Just A Taste: The Best of The Week
It looks like we survived the surrounding madness that’s SXSW. This week there’s still more than enough happening while things get a little closer to normal. Acts with plenty of pop will be here, including the R&B magic of Tinashe pictured above. Houston, here’s where you should spend your free time.
Wednesday you could get going at Raven Tower for the Texas twang of country singer Dub Miller. Miller hails from the miniscule Texas town Pontotoc, and he’s here in support of his latest release, “The Midnight Ambassador.” I caught him a couple of years back and he’s pretty impressive if you like country music. The all ages show has doors at 5:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If that’s not your bag, then I’d implore you to go by The Nightingale Room to check out Kay Weathers. It’s been awhile since we saw Ms. O’Brien play shows here after she moved to Louisiana. She’s here to drop her long awaited EP, and she’s always a treat to see perform. Her latest is a single, “Bored Games,” and it’s pretty gorgeous. She’ll have “special guests” on as openers for the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00. The show is 100% FREE.
You might not mind a drive, and if you don’t then you could head to Gridiron Sports Bar & Grill to catch a set from funnyman, Dezz White. The comic has been all over XM radio and a frequent comic on BET. He’ll be joined by Houston comics Andrew Youngblood & Stephen Brandau, and the show should be one that you’d want to make the drive for. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and 100% FREE.
If you’d rather get your throwback rock on, then you could head to Under The Volcano for the tunes of Brian Whelan. Whelan doesn’t really make throwback sounds, but his sound doesn’t really exist anymore. Hints of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan pepper his songs, with notes of Ricky Nelson in the “Garden Party” era, and his latest release “Decider” from 2012 is full of them. He has a new album coming in late May, though he’ll have copies for sale at this show. Mike Stinson band will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.
Kerri Lendo, Photo: Dustin Fenstermacher
If laughs are what you’re in the mood for, then you could go to Midtown Bar & Grill for another High Bar show, this time featuring Austin comic Kerri Lendo. The filmmaker and comic is pretty hilarious, and she doesn’t get down here very often. Austin’s Lisa Delarios and Kelsey Caine will also be there to drop sets, while Houston’s Nathaniel Potts and Greg Deal will also be on the bill. These shows usually fill up fast, so make sure to get there early for the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Tancred, Photo: Shadow Fox
Thursday, Walters will have the indie rock meets emo jams of Missouri six piece, Foxing. This band is pretty intense to see live, they’ve made a ton of quality releases, and their latest “Dealer” from last year is their strongest. The post rock of Georgia’s O’ Brother will be on as direct support while offering up tracks from their upcoming release “Your Move.” The indie pop of New England’s Tancred will also be on the bill, and is an act you shouldn’t miss. While her 2013 album “Tancred” was one of my favorites from that year, her new single “Sell My Head” is my latest favorite jam. One of the best and diverse indie pop projects I’ve heard in a long time, Adjy will open things up. The new Adjy album “Prelude (.333)” is beautiful, amazing, and intense at the same time. The all ages show has doors at 6:30 and tickets between $12.00 and $16.00.
Satellite Bar will have the indie pop of Austin’s Empire Machines. The five piece will be here in support of their EP from last year, “Animal Skin.” From what people in Austin tell me, they’re an impressive band to see live. The all ages show doesn’t have openers listed, but that should change. The doors are at 8:00 and the cover is $5.00.
If you were lucky enough to grab tickets, then you can head to Warehouse Live when they have the popular hip hop of Maryland’s Logic. Logic has been getting bigger and bigger since he dropped his first mixtape five years ago. His latest release, “The Incredible True Story” from last year has netted the rapper hordes of fans. DJ Rhetorik, Dizzy Wright, and DJ Hoppa will all be on board as support for the all ages sold out show with doors at 8:00.
Lil Keke, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If you were a fan of Lil Keke then you should go to Fitzgerald’s to catch a set from him. Back in the day he dropped such jams as “Chunk Up The Deuce” with UGK & Paul Wall and “Southside.” His latest track is from this year, and “Cause They Luv It” features 03 Tha Hu$tla and Mike D. There’s no word of openers, but that will likely change for the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $25.00.
If you’re a fan of Surf Rock, then you should check out new Houston band The Phantom Royals over at Voodoo Queen for Surf Night. The word around town is that they’re worth checking out, and the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 is 100% FREE so you have nothing to lose.
