You & The 6: The Best of The Week
Leon casino, Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo
Well, this week is definitely lighter than what we’ve had recently. Lighter if you don’t count that “Degrassi Junior High’s” most famous alumni, Drake will be in town for HAW 2. The whole city will go crazy while Drake gets to flaunt that he’s “tied” to Houston. Whether you decide to attend whatever he’s up to this time or not, you still have plenty of entertaining options. Here’s where you should be this week.
Wednesday you can start your week off with me over at MKT Bar, while I spin records. My plan is to only play local music, including Shape of Broad Minds’ “Craft of The Lost Art” in its entirety. That might not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind that both JJ Doom and MF Doom appear on the extremely rare and out of print album alongside Houston’s Jawwaad Taylor. I will also drop songs from the yet to be released album from Houston’s Knights Of The Fire Kingdom, as well as other local gems and classics. I’ll have tickets to giveaway, special guests, and more. Things are all ages, they’re 100% FREE, and it runs from 7:00 to 10:00.
Of course, if you’re feeling nostalgic, then you could head over to Toyota Center to catch the decades long traditions of legendary rock act, Rush. So, I will admit that as a youth, I hated Rush. But, as an older musician, I found that the albums “Moving Pictures,” “2112,” and “Rush” were all things I enjoy more from a musician’s mind. They will more than likely play the hits like “Working Man,” “Tom Sawyer,” and “The Spirit of Radio.” I mean, they’ve been around over forty years and I caught them years ago, and was pleasantly surprised at their energy. Things are all ages, the rumor is that this show will encompass their forty years together, and the doors are at 6:00. The tickets are between $46.00 and $151.00.
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, the comedy from the Jokers 2.2 show will be going on. This show will feature some out of town funny men alongside some of Houston’s funniest comics. Harlem’s Smokey Suarez will headline the evening, and prove why he was on HBO, BET, and all over the country gaining laughs. Louisiana’s Andre “Big Dre” Price will be there, as well as Houston’s Blue Da Comic. The funny antics of both Son Tran and food reviewer Owen Dunn will also be there to add to the laughs. Dunn has been featured at Comedy contests around the country and is a regular at the Improv, as well as the only one of these guys whose website link actually went to a website. A guy named Comedian Rillos will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $30.00.
Thursday you can start things off over at Warehouse Live they’ll be hosting the alt rock meets emo pop of Virginia’s Mae. Combining the sounds of Jimmy eat World and Dashboard Confessional, the band quickly rose to fame with their album, “The Everglow” from 2005. Because it’s the 10th anniversary, they’ll be swinging through town to perform the landmark album in its entirety. They’ll have the indie pop rock of All Get Out there as direct support. These guys got prominence from their 2011 album, “The Season.” This year they’ve dropped the EP, “Movement” that’s started to gain traction to meet their energetic live shows. Texas’ Mike Mains & The Branches will bring their folky indie pop to life when they open the show. They’ll perform tracks from their infectious sounding 2014 album, “Calm Down, Everything Is Fine.” The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $20.00.
Mucky Duck will have the folky acoustic pop of Austin’s Gina Chavez. Chavez mixes Spanish and English into her heavy handed voice while utilizing a ton of percussive instruments to create her own unique sound. She’s here in support of her latest album, last year’s “Up.Rooted.” the doors are at 7:00, and the tickets are between $20.00 and $22.00.
Future Photo: H Matthews
Arena Theater will host a pretty strong hip hop show, when Atlanta’s Future comes to town. This guy’s debut album “Pluto” featured collaborations with big names like R. Kelly, Juicy J, Snoop, and Drake; and he’s gotten all types of heat since he came out in 2011. His latest album, “Honest” is just as poppin’ and has already gotten him on the next level of today’s hip hop scene. He’ll have the getting bigger by the second sounds of Houston’s Kirko Bangz on as opener. Bangz has been gaining popular since he dropped “Drank In My Cup” in 2011. This show could easily sell out, with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $49.50 and $69.50.
