For You: The Best of The Week
With the fact that it’s been so cold out, it’s been nice to see plenty of attendees at shows lately. This week you’ll have plenty of entertaining acts to choose from on what to do. Legends in the making like the insanely popular sounds of Madeon, pictured above will be rolling through our city alongside a slew of local talents. Houston, here’s where to spend your free time.
Wednesday you can start off over at MKT Bar when singer songwriter Chase Hamblin drops a DJ set. The Houston artist has a love for sixties and seventies jams, so his set should be filled with all sorts of tunes. The 100% FREE event starts at 7:00, it’s all ages, and it ends at 10:00.
The Nightingale Room will host a set from Houston’s Mystery Loves Company. This chamber rock duo makes a sound that’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before, and their live shows are always on point. Their latest release, “MLC Live 1” can give you an idea of their different sound. Singer songwriter Libby Koch will go on prior, and will bring her Americana tunes to life. She sounds like if Emmylou Harris sang for Mount Moriah with hints of new folk and early country thrown in. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Bully, Photo: Pedro Paredes-Haz
You might find yourself wanting to catch some indie pop rock, and if you do then I’d suggest going to Walter’s for Nashville’s Bully. This four piece plays a blend of catchy indie rock and fuzz pop, and they sound like if Juliana Hatfield sang for Pixies with hints of Dinosaur Jr thrown in. Seriously a band you don’t want to miss live, their latest album “Feels Like” from last year was a definite barn burner. They’ll have the punk slop pop of NYC’s Diet Cig on as direct support and opener. This duo makes a mix of punkish tunes with pop melodies that are all over their latest release “Sleep Talk,” and they’re rumored to be crazy live. The all ages show will have doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $12.00.
Warehouse Live will be bringing the legendary hip hop trio, Naughty By Nature to the ballroom. This trio scored some big time hits with the tracks “O.P.P.,” and “Hip Hop Hooray,” and they brought heat when they performed live. This is their 25th anniversary tour, so you probably won’t hear much from their last release, 2011’s “Anthem Inc,” but more of their classic albums like their debut, “Naughty By Nature.” Houston’s Def Perception will be on hand as direct support & opener. Last year this hip hop group complete with DJ Baby Roo, a live band, and Raymond A on vocals dropped the single, “My Place” alongside playing big shows that showed their live prowess. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $19.00 and $24.00.
Over at Numbers you could catch the drumless California alt country trio, The Devil Makes Three. Known for an intense live show, this acoustic act brings emotive vocals to the forefront of their shows. They’re here in support of their latest, 2013’s “I’m A Stranger Here.” The popular and gravelly voiced Americana and blues of Oklahoma’s Parker Millsap will be on hand as direct support. Millsap has made quite the name for himself as a force to be reckoned with live, and he’s opened for a ton of country legends. His last album, 2014’s “Parker Millsap” is pretty engaging as well. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between 17.50 and $22.00.
Satellite Bar will have a show from Houston’s Killem Collective featuring a set from Doeman. The Houston rapper turned plenty of heads when he opened for Le$ recently, and his latest “Stereo Types” from last year is pretty lit. The show will also have Marley The Poet and more, including a set from FLCON FCKER. The all ages event has doors at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Thursday you can start off at Revention Center for the hard rock metal of Lamb of God. These guys aren’t really my thing but they’re more popular than I thought. Because I once lived in San Antonio, I have actually seen them perform and I’ll admit that they’re intense. Their latest album, last year’s “VII: Sturm Und Drang” is what they’ll be here supporting. If you are going to go to this show, get there early to catch metal legends Anthrax. Aside from the fact that they criss crossed hip hop and metal before Kid Rock could support Republicans, they’re pretty insane live and they have an amazing back catalog of great music. They just re-issued their classic album “Spreading The Disease” last year, which is a great place to start listening. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $30.00 and $40.00.
You could get your laugh on at Improv for the funny comedy of Dominique. A headliner since the nineties, she’s pretty much a force to catch live as well as a well known name across the country. She’s appeared on “Chappelle’s Show” HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, and so many other spots. I don’t know who the feature act for these shows is, but I do know that Houston’s Tim Mathis will be performing the hosting duties. The 18 & up shows have doors at 7:15 on Thursday, 7:00 and 9:00 on Friday, and 6:15 and 8:00 on Saturday, all with tickets between $20.00 and $30.00.
Rudyard’s will have a pretty solid show when the alt country Americana of Ruckus performs. Last year they dropped the catchy and entertaining track, “Better Than It Was,” and they’re pretty damn great to see live. Going on prior will be the bluesy rock of Houston’s Nathan Quick and Friends. I don’t know what I can and can’t say about this set, as Quick has already told me; but if you missed his packed show at Mucky Duck then you should make it our for this. Last year Quick gave us a revamped sound on his EP “City Lights,” and his live shows are always great. A rare live set from Ashlynn Ivy will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00 cover.
