Mind Control: The Best of The Week
Summertime is in full swing while tours roll through town with ease and local shows become more plentiful around town. Bands like the always engaging and intense sounds of A Place To Bury Strangers will grace our city with their presence this week. Houston, here’s where you should be over the next 168 hours.
Wednesday you can get the week started at Raven Tower for the alt country twang of Houston’s Ruckus. These guys play a mix of Americana, alternative country, folk, and honky tonk that equates into some of the more infectious sounds you can hear around town. Their live shows are always entertaining and they’re insanely tight performers. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If you like Selena Gomez, then you can head to Toyota Center to see her perform. The wildly popular pop songstress will be performing tunes from this year’s Revival, and if that’s your thing, then it’s the show for you. Bea Miller will provide direct support while DNCE will open the all ages show with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $50.50 and $125.50.
If that’s not exactly your thing, then you can swing by House of Blues when Brooklyn indie pop trio, Sunflower Bean drops by to perform. As much as I can only take so much more pop music, I’d be lying if I said that these three don’t make catchy tunes. Their latest release, Human Ceremony, is full of catchy songs that will get you dancing. The Gulf Coast indie rock swag of Houston’s Deep Cuts will be on hand as openers for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $12.
Of course, I’d ask that you swing by MKT Bar at some point to catch a DJ set from Jesse Sendejas of Houston Press. I’d ask that you swing by, grab a beverage, so that the charity 40 for 40 TX can grab a portion of your sale, as that’s why Sendejas is doing the gig. 40 for 40 TX helps at risk kids especially in the Houston area, and it’s a great cause as well. He’ll have plenty of giveaways for the all ages event that runs from 7 pm to 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE with FREE parking in the attached garage.
dvsn. Photo: Ryan Muir
Warehouse Live will host the alt R&B sounds of Toronto’s dvsn in the studio. The duo makes the kind of jams that make people get naughty and they’re known for powerful live sets. Their debut release, this year’s SEPT 5TH, is pretty damn beautiful as well, and if it helps, they’re pretty heavily tied to Drake. There’s no word of openers or support, but that will likely change. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $18 and $20.
Rudyard’s will have a set from Georgia’s stoner rock psych group Arbor Labor Union. This four piece has quickly gained attention for their raucous live shows and their catchy tunes. Their new album, I Hear You, is pretty damn amazing and they should be intense to see live. They’ll have the indie rock of Houston’s Golden Sombrero on as direct support and openers. These guys sound like if The Replacements and Cheap Girls formed a band together, and last year’s Replacement Level was spot on. Their live shows have grown into something everyone should check out sooner rather than later. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Walters will host a night of experimental R&B, jazz, and electronica at the Summer In The City show. Headlined by the R&B soul mix of MissingNo, the show will also feature a versus set of HAKEEM vs. RockThaBoat. The hip hop of Delogated, the house tunes of Third World TV, plus sets from Les Lockheart and Pajimmy Jam Sam will all be on the bill as well. Houston’s ERODA will kick off the all ages show with Sppank visuals, doors at 8 pm, and a $10 cover.
Thursday you might want to begin your night at Nightingale Room for the enigmatic and sometimes crazed sounds of La Porte’s B L A C K I E. Possibly the most real artist to pick up a mic, the underground grind hip hop artist has never disappointed me at one of his shows. While his albums like 2013’s Fuck The False and 2014’s Imagine Your Self In A Free And Natural World were both some of the most groundbreaking I’ve heard in a long time, his new stuff is on a whole new level. Houston’s The Aspiring Me will be on hand to bring his hip hop tunes on as support and opener. Last year, he dropped the single “Dice Game Jumping” that reminded me of the old school hip hop that made Houston famous. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
You can laugh hysterically at Improv for the Couple’s Therapy show with Houston comic Alan Adams. This guy is kind of a huge threat in the comedy world in that he’s an insanely capable writer, he’s written for some heavy hitters, and his tongue in cheek demeanor make him that much stronger. It should also be noted that your coupledom might not get better after this hilarious show. It is 18 and up, the doors are at 7:15 pm, and the tickets are $15.
