Calm Down: The Best of The Week
Last week was definitely a stacked one where we got to see this city start to heat up even in the cold. This week isn’t much different where you’ll have some nights where you’ll have a tough decision to make on where you’ll go to. Bigger names like G-Eazy pictured above will be here alongside many others and locals as well. Houston, here’s how to spend your paycheck.
Wednesday you can start off over at The Nightingale Room for the honky tonk tunes of Friendswood native Brad Boyer. Boyer plays the kind of country tunes that have crazy hooks and catchy structure that still carry enough of old school country to give you the feels. His latest album, “Montagu Hotel” from 2014 is pretty amazing, and it even has a track that features Joe Ely. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Garrison Keillor, Photo: Wolf Trap
If you’re a big fan of A Prairie Home Companion on NPR, then you might want to head to Jones Hall to catch Garrison Keillor. The storyteller, humorist, and radio personality will be performing live for one night only. This isn’t a musical performance, so keep that in mind. I actually have no clue what the performance will actually be. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $35.00 and $149.00.
You can get your hip hop on over in the studio at Warehouse Live when Houston’s Propain drops a set. Once called the future of Houston rap, Propain puts on an energetic show when he performs. Late last year he dropped a new album called “Against All Odds” that really shines. Houston’s Cal Wayne will be on as direct support, while GT Garza will get the all ages show started. The doors are at 8:00 and tickets are $25.00.
Walters is bringing back their short lived $2.00 show series, this time with the experimental noise of Maramuresh. This band is like an odd freefall off of a cliff where the wind and your screams make a sound. The synth genius of Splendid Emblem will also be on the bill, while Rat in The Knife Drawer and Alex Tu will also be on the show. The doors are at 8:00 and the cover is $2.00 on the all ages affair.
If you like punk and metal, then you should head to The Next Door to catch the first edition of Snowblind. The show will feature back to back DJ sets from DJ Fool and DJ Bakka. If you read between the lines on the DJ names, then you surely know that these two are the guys who can bring you the best of both genres. The 21 & up event starts at 10:00, there’s cheap drink specials, and it’s 100% FREE.
Thursday there’s plenty of options that kick off with the folky sounds of Ft Worth’s Green River Ordinance at House of Blues. The popular quintet has built quite the following while touring alongside the likes of mutemath and Eisley. Their latest release is this year’s “Fifteen” and from what I hear they’re really entertaining to see live. The bluesy folk of Grady Spencer & the Work will be on as direct support where Nashville’s Sean McConnell will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
If you’d rather dance till’ you can’t walk, then you could head to The Nightingale Room for the cumbia dance jams of Houston’s Gio Chamba. Chamba and his percussionist Coffee Guzman have more energy than the Energizer bunny on speed, and last year’s “Chamba” proved that his live tunes are just as enlightening on an album as they are in person. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Khon’s you can catch one of the most intriguing performers I’ve ever seen, when CJ Boyd comes back through town. Boyd plays bass like he’s making love to it while also singing into the sky. The pain, anguish, and sheer magic of his performances is always a treat, and 2014’s “precariat” shows the age of a nonstop tour that’s on year eight. The intriguing duo of Ms Sandy (Sandy Ewen) and Ms Yet will bring music and bellydancing to life like you’ve never witnessed before. The bizarre and always interesting sounds of Ak’chamel will open things up while performing new, old, and always improvised songs from their catalog. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and a TBA cover.
Savoy, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
The popular Brooklyn trio, Savoy will be over in the studio at Warehouse Live. Playing live instruments alongside electronics, their “1000 Years” EP from last year is a trip full of pop heavy hooks. The pop EDM of North Carolina’s Crywolf will be there in the middle slot, and should bring his ghostly pop sounds from last year’s “Cataclasm” to life. The Chase DeMaster and Josiah Gabriel hybrid, Kult Dizney will be there to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $15.00 cover.
