Little Mercy: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Last week felt like the city was struggling to figure out where to go more than usual with all of the happenings around town. This week should be no different as there a plenty of options on what to do and where to do them. Here’s where you should be spending your downtime.
Wednesday, you can get your week started off with artist Eric Castorena spinning wax at MKT Bar. Eric has made show posters for many of your favorite shows, and he has a pretty good range of music tastes that mean you should see what he ends up dropping. You should hear old school emo coupled with shoegaze with pretty much everything in between. This is a FREE event that runs from 7:00 to 10:00.
Of course, I won’t be shocked if you decide to hit up the Studio at Warehouse Live to catch the slow jamz of Detroit’s JMSN. This guy drops a mix of electronica and soul that translates into a soft intensity that’s ever present on his latest release, last year’s “JMSN.” The soulful voiced sounds of Toronto’s Rochelle Jordan will also be on hand, and she’ll bring her R&B swag with her. Her 2014 album, “1021” drops the future sounds vibe heavy as she sweetly sings atop a hip hop beat. Opening things up as part of the tour, is Houston’s Grammy award nominee and sultan of slow jamz, Dpat. When FPH interviewed the producer last year, we knew that being the first in his hometown to shine a light on his efforts meant that we were opening a can of worms. Since then Dpat has been touring with a live band as he will on this show in support of his latest, “In Bloom.” This is a great all ages show you should catch on Wednesday that has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.
Thursday you have two chances to catch Austin’s native son, singer songwriter Bob Schneider at Mucky Duck. I shouldn’t have to oversell these shows, as Bob has quite the history of putting on a strong performance. His latest effort, 2013’s “Burden of Proof” is as pretty and deep as his earlier works. There’s a 7:00 and a 9:30 show, and both carry tickets between $28.00 and $30.00.
Out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, you can catch the comedy of Boston’s “King of Crowd Work,” Jim McCue. McCue has been all over the place and has a ton of TV credits including Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central. McCue has a real easy going style where you can hear him slowly creep in and out of jokes with ease. The feature performer for these shows is Houston’s Owen Dunn. You might know Owen from his food reviews, his web shows, or the fact that he’s a strong comic who’s appeared with lots of your favorite comics. Hosting, will be the rapid fire jokes of Houston’s Kazeem Rahman. Kazeem can do everything from joke about relationships to doing bizarre impersonations. There’s one show on Thursday at 8:00 and two on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 and 10:30; while all carry a $16.00 cover.
House of Blues will have the hip hop of DC’s Wale on hand. This guy has been dropping hits since 2007, while he’s been hitting the mic hard since the early 2000’s. Last year he dropped the single, “The Body” which was as impressive as has 2013 full length, “The Gifted.” This is a pretty stacked show with a nice list of openers. As direct support, LA’s Doja Cat will drop dope beats while she slinks her sexy vocals on top. Her latest, last year’s “Purrr!” should be enough for you to know that she definitely brings her a game to a live set. Not to be outdone, LA’s party hip hop duo Audio Push will also be on the bill. Comprised of Oktane and Pricetag, the duo has a history of dropping hit jams. Their last drop was the “Quick Fast” single from last year. Miami’s Bizzy Crook will also be there to bring the slow while rapping quickly over his jammed out vibe. Houston’s own, Roosh Williams will also be on the bill to make it hard for anyone to follow him with his “future rap” sound. So, you might not know this, but Roosh is on the heels of a new album drop that he’s been teasing us with. He just dropped a new song, “Deep End” that features Geto Boys’ Scarface; and he’s a force to see live. Houston’s Jay Kell will open things up with doors at 7:00 and tickets $33.66 and $46.37.
