How Do I Land: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Comedy Central
So, I felt like last week was pretty stacked full of options that made the seven days just fly by. It was pretty insane to watch four of Houston’s strongest comics end their show with a performance from Scarface of Geto Boys. This week, you’ve got more than enough things to consider doing, and even some days where the decision is difficult. Here’s how to end the month of February.
Wednesday, you can start your week off with the high speed energy of Dwarves at Warehouse Live. The Chicago natives who now call San Francisco home, are still going strong and performing high energy tunes. They’ll be here in support of last year’s “The Dwarves Invented Rock & Roll.” They’ll have Denver’s punk rockers, The Potato Pirates on the show with them. This bagpipe playing, hardcore punk five piece just dropped an album last year called “Raised Better Than This” that’s like a version of Rancid from the “Let’s Go” era with bagpipes added. Houston’s Dead To The World will be there to energetically get things started. If you missed them fill the inner walls of Neil’s Bahr with hardcore punk last week, then this is your chance to catch one of Houston’s better punk bands. This is a Green Room show, which is saying that it’ll more than likely sell out. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and the tickets are $15.00.
Continental Club will host the rockabilly of California’s Phil Friendly Trio. Friendly kind of tours non-stop, but he has a sound that’s happy go lucky and unmistakably his own. His last album was “Live at The Sunhouse & More,” from 2012. DJ Big E will open things up on the 21 & up show with 8:00 doors and a TBA cover charge.
Thursday, one of Houston’s best comics to ever move away, Paul Oddo will be performing at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase. Oddo has appeared all over including SXSW, The New York Comedy Festival, and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He won the Boston Comedy Festival in 2012, and he’s in town preparing to record his debut album. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better up and coming comics will serve as feature and host comic. There’s one show on Thursday at 8:00, two on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, as well as two on Saturday at 8:00 and 10:30 as well; while all carry a $16.00 cover charge.
Lei Low will have a fun show, when Rhonda Roberts of Little Spear will be performing at the Tiki Bar. Roberts will bring her ukelele in tow when she plays her sweet natured folky tunes. The 21 & up show gets started at 8:00 and runs until 10:00.
Over at Mucky Duck, you can see one of the best songwriters to ever make her way from Texas, Carolyn Wonderland. Carolyn has been dropping her bluesy jams on audiences for as long as I can remember, and she still sounds just as fresh and invigorating as ever. She’s kind of on a never-ending tour nowadays, where she’s bringing her Janis Joplin meets Bonnie Raitt vocals mixed with SRV style guitar to audiences all over. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers will bring their esoteric and dark dream based sounds to Fitzgerald’s downstairs. Three years ago, this energetic three piece dropped the amazing sounding album, “Worship,” where they echoed sounds of Wire, Bauhaus, and My Bloody Valentine. Well this year they’re back with their latest, “Transfixiation,” where it seems like they took all of that awesome work from their previous album and took it to the next level. This is one of the most electrifying bands you’ll get to see all year, and they make for a great live acts going. The Philly based alterna psych four piece known as Creepoid will also be on hand. So, this band dropped a self-titled album last year called “Creepoid” that sounds like post new wave Britpop, and should make for an interesting live show. The experimental sounds of Austin’s My Education will be there to open things up on the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $16.00.
Cullen Performance Hall over at University of Houston will host Ricky, Julian, & Bubbles of “Trailer Park Boys.” I should note that I haven’t seen the live show myself, but that I’ve heard mixed reviews from past performances. Things start at 8:00 and the tickets are between $35.00 and $55.00.
The Main Street venue known as The Nightingale Room has been kind of bumping along on Thursdays with their “invite only” policy. Well, demand must have gotten higher for entry, cause Ishi will be there and there’s some tickets for sale. Maybe it’s more that Ishi dropped an epic album called “Digital Wounds.” No matter what, this could be a nice spot to see the producer do his magic. There’s a “special guest,” but no details have been given on that yet. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover, with a very bizarre “No re-entry” policy. I’m not a fan of that thing myself..I mean, even Disney World lets you in and out, right? To be fair, there are a couple other venues left around town with this outdated policy.
