Don’t Panic: The Best of The Week
Ellie Goulding. Photo: Courtesy of Live Nation
Last week wasn’t as intensely packed until Saturday hit and we had more options than usual. Well, this week will have you trying to figure out which great thing you’ll want to catch. There’s a ton of options including a set from British multi-instrumentalist and electro pop star Ellie Goulding, a free show by Bun B at Discovery Green and even a performance by retro rockers Journey. Houston, here’s how to navigate the next seven days.
Wednesday you could get started at Walters for the DC based electro pop of Social Repose. The one-piece as listed — but technically two-piece — has a pretty large following and will be here in support of last year’s Yalta. Pennsylvania-based female rapper Whitney Peyton will be on hand as direct support and opener. Peyton has built quite the following as well and will drop her quick spit jams from this year’s Break The Frame. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
If you had planned to stop by Improv to catch The Pump and Dump show, it has since sold out. If you have tickets, the doors are at 6 pm for the 18 and up show.
Over at Warehouse Live in the greenroom you can catch the folky indie rock of Philadelphia’s Good Old War. So, you should know that this band is doing an intimate set purposely, and even though they have a ton of popularity, this very small room will more than likely sell out. Their most recent album, Broken Into Better Shape from last year, is pretty damn strong, and they’ll be performing those songs and more acoustic at this show. There’s no support of opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $16 and $18.
Eagles of Death Metal. Photo: Joe Hale
House of Blues will be hosting the pop rock goodness of California’s Eagles of Death Metal. You probably know these guys best from them narrowly escaping a terroristic attack on a club they were performing in Paris last year. What you might not know is that QOTSA’s Josh Homme has toured as their drummer as well as recorded on some of the albums. Last year’s Zipper Down is their latest, and they’re always entertaining to catch live. Nashville garage meets sleaze rock duo, Thelma and the Sleaze will perform as direct support and opener. These two women know how to rock, and their latest EP, Heart Like A Fist from 2014, is pretty amazing. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $25 and $35.
Barbarella will host a set from Houston psych blues rockers, Mojave Red. This three piece has really seemed to gain plenty of steam since popping up early last year, and their EP Creeper is like if you dropped acid while coming down from a klonopin. Houston’s Mind Shrine will hop on prior, while the garage rock of A Tribute To The Sun will go on beforehand. A DJ set from XLO will open the 21 and up show with doors at 8 pm and a $2 cover before 10 pm or $5 after.
The popular electro pop sounds of LA’s The NBHD will be over at Revention Center. These guys have become known for a crazed live show, and last year’s Wiped Out! sold really well. There’s no word of openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $34 and $39.50.
The Blasters. Photo: Sarah Bennett
No matter what you’re doing however, I’d strongly suggest heading to Continental Club to catch California’s legendary roots rockers, The Blasters. Formed in the late seventies between two brothers, these guys are still going strong and rarely make it down here anymore. Though they’re best known for their debut, 1981’s The Blasters, don’t think that they can’t still go hard as two years ago they dropped a stellar live release called Trouble Bound. There’s no word of support or openers for the 21 and up show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $20.
Thursday you have a ton of choices that begin with a set from Bun B over at Discovery Green. I don’t really need to sell this do I? You should know Bun as an ambassador of Houston, a member of Port Arthur rap group UGK, and a hell of a rapper and performer. His last album, Trill OG ‘The Epilogue” from 2013 is still as lit as it gets, and his latest single “California (feat. Ricco Barrino) [Remix]” is pretty tight. The all ages event gets going around 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
We Are Scientists. Photo: Jon Mo
If that’s not your thing, then you could catch the indie rock of Brooklyn’s We Are Scientists at Raven Tower. These guys are pretty electric to see perform, and they’ve accumulated quite the following. Their latest release, the just dropped Helter Seltzer, finds the band treading on new ground, and honestly, it’s pretty damn strong. A band I can’t seem to find anywhere online, The Misteries are opening the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $13 and $17.
