Let It Bang: The Best of The Week
Well, this is the first week where the options you have are so diverse and stacked, that it’s beginning to feel a lot like the year is finally going. Tons of acts will be rolling through town due to the spillover from SXSW. Even big names like Fetty Wap pictured above will be here. Houston, let’s get this week started.
Wednesday you can start off over at over at Raven Tower for the alt country sounds of Ruckus. So, I would guess that you might not have heard this Houston band yet, which honestly is a real shame. I’ve caught them at least five times and I was really blown away with each energy fueled set. They are truly one of the best kept secrets in Houston, and you’re an idiot to miss a free set from them. The all ages show has doors at 5:00 and it’s FREE with RSVP.
Nightingale Room will host the mix of soft acoustic and loud rock guitar Americana of Chris King. King is currently on the heels of dropping a new record, but just listening to 2013’s “Native” peaked my interest. He’ll have to bring his a game, as Houston’s Race To The Moon will be on prior. These guys are highly energized and full of fun and catchy hooks. Their newest album, last year’s “What A Time To Be Alive” is pretty amazing. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If that’s not your thing, then you could stop by House of Blues for the hip hop of Fetty Wap. Wap has been making waves since his underground track “Trap Queen” blew up last year and launched his career. His full length that came after, “Fetty Wap” stayed in the Billboard hot 100 for a long time, and he’s rumored to have a lit live show. Dallas rapper Post Malone will be on as direct support, while Monty will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $38.50 and $48.50.
The Wheel Workers, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Walters will host the beautifully crafted indie pop of NOLA’s Moon Honey. I don’t think indie pop is the best description, but listen to their 2013 album “Hand-Painted Dream Photographs,” and tell me what to call it. I’ve seen them and they’re good, and a band you should see for yourself. The prolific and energetic sounds of Houston’s The Wheel Workers will be on as direct support. If you haven’t seen this band perform their blend of REM meets Pearl Jam indie rock, then you’re doing Houston wrong. Last year’s “Citizens” is one of the best and most diverse albums I’ve heard in a long time, and the fact that they aren’t signed just explains why labels are losing money. The diverse indie sounds of Houston’s Whit will also be on the bill, while the proggy goodness of Sunrise and Ammunition will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
Over at Barbarella you could join the psych rock of Mantra Love as they kickoff their tour. This three piece dropped the spacy and tripped out EP last year “Mantra Love,” and they’re pretty intense in a live setting. They’ll have Whit on as direct support, who appears to be doing double duty that night on live shows. Technically Whit headlines this show with Mantra Love on prior, and you should definitely check them out live as they’re one of Houston’s more interesting bands. The shoe gaze of Austin’s Sidechick will open the 21 & up show with cover for $2.00 before 10:00 and $5.00 after, though the music begins at 10:00 with 9:00 doors.
Mojave Red, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Thursday you can start off at Satellite Bar when Houston’s Another Run brings their crazy high energy to life. If you’ve never seen these guys before then you’ve been missing out. Alongside a slot at this year’s FPSF, they dropped the “Be Honest” EP last year that proved they’re still moving forward while mixing things up. The swamp fuzz blues rock sounds of Houston’s Sik Mule will be on as direct support. This three piece has the kind of music that makes you happy to hear a fuzz box used correctly while they make you feel like you’ve been kidnapped by a band that smokes herb and drinks Lone Stars by the case. The electro pop of Austin’s MAAJR will also be on the bill, while the bluesy psych sounds of Houston’s Mojave Red open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and a $10.00 cover.
If you’re a fan of Ian Moore, then you can trek down to Scout Bar to catch Ian Moore & The Lossy Coils. Their last album was 2011’s “El sonido Nuevo,” but knowing Moore it could be an engaging show. Houston’s Hardy & Co. will be on as direct support, and the roots rock of Houston’s The New Offenders will go on prior. Be sure to get there early to catch the highly energized bluesy tones of Tribe Hill. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
You can get your laugh on over at Improv when Harland Williams comes to town. You might know him from memorable roles in “Half Baked,” “Dumb & Dumber,” but he’s also a comic. His last album was “What A Treat” from 2014, and he’s pretty damn funny. As usual, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as host & feature act. The Thursday show is at 8:00, Friday the shows are at 8:00 and 10:30, Saturday they’re at 7:00 and 9:30, and the Sunday show is at 7:30, all with tickets between $22.00 and $32.00.
