David Garrick
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Piedras Negras: The Best of The Week

Piedras Negras: The Best of The Week
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Billy Gibbons, Photo: Rodney Basiel

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Well hopefully you survived another holiday full of too much eating and too much waiting in lines.  This week, you’ll have some pretty strong options of what to do while you count the days until NYE.  Legends like Billy Gibbons of Houston’s ZZ Top will be performing in town alongside many legends in the making.  Here’s where to spend your next seven days.


Wednesday you can start off over at Warehouse Live for the Holiday Show featuring The Tontons.  Presented by Bun B and Black Sheep Agency, the show will benefit Child Advocates and Houston Food Bank.  There also promises to be a set from Houston rapper and performer extraordinaire, Fat Tony.  Tony is like one of those guys that everybody knows, everybody loves, and yet no one can figure out why he isn’t the biggest thing since the Run DMC/Aerosmith crossover.  Not to be out done of course, Houston DJ and real record scratching machine DJ Baby Roo will man the decks.  Roo has been on a tear this year appearing in the film “This Thing We Do,” starting a record label with Roologic Records, and dropping a mixtape with Def Perception band mate Raymond A called “The Unexpected.”  He’s been doing the DJ thing for longer than some of you have been alive, and I’d place him in the top five DJs in Houston.  The all ages affair gets going with doors at 7:00.  You have to register here to attend, and you have to bring canned goods or a toy as well.  Be cool and bring both, and maybe Bun B will think you’re cool too.  It’s in the studio & greenroom at the venue, and the show starts at 7:00.


If you can’t get into that show, then you should head to Barbarella to catch the electronica of Houston’s Tearful Moon.  The duo makes some minimal synth darkwave that you should give an ear to.  They’ll have the electronic experimental sounds of Cyclea, as well as a set from Houston’s GRRRL Parts DJs.  With these two starting off, there’s no reason not to show up and get your groove on.  The 18 & up show has doors at 9:00 and the cover is TBA.


Thursday you should start off over at Rudyard’s for the Women That Rock Fest.  The show featuring female performers will see 15% of the proceeds going towards The Women’s Resource of Greater Houston.  The show is headlined with a set from Houston’s Giant Kitty.  A set from Mystery Loves Company is on hand as well, while the indie rock of Fear The Poet will go on prior with Libby Koch on beforehand.  The sultry sounds of Houston’s Gwen Doll will be opening the show.  The 21 & up show has doors at 6:30 and tickets between $7.00 and $12.00.


If that’s not your vibe then you could head to The Nightingale Room to catch an intimate set from Craig Kinsey.  Last year Kinsey dropped the epic sounding “American Roots & Machines,” and if you weren’t aware, his show is closer to something from a dream than what you’re used to.  His party fueled live set is always entertaining, and I’d guess he’ll have some guests on the bill with him.  The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.


Eisley, Photo: Katherine Broadakis

Warehouse Live will host Florida four piece alt rockers, Copeland over in the studio.  Though it’s been six years since their last release, the earnest sounding band has made a name for themselves with their pretty and tight live sets.  Their latest release, this year’s “Ixora Twin,” falls in line with their structured sound.  Coming back after a good time off, the sibling and cousin act of Eisley will be on as direct support.  While Sherri Dupree has been off mothering her kids with husband Max Bemis, it’s been about two years since their last album, “Currents.”  That doesn’t mean that you should miss their dreamy alt pop tunes, as they’re one of the better acts from the end of the nineties that still exists.  Canadian indie pop three piece, We Are The City will add their popular sounds to the bill as openers.  Check out their infectious new release, “Above Club,” and get there early to check them out on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $17.50 and $20.00.


Over at Walters, you can catch the Austin electro pop of The Octopus Project.  The show, rescheduled from the original date at Numbers will feature the band performing their always trippy live show.  Though their latest album was a soundtrack, their 2013 release, “Fever Forms” was their strongest to date.  There’s no word of openers, the show is all ages, and the doors are at 8:00 with tickets between $12.00 and $17.00.


Over at Cullen Performance Hall you can catch ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons on his solo tour.  Gibbons has pretty much done it all coming from one of Houston’s poorest neighborhoods.  After rock stardom and selling more records than any other native Houstonian, he’s dropped a solo album, “Perfectamundo.”  Under the name Billy Gibbons and The BFG’s, he’ll perform tunes from the album and I’d guess some favorites from the ZZ Top & Moving Sidewalks catalogs as well.  The all ages event has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $65.00.


Sam Demaris, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

If you’d rather get your laugh on, then I’d recommend catching member of The Whiskey Brothers and all around Houston funny man, Sam Demaris over at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase.  Sam is easily one of our city’s best joke writers, he’s just getting back from touring all over the world, and his live sets are always peppered with material that could make you pee your pants.  There’s no word on who will be the feature act or the host, but it will more than likely be two of Houston’s better up and comers.  The 18 & up show has shows at 8:00 on Thursday with tickets between $5.00 and $7.00.  The shows on Friday and Saturday are at 8:00 and 10:30 with tickets for $16.00 to $18.00.