Of course, if you really really like the Minneapolis based pop emo band Motion City Soundtrack, then you should head to Numbers for their last Houston show ever. The band, known for their hit song, “Everything Is Alright,” has decided to call it quits with a farewell tour. Their last album, last year’s Panic Stations, was actually pretty good, so seeing them hang it up seems a little premature. There’s no word of support or openers for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $23.50 and $27.
IAMSU! Photo: Alex Wesh
Down at Scout Bar you can catch the hip hop of California’s IAMSU!. This guy made a name for himself with a slew of mixtapes before dropping his own album. He’s known for an intense live show, and his latest, this year’s Kilt 3 is pretty legit. Minnesota’s Mod Sun, or (Movement on Dreams Stand Under None) will be on as direct support. So, you might not know this guy, but he can spit fast on a mic with ease. His album, Look Up from last year, got plenty of press, and he’s supposedly crazy to catch in person. Atlanta’s Gravez will be on the bill, while the trippy and genre mixing hip hop of Houston’s Guilla will also go on prior. His latest, this year’s Children of The Sun, is one of the trippiest and most progressive hip hop albums to come out of Houston in the last year. The high energy of Houston’s Wayne Brezz will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $21 and $25.
Satellite Bar will have the tour kickoff for Houston psych three piece Mantra Love. These guys know how to bring their a game when they perform, they have a mix of trippy aesthetics and jammy vibes, and last year’s Mantra Love EP was one of those albums everyone needs to hear. They’ll have the jazz and soul infused sounds of Houston’s Mind Shrine on as direct support. This band has been dropping demos lately that really showcase their eclectic sound, the latest being the catchy “Somewhere New.” The groove heavy electronica of Rex Hudson will be on hand to get things started, and should get everyone moving when he plays tracks from last year’s No Return. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
At Axelrad you can attend a benefit for Oxfam in Syria, and catch a set from Free Radicals in the process. There’s also a hip hop set from Houston’s Biz, and a set from indie pop rock band The Lories as well. The 21 and up show gets going around 8 pm and the suggested donation is $10.
Walters will have a get down inspired set from LA’s JMSN. The last time this guy rolled through town, he had Dpat on as direct support. This time he’s here solo and he’s definitely someone you should check out. He scored a massive hit last year with his single, “Love Again (feat. Sango),” and his latest album, It is. from this year, is pretty epic. There’s no word of support or openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $12 and $17.
If that’s not your thing, then you could stop off at MKT Bar to catch one or all three sets from Houston’s Chase Hamblin & The Roustabouts. Performing three acoustic sets would be difficult for most people, but not these three. If for some reason you’ve never heard or seen Chase before, just know that he’s one of the strongest songwriters in our city, and last year’s single “Way Back” easily proved that. The all ages shows get going at 8 pm and they’re 100% FREE.
Night Moves. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Over at Rudyard’s you could see the indie pop jams of Minneapolis’ duo Night Moves. These guys get called country leaning, but to me they sound like a mix of yacht rock and indie pop. Not that that is a bad thing, as their latest album, Pennied Days from this year, could easily become your new jam. The gulf coast indie rock of Houston’s Deep Cuts will be on as direct support and openers. These guys played soooo many shows when they got started, though they don’t do as many as they used to. Their latest drop, While The House Fills Up, keeps in line with their chill vibes and indie rock jams. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Over at Ladybird’s you can catch the space rock meets math rock meets jazz… okay, I don’t really know what genre they’re represented as because the band’s sound is a little all over the map. But, you can catch Space Villains with the indie rock of Houston’s Whit on prior. Whit has an indie rock meet avant pop sound, and both bands are worth catching. Since the 21 and up show is 100% FREE, you don’t really have an excuse to miss them both play with things starting around 9 pm.
