Way More: The Best of The WeekDiplo, Photo: Rukes
Well, the options on deck for the week that includes New Year’s Eve are pretty varied. Last week we saw things dwindle down to a few options per night. This week we’ll see all sorts of entertainment options, including three nights of Diplo pictured above. Houston, here’s how to spend your week.
Wednesday you could start off over at Warehouse Live for the hard rock sounds of Black Label Society. Lead by former Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, the hard hitting four piece is going strong in their fifteenth year. If you have always been a fan and you’ve wanted to see them perform, this is a good chance to see them when they aren’t opening for someone else. Their latest release, last year’s “Catacombs of The Black Vatican” continues with their more grandiose sounding tunes. The female fronted metal of California’s Huntress will be on as direct support, while Venice heavy metal three piece The SHRINE will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $29.50 and $34.50.
Buxton, Photo: Leap
Over at Continental Club, you can hear my favorite album of 2015 performed live, when Buxton headlines at the Main street venue. That album, “Half A Native” mixes beautiful lyrics, Texas twang, and seventies rock muscle in a way like you’ve never heard before. Add to that the fact that these guys are a force to see play live, and you have a killer combination. The gulf coast indie rock swagger of Houston’s Deep Cuts will go on prior, and impress those who attend with their well crafted gems. Their latest album was last year’s “Love Grows” EP that showed that these guys could move forward while keeping their core sound intact. Newcomers to the Houston scene, Birthday Club featuring members of Featherface will open the 21 & up show. The doors are at 8:00 and the cover is $14.00.
Thursday you have plenty of options for your NYE festivities, however this will just be a few of the options for what you could be doing. You could start off at Fitzgerald’s for the hip hop of Paul Wall. Wall is best known for his jams like “Sittin’ Sidewayz,” and “True,” but the rapper has been dropping jams at a record pace lately. His latest, this year’s “slab god” just proves that Wall isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Screwed Up Click’s Lil Keke will be on as direct support. Keke made his name from the track “Chunk Up The Deuce,” but he’s been putting out releases pretty heavily lately. Last year he put out, “Money Don’t Sleep,” and he’s always a strong performer. Houston’s Big Pokey will open the ll ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $30.00 and $100.00, the latter being a VIP entry for two.
Even if you don’t have a “Chrysler as big as a whale,” that doesn’t mean that you still can’t head downtown to catch The B-52’s. On the corner of Smith & Texas, you can ring in the new year with the new wave sounds of the iconic band. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear favorites like “Rock Lobster,” “Roam,” and “Love Shack” in person? Plus, with the original lineup in intact, you might get to hear classics from Fred Schneider’s solo album, including the hilarious track “Whip.” Okay, that might not occur, but I can always dream, right? That stage will also house a set from Houston’s The Tontons about an hour prior. Before that, Houston songstress, Kristal Cherelle & Will Makar will open things up at Hard Rock Cafe. Cherelle dropped the album “Fighter” last year, while Makar dropped “Perfect Waste of Time” two years ago. The whole evening has more information here, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE.
The Suffers, Photo: Jam In The Van
Over at House of Blues, you could spend some time with Houston gulf coast soul act, The Suffers. After a pretty banner year complete with plenty of festival appearances, a spot on NPR’s Tiny Desk series and The Late Show with David Letterman, the ten piece is ready to drop their long-awaited full length. They just released the first single from it, “Better,” and should wow everyone with their high energized set. Houston ska act, Los Skarnales is on as direct support, and they’ll have to go on after the crazed energy of Gio Chamba. If you’ve never seen this guy live, you’ve been missing out. Slots of FPSF, Untapped, and plenty of shows should tell you he’s a performer. His album, “Chamba” is full of cumbia grooves and rhythm to make anyone get down. Prior to that, Austin’s Blue Healer will perform, and they too will have to follow an act that’s honestly hard to follow with Houston hip hop act Def Perception. This hip hop act has live instruments, a rapper who can spit lyrics at lightning speed, and a DJ who drops record scratches like he’s spinning for Eric B & Rakim. They just released the “Understand/My Place” single, and it alone should prove to you that they’re worth catching live. The always alluring and entertaining antics of Kiki Maroon & Kiki’s Sordid Sideshow will open the all ages affair. The doors are at 7:00, the tickets are between $25.00 and $250.00, the latter being VIP table seating.
If that’s not your bag, then you can head to Walters for the Let Go NYE Masquerade. The show will be headlined by the genre mixing sounds of Houston’s Space Villains, who are like funk, rock, and soul mixed together. The alt acoustic rock of Devil Killing Moth will go on prior, while the raucous drums and electronica of Pitter Patter will go on beforehand. The improvised space rock sounds of Houston duo Black Lodge will be on the bill as well as comedy from MicroSatan and a set from Dad’s Records will also be on hand. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $18.00.
