Blank Face: The Best of The Week
Summer is in full swing, it’s hot enough to cook food on the concrete, and this week offers up more options than usual in terms of where you can spend your hard-earned dollars. Acts like Schoolboy Q will be here, helping make those decisions even tougher. Houston, here’s where to spend your free time this week.
Wednesday you can get going over at Raven Tower with country songwriter Charlie Harrison. Harrison’s music falls in-between the worlds of traditional country and modern country without feeling false or put on. His last release was 2011’s Overdue, and if you’ve ever seen him with his full band The Regrets, then you know that he’s a heck of a performer. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
I’m Glad It’s You. Photo: Tommy Calderon
If you’re in the mood for some third-wave emo, then you can head to Satellite Bar to catch California’s I’m Glad It’s You. Touring in support of their latest release, 2014’s June, this four piece reminds me of a mix of Promise Ring with hints of Braid and Texas Is The Reason. California’s Mildura will bring their emo sounds on hand as direct support, while a band that I don’t think is the Virginia band of the same name, Middle Part, will go on prior. Donna Hayward will open things up, and Houston’s Petty Thief will bring their emo sounds to life as the closer. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and an $8 cover.
If you had planned on heading to Warehouse Live to catch the legendary hip hop of Long Beach rapper Warren G in the Studio, the show has since cancelled. Check the venue’s website about refund and rescheduling information.
Walters will have the crust grind metal of Seattle’s WILT. Here in support of last year’s Reclamation, these guys play with the kind of speed that you’d think that they were cooking meth when they wrote their songs. Seriously, as a guy who doesn’t usually get down with this kind of metal, I want to go see what they’re like live after listening to them. The d-beat sounds of Austin’s Krigblast will be on hand as direct support while the insane stoner doom of Houston’s KRVSHR will go on beforehand. The goth punk of Houston’s Forced Fem will go on prior, and things get opened by High Almond Content. The all ages show has doors at 9 pm and a $10 cover.
You can grab a decent meal and catch comedy for the last time at Hans Bier Haus for their Last Ever Open Mic. The Hans open mic was always my favorite open mic, because it’s a walk-in and sign-up without some comic lording over it like a popularity contest. The audience is within touching distance of the comic, and the food, now made by the always funny Scotty Peterson, is epic to say the least. One of Houston’s best comics will host this last open mic, Albert DeLeon, for the 21 & up show that runs from 9:30 pm to close & it’s 100% FREE. The food is free too with a beverage purchase.
Boosegumps. Photo: Lauren Lamatina
Thursday you can start off at Satellite Bar when the bedroom pop of New Jersey’s Boosegumps comes to town. Heeyoon of the band Secret Mountain leads this group, which sometimes has different members, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued. Her latest release, last year’s B-Sides, is pretty infectious and sounds like it’ll be a lot of fun to catch in person. The experimental bedroom sounds of Philly three-piece Microsoft Saint will be on as direct support, while the most engaging performer in Houston right now, Dollie Barnes, goes on prior. The indie rock goodness of Houston’s Rose Ette will be there to open things up. I feel like you shouldn’t sleep on this band, as last year’s Jungle is a mix of indie rock benchmarks and endearing pop. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and an $8 cover.
At Raven Tower you can catch the experimental pop of Minnesota’s On An On. Mixing indie rock with folk and occasional electronica, this three-piece has made quite the name for themselves with their quirky sound. Their latest album, last year’s And The Wave Has Two Sides, is full of depth and pop and the same time. Houston’s always impressive indie rockers Young Mammals will be on the bill as direct support. These guys have been going since they were in their teens with a different name, their live shows are always fun, and 2014’s Alto Seco is one of the best albums you can hear. The indie desert folk pop of Sam Turner & the Cactus Cats will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Over at Improv you can start a weekend of laughs with self-effacing comic John Heffron. Heffron has been all over the place, including NBC, Comedy Central, WTF with Marc Maron and everywhere else in-between. His sets are riotous from start to finish, and his last album, Middle Class Funny, is pretty amazing. The duties of feature act and host will be done by two of Houston’s better comedians. The 18 & up show run all weekend with doors at 7:15 pm on Thursday, 7 pm and 9 pm on Friday, 6:15 pm and 8 pm on Saturday, and 6:45 pm on Sunday. Tickets for each show run between $17 and $30.