Fresh from a stint at The Bubble, Houston’s We Were Wolves will bring rock back over at the Warehouse Live Green Room. Working on a two song follow up to 2013’s “Wolf House,” these guys play with a breakneck pace that is like a mix of QOTSA & Thin Lizzy. The alterna psych of Austin’s Boyfrndz will also be there to add to the loud rock mixture. Last year, this three piece dropped their spacey and trippy album “Breeder,” and it’s a great example of how they sound live. Austin’s Caddywhompus will also be on hand, as will the math rock of Houston’s Mannequin Mishap. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and the tickets are between $8.00 and $10.00.
On Friday, you can make your way over to Discovery Green to catch the screening of the classic film, “Labyrinth” featuring David Bowie. So, we all know that deep down inside the Thin White Duke, he longed to be an actor. Well, this film definitely proved that he was up for anything when he starred in it. You can also skate if the weather allows you to. While there are skating fees that apply, the family & pet friendly screening that starts at 6:30, is 100% FREE.
Since you’ll be over near MKT Bar, you might as well stop in for another edition of their ongoing Comedy Night from Beta Theater. This week, the show will feature the likes of Beta Bracket and FPH Sammy Winner Ashton Womack. Ashton had a seriously strong 2014 that seems to continue into 2015, and his relatable humor and charismatic nature makes him a force in the comedy world. He’ll have another of Houston’s best, Zach Dickson on the show with him. Zach was nominated for an FPH Sammy last year, and he placed in the Bracket last year; so 2015 could easily be the year where he takes over. The show will also feature the observational humor of Liz Padjen, the smooth comedy of recent Houston transplant Eric Green, and the funny premises of Anthony Colicci. As always, these shows are all ages, they get started at 9:00 sharp, and they’re 100% FREE.
Rudyard’s will host the power pop of Houston’s The Brunson Theater. This group reminds me of a mix of if The Beatles and Evan Dando formed a Rogue Wave cover band. That might be my way of saying that this five piece is an act you should see sooner than later. Somehow I missed their album, “We Land Soon” that was released last year. Let me go on record as saying that it’s a mix of chaotic beauty and indie power pop that stands alone and that I haven’t heard since nineties act, Superdrag. The proggy mood rock of Houston five piece Glass The Sky will also be on the bill. Last year they dropped the song, “Touch” where they seemed to cross about five genres on while still having their own sound. The alternative electro pop of Houston’s Fake Believe will open things up with doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover for the 21 & up show.
Robyn Hitchcock Photo: YepRoc
Over at Mucky Duck, you can catch the legendary sounds of Robyn Hitchcock. I shouldn’t have to tell you that this British performer, who might be as close to Bob Dylan as England will get, is an act you don’t get to see everyday. He’s worked with everyone from Nick Lowe to Gillian Welch, he’s inspired everyone from Jeff Tweedy to Ryan Adams; and as someone who has seen him live…he’s a true treat to experience. He’s here in support of his latest masterpiece, last year’s “The Man Upstairs.” The folky Americana sound of the lovely voiced Australian, Emma Swift will open the show. The only tickets left are standing, priced between $25.00 and $27.00 for the 9:30 show.
So, the guys in Talk Sick Brats and Texas Biscuit Bombs will be performing the songs of Really Red at Vinal Edge. This in celebration of the punk legends having their works released on Alternative Tentacles vinyl. That show takes place at 6:00, and is FREE. If you can’t get enough of them, then you can make it to Black Barbie to watch Talk Sick Brats again at the after party. They’ll be joined by No Love Less and Screech of Death. The doors for this are at 10:00 and there’s no mention of cover.