If you’d rather party like it’s the seventies, then you can head to Eastdown Warehouse for the Studio 54 Disco Burlesque party with Dem Damn Dames. Get your boogie woogie on while you dance to disco jams then watch the Dames get their groove on as well. The troupe will have all of the regular cast alongside the manly JD Hickcock and the alluring Bunny Galore. The 18 & up show includes a champagne toast at midnight and the tickets are a measly $10.00.
LIMB, Photo: Dinolion
If you’d rather have a mixture of music, comedy, improv and more, then you could head over to Beta Theater for their New year’s Eve Thing. On the music side of things a set from electronica wizard, LIMB will occur. I’d hope that you’d have heard this guy before, but his latest album, 2013’s “…But Rage At What” was a tour de force and his live shows are a mix of chaos and intensity. Electronic producer birdmagic will also drop a set full of crazed rhythms and dark electronics. This year he released the “Forget” EP, but he’s already putting the finishing touches on a full length that will come out next year, as well as dropping the lead single already with “Just Call My Name.” There also promises to be a performance from the irreverent folk duo, The Mustn’ts. An art installation from Jet Propelled Insectivore will also be on hand, while poetry from Kalen Rowe and a performance from Jerry Emeka will also be on the bill. Comedy from Brian Zeolla and the BetaMax team are on the show as well as stand up from the hilarious Kazeem Rahman. There are more performers on the show that’s 18 & up event with doors at 9:00 and a pay what you can cover.
Double Trouble will ring in the new year with a slew of DJ sets from the likes of Fat Tony, JP Tiblier, Andy V, and Luz will all be on display. The street will be closed down while a Ball Drop screening from Beta Theater will be added to the festivities. It’s 21 & up, it gets going around 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
At a secret location, more than likely The Safehouse, Nox Eterna presents The Void NYE Party. The show, featuring DJ sets from Wrestlers, Zahira Gutierrez of Wild Moccasins will also have sets from Matsu Mixu, Runningshoes, and Christian Alexander. There also promises to be sets from XLO, Daed, Stephen Farris, and Pfaffenberg. The 21 & up show has a comp bar, and the tickets are between $10.00 and $20.00 with 9:30 doors. The location will be revealed the day of the event and more details are available here.
Friday the first, you can head to Warehouse Live for the NYC based punk and ska crossover tunes of Leftover Crack. These guys have always reminded me of what would happen if NOFX made ska songs, and they’re usually pretty entertaining live. Their latest album, this year’s “Constructs of The State” goes a little harder than their previous records. On as direct support, the chaotic and speedy punk of NOLA’s Pears will perform. These guys have a ton of energy, and they just dropped a two song release called “Letters To Memaw.” The “trashgrass” of Houston’s Days N’ Daze will open the all ages show is the studio with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Sheng Wang, Photo: Comedy Central
If you’d rather get your laugh on, then you could head to the Joke Joint Comedy Showcase for the hilarious humor of Sheng Wang. This guy is a force all over the place, and he has a great new album called “Cornucopias Are Actually Terrible Containers.” He’s been on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he’s had his own special on Comedy Central, and he’s truly hilarious. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better up and comers will serve as feature act and host. There are two shows on Friday and two on Saturday, they’re all 18 & up, and they’re at 8:00 and 10:30 with tickets between $16.00 and $18.00.
Over at Vanguard Warehouse, you can catch the new music project from former Tan Dragon Clan member, Austin Canik as he premieres his new band, Desert of The Real. Like a rock n’ roll revival of acts like Marc Bolan and Jimi Hendrix, this show should be intriguing to say the least. The hilarious Jaffer Khan will open things up on the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
You could make it out to The Commoner and get your groove on, when Bombon DJ Gracie Chavez drops a set at the Main street club. The Houston DJ and tropical dance party originator will be dropping jams full of R&B, reggae, old school hip hop, and more. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Saturday you can get your community spirit going for another edition of Montrose First Saturdays at Royal Oak. Like all of these events, tons of local vendors will have their wares on display, while local music rings throughout the daytime affair. this one will have a set from Girrrl Parts DJs and DJ Fredster. the all ages event has more details here, they’ll be giving away a new bike, and the 100% FREE event runs from around noon to 5:00.
Notsuoh will host the emocore of Houston’s The Medicine Years. These guys just put out a four song release in July called “The Worst Has Yet To Come” that sounds pretty tight. Pop punk three piece, 54 Reasons will also be on the show, and they’ll bring their guitar heavy sound to those who attend. The folk pop rock of The Witherees will also perform, while the alt rock of Something Else will open the show. It’s 18 & up, the doors are at 8:00, and the cover is $5.00 for 21 & up and $10.00 for under 21.
