I Can’t Feel Anymore: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo Credit Randy Cremean
So, there’s a ton of stuff happening this weekend; and it’s hard to say what to and what not to do. There’s plenty of FREE events, comedy, cosplay, and music to keep you busy here in town. While we all cross our fingers that it stays cool for FPSF, here’s where your free time should be spent.
First up on Thursday at Discovery Green, the UHD Concert Series presents The Texas Indie Pop Extravaganza. The show featuring the indie pop rock sounds Austin’s Quiet Company sounds like a great way to enjoy some tunes if the weather permits. Over at the park, there’s an offering of eats, drinks, and general good times that the downtown park usually offers. The truly family band sounds of Finnegan get things started around 6:30. Admission is all ages and it’s 100% FREE.
I think if you love punk rock, it’s hard to say this; but I’m not really the biggest Keith Morris guy. When I think of Black Flag, I think of Rollins, and though I did like Circle Jerks, it’s really just one man’s opinion. However, from the first listen, I really liked the bombastic nature of Morris’ most recent band, OFF! On Thursday, OFF! will bring that chaotic nature over to the upstairs room at Fitzgerald’s. After catching the band at SXSW a couple of years ago, I can definitely attest to their raw nature. In support of their most recent effort, “Wasted Years,” this should be a pretty rockin’ show. This is pure punk rock at it’s finest. Three chords through a Mosrite driven by Mario R of RFTC fame on the skins…what’s not to like? The quickness of Brooklyn’s Cerebral Ballzy and California’s Nasa Space Universe will both get things going with their eighties punk sounds. The doors for the all ages show are at 8:00 and the tickets are between $15.00 and $17.00, and it’s a great show for any punk young or aging.
Also on Thursday the 22nd, quite possibly the funniest and definitely the most successful comedian in Houston will be performing at the Improv. Ali Siddiq will be dropping his immense talents on what will more than likely be a sold out room. I don’t think you can like comedy and not know who Siddiq is, but he’s been on pretty much every outlet for comedy including Comedy Central, Showtime, HBO, and NBC. There should be some local openers on this show as well. Things get started at 8:00 and the tickets are between $20.00 and $30.00.
It’s hard to believe, but one of the most legendary performers in music, Holly Golightly will bring her blend of folk meets soul to Rudyard’s on Thursday. Her most recent coupling, Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs is quite possibly her most inventive; and it’s what she will be performing at Rudz. If you’ve always been a fan of her stuff, this is a must see event in an intimate setting. The folk based rock of Buxton’s Sergio Trevino should get everyone up on their feet, as he opens things up. The doors are at 9:00, it’s 21 and up, and the tickets are $10.00 to $12.00.
I think the definition of the word trill means to be true to one’s self and to be real to all. It’s a term in Houston, that’s closely associated to rapper Bun B, and to the hip hop community in general. So, when I tell you that there’s a comedy/improv/sketch festival in town called “Trillfest,” I don’t want to cause any confusion as to what it entails. Over at Station Theater, the Trillfest runs from Thursday the 22nd, to Saturday the 24th. In what’s billed as nineteen hours of comedy, the festival covers everything from stand up comedy to sketch performances and improv. The twelve shows feature comedians and performers from all over, while importing people from NYC and parts of Texas. Some of the festival’s stand out shows start with the Thursday night stand up show at 10:00 features comics like last year’s Beta Bracket winner Bob Morrissey, as well as others including John Nguyen and Coleman Cox. The Friday 5:30 show will feature Choke!: The Comedy Game Show featuring Brian Zeolla, Nick Meriwether, and Josh Brokaw. There’s also a 10:00 performance featuring the funny and irreverent, Ty Mahany. On Saturday, you can catch the hilarity from Houston’s Chris Oddo at 7:00. There’s much more than just what’s mentioned here and there are two ticketing options in a $10.00 per show price, or a $45.00 total fest pass. There doesn’t appear to be an age limitation nor does there appear to be a pre-sale option; so I guess it’s pay at the door.