Friday you should consider starting off at Walters for the folky punk sounds of Australia’s The Smith Street Band. This four piece has made waves for their mix of folk rock and emo punk. Their 2012 album “Sunshine and Technology” made them a household name around Melbourne and around the world as well. Their latest release, 2014’s “Throw Me In The River” takes their sound to a new place, and is worth making it our for. Californian power punk three piece Hard Girls will be on as direct support. Okay, these guys are amazing on record and in person, and their Guided By Voices meets Wire sound is infectious. I caught them before and they’re pretty epic and their new EP “Dulcet Tones” is the universe’s way of telling you to see them live. Brooklyn’s Worriers will also bring their energy heavy sound to the bill, while Houston newcomers Fight Me will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $16.00.
Tifa Tittlywinks of Dem Damn Dames, Photo: Kreativelens
If you’d rather see who will win in the battle between science fiction and fantasy, then you should go to Numbers for The Battle of Nerdlesque from Houston’s Dem Damn Dames. The Houston based burlesque troupe puts on a stellar show once a month at the iconic dance venue, and this one looks to be a doozy. Alongside the talented Dames themselves will be appearances from Virginia’s Paul Garbanzo, Austin’s Ginger Snaps, and Olive Avira and Vivienne Vermuth of Dallas. There’s also feature performances from acts that cover all over Texas and the show will be judged by Project Armageddon’s Doomstress Alexis, Jesus Garza, and Meredith Nudo. As with all of these shows, your ticket includes FREE entry into Classic Numbers which follows the show. The 18 & up show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $30.00, the latter being a VIP seated option.
If you’d rather get your rock on, you can get started at The Nightingale Room for the bluesy jams of Houston’s Sik Mule. These guys have been everywhere lately, their sets are impressive and full of energy, and their song, “Ball & Chain” is like ZZ Top on speed. The electro folk of Austin’s Ghostbunny will open the 21 & up show with doors at 6:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If you frequented Catacomb, then you might want to make it over there as this is there “goodbye for now” event. After reaching the 1 year mark, the store is closing for now while those involved work on other projects. Alongside selling off items in the store, Jay Tovar will stop by to drop a DJ set and Boombox Taco will be on hand to feed those who attend. I believe it’s all ages, it gets going at 7:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Things might get rowdy over at Satellite Bar when they bring Austin’s Harvest Thieves to town. The five piece has gotten plenty of acclaim for their blend of hillbilly folk and country twang. Their new album, “Rival” is pretty solid and could change your mind about banjos. One of Houston’s best kept secrets, Ruckus will be on as direct support and will blow you away with their excellent tone and twang. You could say similar things about the punk overtones found in Houston’s The Grizzly Band who go on beforehand. Don’t let the fact that you might not have heard them before stop you from seeing them, as their live sets are impressive to say the least. The multi-genre based Americana meets hillbilly country of Son Of Bitch will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and a $7.00 cover.
The Foundation Room at House of Blues will host Fullmetal with special sets from DJ Discipline and Houston rapper Kyle Hubbard. All three of these acts are top notch, it’s a great way to catch the always entertaining rhymes of Hubbard, and the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00 is 100% FREE.
Young Mammals, Photo: Isabel Botero
Rudyard’s will host the sonic beauty that is Houston’s Young Mammals. These guys have been going for a good while now, their live shows are always amazing, and their last album “Alto Seco” was one of the most amazing indie rock albums I’ve ever heard. They’re on the heels of dropping a new record, so there’s a good chance you’ll hear new stuff at this show. The indie rock of NOLA’s Pope will be on as direct support. These guys have a pretty awesome sound that reminds me of early Superchunk mixed with Bitch Magnet. Their most recent album was last year’s “Fiction,” and they should be great to catch live. The rock meets country jams of Buxton will be on the show as well, and I’d hope by now you’d have seen their high energy set before. Last year’s “Half A Native” was my favorite overall album of the year, and I still find myself revelling in its mix of beauty and new direction. Joe Mathlete will get the 21 & up show started with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00 cover.
At Continental Club you can grab a copy of the new album from Houston’s Thrill at their album release party. This three piece full of members who I can’t tell if they’ll be old enough to drink yet, make a blend of alt rock and blues rock that sounds beyond their years. The motorcycle leather punk infused rock of The Velostacks will bring some heavy energy to the show, and remind you of Ramones if they’d gone a little heavier. These guys just dropped their “Blood On The Carbs” EP that makes you want to pump your fists in the air and sing along to every track. The sludge heavy sounds of Austin’s Alien Knife Fight will open the 21 & up show with doors at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Beta Theater will be bringing the funny antics of NOLA’s musical comedy duo, Debba & Donna for the Debba & Donna Do Houston show. Rumor has it that these two are a riot from start to finish, and to seal the deal, a rare performance from Houston’s The Mustn’ts will be on as direct support. I feel like you’ve missed something magical between these two, as tensions mount while Vicki from black kite tries to sing while Jeromy Barber of Beta misinterprets why they’re performing. Frankenstein & the Navigator, which is Traci Lavois Thiebaud and Matt Fries will open the show. The 18 & up show gets going around 11:00 and it’s pay what you can.
