Roman Holiday: The Best of The Week
Well, it’s certainly not getting any more comfortable outside for a while. Luckily for us, most of the things worth making it out for will be in air conditioning, including the pop jams of Halsey at Revention Music Center on Saturday. No matter what you do to stay cool, it’s definitely a week where you might find yourself wanting shade. Houston, here’s where to spend your time in the shade this week.
Wednesday you could get going over at Raven Tower when Toronto’s Black Pistol Fire brings their bluesy jams to town. These guys are a two piece who echo the sounds of White Stripes and The Black Keys. They’re pretty dynamic in a live setting, and their new album Don’t Wake The Riot falls in line with their previous works. The compelling folk of Austin’s Emily Wolfe will be on hand to open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 & $17.
Barbarella will have the synthpop of Houston’s Camera Cult over to drop a set. This duo makes pretty infectious sounds that are like if the eighties had their music made with today’s technology, and their new single “Don’t Hang Out” is pretty catchy. The indie pop of Houston’ A Girl Named Tiger will go on beforehand. I’d say that you shouldn’t sleep on this band, as their live sets are on point. The new wave sounds of Jeremy Carswell will also perform, while a DJ set from Ty Tripp will open up the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm. The cover is $2 before 10 pm, and $5 after that.
Robert Ellis. Photo: 3Ten/ACL Live
Thursday you can start off at Discovery Green when Robert Ellis stops by to perform. The rescheduled show should be a doozy and a great way for people to hear tunes from his stellar new album, Robert Ellis. Seriously, if haven’t heard the release yet, I’d implore you to give it an ear as Ellis mixes beauty, twang, and well-crafted tunes into a sound that’s far beyond his years. The all ages show gets going around 7 pm with an opening set from North Dakota’s Tom Brosseau and it’s 100% FREE.
Nightingale Room will bring the punk sounds of Houston’s Giant Kitty to life. This usually four piece group just played a set as a three piece without missing a beat, and this year’s release, This Stupid Stuff, is pretty solid. The always impressive and highly energetic sounds of Houston’s Only Beast will be on deck to open things up. This three-piece sounds more like a five piece, and they’ve always been one of Houston’s most electrifying live acts to catch. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Maxo Kream. Photo: Clean Skate
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, you can catch the strong mic skills and on point performance of Houston’s Maxo Kream. Kream has been grinding a good while now, his live sets are always worth catching, and his latest release, last year’s #Maxo187 just proves that no one should sleep on him by any means. There’s no word of support of openers, but that will more than likely change. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $15 and $40, the latter being a VIP option that includes a meet and greet.
The duo behind Fuck You, Houston’s Awesome will be hosting a meet up at Poison Girl to shoot their premiere promotional video for the brand. I mean, how much do you rep the H without one of the company’s hats, shirts, or other products? The 21 & up event gets going around 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE to attend.
Bill Converse. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Walters will host a set from producer and DJ Bill Converse. Converse makes Austin look better than it is, he’s become quite the fixture in the techno world, and his releases are always on point. His latest, isn’t out yet, but there’s a preview up of it here. One of the best live sets I’ve seen from a producer in a good while came from the direct support on this show by Houston’s Miguel Flaco. Engaged and ahead of so many, there’s a good chance you’ve never seen Flaco, so this is a great chance to see a guy ahead of the curve. If you follow Studded Left (formerly Indian Jewelry) then you know that Tex and Erica have a sick side project called Pleasure 2, who will also be on the bill. If you’ve never caught this trippy escapade, then you should and their newest track “Dial Up” is pretty legit. The modular synths sounds of PFAFFENBERG will also be on this show, while things will get kicked off by the insane experimental black metal of V1lla1n. Seriously, if V1lla1n is half as great live as their new album, Or1g1ns, then they should be amazing to say the least. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
You can swing by Continental Club to catch the always engaging folk meets Americana of Ruckus. These guys are always top notch with their live shows, their music is on point, and they’re on the verge of dropping a new record sooner than later. The traditional Tejano mixed with Americana sounds of Mas Pulpo will open things up with doors at 9 pm and a FREE cover for the 21 & up show.
If you’d rather get your groove on, you could head to Voodoo Queen to catch a hip shaking set from The Phantom Royals. Your favorite surf rock tunes with that tiki setting means that hanging in a bar with tons of naked ladies all over the men’s room walls is that much more endearing. The 21 & up show gets going around 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Friday you can start off at Walters for day one of Destroying Texas Fest. So this two day event that runs Friday and Saturday will be full of metal of all kinds from all over the world. Verathron from Greece, Ungod from Germany, and Manticore from Ohio are just a small sample of what will be on hand over the two day festival. The lineup and ticket link are here, for the all ages show with doors at 4 pm on Friday with tickets for $80.
