Ain’t Nobody: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: CL Franklin
Well, hopefully most Houstonians made it back to work after the holiday weekend. This week doesn’t have a holiday attached, but it’s another epic week full of great laughs, music, and even a legend or two. Here’s where to spend your free time.
Starting off on Wednesday, the Doom metal outfit known as Black Cobra will bring their fuzz heavy riffs over to Fitzgerald’s. In many years, it seems like there have been plenty of doom genre bands to come along; but these guys play with lightning quick intensity, and as a guy who’s seen them live; I’ll just say bring a neck brace. They’ll be bringing the stoner rock of Ohio’s Lo-Pan. Lo-Pan have a pretty thick fuzz to their sound as well, but with a singer who’s more like Chris Cornell than you’d expect by their twanged solo sound. Getting things started, is one of Houston’s best kept secrets, Funeral Horse. If you’ve never caught these guys, I feel sorry for you. If you remember how The Sword drew in fans with a more universal metal sound than just a small sub-genre; then you’ll love these guys. Their recent release, this year’s “Sinister Rites of The Master” is a force of sheer power, complete with nice and fat chunky riffs. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and the cover is between $10.00 and 14.00.
If you like that throwback rock sound of the seventies and sixties; then Lecherous Gaze over at Mango’s should be the show for you. Coming all the way from the mean streets of Oakland, these guys have a pretty high energy show that feels like it’s fueled with beer and memories past. Solos that go on forever, distortion pedals through a Marshall halfstack, and growling vocals are what you’re in for when you see them play. Their recently released, “Zeta Reticuli Blues” is a nice taste of what’s in-store for anyone attending. The rat-a-tat punk of Houston’s Snooty Garbagemen will also be on hand to offer some sneer for everyone. The heavy sound of Houston’s Moonrazer will get things started with doors at 8:00 and a $7.00 cover for the all ages show.
I would think if you were up for some swing guitar in the vein of Red Volkart meets Waylon Jennings, then the influential style of Danny B. Harvey at Continental Club is where you’d be at. Harvey seems to really bring his A game when he performs, and he’s pretty much performed with everyone. Brian Setzer, Wanda Jackson, and even Lemmy from Motorhead are just a small taste of those he’s played with. He’s in town in support of his last release, “100 Girls For Danny B.” He’ll have the talent of singer & niece to Jerry Lee Lewis, Annie Marie Lewis opening things up. The doors are at 10:00 and cover shouldn’t be more than $15.00. or so.
Art may be what you’re in the mood for, and if so, then the Urban Tactics show over at Gallery Homeland might be what you’re looking for. Featuring the art of Jed Foronda, John Forse, and Daniel Bertalot; the show focuses on similarities of ideas with a very vast diversity of mediums. The three artists will have worked together in their use of space and surroundings. The Wednesday show is the opening reception sponsored by Saint Arnolds and Deep Eddy Vodka, and will feature DJ Dave Wrangler as their music guest. It all starts at 6:00 and it’s FREE.
On Thursday, you can make it over to Fitzgerald’s to check out the dreamy alt pop of Sucre. Sucre is a three piece that features the wide ranged vocals of singer Stacy King. The group creates live landscapes of sound that are simple, yet beautiful; and King’s vocals bring them to an all new level. The well crafted indie folk pop of California’s The Honey Trees will be on the bill as well. These two have a pretty amazing sound that’s only magnified by singer Becky Flip’s far ranging vocals. They’ll be touring in support of their latest release, this year’s beautiful, “Bright Fire;” which has this odd mix of Cocteau Twins meets Mount Moriah kind of sound. Tyler, Texas’ sibling duo, Merriment will get things started with their brand of folk pop that’s just a little hard to ignore. This is a show full of amazing up and comers complete with amazing vocalists, and it’s not even pricey. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are between $10.00 and $14.00.
At the Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, they’ll be starting their weekend off with the antics of the hilarious, Darryl Lenox. Lenox has been on the likes of Conan, WTF with Marc Maron, and Starz alongside a relentless touring schedule. His jokes cover everything from community college to renting furniture, and his relatable style is something to see live. Austin’s Jon Stringer will be the feature act, hile one of Houston’s better up and comers will be hosting the show. There’s only one show on Thursday, with two on Friday and two on Saturday. The Thursday show is at 8:00 and the tickets are $16.00.
