Get Yours: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: RBMA
This last week was one that ended up with me in Austin for Fun Fun Fun Fest. And while that was an epic event like many great festivals, that was then and we live in the now, right? So this week is filled with lots of hip hop options alongside some mainstays as well. Here’s how you should navigate the coming days.
Wednesday gets started off with the British slow jams of Daley over at Fitzgerald’s. Daley has been compared to Simply Red and has appeared on tracks by many great acts including Gorillaz. He’s here supporting his latest album, “Days & Nights” from this year. Dallas’ Conner Youngblood will also be there to keep everyone in step. Earlier this year, Youngblood dropped the “Confidence EP” that was filled with lush sounds and trippy undertones, and he’s definitely worth checking out. The pop of Travis McClung will open the all ages shows with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
Warehouse Live will host the pop rock of Houston’s Satellite Brigade. The four piece will be performing songs from their new full length album, “Facets.” The Jimmy Eat World meets Motion City Soundtrack sound of Houston’s Catch Fever will also be performing. Fresh from a stint in NYC at CMJ, Catch Fever could be the next band to break out of Houston, and their debut “Shiny Eyes” was a cut above. Kansas City’s Making Movies will also be on the bill and they will bring their pop based Afro-Latin rhythms that also has a bi-lingual vocal set up. They definitely have a different sound and it’s rather present on their latest, this year’s “A La Deriva” that almost sounds like a Latin Black Keys album. If The War Should End will get things started with doors at 7:00 and a $7.00 cover for the all ages show.
Thursday, you can get started over at Rudyard’s for the interesting and interactive show from Houston’s Ophelia’s Rope. The improv show starts with the audience answering several questions, that morphs into something completely different by the end. It’s a fun and entertaining show that will be something you might not catch anywhere else. The doors are at 8:00, it’s 21 & up, and there’s a TBA cover at the door.
Walter’s will have the pop punk of Four Year Strong performing their high energy show. I caught these guys not too long ago, and I was impressed with how tight they were as a band. They’ll be here in support of their new EP, “Go Down In History.” They kind of remind me of a pop punk version of Gorilla Biscuits. The emo sounds from Transit, of Boston will also be on hand. Transit reminds me of a poppier version of Get Up Kids, and their newest album “Joyride” conveys that best. The melodic pop punk of Rochester’s Such Gold will also be there. I kind of want to see these guys because it seems like they’re never here. They dropped a great record two years ago called “Misadventures” though they’ll be here with their new one, this year’s “The New Sidewalk.” Rounding out the pop punk sounds, Canada’s Seaway will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $14.00 and $65.00..the latter being a VIP option.
Warehouse Live will host a very special evening with Wiz Khalifa. I just had Wiz blow me away with his set at Fun Fun Fun, and the fact that he’ll be doing the large room at Warehouse Live is just a little crazy. His latest, “Blacc Hollywood” falls in line with his string of great releases, and I can tell you that his performance complete with a full band is really amazing. I’m not 100% sure, but I think I heard that Florida’s Uzi will open the all ages show. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are $39.50.
However, if you’d rather catch some pop rock and indie sounds, then Fitz has Scotland’s We Were Promised Jetpacks upstairs. These guys have been gaining a following since they released their debut in 2009, and their latest “Unravelling” falls in line with their Franz Ferdinand meets Manchester Orchestra sound. While WWPJ are great and all, The Twilight Sad, also from Scotland will open things up. These guys have this pretty great sound that’s like a mix of Bloc Party, Swans, and Low. They’re definitely worth getting there early for and their new album, “Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave” is pretty amazing. The doors are at 8:00, it’s all ages, and the tickets are between $15.00 and $19.00.
Downstairs, Fitzgerald’s will have Georgia’s The Whigs back as well. The Whigs are like what Kings of Leon would have sounded like if they hadn’t started writing ballads. Three piece throwback blues pop rock is the best way to describe them, and their album “Modern Creation” has more oomph than their previous works. The Beans, from Houston will open the show and will more than likely incite some women to go crazy. The Beans have such a bluesy sound, that it feels like the kind of stuff where women would either strip to, or go rob a liquor store to. Either way, they’re pretty great live and everyone needs to catch them sooner than later. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
Of course, you may be like me and have never heard of a place called Stampede Houston. Well, whether you’ve heard of it or not, they have country legend Merle Haggard there on Thursday night. Haggard is like a walking hit machine and one of country music’s last ties to the “golden era” when country artists weren’t discovered on “America’s Next Top Model.” The “Okie From Muskogee” is here in support of his new “Greatest Hits” release, though if the crowd is lucky, he’ll play from his 2011 album, “Working In Tennessee.” The 18 and up show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $45.00.
Friday has a multitude of options that start off with Improve at Midtown Art Center presented by Beta Theater. The show will feature the likes of three separate Houston troupes. Flirt Reynolds will headline the show with their four piece show. The troupe gets started with a single word from the audience, and what transpires can usually end up being amazing. The Rice University troupe of Spontaneous Combustion will also be there performing both short and long form improv. The Epilogue HD will get the show going with their fairy tale style with doors at 7:00 and a pay what you can cover.
