Thursday, January 10, 2024

Spot The Local Music Curmudgeon - January 10 2024 Edition

posted by Ramon Medina - LP4 @ 6:10 AM

-A weekly blog where I highlight at least one show I definitely expect to attend (see *) and throw in a few more that I'd like to and might see given the money and the time. -

Saturday I went to the Hootenanny (in case this post didn't make it obvious). All the bands played wonderfully. John Sears' twee-pop take on Sam Cooke was sweet. The Papermoons did a rip roaring Pedro the Lion. The Jonx (NoMeansNo) and Panic In Detroit (Jawbox) both had the most masterful and muscular takes on their respective assignments. The Mathletes (Talking Heads) were fun as usual. Something Fierce's Clash brought out the rowdy in the crowd. Sadly, I missed the aptly named Awesome which was a drag. Blades roared through Foo Fighters and special guest vocalist Anna Garza was brilliant to say the least. Indian Jewelry's take on Depeche Mode was exactly what you'd expect - all strobes and tribal. But, I'd have to say, the band that got everyone utterly nutters was the Dimes and Mlee Suprean doing the Pixies. It may not have had the precision of say the Panic or Jonx performances but it did capture the most important vibe of the evening - this was a party. With the first chords of Wave of Mutilation the crowd was jumping up and down making the floor upstairs literally shake like an earthquake and let's not forget the Adams brothers - Will and Tom - were in full effect. That, to me, is what this was all about - a big-ass party for the Houston's indie rock scene. A big "hooray for us" event which is kind of nice because it brings everyone under one roof where you can't move 2 feet without seeing someone you immediately know and want to shout out a big "Hey how's it going!" So kudos ADR, Anna, and Ben - great music, great vibes, great peeps - the party was a blast. Now, when is the next one?

The best news about Saturday was that it pointed to a very healthy music scene in that people were actually getting out of the house to see live music and it wasn't just The Hootenanny. The Hardcore Show with ANS at Notsuoh did great, The Sad Like Crazy show at the Prolee had a full house, My Education over at Rudz pulled them in, and The Free Press food drive at Numbers was a rousing success. You know there's a good thing going on when you have too many good choices and people actually, you know, get out! Way to not sit at home Houston!

Oh and last night's Motion Turns It On, Fantasy's Core, and Amplified Heat show was great. I was furiously texting people to come out and see this show if only for Nagasaki's Fantasy's Core whom I'd met a few years ago and blew my mind. But it's a weekday what can you do? We're all working stiffs and work is why I didn't stick around for Amplified Heat's set so I can't point fingers. Still, a respectable attendance. Motion Turns It On were on fire. I hadn't seen them since their debut a long time ago and all I can say is they've come a long long way. My original complaint was they the music kind of rambled but clearly they sharpened their compositions because last night was stunning to say the least. Fanstasy's Core was solid but I've seen them play much better. Vocalist Mao Karis' voice was out and he was under the weather which made for a "subdued" show. Nevertheless I'll take a level 2 Fantasy's Core show over many a bands level 10. Always a blast and here's some video just to give you a taste:


*Friday, January 11 -
Sharks and Sailors / UME / Camp X-Ray
@ Rudyard's
I warned you people that if Sharks and Sailors or Ume are playing, I have to drop everything and go. Well if this doesn't beat all - both are playing at Rudz Friday - awesomeness indeed! Sharks and Sailors have had some time to work on their power trio line-up and I know I'm psyched to see what they have brought fourth from their secret lair buried deep under some substrata of earth. If you are unfamiliar with Sharks and Sailors , let's just say that they are a band for music geeks . Lots of sharp playing , a drummer, who is as dexterous as he is brutal, mixes it up with the bassist, who is as limber as she is heavy, in a kind of rhythm section boxing exhibition as the guitars and vocals dance around. Personally, the endless wait for their new album has been one of the most brutal waits since Bring back the Guns started teasing about an album release years ago. Here's hoping they get it out in 2024.

Ume is like one of those Fran Frazetta muscle bound dudes who stand atop a pile of bones except the axe is a guitar and the dude is Lauren who flails her mighty axe with abandon. And while her stage antics may give Angus Young a run for his money, ultimately it's her playing that you want to key in on. Most guitarists approach scales in simple conceptual boxes but watch her and she is all over the fretboard jumping from low to high to great effect. Some clever alternate tuning, bad ass technique, and a unique voice (her guitar phrasing I mean though her singing style is great too) and you have a great guitar nerd show. The rest of the band ain't chopped liver either and of course they'd be nothing without the songs and some of the new songs they played last go round at the Proletariat had me wishing I'd have had the wherewithal to have bootlegged the show as I'm getting impatient waiting for their new release as well. STOKED!