You could drive down to Clear Lake for Whitey Morgan & the 78’s down at Scout Bar. Morgan hails from the blue collar world of Flint, Michigan; and his sound is very much from that world. That world, one of lost UAW careers and frost bite comes across loud and clear on Morgan’s work. Solo wise, he dropped an album last year called, “Grandpa’s Guitar;” where his thick timber is ever present throughout each country track. He’ll be touring with a full band, and if you like gruff country music; then he’s not to be missed. Tennessee’s Joe Fletcher will also be on hand with his bluesy twang. Last year, Fletcher released an album called “You’ve Got The Wrong Man,” which is a great example of his overall sound. Houston’s The Grizzly Band will get things started with their punk country rock sound, that’s like a mix of Social D and Lucero. The show is 18 & up with doors at 7:00, and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
In the Warehouse Live Green Room, you can make it out for Guilla’s Hip Hop Anonymous show. Houston’s Poochie will be at the top of the list that will also feature Mike Skee, MC Gringo, and Stafford’s Honor Roll JBC. Eternal Presence will get things started on the show that showcases up and comers hosted by Houston’s Guilla. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
On Saturday, you can make it out to Ladybird’s for the 3rd Annual Blue Line Chili Bowl. The event which will feature all sorts of chili cook off teams, will also have live music, a raffle that includes a free bike, and so much more. Raffles, auctions, and tons of chili should be enough to bring you out for the all ages event. You might also want to bring some antacid. Things get started at noon, and $10.00 gets you all the chili you can eat.
Of course, you could also get your hip hop on at Alley Kat, when Def Perception brings their live instrumentation hip hop sound to life. I don’t know how familiar you are with these guys, but they really step up the hip hop game with live instruments and a dj; making their live shows a must see affair. They’ll be joined by another one of Houston’s new school hip hop acts, Dirty & Nasty. These two guys drop a mix of old school vibes with duo vocals that create a mix of what it would sound like if the emotion behind Public Enemy was mixed with the style of Eric B & Rakim. The hustle and flow of Houston’s Rosewood Thievz will also be on hand to bring their groove heavy sound to the show. I’ve been telling you that these guys are ones to watch, and this show is a great chance to see them sooner than later. The alt rap of Galveston’s Evak1 will be there to get things started, while DJ Baby Roo will spin with all of his magic between acts. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:30 and a cover $5.00.
Walters will host the screamy melodic punk of California’s Heart To Heart. The five piece is here in support of last year’s “Dulce,” where they streamlined their chaotic sound. Beaumont’s Dear You will also be there to show you all how pop punk is done correctly. Last year these guys dropped a six song release called, “I Can Only Blame Myself” that really raises the bar on what modern pop punk sounds like. The post core metal core of Houston’s Fear Me, King Me will be on the bill, as will the pop punk of Houston’s Outside At Night. The metal core of In One Breath opens the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
There’s a visual and audio show happening inside the old taqueria now called Black Barbie, when the DESYNC show happens. The visual and musical experience will feature the glitch visuals and music of Houston’s FLCON FCKER. Flcon is seriously dropping next level sounds lately, and his upcoming album should be something like no one’s heard before. The visuals of FXOTICA will also be on hand, as well as the electronica of Houston’s SLO. Contaminated Airspace opens things up for the visually stunning show with doors at 9:00 for the 18 and up show with a $5.00 cover.
You could also find yourself wanting to experience the Texas swamp rock sounds of Honky, which you can do at Continental Club. Lead by my old neighbor and former Butthole Surfers bassist and occasional stand in for Melvins Jeff Pinkus, Honky is like what ZZ Top mixed with Black Sabbath would sound like. I’ve always been a fan of these guys and their beer fueled sounds, most recently found on 2011’s “421.” They’ll be appropriately joined by weed country enthusiast Sean Reefer and the Resin Valley Boys. Reefer sounds like Hank III before Hank found that sound, and his latest “Texas Hill Country” will prove that’s the case. Jay Hooks will open the 21 & up show with a $10.00 cover and doors at 9ish.
If you can forgive Chris Brown for his past, then you can catch him at Toyota Center. A Houston rapper recently pointed out that you can interchange Brown’s vocals with Usher’s on most of his work and it still sounds the same…which is pretty accurate. However, you might be a huge fan of his latest, “X,” and you still wanna’ catch him live. He’ll have the R&B goodness of Trey Songz on the bill with him, which is the only reason I’d go; but that could be just me. Trey just dropped a new song called, “Slow Motion” to follow last year’s album, “Trigga.” California’s Tyga will get things started with doors at 7:30 and tickets between $89.75 and $251.50.
