country on, and if so, then the Kevin Anthony show at Continental Club is your best bet. Anthony plays a pretty laid back version of country that features Texas Swing and a bit of dance hall Honky Tonk. Anthony’s latest release, “45 Southbound” follows in that tradition of old country performed by a newer artist. If you like guys who get what real country should sound like, then he’s definitely your guy. The doors are more than likely around 9:30, and the cover shouldn’t be more than about $20.00 for the 21 & up show.
If you believe in a good fight, then you can make it out to Phoenicia MKT Bar for the Beta Bracket Comedy Competition. The contest is getting tougher, as this is the beginning of round two of the twelve week event. This week, some of the comics who have never lost will be up against some who’ve come back from the redemption rounds. It’s a great way to support local comedy, enjoy the spirit of competition, and revel in the comfortable space of MKT Bar. These comics, who’ve more than likely invited you to vote for them; are all competing for a grand prize of two grand and a live recording from Heights Vinyl. Since it’s audience vote, you can decide who gets closer to that epic prize. Things get started at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Maybe you’d rather relive your emocore days? If so, I’d suggest making it to Mango’s for Houston’s best kept emo secret, Hoofprints. I don’t think I can say this enough, but these guys are truly amazing and they have the chops to back up the sounds on their 2012 release, “Secretly Destroying Honesty.” I can attest to their energy in a live setting, and their mix of Braid meets Knapsack with a hint of Jets To Brazil thrown in is as infectious as it sounds. They’ll be playing host to Austin’s Closet Drama,who will bring their indie rock sounds to Houston. Closet Drama sounds like a mix of Jawbreaker and “Copper Blue” era Sugar, and they should be worth making it out for. Houston’s Far Out will get things started with doors at 9:00 and tickets for $7.00 for the all ages show.
I would guess that some of you might be in the mood for some pop rock that’s mixed with new wave sounds. If that sounds like your kind of night, then Walter’s will be hosting the electro pop of San Francisco’s Part Time. Part Time mixes so many genres, that it’s kind of hard to define their sound. They’ll be touring in support of last year’s funky and poppy “PDA.” They’ll be joined by California’s Sea Lions, who have a very jangly and reverb rocked sound. They kind of sound like Apples In Stereo meets The Wedding Present, and should be a fun band to watch. Making things interesting, Houston’s own chillwave masters, Children Of Pop will also be on the bill. I find it hard to believe that you might not have caught these guys yet, but their infectious sounds are just as entertaining live as they are on disc. Chase and company really have something interesting on hand with their mix of live instrumentation and electronics. Golden Cities, also from Houston will bring their psych rock and jazz infused sound to start things off. The doors are at 8:00, the tickets are a measly $8.00, and the show is all ages.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who snatched up a ticket, then you should enjoy the R&B magic of August Alsina over at Warehouse Live. I caught Alsina once before, and I’ll just say that his albums don’t do him justice, as he’s much better live. And that’s saying a lot for a guy who dropped the album he released, “Testimony.” Though he was born in New Orleans, he did spend a good while in Houston as well, so it’s cool to see that his show sold out. The tickets were $25.00, and the show is all ages, with doors at 8:00.
I would say that if you wanted to get your groove on, then Friday at Limelight; you might get your answer. The “There Will Be Bass” show will feature the likes of many DJ’s, including Montreal’s own Snails. Snails will bring a bass heavy sound to the show, and his high energy dance music is one to catch. Atlanta’s Mayhem will also be on hand to drop his seasoned drum and bass sounds. It’s a night stacked full of DJ’s and electronica that includes SewDough, J Colossal, and GR8OH8 to name a few. making his club debut, will be the future bass trap of Houston’s Mke. There are many more acts, all worth checking out if you like to get down. There are three separate rooms to see, so try to make it out to all. The doors are at 10:00, the show is 18 & up, and the cover is between $10.00 and $20.00.
On Saturday, the blues of G Love & Special Sauce might be something you should go see for yourself over at House of Blues. G Love has been around a good while now, and he’s one of those acts that I’d recommend that everyone see live at least once. Sometimes his show feels improvised, which adds to his Philly flavor. He’s touring in support of his latest album, this year’s “Sugar.” This album has more Southern twang, if that were possible, from his previous efforts. Giving G Love a run for his money, Keb Mo will be dropping blues science as the opener. I’ve seen Keb before, and he’s got a pretty intense live show. He’ll more than likely keep his set closer to his Americana meet blues release, “Bluesamericana.” The doors are at 7:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are $34.00 to $61.00.
