Know That: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Last week felt a little light, but that could easily have more to do with the holiday weekend than anything else. This week though, we have plenty of options to keep us entertained. Legends like Mos Def pictured above will be rolling through town, thus making the “to do’s” a bit more difficult to decide on. Here’s how to plan the next seven days.
Wednesday, you can kick the week off over at the downtown Houston Public Library, for the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow. Part of the John P. McGovern Summer Reading Program, the evening will start with a special acoustic performance from Chase Hamblin & The Roustabouts. That’s enough for me, but to sweeten the deal, they’ll follow that up with a screening of the Tom Hanks classic film, “Forrest Gump.” The all ages evening gets going around 7:00 and is 100% FREE.
As mentioned above, Mos Def was set to be dropping into town over at Warehouse Live; but has since cancelled due to illness. FPH confirmed this with the venue, and the show is being rescheduled. If you have tickets to the show, they will be honored for the rescheduled date. Keep tabs on the Warehouse Live website for more information when it is available.
You can get your laugh on when Houston’s Gabe Bravo takes the stage at Midtown Bar & Grill for the July edition of the High Bar show. If you know Gabe, then you already know that he’s a naturally funny guy. If you’re one of the few who know him and you haven’t seen him do stand up; then you should make this show before he hunts you down and rubs his Best Drummer Awards in your face. The show, hosted by Bob Morrissey and Nick Meriwether, is 21 & up with doors at 8:00 and a cover that’s probably $5.00.
Android Genius Photo: Hipporacle
Barbarella will host the over popular sounds of Gio Chamba. Gio is such a strong performer that even if you have seen him 20 times like I have, you more than likely haven’t seen him perform the same way twice. He’ll have Android Genius on prior, who will drop his future wave sounds on all in attendance. If you missed his amazing EP, “niraya,” then check it out before making it to the show. Things will probably get going a little late, but the cover is $2.00 until 11:00, and $5.00 after on the 21 & up show.
Over at Fitzgerald’s they’ll have the ever changing sounds of New Jersey’s Memory Tapes. So, basically with each album, this guy tends to change up his sound and sometimes, even the name of the band. He’ll be here in support of this year’s two song release, “Fallout/House On Fire.” These songs are a little more synth pop based than his previous works, but should still make for an interesting show. The popular sounds of Brooklyn’s Computer Magic will be there as direct support. Computer Magic has been getting bigger and bigger since she released the “Electronic Fences” EP in 2011. Her latest, this year’s “Dreams of Better Days” EP sounds pretty amazeballs, and should make for a great performance. I’m pretty sure that Austin’s SleepOver is the one on the bill, who’ll be opening the all ages show downstairs, with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $11.00 and $15.00.
You could also head out to Alley Kat to catch the garage pop rock of Houston four piece Belvoir. The band released a five song album, “This Will Only Take A Second” back in February, and they kind of have a White Stripes meets nineties Britpop feel. NOLA’s i’m fine will be there to bring their pop punk to life. The band’s last release was in 2012 with “with a lot to learn,” but they have a pretty catchy sound that’s worth seeing live. The pop punk of NOLA’s Feverish will also be on hand, and should be worth watching. They just dropped a three song release called “Demo,” which is like a mix of Joy Division and Slint, with hints of Fugazi. The emo sounds of Houston’s Middlechild will be there to open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a paltry $3.00 cover.
New York City Queens Photo: DO Photography
Thursday, you can kick off the evening with Houston’s New York City Queens at The Nightingale Room. Hellbent on releasing their new album in the best way possible, the band has plans to put the long awaited album out before the end of the calendar for 2015. While we all eagerly wait for it to drop, we’ll just have to enjoy the tunes in a live setting. It’s like a whole new life has been given to the five piece, who’s been playing like a small heart attack lately with intensity and drive. They’ll have Houston synth three piece, BLSHS on the bill as well. Speaking of new albums, I know for a fact that they’ve been working round’ the clock to get their new album out sooner than later. The 21 & up show is a great way to hear both bands in an intimate setting with doors at 6:00 and cover for $10.00 or $50.00 for a four person booth.
