Chain Smoker: The Best of The Week
Chance The Rapper, Photo: Lenny Gilmore
Well, even though last week had plenty of fun options, it’s this week that has more happening than usual. Legends in the making like Chance The Rapper pictured above will be rolling into our city. Houston, here’s where to spend the next seven days.
Wednesday you can start off over at House of Blues for the indie emo sounds of Pennsylvania’s The Wonder Years. These guys have been racking up hits and fans since they hit the scene back in 2005. Known for a crazy high energy show, they’ll be here in support of their new album, “No Closer To Heaven.” They’ll have another popular second wave emo band on as direct support, when Motion City Soundtrack goes on prior. Though you’ll remember them from their massive hit song, “Everything Is Alright,” I’d suggest giving their new album, “Panic Stations” from this year a listen, as it grows the band’s sound. Albany’s State Champs will be on hand to bring their pop punk on board, while Florida’s You Blew It! will be there to open things up. The all ages show has doors at 6:00 and tickets for $22.00.
Agnostic Front, Photo: Raymond Ahner
Walter’s will host NYC punk legends Agnostic Front, which is a definitely a show you shouldn’t miss if you like punk. These guys have been around since the early eighties, they paved the way for the NYC hardcore scene, and they’re really impressive to catch live. Their debut album, “United Blood” has songs that are pretty much all under a minute long, yet they still seem to get their points across. Their latest release, “The American Dream Died” still has them dropping short songs while staying as politically charged as when they began. The metal punk of Michigan’s Ricochet will be there as direct support, while Houston’s Thug Boots and United Races will be on beforehand. The hardcore of Houston’s Hogs of War will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Over at Warehouse Live you could catch the touring burlesque show from internationally known, Suicide Girls. The show includes Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Game of Thrones, and more themes throughout the performance. There’s a good chance that this will sell out on the 18 & up show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $35.00, the latter being a seated VIP option.
On Thursday you could kick off the night over at Walters for the solo jams of former My Chemical Romance guitarist, Frank Iero with FRNKIERO & the Cellabration. I hate admitting that this guy makes catchy fuzz pop, but he does. His debut album, last year’s “Stomachaches” is pretty strong, and he should be worth catching live. Pennsylvania’s Roger Harvey will bring his indie pop to life as direct support, while Jared Hart will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Over at Warehouse Live they’ll have the electropop of Beat Connection. Though they haven’t been around a long time, these guys have definitely struck a nerve gaining a pretty strong following of fans. Their latest, this year’s “Product 3” stays in line with their poppy gems. The electronic pop of LA’s Phantoms will be on as direct support, while Houston’s Children of Pop will be there to open things up. I feel like if you’ve somehow missed COP live, then you’ve been doing Houston wrong. Though leader chase DeMaster keeps teasing the duo’s demise, they keep popping up on all the right shows proving that good bands don’t die. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $14.00 in the studio.
Revention Center will help you get your hip hop fix when the massively popular sounds of Chicago’s Chance The Rapper performs. Here in support of his latest jam “Angel,” rumor has it that he has a new release on the horizon, and he’s gotten known for an intense live show. The Virginia based hip hop of producer D.R.A.M. will be on as direct support, while Chicago’s Towkio will go on prior. Things get opened up by the young Atlanta hip hop of Metro Boomin. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $35.00 and $45.00.
The Dandy Warhols, Photo: Michael Caswell
Numbers will be hosting the psych pop of Portland’s The Dandy Warhols. Made famous by the catchy as hell track, “Bohemian Like You,” the four piece was always entertaining back in the nineties. In 2012 they returned with a psyched out album called, “This Machine,” while their latest is a retrospective release. they have a ton of hits and they aren’t here much if you were on the fence about attending. The garage rock and psych mixture of The Shivas will be on hand as direct support and opener. Their latest, last year’s “You Know What To Do,” is like going back in time. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $22.50 and $25.00.
You can close out the night at Continental Club, when alt country rockers Grand Old Grizzly perform. These guys are a force to be reckoned with, their live shows are always impressive, and their latest album, “Cosmonada” is one of the best local releases of this year. The 21 & up show will begin around 10:00, and though it’s a TBA cover, it shouldn’t be over $10.00.
Friday you could start off at MKT Bar for a DJ set from Bombon’s Gracie Chavez. Gracie has been a Houston staple for a long time, she recently informed me that she was an editor at the now defunct Public News, and she even has a part in the DJ documentary, “This Thing We Do.” As part of Bombon, she’s shared tropical bass jams with the bulk of the city, while making the bulk of people who see who perform move their feet. The all ages set starts at 6:00 and runs until 9:00. As always, it’s 100% FREE.