Saturday you could begin at Ladybird’s for their Crawfish Boil. So, I hate crawfish, I hate seeing people eat it, and, well…I’m not a fan of it. But if you go to this event then you can catch live sets from Ancient Cat Society, Picture Book, John Egan, and more. It’s $25.00 for all the crawfish you can eat, it’s 21 & up, and if you don’t want crawfish then the event starting at noon is 100% FREE.
Lyric Michelle, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If you’re an avid 90.1 listener, then you should head over to Midtown Bar & Grill and Last Concert Cafe for their Spring Time Fundraiser. The all day & night event has two completely different sets of acts at each venue to benefit the 46 year old Houston radio entity. Midtown Bar & Grill will have a headlining set from the crazed energy and intense lyrical flow from Houston’s Lyric Michelle. If somehow you missed her at Walters earlier this year for her release of amazing album, “MissDirection,” then this is your chance to catch another dazzling appearance. Last Concert Cafe will have a headlining set from James Henry. The Midtown Bar & Grill show runs from 3:00 pm until 2:00 am, while the Last Concert show runs from 3:00 to about 9:00. Both shows have full lineups with more information available here. Midtown is 21 & up, Last Concert is all ages, and both have a suggested donation of $10.00 cover.
Cactus will host an in-store performance from Houston’s Jealous Creatures. In support of their most recent release, “The Night Goes on For Days,” the four piece should more than likely turn some heads while they perform as there’s something pretty amazing about their live shows. The all ages event starts at 3:00, and there’s gratis beer for the adults on the 100% FREE show.
If you’d rather get your twang in for the day, then you could head to Town In City Brewing to catch sets from Houston’s Second Lovers and Jason Bancroft & the Wealthy Beggars. Second Lovers are on the verge of finally recording their long awaited full length, they’ve appeared all over the city including FPSF, and the five piece might be one of the city’s better bands going with their mix of alt country and rock tunes. Jason Bancroft & the Wealthy Beggars are in a similar boat in their sound, except they’ve dropped two back to back full lengths, the latter being last year’s “Home.” These guys sound kind of like a faster Americana version of Chuck Ragan, and both bands are worth seeing perform. To my knowledge this show is all ages, things get going around 7:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
floods, Photo: Steven Wilkinson
The Foundry will host a different kind of event when a rare DJ set from floods headlines the Resurrection of the Unholy art party. The duo of android genius & Birdmagic have done a lot with one song, including play all over Texas and drop random sets that make feet move. If you missed their Wonky Power after party set last week where 150 people danced for 3 hours, then you shouldn’t miss their appearance at this show. There will also be a DJ set from modular synth performer Pfaffenberg, a set from techno electronica act Slacktivist, and a DJ set from Dad’s Records. There’s also tons of art and live art performances with more information here. The all ages show is $5.00 if you wear a costume, and $10.00 for everyone else with doors at 7:00.
Raven Tower will host the French induced good time jams of NOLA’s Sweet Crude. The multi-instrument and multi-vocalized band plays sweet tribal infused songs that sound like you at a party in the French Quarter. Their 2013 EP, “Super Vilaine” is pretty catchy, and they’ve become known for a crazy live show. Not to be outdone, Houston three piece Moji will be on hand as direct support and opener. Their debut EP, “Desert Son” is pretty amazeballs, and if you’ve never seen their intensely soulful live set, then this is your chance. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 & is 100% FREE for 21 & up attendees, or $5.00 for the kids.
House of Blues will host the massively popular R&B goodness of LA’s Tinashe. The singer has been making waves with her sultry live shows and her groove heavy tunes. This year’s “Tinashe” is set to be bigger than anything she’s done in the past. She’ll have the Canadian hip hop and indie pop DJ infusion of Ryan Hemsworth on as direct support & opener. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $25.00.
