Really Really Really Evil: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Penland Pinups
Well, we survived the bombardment of bands that came through for SXSW, and now we’re back on track for a more normal week. However, that doesn’t mean that things aren’t crazy busy and filled with options. Shows like the monthly offering from Dem Damn Dames pictured above, will make this a week to remember. Here’s where to spend your paycheck this week.
Wednesday, you can get things started over at MKT Bar, when we all see if Zack from Walters can actually DJ. You know, this guy pretty much drops a party everytime he has a show at his iconic music venue. Walters has always taken care of bands first, and run a business second. From back in the day when Walters was on Washington Avenue, the club has been integral in the Houston music scene. So, this will either be amazing or hilarious. It’s all ages, it runs from 7:00 to 10:00, and as always, it’s 100% FREE.
If hip hop is your style, Warehouse Live, will host the cartoonish style of Riff Raff. After finally dropping a full length last year with “Neon Icon,” the Houston native will show his hometown some love. He recently dropped another release, with this year’s “Purple iCon(Chopped Not Slopped).” The Dallas duo of Yung Nation will be there as well to drop their back and forth rap style. Their recently released single, “Molly On My Chest” is climbing the charts and is a good example of what they’ll have in store. California’s Crichy Crich will get the all ages show started with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $75.00 in the ballroom.
If you planned on attending the Sylvan Esso show at Fitz, it’s SOLD OUT.
But, you can still head over to the Fitzgerald’s downstairs to catch Kodak To Graph. The Florida/LA producer will be here to drop some his magic on anyone who attends. This guy drops record scratches and pretty much everything else on his tracks, and his latest, “Isa” is one of those albums that makes you want to get your groove on. LA producer Big Wild will be there as direct support, and will drop some of his trippy jamz. Unconventional in approach and sound, he just dropped a remix for Young Summer, and his single “Venice Venture” will get your feet moving. Obeson will also be on hand, while things will get kicked off from Houston’s Josiah Gabriel. So, I just watched this guy drop an epic set of new material, and all I can say is that I don’t know if there’s anyone else on this guy’s level going right now. The guys he’s opening for will definitely have their work cut out for them. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
On Thursday, Sacramento six piece A Lot Like Birds will bring their post hardcore sounds to Walters. The band that seems to mix in more rhythm changes than a set fro At The Drive In, will bring their high energy set to life. Their latest album, “No Place” from 2013 has screamy vocals mixed with proggy structure. Portland’s Icarus The Owl will be direct support, and will be there to add their brand of mathy pop punk to the show. Last year they dropped the album, “Icarus The Owl” that had more head bopping songs in the vein of Taking Back Sunday than you’d think. Houston’s Crimson Arrow will also be there to perform their progressive and post hardcroe sounds. The groovy hardcore of Mosaic Dream will also be on the bill, while Alvin’s Kairos Theos opens the all ages show. The doors are at 6:00, and the tickets are between $10.00 and $12.00.
Continental Club will have the LA based singer songwriter Ryan M. Brewer on hand. Brewer is like a travelling storyteller who sings about love lost and everything inbetween. Last year he released an album titled, “Trails” that sounds like a mix between Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, and Ryan Adams. Houston’s Quiet Morning & the Calamity will open things up. In 2014 they put out the beautiful and twangy album, “Sons Of The Sad Soul” that reminds you of a mix of Cracker, Uncle Tupelo, and Old 97’s. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and the tickets are a paltry $5.00.
Rudyard’s will have what they’re calling the 3rd Coast Throw Down show, which will feature the two piece, The Witherees. Some of their stuff is acoustic rock, and some of it’s acoustic pop; but all of it is worth checking out. Butch Klotz, of Houston pop punk band 30 Foot Fall will also be there to perform a solo set. So, I’ve known this guy for a long time, and I can say that he’s kind of a Houston institution. It will be really cool to see what a solo set from him looks like, though I suspect it’ll be something great. D.B. Rouse of Austin and, We All Shit will also be there. Rouse does his own thing when he performs solo, kind of like a modern day troubadour if you will. Houston’s Phillip Alan Zimmerle will open things up with his acoustic sound, featuring a guest spot from Geneva Gordon. The doors are at 8:00, the show is 21 & up, and the cover is $8.00.
Thursday also marks the beginning of the University of Houston tradition known as Frontier Fiesta. For some reason, it felt like it creeped up on us this year. But, that may have to do with the sparse promotion the school has done in regards to it. This year, the Thursday show will feature Kristian Bush of the country pop band, Sugarland. It’s a FREE show, with doors at 8:00 inside the TDECU stadium. It’s first come, first serve.