Friday you can get started at Nightingale Room for the indie pop of Austin’s Velo. The show will have Kyle Hubbard on as direct support, which is the real reason you should attend. Hubbard just dropped a new EP, Four Free, and he’s always on point live. The 21 and up show has doors at 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If that’s not your thing then you could make it over to Wonky Power Live to catch a set from funky Latin four piece, Making Movies. Here in support of 2014’s A La Deriva, I caught them last time they were here and I’ll tell you now that they can slay. The jungle rock of Austin’s Migrant Kids will be on as direct support, while they’ll all have to follow the intense energy of Houston’s Gio Chamba. Gio is pretty intense to see live, and he and his percussionist Coffee know how to get a crowd going. If you missed his debut album, Chamba, from last year, then you’ve definitely missed out. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm and a $10 ticket price.
Marry Bleeds. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
At Houston’s MATCH also known as Midtown Arts and Theater Center, you can catch the first ever Cirque Hou. Quite possibly one of the most diverse things to happen in midtown in quite some time, the show will feature a multitude of talents. Art by the celebrated artist Jumper Maybach will don the entryway while a magic set from critically acclaimed magician Robby Bennett will occur. That should be enough for you seeing as Maybach has been compared to Jackson Pollack and Bennett is one of the most celebrated illusionists going. However the show has so much more including the sword swallowing antics of Marry Bleeds, the magic of Grant Freeman, the sideshow tricks of Skabz The Clown, and so much more. Burlesque, aerial acrobatics, pole dancing, and more will be hosted by Houston comic Ku Egenti. Dem Damn Dames’ Tifa Tittlywinks and Mars Capone will also be in the lobby greeting attendees and accepting donations for Tifa’s recovery after her terrible motorcycle accident. The 18 and up shows have doors at 7 pm and 9:30 pm with tickets between $25 and $30.
Over at Raven Tower you could catch the album release for Austin’s A. Sinclair. The four piece has been making waves for quite some time now, and this album, Get Out Of The City, is pretty solid. Houston’s Birthday Club will be on as direct support, and will bring their catchy indie rock goodness to the bill. The indie pop of The Lories will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and a TBA cover.
LACE. Photo: Ryan Francisco
Walters will have the indie Stiff Little Fingers sounding punk of Cleveland’s Pleasure Leftists. Last year this four piece turned heads with their album The Woods of Heaven, while their intense live shows got the attention of everyone else. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t heard that this is the band to see right now, because everyone I know who’s seen them says they’re amazing. The anarcho punk of Houston’s GAST will be on as direct support, while the art punk of No Love Less will go on before. The crazed energy of LACE will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Satellite Bar will have a set from Houston singer and songwriter Adam Bricks serving as his tour kickoff show. Bricks’ just dropped the best album of his to date, the lush and the beautiful sounding Relations. I mean, I feel like if you don’t at least like the first and the last song on this album, then your ears must be broken. The Buxton/Dollie Barnes hybrid Ancient Cat Society will provide direct support with their three part harmonies and folky goodness. There’s something magical about how Haley and Sergio’s voices dance off one another with Austin’s vocals hopping on and off each track from their 2012 release, Stay Home. If you’ve never seen these three, then you’ve been missing out as they’re pretty amazeballs. The garage pop of Georgia’s Femignome will open things up. This two piece just dropped a pretty catchy full length with Anxt that should tell you to get there early to see them. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and a $5 cover.
At Midtown Bar & Grill you could get your laugh on for the Haywire show featuring Austin’s Chris Castles. Okay, technically he’s from Portland, but he’s seriously funny and he was a finalist in Austin’s Funniest Person contest as well. The Bob Morrissey and Justin Blanford hosted show will also have sets from Houston’s Justin Massengale and Kathryn Way as well as a set from Austin’s JT Kelley. The 21 and up show gets going around 10 pm and has a $5 cover.
DJ Theory. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
You could close out your night at Boondocks for another edition of Blackout. The long running dance party will have a featured set from revered DJ, San Francisco’s DJ Theory. This guy should bring his mix of tropical bass and rave sounds to life alongside residents Leckie, Ape Drums, Hyro and Act Badd. The 21 and up show is always lite, and the doors are at 10 pm with a $5 cover.