Michael C Rodriguez Art. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
A little later on you can head over to East End Studio Gallery for the Cheap Date Art Show. The art show that features works from artists like Ack!, Blake Jones, Madeline Carr, Michael C Rodriguez, Nirvana Trey and tons more will have all art priced to move at $20 per piece and you can take it home the same night. There’s also an art market next door at Bohemeo’s, as well as a DJ set from FAXD. The all ages event has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Revention Center you could catch the electropop of New York’s Halsey. The massively popular artist has been wowing audiences since she was about 17, and her live shows are rumored to be impressive to say the least. Last year’s BADLANDS broke the artist into new territory in popularity and reach, and it’s admittedly catchy from start to finish. The alt pop rock of California’s Bad Suns will be on as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $39.50.
You can get on over to Improv for a weekend full of laughs with the always hilarious antics of Bruce Bruce. Aside from the fact that this guy is funny, aside from the fact that he’s massively popular, he’s also a guy that everyone needs to catch at least once in their lifetime. He’s done plenty of film and TV work, as well as specials lately, so his 2011 album Losin’ It! doesn’t showcase how funny he actually is. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as both host and feature act for the 18 & up shows. Friday has two shows with doors at 7 pm and 9 pm, Saturday with doors at 6:15 pm and 8 pm, or a Sunday show with doors at 6:45 pm. All of these shows have the potential to sell out and all carry tickets between $27.50 and $37.50.
The Foundation Room at House of Blues will have a local show worth checking out when the cumbia jams of Gio Chamba swing by to drop a set. Gio has more energy than pretty much any artist you’ll see pretty much anywhere else, his live shows are always lit enough to become their own dance party, and last year’s EP, Chamba, was just a prelude to what he has in store for the future. The always next-level sounds of Houston’s Guilla will be on hand as direct support. I had no idea that when I first saw Guilla in the small room at Warehouse Live years ago, that he was one of the hardest working guys in the Houston music scene. Since then he’s gotten festival slots, gigs out of town, and started upping his game as a performer. His latest release, this year’s Children of The Sun, is one of the most progressive hip hop albums you can hear, and one of the catchiest as well. Not to be outdone, Houston’s Mark Drew will be on to open things up. I’d be lying if I said that you shouldn’t sleep on this guy as alongside dropping tight jams on his latest Red Lights at 3 am, he’s one of the strongest hook writers and producers in the hip hop scene today. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Nightingale Room will host the alt rock meets blues twang of Houston’s Carpet and the Drapes. These guys caught my eye at an Another Run show and I’d be lying if I said they weren’t worth checking out. Their debut EP, Carpet and the Drapes from this year has the kind of soulful bluesy undertones that many larger acts might not ever achieve. The female lead indie pop rock of Those Damn Eyes will be on hand to open the 100% FREE 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm.
The Wheel Workers. Photo: Allison McPhail
Over at Satellite Bar you can greet the always entertaining sounds of Houston’s The Wheel Workers back from their tour. Possibly the hardest working band in Houston, this five-piece has dropped more professionally made and packaged work in the last two years than most bands drop in five. Last year’s Citizens was a mix of REM meets Pearl Jam, and their latest single, “Silly Boy,” was closer to Bob Mould mixed with Of Montreal. The indie pop rock of LA’s Groves will be on hand as direct support, while the soul meets punk meets everything else mixture of Houston’s Space Villains* will go on prior. The art pop rock of Houston’s Whit opens the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
The man, the myth, the legend Joe “King” Carrasco will be over at Continental Club. The Austin staple who deserves his own statue has influenced the likes of Manu Chao and Lester Bangs, he’s been on SNL, and his mix of Tex-Mex and garage rock is hard to ignore. He even has a song called “Houston El Mover” and his latest album, 2014’s Rucca, just proves he’s not slowing down any time soon. Zenteno Spirit will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and a TBA cover.
Saturday you can start off at Jones Hall for their annual FREE Day of Music event. Running for nine hours, you can hear all sorts of styles performed by the Houston Symphony Orchestra, as well as DJ Jus Chris and so many more artists. The all ages and family friendly event gets going around noon and runs until 9 pm. More information is available here.
At the Karbach Brewery you could catch the soul and funk sounds of Austin’s Henry + the Invisibles. If that’s not your thing then you could get there earlier to catch a bluesy set from Houston’s Sik Mule. This three piece has been grinding it out playing all over, their live shows are pretty impressive, and their debut album Sik Mule is definitely worth checking out. The soulful tunes of Houston’s Sherita Perez will open the all ages show with doors at noon and it’s 100% FREE.