On the East side of town you can catch the technical sludge of Austin’s Glassing at The Hellcat Cafe. These guys play the kind of screamy stuff that might give you nightmares. They’re joined by Houston’s MOTHS, who will undoubtedly incite a hint of chaos and wonderment. This three-piece might get categorized as experimental by some, but they’re more like a math rock band in the midst of an emotional breakdown live, which is the universe’s way of telling you to catch them. The psych sounds of Houston’s Bernie Pink will go on prior while things will get kicked off by Florida’s Jeff Hull. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and a measly $5 cover.
Sergio Trevino. Photo: Lindsey Cooper-Trevino
Continental Club will have a strong offering when Sergio Trevino of Buxton stops by to headline with a solo set. If you’re a fan of Buxton, then you don’t want to miss Sergio solo, as it’s a great way to hear songs that might end up on one of their albums. That means that at some point, people heard early versions of some or all of the beauties on last year’s Half A Native in the same manner. Dallas vocalist from The Fox & The Bird, Jacob Metcalf, will bring his vox on hand as support, while Mad Whitaker of Houston’s Whit will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and the show is 100% FREE.
Friday you should start off at House of Blues for the all female LA based punk of L7. I don’t know how this band was lumped in with grunge in the history of music that people write nowadays, as they’ve always been far from it. I’ve caught L7 multiple times and here’s what I’ll say: In their heyday they were pretty boring live, then in the late nineties they were more upbeat. But last year’s set at Fun Fun Fun Fest showed a leaner and tighter L7 than I’d ever seen, so if you’re a fan, then you’re in for a treat. There’s no new record, but that shouldn’t matter. The honky tonk pop wizardry of Texas’ John Wesley Coleman will be on hand as direct support and opener. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $24.50,
If you’re in the country mood, then you could swing by Dosey Doe Big Barn for the popular Texas twang of Cory Morrow. Morrow has built quite the name for himself as a songwriter and performer, he’s a fan favorite, and his last release, The Good Fight from last year, showed a different side of the artist. Houston’s Kyle Hutton opens the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $25.
Over at MATCH in midtown, the second edition of Cirque Houston will occur. Magic, sword swallowing, burlesque, comedy, aerial acrobatics and more will all take place over two shows. The mix of sideshow acts and theater performances is definitely something different and worth checking out. The 18 & up shows are at 7 pm and 9:30 pm with tickets for $30.
King Lil G. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Instagram
House of Blues will have Inglewood’s King Lil G in the Bronze Peacock room. Originally known as Little Gangster, the rapper has been dropping dope sounds since 2006. His latest, this year’s Lost In Smoke 2, feels more personal than his past albums while still having plenty of pop. Houston’s Doeman will bring his Latin hip hop to life as direct support and opener. This guy spits with energy and intensity while offering a narrative that’s gone unnoticed in hip hop, and February’s O.B.E. (Outer Body Experience) is one of the best hip hop albums you’ll hear this year. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and tickets for $20.
Over at Walters you can get your much needed punk fix when the crazed energy of San Antonio’s FEA comes to town. This band is insane to catch live, their queer positive and feminist vibes are infectious, and their latest, Feminazi, is pretty damn killer. The punk of Houston’s Talk Sick Brats will bring their high energy as direct support, while the always impressive sounds of Giant Kitty perform prior. The pop punk goodness of Turnaways will open things up, and don’t sleep on these guys as they’re pretty impressive to say the least. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Rudyard’s will have a set from the best band you aren’t seeing, Only Beast. For roughly two years I’ve said that this is a band to watch and that hasn’t changed. On the cusp of a new album release, they’ve been through hell and back and they’re still one of the best live bands in the state. They’ll have the indie rock fuzz of A Sundae Drive as direct support, and while they’re set to drop a new album this year as well, their 2014 album The Senseless and The Sound is still one of my favorites. San Antonio’s Levees will also perform, while the mix of folk and indie rock sounds of Devil Killing Moth will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
Ghastly. Photo: Beach Monkey
Stereo Live will bring the dance jams of Arizona’s Ghastly to life. Ghastly has been making butts shake with his glitchy mix of trap, house, and dub into his own bass heavy sound. His sets are known to be on fire and he never plays down here. The slow jams of LA’s Boombox Cartel will be on as direct support, and the gutter tech of Australia’s Go Freek will be on as openers. The 18 & up show has doors at 9 pm and tickets are between $10 and $18.