Mango’s has a pretty interesting show, when Adam Bricks brings his John Prine meets Tom Petty sound over there Thursday. Bricks may be performing solo, or with his band, but either should be entertaining. His latest releases, “City Songs” has that familiar sound that you can’t put your finger on, but you immediately like. Waco’s Lomelda will be on board as well, bringing their indie folk experience along with them. They’re an act you should catch, if not for any other reason, than to hear the diverse range of their lead singer’s voice. Houston’s indie pop rockers, Race To The Moon will bring their mix of Vitreous Humor meets Cheap Girls sound to the show. Race To The Moon definitely has a chaotic energy when they play, and they’ll bring a nice element to this show. Opening things up, is possibly one of the most interesting and intriguing acts I’ve heard from Seattle in a long time, Tomten. These guys have an incredible lead singer who mixes his vocals in with the various arrangements of mellotron, piano, and subtle drums alongside dreamy guitar. I don’t think their psych as much as they’re diverse pop, but their latest release, “The Farewell Party,” is pretty amazing. This is a pretty great lineup for a paltry $5.00 cover. The doors are at 9:00 and it’s an all ages show.
If you want to get your dance on, then San Francisco’s The M Machine will be stopping by Stereo Live for a DJ set. This could be epic or incredibly boring, as DJ sets vary band to band, but these guys do know what they’re doing, so I’m guessing it’ll be great. Their most recent release, “Metropolis Remixed” proves they know how to entertain. The doors are at 8:00, it starts at 9:00, and it’s an 18 & up show with a $5.00 cover.
There’s a chance that you might not know that there’s a comedy open mic happening over at the new bar Darwin’s Theory; but it’s one you should go check out. Curated by owner and fellow comic Ryan Thauburn, the room is getting its footing, but hosts a nice mix of Houston’s up and comers alongside heavy hitters. If the fact that it’s a bar you’d actually want to go to in the Washington corridor isn’t enough; then maybe their ½ price burgers will help seal the deal. The comedy gets started around 9:00, it’s 21 & up, and it’s 100% FREE.
Kicking off your Friday, you have a bevy of options of what to do. Starting things off over at Discovery Green is the Wings of The City exhibition and music. The exhibit of bronze sculptures by artist Jorge Marin should be pretty amazing to see up close. The opening reception will feature live music from Mexico’s fiddling extraordinaires, the Villalobos Brothers. Vanessa Cerda-Alonzo will also be on hand to offer up some opera vocals, as well as the guitar work of Houston Grand Opera’s Sergio Uriel Sanchez. You should see the Villalobos Brothers, as they’re an impressive act to catch, and the free eats & drinks from Goya should seal the deal. Things get started at 7:00, it’s all ages, and 100% FREE.
If you make that, then you’ll already be in the area for the Beta Bracket Comedy Competition, happening at Phoenicia MKT Bar. As things get heated, those who won earlier in the competition are quickly getting knocked out in the head to head event. This week will be no different, as those who’ve begged you to come vote for them will be getting stiffer competition in hopes of snagging the $2,000.00 grand prize. Beta Theater has these comics fighting for a win as there’s also a live recording from Heights Vinyl up for grabs. It’s a knock down drag out event of comedic performances, things get started at 9:00 if you want a ballot to vote, and it’s FREE with Free parking as well for the all ages show.
Also, in the EaDo area, is the Ashbury Keys show happening over at Warehouse Live. The brothers Keys have been making their blend of Brit-pop meets alterna-rock for some time now, but their latest release, 2014’s “Do You Know Who You Are” brings it all to form. It’s a five song ep, but it’s a pretty great listen that should be just as entertaining live. They’ll have the eclectic rhythm of Houston’s soulful Moji on board as well. There’s something mystical about Moji that everyone in Houston should check out at least once, if not just to hear singer Moji Abiola’s intense vocals. The indie pop rock of Houston’s Satellite Brigade will get things started with their eclectic blend of traditional instruments coupled with new electronica. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are $12.00.
At Walter’s, they’ll be serving up the likes of electronica mastermind and almost mad scientist, FLCON FCKER. If you’ve never seen this guy perform I should let you know how much you’re missing out on. He puts more time into a six second sample than anyone in the game right now, and his glitch visuals are being requested all over the US. Middle Child is also on the bill, while the trippy sounds of Mantra Love will also be in attendance. Mantra Love sounds like an organized acid trip, so get there early to catch them. The doors are at 8:00, it’s an all ages show, and the cover is $5.00.
