David Garrick
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Instant Society: The Best of The Week

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John Evans, Photo: Brandon Holley


Well, now that the insanity of Day For Night has passed, we have to start looking to the holidays and the pending end of this year.  While we all hope to look forward to the year coming to a close, there’s plenty of entertainment before Santa visits.  Performances from Robert Earl Keen, John Evans, and the Walters fifth anniversary will all help us celebrate the holidays while we cringe at family time.  Houston, here’s how to spend your paycheck this week.


On Wednesday you could begin over at MKT Bar when Roologic Records’ family of artists will be on hand for DJ sets.  DJ Baby Roo and the roster should bring plenty of new jams and old favorites to life all night.  The 100% FREE event runs from 7 pm to 10 pm, and it’s open to all ages.


If you’d rather get your laugh on, then you could head to the Joke Joint Comedy Showcase to see your favorite African Ku Egenti host The Almost Christmas Showcase.  Ku is probably one of the funniest comics to come from Houston in recent years, and he somehow convinced these twelve comics to wear ugly holiday sweaters at this show.  There’s more information here for the 18 & up show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $15.

Sergio Trevino, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

Under The Volcano will host the yearly fun time show from Sergio Trevino for Sergio’s Christmas Extravaganza.  Trevino fronts the bands Buxton, Ancient Cat Society, and Guess Genes, and this show is always a ton of fun sets and what not.  The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE.


Thursday you can get the laughs in at Rockefeller’s when The Whiskey Brothers hop on stage for their 8th Annual Christmas Ball.  I wouldn’t sit quiet on this show, as their comedy special taping had Houston’s Scarface lead the audience in a Geto Boys sing-a-long.  The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $25, and also features music from The Jeremy James Band.


If that’s not your thing then you could swing by Mucky Duck for one of two shows from Carolyn Wonderland and Guy Forsyth, at their Jingle Bells Jingle Bells show.  While either of these two Texas heavy hitters could command an audience on their own, it’s a rare treat to hear them do their thing with holiday songs included.  The 21 & up shows are at 7 pm and 9:30 pm, and both have tickets between $28 and $30.

Tifa Tittlywinks, Photo: Penland Pinups/Courtesy of Artist

Over at Stone’s Throw you can get your sexy glances in when the Thursday Tease returns for their holiday edition.  This show, will feature plenty of burlesque as well as a feature spot from Donna Hood.  As always, the alluring and captivating Tifa Tittlywinks will host the 21 & up event that’s 100% FREE and gets going around 8 pm.


Continental Club will offer up the funky Texas twang of Barfield.  Mike Barfield has been genre mixing for a long time, he’s played all over the place and received critical acclaim, and his last record The Tyrant from over a decade ago still holds up.  The 21 & up show has doors around 10 pm and a $10 cover.


On Friday you can begin at Mucky Duck for dinner and a show with Two Tons of Steel.  The dinner side of things will feature four courses paired with different Alamo beers.  The music side of things will feature Texas twangers Two Tons of Steel, who never disappoint when they perform and their latest Unraveled has the band at their height.  The 21 & up event gets going at 6 pm sharp and has tickets between $75 and $80, or you can catch the band on their own with tickets between $20 and $22 with 7 pm doors.


If you’d rather laugh then you can head to The Secret Group for Rich Williams’ Xmas Comedy Show.  Rich will host the affair that features sets from six different comics and should keep you in stitches as well.  The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $35, the latter being a VIP option.

Talk Sick Brats, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

Over at Walters you can help the club celebrate their fifth year in their current location at their 5 Year Anniversary Party.  It’s hard to believe that the venue as it stands is five years old, or that it’s been around Houston for the past sixteen years.  The show should be memorable as the best Moz/Smiths cover band I’ve ever seen, Gwarrissey will headline the event.  If you missed this group burn through classics by Morrissey and The Smiths dressed up like Gwar, then you shouldn’t miss this set.  Last time, Fat Tony rushed the stage like a crazed Moz fan boy and hugged the group’s lead singer, so who knows what this show will have happen.  POIZON, possibly the best new band you rarely get to see, will provide direct support while the fun punk of Talk Sick Brats will go on prior.  Steph from Talk Sick Brats will open the show as DJ Dirty Steph playing some of your favorite tunes.  The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and a paltry $5 cover.