Discovery Green will be offering up Argentine Tango Lessons for the beginner. You don’t need a dance partner nor do you need any experience. The lessons are provided by the Houston Argentine Tango School, and it’s a great way to learn something new & fun. Things start at 6:30, it’s all ages and 100% FREE.
Fitzgerald’s will be hosting the NYC hardcore of punk rockers The Casualties. It’s hard to believe that these guys have been around for 25 years, but it’s true and if you’ve always wanted to see them, then this is your chance. Even though their most recent album, “Resistance” came out in 2012, these guys have always brought plenty of energy and sing-along songs. The streetpunk of Denver’s The Bad Engrish will be there as direct support. Though these guys really really sound like they’re big fans of Rancid, they still have a pretty good sound. Their latest release is this year’s “No Passing Trend,” and their Oi songs will at least be interesting to hear live. Sniper 66 will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Over at NRG Stadium, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey will kick off the first night of their “Legends” show. The rumor is that this show will be a bunch of performers from all over the world coupled with some sort of fantasy theme complete with wooly mammoths(obviously not real ones). The show is here for roughly three weeks, and the Thursday show is at 7:30 with tickets between $10.00 and $90.00.
You could head to Last Concert Cafe, you can check out the vocal power of North Carolina singer, Kendra Warren. Warren recently dropped a three song release, “Train Of Life” that proves her prowess at a mic. Singing songs that are bright and folky, she’s definitely worth making it out for. The reggae dub sounds of Germany’s B Hill will be there as direct support, while Warren and Hill will open the show as a duo under the moniker NC Songsmiths. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.
Friday you can get going over at Improv for the comedy of Chicago’s Aries Spears. Spears has been all over, but best known for his stint for ten years on MadTV. Spears is also a really great impressionist, and he’s an all around funny guy. Two of Houston’s better going comics will serve as host and feature acts on the show that runs all weekend. There are two shows Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and one Sunday at 7:30, all with tickets between $25.00 to $35.00.
If you’re up for hometown heroes, then go to Fitzgerald’s when Paul Wall brings his hip hop to life. Wall is most popular for his album, “The People’s Champ,” but he’s been steadily dropping jams since. His latest, last year’s “Po Up Poet” keeps his initial sound intact while stepping up his game and adding new elements. Like most hip hop shows, I’d guess he’d have a cast of characters on stage during his performance. There have been rumors on who will be opening the show, but the Fitz website doesn’t have anyone listed yet, so it appears still TBA. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $27.00.
There’s a FREE show over at D&W Lounge featuring the music of Houston’s Fire Signs. Fire Signs is the latest incarnation of Patrick Beans Wheeler and Ryan Scroggins, but featuring a female singer. They make a mix of blues Southern psych type of music, that’s definitely worth checking out. You can hear more of them here. The doors are at 8:00, I think it’s 21 & up, and it’s 100% FREE.
Union Tavern will host the legendary sounds of Houston rockabilly act, The Flamin’ Hellcats. So, from what I hear, these guys actually have a new album ready but not released yet. I remember seeing these guys at Rudz in the 90’s before they had the upstairs, and they’re just as energetic today as they were back then. The sleaze rock of Houston’s The Killer Hearts will be there to melt faces with fast and furious rock when they open the show up. They actually just dropped a video that you can see here to get an idea of their sound. The show has doors at 9:00 and a TBA cover.
Beta Theater will be hosting another edition of MicroSatan Presents: Good Evening with Conner and Billy. The evening full of laughs and artistic exploration might be funny enough to ensure that wearing adult diapers will only heighten the experience. Of course, the diapers aren’t necessary, but catching Billy Trim and Conner Clifton is. Both of these guys are pretty damn funny, and it’s a great way to laugh while supporting the local comedy scene. The BYOB show gets going at 9:00 and tickets are a measly $6.00.