Roologic Records Roster, Photo: Scot Overholser
I’d think that many of you would be over at House of Blues in the bronze peacock room for the Roologic Records Launch Party. The diverse lineup hosted by the hilarious Gabe Bravo, will feature a nice mix of some of the label’s roster. There will be sets from Dirty & Nasty, Kyle Hubbard, Def, Genesis Blu, Brew, and Space Villains* alongside art curated by Chelsea Mariah. Making it out to this show not only shows that you rep Houston, but that you want to see local labels survive. The show could easily get close to capacity with this lineup, the doors are at 8:00, and the all ages show has tickets for $15.00.
Warehouse Live will host the live instrumentation mixture of electro duo, The Floozies to the ballroom. The Lawrence, Kansas brothers have been making waves for sometime and last year’s “Do Your Thing” shows how different they are. Colorado’s Sunsquabi will be on as direct support while electronic producer Flamingosis will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $17.00.
You can close out the night over at Commoner with Seize The Beat. The duo DJ sets from these two are usually on point, and it’ll be nice to see them in a different spot. Andy V & Jason will be joined by special guest, DJ Good Grief for the 21 & up set that starts at 10:00 and is 100% FREE.
The Blind Suns, Photo: Fred Lombard
Friday is stacked with option, but you can begin the night at Discovery Green for the French Cultures Festival. This year like every year they’ll have samplings of French foods, French water and wine, and music. The dream pop of French three piece The Blind Suns will headline things, and play jams from their latest, “Fire In The Sky.” They’ll have Houston’s Wild Moccasins on as direct support, who should bring the energy level high with their indie pop sounds. This is a new lineup for the band, but rest assured you’ll still hear favorites especially from 2014’s “88 92.” Opening things up is one of the more engaging French acts I’ve heard in a long time with Scarecrow. So, this four piece mixes French and English together as well as blues and hip hop to create an original and intense sound. Their album “Evil & Crossroads” is a trip and they’re worth getting there early for on the all ages show that starts at 6:00 & is 100% FREE.
Raven Tower will have the funky new wave disco jams of Detroit’s Electric Six. This band seems to be more popular than I realized, and last year’s “Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die!” proved they’re still going strong. The electropop of New York’s Parlour Tricks will be on as direct support and should bring their eclectic album “Broken Hearts/Bones” from last year to life. The rock of Houston’s Roadside Union will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and a 100% FREE cover for 21 & up, and a $7.00 cover for everyone else.
Walters will host the indie rock alterna pop of multi-instrumentalist and producer, The Rocket Summer. This guy, by himself, crafts these pop hooked jams that are as fun as they are infectious, and this year’s “Zoetic” just shows that the Ft Worth artist is getting stronger as a songwriter. Josh Farro, former lead guitarist of Paramore will be on as direct support with his solo project Farro. Farro is indie pop with almost as catchy hooks as The Rocket Summer, and his latest release “Walkways” from this year is pretty good. The alterna rock pop of Houston’s Versecity will open the all ages show with doors at 7:30 and tickets between $15.00 and $18.00.
Polica, Photo: Dave Lichterman
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, the popular electro pop of Minneapolis’ Polica. These two, sometimes more, have always dropped mad jams, and their new release, “United Crushers” from this year continues that trend. Though a bit darker than the works of their past, the album shows a new side to the group. They’ll have the darker electronica of LA’s Clara-Nova on as direct support and opener. Lead by French-American artist Sydney Wayser, her EP last year “The Bronze Age” is the universe’s way of telling you to get there early and check her out. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $18.00.
Notsuoh will be bringing a solo set from The Dead Milkmen’s Joe Jack Talcum to town. Talcum has been doing solo stints since the nineties, many of which can be found here. If that doesn’t hold enough cool factor for you, then you can at least get down to the hip hop of LA’s Coolzey. This guy makes interesting hip hop in the vein of early Beck, and last year’s “Rawlzey” release is pretty legit. The intense energy of Houston’s Only Beast will also be there to make the other bands sorry for showing up. Don’t believe me? Check out last year’s “Live at Notsuoh” while you wait for their new album coming sooner than later. The rootsy acoustic rock of The Witherees will also be on the bill, while the gameboy made electronica of Ten Pixels Tall will open things up. I’m telling you that this guy’s music is a trip and totally worth getting there early for. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.
Black Barbie will be trying their hand at a festival as well on the Retro Death Fest. Sets from acts like Cop Warmth, Talk Sick Brats, Tearful Moon, Pfaffenberg, and a whole bunch more will be performing. There are more details here for the all ages two day event that has doors around 8:00 on Friday, and tickets that run $10.00 per day or $15.00 for both days.