Over at Improv, they’ll have the funny antics of comic DeRay Davis. The Chicago comic turned actor will be in town for a brief time, and his sardonic humor is worth checking out. He’s kind of done everything from being in the movie “Barbershop,” to appearing on Shaq’s All Star Comedy tour. These shows are kind of sneak peak into his upcoming stand-up special, “The Hood Hero Returns.” As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will perform the duties of feature act and host. There’s one show on Thursday at 8:00, two shows on Friday and Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and one show on Sunday at 7:30. Some of these shows have sold out already, and tickets are between $30.00 and $40.00.
Friday, you’d be best to kick things off over at Numbers for the Really Really Really Evil Show from Houston’s Dem Damn Dames. The show’s theme is based around three evil character attempting to be evil geniuses, while looking fabulous while doing so. This installment of the monthly residency at the iconic nightclub, will feature not only those of the premier Houston troupe; but out of town acts as well. Therese Zaftigg Von BonBon of Austin’s Black Widow Burlesque, Paul Garbanzo of Virginia, The Tasseled Squirrel from Dallas will all be joining the show. There’s plenty more artists that always join in alongside cheap drinks and entry to “Classic Numbers” following the performance, all included in your ticket price. The doors are at 7:00, the show is 18 & up, and the tickets are between $15.00 and $30.00.
Civic TV Collective will be hosting Montreal’s Marie Davidson in what will most likely be an interesting and mind bending performance. She’ll be here performing songs from her new album out in April, and songs from her previous one, “Perte d’identite.” So, basically, her music is like a mix of 80’s Italian disco with art pop and avant garde. The ambient avant garde drone of Austin’s Troller will be there as direct support. The electro synth pop goodness of Houston/Austin band BOAN will also be on the bill. BOAN is like a weird trip into Xanadu where the soundtrack is on repeat. A new group, SEXPILL of Houston will also be there, as will Maramuresh. Things get started with a set from DJ John Calero. The doors are at 9:00, it’s BYOB, and the cover is TBA.
The O’Jays Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Over at Arena Theater, you can catch the soul legends, The O’Jays. Formed in Canton, Ohio in the late fifties, the R&B group is still going strong. I actually took my parents to see these guys a long time ago, and I couldn’t believe how much energy they had, and how they still sounded amazing. They’re in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of fame, and hits like “Love Train,” “Back Stabbers,” and “Now That We Found Love” are more than enough reason to attend. Contemporary R&B singer, Eric Benet will open the show with doors at 7:00, and tickets for $65.00.
Walters will have a show to celebrate the life of Houston’s most prolific songwriters, when they have Deep Cuts for Chase DeMaster’s birthday. Chase is seriously in five bands, unless he’s added a new one since I wrote this. Deep Cuts will headline the show and play songs from their beautifully crafted “Love Grows” ep and more. This will have a set from Houston’s Children Of Pop prior. So, this is a duo that’s seriously playing and releasing music at an insane pace, that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Dallas’ Catamaran will also perform their blend of surf psych pop. They dropped the “Weekdays” ep last year that sounds pretty rad. Bouyant Spirit will be there as well, and things will get kicked off with a DJ set from Josiah Gabriel. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.
Notsuoh will have an intriguing show, when they have back to back sets from some of Houston’s better producers, on the Casual Heat show. Headlined by MKE and Nikkhoo, with DNCSxWLVS and FLCON FCKER, Birdmagic and AngieListe, with Eroda One and Android Genius starting things off. I think it’s fair to say that from start to finish, this show is packed with all types of producer badassery. The doors are at 9:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Beta Theater will have what appears to be an epic comedy show, when they have “The Perfect Comedy Show.” Ten comics doing ten minute sets, that will be headlined by Houston comedy gem, Andy Huggins. So, I think we all regard Huggins as one of Houston’s best joke writers, and easily a source of inspiration to craft and skill. He dropped his first album recently, “Inspired By True Events” which is a great representation of the kind of skill he’ll bring to his set. He’ll have another of Houston’s better joke writers, the hilarious Bob Biggerstaff. Bob has been on Last Comic Standing twice, Comedy Central, HBO, and pretty much everywhere else. He brings laughs wherever he goes, and his “Enjoy Guys” podcast is one of the best from a Houston comic you’ll hear. The weekly host of the Rudyard’s Open Mic, Dusti Rhodes will be there as well. Dusti’s been on shows with Ali Siddiq and the recent Come And Take It Comedy fest. FPH Sammy award winner and 2014 Beta Bracket Comedy Competition winner, Ashton Womack will also be there. Ashton is regarded by many of the elder comics in Houston as the next big comic to hit outside of town, and his comedic timing is pretty close to perfect. The only Houston comic to get punched on stage, Jaffer Khan will be there to drop some long form jokes like no one else. Seriously, one joke from this guy could last ten minutes, but the set ups and punches he drops are smart and quick, which sets him apart from most who use the form. Nia De-Bose will be there as well to bring her everyday humor to the show. I’ve seen Nia do off the cuff humor better than pretty much anyone else in town, and her crowd work is easily top notch. If you like jokes about song lyrics and hilarious premises about the South, then Zach Dickson will make you laugh your ass off. Zach spent most of last year grinding out new jokes and being at the top of most people’s lists, and he’s a great example of the talent in Houston’s new class of comics. Dale Cheesman will also be there to make you laugh about death, sorrow, and growing up fat. Dale might be another guy to get big outside of Houston with the ability to make audiences laugh at the mundane and almost always dark side of things. Stephen Brandau will also be on the bill, and will bring jokes about drugs and drug use to life. Stephen is a seriously funny guy who has the best sets when he’s performing more than in five minute spurts. Nick Thomas will open things up with Zahid Dewji hosting the entire show with rapid fire jokes. The doors are at 10:00, there’s a $6.00 cover, and it’s byob.