At Nightingale Room you can catch the Reader’s Choice award winners Blaze X Black, when the rap duo swings by to drop a set.  These two grind hard with a radio show and heavy promotion, and their latest single “Say” is on point.  A DJ set from DJade Media will open things up with doors at 8 pm for the 100% FREE 21 & up show.

The Linus Pauling Quartet, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

Rudyard’s will host the 7th Annual Christmas Show with a headlining set from Houston mainstay rockers Project Grimm.  It’s hard to believe these guys have been around over two decades, and if you’ve never seen them then this is a good way to.  The loud and brash guitars of The Linus Pauling Quartet will be on as direct support while the blues rock of Stonework opens the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.


The later show at Mucky Duck will feature a performance from Houston born and Austin transplant John Evans.  This year Evans dropped his best album to date with Polyester, and for the first time in a long time it feels like the tall Texas twang rocker is getting the respect he deserves.  His live shows are always worth making it out for, and the 21 & up show should be another that you can’t miss.  The doors are at 9:30 pm and tickets are between $20 and $22.


Over at Continental Club you can get all the super boogie rock n roll you can handle when Austin’s Honky swing by to play.  I’ve known Honky’s Jeff Pinkus for a good while, and I’d be lying if I said that I liked this band as much as his previous band, Butthole Surfers.  Their live shows are always fun and their latest album Corduroy is swampy and tasty.  Houston’s Thrill opens the 21 & up show with doors at 10 pm and a $12 cover.


On Saturday you should consider heading to the Alley Theatre to catch the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol.  The Houston tradition is always worth catching, and there’s a special matinee showing as well.  The all ages event has tickets between $49 and $135, and doors at 2 pm.


If you’re wanting to go late, one of the shows you could make it our for features the always fun times of Love Tempo over at Grand Prize.  Since it’s the holidays, and you’re around family, you might find yourself at a bar anyway.  Why not get up and get your groove on as well.  Andy V, Luz, and Miguel Flaco all throw down and the 21 & up event that starts around 9 pm is always 100% FREE.


If you’d rather just groove to nineties jams, then The Secret Group will host their Dial Up: 90’s Dance Party.  The show, which I believe is all ages has doors at 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.


On Sunday you could head to Discovery Green for the Houston Skating Starz event.  Houston’s best figure skaters will be on hand for you to watch them do their thing on the park’s ice rink.  Skating fees apply if you want to skate afterwards, but the performance that begins at 6:30 pm is 100% FREE and open to all ages.

Frog Hair, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

If you want music, then you can attend the traditional 30 Foot Fall Xmas show over at Fitzgerald’s.  Alongside a rousing set from the Houston mainstays will be sets from The Cops, Frog Hair, Revels, Days N Daze and a DJ set from Damon Allen.  There are other bands as well with more information here.  The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and $15 tickets.


Monday you could head to the Houston Ballet to catch some of the final performances of The Nutcracker.  The crowds are a little crazy before Xmas, but afterwards it’s pretty loose and since the 27th is the last day, the 26th is a great day to attend.  There are shows at 2 pm and 7:30 pm with tickets between $39 and $144 for the all ages and family friendly performances.


The best part of experiencing something different at the Houston Zoo is going at night and if you head over there you can experience the animal sounds as well as the sights with their Zoo Lights event.  The whole park gets lit up with a dazzling array of lights while you enjoy a crisp evening at the zoo.  The all ages event runs between FREE to $19.95 and it opens at 6 pm.


Over at  House of Blues you could swing by to catch a performance from Robert Earl Keen.  While it’s unfortunate that Keen attracted some raucous frat boy types to his shows in the nineties, that doesn’t mean that he’s not a hell of a songwriter and he doesn’t bring out that crowd anymore.  His bluegrass album from last year, Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions is pretty solid, and his live shows are always fun.  If he’s not enough for you, then you should know that the always engaging guitar work of Junior Brown will be on as support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $45 and $97.


On Tuesday you can get all the laughs in when the always funny Ali Siddiq hosts the open mic and Comedy Junkies comedy show at the Improv.  Siddiq is possibly the most entertaining host you can see, he’s been on Comedy Central and Showtime, and he’s the biggest comic Houston has to offer.  The 18 & up show has doors at 6 pm and a $7 cover.


That’s about all for the holiday week.  No matter what you decide to do, please remember that the holidays bring out the least professional drinkers, so be safe out there for everyone’s sake.