At Satellite Bar you can catch the alt college rock radio sounds of New Orleans’ Chopped Up Tulips. They’re here in support of their latest EP, The European Coffee Shop, and they sound kind of like a mix of Camper Van Beethoven and Violent Femmes. Houston’s BlackTop Junkies will bring their Americana-meets-bluesy untoned sound to life. Imagine that The Band and Stephen Stills formed a band, and they’re what you’d get. Austin’s Screamin’ J will be on hand as openers, and I feel like you’re an idiot if you miss these two. Playing what they call doom folk, they have the kind of intensity that most two pieces miss out on. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and a $5 cover.
Lucas Jack. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Over at Mucky Duck, the piano based tunes of Chicago’s Lucas Jack will be breezing through town. Jack makes songs that are as if Ben Folds covered Dawes. He’s become known for great live sets, and his latest release, 2015’s Before I Forget, is an album you should check out. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:30 and tickets between $15 and $17.
Big Top will have another engaging and toe tapping performance from Charlie & the Regrets. The way in which these guys sound when they play a mix of originals and covers together is the kind of way that you can’t help but get down to. Their Americana meets alt country vibe is one that you should see in person sooner than later. The 21 & up show has doors at 10 pm and while it’s 100% FREE, you can always throw a $5 spot in the band’s direction as well.
On Friday you can get things bumpin’ over at George R Brown Convention Center for Comicpalooza. I can honestly say that I don’t know much about this convention as I haven’t attended, so I can’t vouch for it. What I can say is that based on the list of stars scheduled to appear, and the gamine and events they have planned, it could be a ton of fun. The three-day convention runs from 10 am to midnight Friday and Saturday, 9 am to 8 pm Sunday, and the all ages event has tickets between $10 and $99, depending on your age and how fancy you want to make your experience.
King Finn. Photo: Misa Constante
A little later on you could swing by Nightingale Room to catch a set from Houston’s King Finn. Performing for the first time since playing at this year’s FPSF, King Finn should bring their high energy to the small venue on Main. They’ve dropped a new single, “The Flow,” as the second track to follow up last year’s As Part Of Me. They’ll have to really bring their highest amount of energy, as indie rock two piece Catch Fever will go on prior. These two seem to be doing everything a band needs to do as far as moving forward as a band. Their new EP, You Have All You Need is a nice follow up to their debut album, their live shows are full of energy, and they might be one of the most engaging live bands in Houston. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Neil’s Bahr you can get your groove on with the chiptune sounds of San Antonio’s Star Fighter Dreams as part of the Comicpalooza after party. The party will also feature sets from Houston’s chiptune producer/DJ’s OVERCRASH, Ten Pixels Tall, Float, and Broken Satellite. The 21 & up dance party gets going around 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Satellite Bar will host the always entertaining and highly chaotic sounds of Brooklyn’s A Place To Bury Strangers. These guys are the loudest band I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen bands blow PA’s that aren’t this loud. They’re also one of the best live acts, especially in the proximity you’ll have in a small venue. Their latest release, last year’s Transfixiation, is insane, beautiful, and powerful at the same time. Not to be outdone by volume, the loud indie rock of College Station’s The Ex-Optimists will be on hand as direct support. Last year, they dropped the stellar sounding Phantom Freight, proving that they aren’t stopping anytime soon, and their live sets are always on point. The garage punk of Houston’s Something Fierce will also be on the bill, while the bizarre yet intriguing sounds of Houston three piece Cornish Game Hen are not to be missed as they’ll open the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm with tickets for $10. Side note, this is a killer lineup so you might want to get there early in case it’s packed.
At Beta Theater, you can get your laugh on when they host their show, Beta’s Sketch Comedy Thing!. Hosted by the cute yet comical tunes of The Mustn’ts, the show will feature a who’s who of sketch performers, stand ups, improvisers, and so much more. Sets from Nobody’s Yeti, MAX, Ladies Nite, and more will greet you at the two different shows. The doors are at 8 pm or at 10 pm, it’s BYOB & 18 & up, and they carry a measly $10 ticket. There are also shows at the same times and for the same price on Saturday as well.