On Friday you could start things off at Walters when Carter Hulsey brings his alt country sound to the venue. The Missouri performer will be here in support of his latest release, “Drive Out” from last year. The alt rock of Houston’s The Greatest View will be there as direct support, while the solo sounds of Tennessee’s Backseat Goodbye will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets for FREE.
Since the bulk of Drake’s HAW schedule has been pretty much in the dark, one of the few details known is a charitable softball game at Cougar Field. The star studded event will feature sports stars and rappers, and all of the proceeds will go to benefit the Houston Astros Urban Youth Academy. Things kick off with a home run derby at 6:00, and the game to begin after at 7:00. things are all ages and tickets are $22.00 to $52.00.
Out in the Woodlands at Dosey Doe, they’ll have the blues tunes of Keb’ Mo’ in an intimate setting. Mo’ is known for his heavy handed dobro and other guitar slinging playing. His latest album, “Bluesamericana” is further away from his traditional sounds than his previous works, but it’s still him behind varying instruments. He’s known for hits like “Am I Wrong,” and as someone who has caught him live, I can say that he brings his “A Game” to every performance. The show includes dinner which is served from 6:00 to 7:30, and Mo’ hits the stage at 8:30. Tickets are between $118.00 and $178.00.
Beta Theater will bring the funny, when the Triple Header show series makes its return. For those who don’t know, the show features three comics doing twenty minute sets each. Things have been switched up and the show is now hosted by the hilarious Zahid Dewji. This month, the one night only show will feature Chris Riddle, Liz Padjen, and Bob Morrissey. All three of these comics are funny as hell, and should have no problem making the audience laugh. It’s BYOB, though they usually have some form of keg beer as well. The shows are at 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00, and each show carries a ticket price of a measly $6.00.
The Wheel Workers Photo: Patrick Bertolino
Fitzgerald’s will be hosting the “Citizens” album release party from Houston’s The Wheel Workers. So, if you happened to miss when I said that this record was top notch, then I’ll just say again that it’s a true masterpiece. Quite possibly one of the strongest follow ups to another strong album, last year’s “Past To Present;” this is an act full of great artists and songwriters, and definitely worth checking out. To sweeten the pot, they’ll have the infectious indie rock of Houston’s New York City Queens there as direct support. I would think that by now you would have caught NYCQ, but if you haven’t heard their new stuff; then you’ve been missing out. I hear John is a perfectionist, and that why we haven’t seen the follow up to 2012’s “Burn Out Like Roman Candles,” but I’m sure we’ll hear it sooner than later. The bluesy garage rock of Dallas’ Oil Boom will be there to open things up. Usually, I hate most things from Dallas, but listening to this three piece’s rockin’ album, “Red Metal” from last year made me rethink things. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $10.00.
If you want to get your laugh on, then you could make it over to the Improv to catch the hilarious Southern comedy of Jon Reep. Reep is seriously a funny guy who can make pretty much anyone laugh, and his 2009 album, “Metro Jethro” is a great example of his style. As with all of these shows, two of Houston’s best comics will be on hand to perform the duties of feature act and host. There are two shows on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, two shows on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and one show Sunday at 7:30, all with tickets between $20.00 and $30.00.
Though it starts on Thursday, or maybe it doesn’t because the website is confusing and no one returned calls; but Comicpalooza is happening. The doors open at 8:00 am or 9:00 am, again, confusing, and they’ll have all sorts of “celebrities” meaning actors from live action sci-fi shows that many of us didn’t know existed. The only shining example of the entire thing, is that they have local artists performing on the event. The tickets are almost as convoluted and will possibly confuse you as well, with prices between $10.00 and $750.00 depending on your age and how “cool” you want to feel; over at George R. Brown Convention Center.
Rudyard’s will host what the in your face sounds of Houston’s Giant Kitty. So, you wouldn’t know how self conscious this band is of their sound when they mow you over with all female energy. If you take all your pent up energy from your week, and put them into the hands of a hard hitting drummer, a bong rattling bassist, and a solo wielding guitarist; it’s not a third of the energy these three use as they punkishly play loud without apology. They’ll have the all female Ween tribute band, Poon on prior. After having to deal with the bratty nature of one of the Ween dudes last year, I can honestly say that hearing Ween’s stuff sounds way better to me than hearing whatever the original guys are up to now. So Poon could be your best bet to catching something more interesting than the band ever was originally. Of course, it only gets more punk when you have The Bad Drugs on the bill with their blend of melodic punk on hand. Their album, “Screaming Bitch Creature” has that nice throwback meets modern punk feel that you want when you’re like me and you’re sick of pop punk crap. Opening things up will be the rock meets punk rock sounds of Houston’s Fat Mannequin. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.