If you’d rather, you could swing by Alley Kat for a hip hop set from Mark Drew. Drew is one of the better producers and rappers in the city, his live sets are always on point, and his latest, Red Lights At 3 am, is definitely worth hearing. He’ll have opening sets from Kay Jay and Tim Woods as well for the 21 & up show that has doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
John Doe (Pictured with Mike McCready). Photo: KEXP
Mucky Duck will bring the legendary sounds of John Doe to town. Former founder of X and The Knitters, Doe has been steadily dropping solo records for well over a decade. His latest album, the recently released The Westerner is pretty damn solid and this might be your only chance to see him this close. To my knowledge, only standing tickets are left for the 21 & up show with doors at 9:30 pm and tickets between $25 and $27.
Saturday you can get going at Cactus Music for an in-store performance from The Mighty Orq. Composer, singer-songwriter, and touring artist, this guy is like Houston’s “holy grail” of blues artistry. Possibly one of the best guitarists going, his last album, Live: Lost In Germany, is a real trip. The all ages event gets going around 3 pm, there’s gratis beer for the adults, and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Discovery Green, you can catch the Julydoscope event which will feature live dance, spoken word from Natasha Carrizosa, and a live set from Houston rapper Genesis Blu. Genesis might be one of the strongest performers in the Houston rap scene right now, she just dropped an EP called 3Peace, and she’s already working on a dope follow-up. A screening of the film “Sonita” will cap off the all ages evening that gets going at 7 pm and is 100% FREE.
Dale Watson. Photo: Brian Blauser
Mucky Duck will offer up two shows that are equally as cool as they are one time events, when Dale Watson and Reverend Horton Heat drop solo acoustic sets. While it’s true that the Rev was just here, how many times can you say that you sat three feet from him while he played a solo set and told you the tales behind some of his songs. The same could be said about Dale Watson, who’s been a favorite of mine since fifteen years ago when I’d see him at little honky tonks all over central Texas. Both of these guys have been on national TV like Letterman, both are stellar guitarists, and both have crazy life stories. The 21 & up shows are left at standing room tickets only at this point with shows at 7 pm and 9:30 pm, and tickets between $25 and $27.
Ladybird’s will have an intriguing lineup when The Tontons return for a set. It’s been a while since the band dropped a set, they added Andrew Lee on guitar, and they’ve started work on a new album. Seeing them with this new lineup gives a new life to their engaging sound, and if you’re a fan, this this is your chance to see them. Speaking of returning, Houston’s Poor Pilate will be on hand as direct support, while Vodi will go on prior. Don’t sleep on Vodi as their newer recordings and overall sound are pretty amazing, and the fact that members of Buxton, Dollie Barnes, and more are in this band just proves that they’re onto something. The Jimi Hendrix cover sounds of Stone Free will open the 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Another Run. Photo: Jean Velez
Fitzgerald’s will have a special matinee show from Houston alt rockers TheLastPlaceYouLook upstairs. Okay, so this isn’t as much of a matinee in the traditional sense, but it will be over before 10:30 pm. That being said, if you’ve missed some of the updates these guys have had as a band, then you should definitely make it out to see what they’ve been up to. The high energy of Another Run will go on prior and bring their catchy, hook-heavy songs to life. If you somehow missed last year’s EP Be Honest, then you should definitely check out their latest single, “700 Days.” The impressive and catchy-as-hell songs of King Finn will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $10.