Friday, you could start things off with Dem Damn Dames at Numbers. Just in time to go with a rodeo theme, the Dames are back with their monthly residence at the iconic nightclub. This show, titled “Triple D Rodeo Roundup,” promises to be just as titillating and entertaining as those prior to it. Your favorite gals and guy from the Houston troupe will all be on hand, while they bring some out of towners in to mix things up. Dallas’ Donna Denise, Corpus Christi’s Maye Applebottom and Lola Von Deadly, Austin’s Electra Mourning, and Virginia’s Paul Garbanzo will all be there to spice up the evening. There’s also a pre-show performance and an intermission by swing dance troupe, Houston Cats Corner. That should be more than enough for you, but if it isn’t, your ticket price includes free entry into the club’s “Classic Numbers” night to follow the performance. The 18 & up show has tickets between $15.00 and $30.00, and usually sells out so I’d suggest grabbing tickets sooner than later.
Over at Walters get ready for one of the funniest comics going today, Kurt Braunohler. When FPH interviewed him last week, we learned more about the “renaissance man” of modern comedy. Sure, most of us know that he started a kickstarter campaign to pay a skywriter to write, “How Do I Land” which became his album title. We also all knew about his podcast “The K Ohle,” his weekly “Hot Tub” show, and his sad yet poignant episode of “This American Life.” But we had no idea that he had a larger plan for his hilarious new Comedy Central web show, “Roustabout.” On it, Braunohler travels from small town to small town via jetski between Chicago and New Orleans, and keeps the laughs coming from start to finish. He’ll have some great locals on the bill prior when the one man promotional team of laughs, Gabe Bravo features. Gabe has had a pretty killer year that has only gotten better after opening for Todd Barry for some dates, being on Barry’s podcast, and doing Meltdown in LA. He will have to top the funny jokes and high energy from Dusti Rhodes who will also be on the bill prior. Houston’s diverse and often brilliant humored Nick Meriwether will host the show. The all ages show has doors at 7:00, and tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.
At the new Beta Theater space, they’ll be hosting a musical performance from LIMB. So, I would think that by now you’d have heard of LIMB, but if you haven’t just know that this guy has had a Ted Talk, he’s one half of Black Kite, and he’s like an electronica wizard who placed sensors in a drumkit to take things to the next level. His latest release, “…But Rage At What” from 2013 is pretty damn amazing; and I know that he’s been working on a follow-up that you might get to hear a bit from at the show. The crazy bassistry of Cj Boyd will also be on the bill, and will more than likely blow most there away. Boyd is from Texas but is kind of always touring, and his latest, “Precariat” from late last year is pretty damn great. A DJ set from the recently relocated Birdmagic will also be a part of the show. This guy……..this guy is nuts in the good way. He’s dropping remixes left and right, he’s collaborating with everyone, and his DJ sets are pretty legendary and always fun. Nobody & Himself opens the all ages show up with doors at 9:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Warehouse Live will have a soulful show, when the Rebirth Brass Band makes their way back to Houston. The New Orleans natives will bring their 30 plus years in the industry here in support of last year’s “Move Your Body.” Their high energy live set coupled with an ability to play pretty much anything makes them a sure bet for a great time. The Brooklyn based jazz craziness mixed with electronica known as Marco Benevento will also be there to mix things up as only he can. This guy drops some high energy tunes that seem to have really gotten stronger than ever on his latest, last year’s “Swift.” NOLA’s Flow Tribe will also be there with sounds from their latest, “At Capacity,” which just dropped. These guys mix funk, soul, and big band sounds with hip hop like you’ve never heard before. The crazy vibraphone sounds of Mike Dillon, will also be there, as will the funk of Naughty Professor. The roots rock sounds of North Carolina’s Zach Deputy will get this all ages stacked show started with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $18.00 and $20.00.
Buxton makes their return to performing, when they play songs from their beautiful new album, “Half A Native” over at Continental Club for the release party. When I reviewed the album last week, I left out that I haven’t stopped listening since the first time, and I probably won’t stop for a while. The band has left their Americana songs in the past for a leaner and more focused sound that works on multiple levels. Oklahoma’s John Moreland will bring his soulful sounds to the show as direct support. Moreland has had a song featured on the show “Sons of Anarchy,” and his raspy voiced acoustic tunes are some that everyone should experience in a live setting. His latest, 2013’s “In The Throes” is a truly great mix of beauty and pain. The sweet sounds of Waco’s Dollie Barnes will be there to open things up. If you’ve never seen Barnes before, I’d highly recommend catching her sweet voice in person to truly appreciate her unique sound. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets for $14.00.