You can get your nerd on over at Satellite Bar when they host a Nintendo Night. The video game evening sponsored by Insomnia Video Game Culture will have a Super Smash Bros Tournament, food, prizes and music as well. The video game side of things will have free play as well as the tournament that results in the winner grabbing a gold Nintendo controller and possibly a crown. Live music from King Finn will headline the night while sets from Ten Pixels Tall and FLOAT from Lazybit Collective will bring that video game chiptune sound on prior. There’s much more information available here for the all ages show with doors at 5 pm and tickets for a measly $10.
Jim Gaffigan. Photo: Rick Kern/Wire Image
If you can bear the heat and the trek out to the Woodlands, then you could catch a set from the always funny, Jim Gaffigan at the Woodlands Pavilion. Gaffigan might be one of the funniest comics going today, his irreverent take on things like “Catsup,” “Donuts,” and of course “Hot Pockets.” It’s easy to see why he says he has a food obsession when he makes us realize how stupid we are for hating “McDonald’s,” or the economics of a “Dunkin’ Donuts.” Aside from stellar albums like his last one, 2014’s Obsessed, Gaffigan has written two books and he now has his own TV show with TV Land’s The Jim Gaffigan Show. There’s no word of openers, but if you’re a fan then you should grab tickets because he’s not here very often. The all ages show has gates at 7 pm and tickets between $25 and $75.
Closer to town at Warehouse Live you can get your burlesque and comedy fix for the Kiki Maroon’s Comic Strip show. The event features burlesque acts like Storm Trooper pole dancing, cosplay burlesque, twerking Pokemon and more alongside comedy from Tim Convy, Sam Demaris, Dan St Germain, and Michael Parras. The nerdy burlesque and comedy event is the first of it’s kind in Houston, and it looks like it could be a fun show as well. The 18 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $50, the latter being a VIP option with early entry, waitress service, goodie bag and reserved seating.
The Waughford will host an interactive art show that they’re calling Hot Mess Houston. The show which features a slew of talent doing all sorts of circus themed performances. Body painting by Anastasia Bodagovskay, balloon bondage by Ben Kirsch, th mega flow artistry of Darrin C Waller, and much much more including music and interactive art. The 21 & up event has doors at 7 pm and a suggested $10 donation.
Sandy Ewen. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
House of Creeps will host what looks like a one off set from the collaborative efforts of B L A C K I E and Sandy Ewen. I mean, between the two of them, I’d guess there’s enough forward thinking on music to create something wild and amazing. Aside from the fact that both are intense performers, I can only wonder what insane project that the two artists will bring to a set. The hardcore intensity of NYC’s Show Me The Body will be on hand as direct support. They just dropped an intense album called Bodywar that you need to hear sooner than later, and I know they’re supposed to be insane to catch live. The crazed intensity of Houston’s Mouthing will go on beforehand, and should give everyone a shock, while the always bizarre yet amazing sounds of Ak’chamel will open thing up. If you’ve never seen Ak’chamel, I can’t say what you’ll see; which is the coolest thing ever. The all ages show has doors at 9 pm and a $5 cover.
At Mucky Duck you can get your dancing shoes on to catch the Texas country twang of San Antonio’s Two Tons of Steel. Always a live favorite, these guys kind of embody a mix of Texana, country, and Western swing with occasional Tejano stabs here and there. Their latest release, 2013’s Unraveled shows a little harder edge without deterring from their original sound. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:30 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Continental Club will host one of the best three pieces from Texas you can catch, when Austin’s Honky returns to town. Lead by former Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus, these guys sound kind of like what ZZ Top on mescaline would sound like. They’re always a trip to see live, and their new album Corduroy is a nice bluesy return to form. There’s no word of support or opener, but that could change too. The 21 & up show has doors at 10 pm and tickets for $12.
Mark C Austin. Photo: Trish Badger
Sunday you could swing by Warehouse Live in the studio to have a Q&A with Mark C Austin of The Convoy Group. So, Mark is probably the best guy to ask how to progress your band or solo career if you want to play Lollapalooza like Wrestlers, if you want to perform on Letterman like The Suffers…honestly Mark could just tell you about The Suffers and how they do things and I’m sure that would be enough. Either way, the all ages event is a good resource you should utilize if you’re trying to make music your career path. The doors are at 2 pm, and it’s 100% FREE with RSVP, found here.
Tuesday you could head to the ballroom at Warehouse Live for another edition of the massively popular show series The Moth. This time the theme of the show is Neighborhood meaning that you need to prepare a five minute story on the topic. The seated show is all ages, it usually sell out fast, and the doors are at 6:30 with tickets for $10.
Louis CK, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Of course, you can head over to NRG Arena to catch a set from the always hilarious Louis CK. I remember when this guy used to do a different type of comedy and he was funny then. His first comedy album was actually recorded here in Houston at the infamous Laff Stop, and his TV show LOUIE is just a small example of his strengths as a comic. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm, parking for $12 and tickets for $50.
That’s about all that’s happening around town over the next week. No matter what you decide to do, please do it in the safest way possible.