Fox Parlor, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Continental Club will host another barn burner when the bluesy tunes of Houston’s Fox Parlor swings by to drop a set. These guys play the kind of blues rock that makes your girlfriend want to find a pole to strip from, and 2014’s “Hell Or High Water” shows a glimpse into their high energy sound. The tongue in cheek indie rock of Get A Life will be on as direct support, and should change your mind about a guy who’s in like 5 other bands. Seriously, I don’t know how Chase does it, but this band is the one to watch out for. Their slacker rock album “As If Emoji” from last year is the jam, and they’re really great live. The gypsy psych tunes of San Antonio’s Antique Sunlight will go on prior, and a set from Jeremy Carswell will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a TBA cover.
You could close out Friday over at Beta Theater for one of the more engaging shows of the night when the Vice Squad show happens. Hosted by the always funny Zahid Dewji, the show features two improv troupes going head to head in an audience vote situation. The 18 & up show gets going around 11:00 and as always it’s a pay what you can event.
Walker Lukens, Photo: KGSR
Saturday you can begin 8th Wonder Brewery for their 3rd anniversary party and concert for the Celebr8tion of Beer. This year things will get headlined by Austin’s soulful R&B master of swag, Black Joe Lewis. Lewis seems to have the ability to embody the likes of legends like Al Green, James Brown, and Sam Cooke while still forging his own sound found all over 2013’s “Electric Slave.” There will also be sets from The Hot 8 Brass Band, Khruangbin, DJ Gonz, and The Waxaholics. Be sure not to miss the set from Walker Lukens & The Sidearms, as Lukens’ blend of indie pop and folk rock is something to behold. The same could be said for the enigmatic hip hop of Fat Tony. This guy is the most underrated rapper going in Houston today, his live sets are always ahead of the curve, and his most recent drop “MacGregor Park” from December of last year is lit as always. You also shouldn’t miss the set from Houston’s Say Girl Say, who basically sound like sirens calling to you which can be heard all over last year’s “Say Girl Say.” There’s a good chance that you know everyone listed except for Houston’s Khraungbin, so just know that you should definitely go. This band is growing in popularity by the day, they’re touring all over Europe this year, and their latest album, “The Universe Smiles Upon You” from last year is gorgeous. The music isn’t the only perk to this all day event, as there promises to be rare brews from the brewery offered, alongside great food inside the wonderland type atmosphere that the brewery offers. There are two ticketing options for the 21 & up event. The general admission option includes a 3rd anniversary pint glass, and four beers while the VIP option offers an open bar and free food with the Eatsie Boys pig roast as well. The general admission runs between $30.00 and $40.00 while the VIP runs between $125.00 and $150.00, and the doors are at noon.
Of course, you might find yourself over at Raven Tower when Houston’s The Beans return to the stage. These guys don’t perform as much as they used to, but while they put the finishing touches on a new album, just know that they’re an act you should catch live. Their self titled album, “The Beans” from 2013 is pretty strong and rife with bluesy overtones. The gritty rock of Nathan Quick and a full backing band will be on as direct support. Quick is working on a follow up to last year’s “City Lights” and his live shows are a mix of tone and authenticity. This might be one of your last chances to see him up close and personal as a set on FPSF this year will definitely put him on a broader stage in the future. Houston’s Mothertone will also be on the bill, while Ashlynn Ivy will bring her soulful vocals on for an opening solo set. The all ages show has doors at 7:00, and it’s 100% FREE for 21 & up and a nominal fee for minors.
Continental Club will host the Texas soul of Austin’s Roxy Roca. I’m not going to say that you have to see this eight piece band, but that’s what pretty much everyone who sees them says. Their latest album, “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy” sounds like a party from start to finish, complete with the vibes of acts from the sixties and seventies. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and a $12.00 cover.
The Dead Rabbits, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
You can get your punk on over at Eastdown Warehouse when the Punk Rock Paddy’s Day show takes place. Featuring a headlining set from Houston pop punkers 30 Foot Fall, the show should be an intense one. Keeping in the St Patty’s tradition, the eclectic and Celtic punk of The Dead Rabbits will be on as direct support. I have to give it up to these guys after finally catching them live a few weeks back, they can really bring it when they perform. The crazed energy and punk rock sneer of Houston’s Dead To The World will be on prior, and I feel like if you’ve seen them before, then I don’t have to tell you how strong of a live band they are. They’ll be playing tracks both old and new, especially ones from last year’s EP “War.” Newcomer band, Patterns will be opening things up for the all ages show with doors at 7:30 and tickets for $12.00.