Of course, I’d guess that many of you would be heading to Stereo Live to catch the electronic jams of Diplo. One half of Jack U, part of Major Lazer, and all around producer badass, this guy has been on a roll for a good time now. His last release under the Diplo name was last year’s “F10rida,” alongside other projects and remix albums. If you somehow missed his FPSF afterparty DJ set at Fitz earlier this year, then this is your chance to see him in person. You’ll actually have three chances as he’s performing Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. All of these shows are 18 & up with doors at 9:00 and tickets which are running scarce are between $40.00 and $50.00.
Bombon, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If you can’t get into that and you still want to get your groove on, you can still shake it at Fox Hollow for another show from Bombon. The tropical dance party is always lit, and this edition features a set from El Dusty of Peligrosa. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and it’s FREE with RSVP, or $5.00 at the door.
Warehouse Live will host the electro pop three piece known as Autograf in the studio. Known for a crazy live performance, the three piece is here in support of their latest single, “Dream.” The all ages show has doors at 10:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $20.00, the latter being a VIP option.
Sunday you might want to start off over at Mucky Duck for the always entertaining sounds of folk Americana artist, Shake Russell. Russell is a pretty prolific guy who’s written hundreds of songs alongside having them recorded by greats like Waylon Jennings, Ricky Skaggs, and Clint Black. His latest release, “Pure” from this year is the songs in their bare bones form, and the guy is a hell of a Texas performer. The doors are at 6:00 and the 21 & up show has tickets between $28.00 and $30.00.
Bayonne, Photo: Eric Morales
Rudyard’s will be hosting the indie rock tunes of South Florida’s Surfer Blood. After releasing the album “Pythons” on Warner Bros, the band is back with a new EP called “1000 Palms,” and it’s pretty solid. If you’ve never seen these guys live, they’re always impressive and full of loud guitars. While Surfer Blood have always been impressive to see, their direct support, Bayonne is the act to definitely see live. Formerly Roger Sellers, the Houston born and Austin transplant has rebranded himself as Bayonne. Don’t worry, if you loved Roger and his album from last year, “Primitives,” the amazing live set and the music haven’t changed….just his name. The lead single, now on Mom+Pop Records, “Spectrolite” should perk your ears, and his live shows are always energy heavy and a sight to see in person. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
At Walters you can catch the drone sounds of electronic three piece, Bitchin’ Bajas. The Chicago act is known for long openings and intense live sets. Their latest release, “Automaginary” is a split with Natural Information Society. Sandy Ewen’s Garden Medium will be on the bill as direct support, and should make for an intriguing set. The improvised songs and experimental jazz of Papier Blanc will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $8.00.
Stereo Live will host Diplo for night two of his residency at the club. If there are still tickets available, the 18 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets between $40.00 and $50.00.
Monday you might consider heading to Stereo Live if you can get tickets, for the final night of Diplo’s three night residency in Houston. The 18 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets between $40.00 and $50.00.
Tuesday you could head to Rudyard’s to catch The Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez. Vasquez will be here in support of his first solo effort, the grandiose sounding “Austin” EP from this year. His direct support on the bill will be the always engaging and entertaining Dollie Barnes. If you somehow missed their amazing set on the Mikey & The Drags release party, I implore you to go see them as they sound really amazing. There are several bands called Moonlight Graham out there, and one of them will be the opener. The all ages show is free with RSVP for 21 & up, or $5.00 for under 21 with doors at 7:00.
El Lago, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
At Satellite Bar you could check out the emocore tunes of Kentucky’s Father Mountain. This four piece, part of this amazing third wave of emo acts, dropped an album last year called “On Leaving & Being Left Behind” that’s pretty amazing. Houston’s MiddleChild will be bring their indie tunes on as direct support, while the always insane sounds of Ak’chamel will go on prior making things just more interesting. The dream pop and beautiful vocals of Houston’s El Lago will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Walters will have the psych sounds and jam band vibes of Austin’s The Halfways. The four piece is in town supporting their latest, “Not All Are To Be Trusted” from earlier this year. They’ll have the psych rock of Houston three piece Mantra Love on prior, who should give them a run for their money. This year Mantra Love dropped the guitar heavy and dreamy “Mantra Love” EP, and they’re pretty great to see live. The dream psych of Houston’s Mojave Red will go on prior, while the surf rock of Carolina’s The Nude Party will go on before. Houston doo wop garage trio, Cleen Teens will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
That’s really about all there is that’s worth checking out this week. no matter what you do, please get to and fro in the safest way possible, and watch out for drunken idiots on the holiday. Please be safe for yourself and others, and drink like an adult.