Rudyard’s will be bringing in the symphonic yet eclectic sounds of Austin’s The Invincible Czars on Friday night as well. The multi-instrumental band has covered everything from “The Nutcracker Suite” to scoring film music. Hopefully those in attendance will get to hear songs from their wonderful 2005 release, “Gods of Convenience.” They’ll be joined by one of Houston/Galveston’s most interesting acts, Come See My Dead Person. They’ve got a ton of members, they play some form of alt-folk meets Americana bluegrass, and they’re a real treat to catch live. Their 2012 self titled release, “Come See My Dead Person” is pretty epic, and you’ll kick yourself if you don’t catch them, as they haven’t been as active recently. The doors are at 9:00, the cover is $10.00, and it’s a 21 & up only show.
Usually, when someone is having a party, it’s not something that is worth mentioning. But, in the guise of the Living Room Comedy shows of LA, there’s a FREE show happening Friday night featuring Houston’s own comedy genius, Sean Rouse. Rouse has been on HBO, he’s been on Comedy Central, and he’s done tours with most the heavy comedy hitters, including Dave Attell. He’ll have Houston comics John Nguyen & Gabe Bravo as support, which means it’s a strong lineup. There’s also music from the soulful & talented Justin Nava of TheLastPlaceYouLook. Things get going around 9:00, the details are here, and it’s FREE.
You might be up for something light and contemporary, and if so, the soft sounds of Hawaii native Jomel Sumira will be performing in the lounge at House of Blues. Currently living in Houston, Sumira has a pretty amazing vocal range, and she should make it a great date night for anyone who likes her soft sound. Things start around 8:00, it’s a Free show, and it’s 18 and up.
Over at Fitzgerald’s, there’s some metal happening, when Houston’s Last Ones Left play the downstairs of the club. These guys have an insane energy live, and their speed metal meets grindcore sound is a must see for any fan of the genre. I would guess that you’ll hear songs from their soon to be released latest album, that picks up the pace from their previous work, with more melody involved from the small bit I heard. They’ll have Houston’s The Trimms on the show as well, who will bring their bluesy rock sounds to the masses. The Trimms have that ability to almost incite screams of happiness from everyone who sees them. The hardcore sounds of Lafayette’s Amoretta will be there, as well as the metal assault of Houston’s Find Balance. The female fronted metal of Houston’s Apothica will get things started with doors at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the cover is between $10.00 and $14.00.
Down in Clear Lake at Scout Bar, they’ll have Houston’s pop rock duo Fox & Cats on Friday night. I would think by now you would have heard of Fox & Cats, or at least seen them live. They’ve had a nice year full of shows and festival appearances, and their live show is pretty great too. There haven’t been many duos as good as these two, and Nicole’s dream beating coupled with Josh’s guitar, make for something everyone should check out. The pop rock of San Antonio’s Hydra Melody will also be on hand to mix things up as only they can. They’ll be playing songs both new and old, and they should really make for an interesting act to see. Houston’s best and brightest new prog rockers, Sunrise and Ammunition will bring their psych heavy goodness to the show as well. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a champion of these guys, and their most recent album, “Tesseract” is pretty damn great. The indie pop of Houston’s Currents and Coastlines will get things started with doors at 8:00, show at 10:00, and cover at $7.00 for the 18 & up show.
Rounding out Friday night, is the East End Studio Gallery show featuring Hello Kitty art by local artists at the Here Kitty Kitty show. The one night only event will feature works from the likes of Blue Rooster, Doll Partz, and many many more in a group exhibition. It runs from 6:00 to 9:00, it’s Free, and it looks like it’s all ages.
On Saturday, you can start things off at 10:00 am for the Houston No Limits City Festival at Discovery Green. There’s live music from the likes of Houston’s Nick Gaitan & The Umbrella Man, The Suffers, and Los Skarnales, as well as eats and drinks. Nick plays a mix of americana meets Gulf Coast flair that’s definitely worth checking out, while The Suffers play like they’re part of the Daptone family. If you’ve never seen the high energy of Los Skarnales, you’ve been missing out; so catch them at this if you can. There promises to be stuff for kids as well as tents from our local sports teams, to reward anyone who gets up that early on a Saturday. The event runs until 2:00 pm, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% Free.