Jukebox The Ghost, Photo: Erin Ryan Anderson
The studio at Warehouse Live will have a headlining set from the popular sounds of Jukebox The Ghost. This three piece makes indie pop rock in the vein of Ben Folds but with more hooks. They’ve made quite the name as a strong live act, and last year’s “Jukebox The Ghost” was pretty popular. The San Francisco based orchestral seven piece, The Family Crest will be on hand as direct support. Their 2014 album, “Beneath The Brine” is pretty intense, and should sound grandiose live. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $17.00 and $19.00.
Stereo Live will be hosting the nu disco/dubstep jams of France’s Madeon. Though he looks like a 12 year old kid, don’t let his looks fool you. Last year he dropped the massively popular album “Adventure” that held a few jams like “You’re On,” and “Finale.” If you missed his crazy set at Day For Night, then I’m telling you to make it out for his show. I’ve seen video of his new set up and it’s intense. The 18 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $25.00.
Friday you can start off down in Clear Lake at Scout Bar, when punk legends Agent Orange perform. These guys have been around since the late seventies, they ushered in a whole new era of punk, and they’re always top notch in a live setting. Sure, their last album was literally twenty years ago, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them out. Denver two piece rock act, In The Whale will be there as direct support. These two have become well known for an energetic live set, and their latest release, “Neighbor/Pray For The Prey” is pretty amazing. The pop punk of Houston’s Shut Out will be on the bill as well, and will bring their latest “Finally Break This” and more to life. The high energy of Action Frank will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $13.00 and $15.00.
Alessia Cara, Photo: Meredith Traux
If you’re not in a punk mood, and you had considered heading to the ballroom at Warehouse Live to see the pop prowess of Alessia Cara, the show has since sold out. Cara has been burning up the airwaves and making a name for herself since releasing her debut last year, “Know It All.” I’ve heard that her live show is crazy, and she should be impressive to catch. Brooklyn’s Kevin Garrett will be on as direct support, while Toronto’s Craig Strickland will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 if you already have tickets.
I don’t really mention cover bands too often, but I’ll tell you that at some point you should consider going to Continental Club to see Picture Book. The Chase Hamblin lead supergroup plays your faves from the sixties and early seventies, all the covers sound amazing, and they might change your mind about cover bands. The 21 & up show runs from 7:30 to 9:30, and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Satellite Bar, you can get your punk fix when the hardcore of Denver’s Blank Bodies performs. These guys are rough and crazed, and their latest “Demo” from last year is pretty intense. St Louis punks, Life Like will be on the bill as direct support. Last year these guys dropped an album called “Prisoners” that sounds so old school that it’ll make you dig up your old punk attire. New Houston punk supergroup, Midwives will also be on the bill, and I hear they’re pretty insane live, while the D-Beat sounds of Saint Crusher will go on before. The punk of Houston’s Dandruff will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a paltry $5.00 cover.
If you miss out on Picture Book at Continental, then you could show up later for the bluesy sounds of Nathan Quick. Quick is on a tear lately working on new stuff and new projects, and his live sets are always worth catching. Last year’s “City Lights” showed that he could raise the bar on his songwriting and sound, while still staying true to his overall sound. Going on prior will be Houston’s Ragged Hearts. If you’ve never heard this band before, they’re like an alt country rock band that has hooks that you’d find on a Rod Stewart song…Stewart before he started making crappy disco songs. The 21 & up show has doors around 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Rudyard’s will host the indie rock of Houston’s Slow Future. These guys don’t play much, but they’re always worth seeing, and last year’s “Girl Gets Down” should give you an idea of their sound. Direct support on this show will be maintained by the best kept rock secret in Houston, Brand New Hearts. Last year this four piece dropped a self titled full length called “Brand New Hearts” while playing live shows that proved that bands can still be tight when they perform. They bring in solos, melody, and more hooks than a tackle box. Opening things up is the third wave emo of Houston’s Since Always. This band blows me away, but it puzzles me as to why they aren’t super huge. Their live shows are on point, and their “Consequences” debut last year was one of my favorite albums. The 21 & up show has door at 9:00 with a measly $5.00 cover.
If you want to get your dance on, you can close out the night at The Commoner when Gracie Chavez of Bombon drops a DJ set. Tropical grooves and plenty of booty shaking will commence on the 21 & up set that’s 100% FREE that starts at 10:00.
Saturday you can start off over at Cactus for an in-store set from Houston’s Rex Hudson. Rex makes this one man band mixture of lo-fi electronica and fuzzy pop jams. Catching him early on, I got the chance to watch him work out the trials of doing it all yourself for a live set. He’s playing in support of his debut EP, “No Return.” The all ages event gets going around 3:00, there’s gratis beverages for adults, and it’s 100% FREE.
Later on at Insomnia Video Game Culture, you can check out the David Bowie Art Event, Loving the Alien. There’s tons of works from tons of artists, many of which will be Bowie themed. Alongside an all Bowie playlist, there’s face painting, glitter glam, a photo booth, and complimentary Bowie themed cocktails for the adults. It’s all ages, it runs from 7:00 to 11:00, and it’s FREE.