Gio Chamba, Photo: Sebastian Skalany
Over at Wonky Power Live you can see the experimental rock meets Latin rhythms of Kansas City’s Making Movies. Last year these guys dropped a trippy and jam heavy album called “A La Deriva” that showcases the intense nature of their sound. The funky and intense energy of Houston’s Handsome Beast will be on as direct support, and will bring tunes from their latest, “Sexy Face Reaction Time” from earlier this year. Opening things up will be the enigmatic and energetically charged digital cumbia sounds of Gio Chamba. Gio is like watching about forty different people perform in one, and his latest addition of Coffee on percussion just makes things more lively..if you could believe that. He just dropped a new album called “Chamba” that while it jams, it really just makes you want to see him live. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $8.00 and $12.00.
Out at Acadia Bar & Grill you could catch the Spanish rock of Houston’s La Sien. These guys play the kind of music that’s soulful, energetic, and fun without being cheesy. While I know they’re polishing up a new album, their last release, “La Sien” from 2012 still holds up. The soulful sounds of Carmeci are on prior, while Kronika is on beforehand. The indie rock of Houston five piece Xwansongs will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $8.00 for 21 & up, or $12.00 for under 21.
George West, Photo: Jason Smith
Alley Kat will host the album release party for Austin’s The Eastern Sea. This five piece makes indie slow jams that you can dance to. The album they’re releasing, “The Witness” is a full length and is already gaining attention. The amazing folk pop of Austin’s Grand Child will be on as direct support. This band is pretty amazeballs and their most recent release, “My Head Is In The Clouds” from 2011 is as beautiful as it is catchy. The chill wave of Houston’s George West will open things up, and will bring tunes from his latest single “One To Start” and more to everyone in attendance. After the show, Andy V & Luz will be spinning records until close. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:30 and tickets for $10.00.
At Big Top, you can catch the longtime collaborative efforts of garage punk band, EGO. These Chicago natives have over fifteen releases, they’re known for a crazy live show, and they’re a three piece that sounds more like a five piece. Their 16th release, a full length called “Economy” is just as stellar as their first one release. Houston three piece indie rock collaborative, Get A Life will be on as direct support. Another one of the many epic offerings from Chase DeMaster, this band showcases the fact that Chase is a seriously great guitarist, and the band is energetic and fun. Last year they dropped a full length called “As If Emoji” that’s almost as great as their live show. The psych rock of Houston’s Mantra Love will also be on the bill, and will bring their recently released self titled album, “Mantra Love” to life. The slow psych of Houston’s Mojave Red will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a TBA cover.
Saturday you could start off over at Flying Squid Art Gallery, Tattoo & Piercing for a benefit for Red Collar Rescue, presented by Turbojugend Bayou City. The show has a slew of bands including Dead To The World, The Velostacks, Donkey Punch, Cut Ties, Giant Kitty and more. There’s brews on hand, food from Onion Creek’s Bacon Keaton, and much more. Things get started at noon, it’s all ages, and there’s a $5.00 donation at the door. More info on the benefit is available here.
Ar Wonky Power Live you can head over for the record label’s One Year Anniversary show. The event will have episodes of the Wonky Power Live series playing, as well as the release of the Wonky Power Records compilation featuring all of the artists on the label. There’s FREE Topo Chico & Deep Eddy, and live sets from DJ Squincy Jones, Jerk, Birthday Club, and Mind Shrine. The first fifty people will receive a copy of the compilation for free, and the event is limited to 200 capacity. The all ages evening has doors at 6:00 and you can rsvp for it here.
Ku Egenti, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
You could get your laugh on at Beta Theater for another edition of their funny game show, Password. The scripted and sketch based show is like a game show, but more funny and tragic. A stand-up set from Ku Egenti will also be featured, and the BYOB show will have doors at 6:30 with a measly $6.00 cover.
Of course, I’d guess that a bunch of you will be over at Warehouse Live for the post hardcore sounds of Washington’s The Fall of Troy. I don’t understand why a band would break up in 2010 just to reform three years later, but that’s what these guys did. Their last release was in 2009, but they’ll be playing their 2005 album, “Doppelganger” in its entirety for this show. The stoner metal of Georgia’s Kylesa will be on as direct support, while Seattle’s Powwers will go on prior. San Antonio’s Illustrations will open the all ages show in the studio with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $17.00 and $20.00.