Race To The Moon. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
All good things must come to an end, and sadly, Houston’s Race To The Moon will be calling it quits after their show at Rudyard’s. Though the band has come a long way in their short time, they’ve decided to part ways so the members can focus on other projects. Last year’s What A Time To Be Alive was a nice step forward in direction of the indie rockers, so it’ll be sad to see them depart our city as a unit. They’ll have the tongue in cheek indie rock of Houston’s Get A Life on as direct support, while the garage rock of Houston’s A Tribute To The Sun on as openers. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
Numbers will be mixing things up on their Classic Numbers night, when DJ Wes Wallace adds some New Order and Joy Division to the mix of things for his “Blue Friday” night. I’m guessing that Wallace has the vinyls of every New Order and Joy Division tune geared up to have needles dropped on each, and the longest running dance night in Houston is always a blast. They’re also doing giveaways like an XBox One console, game bundles, Numbers LIFETIME Passes, zippos, CDs, and much much more alongside cheap drinks. The 18 & up night gets going around 9 pm and carries a cheap cover charge.
Jawwaad, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Instagram
Saturday you can start off at Last Concert Cafe for Fresh Dark Fest. This year, the organizers have really gone above and beyond by securing two days full of acts worth checking out. Sets from J*DaVeY and Elaquent will headline the two-day festival. For those of you who don’t know, J*DaVeY brings a pop fusion sound from LA that’s pretty hard to ignore and their latest release, Lite Wait Life from this year, is on point. Elaquent has become the go to beat maker for tons of artists from all over, and his sonic compositions are off the chain. His latest release, last year’s Less Is More (Lo Definition) has the Canadian hip hop producer at the top of his game with fresh beats and sounds that make you start getting down. There’s a slew of amazing locals on this show, and you can read the list here. However, you’re foolish to miss a set from JAWWAAD, who’s done everything from tour the world to drop an album with JNeiro Jarel and DOOM. JAWWAAD’s latest release, The Bully Love Set is a mix of Brooklyn styled hip hop with Southern hip hop undertones and dope lyrics from the first to the last bars. Sets from android genius, Michele Thibeaux, REZ, Eimaral Sol, Space Villains*, Mind Shrine, and many many more will be on the two day event. The all ages festival has doors Saturday at 4 pm and carries tickets between $30 for a one day or $50 for a two day pass.
Cactus Music will host an in-store performance from Houston’s Colonial Blue. The Americana folk three piece will be celebrating the release of their debut, Dear Misery. The acoustic set will have gratis beverages for adults, it gets going at 5 pm, and it’s 100% FREE.
Daniel Johnston. Photo: Brian Parker
Over at the House Party Comedy House, you can get real up close and personal with the man, the myth, and the legendary outsider artist: Daniel Johnston. Musician, artist, subject of a documentary about his life, Johnston revolutionized indie self made releases with his debut cassette, Hi, How Are You. Though Johnston had released plenty of music prior, this cassette made him a relative household name in many of the music world’s inner circles. Johnston had many famous fans as documented in the film The Devil and Daniel Johnston, he’s had his art shown in galleries all over the world, and his live sets are something everyone should experience. His latest album, 2013’s Daniel Johnston at Home LIVE, proves that he’s not slowing down. There are two shows with different acts performing on each, though there will be stand up comedy on these shows as well. Both shows have a super limited capacity of 100 guests each, one with doors at 6:30 pm and another with doors at 9:30 pm, where both carry ticket prices between $12 and $15. More information is available here.
Mucky Duck will have an early Father’s Day special show featuring Jimmie Dale Gilmore with his son Colin Gilmore, as well as Butch Hancock with Rory Hancock. Jimmie Dale is a legend, he was in “The Big Lebowski,” and his 1991 album After Awhile has always been one of my favorite. Butch Hancock is also a legend, he’s defined the phrase “travelling troubadour,” and his work with The Flatlanders cannot be overshadowed. The fact that these two Texas legends will be on the same stage so up close and personal is a real treat. The fact that they’ll perform with their sons is a bonus. This one time show has two show times, one at 7 pm and one at 9:30 pm. They’re both 21 & up, and they both have tickets between $30 and $33.
