Empty Nesters: The Best of The Week
Photo: Andrew Paynter
Well, we’ve certainly had a great run of weeks lately. We’ve had a week of legends and a week of up and comers, but things get a little closer to typical this week. That’s not saying it’s slow, as there are more things happening than the slow time of year. Here’s how to entertain yourself this week.
Wednesday you can kick the week off over at MKT Bar, to see if Adrian Moses of the Houston Dynamo can DJ or not. These events are always fun, and you can go to see what it will be like when I’m there seven days later. Things start around 7:00, the parking is Free, and there’s a ZERO cover charge for all ages.
Of course, a good portion of you might rather go over to Walter’s to catch the meditation guitar sounds of Ann Arbor’s Shells. The band featuring Michigan music scene creator Fred Thomas, is here in support of their latest, 2013’s “In A Cloud.” Houston’s future bass producer Josiah Gabriel will be on hand to get everyone’s feet moving prior. This guy seems to have more talent in a finger than many people do in their entire body. He’s half of Kult Dizney, he’s working on collabs with half our music scene, and he always puts on a show that leaves the crowd wowed in amazement. Getting the evening started will be the other half of Kult Dizney, Children of Pop. It’s kind of crazy how Chase can be in like seven bands and keep the train on the rails, as this project not only lives up to their name, but always gets a crowd in a good and positive mood. Their latest, the spacey sounding “Girls Like” is in line with their never ending string of work that’s always impressive. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 & it’s FREE for 21 & up, while it’s $5.00 for the kiddos.
Barbarella is keeping their Live Wednesday series bumping by hosting the glitch visuals and drone space sounds of Houston’s FLCON FCKER. So, while I’d think that most of you would have caught this guy, he’s definitely someone to catch before he leaves us for places grander than Houston. Part of the prestigious line of Red Bull Music Academy artists, FLCON adds intense synths and beats to his sets that are only made crazier by his glitch visuals. The electro pop Houston three piece known as ZinSin will be there to open things up. These three drop sweetly placed sounds with electronic pop hooks in a new and intriguing way. Their latest, “Someone Ends Up Dead” should give you an idea of what I’m talking about. I have no idea what time it all starts, but I think it’s a 21 & up show. The cover is $2.00 before 11:00 and $5.00 after.
At Midtown Bar & Grill, you could head to over to catch the High Bar show, this time featuring comedian Daniel Webb. Webb has a pretty strong comedic presence, that’s been featured at Fun Fun Fun Fest, The Moontower Comedy Festival, and a ton of other places. The show will also feature FPH Sammy winner Ashton Womack, Dusti Rhodes, Michael Paras, and Greg Deal. The entire show is hosted by Nick Meriwether & Bob Morrissey. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a $5.00 ticket price.
Juicy J Photo: Getty Images
Thursday you have plenty of options that start off over at House of Blues for the hip hop of Juicy J. Back when everything in hip hop was East VS. West coasts, Juicy J was a part of what ushered in the prominence of the hip hop scene from the South. Part of Three 6 Mafia, J has been dropping tight jams for longer than most, and now as part of the Taylor Gang or Die click, he’s still going strong. If you’ve never seen this guy before, you’re missing out. His latest, “Stay Trippy” is one of his strongest. There’s no word on openers, but the all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $27.50 and $40.00.
Over at Walter’s they’ll be bringing in Massachusetts four piece, Speedy Ortiz. Though only around since 2011, the band has been well received by the bulk of the music industry and critics alike. They’re known for putting on one of the best live shows going, and even Pitchfork praises everything about them. Their latest album, this year’s “Foil Deer” mixes indie rock structures with pretty vocals that remind me of what would happen if you crossed The Breeders, and Liz Phair with Pavement. It’s one of my favorite releases of the year and a record you kind of can’t stop listening to. The pop rock meets indie goodness of Philly’s Alex G will be there as direct support. This guy is kind of mind blowing in the way he mixes almost Elliott Smith like vocals with pop rock melodies. His latest was last year’s “DSU,” and honestly, it’s amazing. Opening the show is the best band from Houston that you possibly don’t know, emocore three piece football, etc. . I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in being a fan of this band in the way that they seem to truly understand what the first wave of emo was all about. their latest, this year’s “Disappear” is their strongest to date, and their live shows are nothing short of fun and energetic. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $10.00 and $14.00.