House of Blues has a freebie show inside the Crossroads room, when local sultry singer Lauren Miller performs. I would guess that Miller has an album in the works, but I feel like she’s also one of those local acts you should see before she blows up. I’d recommend reservations if you plan on attending. The show is all ages I think, it starts at 7:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Speaking of Free, the last Beta Theater Comedy night before the Beta Bracket Comedy Competition later this year is happening over at MKT Bar. This week the show hosted by Houston’s own Al Bahmani, is a real treat, when veteran comic Slim Bloodworth performs. Slim has been performing around the world literally for over 15 years, she tells it like it is; and is one of Houston’s funniest from the Laff Stop days. She will have Dallas’ Bryan Yery on hand, as well as Ryan McGhee, and Ramey O’Brien. Like always, these shows are a fun way to catch some of Houston’s best comedy without a crazy cover charge. Things start at 9:00 sharp, they’re all ages, and as always, 100% FREE.
Alley Kat will have a softer evening, when Nathan Quick headlines the evening. Quick could easily be up for one of Houston’s best songwriters, and his 2014 album, “The Mile” helped prove just that. He’s been compared to Ryan Adams, but with as great a voice as he has, I’d say he’s closer to something like if Ray LaMontagne and Jeff Tweedy sang duets. The Sherita Perez lead sounds of Fear The Poet will bring their folky meets bluesy sounds to the bill as well. I have a feeling with as driven as Perez is, this could be one of Houston’s next bigger bands in the acoustic jams genre. The acoustic and folk based tunes of Houston’s Stevie Menjivar will also be on hand, hot on the heels of his recently released EP, “Attesa.” Louisiana’s Dwight Roy and The Resource will also be there, while the funky sounds of Houston’s Tony Badd open things up. The show is 21 & up with doors at 8:30 and a measly $5.00 cover.
Traffic Premium Lounge will have a comedy show that features the hilarious and quickly timed humor of Kristin Lindner. When FPH had the chance to interview Lindner last year, we had no idea that she was just gearing up for a strong 2015, that started with an appearance at the Come And Take It Comedy Festival. This show is a great chance to see one of Houston’s best comics in an intimate setting. The show will also have plenty of laughs from heavy hitter Mike Sinclair, the rapid fire jokes of Ben Jackson, and Carey Cool Tripp. The entire show will be hosted by the Canadian humor of Son Tran and is presented by those over at Laff Town Comedy. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 8:00, and the cover is $10.00.
Saturday you can get things started over at Heights Vinyl, when FPH Sammy award winner Ashton Womack cashes in his live taping prize from winning last year’s Beta Bracket Comedy Competition. That sentence alone should convince you to attend, but if not let’s start with the fact that Ashton could one day easily be one of Houston’s biggest comics. If the fact that all of The Whiskey Brothers feel the same way as about 75% of the comedy community here doesn’t help; then you’ll just have to read about him when FPH interviewed him here. The show won’t just be Ashton doing 30 minutes, but also the hilarious and long form jokes of Jaffer Khan, the rapid fire humor of Austin’s Bryson Brown; and the legendary jokes of heavy hitter Andy Huggins. The all ages show should get going around 8:00 and the cover is a paltry $5.00.
Out in Conroe at Dosey Doe Cafe, you can catch the legendary sounds of Texas’ own Billy Joe Shaver. Billy Joe has been cited as an influence by the bulk of the songwriting community coming up today, and even inspires comics like Norm Macdonald. He’s been all over tv, and I shouldn’t have to oversell you on why he’s amazing. Last year’s “Long In The Tooth” should have proved that he’s still at his a game. Van Darien will bring her mix of pop rock and Americana to the show as opener. Her 2014 album, “Silent Sparrow” is a great example of what to expect from the Texas songbird. The show has doors at 8:30 and the tickets are $25.00.
Walters will have some fun scheduled as New York City Queens perform on a #VeryJazzed show. NYCQ have been laboring away at what will be the follow up to “Burn Out Like Roman Candles” from 2012. If you’ve seen them live recently, then there’s a chance you’ve heard some of those newer tunes already. They’ll have the electro-pop of Houston’s Children Of Pop on hand as well. I think we all realize that Chase is Houston’s most prolific performer, and that’s not counting the three other bands he’s in and the fourth in the works….literally. Their latest, December’s “U Won” doesn’t showcase how strong they’ve gotten live, but is as inventive as anything they’ve ever done. Houston’s three piece of “sad girl pop,” SAnD Dunes will also be there to shake things up. The electro-pop of Promenade gets the all ages show started with doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.
