Put Me Thru: The Best of the Week
The routing from other festivals has begun and the heat outside just proves that it probably won’t be comfortable out until early November. That being said, it’s good that most shows that are here this week will be indoors where air conditioning is blowing strong and hard. This week brings in an array of performances from the likes of Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals, Paul Oakenfold and DPAT. Houston, here’s what you should be up to this week.
Wednesday you can get going over at Raven Tower for a set from Austin’s Buenos Diaz. So, technically this guy is from Houston, but he’s been doing his thing in Austin for a good while now. The Buenos Diaz sound is basically what Elvis Costello would’ve sounded like if he’d been born in the Southern states. It’s good stuff for sure, his live shows are always on point, and his last release Urbanized New Wave Texican is pretty amazing. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If that’s not your deal, then you can head to House of Blues for the popular hip hop jams of California’s Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals. This guy is pretty popular, he’s sold a ton of albums, and his live shows are rumored to be pretty lit. His latest release, Malibu has been getting more and more popular by the day. He’ll have direct support from British rapper Little Simz, and an opening set from Canadian producer Pomo. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $20.
Walters will host the popular R&B electronica sounds of The Foreign Exchange. The half Dutch half american duo makes a mix of hip hop, R&B, and electronica into something completely different, and their latest album Tales From The Land of Milk and Honey is pretty engaging. Houston’s Flash Gordon Parks will do his thing as direct support and drop jams while opening the all ages show. The doors are at 7 pm and the tickets are $25.
East Cameron Folkcore. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
At Satellite Bar, Austin seven piece East Cameron Folkcore will bring their mix of punk, folk, and orchestral jams to life. While this band has a tight sound, and they have come up with creative names to describe their sound, their latest album, this year’s Kingdom of Fear reminds me of Modest Mouse. The alterna rock of Houston’s Alex Riddle will perform the duties of direct support, while the always entertaining sounds of Houston’s The Grizzly Band will be there to open things up. These guys have high energy, their live shows are super tight, and their album Lost and Found is definitely a barn burner. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
Joke Joint Comedy Showcase will be hosting nineties goofball humor film star, Pauly Shore. Pauly’s mom ran The Comedy Store in LA, so I’d guess he knows a little about stand up. You might know him from movies like “Encino Man,” and “Bio Dome.” Two of Houston’s better up and coming comics will perform the duties of host and feature act for the 18 & up show at 8 pm and tickets for $25.
Thursday you can start off with the highly energized fuzz rock of Houston’s Moth Wings at their EP release show at Walters. I’ve never seen this band, I believe they’re a two piece, but from what I hear they’re kind of insane. Houston four piece Talking Forever will be on hand as direct support, while the alt indie pop of Dallas three piece Dye Young will go on prior. The art punk of No Love Less will also be on the bill, and Tyler’s Clover The Girl will also perform. The all ages show gets going with the indie pop of Houston’s Ari & The Skeletons with doors at 6 pm and tickets between $8 and $10.
The Dirty River Boys. Photo: Marshall Foster
If that’s not your thing, then you can get down with El Paso’s outlaw folk American rockers, The Dirty River Boys in the studio at Warehouse Live. These guys tour pretty relentlessly, they have live shows where people have said that seeing them was transformative, and their latest release, 2014’s The Dirty River Boys is a tour de force. The country blues rock of Houston’s The New Offenders will be on hand as direct support, while the rootsy Americana of Little Outfit will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $18.
If you’d rather get your electronica fix, then you could swing by Nightingale Room to catch a set from electro pop duo, Night Drive. These two make atmospheric pop that sounds like a mix of eighties synth and current day dance music. Their latest single, last year’s “Easy To Lie” is insanely catchy, and they put on a trippy live show. They’ll have to bring it though, as Houston’s Rex Hudson will be on to get things going. Hudson makes an intriguing mix of live instruments and electronics, and last year’s No Return is insanely catchy and chill. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Walker Lukens & the Sidearms. Photo: Joshua Strahm
Over at House of Blues, you can watch the multi-genre sounds of Boston’s Lake Street Dive. The four piece kind of brings multiple sounds to the table, and their popularity grows with each soulful release. Their latest, this year’s Side Pony already has plenty of steam, and adds a funky sound to their already clustered mix. The engaging sounds of Houston born singer songwriter Walker Lukens & the Sidearms will be on as direct support and opener. Lukens now resides in Austin, and has always brought plenty of energy when he performs, and 2013’s Devoted is pretty damn magical. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $25.
