12 Bricks: The Best of The Week
Photo: Courtesy of Artist
I think it’s safe to say that things are back in full swing on the front of entertainment options here in Houston. This week proves that Houston has plenty of options when it comes to what to do for fun. Legends in the making like OG Maco pictured above will be breezing through our fine city, while plenty of other happenings come along as well. Here’s where to spend your next seven days.
Wednesday is pretty stacked starting off over House of Blues for the pop rock of Houston’s Drop Out Vegas. The three piece makes the kind of music that you would imagine modern radio and MTV would be all over if they were actual vehicles for new music nowadays. Their debut EP, “Syllables” has that kind pop mixed with indie rock that’s as catchy as it is infectious. Like a mix of Ben Folds and David Gray, this band could really pop off sooner than later. The show is all ages with doors at 6:00 in the crossroads room, and it’s 100% FREE.
You could venture out at Scout Bar for the dirty rock sounds of Nashville Pussy. It felt like for a time, that I saw this band about four times a year. Since that era, they’ve been pretty quiet, releasing a new album last year with “Up The Dosage” and a retrospective this year with “Ten Years of Pussy.” This might be one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen, and they’re always on point when they play. Adding to the idea that Nashville Pussy is a great live band, another insanely great live band, Valient Thorr will be there as direct support. Easily one of the best live bands I’ve seen in a good while, these guys bring their a game with every live set. Their latest, 2013’s “Our Own Masters” was a tour de force while still having melody and that grit that the band is known for. The punk country rock of Houston’s The Grizzly Band will be on the bill as well. I like what these guys are doing with their sing song lyrics and country undertones mixed with punk. Houston’s Gallion will be there to open the 18 & up show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
Kevin Smith Photo: Felix Clay
At Improv, one of the best things you can see in a comedy club will be here, when they host An Evening with Kevin Smith. The film director turned podcaster/tv show host has toured the country for years doing these types of shows, and he usually has hilarious industry stories that will leave you in stitches. There isn’t an opener as far as I know, but the Thursday show has since sold out. The wednesday show has doors at 7:00 and tickets are $30.00.
Barbarella will host the Texas DarkWave show, featuring Matsu Mixu. The duo has been making quite the name for themselves by crafting a dark sound with dance elements added in. Their most recent, “K-4LL-D4Y MIXX” shows their skills off pretty hard and trippy. The techno of Houston’s XLO will also be there, as will the dark synths of Funeral Parlor. A special set from Houston’s glitch visual master FLCON FCKER will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a $2.00 cover before 11:00, or $5.00 after 11:00.
On Thursday you can get the night started at The Nightingale Room, when Houston’s Def Perception takes the balcony stage. The six piece hip hop group fronted by the powerful rhyme styles of Raymond A, the scratches of DJ Baby Roo, and live instruments might be one of Houston’s better unknown rap groups. These guys make music that mixes old school hip hop in the vein of EPMD with a fresh new style that’s all their own. Straight out of retirement and back with a new album out next month, Kyle Hubbard will be there as well to open things up. Hubbard is coming back with a vengeance, and his new album, “Majestic Hotel” is the strongest he’s made to date. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
House of Blues will host the producer, multi-instrumentalist, and R&B singer, PJ Morton. Morton has been popular since he dropped his first release in 2005. His last full length album, “New Orleans” from 2013 featured Stevie Wonder, Busta Rhymes, and more. He just released a new single, “Claustrophobic,” and he’s supposed to be amazing to see live. His direct support will come from New Orleans native, Dee-1. His mixtapes starting back in 2009 became legendary as fast as he rhymes. His final one had the likes of Mannie Fresh and Juvenile. This year he put out an EP, “3’s Up,” that showcases his power on his own. Atlanta’s Jimi Cravity will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $27.58.