Over at Walters there’s a show that you’d be foolish to miss when Lyric Michelle performs on her album release party for “MissDirection.” Last year she dropped a pretty dope single featuring Fat Tony called “Directions,” and her live sets are always on point. She’ll be backed by a live band featuring Kam Franklin of The Suffers, Kitty Beebe, Ashley Toman and more. Direct support will be handled by none other than the great white hope of Houston hip hop, Kyle Hubbard. Hubbard has been on fire since returning, and last year’s “Majestic Hotel” proves he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Corbin Dallas will also drop a set, while the deck wizardry of Dayta will kick things off. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $15.00.
Mucky Duck will host a set from Kansas Americana four piece, Appleseed Collective. This band has so much depth that if you really like Americana tunes, then this is the act to see. Their latest release, 2014’s “Young Love” is pretty damn good, and they’ve got a buzz around their live show. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:30 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
Friday you can start off at The Nightingale Room for the face melting indie rock of Austin’s Megafauna. I don’t plug many Austin acts because so many sound like clones of Wild Child, but this power trio is pretty damn epic. I caught them live last time they were in Houston and was seriously impressed. Their 2014 release “Maximalist” is a mix of heavy riffs with an intriguing vocal alongside occasional pop hooks. The blues rock of Houston’s Tribe Hill will open the 21 & up show with doors at 6:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Grace Potter, Photo: Williams & Hirakawa
House of Blues will have the popular tunes of Vermont’s Grace Potter. Potter is best known from her stint under the name Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, as well as scoring a massive hit for the “Tangled” soundtrack. Her latest release, “Midnight” is a mix of pop and blues rock, and has already had some charting tracks. The show doesn’t mention an opener, but that could change. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $27.50 and $45.00.
Out at BFE in Cypress, you can catch my homie and former Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff pinkus’ new band Honky. They aren’t really new, in fact they’ve been around for a good while now. When Pinkus isn’t touring with Melvins, he’s fronting this band that’s like the ZZ Top of modern day rock. Their last album, “421” from 2011 still sounds new and their live shows are legendary. There’s a ton of Houston acts on this show as well with Dirty Seeds, Madsons, Torrid Complex, The Guillotines, and Unknown Complex. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and a $12.00 cover, and no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of music for twelve bucks.
If you’re a fan of Planned Parenthood, then you should get over to Numbers for the monthly bash from Dem Damn Dames at their Legislate This Burlesque Benefit show. This yearly event is always a blowout and this edition is no exception to that. A bake sale from Violet Peacock and The Benefit Betties, a pre-show with Skabz The Clown, Nikki Knockout, and a sideshow performance from Broken Sideshow will occur. Pair that with an art auction from Sketchbook Saloon, the entire Dames crew with special performance from Dallas’ Marylynn Mayhem, and all of it hosted by Benefit Betties’ own Al E Cat; and you have a lot of entertainment going to a good cause. of course your ticket includes FREE entry to Houston’s longest running dance night, Classic Numbers immediately following the show. The 18 & up event has doors at 7:00 and tickets are a measly $20.00.
Over at Satellite Bar you can catch the trash poet meets country rock sounds of Austin’s John Wesley Coleman III. So, this guy makes an intriguing blend of multiple genre music, he sometimes performs poetry atop his music, and he’s a pretty interesting guy to see live. While his latest album “Greatest Hits” isn’t up for streaming yet, you can check out his 2014 release “The Love That You Own” to get an idea of his sound. Houston’s resident garage rockers Mikey & The Drags will be on as direct support, and should blow the roof off the joint when they play. Though I’m hearing rumblings about new material, last year they dropped my favorite Houston album with “Make You Mine” where they give us all a reason to dance like it’s 1967. San Antonio’s The Bolos will also be on the bill, while the soulful sounds of Adam Bricks will be on hand to open things up. Bricks is worth getting there early for, and his 2014 release of “Demos” just showed that he’s not going away. The 18 & up show has doors at 8:00 and the show has a TBA cover.