If you’d rather help raise funds for a documentary on African wildlife, then you could head to Royal Oak for the Safari Masquerade Party.  With every cocktail you purchase, you’ll get a chance to win all sorts of prizes between tickets to Come An Take It Comedy Fest, to hand crafted instruments from the Batwa tribe of Uganda.  There’s live music from Chase Hamblin, as well as DJ sets from Damon Allen, Jacob Calle, and live painting from kissing artist Natalie Irish.  More details are available here for the 21 & up event that gets going at 8:00 and is 100% FREE.


Friday you can kick off over at Walters for Fallcore.  The two day event will host sets from DRI and many many more.  You can go to both days for $32.00, or roll the dice on entry & pay $10.00 for Friday and $22.00 for Saturday.  Friday has doors at 6:30, sets from acts like Houston’s Dress Code, Mind Kill, and Atlanta’s Foundation, as well as many others.  The day one details are all here.


King Diamond, Photo: Kathy Flynn

If that’s not your bag, then you could head to House of Blues when the metal and killer pipes of King Diamond performs.  Okay, so after seeing this guy at Fun Fun Fun in 2014, I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t impressive.  He played favorites old and new while his vocals sounded better than I’d heard in a long time.  This show is super special, as it’s one that will have King performing his 1987 album, “Abigail” in its entirety.  The metal of Exodus will be on hand as direct support and opener, and the all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $35.00 and $45.00.


If you’d rather get your mind blown with pure energy, then you should head over to Vinal Edge to catch an intimate set from Houston’s B L A C K I E.  If you missed this guy drop his “Spred Luv” set at this year’s Houston Whatever Fest, or if you’ve never seen him before, then I feel sorry for you.  He’s always about five years ahead of the rest of the music industry, his live shows are legendary, and last year’s “Imagine Yourself In A Free And Natural World” still feels future.  Uaeb Yelsaeb of Subsonic Voices will open things up.  It’s FREE w/gratis No Label beer, it starts around 7:00, and it’s all ages.


If you had planned to catch the Kevin Gates show at Warehouse Live, it has since sold out.


Rudyard’s will have the indie rock goodness of Ex-Optimists on hand for their album release party.  If you’ve never seen the College Station band, then you should know that they’re really loud.  Their music is like if Ride, Seam, and Boys Life made an album and their new one should be on par with 2013’s “Bee Corpse Collector.”  The indie pop rock of Houston four piece, A Sundae Drive will be on as direct support.  Seriously one of the best rock bands in Houston, this band dropped one of my favorite albums last year with “The Senseless and the Sound.”  The eighties rock sounds of Jealous Creatures will also be on the bill.  There’s something engaging about the guitar heavy sounds that this band creates, and their melodies are always on point.  This year they released a new album called “The Night Goes On For Days” that everyone should check out.  The alt indie sounds of Austin’s Economy Island will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and it’s a 100% FREE show.  


You can get your country on when Dwight Yoakam returns to Houston at Arena Theatre.  I shouldn’t have to oversell this show, as this guy still sings traditional country and his live show is always impressive.  His latest release, this year’s “Second Hand Heart” is just as strong as his previous efforts.  The alt country of Omaha’s Matt Whipkey will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $45.00 and $75.00.


Houston hip hop legend and creator of South Park Coalition, K-Rino will be over at Fitzgerald’s.  Rino has been around almost 30 years, his flow is unsurpassed, and he’s dropped an insane amount of albums since he began.  His latest, “Makin’ Enemies” from this year is on point.  Houston’s Point Blank will be on as direct support, while Sniper will also be on the bill.  Get there early to catch the Houston hip hop of Rosewood Thievz.  These guys hustle hard and their latest album, this year’s “BlackBalled” is something you have to hear.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.


Continental Club will host the Cajun psych punk of Louisiana’s Lost Bayou Ramblers.  This five piece plays a mix of about five different genres with ease while they sing in mostly Cajun/French, and occasionally English.  I love acts who dare to do their own thing and who are different, and these guys are definitely both.  Their latest album, the live release from last year “Gasa Gasa Live” is a trip and might blow your mind with its complexity.  British born and now NOLA resident, Spider Stacy of The Pogues will be on hand as direct support on the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a $17.00 cover.


Jim Ward, Photo: Courtesy of Artist

You could close your Friday at the House Party Comedy show over at 1509 Stuart St.  So, it’s comedy happening in someone’s house which is a novel idea.  However, this show has music as well.  One the comedy side of things there will be sets from John Nguyen, Owen Dunn, Kiki Maroon, Victor Tran, Zahid Dewji, and Last Comic Standing’s Jim Mackenzie.  One the music side of things there’s a set from Sergio Trevino of Buxton, and my favorite member of At The Drive In & Sparta, Jim Ward.  Ward’s solo sets are a mix of emocore beauty and brash energy, and there’s a good chance you’ll catch some old favorites as well.  There will be plenty of giveaways, the door has an $8.00 minimum cover for African wildlife parks in Kenya, and the 21 & up show has doors at 9:00.  All the details are available here.  


