Don’t You Wait: The Best of The Week
Solange. Photo: Paradigm Talent Agency
Well, the Super Bowl is here, which means a ton of artists will be on hand performing all across the city, although many of you won’t be able to get close enough due to enormous crowds. Solange, ZZ Top, Lizzo, and Polyphonic Spree will all perform here this week while most of us attempt to get around all of the chatter and mess. Houston, your next seven days are all planned out.
On Wednesday you can start off at Discovery Green and surrounding areas for the Super Bowl Live event featuring Americana rockers Buxton. Far from heroes in this neck of the woods, the band’s last album Half A Native is one of the best albums a label ever botched the release of. Aside from the swooning notes from that album, the group brings it live for the all ages event that gets going around 3 pm with sets from Second Lovers and more with additional information here.
Walter’s will host the synth heavy jams of LA’s popular Cold Cave. Mixing dark wave, noise, and synthpop, Cold Cave reminds me of a lot of what Great Britain offered up in the ’80s. Known for an energetic live show, their latest release, The Idea of Love from last year, is pretty enjoyable. The new wave goth pop of LA’s Drab Majesty will be on hand as direct support an opener and his live sets are supposed to be a real trip. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $15 and $17.
Youth Code. Photo: Dais Records
Eastdown Warehouse will have the return of Pittsburgh’s Code Orange. The kind of hardcore these guys bring isn’t usually my deal, but their latest album Forever does hit pretty hard. This show is highlighted with a direct support slot from LA’s Youth Code is worth checking out. Youth Code has always kind of reminded me of a modern day mix of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, without the cheesy factor, and their latest release Commitment To Complications is pretty killer. Arizona’s Gatecreeper opens the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $12 and $16.
Over at Club Spire on Main, you can get up close and personal with world renowned DJ A-Trak. He’s been turning heads since he was 15 and a stint as Kanye’s DJ didn’t slow him down by any means. His sets are known to get people moving and his latest release, last year’s In The Loop: A Decade of Remixes, can definitely get you moving. The 21 & up show has locals but none mentioned yet with doors at 10 pm and tickets for $20.
Lizzo. Photo: Atlantic Records/Jabari Jacobs
Thursday you can begin over at Discovery Green for the Super Bowl Live event that kicks off with the hip hop of Houston’s INGRID, who’s latest album from last year, Trill Feels, is pretty hot. Lizzo will bring her intense and groovy new album Coconut Oil to life afterwards before a set from jazz pianist, Robert Glasper Experiment. Of course, Solange will close out the night for the all ages and FREE event that gets going around 3:00 pm with extra sets from Children of Pop, Bang Bangz and more on hand.
Over at Mucky Duck, the often laconic voiced sounds of Nashville’s Minton Sparks will swing by to perform. Adding a spoken word type set full with lush Southern notes, Sparks will make you think while she melts your heart. Her last release, 2014’s Gold Digger is an album everyone should hear, and her live sets have been acclaimed from coast to coast. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $22 and $25.
Boy Harsher. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Travis Weitzman
Satellite Bar will host the synth oriented darkwave sounds of Massachusetts’ Boy Harsher. This two piece dropped a pretty amazing EP in 2014 called Lesser Man, only to drop a full length last year called Yr Body Is Nothing that went darker and harder. They’re known for an intense live show, and they’re an act you should check out if you’re a fan of the genre. The dark synthwave sounds of Houston’s Tearful Moon will provide direct support while the always intriguing strangeness of Ak’chamel will go on prior. Andrew Lee of Lace will perform a solo set as opener for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $7.