So, there’s a pretty good chance that you like comic books, video games, sci-fi, and the like. Things have changed so much since I was at the Benton household where were geeked out over McFarlane drawn books and the cool nature of the uncolored original TMNT series. Now everyone celebrates their dorkiness and then gets portrayed by Texans on CBS or is lied to by comedians like Chris Hardwick that they too are nerds. Well, whether you’re a real nerd, a fake nerd, or just into cosplay & fandom; Houston’s Comicpalooza is for you. The godfather of comics himself, Stan Lee will be there at the four day affair this year that runs from Friday the 23rd to Monday the 26th. There will be appearances by Rose McGowan, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and Lou “I was The Hulk on the 70’s TV show” Ferrigno. There will be all kinds of cosplay and events this year, though the coolest might be performances by Dem Damn Dames. A while back, I mentioned a video game themed burlesque show the troupe performed at Walter’s. Well, the Dames will be performing that show again on the Saturday and Sunday of the convention. I don’t think it’s a tough choice on whether or not to watch women dressed as the Pac Man ghosts over meeting an actor. But maybe that’s just me. The doors open on the four days at 9:00 am and run until 2:00 am, except on Monday where they close at 8:00. Unless you’re a child under five, you gotta’ pay to get in and the tickets range from $10.00 to $150.00.
On Friday the 23rd, one of the best bands I’ve heard in a long time, California’s Slow Motion Rider will be stopping by Warehouse Live. I don’t think I can express much more love for these guys than I did when I reviewed their self titled debut album last week. What I will say is that if you like garage rock, psych, or just blues based rock n’ roll; then this is a not to be missed show. This will be coupled with a headlining spot from Houston’s Rivers, who proved to us why they’re one of our city’s best new bands when they performed at Fitz as The White Stripes. Houston’s DJ Old Scratch will get things started with his old school stylings. The addition of psychedelic projections by The Hoodoo Meat Bucket should help transform everyone in attendance back to the era of free love. The doors are at 8:00, it’s an all ages show, and the tickets are a miniscule $5.00.
I don’t know if I’d call Portland’s Red Fang stoner rock as much as I’d just call it rock. It sounds dumb, but I think the terminology gets thrown too loosely on bands that don’t have the vibe of acts like early QOTSA or Fu Manchu. On Friday night at Fitzgerald’s, Red Fang will bring their fast paced sound back to Houston. In support of their most recent effort, last year’s “Whales and Leeches,” the band should bring some fury to the upstairs room. If you aren’t big of Red Fang, you should at least check out the dynamic & sludge rock sounds of Seattle two piece Big Business. The throwback speediness of Austin’s American Sharks will get things started with doors at 8:00, and tickets ranging from $15.00 to $17.00.
Over at the Catastrophic Theater, the premiere party and opening night showing of Will Eno’s “Middletown” on Friday the 23rd as well. The play is one that’s been hailed by critics from the New York Times and The Boston Globe, and it’s cool that it’s happening here in Houston. The play will run weekends until June 14th, but opening nights are usually great nights to make. Catastrophic utilizes a pay what you can ticketing model, that usually falls between $10.00 and $50.00 dollars. Things get started at 8:00, and as with most performances, you should get there at least fifteen minutes prior to show time.
On Saturday, you can make it over to the studio at Warehouse Live to catch The Rich Williams Pre-Memorial Day Comedy Show. For anyone who isn’t aware, Rich might be one of Houston’s hardest working comics, and he’s easily one of the more consistently funny ones. On the 24th, he’ll play host to comedians like Eddie B, Judd Jones, KJ Lee, Vik Shivdasani, and Ahmad Griffin as he packs the evening with laughs for all in attendance. This show is a great way to catch comics who are really great for a low price. I’ve seen most of these guys and I can attest as to how funny they all are. The doors are at 7:00, it’s all ages, and with $15.00 tickets, that’s like a little over two dollars a comic. There’s also a VIP option available with bottle service, as well as discounted seats.
I would guess that most of you have heard of Austin’s Brown Whornet. If you haven’t, I’ll just say that they seem like they never run out of energy, and they always put on a great live show. On Saturday the 24th, they’ll be stopping by Rudyard’s and they’ll bring their always entertaining blend of prog-rock meets sideshow sound with them. The eight piece has been around longer than a bad hangover, and it still seems as fresh as it did when I saw them a decade ago. The bluesy swing sounds of Austin’s Churchwood will get things started with 9:00 doors and a $7.00 cover. The show is 21 & up only.
I’m pretty sure that like most red blooded Americans, you like beer. I would also guess that you like beer that’s so exclusive, you only have two days a year to get your hands on it. Well, if that’s where your taste buds are at, then the FPSF Kickoff Party at Lowbrow is right up your alley. I mean, we all know that the St. Arnold White Noise is pretty damn tasty. So why not make it out to have a taste preview before you’re jamming out to Jack White and Wu-Tang Clan? Things get started at 7:00 and it’s a FREE evening that can only be made better by Lowbrow’s tasty menu offerings. If you weren’t aware, you can grab your FPSF tickets now before you have to wait another 365 days before you can have White Noise again.
