Ultralight Beam: The Best of The Week
Kanye West. Photo: Film Magic/One Nation
Well, now that Summer is coming to an end, we all have to gear up for all that the Fall can bring to our wonderful city. This week is stacked with artists both local and legendary who will be fighting for your entertainment budget. Names like Kanye West, Tegan and Sara, and Dinosaur Jr. will be rolling through Houston this week. Houston, here’s where to spend the next seven days.
Wednesday you can begin at House of Blues for the second wave emo of New York’s Bayside. Though this four piece has been around for over fifteen years, they don’t appear to be bringing their energetic shows to a close anytime soon. Their latest release, this year’s Vacancy is a return to form and having a good amount of success. The punk of Philadelphia’s The Menzingers will be on as direct support while the indie pop rock of Connecticut’s Sorority Noise will open the all ages show with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets for $18.50.
If that’s not your thing then you could head to the upstairs room at White Oak Music Hall for the psychobilly rumblings of Tiger Army. I bought the first Tiger Army album based off of the cover art alone, and since I’ve seen them put on countless great live sets. Their latest album, V from this year shows a ton of rockabilly growth and restraint. The surfabilly of Long Beach based trio Tijuana Panthers will be on as direct support while the horror punk of UK four piece Creeper will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $25.
Colonial Blue. Photo: Sally Vee Photography
Thursday you can get going over at Nightingale Room when the always energetic alt rock sounds of Houston’s Another Run take the stage. These guys are always a force to be reckoned with when they perform, last year’s EP Be Honest proved they’re still making waves, and their latest single 700 Days proves they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. Indie folk rock trio Colonial Blue will be on hand as support and openers, and should bring the room to their knees when they bring their debut, this year’s Dear Misery, to life. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
In the big room downstairs at White Oak Music Hall you can go tone deaf when the blistering rock of Dinosaur Jr rolls through to perform. It’s been over a decade since the founding lineup got back together, and since then they’ve released some pretty epic albums while performing old favorites along the way. Their latest, this year’s Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not is definitely their best since reuniting. The dark and beautiful songs of Elisa Ambrogio will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $22 and $26.
Lyric Michelle. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Over at Sharespace you can get some art in music when Lyric Michelle drops by to headline a show. Michelle is a force to catch live, and her latest release MissDirection is ahead of most of the R&B infused hip hop out there. The soulful jams of Corbin Dallas will be on as direct support, while a highly energized set from Kyle Hubbard will open things up for the 18 & up show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
At MKT Bar you can catch a solo set from the always entertaining sounds of Pecos Hank. Last year Hank dropped the alluring and intriguing album El Reno Blues, and the often storm chaser really reinvented what you think of a singer songwriter. He doesn’t perform too many times in such an intimate setting, so this show is a treat. The all ages show gets going around 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Friday you can start off at Arlo’s for a set from Houston’s kings of Gulf coast swag, Deep Cuts. These guys are always fun, their latest release Gulf Coast Companion Vol. 1 is a retrospective both worth checking out. The hook heavy pop rock of Houston’s Far Out will be on as direct support while the always silly and fun sounds of duo Lisa’s Sons will go on prior. Teresa from Rose Ette will drop a solo set as Tee Vee as opener as well as DJ sets from Children of Pop and Anthony Flores thrown throughout the evening. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s $5.
Tegan and Sara. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
Of course, I’m guessing many of you will be in the ballroom at Warehouse Live for the always entertaining synth pop of Canadian duo Tegan and Sara. These two have become known for their engaging shows, they’ve gotten more and more popular over the years, and their new album Love You To Death is their strongest to date. The massively popular R&B pop of London’s Shura will be on hand as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $36 and $40.
At Doc Holiday’s you can catch an intimate set from Arthur Yoria. Yoria is a Houston treasure who’s toured the world and it feels like he should get more props than he has in the past. While he has plenty of albums under his belt, his series of singles this year are all on another level. The latest, “Safe” or the one prior “Ruff Life” sound like an upbeat Tom Petty sound that’s hard to get out of your head. To my knowledge the show is 21 & up and 100% FREE that gets going around 7 pm.
Chase Hamblin. Photo: Earl Dittman
The Waughford will bring everyone’s favorite, Chase Hamblin over for a headlining set at the DIY venue. Chase is seriously one of the best songwriters in town, his solo and full band sets are both entertaining, and his latest single “Fools” just proves that he’s not slowing down anytime soon. The folky sounds of Ohio’s Ben Stalets will be on hand as direct support while the instrumentals jams of The Beyonders will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
On Saturday you can begin at the Warehouse Live corridor for the fifth annual Yes Indeed Fest. The early evening event will stretch from Lucky’s Pub, the studio at Warehouse Live, and oddly enough Neil’s Bahr to bring a multitude of acts together for the affair. A headlining set from Ringo Deathstarr, Fea, and The Wheel Workers will coincide with sets from Night Drive, Only Beast, dune,TX, Muddy Belle, Jody Seabody & the Whirls, Nicole Starch & Torpedoed Heart, Mockingbird Brother, and many many more. The all ages show, though I’m not sure how that’ll work with Neil’s and Lucky’s, has doors at 4 pm and tickets between $10 and $20.