You may want some high octane flavored rock n’ roll, and if you do, then I’d suggest that the We Were Wolves show at Warehouse Live is where you should be. They’re loud, they’re fast, and they’re as close to Thin Lizzy meets QOTSA as you’ll see in a long time. Their release, last year’s “Wolf House” is still getting heavy rotation at my house and in my car; and they put on a pretty tough to follow live show too. The high energy punk rock of Fort Worth’s Perdition will be on board as part of their recent tour. These guys kind of have a Hot Water Music meets Swingin’ Utters kind of sound, so I’d say come check them out. The NOFX meets Less Than Jake sounds of Houston’s Action Frank will also be on hand to add to the mix. I have to say that I really enjoyed what I heard from these guys, so I’m really interested to see how they sound in a live setting. Houston’s Fat Mannequin get things started for the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a 100% FREE cover at the green room stage.
If you’d rather see some hip hop on Saturday, then you could check out Houston’s Z-Ro also at Warehouse Live. Z-Ro has grown since his association with DJ Screw and made a career off of it. That’s not a bad thing, as hits like “Summertime,” “Ready For War,” and “Lovin’ You” all prove that he’s got the chops to back up his Screwed Up Click ties. He’ll be supporting his latest drop, this year’s “I Ain’t Takin’ No Loss 3,” and as someone who’s seen him perform live more than five times; he’s a killer act to catch live. Mike D, of the infamous Southside Playaz will also be in attendance, and should be a real treat to catch performing live. Mike’s history in the game with the likes of Fat Pat alone are worth coming out for. The “Queen of H-Town,” Just Brittany will get things started with her insane mic skills a Houston swagger. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are $30.00.
Guess what? After playing Houston every so often, and doing those Christmas shows, Houston’s own 30 Foot Fall is back. They’ll make their return Saturday night over at Fitzgerald’s, and bring their high energy punk back home where it belongs. From what I’ve heard, we might hear a new album sooner than later, and let’s be honest; these guys are a Houston institution. If you’ve never seen them live, I hate to say that you’ve been missing out. They have more energy in one note than most bands have in their entire set. They’ll be joined by the ska specialists of H-Town, The Suspects. Not much has changed with these guys since I used to skank it up at their shows twenty years ago, and they’re a force in a live setting. The screamcore punk of Houston’s Bury The Crown will give everyone a run for their money with their intense live show. I think if you’ve missed these guys, you’re kidding yourself that you’ve missed nothing. As a guy who’s not a big fan of screamy music, even I have become a Bury The Crown fan; which is saying just see them for yourself. The throwback garage punk of Houston’s Thrill will get things started doors at 7:00, and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00 for the all ages show.
At Mango’s you can catch the garage rock meets punk of Austin’s Basketball Shorts. I like what I’ve heard from these guys, and they remind me a little of The Jam meets Ramones, with a bit of pop thrown in. The new wave garage pop of Austin’s Big Bill will also be on hand. These guys have a pretty unique sound that has that kind of, “get on the dance floor” kind of vibe. Houston’s Kose, should add a little bit of that garage rock psych to the show, but with a lot more energy. With almost a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion type of feel, these guys know how to rock out during their shows, and they’re great to see live. The punk meets emo of Houston’s Holder will energetically get things started with their Seaweed sound. The doors are at 9:00, it’s an all ages show, and the cover shouldn’t be more than $8.00.
On Sunday, you might decide that you want to spend your Labor Day out in the heat with Def Leppard and KISS at Woodlands Pavillion. If so, I’ve seen both of these bands live, except I saw KISS on their first reunion tour, then again on their farewell tour that I swear seems like it was a decade ago. Anyway, if for some reason you have to go see KISS, this is your chance. Everyone should go see KISS once, even if it’s Gene and Paul with two non-original members. If “you wanted the best,” this is what you’ll have to settle for. Def Leppard will more than likely play better than KISS, but their show won’t have as many explosions and what not. They also are down two original members and an arm, so keep that in mind. The gates are at 6:00, things start at 7:00, and the tickets range between $41.00 and $190.00. If you buy one of those $12,000.00 Gene Simmons stage played basses, I’d love to interview you to find out how you justify that purchase.
Perhaps psych rock and air conditioning are more your style, and if they are, then Walter’s will play host to Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel. Their album, “Nico & Her Psychedelic Subconscious,” is pretty hot right now in the world of psych rock. The trippy nature of LA’s dreamy psych band, Froth will also be on hand. Get ready for some acid induced dreams, as these guys sound like it’s 1968 and you’re ready to dodge the draft. The surfy garage of LA’s Corners should add to the mix, while they bring their Dick Dale sound to life for all to see. The energetic garage rock dream pop of LA’s Wyatt Blair should get things started in his own rockin’ way. Blair has been one of those acts that I’ve wanted to see for a while, so I’ll definitely get there early to check him out. This is a really strong lineup, especially if you’re a fan of stuff on Burger Records. The doors are at 7:00, it’s all ages, and the tickets are a paltry $8.00.
It’s another strong week here in Houston. While we all wait for cooler weather, please remember to be safe, smart, and kind to your fellow Houstonians on this holiday weekend. If we all look out for ourselves, maybe we can make this city a better place, one week at a time.