You might rather dance the night away, and if the tropical dance party known as Bombon is your style, then they’ll have you covered at Fox Hollow. Gracie Chavez, Navo, and the rest of the Bombon crew will be on hand to get your feet moving. There will also be a percussion performance from La Comadre Mel y Ilya Janos, and a digital Cumbia performance from Gio Chamba. I’m telling you, Gio is easily one of Houston’s “next big things,” as his shows are almost a religious experience. Mixing Latin flavor with a digital landscape, Gio creates a dancey world where only he exists musically; and his show is inviting you in for a peek. There’s also a pop up nail shop, complimentary drinks, and more on the 21 & up show with a $5.00 cover starting at 9:00.
If you’d rather roll back the clock, then Arena Theatre will host the doo wop sounds of The Temptations. I shouldn’t have to oversell the definitive male vocal group of the sixties. These Motown artists are living legends that had hits like, “My Girl,” “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” and “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg.” The Temptations would be more than enough for most of us, but they’ll have some other legends on the bill with them; when the Four Tops perform as well. These guys are just as amazing with songs like “I Can’t Help Myself,” “Baby I Need Your Loving,” and “Same Old Song.” My mom used to blast both of these acts when I was coming up, and seeing them together is a real treat. Scientifically speaking, this could be one of your last chances to see either of these two groups. The show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $69.50.
Sunday, you can witness the insanity that’s also known as Minneapolis’ Doomtree at Fitzgerald’s. Now that P.O.S. is becoming more of a household name, this show could easily sell out. The collective made up of MC’s and producers is here in support of their latest, this year’s “All Hands.” The alt hip hop of Chicago’s Open Mike Eagle will open things up. Open Mike has been getting all sorts of praise, and he just dropped an amazing EP called, “A Special Episode.” Both of these acts together make for an amazing live show that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. The all ages show is downstairs, the doors are at 7:00, and tickets are between $13.00 and $17.00.
Continental Club will have the bluesy soul of Candye Kane. Kane is known for a vibrant and almost seductive live show that features her soulful voice. She’s here in support of her 2013 album, “Coming Out Swingin’(feat. Laura Chavez),” which is a mix of rockabilly and vaudeville. Performing with her and opening the show, Laura Chavez will also be on hand. The show is 21 & up, the show starts at 9:00, and the doors are at 8:00 for the $12.00 show.
Monday you can watch Houston comics tear comedian Reed Becker a new bum, when The Roast of Reed Becker happens over at Boondocks. What you don’t know about Reed is that he’s one of the funniest guys you’ve probably never seen do stand-up, he’s known for a bit of a silver tongue, and everyone I know who doesn’t know him thinks he’s a powder keg of anger. He’s moving to the West coast, so you can sit back, grab a drink special, and watch as Gabe Bravo, Andrew Youngblood, Zach Dickson, Ashton Womack, and swarms of the rest of the Houston comedy scene poke fun at Reed like he’s part of the Friar’s Club. The doors are at 9:00, the show is 100% FREE, and sorry kids, but this is a 21 & up show.
Tuesday you can swing by Continental Club to catch the twangy sounds of J.D. Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers. So, this guy has had music featured on a ton of films and television shows, he’s known to bring it when he plays live, and his 2013 debut “Wild Moon” is a force for sure. With a mix of female and male vocal leads, the group is like what music used to be like where there’s more there than just one talent. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $14.00.
Inside the Ballroom at Warehouse Live, The Moth will be happening. This wildly popular show usually sells out, and the live storytelling evening has definitely caught on here in town. It’s primarily a seated show with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $8.00 and $16.00 for the all ages affair.
That’s pretty much it for this week. As always, please be mindful of those around you and try to make sure that you get home safe. As we inch closer to the FPSF announce, keep in mind that the more responsible we all are; the better our city is overall.