Saturday you could kick the day off over at Wonky Power Live where they’ll be trying a new thing called Low Key Weekly. Live music, video games, and just chilling with complimentary beverages just to see what’s up with the studio, the practice space, and the East side community. If you want to check it out, the 21 and up event runs from 2 pm to 6 pm and the tickets are TBA available at the venue.
If you’d rather get your sketch on, then you could head to Leon’s Lounge for the first edition of Sketch Club. Hosted by Honey Moonpie, the sketch event will feature Moonpie as the figure to sketch, paint, or photograph at this new monthly event. The 21 and up event gets going around 2 pm and tickets are $10 for artists and $15 for photographers.
Over at Toyota Center will host the massively popular sounds of British singer, Ellie Goulding. The multi-instrumentalist and pop singer has made plenty of waves especially stemming from last year’s Delirium. From what I hear the live show is pretty intense, so if you’re a fan then you should make it out. The popular jams of London synth pop trio Years & Years will be on hand as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 6 pm and tickets between $29.50 and $59.50.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, then you could head out to Woodlands Pavilion for seventies and eighties rockers, Journey. These guys have a ton of hits, and you can have this show “Any Way You Want It,” except with original singer Steve Perry because he’s not in the band anymore. I’m sure if you “Don’t Stop Believin’,” he’ll return one day, just not at this show. Speaking of lacking a singer, The Doobie Brothers will be on this show as well, but without Michael McDonald, though they were better before he turned them into adult contemporary anyway. I like this band better without him, and they’ll still play all of their hits. British pop singer songwriter from the seventies, Dave Mason will open the all ages show with gates at 6 pm and tickets between $38.50 and $145.
The Lumineers. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty
The popular folk rock sounds of Colorado’s The Lumineers will be at the lawn at White Oak Music Hall, but the show has long been sold out. Irish singer songwriter SOAK will provide direct support, and Virginia’s pop folk trio Sleepwalkers will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm.
Mucky Duck has two sets from the always entertaining sounds of Alejandro Escovedo. I shouldn’t have to oversell this show, as this guy is a legend in his own right. He’s been going strong since the mid seventies when he was in The Nuns. He might be the South’s closest thing to Lou reed, and his latest release, Big Station from 2012, is pretty stellar. The 21 and up shows have doors at 7 pm or 9:30 pm and carry tickets between $30 and $33.
Continental Club will host legendary bassist for Ramones, CJ Ramone. Okay, sure he replaced Dee Dee, but I always felt like he got too much crap and did a great job. Anyway, he has a solo album called Last Chance To Dance from 2014 that’s really good. It’s like Ramones meets hints of garage rock. Austin’s Broken Gold, which features Riverboat Gamblers’ Ian MacDougall will be on hand as direct support. Last year, these guys dropped the EP Turning Blue that solidified that they’re worth seeing live. Houston rock three piece Thrill will open the 21 and up show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $15.
Mayer Hawthorne. Photo: Caroline Inzucchi
Numbers will have the blue eyed soul sounds of Mayer Hawthorne. Though this sound was originally intended to be a joke, Hawthorne turned it into a career and he’s a big deal now from it. His latest release, Man About Town, from this year is pretty awesome where the Michigan native mixes British and seventies soul and pop to create an intriguing sound. There’s no word of direct support or opener, but you get his new album with every ticket purchased. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $22.85 and $26.85.
Over at Fitzgerald’s you can catch the EP release of “West Dallas Rodeo” from Houston’s Fox Parlor. The blues rock three piece went so far as to tap the likes of John Evans and Steve Christensen to produce the three song release, and they’ve come a long way since their 2014 release, Hell Or High Water. They always but on an energetic show to boot. The blues psych jams of Houston’s Mojave Red will be on hand to provide direct support while they play out last year’s Creeper. The funk fused blues sounds of Houston’s HandsomeBeast will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $10.