Friday, January 11
Something Fierce / The Monocles (7" release) / Hoodlum Circus / This Year's Tiger
@ Walter's on Washington
Meanwhile just north of town we have a bad-ass tour kicking off. Something Fierce (who had the most per-capita beer flung during their set at the Hootenanny last week) join the ever amazing Monocles on a tour that will surely leave neither man nor beast standing in their wake. Something Fierce's Teenage Ruins was simply the best single to have hit any turntable last year and proof that pop-punk need not be a sucky cliched slave to genre boundaries; it can be clever, original, exciting, unrelentingly hummable and, yes, fun! That pretty much describes their shows to a T! Go to their show and try to leave pissy! I dare you! It cannot be done! (Go to their myspace and listen to the song and see what I mean! God, it's brilliant!) The Monacles meanwhile rip it up live like nobody's business and bonus they have a 7" release this night. But I'll just let the music (and the video) do the talking:


Thursday, January 10 P.D. Wilder/Translations/Thomas Ayresol/Malissa/Swirve @ Super Happy Fun Land (last show at Ashland!)
The final night on Asland - that should be enough, shouldn't it? And what a run it's been, eh? That place has a wonderful funkyness we will all miss. Here is you chance to experience it in all its glory.

Friday, January 11
500 Megatons of Boogie / Wild Moccasins / Missing Files
@ The Backroom (The Mink)
500 Megatons of Boogie are a treat. Like a P\proggy ZZTop's smart-ass brother and I don't even know what that means so er how about I say they are a band that's inexplicably weird yet at the same time seemingly quite normal. The Wild Moccasins do melodic acoustic pop while the Missing Files bring their bouncy pop all the way from Conroe.

Friday, January 11
The Defenestration Unit
@ Avant Garden
Charlie Ebersbaker and Mike Switzer's jazzy spacey juggernaught of a band land their spaceship at Avant Garden for those of you who choose to travel with them across the cosmic spaceways.

Saturday, January 12
Andrew Jackson Jihad / O Pioneers!!! / Teenage Kicks / Fire Team Charlie
@ The Mink (8:30PM)
Andrew Jackson Jihad are as cute as the bunny on their debut People Who Can Eat People Are The Luckiest People In The World. Acoustic guitars and drums backup music that's chipper, clever, indie rock for the lighthearted. Oh Pioneers meanwhile is the one-two punch of Eric I Heart U's guitars and vocals screaming over the roar of Chris Ryan's drums. Great show and Eric droll stage banter is often as brilliant as the music. I also got a bang out of the Teenage Kicks' recent poppy garage Grey Ghost entry so they should be fun.

Saturday, January 12
Secret Saturday Show
featuring several mystery bands & DJs
@ The Shady Tavern (1206 W. 20th St.; 12-5PM, free!)
You know the story. free. Bands. Djs. Secret

Saturday, January 12
Kinky Friedman / Steve Fromholz
@ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
It's Kinky, how can I not mention it?

Saturday, January 12
Whitman /Splinter Cake / Black Black Gold
@ Notsuoh
California's Whitman, Arizona's Splinter Cake, and Houston's Black Black Gold have acoustic guitars and cassette recorders and they aren't afraid to use 'em.

Monday, January 14
Stuck Lucky / Molotov Compromise / Detonate / Murder Majesty / The Failed Attempt
@ The White Swan
Hi Ska! I remember you!

Wednesday, January 16
Woozyhelmet / Wicked Poseur
@ The Proletariat
It's at the Prolee therefore you have to go! Austin's Woozy Helmet are poppy goodness you can't help but enjoy and the keyboard driven madness of Wicked Poseur always leaves people riled up and dancing like Les Baxter and Martin Denny raging on whiskey and X.....umm whatever that means.


At January 10, 2024 8:37 AM , Anonymous Jason said...

"The best news about Saturday was that it pointed to a very healthy music scene in that people were actually getting out of the house to see live music and it wasn't just The Hootenanny."

Absolutely! And Houstonians have the same problem this weekend. Friday night, I can't decide between Rudyard's, a show which you feature, and Warehouse Live which brings us Penny Royal who you don't mention, but should definitely draw well. Then Saturday Zykos and Zookeeper are at Engine Room while there is a huge list of talented bands upstairs and down at Fitz. 2024 is looking good. Thanks for getting the word out on the good and great bands of Houston and Texas.
Jason - Alkari

At January 11, 2024 4:38 AM , Blogger Ramon Medina - LP4 said...

Thanks Jason.

Just to note that this list is not meant to be comprehensive. That is why God created Space City Rock. ;)


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