Billy D Washington Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, one of Houston’s strongest comics, Billy D Washington will be appearing over the weekend. Washington plays the piano and tells jokes like a comedy machine, and he’s nationally recognized as a headliner. He’s also appeared on Comedy Central, HBO, NBC, FOX,CBS…he’s made the rounds including opening dates with Aretha Franklin. He’s seriously one of the funniest guys to call Houston home. One of Houston’s better up and coming comics will perform as the feature act, and one will perform the duties of host, like all of the club’s shows. The Thursday show is at 8:00, there are two Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, and two on Saturday also at 8:00 and 10:30; and they all have tickets for $16.00.
If you are like me and you had planned to make it over to Warehouse Live for Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def; don’t bother as he’s once again cancelled. I don’t begin to know what this guy’s problem is. Easily one of the greatest rappers ever to pick up a mic, he can’t seem to make his shows lately, and honestly at this point; I don’t even care if he reschedules the show. Stay in touch with the venue on refunds and maybe another reschedule.
Over at Rudyard’s, the former Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers guitarist and former member of Hank III’s band; Joe Buck will be in town. Buck’s new one man band, Joe Buck Yourself is a force that’s part blues meets honky tonk…kind of like a more devilish Scott H Biram. His latest album was 2012’s “Who Dat?” and should make for an entertaining show. The very large coupling of musicians, also known as Alvin’s Blackgrass Gospel will be there as direct support. The group mixes bluegrass, country, punk, and hillbilly to make their own sound that you should see live. The alt country of Houston’s Hard Luck Revival will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00 cover.
Ladybirds will have the sweet voiced sounds of Houston’s Dollie Barnes for a special show. So, I’d hope that you would’ve seen her perform with a backing band of Houston greats. But if you haven’t, I’ll just tell you that she’s one of our city’s best kept secrets. Her vocals atop hints of country rock and folk, remind me in a way like Loretta Lynn, but easier to fall for. The indie pop rock of The Lories will go on prior. Kind of like a mix of Juliana Hatfield and early Liz Phair, the recently released “Demos” should give you enough reason to catch them live. Waco space rock three piece, Lomelda will be there to open the show up. I’m pretty sure it’s a 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’d rather get your dance on, you might want to head to Numbers for DVNT Thursdays. The evening that features future bass, deep house, and other types of music is hosted by 2Felz and Jacob Stogner. The doors are at 10:00 with 21 & up for FREE, $5.00 for under 21.
On Friday over at Numbers, Houston’s Dem Damn Dames will be presenting Fuck Prince Charming: A Burlesque Fairytale. The monthly shows from these creative geniuses have gotten rather popular and are always packed or sold out. This time the troupe will be bringing their talents to the stage in what will more than likely, be a funny, fun, and sexy show. The whole crew of Tifa Tittlywinks, Honey Moonpie, and LadyLush will be on hand while stacking their deck with talented extras. Iris Le’mour, Black Orchid, JD Hicock, Stella Paks, Dan D Lion, and Nick The Vegan will all be joining in. While Austin’s Sherry Bomb and Eve Vocative will also be there, they’re also adding Al E Cat, meaning that this show is one you won’t want to miss. The 18 & up show has doors at 7:00, and your ticket price includes entry to Classic Numbers immediately following the show. The tickets are between $15.00 and $30.00, the latter being a seated VIP option.
Sasheer Zamata Photo: AP
The Secret Group will be bringing Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata over to Fitzgerald’s downstairs. The comedienne, actress, and improv performer has been making a name for herself in NYC at UCBNY as well as dropping stand up sets around the country. She’s also co-creator of the web series, “Pursuit of Sexiness,” and an all around comedic threat. As far as I can tell, there’s no feature act or host on the show, but that could change. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $27.00.