So, if you’re a fan of Christian post grunge music, then you should probably get down to Scout Bar for RED. The three piece from Nashville sounds like a cross between Chevelle and Theory of a Deadman, and they’ll be in town in support of their latest; this year’s “of Beauty and Rage.” Direct support for the band will be handled by Illinois rockers, 3 Years Hollow. Last year they released a hard hitting album called “The Cracks” that is a good representation of their high energy sound. Houston’s Seldom will also be on the bill, and will make it difficult for the touring acts to follow. These guys play high energy music that all over their recently released album, “Damaged,” and that transfers over into their set which makes them one of the better bands from the progressive side of rock music. The alt-metal of Houston’s Mezzanine opens the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $17.00 and $20.00.
The Friday show at University of Houston’s Frontier Fiesta, will feature the British born pop R&B of Cher Lloyd. Lloyd has been a big deal since her appearance on the Brit version of X Factor and her 2011 debut release. Her 2014 album, “Sorry I’m Late” stays in line with the sound that made her famous. This all ages show has doors at 8:00 and performance at 9:00. It’s 100% FREE inside the TDECU Stadium.
Saturday, you can get things started, weather permitting over at Discovery Green for the Downtown Showdown. If you’re a “b-boy” or a dance crew, you can compete for a chance to dance in front of the entire city in May. The 3 on 3 dance battle will find the best eight crews advancing to the finals. There promises to be performances from some of Houston’s better dance crews on the event hosted by Dance Houston. There’s no prequalification, just get there early and be ready to compete. Things get started at 7:00, it’s a family and pet friendly event, and it’s 100% FREE.
If you find yourself on the North side of Houston, then you could always head out to the Arcadia Bar & Grill for the Northside Apocalypse show. The doom metal of Houston’s Project Armageddon will headline the show, and bring some new tunes from their upcoming album to the show. I feel like if you haven’t seen this band yet, then you aren’t really a fan of metal. High energy and supporting a scene is what they bring to the table, and their 2012 album “Tides of Doom” is like looking into the future of the genre. The black metal meets wraith metal of Houston’s Spectral Manifest will also be on the bill. This fast and sludgy three piece sounds more like a five piece with crunchy riffs and nightmare inducing vocals. The five piece formally known as Serpent Sun, now called Funeral Shroud will also be there to bring their doom metal to life. The doom of Houston’s Disciple Of Doom will kick the show off with doors at 8:00, and tickets for $8.00 for 21 & up, and $12.00 for the kids.
I feel like none of us can get enough of James McMurtry, which makes it even better that he’ll be performing at Continental Club. The Texas singer/songwriter is like having a modern day Woody Guthrie at our disposal. His latest album, the gorgeous and lushly creative “Complicated Game” from this year continues his tradition of well crafted works. I shouldn’t have to oversell this guy, as he’s a true treasure of artistry and storyteller wrapped into one. He’ll have Arkansas native, Luke Pruitt on the bill with him. Mixing traditional country favorites like pedal steel and acoustic guitar, the singer/songwriter dropped the soulful, “Songs of Home, Pt. 1” last year. Since then he’s been touring nonstop, and making fans everywhere he goes. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00, and tickets for $20.00.
Buddy Guy Photo: Sony Music
House of Blues will live up to its’ name, when they host blues legend, Buddy Guy. I have to say that I caught Guy about five years back, and I was seriously impressed with his style and showmanship. He has more energy than pretty much anyone his age, and his voice and licks are just as fresh as they were when he started. His latest album, 2013’s “Rhythm & Blues” is just as great as pretty much anything else he’s done. The soulful acoustic sounds of Ethan Tucker will be there to open things up. This guy can play an acoustic like Buddy plays an electric guitar, and he’s easily one of the most interesting performers you can see today. His 2014 release, “Acoustic in LA,” is a pretty amazing example of why you should get there early. The doors are at 7:00, and the tickets are between $29.00 and $85.00.