Walters will host the math rock intricacy of Houston’s Mannequin Mishap. These two make songs in the vein of June of 44 and Lungfish, and their live shows are always on point while also being a little chaotic. Their 2013 album “Hypnic Jerk II” still holds up with all of its math goodness. The show will also have a set from the alt experimental sounds of So Soon, The Truth on as direct support. Last year they dropped the bombastic EP, “The Past/Present,” and they should bring plenty of energy when they play live. The hardcore screamo of Versa Nova will also be on the bill, as will the indie rock of Scubadiver. Things will get kicked off by the post hardcore sounds of Along The Lines Of on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and a $10.00 cover.
Big Eyes, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Satellite Bar will have the power pop meets punk rock lite of NYC’s Big Eyes. Here in support of their latest, “Local Celebrity,” this three piece reminds me of The Courtneys if they were covering Promise Ring songs. The punk of Something Fierce will be on as direct support, Florida’s Soda will also be there dropping some darkwave, and Houston’s Frog Hair will also perform. The magic of Muhammadali will be on hand to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $6.00 cover.
If you like Bob Marley enough to celebrate his birthday, then you can do just that over at Eado’s for his 71st birthday celebration. Alongside art there’s sets from The Heights Funk Collective, Dirty & Nasty, and many more. The 21 & up show gets going at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at a spot called Bruja Mansion, you can catch an interesting mix of acts headlined by NYC’s Mega Bog. The experimental saxophone band will have to bring their A game, as the trippy and always bizarre sounds of Ak’chamel will be on prior. I’ve seen these guys now about ten times, and I’ve yet to see the same thing twice, so go see them for yourself. Bastard Mysticism will also be on the bill, while Sour Grapes will open things up. There’s also performance art from Evan McCarley and visual projections as well. More info is available here, it’s all ages, and the pay what you can show starts around 8:00.
Dummy, Photo: iO West
Maybe you want to see something funny that’s also a little strange? If that’s your deal, then you could head to Beta Theater to check out the Stalk Show. The Stalk Show is basically a talk show format, where host Hoja Lopez alongside comic Zahid Dewji, improv actor Stacey Daniels, and Joe Folladori use stalker lines of questioning with the guest. This edition will feature iO West’s Dummy, aka Jason Shotts & Colleen Doyle of LA, who will awkwardly answer questions that will more than likely make you laugh. The 18 & up show has doors at 9:00, and it’s a pay what you can cover.
Rudyard’s will have a night filled with rock n’ roll goodness, when The Satanic Overlords of Rock N’ Roll perform a headlining set. Seriously, these guys have the best new band name in Houston, and since members of Hell City Kings, Born Liars, The Velostacks & more, you are kind of guaranteed that they’re great. Houston’s Bayou Vimana will go on prior, while Austin’s Oddfellows will go on before that. The psych rock of Cypress’ Sils will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.
You could close out Saturday at Fox Hollow for another edition of Houston’s tropical dance party, Bombon. Aside from the fact that all of the crew of deck destroying DJ’s and producers will be on hand, this edition is also the video shoot for Chingo Bling’s “Puro Pinche Party.” Bling will also host the evening alongside comped Remy Martin from 9:00 to 10:00 with bites from Boombox Taco. The 21 & up show is FREE with RSVP, it gets going at 9:00, and it’s $5.00 w/o Reservation.
Sunday you could head to Heights Bar Progress for another edition of Sketchbook Saloon. This edition will feature modelling done by Beta Theater’s Traci Lavois Thiebaud. Aside from being creative director at Beta, she’s a published author and one of our city’s most creative people. That means that she’ll probably be a great subject to sketch, paint, or photograph. The 21 & up event starts around 1:00, and it’s $10.00 for members, $15.00 for new members, and $20.00 for photographers.
Low, Photo: Sub Pop Records
Monday, Walters will have a barn burner when slowcore indie rock pioneers Low will perform. One of the most beautiful bands to ever release albums, their austere and hypnotic sound is something everyone should see at least once. The Minnesota trio is here in support of last year’s “Ones and Sixes.” There’s no word of an opener, however that could change. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
Numbers will have the experimental pop of Portland’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra. There’s something magical about how their songs are formed, and last year’s “Multi-Love” kept those tracks coming. Baltimore’s Lower Dens will be on as direct support and opener. though they’ve gotten more popular in recent years, I’ve felt like they’re one of the country’s most underrated bands. Keep in mind that some Houstonians are in this group, and last year’s “Escape From Evil” showed off their pop prowess and musical diversity. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $17.00.
Tuesday you could head over to Warehouse Live for another edition of the massively popular show, The Moth. This edition is all about how love hurts, so have your stories in hand and get there early, as it usually sells out. the all ages show has doors at 6:30 and a $10.00 cover for the seated show.
That’s about it this week but still rather stacked. No matter what you decide to do remember to act like an adult, and get home safely for all of our sakes.