Nicola Cruz Photo: Carlos Mena
At Alley Kat, they’ll be getting a little crazy when the Ecuadorian dance sounds of Nicola Cruz comes to town. Cruz has been gaining traction throughout South America with his catchy almost Latin trip hop sound. Though he calls it Andes Step, his latest single, “Colibria” is a mix of Ecuadorian sounds and electronica that comes off impressive and intriguing. He’ll have to bring his a game, as Houston’s digital cumbia master, Gio Chamba will be there as direct support. Gio is the hottest thing happening in Houston right now, and after you see him perform; you’ll see why. Mixing electronics with traditional instruments, I’ve never seen a guy try to top each and every performance like he does. In fact, no two shows are the same and he has a stacked year full of shows and an album release that should make him an even bigger commodity. Navo of Bombon will open things up with doors at 10:00 and a $5.00 cover on the 21 & up show.
Over at Traffic Premium Lounge, the first prelim round for the Laff Town’s Funniest Comedy Competition begins. So, Jaffer Khan and John Nguyen were the first two winners, and in year three it’s really anyone’s game. Based on audience vote, one of Houston’s comics is set to win $1,000.00. This round will get started at 10:00 sharp, the doors are at 9:00, the show is 21 & up, and the cover is $5.00.
If you’d rather catch some honky tonk, then Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys will be over at Big Top. Weed themed country twang has never sounded so good, and Sean is the king of it. His 2013 album, “Texas Hill Country” is one of those albums that I wish Nashville would get behind. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:30, and as far as I know, it’s FREE.
Saturday, you could trek out to the Woodlands Pavilion for the Bud Light Weenie Roast. I don’t care about most of the bands performing, and I couldn’t place Shinedown amongst whatever else major market radio thinks is good. Though I would say go if you’re a fan of Houston’s Blue October. 2013’s “Sway” saw the band go in a bit of a different direction, while keeping their initial sound intact; and they’re always a good band to see live. The show has gates at 3:00 and the tickets are between $9.45 and $75.00.
Over at Discovery Green, you could check out Rath Yatra, aka Festival of Chariots. The India based festival originated thousands of years ago, and should be the most colorful thing you’ll see all week. There promises to be plenty of food booths, an Indian Bazaar, as well as a classical Indian dance performance and a vegan dinner. The event is family friendly, it starts at 6:00 and it’s 100% FREE. More information is available here.
Cesar Comanche Photo: ABB Records
Notsuoh will be bringing in the hip hop of Cesar Comanche of The Justus League Crew. The North Carolina native has a natural flow that’s reminiscent of what Dialated Peoples and A Tribe Called Quest brought to hip hop in the nineties. His latest, “Like A Night In The Thief” from last year is pretty strong, and should make for a strong performance. Raleigh’s Samson will be on the bill as direct support, as will Ghostdog. Ghostdog can hit a mic hard with his deep voice and his 2013 album, “Ghost In The Shell” is his best. Houston’s Frankie G Da Mex will be there to show how Houston rolls, while Ramgoat opens things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and is $5.00 for 21 & up and $10.00 for the kids.
Alley Kat will play host to Houston’s Golden Sombrero for the release of their album, “Replacement Level.” These guys sound like a mix of Replacements and Cheap Girls, and they’ve come a long way since they started. They’re always great live and their new album is really tight. Houston’s Mother Ghost will be there as direct support. These guys dropped a live album last year called “Rivers” that has this trippy new wave psych vibe to it, and you should go check them out. The succinct and head bopping rock of Houston’s Brand New Hearts will be there to open the show. BNH just dropped a full length, “Brand New Hearts” that echoes the sounds of early Weezer and Dinosaur Jr. They could be the tightest live band in Houston right now, and the album helps solidify their prowess as a strong act. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:30 and a cheap $5.00 cover.