You might be more in a Latin mood, and if you are, then I’d suggest heading to Warehouse Live to check out Pachanga Fest. The show will be headlined by Latin alternative group Kinky. Though they’re known for a crazy energy based show, it’s their hits like “A Donde Van Los Muertos?” that have everyone’s attention. Their latest, this year’s “MTV Unplugged” showed a whole new side to the Monterrey five piece. As direct support, the heavy hitting sounds of Compass: Mexican Institute of Sound+Toy Selectah will be there to get asses on the floor. These guys drop some serious hip hop that’s mixed with Latin and Cumbia electronic beats. Their single, “La llama” might be one of the most infectious things you can put in your ears. The roots with political overtones sound of Ceci Bastida will open things up. So, if you’re a gringo, you might not know her; but her stuff is amazing. Her latest album came out last year, but “La Edad De la Violencia” is seriously gorgeous, poppy, and poignant all at once.
Over at Anderson Fair, you can catch the folk acoustic duo, Little Spear. So, you might not know this, but these two have done a lot for two people who don’t play out like they used to. The duo consists of Rhonda Rubicon who’s been playing uke around town lately, and Sherita Perez of Fear The Poet. Of course, the two recording with heavyweight Chris Frenchie Smith doesn’t hurt either. They don’t play out as much as they used to, so this is a rare show. The doors are at 7:30, it’s all ages, and the venue only accepts cash. The cover is TBA.
Out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, one of the funniest guys to come from Austin, Jon Stringer will be in town. Stringer has won tons of comedy contests, he’s constantly called one of our state’s funniest, and his high energy show is a must see one. He has NYC comic Gerald Torregosa on the bill as his feature, and like many of these shows, one of Houston’s better comics will perform the host duties. There’s one show Thursday at 8:00, and two on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 and 10:30. All of the shows are $16.00.
Fitzgerald’s will be bringing the R&B meets electronica grooves of Portland’s Shy Girls. The producer with impeccable vocals is here in support of his latest, this year’s “4WZ.” This guy brings dark sounds, pop heavy hooks, and beat based jams to life like you’ve never seen, and he’s getting bigger by the days. He’ll have LA’s P. Morris there as his direct support. I feel like if you’re attending, then you’re an idiot to miss this guy. In what he calls goombawave music, he drops slow chillwave beats complete with washed over vocals that create their own chill vibes. His latest was last year’s beautifully crafted “Debut” that’s an album everyone should give a listen to. the all ages show is downstairs with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
Friday you can start things off over at Eastdown Warehouse for the Big City Small World show presented by the Generators Playground. So, these things are always a really good time where music, art, and more. It’s an all ages affair with tons of local artists like Doll Partzz Asylum, Cyko Marz, and a ton more. the music will be provided by the likes of Locate, Frog Hair, and a bunch more. The doors are at 6:00, the music gets going at 7:00 and as far as I know, it’s $5.00.
Notsuoh will be hosting the dream pop psych wave of Houston’s Mojave Red. These guys make the kind of tunes that are like taking shrooms and hanging with George Clinton. There’s a hint of funk to their tunes, so they should make for an interesting act to see. The post punk meets Starflyer 59 sounds of Austin’s Jay Satellite will also be there. I say Starflyer cause’ he adds other sounds that are like early emo mixed with fuzz pop. His latest is a single called, “Stargazer” that’s pretty great. The psych sounds of Houston’s Mantra Love will also add their strange and trippy sounds to the show, while the garage rock of Houston’s A Tribute To The Sun gets things started. You should give their album, “Gold, God, and Glory” if you wanna’ hear what they’re like in a live setting. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and is $5.00 for 21 & up, and $10.00 for minors.
David Spade Photo: Mark Davis
Improv will be bringing America’s favorite snarky guy, David Spade to town. Spade is best known for roles on TV, being on SNL, and being in films like “Joe Dirt” and “Tommy Boy.” But, he’s also a stand up who’s actually funny. His return to stand up came last year when he dropped a new special, “My Fake Problems.” He’s there for only three shows, so if you want to go then you should get your tickets quick. As with a;; of the shows at the iconic club, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as the feature act and the host. The Friday show is at 8:00, and there are two shows on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30. All of them have tickets between $40.00 and $50.00.