Fitzgerald’s will have a barn burner when one of the craziest acts you can see, Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers will swing by to perform their blend of blues, Americana, rockabilly, and Southern gothic tunes. These guys never keep things the same and they even employed Duane Denison of Jesus Lizard at one point. However, now they’re just a fist pumping four piece with a killer new album called Agridustrial, and their live shows are always like a crazed tent revival set to music. The throwback tonk of The Delta Bombers will provide direct support while the rockabilly energy of The Brains will go on prior. The outlaw country of South Texas’ The Barnyard Stompers will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
Walter’s will have the fun side of Ween, when a set from Dean Ween Group stops in to drop a set. Ween is the one in the band who plays the more pop oriented songs, and his latest album The Deaner Album from last year feels like a ton of fun from start to finish. Amandla will provide support for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $20 and $24.
NOTS. Photo: Ground Control Touring/Chad Kamenshine
Rudyard’s has the weird punk of the Memphis based all female four piece, NOTS. Known for an intense live show and critically acclaimed sounds, their latest album Cosmetic is worth lending an ear to. Austin’s John Wesley Coleman III will provide direct support while the intriguing dance meets indie rock of Houston’s Keno Sims will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
Friday things get heated when you can start at Market Square Park for live tunes from Dollie Barnes, Young Girls, and more. The all ages and 100% FREE event gets going around 11 am and ends around 3.
Catch Fever. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If you really want, you could head back over to Discovery Green and the surrounding area for more of the Super Bowl Live shows. Robert Ellis, Leon Bridges, The Suspects, and more will all be on hand, as well as performances from Catch Fever, Vodi, -Us. and Wrestlers. The all ages and FREE event gets going around noon.
Believe it or not, you can steer away from all of that madness and head out to the Woodlands to catch funk legends WAR in the Big Barn at Dosey Doe. Seriously, these guys wrote the book on funk, they can still bring it when they perform, and hits like “Low Rider,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends?,” and “Spill The Wine” should be more than enough reason for you to head out and catch them while you still can. Your ticket includes dinner which is served from 6 pm to 7:30 pm for the all ages show with tickets between $98 and $158.
You Blew It! Photo: APA Agency
Walter’s will have a set from Florida emo rockers, You Blew It!. I hate this band’s name, but contrary to what some think, I dig their sound. Their 2014 album Keep Doing What You’re Doing got them a larger audience, but their latest Abendrot is where the love should be focused. The album finds the band incorporating a more adult sound while hanging on to emo core elements from their past, resulting in a record that you should check out. The indie pop of All Get Out will provide direct support while the emo of Tennessee’s Free Throw will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $12 and $17.
If you’d rather get your laugh on, you could attempt to get into one of the two shows at Fitzgerald’s featuring the always funny Hannibal Buress. Whether you know him from his comedy specials, his time on The Eric Andre Show, or his albums, Buress never disappoints. The 7 pm show is sold out, but there’s an all ages show with doors at 10 pm with tickets between $35 and $40.
Kay Weathers. Photo: Josh Cobb
Kay Weathers will return to town with a set over at Nightingale Room. While I’m pretty sure that Main street will be a nightmare to navigate, you should still swing by to catch her perform. A crazy light show and adornments galore, her debut EP Songs For Lucy is pretty amazing. She’ll have the hyper energized jams of -Us. on prior for the 100% FREE 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm.
If you’d rather steer from music altogether, then you could head to Hardy & Nance Studios for the Cheap Date show. Over thirty five artists will have art on display, all for a $20 price to take home, and the attached market means that you should definitely swing by to grab some things to decorate your spaces. There’s more information here for the all ages event that gets going around 7 pm and runs between $3 ad $5.
At Proof Rooftop Lounge, Long Beach rapper and weed aficionado Snoop Dogg will drop by to perform an exclusive set as well as drop a DJ set. Of course I don’t need to give you the man’s resume, though his latest release Coolaid from last year is worth giving an ear to. The 21 & up show has a limited number of tickets between $50 and $175 with doors at 8 pm.
Jody Seabody & the Whirls. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Rudyard’s will have a headlining set from Houston’s Slow Future. Though the band has only been around for a couple of years, they’ve stayed on track with a pretty solid release on last year’s First EP. That might be enough for people, but the insanity of a set from Jody Seabody & the Whirls will be on as direct support, and as someone who’s caught them multiple times; be prepared to be impressed. The highly charged fuzzy indie rock of Houston’s A Sundae Drive will be on as openers for the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and a measly $8 cover.