Saturday you should consider starting off at the First Saturday event at Royal Oak.  These events always have a ton of local artisans, live music, and so much more.  This time they have a DIY Xmas card station, and live music from Get A Life, Rose Ette, and Cleen Teens.  There’s also a DJ set from GRRRL PARTS, Children of Pop, and Andy V.  The all ages and 100% FREE event runs from noon to 6:00.


If you’re planning on attending day two of Fallcore at Walters, it’s a marathon day.  Headlined by a set from thrashcore and Houston natives DRI, there’s also sets from Houston’s Venomous Maximus, New York’s All Out War, Mastema (formerly Legion), and many many more.  The all ages show has two day passes for $32.00, or you can get day two tickets between $22.00 and $25.00.  More info on the lineup is available here and the doors are at 2:00.mytwilightpilot

My Twilight Pilot, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

Fitzgerald’s will host a reunion for the all female hardcore of Houston’s Manhole.  Rumor has it that this is a reunion to play one last time and then never again.  They formed in 1989, they played for an insanely long time, and from what I remember, they were always entertaining.  The show will also feature sets from the alt rock goodness of Before Radio, the hardcore of Demonic Hen, NYC’s Sister Munch, and many more.  There’s also an after party from one of Houston’s most diverse and underrated acts,  My Twilight Pilot.  The all ages event has doors at 5:00 and the music starts at 6:00 with tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.


Heights Vinyl will have the folk of Houston’s Markell Gibson and Friends.  The all ages show will more than likely have gratis adult beverages, and will be a great way to catch any Black Friday Record Store Day spillover as well.  Things start at 5:00 & it’s 100% FREE.


Down in Clear Lake at Scout Bar, the aggressive melodic punk of Canada’s Silverstein will be on hand.  Though these guys have been around for fifteen years, they’ve always kept their relevance.  Their most recent album, this year’s “I Am Alive In Everything I Touch,” falls in line with their previous works.  The New Jersey based hardcore of Senses Fail will be there as direct support.  The four piece will be here in support of this year’s “Pull the Thorns from Your Heart,” and should bring their energized set to all who attend.  South Carolina’s Hundredth will also be on the bill, while Southern California’s Capsize will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $18.00 and $22.00.


Avant Garden will have a barn burner with the album release party for Jody Seabody & The Whirls.  In their tenth year, the band will headline the show while releasing their new album, “Holographic Slammer” through Artificial Head Records.  The stoner doom of Houston’s Funeral Horse will go on prior and possibly bleed ears with their chunky and loud sound.  Houston rapper Kyle Hubbard will also be on the bill, and will drop hip hop science from his latest album, “Majestic Hotel.”  Jon Black will open things up on the 21 & up show that’s 100% FREE.


Another edition of Doomsgiving will take place over at Rudyard’s.  Now in its fourth year, the show will feature a set from Houston doom three piece, Project Armageddon.  This year the group dropped the EP, “Cosmic Oblivion,” and they’re always top notch in a live setting.  The stoner metal psych sounds of Houston’s guitar heavy The Linus Pauling Quartet will be on the bill as well.  These guys play the kind of sludge sounds that make you want to drive into the desert and drop acid.  Their latest, 2013’s “Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords” is like getting mowed over by guitars.  The face melting stoner rock of The Dirty Seeds will also be on hand, and Serpent Sun will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and tickets for $8.00.


RL Grime, Photo: Stoney Roads

Stereo Live will have the electronic jams of New York DJ/Producer RL Grime on hand.  I don’t need to over sell this show as it’s almost sold out.  If you were unaware, this guy brings it when he performs, and his latest release, “VOID Remixes” from this year is legit.  The 18 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets between $32.00 and $37.00.


Sunday you can head over to Corkscrew for another edition of Sketchbook Saloon.  This time their guest to sketch will be model Yvonne Hunt, and as always your hosts will be Honey Moonpie of Dem Damn Dames and Hannah Bull.  The 21 & up event allows artists, photographers, and newcomers to draw the model live.  Things get going around 2:00 and the cover is $10.00 for members, $15.00 for new members, and $20.00 for photographers.  


Geoff Tate, Photo: Lucy Mercer

Later in the evening you could make it over to Boondocks for the comedy of Geoff Tate.  The Ohio based comic is known for being a self described chain smoking drunk, who usually leaves audiences in stitches after his sets.  The show will also have sets from Emma Arnold, Jaffer Khan, Zahid Dewji, and Stephen Brandau.  Presented by The Secret Group, the 21 & up show has limited seating with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.


Monday if you planned to attend the JoJo show at Warehouse Live, it’s since sold out.


The post hardcore sounds of New Hampshire’s Our Last Night will be over at Walters.  Together for over a decade, this four piece has made quite the name for themselves with their high energy live shows.  They just dropped a new album called “Younger Dreams” that’s already getting lots of attention.  The New Jersey six piece Palisades will be on as direct support, while California’s Hail The Sun will go on prior.  Kentucky’s Picturesque will open the all ages show with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $13.00 and $16.00.


That’s all about all that’s happening as well start to usher in the final month of the year.  No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the most adult way possible.