Walters will host Ohio based indie rock four piece, All Dogs. Steeped in a sound that’s closest to if Superchunk had a female lead singer or if Curve played harder, they’re rumored to be an amazing live act. They’ll be here in support of last year’s “Kicking Every Day.” Houston’s Since Always will be on hand to bring their emo core sounds to the masses. This band started as a two piece, then became a four piece, and as far as I know, they’ll be playing this show as a two piece again, but that’s not set in stone. Last year’s “Consequences” was one of my favorite albums of the year, and whether they’re a two or a four piece, they’re always on point. Fight Me will be on board to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
Khon’s will have another edition of Get Down! with Angiesliste, Eroda One, and Hoodethernet. The sets on this show should be lit as it’s Eroda’s birthday meaning it’ll get extra crunk not to mention that it’s rumored to have special DJ sets from all sorts of guests. The 21 & up show begins at 9:30 and runs late, and it’s 100% FREE.
Sunday you could start off at The Waughford for another Sketchbook Saloon. This edition will feature local performer and artist Sivene DeLynn. The freelance performer, model, and dancer will be on hand for patrons to draw, paint, or even photograph. Rudy from RCC Creations will be on hand to make the drawing experience even cooler. The 21 & up show has runs from 2:00 to 5:00, and it’s $10.00 for members, $15.00 for new members, and $20.00 for photographers.
House of Blues will host the Swedish electro pop trio, Mike Snow. Two of these three are responsible for a string of hits for other acts in the 2000’s, and the producer trio has their own hits respectively. Known best for their jam “Genghis Khan,” they’ll be here in support of this year’s “iii.” There’s a good chance this show could sell out, as they’ve grown quite popular from their work with Run the Jewels and Charli XCX. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $25.00.
Shannon & The Clams, Photo: Krystal Mora
Walters will have the garage rock of Shannon & The Clams. The Oakland group that’s become popular from mixing doo wop, fifties surf, and garage rock will be here in support of their latest “Gone By The Dawn” from last year. If you’ve never seen them, know that it’s pretty amazing and that their show here last time sold out fast. The six piece multi-racial, multi-gender feminist punk rock six piece, Downtown Boys will be on as direct support. This band is intense. electric, and all around crazy to catch live. Their last album, “Full Communism” from last year is a trip. The pop tunes of Seattle’s Gazebos will also be on the bill, and the popular garage pop of Portland’s Guantanamo Baywatch will also be on the bill. Not to be outdone, the bizarre and close to Devo sounds of Australia’s The Gooch Palms will also be performing. Their 2013 album “Novo’s” is a mix of garage and early art punk, and they’re a band I think everyone needs to check out. This awesome lineup will get rounded out with a DJ set from Miss Champagne who will kick off the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $11.00 and $15.00.
Revention Center will help you get your hip hop on when Atlanta’s Future comes by to drop a set. The popular rapper has been gaining steam since 2011, and his latest release “Evol” from this year has already gotten plenty of heat. LA’s Ty Dolla $ign will be on hand as direct support, and should drop jams from last year’s turnt sounding “Free TC.” Atlanta rapper Lil’ Donald will be on hand to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $83.25 and $103.25.
Monday at Satellite Bar you can catch a slew of bands for almost zero money when Vancouver’s Weed brings their indie drone pop to town. The three piece has made plenty of waves since they got their start and last year’s “Running Back” is pretty damn good. Texas alt rockers, Narrow Head will be on as direct support, while Houston’s Middlechild will go on before hand. The indie pop of Atlanta’s The Head will also be on the show, and Ohio garage pop three piece Leggy will also perform. The all ages show has the psych fuzz of Ontario’s Pet Sun on as opener, the doors are at 7:00, and the cover is a measly $4.00. The music starts around 7:30.
Another Run, Photo: Trish Badger
Warehouse Live will host the second wave emocore of Florida’s Further Seems Forever. The Florida group has always been influential, though they could never keep a singer from one album to the next. For this tour, it’s the lineup that was on the popular album, 2003’s “How To Start A Fire.” South Florida emo pop act Kids will be on as direct support, while Houston’s Another Run will be on prior. I would think you’d have heard of these guys but if you’ve never seen them live, then you’ve been missing out. They’ve recently been on a tear playing songs from last year’s “Be Honest,” adding plenty of energy and all around performance to their sets. The intriguing alt emo pop of Spring’s Portal Frame will open the all ages show in the studio with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $23.00.