Mucky Duck will be hosting the folky sounds of Austin’s Wood & Wire. The four piece plays a mix of bluegrass and folk in the traditional way, in a circle as it was meant to be. They’ve been on ACL, as well as pretty much every big bluegrass or folk event. Their latest album, “The Coast” from this year is a beautiful example of the genre. There are two shows, one with doors at 7:00 and one with doors at 9:30, and they both have tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
If you want to see comedy in a comedy club, then you could make it over to Improv to see Chicago’s Godfrey. This guy has been around for about 16 years, he’s been in movies like “Zoolander,” and his latest album, “Black By Accident” from 2011 is pretty funny. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as host and feature act. The Friday show has doors at 7:15, with two shows Saturday with doors at 6:15 and 8:30. There’s also a Sunday performance with doors at 6:45, and all have tickets between $17.00 and $27.00.
Upstairs at Fitzgerald’s, they’ll host Atlanta rapper OG Maco. I caught Maco perform live and when he actually sang the songs, it was good. The guy has been poppin’ off since he dropped the massively popular track with 2 Chainz, “U Guessed It.” This year he’s dropped plenty of material, including an EP with Pablo Dylan, “Tax Free.” I shouldn’t have to oversell this show, as he’s insanely popular. And if you want to attend, I suggest getting pre-sale tickets because it should Sell Out. There will more than likely be plenty of openers on the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $40.00, the latter being a VIP option with a poster and a shirt.
Traffic Premium Lounge will host the Roast of Laff Town Comedy’s, Steven Padilla. So,you might not know this, but the Houston comedy scene is nothing without the players that book shows, book rooms, and do it all on a wing and a prayer. Padilla is one of those integral players who runs the current longest running open mic, his own contest, and occasionally gets a breath to try out new jokes. He has a pretty strong cast roasting him with Rich Williams, Zahid Dewji, Ashton Womack, Robert Turo, and emcee Dustin Jones. The show will also be a birthday bash for Padilla, followed by a special set from Ashton. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and it appears to be 100% FREE.
Indian Jewelry Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Walter’s will have a very special evening with Indian Jewelry, when the trippy and darkwave pioneers perform their “Doing Easy” record advance party. I don’t really know if it’s okay to call the Houston act darkwave, but I will say that the Houston band is enigmatic in their musical approaches. The show promises live sets from Indian Jewelry and Vockah Redu. Vockah Redu is one of the most intriguing hip hop acts around, and their latest single, “Roll Call Strings” just sets them another 200 steps ahead of most hip hop going. They also might be one of the most entertaining hip hop acts since B L A C K I E. The show will also feature DJ sets from Andy V, Record Money, and DJ Bad Bones. This is an insane event that can only happen in Houston, the show is all ages, and the doors are at 9:00. The tickets are a measly $7.00 to $10.00.
Going strong over at MKT Bar, the third week of Beta Theater’s Beta Bracket Comedy Competition will be happening. This week is the first redemption round, where the comics involved will be bringing as many guests as possible in an attempt to save themselves from the chopping block. The grand prize, $3,000.00 that’s up for grabs is the largest amount being given away in Texas this whole calendar year. If you’d like to save one of these funny comics from being knocked out, you need to make it over when things start off at 10:00. The show is all ages and 100% FREE, with Free parking in the attached garage,
Saturday you might want to start off over at Notsuoh for the Charity Gigs show benefitting Gigi’s Playhouse. The group is attempting to raise 100 grand, and if you were unaware, they do amazing work with kids suffering from Down Syndrome. The show has a slew of bands including Race To the Moon, Fire Moth, Hear You Me, and many more. The event is hosted by The Mad Men Crew and will also have acoustic sets from several artists. Things start around 6:00 with 5:00 doors and a $10:00 cover. More information is available here.
You might find yourself over at Bea Ying Projects Pop Up Gallery, for an intriguing night full of art & later on, music. The art is coming on behalf of an exhibition called Music For The World To See, featuring Jaylon Hicks & Jenaro Goode. There’s also complimentary beverages for the 21 & up crowd from a host of sponsors. The music will be provided by Dress Code & B L A C K I E. If you were unaware, Dress Code brings hardcore punk with nothing but high energy. If you don’t know B L A C K I E, then he’s been lifted by the likes of Kanye West & Death Grips, and his latest, “Imagine Yourself In A Free And Natural World” is about five years ahead of its time. If you’re just doing art, it has a suggested donation of $5.00, if you want art & music, it’s a $10.00 cover. Be cool, do the $10.00 thing by purchasing tickets here. The doors are at 6:00.