Leon’s Lounge will host the 400th podcast taping of Houston’s popular comedy four piece, The Whiskey Brothers. Alongside these four Houston comics consisting of Slade Ham, Sam Demaris, Rob Mungle, and John Wessling, they’ll have former guests, music and, of course, whiskey specials. The taping has doors at 9 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
The genre mixing sounds of Houston’s J.W. Americana will be over at Rudyard’s. This four piece is a little all over the map, they have become known for a weird and wild live show, and their album, Black Eggs, from 2014 proves they can rock and be weird as well. The beer swingin’ sleaze rock of Houston’s Donkey Punch will go on prior, while indie rock three piece Kitty Glitter opens the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
Brett Dennen. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Sunday you can go by the studio at Warehouse Live to catch a set from Sierra Nevada’s Brett Dennen. Dennen has been around for a good while now, and he’s an act that you should see when he rolls through town. He’ll be here in support of his latest, the upcoming album, Por Favor. He’s dropped a rhythmic single called “Stand Up For It” that shows that he’s definitely at his best. The synth based Americana folk pop of Nashville’s firekid will be on as direct support and opener. This guy is gaining tons of steam with his infectious sound, and his latest album, firekid, from last year is pretty good. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
At Walters you could catch the screamo punk of Minneapolis’ Off With Their Heads. These guys basically sound like Dillinger Escape Plan, and they’re known for a crazy live show. Their newest release was a two song drop called Fine Tuning The Bender from 2014. They’ll have to bring it because the high energy punk of Houston’s Dead To The World will be on the bill as direct support and opener. If you’ve never seen these guys before you’ve been missing out and last year’s EP War proved they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $12 and $16.
Monday you could head down to Scout Bar to see the Canadian thrash punk legends, Voivod. Lead by their single “Snake” these guys inspired a slew of punk bands to follow with albums like War And Pain and Killing Technology. Their latest release, an EP from this year called Post Society shows off how hard these guys can still go, and they rarely make it down here so if you’re a fan, you shouldn’t miss them. The thrash of Australia’s King Parrot will be there as direct support, while the intense and almost art punk of Detroit’s Child Bite will go on before. I’d say that you shouldn’t miss these guys due to the fact that I’ve heard tons of great things about them and their album Negative Noise from this year is pretty damn great. The death metal of Houston’s Spectral Manifest will open the all ages show with doors at 6 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
Tuesday you could swing by Nightingale Room to see the alt rock indie sounds of Empty Shells. These guys know how to bring it, and the three piece has songs up that show all of that off. The indie emo rock of now two piece Since Always will go on beforehand. If you’ve never seen these two before then you’re missing out. If you’ve never seen them as a two piece, then you’ll dig the stripped down versions of songs from last year’s Consequences. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100 % FREE.
Millencolin. Photo: Nico Ford
If you want to get your punk on, then you can go by Walters to catch the Scandinavian skate punk of Millencolin. I feel old realizing that these guys have been around almost 25 years, but I’ll say that they can still bring it in a live setting. Their latest album, an EP from this year called True Brew, is on par with their hit song “No Cigar,” and they’re definitely worth seeing perform. Seattle’s Success will be on the show as direct support and should give you plenty of bang for your buck. The four piece plays pop punk that their latest, 2014’s Life On The Rocks shows off with ease. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
At Satellite Bar you can catch the trippy surf rock psych of Austin’s Lake of Fire. The four piece makes the kind of songs that make you feel like it’s the sixties again, and their newest, Born To Burn, from this year is pretty intense. The R&B meets soul jams of Houston five piece Mind Shrine will be on as direct support. I feel like you should see this band sooner than later as their recently dropped demo of their song “Soul Rhythm” shows how strong they are. The get down garage surf doo wop of Cleen Teens will open the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and a $5 cover.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week that’s worth checking out. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the safest way possible.