Stereo Live will be hosting the underground house sounds of LA producer DJ, Drezo. This guy has made a name for himself by attempting to shun the mainstream and stay true to his original way of doing things. He’s become well known for his lit live shows, and his latest single, “Guap” from last year is pretty nuts. The 18 & up show has doors at 9 pm and tickets for $10.
You can close out Thursday over at Big Top when the old school country sounds of The Broken Spokes perform. These guys play the kind of country everyone is referring to when they say that they like old country music. Honky tonk, western swing, and everything in between is all over their latest album, The Broken Spokes, and their live sets are always two steppin’ good times. The 21 & up show gets going around 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
On Friday you could begin at Numbers for the 6th Anniversary show of Dem Damn Dames. This event, will feature “battle” performances between Dames’ members alongside burlesque performers from all over Texas, Dudes Vs. Dames. Adding to the allure of the show is that fact that there will be judges deciding who won each battle alongside special feature sets and a special guest. The evening is co-hosted by the Dames’ own Tifa Tittlywinks and San Antonio’s Foxxy Blue. While you’re there, you can grab $3 Lone Stars throughout the 18 & up show that includes entry into Classic Numbers with your ticket purchase. The doors are at 7 pm and tickets are between $15 and $30, the latter being a VIP seated option.
Rosewood Thievz. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
You can catch the Juneteenth story told musically, when Robert Hodge presents “Two & ½ Years” live at The Shrine of the Black Madonna. The performance is in celebration of the album by the same name’s release, and the show features a healthy mix of Houston artists. Sets from RYMNA, Michele Thibeaux, Rosewood Thievz and many more will be on hand for this one time performance and celebration of Juneteenth. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $30 and $75.
Over at Nightingale Room, the always entertaining sounds of Nathan Quick will be on full display. Quick brings a bluesy tone to his singer songwriter sound, and after a set at this year’s FPSF, he’s on his way to gaining a wider audience. His latest release, last year’s City Lights just proves that he’s not slowing down anytime soon. The folky indie sounds of Houston’s Colonial Blue will be on hand to kick off the show. This three piece has been grinding pretty hard as of late, and their debut release Dear Misery, is different in the good way from the bulk of what gets called folk music today. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’re a fan of the show, “Rupaul’s Drag Race,” then you could head to Warehouse Live to catch members from all of the seasons of the show “battle” it out. I’m not real familiar with the show, but if you are, then you know what all of this is about. The tickets are between $37.50 and $299, the latter being a VIP with meet & greet option. The doors are at 8 pm.
Possibly the most underrated singer songwriter in Houston, Chase Hamblin will be performing over at MKT Bar. Hamblin has been doing his thing for a good while now, he’s in the fun and energetic cover band Picture Book, and he can belt out a tune better than most who try nowadays. His last release was the catchy single, “Way Back,” but the rumor is that he has new stuff on the way. The all ages show gets going around 8 pm & it’s 100% FREE.
You could get in your laughs over at Beta Theater for another edition of The Triple Header. Three comics doing 20 minute sets each, hosted by Zahid Dewji, and a $10 cover is your cue to attend. The BYOB show will feature sets from Eric Green, Orlando Villarreal, and JB Nader, and it gets going around 8 pm.
iLL Faded. Photo: Marco Torres
Over at The Red Light at Springbok you can catch a last minute show featuring a headlining set from Houston’s Fat Tony. If you want to catch a rapper perform from start to finish, then Tony is your guy, and this year’s Look just proved that he’s still ahead of many. Not to be outdone, rapper, producer, and DJ iLL Faded will go on prior while bringing plenty of lit up energy with him. This year he dropped a new release called No Big Deal, which might make it the most understated title in Houston music. There’s tons of more acts on this bill including the always energetic sounds of Gio Chamba, the modular synths of Pfaffenberg, and many more with all of the lineup available here. The 18 & up show has doors at 8 pm and cover for $7 for adults and $10 for the kids.
Eastdown Warehouse will host the return of California’s Tsunami Bomb for the first time in over a decade. The band is on a high after returning to performing their punk sounds and even has a new retrospective collection called Trust No One, which runs through a mix of their early days and latter popular times. The crazed energy of Houston horror punks Skeleton Dick will provide the duties of direct support, while three piece LLORONA goes on beforehand. Gashgasm will open up the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $12.