Rudyard’s will have a barn burner when they host the melodic rock of Houston’s Holder. So, these guys are doing stuff right. They dropped a live album in January, they’re getting ready to play in the UK next week, and they make the kind of music that hits like you like it to. There’s some chaos in it for sure, and it has the mix of Samiam and Jawbreaker in its’ craft. They’ll have Houston’s Brand New Hearts on the bill with them. These guys have just finished, or almost finished the follow up to 2013’s “Brand New Hearts” EP. I think it’s safe to say that they are one of the tightest bands in Houston, and their mix of dual vocals and hook heavy riffs, means that they could be bigger than many bands here too. The four piece, Slow Future opens the 21 & up show with doors at 8:30 and a $5.00 cover.
You can experience some trippy visuals and get down at the same time over at Notsuoh, when Disfrutalo! headlines an evening there. So, these guys dropped an album last year, and no one really wrote about it. So what, right? Well, that album, “Disfrutalo!” just happened to be produced by the late sound manipulator and ivory tickler from Mars Volta & Jack White’s band; Ikey Owens. The six song release is this tripped out sound that feels like taking mushrooms and watching Barney. The better part of what these guys do live, is a chaotic and beautiful mixture where they have more happening than pretty much any other four piece you can see today. The punk noise rock of Austin’s Xetas will also be there to mix things up. They just dropped an album called “The Redeemer” that’s pretty rad sounding. The surf punk instrumental sounds of Houston’s Chongo will open the show up. The doors are at 8:30, things start at 9:00, and the cover is $5.00.
Schoolboy Q Photo: Wire Image
On the final night of the Frontier Fiesta at University of Houston, they’ll close things appropriately with rapper, SchoolBoy Q. I would think that most of you would know his 2014 album, “Oxymoron,” and even some of you saw him when he was here last year. If you didn’t catch him, then this is your chance. Things take place at the TDECU stadium, the doors are at 7:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Crocker Bar will host the Spring edition of their Dykon Fagatron show. The Latina voiced dance of Morena Roas will headline the evening. If he like to get down, then check out her single, “Molly (Where You At) Dirty,” from last year. Grrrl Parts DJs will also be there, as will the DJs Fine & Dandy. The entire evening is hosted by Houston’s Biz Vicious, who is a great rapper to catch live. The show is 21 & up, it gets started at 10:00, and there’s no cover.
Sunday over at Notsuoh, they’ll have a show you shouldn’t miss with The Creative Set. The show, headlined by Houston hip hop duo Dirty & Nasty is definitely a must attend one. Dirty & Nasty bring a mix of old school, new school, and gangsta rap to their set. And their recently dropped album, “Sons Of The Queen” is one you shouldn’t skip over. Another hip hop artist who mixes the vibe of MC Lyte with her own swag, Genesis Blu will also be on the bill. Blu has been dropping singles all over her Soundcloud, and you can learn a lot from how to rock a mic from the tunes she makes. Mr. Hicks will also be there to add his blend of hip hop to the show. eDas The Soul Star will host the entire evening with doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.
Tuesday, you can head to Fitzgerald’s for a show that it seems like everyone I know wants to catch, Tobacco. A member of the group, Black Moth Super Rainbow; the Pennsylvania artist uses analog synths and tape machines to create a tripped out sound. This is ever present on the 2014 release, “Ultima II Massage.” If nothing else, this should make for an interesting show. The electro-ambient sounds of Pennsylvania’s The Stargazer Lilies will also be there as direct support. The band is known for their shoegaze style and interesting live shows. Their 2013 album, “We Are The Dreamers” is a pretty as it is the ultimate ear candy. The psychedelic rock IDM of New Fumes will get things started downstairs with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $14.00 and $18.00.
Walters will have Oregon’s YOB in the house, as their bring their doom metal to life. There’s all types of people calling these guys great, and they have a reputation for a crazy live show. The thing about them, is the length of their songs. Their 2014 album alone, “Clearing The Path To Ascend,” doesn’t have a song under the eleven minute mark. Their hometown pals, Witch Mountain will be there as well. Witch Mountain has dropped plenty of albums, but none as strong as their latest; last year’s “Mobile Of Angels.” The four piece is pretty great, but they’ll have their work cut out for them when Houston’s Project Armageddon opens things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
That’s about all there is happening around town, but still pretty good. Whatever you decide to do please be mindful of your fellow Houstonians, and get home safe.