At Insomnia Video Game Culture, you can attempt to draw them all at the Pokemon Art Show, Sketch ‘Em All. So, there’s way too many artists on this show to attempt to list, in fact there’s about sixty plus, but there will be an art station set up for you to create your own Pokemon themed art at as well. There’s also FREE stuff from Night Owls Print Shop, Deep Eddy, and there’s Japanese food on hand as well. The all ages event gets going at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Night two of the Neil’s Bahr Comicpalooza After Party will commence with a headlining set from Seattle’s Fighter X. The chiptune purveyor has made quite the name for himself, and his latest release, an EP called LO-TEK UNDERGROUND is pretty legit. He’ll have sets from Houston acts Ten Pixels Tall, Float, OVERCRASH, and Broken Satellite on beforehand. The 21 & up gets going at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Noi!se. Photo: Dedra Vaughn
Satellite Bar will host the only Texas date for Washington-based street punk band, Noi!se. This four piece brings tons of energy when they perform, they’ve become well known for their DIY ways, and their most recent release, 2014’s Split with the band Street Dogs, is on point. Dallas’ The Broadsiders will perform as direct support, while the UK’s Sim Williams will perform his acoustic punk in Houston for the first time ever. The hardcore of Austin’s Concrete Elite will also be on the bill, while the electrifying mod punk of Houston’s Thug Boots will open the show up. It’s all ages, the doors are at 7:30 pm, and the tickets are $12.
Walters will host the darkwave electronica of Moze Pray. Moze Pray is intriguing, the synths used are more analog, and the music sounds like a cry for help — which is awesome. Fantasy Ritual was set to perform as direct support, but that will now be filled by Damon Allen performing something else entirely, that should be worth checking out. The Wiggins are also set to play, while the darkwave of Houston’s Tearful Moon will go on prior. This band is a trip, their live sets are always kind of mesmerizing, and their new single “Rain Of Sorrow” lives up to its strange and dark title. DJ Bad Bones will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, you can get your hip hop fix when Royce Da 5’9” performs. The Detroit born rapper has been getting plenty of steam since he dropped his debut in 2002. His latest album, Layers keeps in line with his past jams, and has plenty to celebrate on it. The hip hop tunes of Queens’ GRAFH will be on hand as direct support, and should bring his latest Pain Killers: Reloaded to life during his set. There might be extra openers on this show that aren’t yet listed. The doors are at 8 pm, it’s all ages, and tickets are between $20 and $25.
Continental Club will host a real barn burner when the bluesy jams of Houston’s Fox Parlor take the stage at the main street venue. These guys have a ton of energy, they’ve made a name as consummate performers, and while their debut, Hell Or High Water, was on point, their latest EP, West Dallas Rodeo, proves that they’re in this for the long haul. The twangy alt country meets Americana of Houston’s The Grizzly Band will be on as direct support and opener. These guys have more intensity in one note than some bands have on whole albums. Their live shows are always highly energetic, and their latest album, Lost and Found, is one everyone needs to hear sooner than later. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and a $10 cover.
Castle. Photo: Silver Trash
Rudyard’s might get burned to the ground when the heavy metal of San Francisco’s Castle performs. This band kind of scares me, which is pretty awesome. Their live shows have become fits of energy and mayhem, and while their new album isn’t out yet, their new song “Flash of The Pentagram” is pretty damn solid. Of course, they’ll have to up the ante as Houston’s Project Armageddon will bring their usually energetic set on prior as direct support. I feel like this three piece just gets better with each passing year while they mix sludge, doom, and desert rock into something that could only exist here in Houston. Their latest release, last year’s Cosmic Oblivion sounds like the soundtrack to an epic journey into a dark forest where the trees will come to life and then eventually steal your soul. The punk metal deathrock mix and crazed energy of Houston’s Supergrave will be on hand to get things started. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and a $10 cover.
