Born To Mack: The Best of The Week
Well Houston, it’s been a pretty epic year that’s all coming to a close in 14 hours from you viewing this. We saw a lot, experienced a lot, and had a blast together. Luckily for you, NYE has plenty of options, while the rest of the week isn’t too shabby either. Here’s how to navigate where you’ll be for that midnight kiss, and where you’ll spend the opening of 2015.
Wednesday, aka New Years Eve, has a ton of options that start off with the BLSHS Masquerade Ball over at Fitzgerald’s. So, aside from the fact that this trio has had an amazing year, BLSHS appears to be pulling out all of the stops on this show. Not only will they headline the evening, the rumor is that they might be performing some new stuff not found on their 2014 album, “Abstract Desires.” In that attempt to have a different lineup, they have New Jersey’s TEEEL performing on the bill as well. Teeel owns Synth Records, he’s a pretty prolific performer, and his recently released “Hydrostatic” sets him far apart from the bulk of the EDM world. If that weren’t enough, New York City Queens will be bringing their pop fueled hipster rock sound to the show too. NYCQ are rumored to have an album drop in the first 90 days of 2015, so you’ll more than likely hear songs off of that release if you attend the show. The electro pop sound of Children Of Pop will also perform; and I don’t think I’m lying when I say that they might be the most proactive group going right now. A DJ set from Houston’s wizard of nature sounds intertwined with trippy beats, Yung Slutty will be there to open things up and get asses moving. The show has doors at 8:00, and it’s a $10.00 cover for under 21 and 100% FREE for 21 and up.
Over at Black Barbie they’ll be hosting Houston’s most soulful and trap house producer, Josiah Gabriel. So, I know that sooner than later, this guy will drop his new album; and from what I hear, it’s some next level stuff. I’d suggest catching him while you can because he could easily blow up at any time. The show will also host the spaced out garage rock of Space Villains. The Houston based trio redefines the sounds of garage rock with epic solos and jazz infused tunes that are rampant on their recently dropped “Asterism.” Everybody’s favorite white hip hopper, NIKKHOO will also be there to drop some lyrical science on all who attend. I was pretty impressed by his work with Houston’s PLXTX, and he should impress just as much on this show. The psych garage noise of Kose will also be there to make ears bleed, while Pitter Patter will open things up. The doors are at 8:00, it’s $20.00 for under 21 and $10.00 for 21 & up, which includes beverages.
Bayou Music Center will have the pop rock sounds of Houston’s Blue October on hand. So, I know the band’s bio says they’re from San Marcos, but that’s just for the people who don’t know that singer Justin Furstenfeld not only attended HSPVA, but he also worked with me at Auntie Pasto’s. I remember Justin when he was in a band called The Last Wish and he hung around Cafe Brazil all the time. Things have definitely changed and well, no matter what you think of these guys; they’re playing a massive room on NYE. Their latest album, “Sway” keeps in line with their well crafted sound. The doors are at 9:00 and the tickets are between $60.00 and $76.00.
At The Alley Kat, they’ll have the NYE Cumbia Fever show. The best part of this is that it features the crazy live sounds of Gio Chamba. I’ve already told you this guy’s a badass, so just know that his live set is just as dope as his music. He’ll be joined by Senior Jukebox for the evening and the show, which is 21 & up, is 100% FREE with complimentary midnight champagne.
Continental Club will have a night full of covers, when The Allen Oldies Band performs. These guys run the gambit of classics when they play and they’re always entertaining. They’ll be joined by Picture Book, lead by singer/songwriter, and king of pop rock badassery, Chase Hamblin. So, I know that Chase is a huge fan of sixties era British rock music, and it comes through with this band. They cover pretty much every great band from that time, and it’s scary how similar they sound to the originals. Thrill opens things up on the 21 & up show. The doors are at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Numbers will also be hosting their obligatory NYE event. The show with Wes Wallace will feature a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, and a $2015.00 cash drop as well. They’re promising FREE party favors as well as giveaways all night. The doors are at 9:00, and for some reason there’s no mention of cover charge, though it’s cheaper earlier in the evening.
There’s a good NYE show over at Rudyard’s as well, when the powerful sounds of Giant Kitty perform. You probably don’t know that this three piece is working with a big name producer for their upcoming album, but you should know that they play face melting rock in the vein of L-7. Their music is loud, unapologetic, and will mow you over if you misjudge them for being a “girl’s band.” They’ll have Houston’s most creative and energetic band on prior with Only Beast. In an odd twist of irony, I feel like I’ve told you all year to go see this three piece where the guitarist also plays bass. I guess if that’s all they were about, then it would be on you to decide whether to check them out or not. But since they house one of Houston’s more impressive drummers, and a singer who bounces around the stage while belting out ferocious notes; I’d say the combination of the three is why you should see them. The show is 21 & up, it’s a measly $8:00, and the doors are at 9:00.