Sometimes, I get to meet super creative people that do super creative things. Saturday night at Beta Theater, three creative people in Hoja Lopez, Vicki Lynn, and Sara Ornales will be singing their hearts out for your enjoyment. The show which consists of songs made up by these two should be nothing short of funny, fun, and entertaining. As with all Beta shows, it’s a pay what you can policy; but I’d suggest grabbing tickets prior to showtime, as I’m sure there will be plenty in attendance. Things get started at 10:00 and it’s BYOB.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever been over to El Rincon Social, but they have a tendency of putting on some stellar art shows. In the second half of a two part series, they will play host to some seriously talented artists on Saturday night. “The Transferable Image” show is a mix of all media that includes performance art intertwined with old and new art to make a complete piece. I’m sure it’ll be as interesting as it sounds. From what it looks like, this is a FREE show, and things get started at 8:30.
I’m not 100 percent sure how to describe Ohio duo Bad Veins, other than to say that they’re good. You could call them electro pop, shoegaze, or just indie rock; but whatever label you wanna’ place on them, it all equals just good. I caught them a couple of years back and they were just as entertaining as their 2012 album, “The Mess We’ve Made.” On Saturday night, they’ll bring that entertaining set to Fitzgerald’s downstairs. The Cure meets The Psychedelic Furs sounds of the Woodlands’ own Jeremy Carswell & The Nymphs will get things going with an 8:00 door time and a $10.00 to $12.00 cover.
Sunday, the studio at Warehouse Live will play host to Cyhi The Prynce. As a guest on many hip hop artists albums and mixtapes, Cyhi is seriously becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of hip hop. He has a crazy flow to his rhymes, and he’s been known to command an audience just based off of his freestyling alone. There doesn’t appear to be an opener for the Atlanta native as of yet, but like most hip hop shows; that usually changes prior to showtime. The show is all ages and things get started at 8:00 with a $17.00 cover.
Also on Sunday, Italy’s Lacuna Coil will bring their metal infused sound to all over at Scout Bar. I’m not a Lacuna Coil guy, but I did catch them at an Ozzfest years back, and I’ll admit that they were more energetic than I thought they’d be. In support of their latest effort, “Broken Crown Halo,” this should be a no brainer for any fan of the band. The Texas Hippie Coalition sounding Anti-Mortem will be on as well. Lufkin’s Downfall Rising and Houston’s Seldom get things started. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are $17.00 to $20.00.
Downstairs at Fitzgerald’s on Monday, you can catch California’s Seahaven, as they bring their post emo core sounds to town. I caught Seahaven a couple of years back on accident, but I was pleased with the experience. Their singer reminds me of the singer from nineties emo band Vitreous Humor by his missed notes type of style. In support of their new album, “Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only,” this should be a pretty energetic show. The chaotic and melodic sounds of Pittsburgh’s Adventures will liven up the crowd. In fact, I’m really stoked to see Adventures live, as I’ve liked them since I first heard them three years ago. The sleepy eyed or Joan of Arc lite sounding St. Louis natives, Foxing will kick things off with a 7:00 door time and tickets between $10.00 and $14.00.
Also on Monday, California’s Bad Suns will bring their pop rock sound to Houston’s House of Blues. The catchy nature of their music coupled with singer Christo Bowman’s vocal range should make for a fun show. The always entertaining and talented sounds of Houston’s Catch Fever will open things up, and probably impress the entire room. If for no other reason, go to see Catch Fever as they might be the next big thing to come out of Houston since Beyonce. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are a steal at a measly $5.00.
We all like Old 97’s, right? Rhett Miller has done his best to make great albums for the past twenty plus years, and the recently released “Most Messed Up” follows that tradition. If you’ve never seen these guys, you’re missing out on their blend of country meets rock. On Tuesday the 27th, they bring that sound back to Houston at Fitzgerald’s. The attitude based and Loretta Lynn type vocals of Lydia Loveless will open things up as only she can. This should be the best country rock show you’ll catch in a long time. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $20.00 and $24.00.
So, my fingers hurt from all the typing; but as you can see, it’s a stacked week. There should be plenty of happenings to keep you busy while you get geared up for Summer. It’s a great time to be a Houstonian, and the best is yet to come.