Dosey Doe’s Big Barn will host the legendary sounds of Texas’ Billy Joe Shaver. Shaver is easily one of the greatest songwriters ever, and this performance will be with his full band, featuring Nick Gaitan of Houston. Shaver’s latest album, “Long In The Tooth” from last year is his strongest in years, and he’s always a hell of a performer. He goes on around 8:30, and tickets are well worth the $25.00 price tag.
The synth pop darkwave of Florida’s Ars Phoenix will be here over at Black Barbie. These guys just dropped a really early era synth sounding album called “Shinju,” that’s pretty bad ass. It has this Sigue Sigue Sputnik meets Kraftwerk sounds that’s really amazing. Houston’s Millennial Grave will be on the bill as well as the dark synth of Houston’s Funeral Parlor. If that wasn’t enough for you, the synthpop of Houston three piece, ZinSin will also be on hand, while dark ambient artist, Delphine Coma will open and DJ between sets. This is a really well booked show with doors at 9:00 and a TBA cover.
The quirky instrumental sounds of Austin’s The Invincible Czars will be over at Continental Club. The five piece always mixes things up when they play live, and their latest “Invincible Czars Play Reynolds and Stopschinski Vol. 1,” is as interesting as their previous works. Kelly Doyle will also be on the bill, while Houston/Galveston/Denver resident and member of Come See My Dead Person, Matt Mejia will return to open the show. Mejia has a new solo work called “OSO” which channels his gravelling baritone in a new way. The 21 & up show should get going around 9:00 or so with a $10.00 cover.
Ku Egenti Photo: C. Allen
Sunday you can see “your favorite African,” Ku Egenti out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase. Ku has been busting his tail for the past year and proving that losing your job can sometimes be the best thing to happen to a comic, and he’s one of Houston’s better up and coming comedians. The show, hosted by Houston comedy legend Andy Huggins, will feature a whole bunch of local talents. Beta Bracket and FPH Sammy winner Ashton Womack will be on the show, as will Rudyard’s open mic host Dusti Rhodes. Stacy Anderson, Blue Da Comic and Rich Williams will all be on hand to round out the evening to be closed by Ku himself. This is a crazy great lineup of comics who will make the packed house laugh until it hurts. The doors are at 7:00, it’s 18 & up, and tickets are only $10.00, which comes out to like two cents a laugh.
You could stop by Little Dipper for their Music Mixology show. This time it’ll feature Walter’s owner, Zack On Washington. Zack is a super awesome guy who always puts bands first, so you should drop by for a drink and to watch the guy spin records. It’s 21 & up starting at 7:30, and it’s 100% FREE.
Rudyard’s will host the thrash drone noise of Houston’s Moths. These guys mix grindcore, ambient, and experimental speed together to create their own proggy goodness. Their latest is a split with Haunter found here, and they’re intense to catch live. The metal of Austin’s HeadCrusher will also be on the bill, as will the heavy metal of Austin’s Ten Foot Beast. The stoner doom of Lafayette’s Severer will be there to melt faces, and the experimental sounds of Houston’s Calacas will open the 21 & up show. The cover is $8.00 and the doors are at 8:00.
Monday you could make it over to Warehouse Live to see North Carolina hardcore screamers, Between the Buried and Me. Though their new album “Coma Ecliptic” isn’t out yet, you can get the vibe of their sound from 2014’s “Future Sequence: Live At The Fidelitorium.” The intense three piece act, Animals As Leaders will drop their insanely popular sounds as direct support. Last year’s “The Joy Of Motion” is insane if instrumental music is your thing. The progressive metal of Indiana’s The Contortionist will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
Tuesday you can head back to Warehouse Live for another edition of the massively popular show, The Moth. The theme of this show is balance, so prepare a five minute story based on poise under pressure, get there early, and prepare to read at the show which almost always sells out. The all ages affair has doors at 6:30 and tickets between $8.00 and $16.00.
Not a bad week as far as weeks go. No matter what you decide to do, please do it in the safest way possible. Drink like an adult, choose the safest way home, and treat everyone kind so we can all enjoy the weeks to come.