Warehouse Live will host the always fun ska jams of The Suspects in the greenroom. These guys were skankin’ back when I was in high school, and they haven’t missed a beat since. Their last release was 2000’s Lost Along The Way, but their sound is pretty timeless. The live instrumented hip hop of Marauderz will be on as direct support, while the crazed psych sounds of Disfrutalo will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
Billy Joe Shaver. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
The Dosey Doe Music Cafe in Conroe will offer up an intimate setting to catch one of the best songwriters ever to walk the face of the earth when Billy Joe Shaver stops by to perform with a full band. This guy has been in movies, he’s written a ton of songs that others made into hits, and his album Old Five and Dimers Like Me is one of the best country albums ever made. His full band includes Houston’s Nick Gaitan on stand up bass and he’s a guy you need to see sooner than later. The all ages show has doors at 8:30 pm and tickets for $25.
Walters will host the tour kickoff and tape release for death metal act Peasant. These guys make pretty intense music, their live shows are always impressive, and their latest that will come out on tape, Pain Is Near, is pretty epic. The thrash metal of Houston’s Malevolent Force will be on as direct support while Project Armageddon will perform their final show of the year beforehand. It’s also Doomstress’ birthday, so their set will more than likely be more insane than usual. The dark sludge doom of KRVSHR will go on prior, while the darkwave of Buoyant Spirit will open the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and a $9 cover.
You can close out your Saturday with the Love Tempo set over at Grand Prize featuring Andy V and Kenny Evans. This edition will feature some disco jams and some traditional boogie, and the 21 & up event starts at 10 pm and is 100% FREE.
Adam Bricks. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Sunday you could swing by Walters to catch the amazing sounds of Houston’s Adam Bricks. Bricks just dropped a pretty solid album this year called Relations that could easily change your mind on singer songwriters. There are moments of grandiose beauty coupled with road weary traveller on this release that make it one of my favorites of this year so far. Austin’s Ryan Sambol of the band The Strange Boys will swing by to drop a solo set as well. Last year he dropped the amazing and intriguing album Now Ritual that’s one of the best things from Austin you can hear. Houston’s Birthday Club will get things will get started with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10 for the all ages show.
If you were lucky enough to grab tickets to Schoolboy Q, then you’ll be heading to the ballroom at Warehouse Live for his show. The now-sold out performance will be in support of his newly dropped album, Blank Face. There’s no word of openers but that will more than likely show with doors at 8 pm.
You can still get your hip hop fix at Continental Club when the legendary sounds of NYC’s Grand Puba. Active in hip hop since 1985, this guy was the lead MC for Brand Nubian, he’s known for a sick flow, and he just returned with a new album called Black from the Future. Not to be outdone, Sadat X also of Brand Nubian will bring his mic slaying skills on as direct support. Sadat can spit hard and his latest release Coast Connect just solidifies that. DJ Kool Emdee and VJ Sly Foxx will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $10.
Monday you can head to Poison Girl for their Tiny Concert Series, this time with a solo set from Teresa Vicinanza of Rose Ette. If you’ve been sleeping on Rose Ette, then this is your chance to hear their songs and more from their lead singer. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Kitten. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Tuesday you could head to Warehouse Live to catch the post punk dance pop of LA’s Kitten. This often-five-piece drops songs that are ultra catchy and hard to forget, while their live sets are always impressive. Their latest album, Heaven Or Somewhere In Between, is a little lighter, but still catchy. The electropop of Vegas’ Sizzy Rocket will provide direct support while the poprock of Clean Spill will open the all ages show in the studio with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $13 and $15.
You can get your laughs in at Rudyard’s for another edition of the popular show from Boo Town, Grown Up Storytime. This massively popular show where comics and the like read true tales is always hilarious. The 8 pm show usually sells out fast but there’s also a 10 pm show, and both of the 21 & up shows have a $7 cover.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you do please stay hydrated and do things in the safest way possible.