Fitzgerald’s has an interesting show from an act called The Perfectly Violent Dream, who will be performing their sold out performance of Beck’s “Song Reader.” The multi-layered group features Houston’s Chase Hamblin, Kristine Mills, Bradley Dean Whyte, and a varied mish mash of other performers. This will be the ONLY time you can see this show in it’s entirety in Houston, and it’s one of those “no brainer” performances if you’re a fan of Beck and especially if you can’t read music to play it yourself. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
If you’d rather hear a guy scream truths in a funny way, then Lewis Black at Bayou Music Center might be where you’d rather go. Black’s last album, “In God We Rust” was pretty hilarious, and as someone who’s caught his show before, he’s funnier in person than he is on “The Daily Show.” There doesn’t appear to be an opener, and you have to be a fan as the tickets are just a little crazily priced between $53.00 and $72.00. The doors are at 8:00 and supposedly there will be college priced tickets at the door, but I have no idea how much they’ll be.
You might just like country music that sounds like it used to, and if you do then you should go see Wayne “The Train” Hancock down at Scout Bar. Wayne has such a great sound that I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t worth the drive. He’s always sounded like a descendant of Hank Williams to me, and he’s a real country traditionalist. His latest album, last year’s “Ride” falls in line with his old school sounds. Sam Navarro And The LoneStar Devils from Texas City will be there to perform their throwback sound. Their album, “Cheatin’ Death & Runnin’ Free” from 2012 was one of those albums that should have blown the band up if only the record industry knew how to sell real country today. Houston rockabilly legends, The Flamin’ Hellcats will open the show up as only they can. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
Metal might be what you want, and Rudyard’s has a pretty great metal show that features Louisville’s Savage Master. This band, listed as a two piece but performed as a five piece, has a pretty tough sound that’s lead by singer, Stacey Savage. The garage meta punk of Dallas’ The Swingin’ Dicks will also be on hand. One of Houston’s better new stoner metal bands, Funeral Horse will get things started. Funeral Horse dropped an epic album called “Sinister Rites of the Master,” and they’re a real force to see live. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 9:00, and it’s a TBA cover.
If you like FREE comedy shows, then the Beta Theater Comedy Night at Phoenicia MKT Bar is where you should be. This week, the show will feature Houston’s Dale Cheesman. Cheesman is easily one of the city’s strongest up and comers, and he could easily be big with just the right amount of push behind him. FPH Sammy Award winner and Beta Bracket 2014 champ, Ashton Womack will also perform. Womack is going to get big, so if you think that you need twenty years to be on a strong level, he should prove otherwise to you. Fresh from his set at Fun Fun Fun Fest, Gabe Bravo will also be on the bill as will the funny comedy from Stephen Brandau. Austin comic Zac Brooks is also on the show, and will bring all sorts of laughs to the show. The show has a special 8th Wonder beer only available for the show, things start at 9:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
There’s some pop punk over at Walter’s when Illinois’ Real Friends comes to town. Gaining popularity since last year from their song, “I’ve Given Up On You,” the four piece is a mix of emo and pop punk. This year, they released a new album called “Maybe This Place Is The Same and We’re Just Changing,” that brings a larger sound to the band’s history. Welsh pop punkers Neck Deep will also be performing. These guys are getting lots of traction lately, and their newest album “Rain In July/A History Of Bad Decisions” sounds like it could be worth checking them out. The hardcore sounds of Maine’s Cruel Hand will also be on the bill, while Top Shelf Records’ own, Have Mercy will open things up. These guys have been getting more and more popular since their first album two years ago, and they just dropped “A Place of Our Own” this year. They have a nice emo pop sound that’s like Christie Front Drive meets Tiny Moving Parts. The all ages show has doors at 6:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $17.00.
On Saturday, you can start the day off at Last Concert Cafe with the Underground Punk Festival #2. The show features a slew of bands that get started around 2:00. Keno Sims will open things up at 2:00 only to be followed by Shut Up Sidney at 2:45 and Identity Crisis at 3:25. JFK Suicide Theory goes on at 4:05 while Fat Mannequin brings their noisey style to life at 4:45. At 5:30, Giant Kitty will prove that girls can out punk any male band, and G.F.Y. will follow at 6:15, with Dead Weight of San Antonio performing at 7:00. Demonic Hen takes the stage at 7:45 and the incredibly loud sound of The Velostacks will perform at 8:45. Vatos Locos will be there and they’ll play at 9:30 and Carter from Magnolia will be on around 10:15. Punk Rock Project Houston will play at 11:15 and the show will be closed out by Turnaways HTX. A portion of the proceeds will go to Guitars For Veterans, and the cover is a measly $7.00.