Quite possibly the most intriguing show of the evening will occur over at Cardoza Fine Art, when Phytosophie & The Invisible Man perform. French performance artist, musician, and poet Phytosophie teams up with SugarHill’s Dan Workman for a mixture of poetry, visuals, and trippy electronica. From what I’ve heard, it’s something that could feed your soul and blow your mind at the same time. Their debut album “OTTO” is seriously insane and beautiful at the same time. Houston’s Two Star Symphony will also perform on the all ages show that starts at 7:00 and is a freebie.
Speaking of trippy shows, over at The Silo you can catch a set from London producer, INXEC. This guy drops chillwave jams like no one else, and prior he’ll have support from Chicago’s Mia Wallace. Mixing techno and oddball acoustics, this duo has made a name for themselves as a force to see live. Producer/DJ Daniel Allen will also be on hand to drop a set, as well as a live performance from Houston’s Porcelain Monkeys. Opening things up will be NYC’s FISXH on the show thrown by #HoustonARThrob and benefitting The Last Organic Outpost. There’s earlybird tickets for $10.00, or bottle service tickets between $300.00-$500.00. the show is all ages with doors at 8:00.
Over at Double Trouble you could close off the night with a listening party for the new Mikey & the Drags album, “Make You Mine.” The long awaited release should be at the top of your list for upcoming local albums, and from what I’ve heard it’s a doozy. The party is FREE, it’s 21 & up, and it gets going at 9:00.
HEALTH, Photo: Tom Spray
Sunday you have to make a tough decision between two great shows, the first being over at Warehouse Live when HEALTH comes to town. One of my favorite live acts of all time, this LA four piece never disappoints, and their latest album “Death Magic” picks up where the last one left off. If you ever wondered who coined the term witch house, then you should get there early to catch the guy who did, Denver’s Pictureplane. The producer, visual artist, and clothing designer has always been ahead of the curve, and his latest release “Technomancer” falls in line with his next level sounds. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets for $15.00 over in the studio.
If you’d rather see what happens when a punk band makes a mariachi album or two, then you’re better off heading to Numbers for Mariachi El Bronx. These guys are amazing live, and now they’ve dropped three stellar albums by adding last year’s “Mariachi El Bronx III.” San Antonio four piece, Pinata Protest will be there as direct support. If you’ve never seen these guys live then you’re doing something wrong. Like if you infused mariachi, punk, and hints of ska…these guys would be the result. Their 2013 album, “El Valiente” is pretty epic, and they’re insane to see live. Pounded By the Surf will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $3.00 for 21 & up, and $10.00 for under 21.
Monday you might want to head over to House of Blues for the always popular songs of Chicago’s Rise Against. Last year these guys returned with a more true to form album with “The Black Market,” and they always bring their A game when performing. They’ll have the metalcore of Killswitch Engage on as direct support. I saw these guys back in the early days of their career and I’d be lying if I said they weren’t a strong live act. Their latest album was 2013’s “Disarm The Descent,” and it’s in line with their previous work. LA based post hardcore four piece letlive will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $35.00 and $40.00.
Allison Weiss, Photo: Hunter Wallace
Warehouse Live will have the pop rock of LA based singer Allison Weiss. Weiss has been gaining popularity since she dropped her debut in the mid-2000’s. Her latest release, this year’s full length “New Love” shows a deeper side to her already catchy sound. New York singer songwriter Mal Blum will be on as direct support, while the shoegaze of LA’s Winter will be on prior. The indie rock of NYC three piece Kid In The Attic will open the all ages show in the studio with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $14.00.
Fitzgerald’s will host the punk California punk legends, Fang. These guys were around back in the early eighties, and they reformed in 1997 after breaking up in 1989. Their latest album, 2013’s “Here Come The Cops” is harsh and loud, like all punk should be. Houston’s Talk Sick Brats will be on before, where Screech of Death will be on prior. The Satanic Overlords of Rock N Roll will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $13.00 and $15.00.
Tuesday you could venture over to Rudyard’s for the massively popular BooTown show, Grown-Up Storytime. I shouldn’t have to sell this show where people read their life events that almost always make everyone laugh until it hurts. There are two shows at 8:00 and at 10:00, and you should get there an hour early to insure that you can get in, as they usually sell out. Tickets are a paltry $5.00 on the 21 & up shows.
That’s about all that I found worth giving time to this week. Whatever you decide to do, please be safe, get home in the safest way possible, and drink like an adult.