Warehouse Live will be hosting the album release for Houston’s Seldom. The hard rock band has been moving a boatload of tickets lately, while they seem to be on a tear with garnering fans and releasing music. The EP, “Black Mirror” is a follow up to a full length from last year, and as I reviewed earlier this week, it’s pretty great. Baytown hard rock five piece, Saturate will be on hand as direct support. Galveston three piece, To Whom It May will be there to open things up on the all ages show in the studio with doors at 6:00, and tickets between $5.00 and $25.00; the latter being a VIP option with a signed copy of the EP and a shirt.
Buxton Photo: New West
It seems that sometimes, all good things must come to an end, and the last Pegstar show at Fitzgerald’s is a good example of that. Whether you’re a fan of the promoter or not, Pegstar has brought all kinds of talent through the iconic rooms at Fitz, and the future of the venue will look different without them there. This final show, is a doozy of a goodbye to be headlined by a one off set from Buxton, who’ll be performing an entire set of Talking Heads covers. Aside from the fact that Buxton released the most beautiful album so far this year with “Half A Native;” this one time performance could be truly amazing in their hands. The cast of bands on prior will be a fun set from Wild Moccasins complete with songs from last year’s “88 92” and maybe even some old favorites as well. This list…it’s nuts, but Sideshow Tramps, Young Mammals, Ishi, Telephantom, Night Drive, Bang Bangz, Dune TX, Hevin Spacey (feat. FLCON FCKER), and a DJ set from Kult Dizney will all be there to perform. The all ages show will have doors at 7:00 and tickets at $3.00 for 21 & up, and $10.00 for under 21.
If you’re not nostalgic, then you could head to House Of Blues to catch the massively popular sounds of Pennsylvania’s ZZ Ward. The performer mixes hip hop and folk kind of like Beck, but more poppy and honestly more fresh than some of Beck’s more recent releases. She’s here in support of some singles and a remix album of one of them, with “Love 3X Remixes.” The bluesy pop of Marc Scibilia will be there prior, while California’s The Young Wild will open the all ages show. The doors are at 7:00 with tickets between $34.75 and $108.45,
Continental Club will have the album release party from Pecos Hank. You might know him better as a member of Southern Backtones, but Hank is describing it as a mix of vintage surf tones and twangy moody Tex-Mex blues. His baritone voice will sit atop a sea of Jo Bird and Geoffrey’s instrumentation, and should make for a fun night. Mikey & The Drags will be there as direct support. Hopefully these guys will be dropping their new album as well sooner than later. Away from that, they play garage and sixties rock better than anyone else in town, and their live shows are always swinging and energetic. Houston ska legends, The Suspects will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.
It’s hard to believe that Houston’s pop punkers, 30 Foot Fall have never played Walter’s, but that all changes on Saturday. These guys have been around a long time, yet their legendary live shows and catchy songs stand the test of time. They’ll have one of the best things to come outta’ Portland since the show Portlandia, the seventies inspired rock of Ape Machine on prior. These guys remind me of what The Sword used to sound like, and their most recent album, “Live at Freak Valley” is insane and intense. The punk of Houston’s Skeleton Dick will be there to mow over everyone in attendance, while Portland stoner rockers, Black Pussy will be there to open things up. This is a great billing with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $12.00 on the all ages show.
You might be the kind of person who likes shadow puppet theater, and if you are; then you can catch “White Raven” presented by BooTown at Rudyard’s. If this show is half as entertaining as the other shadow puppet shows that BooTown has done, then it should be a rad one. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and a pay what you can cover.