You can get an interesting mix of bands over at Rudyard’s, when the punk sounds of Giant Kitty performs. Lots of energy, a tight sound, and plenty of hooks are all over this band’s release This Stupid Stuff, as well as their live shows. They’ll have the proggy instrumental sounds of Austin’s Math Patrol on prior, while the queer positive hip hop of Houston’s BIZ will get things started with tons of energy. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
Paul Oakenfold. Photo: Chris Weeks/Getty Images
Of course, you could head to Stereo Live to catch the legendary House DJ sounds of Paul Oakenfold. This guy basically introduced house music to Great Britain in the late eighties, he has a good amount of Grammy nominations, and even DJ Magazine called him the best in the world. He even made Shifty popular with his collaboration on “Starry Eyed Surprise.” His latest drop is a single with BRKLYN and Amba Shepherd called “U Are.” The NYC sounds of Liquid Todd will be on hand to open the 18 & up show with doors at 9 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
Beta Theater will have a special edition of Stalk Show, this time with Marini Van Smirren, author of the Badvice series in Free Press Houston. Though now she’s mostly busting her tail with planning this year’s Day For Night festival, the Badvice columns were something pretty amazeballs, and definitely an aspect to the paper that I miss. Luckily for you, she’ll be doing Badvice live and answering any questions you may have. You can submit questions to ask her, here. The 18 & up show gets going around 10 pm and the cover is $10.
Lyric Michelle. Photo: Rex Lloyd
Saturday you can start off downtown at City Hall for the 38th annual Houston Pride Parade & Festival. Aside from the fact that the parade and festival has more sponsors than a NASCAR team, there’s plenty of festivities this year including live music before the parade gets started. Sets from Houston’s Wrestlers, Pearl from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Ishi and more will be on hand to perform, while Lyric Michelle is set to emcee the entire music event. The music gets going around noon, the parade starts at 8:30 pm, and the all ages event is between 100% FREE to $135, the latter being a VIP option with more information here.
Over at Discovery Green you could attend the FUNomenal Family Festival. This all ages event will feature live music, ballet performances, and of course the Baby Olympics. Truth be told, if it weren’t for the fact that watching parents scream while their kids compete for prizes like they have wagers on the side, I would’ve forgotten that this thing still happened. There’s more information here on the event that runs from 1 pm to 6 pm, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE.
Springboard South will be in full swing again at Warehouse Live. Encompassing all three rooms, this yearly event features tons of new artists, panels on the industry, and so much more. The three day event has doors at 1 pm on Saturday, 12:30 pm on Sunday, and 5 pm on Monday, with tickets running $19.95 per day.
If you want to swap, sell, or just get rid of your CD’s, tapes, and vinyls; then you should head to the Big Star Record Swap over at Big Star Bar. Even though you have to be 21 to get into the bar, you can still bring your stuff and cash for this FREE event that starts at 4 pm and runs until 8 pm.
Over here, you can catch an intriguing mix of artists for the Dog Farm Get Down All Time Jam Fest Finale. The event will feature a solo set from Tera Melos’ John Clardy, Austin’s Hikes, as well as others like Velvet Mud, Mind Shrine, Sunrise and Ammunition, and more. It’s all ages, things get going around 5 pm, and it’s a measly $5 with all of the information available here.
Andrew WK. Photo: Colt Coan
However, if you really want to get the party started, then you’ll head over to The Secret Group new club for a grand opening party featuring a solo set from Andrew WK. WK gives party etiquette tips, he’s an accomplished writer, and his hit song “Party Hard” proves that he’s all about the party. You might think that his solo set isn’t as entertaining as he is with a full band, but honestly I think him solo is better. Houston’s We Were Wolves will help the party go strong when they bring their high energy and beer fueled mayhem on as direct support. Last year these guys dropped the EP Ruin Your Weekend, though the party atmosphere they bring to a live show means that they’ll just make your weekend better. The post hardcore sounds of Houston’s Square and Compass will be on hand to perform live for the last time ever. The high energy and party atmosphere of Houston’s Guilla will be on hand to get the show going like only he can. This year the hard hustling and ass busting rapper returned with the trippy and forward sounding EP Children of the Sun, and proved he’s not slowing down any time soon. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
You can get your punk on when Walters hosts the English anarcho punk sounds of Conflict. Formed in 1981, the UK based punks are known for a crazy live show alongside tracks like “C.R.A.S.S.,” “The Serenade Is Dead,” and “Mighty and Superior.” These guys are so punk that they once dropped an album called Only Stupid Bastards Help EMI. They don’t come around here much at all, so if you’re a fan then this could be one of your few chances to catch them perform. The LA punk of Total Chaos will be on as direct support, and while they’ve never been my thing, they have a pretty rabid fanbase. Dallas’ The Scandals will also be on the bill while the highly energetic punk of Houston’s Dead To The World will be on hand to open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $15 and $17.