You could head over to Toyota Center to check out The Black Keys if you’ve got the cash. I like these guys, but seriously Patrick Carney, stop offering your opinion on anything. No one cares what you think. Just play the drums and we’re good. They’ll be here in support of their latest, the somber and Pink Floyd-esque “Turn Blue.” The Bob Dylan/Beatles copy cat sounds of Jake Bugg are on the bill to open up the show. The tickets are between $35.00 and $75.00 and the doors are at 8:00.
Comedian Tom Segura will crack up the crowd inside the Warehouse Live studio. Segura has had a pretty epic year with a successful tour, a one hour special on Netflix, and playing host on the “Your Mom’s House” podcast. That special turned into an album called “Completely Normal” where Segura deconstructs TV shows, gives travel advice, and talks about Steven Seagal. The show will also feature Houston comedy genius Bob Biggerstaff. Bob has been on “Last Comic Standing” HBO, and Comedy Central; as well as hosting the “Enjoy Guys!” podcast. Laff Town’s Funniest contest winner John Nguyen will also perform. If you haven’t caught Nguyen, you’re missing a seriously hilarious comic who could blow up at anytime. The self deprecating humor of Gabe Bravo will host the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
If you want to hear hip hop, Warehouse Live has Flatbush Zombies over in the ballroom. If you missed these guys when they came earlier in the year, then you missed a heck of a performance. The trio from NYC has a sound that’s hard to ignore, and they perform with more energy than the Beastie Boys. Flatbush Avenue’s own quick rhyming hip hop duo, The Underachievers will open the show. These two are pretty amazing and their latest album, this year’s “Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium” is easily their finest work. The all ages show has doors opening at 9:00 and the tickets are $23.00.
Walter’s will have an eclectic show when Detroit’s Koffin Kats bring their psychobilly sound to town. This three piece has been around over a decade, and they have a pretty relentless touring schedule. The three piece has a pretty energetic live show and they’ll be in town supporting their latest, “Born Of The Motor” from last year. In a twist, the burlesque troupe, Dem Dam Dames will perform prior to Koffin Kats. The Dames are known to incorporate aerial silks, theatrical performance, and even comedy into their act, and should be an entertaining lead in for the band. The horror punk of Dallas’ Just Another Monster will open the show up with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00 for the 18 & up show.
Midtown Art Center will have another show from those at Beta Theater, when The Guest Room show happens. The show that’s hosted by comics Zac Brooks and Nick Meriwether, brings in out of town comics to perform. This month, the guests will be Austin comics Martin Urbano, Pat Dean, Katie Pengra, and San Antonio’s Raul Sanchez. Things get going around 9:00, there are FREE beverages from No Label, and it’s pay what you can.
Sunday the Sketchbook Saloon show will be happening over at Corkscrew wine bar. The featured model this time will be back up dancer for Vendetta Diabolique and aerialist Caitlin Caselli. As per these sketch classes, the cover ranges between $10.00 and $20.00 and runs from about 2:00 to 5:00, and is allowing mediums that require you to bring your own art supplies.
You could head over Fitzgerald’s for the psych garage rock of LA’s Allah-Las. This four piece has been around over the last six years, and their sound is very thrown back. Their latest album, this year’s “Worship The Sun” falls in line with that throwback vibe. The fuzzy and Brit pop sounding Tashaki Miyaki will open things up. This band sounds a lot like Jesus & Mary Chain, except they’re a three piece and they’re from LA. The all ages show carries a cover between $10.00 and $14.00, and the doors are at 8:00.
If you’d rather just relax and chill, then Dean’s has their weekly songwriter’s night. This week they will feature Robert Kuhn and Matt Cash. Kuhn plays a folky Americana type of sound that’s pretty entertaining. Cash is the lead in Cassette Tape, so you should know roughly what to expect from him. Things run from about 8:00 to 10:00 and they’re 100% FREE.
If you’re up for a laugh, then I’d suggest making it over to Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, for the Ku Egenti and Friends show. It’s a pretty stacked show that will feature Ku alongside many other Houston comics. Rich Williams, Zach Dickson, Jaffer Khan, Stacy Anderson, Jermaine Warren, John Nguyen, Tim Mathis, and Bryson Brown will all be performing at the show. The entire evening is hosted by Andy Huggins, and the cover is a paltry $10.00 for the 18 & up show.
Monday you can head over to House of Blues to see the Smoker’s Club Tour. The show which features Redman and Methodman will also feature B Real of Cypress Hill. Berner and Mick Jenkins will also be on the bill. It’s hard to push this show because the two headliners are so bad. But, I feel like you should check out B Real, and everyone else that isn’t Redman & Methodman. The doors are at 7:30 and the tickets are between $16.00 and $35.00.
Tuesday Willie Nelson will be at House of Blues, though it’s sold out.
It’s a bit of a lighter week than last, but still very stacked with options. No matter where you find yourself this week, please be mindful of your fellow Houstonians. Don’t be the idiot who refuses to get home safe, and use your best judgement when doing so.
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