Crocker Bar will have another edition of the popular show, Dykon Fagatron. This time the show will be hosted by Chrystal Toliver, and the headliner will be Hevin Spacey, aka Lucas Gorham. The show will also feature a hip hop set from LyricMichelle and a DJ set from DJ Queermo, aka Biz Vicious. These things are always crowded, it’s 21 & up, and gets going at 10:00. As always, it’s 100% FREE.
Mikey & The Drags Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
On Sunday you should get the day started over at Moon Tower Inn for the Wipeout show. Billed as an end of Summer blowout, the show will feature some of your favorite Houston bands dropping sets. Total Luau, Mikey & The Drags, and Deep Cuts are all set to perform, while a DJ set from Psychedelic Sex Panther spins from start to finish. I mean, who can’t love an event with a free adult beverage ice block, adult kiddie pools, a wet t-shirt contest, and more? The all day event is 100% FREE, and gets going around 1:00.
Rudyard’s will be hosting a benefit for Mel Hell of Zipperneck’s daughter, who’s recently been diagnosed with severe onset Diabetes. So, Mel and I actually went to high school together, and I can attest to the fact that she’s a good person who’s been overwhelmed with all of this. The show will feature a boatload of sets from some of the best in houston’s punk rock community. The 21 & up show will feature music from The Hates, Talk Sick Brats, Killer Hearts, The Guillotines, and many many more. The doors are at 3:00, music starts at 3:30, and the suggested donation at the door is $10.00, but you can always donate more here.
Mucky Duck will have the talented and popular sounds of Nashville’s Gretchen Peters. Peters scored a pretty big hit from her previous album with “Hello Cruel World,” and her latest album, “Blackbirds” from last year is a nice follow up. Considered one of the most talented singers from the Nashville scene in the past two decades, the show has doors at 6:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $27.00.
Walter’s will be having a pretty rad art show called The Streets, where a bunch of street and visual artists will be showing off their works. There’s a ton happening at this event that includes eats and snacks from MKT Bar, sippin’ from Topo Chico, and tracks on wax being spun all night from DJ Baby Roo. There’s also a performance from Joey Flaco and Ichikara IV Valdez from Killem Collective, as well as a performance from Adrienne Mack Davis feat. Felicia Cruz. Some of the artists include Blake Jones, Heavy Metal Racket, Scott Tarbox Tarbox, and hordes more. The best part is that the $5.00 cover on the all ages show goes directly to StandUp For Kids, helping get kids off the street. The doors are at 8:00 and it should be a pretty cool event.
The Summit will be having the always fun jams from the Chase DeMaster spin off, Get A Life. I can’t tell you all of the insane things this band has going on in the future, but I’ll just say that get used to hearing their name. DeMaster is one of Houston’s most prolific songwriters, and this tongue in cheek project could get really huge. The emo sounds of Baton Rouge’s Camp Life will also be on hand. The four piece reminds me of Small 23 and Jawbreaker on their latest, “Apartment (demos)” from last year. The shoegaze indie rock of Houston’s Middlechild will also be there. Earlier this year,the four piece dropped a self titled album with “MiddleChild” that echoes all sorts of nineties bands while still having its’ own sound. The melodic and often engaging sounds of Rose Ette will open things up. Rose Ette reminds me of pretty much everything I love about Superchunk and early Sleater-Kinney, and their recently released single “Thunder” doesn’t encapsulate the energy of them live, but gives you an idea of their sound. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Tuesday at Warehouse Live, you can get your storytelling fix with another edition of The Moth. The theme this time is betrayal, meaning your best bet in getting to read your tale, is to prepare a five minute story on violations of trust and what not. These things are crazy popular, it’s an all ages show, and doors are at 6:30 with tickets between $8.00 and $16.00.
Barbarella will have what they’re calling Saves The Tuesday, where DJ Robocop will spin indie and emo music. The night with doors at 8:00 will be an Unhappy Hour that’s 21 & up and 100% FREE, with a $5.00 cover after 10:00.
That’s really about it for this week, though still stacked with options. No matter what you choose to do, please be an adult and get to and fro in the safest way possible.