Much later in the day, Walter’s will play host to the amazingly haunting and beautiful pop rock of Montreal’s Islands. These guys have a sound that’s like a mix of psych, pop, rock, and almost everything in-between; and their newest album, “Ski Mask” is pretty close to perfect. The eclectic and melodic sounds of Brooklyn’s sister act Teen will be opening things up, and they’re easily an act everyone should make it there early for. I have a feeling that this show is where all the cool kids will be with doors at 9:00 and tickets for $10.00 for the all ages show.
Over at The Big Top, they’ll have Austin’s The Ugly Beats on Saturday night. I’m not sure if you can hear this group, and not be into their sixties garage rock sound. They remind me of some bands, but their sound in definitely their own. Their latest album, 2014’s “Brand New Day” is one of the better things you’ll hear from Austin in a long time. Things get started at 10:00, it’s 21 & up, and I don’t think there’s a cover, but don’t quote me on that.
Barbarella will be raising money for autism Saturday night, with a pretty great lineup to help. Houston’s BLSHS will be headlining the event, when they perform a cover set as La Roux. It should be pretty interesting to see what they do with songs like “Bulletproof” and “In For The Kill.” They’ll be joined by The Beans who will also be performing a cover set as Nile Rodgers and others. The evening will get started by Yung Slutty, who will be performing as himself. All of the proceeds go to benefit the Including Kids organization, the doors are at 8:00, and it’s a $5.00 cover that includes admission to the clubs 80’s night following the show.
Also on Saturday, Notsuoh will host the two piece acoustic sounds of Houston’s The Witherees. If you’ve never seen these guys, I’ll just say that you’ll be surprised what sounds an acoustic guitar and a stripped down drum kit can make. College Station’s Luca will also be performing their blend of Conor Oberst meets Matt Pryor. The American Blues of TX. Special will also be on hand, while the Brand New sounds of Huntsville’s singer songwriter Jake Robertson will open things up. Things get started around 8:00, it’s an all ages show, with a $5.00 cover for 21 & up and a $10.00 cover for everyone else.
On Sunday, you can trek out to Tomball to catch whatever Kinky Friedman will be offering up at Main Street Crossing. He should be spinning tales, singing songs, and spouting political beliefs that sound plausible until you sober up. In many ways, Friedman is a Texas treasure, which is to say that the satirist should stick to his day job and quit running for political office. Hopefully he’ll be performing songs from albums like “Under The Double Ego,” and “From One Good American To Another.” There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but the doors are at 8:00 and the tickets run a little steep at $30.00 a piece.
Of course, you’d be better off heading over to Fitzgerald’s to catch the rock guitar dominated sounds from Austin’s Sweet Talk. These guys have that blend of Cheap Girls meets Replacements type of vibe, and their release, last year’s “Flash of Light” is a six song rocker. They’ll be joined by Houston’s Brand New Hearts, who are no slouches themselves when it comes to slinging a guitar. Brand New Hearts should be one of your favorite Houston bands if you’ve never caught their tight live sets, and their two part harmonies are icing on the cake. The Latin infused guitar of Amar A Muerte will also be on board with doors at 7:00, Free for 21 & up, and a $5.00 cover for under 21.
On Monday, you should make it over to Continental Club to catch Glover Gill. If you get to the club early, you can get a FREE tango lesson, and Gill performs from 8:00 to 9:30, also free for the 21 & up crowd. They offer a tango all night kind of show, and Gill is a heck of musician worth making it out every Monday for. It’s 21 & up only though.
Your Tuesday night option is easy, The Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin will be appearing in the round at Arena Theater. The beauty of my upbringing by baby boomer parents, is that artists like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Aretha Franklin are what I grew up on. Away from her hits, she’s an insane talent to witness in a live setting; and you’re pretty much guaranteed a great seat at Arena. The tickets run between $69.50 to $119.50, the doors are at 8:30, and it’s an all ages event.
That’s a pretty stacked week before we get into the craziness of the Yes Indeed Festival dropping in next week. No matter what you do, go to a comedy show, see a great band, or catch Aretha; please be mindful of other Houstonians out there.