On Saturday you can keep the Super Bowl goodness starting at Market Square Park for an opening set from Dayta, followed by performances from Handsomebeast, El Lago, Vodi and more. The all ages event gets going around 11 am and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Discovery Green and the surrounding area, you can get groovy with another day of Super Bowl Live. A headlining set from Houston legends ZZ Top will be preceded by a performance from Gary Clark Jr as well as one from Houston’s The Suffers. There’s also sets from Dollie Barnes and more for the all ages and FREE event that gets going around noon.
The Phantom Royals. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
At Continental Club, you can check out the multiple vocal chorus sounds of The Polyphonic Spree. The Dallas group lead by Tripping Daisy’s Tim DeLaughter has never disappointed with their mix of trippy pop and multiple vocals, and their live shows are always amazing. While their last album Yes, It’s True is do for a follow up, their first two releases The Beginning Stages of… and Together We’re Heavy are what they’re known for. There are also sets from The Phantom Royals, A Fistful of Soul, DJ Mikey and more. Things get going around noon and it’s 100% FREE.
If you just want to avoid all of the madness around football, then you could swing by The Archway Gallery to see and hear the collaborative effort between Sandy Ewen and her mother Jane Ewen. Art, music from Sandy’s trio Etched in the Eye to perform will all be on hand alongside gratis beer and more. The all ages show gets going around 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Screech of Death. Photo: Uncredited/Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Vinal Edge will host the Women In Punk Fest featuring art punk, old school death punk and more. The show, featuring sets from No Love Less, Mel Hell & The Texas Mod Crushers, Screech of Death, Supergrave and Clare, has more information here. Things get going around 7 pm and the all ages event is 100% FREE.
Later on at Continental Club, the queen of rock n’ roll, Wanda Jackson will swing by to play to a more than likely packed house. Jackson hasn’t really slowed down from a career that began in the 1950’s. Realistically, Jackson is reaching that age where this might be one of your last chances to catch her, and her 2011 album The Party Ain’t Over was her kind way of saying she’s not going anywhere. The 21 & up show has doors at 10 pm and tickets for $25.
On Sunday you can finish the Super Bowl Live series with a headlining performance from Houston’s purveyors of Latin ska, Los Skarnales at Discovery Green and the surrounding areas. I don’t need to oversell these guys, I’ll just say that they’re performers that actually perform while redefining a sound they’ve nurtured since they began. Grupo Fantasma is also set to perform alongside others with things getting started around 11 am for the 100% FREE all ages event.
Negative Gemini. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook/Uncredited
Monday, Walter’s will host the unabashed and unadulterated electro pop of Brooklyn’s George Clanton. Clanton has skewed all over the electronica genre, and while his live sets have always been entertaining, the electro pop world is where he really shines. Lucky for us, his new album 100% Electronica is as pop as it gets, echoing the likes of OMD and Aha. The chillwave dreampop of New York’s Negative Gemini will bring plenty of dance grooves on during her set as direct support, while Houston’s XLO will bring a textural nature to the show beforehand. A DJ set from Children of Pop will make things ultra groovy as openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
On Tuesday the crew from Bootown will bring another edition of their video clip rewritten series Neo-Benshi back to The Secret Group. The show, featuring people reworking the script of a video in the style of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is always worth making it out for. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and a paltry $5 cover.
If you just want to escape, then you can forget all about the madness of the NFL festivities at Walter’s for their VHS Night. A double feature of sorts will play, maybe some tape swapping for those who still prefer the bulky film casing, as well as drink specials and more. The doors are at 8 pm, it’s all ages, and the FREE event has more information here.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. Don’t forget that it’s going to be bonkers, there will be law enforcement everywhere, as well as drunken tourists with the keys to a rental car. So be mindful, be safe, and use your best judgement for everyone’s sake.