House of Blues will bring the funny when former SNL cast member Jim Breuer will do stand-up. Breuer is one of the oddest comics I’ve ever seen take the mic, where he sometimes does impressions and jokes. However, sometimes it turns into a sing-a-long where Breuer might lead the audience in some twisted version of a Billy Idol song. His last special, was 2013’s “And Laughter For All” where the comic dropped a barrage of humor. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that may change. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $30.00 and $37.25.
Numbers will host another round of Doomsday Wrestling. If you’ve never seen this show it’s definitely a doozy. EL Bano, Mr Cuddles and Hot Flash will all be on hand for a raucous good time. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00 and cover is $18.00.
Over at Fox Hollow, they’ll be hosting some dope action featuring Mikos Da Gawd of the Soulection crew. Houston’s own Dpat is a label mate to this guy, and his stuff is pretty crazy in a live setting from what I hear. The San Francisco artist is here in support of his electronic hip hop release from late last year, “Caffeine Vol. 1.” He’ll have the Invisibl Skratch Piklz sounds of DJ Shortkut on before him. This guy embodies all of the old school of the DJ world, with all sorts of newer sounds. Tracks like “Blunted With a Beat Junkie” from this guy should let you know the kind of heat he brings. There will also beat special sets from J. Salaam & Gracie Chavez w/Charlie Perez & Adrian Killian on sax. if you remember Yung Slutty, well then you should be all about him under his new moniker, Hiram. Third World TV will also be on hand, as will Smash Bros DJs on the 21 & up show that’s FREE with RSVP. The Doors are at 10.00.
Over at Crocker Bar, another edition of DYKON FAGATRON will occur. The entire evening, hosted by Houston’s Biz Vicious should make for a great time for the monthly event. This show features the likes of Kegels For Hegel, DJ Angie’s Liste, and DJs Fine and Dandy, and should be pretty amaze balls. With 10:00 doors it’s a great way to dance your buns off for 100% FREE for those who are 21 & up.
Cursive Photo: Saddle Creek
Sunday, you will more than likely be where I’ll be, over at Fitzgerald’s for the always great sounds of Cursive. So, the band is here because they’re supporting the reissued & deluxe remastered version of their 2003 album, “The Ugly Organ.” Rumor has it that they might play the album in its’ entirety, but that’s not 100% confirmed. Honestly though, does any of that matter? These guys are pretty damn great and I know people who might get there early just to wait in line. Philly’s Beach Slang will also be on the bill as direct support. Last year, these guys dropped a truly great four song album called, “Cheap Thrills On A Dead End Street,” that really sounds like early Superchunk mixed with The Replacements. Austin’s Megafauna will be there to open the show with their gutsy and quick brand of alterna rock. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $19.00. Side note, this show will more than likely sell out.
If that’s not your bag, and you just haven’t gotten enough of her in those sad dog adoption commercials; then you can catch Sarah McLachlan over at Jones Hall. So, McLachlan hasn’t really performed much this decade, or if she has; I wasn’t aware of it. I caught her in the nineties when she was tearing up the charts and it was pretty entertaining. She’s in town in support of her latest, “Shine On,” from last year. She did have huge hits like, “Angel,” and “I Will Remember You;” so there’s all of that. There doesn’t appear to be an opener on the show with tickets between $40.50 and $80.50, and doors at 8:00.
Monday, you can head to Boondocks to watch the comics from The Secret Group roast comic Scotty Peterson. I have a feeling that there will be more drug references on this show than during a trial about a cocaine bust. Comic Bob Morrissey will host the evening that will more than likely have presentations from many of Houston’s funniest up and coming comics. The show is 21 & up, the doors are at 9:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
The post rock trio also known as The Life and Times will be over at Fitzgerald’s downstairs as well. These three guys make this shimmering and almost mathy sound that’s pretty hard to ignore. They’re here touring on their newest album, last year’s “Lost Bees,” and honestly, if you’ve never seen them live; you’re really missing out. They’re really great in a live setting and head & shoulder above many bands playing the same stuff. The post rock proggy sounds of Katy’s Rome Hero Foxes will be there to open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
That’s pretty much everything worth considering as we close out February. Please remember that no matter what you decide to do, that you do it in a responsible manner. While we all scramble to grab FPSF tickets, be mindful of your fellow Houstonians out there.