Later in the night, you can head upstairs to the small room at White Oak Music Hall to catch the Southern swamp infused desert rock of Honky. Featuring Jeff Pinkus of Butthole Surfers, Honky is like a drunk version of ZZ Top mixed with Thin Lizzy. Their live shows are on point, and their latest album Corduroy is their most solid to date. The heavy metal honky tonk duo Whiskeydick will be on hand as direct support while Pure Luck will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Black Kite. Photo: Amy Monroe Photography
Of course I’d guess that many of you would be over at Walters for the long awaited album release party from dark electronica duo, Black Kite. If you loved their debut Bird, or their cover of the Yaz classic “Winter Kills,” then you need to make it out for this show. Their new album, Soft Animus Heart is a true game changer and the most important album to come out of Houston in a long time. Their live shows prove that they turn what you know about electronic music on its head, and it’s your first chance to get a copy of the album on cassette or ultra limited edition packaging for yourself. Rose Ette will bring their indie rock meets bedroom pop on as direct support, while the math rock mixed with intense screaming of Mouthing will go on prior. DJ Alexo will get things going for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
Continental Club will host the scrappy singer songwriter tunes of Texas’ Beaver Nelson. This guy is a hell of a songwriter, he’s been called amazing by every rock writer, and his latest album Positive is a return to form that showcases him at his songwriting height, like Tom Petty in his early days. The country rock of Austin’s Michael Fracasso will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm and a $15 cover.
Grand Prize will have a DJ set from Andy V, Kenny Evans and Luz under the guise of Love Tempo. The monthly dance party is a great way to get your groove on with friends both new and old. A special guest set from Miguel Flaco will accompany the 21 & up event that starts at 10 pm and is 100% FREE.
Ak’chamel. Photo: Achud Malax
Sunday you could get going at the One Year Anniversary of Deep End Records. The ONLY Houston record shop attached to a live music venue will host live sets from KA, Sandy Ewen, and Ak’chamel, a well as DJ sets from Stuart from Fistful of Soul, Flash Gordon Parks and many more. The all ages event has more information here, it starts at noon, and it’s 100% FREE.
Axelrad will host the EP release party for singer songwriter Sherita Perez. Spunky and full of energy, Perez is a force that’s hard to slow down. The show should be full of energy and she promises a very special guest to perform at the 100% FREE all ages show with doors at 7 pm.
Kurt Braunohler. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
You can laugh until it hurts at the studio at Warehouse Live when the always hilarious Kurt Braunohler returns to Houston. Braunohler is regarded as one of the best comics going, he had a great web series on Comedy Central called Roustabout, and his album How Do I Land is nonstop laughs. There’s no word of host or feature act, but that should change. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and tickets between $15 and $18.
Monday you could swing by Arlo’s Ballroom to hear the stellar new album from Beach Slang, when Wired Up plays it in its entirety at a DJ set. Okay, this album A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, is pretty phenomenal, and you’ll also be able to buy vinyls at this event before they’re available. There’s more information here, it gets going around 9 pm, and the 21 & up event is 100% FREE.
Tuesday you can catch the enigmatic hip hop sounds of Kanye West at Toyota Center. It took me about six months to get into his latest album, The Life of Pablo, but that’s not as important that from what I’ve seen; this is a crazy live show. There’s no word of an opener, but that could change for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $29.50 and $145.
John Evans. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Mucky Duck will bring the rock swagger of Austin resident and former Houstonian, John Evans over for an intimate set. Evans dropped his strongest album to date this year with the fuzzy and beautifully crafted Polyester, and while I may maintain that it’s a contender for one of the best albums of the year; his live shows are not to be missed. The country twang of Texas City’s Jason James will be on as direct support, while the stunning roots sounds of East Texas’ Jonathan Terrell will open the 21 & up show with doors at 7:30 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Satellite Bar will host the beautifully crafted folk tunes of Arizona’s Tow’rs. This five piece takes the folk genre and takes it to this soft and lush family band sound all over last year’s The Great Minimum, and they’re rumored to bring emotive performances when they play live. The highly underrated sounds of Houston’s Son Of Bitch will be on as direct support and openers, and this three piece makes unplugged Appalachian bluegrass tunes like they were born with it in their blood. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $8 and $12.
That’s about all that’s happening this week around town. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the safest way possible, and that a safe ride home is just an app click away.