At Beta Theater, you can find out all about the world of succulents when Andrea Afra of Sucs For You stops by as the guest monologist and expert. You might not know that the reason that the Free Press Houston website looks so fancy is because she did the layout and design for it, but this event is all about succulents. While she speaks on succulent plants, improvisers will act out what she says, and there promises to be a Q & A attached to this show so you can ask anything about the succulents you have or plan to have. The BYOB show gets going around 8 pm and it’s a measly $10.
Jealous Creatures. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
At Satellite Bar you can get all freaked out when the crazed energy of psych doom band, Jody Seabody & The Whirls performs. I say freaked out because the last time I saw them their singer was on the floor while the band played their crazed psych doom in the background, and their album Holographic Slammer is a real trip. The eighties infused indie rock of Houston’s Jealous Creatures will bring their album The Night Goes On For Days to life as direct support, while Austin’s Megafauna will bring their experimental prog rock to life beforehand. Houston’s Golden Sombrero will be on as well and should impress those in attendance with tracks from last year’s Replacement Level. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and a measly $5 cover.
The Pride edition of Dykon Fagatron will be lit up like a holiday tree over at Arlo’s Ballroom. Seriously, alongside a crazy list of artists set to perform, this one will benefit Lucie’s Place. A headlining performance from B L A C K I E, Gio Chamba, Evan McCarley, android genius, BIZ, and many more will be on hand. Three hosts on the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm and it being 100% FREE means it should be lit all night.
If you’re a fan of Houston producer Dpat, then you can catch him drop a DJ set at Fox Hollow for another edition of A Really Kool Party. While we all wait for him to drop his new EP, we can still groove to the sounds of 2013’s In Bloom, and the last time he dropped a set it was insane. The homies from Blackout will also be on hand to drop sets. The collective consisting of Ape Drums, Hyro, Act Badd and Leckie always bring fire when they perform. Of course, the crew from ARKP, Dayta, Gracie Chavez, and Hiram will also be on hand to drop plenty of feet moving joints. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm, and it’s Free until 11 pm, then $5 after.
Rudyard’s will help you get your honky tonk groove on, when Houston’s Ruckus stops by to perform. Mixing alt country with Americana, these guys are pretty amazing to see live. They’ll have the folk rock meets Americana sounds of Houston’s The Jess Wilson Band on prior. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and tickets between $8 and $10.
Sunday you can swing by Mucky Duck for one of two shows from Nashville songstress, Elizabeth Cook. Cook has been making a name for herself for a good while, though her last album came out six years ago. A favorite on Letterman and the Grand Ole Opry, Cook is back with a stellar new album called Exodus of Venus. Rumor has it that she’s an amazing act to witness perform. There are two shows, one at 6 pm and one at 8:30, both with tickets between $25 and $27 and both are 21 & up.
Dollie Barnes. Photo: Daniel Jackson
If that’s not your thing, then you could head to Walters to catch the romantic pop of Austin’s Molly Burch. Burch has made quite the name for herself as one of the sweetest voiced performers in the Texas capitol, and her single “Only One” is a great example of that. She’ll have to sing a little louder when she performs as the high energy of Houston’s Dollie Barnes will be on as direct support. Barnes just finished her debut album and is currently looking for a home for it, and her live sets are always engaging and entertaining. If you’ve somehow never heard her stuff before, feel free to jam out her single “Chandelier” from the NextWave compilation. The folky sounds of North Carolina’s Cowboy Crisis will be on board to open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Over at Rudyard’s you can get all trippy with the psych rock of Georgia’s New Madrid. The four piece has gotten plenty of steam since starting out several years ago. Their new album, magnetkingmagnetqueen has gotten plenty of praise, and they’ve been rumored to have a strong live presence. There’s no word of support or openers on the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $11.
Tuesday you can go to White Swan to get your punk fix, when Houston’s 54 Reasons headlines a show. They’ll have California’s Species Unknown on prior, as well as the speedy punk of California’s No Advisory. The emo punk mix of Houston’s Outside at Night will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and a $5 cover.
If that’s not your thing, then you can head to Nightingale Room for another evening presented by Roologic Records. This edition of the show will feature a headlining set from Houston’s Michele Thibeaux. She makes a healthy mix of R&B, soul, and hints of afro punk to create her own sound that’s hard to walk away from. Chris Crump, formerly of the TV show “The Voice” will be on prior and will bring his latest single “Chemistry” to life for all who attend. A DJ set from Listen Young Man, also known as photographer Daniel Jackson will open things up, while Genesis Blu will host the evening. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you decide to do, please stay hydrated and be mindful of everyone else.