The Summit also has a pretty cool New Year’s show with Houston’s best rapper going, Fat Tony headlining. I feel like if you knew what I knew about this guy, you’d celebrate his work twice as hard. Tony is easily making the “Screw” era of Houston rap a thing of the past as he leads the pack into a new world where Houston hip hop is more inventive than anywhere else in the country. The hip hop style of DJ Dayta, and the Latin infused vibe of Bonbon co-founder Gracie Chavez are also set to perform. DJ Klinch will also be on hand, while Navo opens things up. The doors are at 10:00, it’s a 21 & up show, and the tickets are between $15.00 and $20.00.
Rounding out the NYE festivities, Improv will host Houston’s own Ralphie May. Ralphie is one of those comics who can work any crowd and get laughs like it’s a reflex. His latest album, 2012’s “Too Big To Ignore” falls in line with his string of amazing albums. As per all shows at Improv, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as host and feature acts. This show is one of several, but the NYE night show includes a glass of champagne, and dinner with your ticket. There are two shows on NYE at 7:00 and 10:00 with tickets between $45.00 and $100.00. He also has shows from Friday to Sunday. There are two on Friday at 8:00 and and 10:30, Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and one Sunday at 7:30; and all of those shows have cover between $25.00 and $50.00.
Thursday, Walters has a pretty good post NYE haze show, when the indie pop of Houston’s Belvoir plays. The group has two singers, and they should be dropping their album sooner than later. The guitar based garage pop of Forever Miles will also be there, while the psych pop of New Orleans’ Paper Bison will also be on hand. The solo work of singer songwriter Stevie Menjivar is also set to perform, with the indie folk of New Orleans New Holland on as well. Mystic Merkaba will go on second, with Mouth Reader opening. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and it’s $5.00 for 21 & up, and $8.00 for under 21.
If you’re a fan of punk, then Mango’s has the show for you with Free At Last from Missouri playing. These guys sound like a mix of DOA and early 7 Seconds. Houston’s United Races will also perform, while the Minor Threat sounding Primal League will also play. The MDC sounds of San Antonio’s Brain Dead will also be on the bill, and they should be pretty cool to see live. One of Houston’s more exciting up and coming hardcore bands, Paranoid Chant is also set to perform, and I feel sorry for anyone who has to follow them. Hard Strike will open things up at their first show ever. The show is all ages, the doors are at 7:30, and the cover is $5.00.
Everyone’s favorite new comic, Gabe Bravo will host a FREE comedy show over at Avant Garden. The show, Goddammit! will feature the hilarity of Stephen Brandau, the sweet but harsh comedy of Liz Padjen, the funny and misguided jokes of Anthony Colicci, and the non stop humor of Warren Wright. I think you should attend just to see if booker, Andrew Youngblood can entertain the crowd, as he’s set to perform as well. The show will have other guests and will close out with music from Fat Mannequin and Howl & The Rougarou. Things start around 10:30 and it’s 100% FREE.
Friday, you have more options than I thought starting off with the XXXIV show over at Notsuoh. The electronica night hosted by the trippy house sounds of DNCSxWLVS and will feature the likes of some of the Prints NotPrince crew. The evening is headlined by FLCON FCKER who will perform both visuals and a set. FLCON has been dropping some of his newer gems lately that have me stoked for his upcoming release. He’ll have one of the most innovative and entertaining producers from New Orleans, Birdmagic perform prior to him. This guy not only drops a mix of slow jamz and funky beats, but he’s so prolific that you have no idea what he’ll show up with everytime he visits. There’s a special set from DJ Angieliste, while the magic of Android Genius gets things started as only he can. Things start off at 9:00, it’s a 21 & up affair, and it’s 100% FREE.
Over in Discovery Green, you can take the family and the family dog to watch Maurice Sendak’s classic, “Where The Wild Things Are.” If the film screening wasn’t enough, you can go early and take pics of your kid or yourself with one of the film’s characters. You have to bring your own camera, but that’s still pretty cool. The photo-ops are from 6:00-7:30, and the film starts at 7:30. It’s an all ages screening that’s 100% FREE.
Rudyard’s will host the latest shadow puppet show from those at Boo Town called “Death and A Roller Coaster.” Based on a true story from Baytown, the show will utilize many different forms to portray the tale of a burning man, and his suspects who went to amusement parks during the investigation. The show should be an interesting one with Something Fierce performing afterwards. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 9:00, and the cover is pay what you can.