Fitzgerald’s will host the soulful and heavy handed sounds of Lincoln Durham. A Texas native, Durham’s tunes are like going to church without the annoying religious aspects. His last full length was in 2013, but this year he released a new single with “Bide My Time” that sounds like a creepy religious experience of country, folk, and hints of punk. The one man band is rumored to be a force to catch live. There’s no word of openers yet but the all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a $12.00 cover.
Only Beast, Photo: Walter Rodriguez
The long awaited album release from Houston’s Giant Kitty will finally occur over at Walters. Though I haven’t heard the album yet, catching the new lineup recently proved to me that they still have energy. Several members of San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma will be on as direct support under their punk meets Texas rock moniker of Fea. If you’ve never seen them before it’s pretty much an energetic punch to the gut. The highly energetic and indie rock goodness of Houston’s Only Beast will open things up. I actually feel sorry for any band that has to follow this three piece that sounds like a five piece. They embody everything that makes Houston’s music scene great with a stellar live show and an indefinable sound that I’ve always felt is closest to if Corin Tucker sang for Unwound, which you can hear all over last year’s “Live at Notsuoh.” The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $7.00 and $10.00.
You can get your laughs in over at Beta Theater for another edition of the Triple Header show. Triple Header has become an institution around Houston in that three comics do a twenty minute set each. This edition will be headlined by the hilarious Warren Wright. Wright has come a long way since I first saw him perform, and his broad range of jokes make him a threat in the comedy scene. Mycal Dede will also perform, and the riotously funny jokes of Greg Deal will open things up. Last year during the Beta Bracket, it felt like Deal turned a comedic corner with better timing and better written jokes. He’s worth getting there early on the 18 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a pay what you can cover.
You can close out your evening over at Continental Club when Zydeco legend Chubby Carrier performs. Aside from the fact that he has a grammy, aside from the fact that he’s toured pretty much any place will have music, he’s known for his incredible showmanship. His latest, “Zydeco Stuff” from last year is a mix of Zydeco, funk, soul, and everything inbetween. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets for $12.00.
On Saturday you could kick off over at Improv for the comedy of the hilarious Christopher Titus. This guy has a hint of sadness in his comedy, yet he had his own series in the nineties, he’s toured all over the world, and he dropped a pretty strong album last year with “Angry Pursuit of Happiness.” As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better up and coming comics will perform the duties of host and feature act. The two shows on Saturday have doors at 6:15 and 8:00, while the Sunday show has doors at 6:45, while all have tickets between $25.00 to $35.00.
Valens, Photo: Lisa Ramirez
Notsuoh will be hosting the third wave emo meets indie rock sounds of Valens. This three piece is one of the best bands you can catch right now in Houston. They are insane live, they seem to be getting on bigger shows, and they just released a split cassette with Finger Guns. That cassette has some really great tunes, including an amazing cover of my favorite Promise Ring song, “E. Texas Ave.” That cover also appears on their great 2015 release, “The Trouble of Finding Out.” Texas based indie pop four piece Corusco will be on as direct support as well as a band called Sidechick. Houston’s Race To The Moon will be on hand to open things up. These guys released a pretty strong full length last year called “What A Time To Be Alive,” and they’re really tight as a live band. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and cover for $5.00 on 21 & uppers, and $10.00 for the kids.
At Rudyard’s you can catch the Chicago based indie pop folk rock sounds of Marrow. This four piece makes catchy as hell tunes, they’ve been blowing up for a while now, and last year’s “The Gold Standard” was definitely an on point release. The band features former members of the band Kids These Days, and should be impressive live. The alt-folk sounds of Chicago’s Sima Cunningham will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
Satellite Bar will have a show with a headlining set from the always amazing, B L A C K I E. If you weren’t lucky enough to catch his mind blowing performance at Day For Night, or his amazing set of “Spred Luv” in its entirety at Houston Whatever Fest; then here’s your chance to see him do his thing. His 2014 album, “Imagine Yourself In A Free And Natural World” is a mix of free form jazz, grime, punk, and poetry like you’ve never heard before, and won’t hear for a good while. The grime folk punk rap of Buffalo’s Jack Toft will be on as direct support, while the darkwave of Houston’s Buoyant Spirit will go on prior. The road weary bass of CJ Boyd will also perform, and Mouthing will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover for 21 & up or a $7.00 cover for those under 21.