At Boondocks they’ll have a “Ladies Night” with the Les Femmes show. Things will be headlined by Bombon DJ, Gracie Chavez. Of course, things don’t stop there as the show will also feature GRRRL Parts and Angieliste. I have to say that last week I watched as Angieliste blew the roof off of Boondocks at the Trashed show, so she should blow minds this week as well with her killer set. The entire event will be hosted by La Comadre, and the 21 & up show is open to everyone, with doors at 10:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
On Saturday you can kick off the day over at Comicpalooza when Houston’s Only Beast performs at the event. So, if you’ve never listened to me, then I guess you wouldn’t know that this band is electrifying. They have more of a stage presence than most Houston bands, their guitarist plays bass and guitar at the same time, and their drummer changes things up with precision. Their lead singer commands qa stage with a strong set of pipes and the ability to cover all of the area from left to right with an insane amount of energy. Their latest, this year’s “Live At Notsuoh” gives you a glimpse into their live show. They go on at 1:30 and you can get a discounted ticket by putting in the code: beast at checkout. If you’re going to go for them, you can stay and catch a Nerdlesque panel with Houston’s Dem Damn Dames at 5:30. They’ll follow that up with a special Comic themed show at 8:30; and they’ll perform at 8:30 on Sunday as well.
Richard Hell Photo: Chris Felver
Over at The Contemporary Arts Museum, a very special reading from original punk rocker, Richard Hell will be taking place. So, if you’re a fan of Sonic Youth, and pretty much any punk band from the eighties; then this is the guy who influenced them. He’s released groundbreaking albums like “Marquee Moon” by Television, because he was a founding member of the band. I’d be lying if I said that Television wasn’t one of my biggest influences, and Richard’s 1990 album, “Blank Generation” has inspired everyone since it was dropped. He’ll be reading from his book, “I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp” which covers inventing punk rock to getting clean from heroin. This guy is literally a legend, and seating is EXTREMELY Limited. It’s all ages, it starts at 2:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’re a fan of the Walkmen, then you should head to Fitzgerald’s to catch the solo show from their lead singer, Hamilton Leithauser. Last year he released to poignant and honestly, beautiful sounding “Black Hours” album. On it, he echoes the sounds of Leonard Cohen and hints of acts like Stephen Malkmus, Beck, and New Pornographers. He should put on an interesting and fun live show as well. He’ll have the dark and brooding soulful rock of Austin’s My Jerusalem. The Jeff Klein lead group will bring the songs of their Afghan Whigs sounding album “Preachers” to life in an energy fueled way. Jeff is a seriously talented guy, and he’s one of the few Austin artists worth checking out. The all ages show will have doors at 7:00 and tickets for $18.00.
If you’re a really big fan of Slash, then you can see him at House of Blues with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. What’s that really translate to? Well, their 2011 live album, “Slash: Featuring Myles Kennedy Live” had GnR’ classics on it. I’m guessing they’ll have more in store at the show, but I really don’t know for sure. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $37.50 and $67.50.
Down in Clear Lake at Scout Bar, you can go see the alt rock of Houston’s Valeluna. Last year the band released the sometimes spacey, but often more rock sounding album “In Your Absence.” Since then they’ve kind of forged their own path here in town. They’ll have the ambient prog rock sounds of Houston’s Vella on as direct support. Vella is a hard hitting four piece that is known for a pretty energetic live show. The indie meets intricate guitar sounds of Crimson Arrow will be there to bring their scream fueled sounds to life. Their 2014 album “Modern Thieves” is filled with crazy guitar work and intense drums that are worth getting there early for. The funk meets hardcore of Mosaic Dream will be there, as well as the bluesy hard rock of Houston’s Runaway Sun who will be opening things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
Alley Kat will have a pretty cool show when Zech performs alongside some of Houston and Austin’s better producers. The show will also feature Eroda One, who has more dope sounds to his credit than pretty much anyone going. His jams like last year’s “Flex II” are pretty amazing, and full of trap, and hip hop beats. They’ll also have Chris Lopez, Briefcase Brad, and Pimp$ of First Ward Sound. The show has doors at 9:00, it’s pay what you can, and it’s a 21 & up show.