You can close out the night at a garage located here, for another edition of Blanket Fort Comedy from Josh and Steph. This edition will feature sets from one of my favorite comics, Chase Durousseau. Chase is one of our city’s best up and coming comics, and isn’t stand up better coming from a guy with a wine glass in his hand? The always funny comedy of Kathryn Way will also perform, as will Bret Whitacre. The show will also host a set from Dad’s Records as well. The BYOB which includes bringing your own blanket show is all ages to my knowledge, the doors are at 9:30 pm, and it has a $5 cover.
Sunday you can get going at you could want to catch a legend, even on Father’s Day, and if you do then you could trek out to the Big Barn at Dosey Doe to see Leon Russell. Russell is one of the most accomplished musicians you can see perform, and hits like “A Song For You,” “Tight Rope,” and “It’s a Hard Rain’s A-Gonna’ Fall” to name a few are all his. The singer songwriter is a hell of a performer, and scientifically speaking, this might be one of your last chances to see him perform. The all ages show includes dinner, served from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, with your ticket price running between $88 and $148.
Prism Tats. Photo: Whooping Crane Records
Of course, you can also head to Raven Tower when South African producer and multi-instrumentalist Prism Tats drops by to play. Making a mix of psych, garage rock, and electropop, this guy is getting quite the name for his intriguing live shows. His latest release, this year’s Prism Tats is pretty damn catchy, as well as pretty good to boot. There’s no word of direct support or opener, but that could change. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and tickets between $8 and $11.
If you had planned to catch the R&B meets hip hop sounds of Georgia’s Jacquees in the studio at Warehouse Live, the show has since Sold Out. If you have tickets, the doors are at 6 pm.
Rudyard’s will have the desert rock of San Diego four piece Chiefs. Here in support of last year’s Tomorrow’s Over, they might be worth checking out. They’ll have to bring their a game though, because the doom of Houston’s Funeral Horse will be on as direct support, and their new album Divinity For The Wicked performed live is hard to beat. The insane psych doom of Houston’s Jody Seabody & the Whirls will get things started, and if you haven’t heard their album Holographic Slammer yet, then you’re doing Houston wrong. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
Monday you can head over to Walters to catch the singer songwriter jams of Arkansas’ Joe Purdy. Made pretty popular by the television show “Lost,” Purdy has been playing his brand of folky tunes since 2001. His latest release, this year’s Who Will Be Next? shows a little darker side of the singer songwriter. He’ll have the soft voiced sounds of Garrison Starr on as direct support and opener. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Tuesday you can stop off at Walters for the indie pop shoegaze of Michigan’s Pity Sex. Mixing indie rock, lo-fi, and garage pop esthetics, this band crafts a pretty catchy and fuzzy rock sound. Their latest release, this year’s White Hot Moon reminds me of a more shoegaze version of what Colleen Green does. The queer punk duo of PWR BTTM will be on hand as direct support, while Pennsylvania’s Petal will bring their alt rock sounds to life as openers. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $12 and $15.
The Numerators. Photo: Jacqueline Delomo
If that’s not your thing, then you can stop by Satellite Bar to catch the psych garage rock of New York’s The Numerators. This three piece has become critical darlings on the East coast, and their latest release Strange is one of the better albums to come from the genre in a good while. The indie rock sounds of Houston’s Cleen Teens will be on hand as direct support. What originally started off as a doo wop side project for Mikey of Mikey & the Drags has become something completely different. After hearing their new stuff and catching them live, I feel like you should catch them at this show to really appreciate their new sound. The alterna rock sounds of Houston’s Middlechild are also set to perform, while the indie sounds of Jazz Radio will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
Over at Rudyard’s you can catch another evening of hilarious tales when BooTown presents another Grown Up Storytime, this one being a “Best of.” I shouldn’t have to oversell this show, because it’s gained a lot of popularity. Do yourself a favor and get there earlier than the door times, because these shows sell out fast. It’s 21 & up, the cover is $7, and there are shows at 8 pm and 10 pm.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you decide to do, make sure and do so in the safest manner possible for everyone else.