If you had planned to head to House of Blues for L7, the show has been postponed due to some sort of family health issue.
Peru’s Dengue Dengue Dengue will bring their tropical bass to the ballroom at Warehouse Live. The masked duo played to a pretty packed house when they were here last year, and their live sets become dance parties pretty fast. The digital cumbia and insane live show antics of Houston’s Gio Chamba will be on as direct support. Gio has been lighting a fire on every stage he’s played on since last year’s FPSF, and his album “Chamba” is a dance party unto itself. Trippy Cholo will also be on the show, while the slow jams of George West will go on prior. West just dropped a new release with “Silverio” and brings a quiet storm when he performs. The show has visuals from FLCON FCKER, DJ Squincy Jones will open things up, and the all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
Fitzgerald’s will host the spaced out sounds of Brooklyn’s Dead Leaf Echo. The trio has made the rounds touring pretty nonstop for the last couple of years, and their new single, “Lemonheart” is a trip. Newcomers Blondestar will perform as direct support, while the emocore sounds of Since Always will go on beforehand. They’ll have a DJ set from Delphine Coma to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Creepoid, Photo: John Vattese
Tuesday Satellite Bar will host the rescheduled Creepoid show, that was originally to be at Fitz. The Philly based indie rockers are always mesmerizing to catch perform, and their 2015 album “Cemetary Highrise Slum” is their best to date. The industrial sounds of Houston’s Spit Mask will be on the bill as direct support, while Narrow Head will play another set at the club. The Chicago anti punk Nocore band, No Men will also perform and the experimental garage sounds of Austin’s cabin man will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and an $8.00 cover. You’ll have to hit up Fitz for a refund, as your Fitz tickets won’t get you into this show.
House of Blues will have Australian throwback rockers, Wolfmother back to town. No matter what any music critic tells you, these guys live in chunky riffs, fuzz pedals, and an intense live show. Their latest release, “Victorious” from last year was pretty amazing, and they’re amazing to catch in person. The Los Angeles female blues rock duo Deap Vally will open things up. These two are pretty insane and last year’s single “Royal Jelly” should give you an idea of their intensity. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $30.00.
Raven Tower will host Australian indie Brit rock sounding pop trio, DMA’s. They’ll perform songs from their popular album, “Hills End” which though released this year, has already gained traction. The gulf coast indie rock swagger of Houston’s Deep Cuts will open things up. Straight up, these guys are pretty ballsy, their live shows are always on point, and their latest release “Gulf Coast Companion Vol. 1” from this year is basically a remastered version of their debut album, the following EP, and some demos. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
New York indie pop five piece, Ra Ra Riot will bring their dancey jams over to Walters. It seems that this band just gets bigger and bigger with each release. This year’s “Need Your Light” has already made plenty of waves, and they’re pretty fun to catch perform live. The indie pop meets punk attitude of Baltimore’s Sun Club will bring their energy heavy sound on as direct support. Last year’s “The Dongo Durango” was pretty intense, and they should be the same live. The garage punk duo PWR BTTM will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $20.00.
In the studio at Warehouse Live you can catch the pop MC styles of NYC’s Skizzy Mars. Last year’s “The Red Balloon Project” was pretty popular and rumor has it that his live shows are pretty good. P-Lo will bring his popular sounds to the bill as support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $17.00.
B L A C K I E, Photo: David Brendan Hall
Notsuoh will have a barn burner, when B L A C K I E drops a set. This guy is truth, he’s ahead of pretty much everyone, and his live shows are always intense and as real as a live show can get. His last album, “Imagine Yourself In a Free And Natural World” is a mix of freeform jazz, grindcore, and hip hop that feels like the most future thing to come out of Texas. New York trio and all around engaging and free form musical experience of Sons Of An Illustrious Father will be on the bill as support. This band is a little all over the map while still feeling fresh and real, and this year’s “Revol” is pretty amazing. The darkwave synth sounds of Houston’s Tearful Moon will also perform, and Elon will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.
If none of this music thing floats your boat, then you could make it over to Rudyard’s for the always popular BooTown show, Grown Up Storytime. People show up, they tell their tales, and it’s always hilarious and fun. These shows usually sell out quick, so it’s best to get there early. The 21 & up shows are at 8:00 and at 10:00, and both carry a $5.00 cover.
That’s it, but no matter how you slice it it’s definitely a stacked week, For those of you who complain about things to do here, you obviously aren’t paying attention. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the safest way possible.