If you somehow missed your prom, or if you want to revisit it, or even if you just want to donate money to the arts; then you should head to Beta Theater for their Under The Sea Prom and Fundraiser. The show will feature music, photo opps, drinks, food, and a seven minutes in heaven room. The 18 & up event has doors at 9:00, and though it’s pay what you can, they ask that you donate more if possible so they can upgrade their theater space that houses music, comedy, improv, and more.
At Boondocks you can get your dance on with BrukOut!. The San Antonio producer is known for bringing tropical dance and cumbia to life while he works the decks. Sets from Bombon’s DJ Navo will be on the bill as well as a set from Blackout’s Act Badd. The 21 & up show should be lit, the doors are at 10:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
You can end your Saturday at the side bar at Pearl Bar for the first anniversary of Dykon Fagatron. Hosted by Biz Vicious and Crystal Toliver, the show will feature a set from Giant Kitty, as well as a DJ set from Fine and Dandy. The “everyone’s invited” show that celebrates diversity as well as the LGBT community is 21 & up with doors at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Shooter Jennings, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Sunday you could trek down to Scout Bar to catch a set from Shooter Jennings. Of course, Jennings is related to Waylon, but he’s also carved out a pretty strong career on his own. He’s pretty damn strong live, and his latest release was 2014’s “Don’t Wait Up (For George).” In an ironic twist, former members of Waylon’s touring band, Waymore’s Outlaws will be on as direct support, and I’m sure that Shooter will perform with them as well. Houston’s BadHouse will open the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00 and a cover of 100% FREE.
Warehouse Live will cover your hip hop fix in the studio when Le$ performs. Ridin’ high, literally on last year’s release “Steak X Shrimp, Vol. 2,” Le$ is known for collabs with Bun B, Curren$y, and many more. There’s no word of openers, but that’ll likely change. The doors are at 8:00 and tickets are between $15.00 and $18.00.
Black Tusk, Photo: Jerry Milton
Over at Rudyard’s you can catch the sludge metal of Georgia’s Black Tusk. Known for an insane live show, these guys have been dropping singles left and right lately. Their most recent was this year’s sonic and fast “Born of Strife.” The stoner throwback sounds of Atlanta’s Royal Thunder will be on as direct support after a set from North Carolina stoner psych rockers, Bask. Last year they dropped a pretty epic album with “American Hollow,” and they’re worth getting there early for. Houston’s Blues Funeral will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
You could get your dance on at The Flat when -Us. drops a set. The synth pop artist has been dropping tons of remixes and covers lately while crisscrossing genres while doing so. Packaged together, the four tracks “Covers & Remixes” is pretty legit. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Monday you can kick off over at the studio at Warehouse Live for a set from Jess Glynne. The soulful vocals of the London native where all over her massive hit “Hold My Hand,” as well as all of her other jams. The album that contained these hits, “I Cry When I Laugh” was a chart topper when it dropped last year. She’s had her stuff remixed by Tiesto, and is known for her crazy live sets. Australian hit maker and pop singer, Conrad Sewell will be on as direct support and opener. The all ages show could easily sell out with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $18.00.
Of course, I’m guessing that many of you will be over at Revention Center for the “James Dean of rap,” when G-Eazy comes to town. Here in support of the crazy popular album, “When It’s Dark Out” from last year, this show could sell out. Harlem’s A$AP FERG will be on as opener and direct support, and should school many of the tweens in attendance about hip hop. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $35.00.
That’s about it but still a week stacked full of options. While SXSW starts creeping up on us, please remember to be mindful of others no matter what you do.