MKT Bar will have another installment of the Beta Theater Comedy Night as well. The show this week will feature a slew of local comics doing anywhere from five to ten minute sets, while the evening will be hosted by the hard working antics of Tim Mathis. The show also features Mycal Dede, Victor Tran, Jermaine Warren, and Kazeem Rahman. The night will also feature an EXCLUSIVE 8th Wonder Beer that’s only available at this event. The show is all ages, it gets started at 9:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Walters they’ll host the King Finn album release party. I would think that you would have heard the indie rock meets ambient sounds of King Finn by now. They have this pop twinge to their sound that makes them a little difficult to ignore. As exciting as it is for them to be dropping something new, they’ll have a pretty strong lineup on before them. Satellite Brigade will be there as direct support, and they’ll bring their Southern rock meets indie pop sound to the bill. The ultra proggy sounds of Houston’s Vox Vocis will also be on hand, as they mix an almost garage rock meets prog rock sound together to create something truly unique. El Fin Mora will also be there, while DJ A-Time opens things up. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and the tickets are between $5.00 and $10.00.
Your Saturday has some interesting options that start off with Too $hort over at Arena Theater. I wish there was enough time to tell you about the massive amount of time I spent jamming the suburbs to the tunes of Too $hort. This guy has more hits than a mafia boss, and his latest album, this year’s “19,999 EP” is one of his strongest to date. And as a guy who has seen him live more than once, he’s a not to be missed act. If his swag isn’t enough to convince you to attend, then maybe the fact that Houston’s un-official mayor, Bun B will also be performing. If you didn’t catch Bun earlier at Warehouse Live when he performed with Kirko Bangz, then I’d suggest making it out this time. Hearing the rhymes from his latest, “Trill OG: The Epilogue” was worth waiting on him to hit the stage. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are between $32.50 and $52.50.
Rudyard’s will have the americana country folk of Austin’s Fire In The Kitchen. These guys have a sound that’s like a soft version of alt country, or at least Ryan Adams meets Wilco. The four piece will have to bring their a game though, as one of the strongest set of pipes in Houston, Justin Nava will open things up with a solo set. You more than likely know Nava from his band, TheLastPlaceYouLook, but you might not have ever caught his solo work. This show is definitely a great way to see him, as his solo stuff hits just as hard with an acoustic guitar and his powerful voice. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and there’s no cover mentioned, but that may change.
If you’re up for a drive, then you can head out to the Dosey Doe Big Barn to catch the Queen of Swamp Boogie, Marcia Ball. If you’ve never seen Ball live, I’ll admit that she’s more entertaining than you’d expect. Her latest, “The Tattooed Lady and The Alligator Man” are up there with some of her strongest work. The show includes dinner which is served between 6:00 and 7:30, and the show starts at 8:30. The tickets are between $68.00 and $108.00.
Warehouse Live has the funny for you when they have the 2014 in Review: Still No Jesus show in the greenroom. The comedy show, hosted by Kirk L. and Elaine Phillips is a mish mash of round table discussions, quizzes, and all the good and bad of 2014. There also promises to be live stand-up from Jermaine Warren, Sylvester Sanchez, and Gabe Bravo. The evening will be capped off by a performance from the hip hop improv group, The Space Rhyme Continuum. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are a measly $3.00.
Monday, you can get over to Continental Club for Clover Gill. So, this is the go to spot every Monday that you may or may not have ever attended. Gill plays like a jukebox while you can Tango all night. There’s a FREE Tango class from 6:00 to 7:30, and Gill gets rolling at 8:00. It’s one of the best times you can have for zero dollars, it’s 21 & up, and it’s 100% FREE.
If you want to see a healthy mix of pro comics and up and comers, then you should venture over to Rudyard’s for their weekly open mic. The best part is that you can literally see anyone, in fact every comic in my “Stand Up & Deliver” series has done this show. Sometimes out of town acts roll up and drop some new material on the crowd, and sometimes it’s a locals only affair. No matter who or what you see, it’s always happening and it’s always FREE and 21 & up with doors at 7:30.
Tuesday, you can sashay over to Discovery Green for the Two Step Tuesdays in the park show. I don’t usually advocate dancing to whatever the music industry calls current country music, but since this event includes free lessons in the art of the two-step; even a guy like me could possibly attend. The free lessons are at 7:00 and you can line dance until those boots you never wear really start to hurt, or until they make you leave. The event is all ages & 100% FREE.
Well, that’s about all this week. Whatever you decide to do on New Year’s Eve, remember that the idiots are out in full force. That means that finding the safest route home is always best, and that this is definitely one of those nights where you need a designated driver, or at leasta cab in waiting. See you in 2015 and have a safe one, no matter what you decide to do.