If you’re a fan of dark and loud metal, then you should catch Funeral Horse over at Khon’s. The band will play their stoner doom sounds off their 2014 album “Sinister Rites of the Master.” These guys could possibly blow the PA at the small venue, which should be worth seeing in person. The psych meets hard rock of Jody Seabody and The Whirls will be on hand to open the show. The doors are at 9:30, I’m pretty sure that it’s all ages, and the cover is TBA.
Sunday, If you’re reading this, it might be too late to get tickets to catch Drake at Toyota Center. I suppose that this is part of HAW, even though the tickets are up there in price. If you live under a rock, then you don’t know that every song off his recently dropped, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” album charted. Anyway, there’s no word of an opener, but that may change. The doors are at 6:30, and the tickets are between $39.50 and $125.00.
House of Blues will be bringing the chilly electro pop of Canada’s Purity Ring to town. Known for a crazy live show, these two drop sweet pop gems with dark electronica mixed in. Their latest, this year’s “another eternity” falls in line with their fun sound. Canada’s experimental pop electronica act, Born Gold will be there to open things up. His latest, a single from this called “Here We Are” is as trippy as his previous works. The show is all ages with doors at 7:30 and tickets for $20.00.
Over at Comicpalooza, you can catch both Vendetta Diabolique and Project Armageddon. Since both are tied to Doomstress Alexis, it should make for a fun two hours at the convention. If you’ve never seen either act, Vendetta Diabolique reminds me of what Blondie would sound like if she was a big fan of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. As far as Project Armageddon goes, the band just finished their follow up to 2012’s “Tides of Doom,” and has the kind of doom metal sound that you should check out sooner than later. Vendetta goes on at 10:00 and Project Armageddon goes on at 11:00, and you can get a discount by entering PA2015 in at the online checkout for tickets.
Tuesday you could head to House of Blues to see the metalcore sounds of California’s Of Mice & Men. Though this isn’t my kind of music, they appear to be really popular. They’re here in support of this year’s “Restoring Force: Full Circle,” which is just an extended version of their release from last year. Dallas’ Crown the Empire will be there as direct support, and will be touring on last year’s “The Resistance: Rise of The Runaways.” LA’s Volumes will open the all ages show with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $22.00 and $25.00.
Neil Diamond Photo: Kyleen James
Or, you can grab a cape, and go catch the legendary sounds of Neil Diamond at Toyota Center. Known for hit songs like “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” and “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon;” Diamond is and will always be your mom’s favorite performer. All kidding aside, I have to say that I took my mom to see him years ago, and I was shocked how energetic he was. His latest albums are his “All-Time Greatest Hits” and “Melody Road,” both from last year. He’s 75, so this could be your last chance to see him live, or at least where he can still shake his hips in what I remember to be very tight pants. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $65.00 and $150.00.
Fitzgerald’s will have the hip hop of white Atlanta rapper, Rittz. So, this guy rhymes quick and precise, he’s done collaborations with Yelawolf and Trae The Truth, and he’s known for an interesting live show. His latest, last year’s “Next to Nothing” saw him get bigger than he’s ever been. Long Beach’s CROOKED I of the hip hop group Slaughterhouse will open things up. His latest, “Apex Predator” from 2013 was his last release, but worth getting there early for. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $27.00. Of course, there’s also a VIP option for $55.00 that includes all kinds of goodies found here.
That’s it for this week. It’s not as crazy as previous weeks, but still full of options. Remember that Monday is a national holiday, meaning that the roads will be full of drunken idiots. Do us all a favor and please don’t be one of them.