Ryan Girth, Photo: Nick Schneider
It doesn’t feel like it’s been a year, but Eastdown Warehouse will host another edition of Girthday. For those who aren’t in the know, the annual birthday bash for Bury The Crown’s Ryan Girth is almost always an experience every Houstonian needs to go through. While shirts will be printed to mark the occasion that you might not remember the next day, your attendance guarantees you’ll catch a very special set from Bury The Crown. You will also get sets from Commie Hilfiger, Some Nerve, Die Fast and The American Heist. The all ages extravaganza has doors at 7:00 and a measly $10.00 cover.
Satellite Bar will have the heavy doom based psych of Portland’s Ape Machine. These guys go hard and their new EP “Coalition of the Willing” is like if the old Sword albums were played by a psych band. A band called Kobretti will also be on the bill while the pedal heavy rock of SLEEPERDRONE will open the all ages show with doors at 7:30 and a TBA cover.
Over at Fitzgerald’s, you can skank to the ska styles of Monty Neysmith. So, you probably don’t know this guy, but he was a founding member of legendary ska group, Symarip. In fact, if you don’t know their album “Skinhead Moonstomp” from 1970, then you don’t know ska. Houston ska legends in their own right, The Suspects will be on as direct support, while The Skatastrophics will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $20.00.
Golden Sombrero, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
You can get rocked when Rudyard’s has the art rock of Waco’s Lomelda. This sometimes three piece and sometimes five piece makes strangely crafted tunes that are essentially pop songs with heavy melodies. Last year they dropped the pretty and hook heavy album “Forever,” and they should be a trip to see live. Houston’s Golden Sombrero will be on hand as direct support, while they add their high energy set to the show. Last year they gave us the Replacements meets Bob Mould sounding album, “Replacement Level,” and they’re an act you should see sooner than later. The pop rock of Houston’s WellWell will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.
You could head to Fox Hollow for another of the A Really Kool Party shows. This time just the resident DJ’s will be on the bill to make feet move as always. The popular show series will see sets from Dayta, Gracie Chavez, and Hiram, and will more than likely be filled to capacity. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE until midnight.
At the Pearl Side Bar you can close off your Saturday with another edition of the popular Dykon Fagatron show. This edition will feature one of the most diverse artists to leave Houston, Lucas Gorham aka Hevin Spacey. So, the Spacey stuff is pretty legit in a mix of funk, soul, R&B, and electronica; and Gorham’s performances are always as intriguing as the man himself. A set from Biz Vicious’ alter DJ ego, DJ Queermo will also drop jams, and the evening is hosted by Crystal Toliver. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00, it gets packed fast, and it’s 100% FREE.
Sunday you can get going over at Bad News Bar for their 3rd Anniversary Party. Drink specials from 7:00 to close, obligatory hi-fives, and forgetting about helping crying children hunt for eggs will all be on hand. It’s 21 & up and things start at 7:00 with zero cover charge.
Another Whatever Forever dance party will be happening over at Etro Lounge, this time to celebrate the upcoming zine release from Tulips. There’s a photo booth and drink specials to help you dance the night away, hosted by Uniporn Love. The 21 & up event has doors at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If that’s not your vibe, then you could head to The Flat for another DJ set from Houston’s -Us. The producer and now drummer for Wild Moccasins throws a rager every Sunday, and it’s always a good way to let your hair down after a long week. The 21 & up set has doors at 8:30 and it’s 100% FREE.
High-Functioning Flesh, Photo: Anthony Augello
Monday you could go to Walters to catch LA based electro punk duo, High-Functioning Flesh. These two have garnered critical acclaim, they’ve toured with acts like Front 242 and Youth Code, and they sound like a modern day Skinny Puppy. Their 2015 album “Definite Structures” is a trip, though they’ll be here in support of this year’s “Human Remains.” They’re rumored to be an insane act to catch live, and it’s not like you have much else to do on a Monday anyway. Arizona synth duo, Body Of Light will be on as direct support and will bring 2013’s “Volanta di Amore” to life. The darkwave sounds of Houston’s Buoyant Spirit will also be on the show, and you need to see them play live sooner than later, because they’re pretty intense. The eighties dark synth sounds of Spit Mask will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
Tuesday you might want to swing by Mucky Duck to catch a set from Austin’s Wood & Wire. The bluegrass folk four piece has turned plenty of heads with their earnest albums and their engaging live shows. Last year’s “The Coast” has gotten the band on plenty of people’s radar, and they should impress at this show. The 21 & up evening has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
That’s about all happening around town. No matter what you decide to do, please drink like an adult and remember that a safe ride home is just a couple taps on an app.