If you don’t mind going to the Woodlands, then you could head to Dosey Doe’s Big Barn to catch the legendary songs of Leon Russell. Russell is best known for his hits like “Tight Rope,” “A Song For You,” and of course, “It’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” However, this guy was also a long time session musician who played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Rolling Stones. He’s getting up in age, so scientifically speaking; this could be your last time to see him. The show includes dinner which is served between 5:00 and 6:30. The americana country of Austin’s Charlie Montague will open things up at 7:30. The tickets are between $88.00 and $148.00.
At Beta Theater, they have a very special and one night only performance from the critically acclaimed improv show, Dummy. The two person improv show has played all around the world, it’s been called the best improv show two years in a row, and this is a show that should sell out. The show is at 8:00 and the tickets are a measly $12.00.
If you wanna’ get your laugh on, you could catch Boo Town’s Benshi show over at The Orange Show. This time they’ll utilize the videos of the really bad film, “Super Commando” featuring Hulk Hogan. Benshi is super popular in Japan, and you can look it up if you don’t know what it is. Also, the show’s details are available here. Something Fierce will also perform on the Friday show, and Vacation Eyes will perform on the Saturday show. The band’s start at 8:00 and the cover is between $15.00 for pre-sale, and $20.00 at the door.
Walter’s will be hosting the album release show for Houston’s Say Girl Say. If you haven’t heard them, the folky soul three piece mixes ukuleles with strings with drums in a new and inventive way. The vocals are intense and pretty, and the band is kind of their own thing. The future bass sounds of Houston’s Josiah Gabriel will headline the evening as only he can. If you haven’t seen this guy drop beats and electronic jams, then you’ve been doing the music scene wrong. The Joy of Djembe drum circle will be there, as will the indie pop electronics of Houston four piece Crashing Colors. Lead with deep female vocals, I’d say that you’d be foolish not to get there early to check them out. Hayden Jones and The Roosevelt House Band will be there to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.
It’s crazy, but Mike Barfield, formerly of The Hollisters will be over at Big Top. Barfield is, well he’s definitely different. Possibly one of the more eclectic musicians going, he’s opened for the likes of Merle Haggard and Bernie Worrell of P Funk. His music is a mix of funk and honky tonk, and he’s a hell of a performer. Now going by The Tyrant of Texas funk, Barfield is definitely a guy you should check out. As far as I know, the 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and a ZERO cover charge.
If you just want to get your dance on, then you should head over to Boondocks for this month’s edition of Blackout. This time the show will feature OG Bobby Trill, Navo, and Vic G. Of course the Blackout residents of Hyro, Leckie, and Act Badd will also be on hand to get things bumping. Things get started around 10:00, it’s 21 & up ONLY, and it’s 100% FREE.
On Saturday, you can start things off over at Beta Theater, when they host the duo, Jason Shotts and Colleen Doyle from Dummy on a slew of improv workshops. These workshops are extremely limited, and valuable for anyone involved with improv, public speaking, and acting. These two will offer valuable info while keeping things inventive and fun. They start at 9:00 am and come in three hour bursts, priced between $50.00 each or $170 for all and with the Friday night show included. The tickets and info are all right here.
If you want to get your punk on, then you could head over to Eastdown Warehouse for the Unfuck The World Fest, Two. Things will be headlined by punk four piece, Versa Nova of Houston. The show has like nine bands on it with all the info here. The doors are at 4:05, the show is all ages, and the cover is $10.00, unless you bring canned goods to donate; then it’s $7.00.
You could also roll back the clock with the boy band pop of New Kids On The Block at Toyota Center. Remember when they tried to launch a comeback and rebranded themselves NKOTB? Well, they have since realized that no one wants that, and they just want to hear the hits like “You Got It(The Right Stuff),” and “Step By Step.” Because it’s the original lineup, and they’re aging, the doors are early at 6:00; where the tickets are between $39.50 and $89.50.
House of Creeps will host the benefit for magazine Maximum RocknRoll. The magazine was easily a large part of my youth, so I can’t tell you enough why you should attend. I remember buying punk attire and thumbing through the mag to read all about all of my favorite hardcore bands when I was a teen. The show has a slew of great Houston bands like The Hates, Cop Warmth, Snooty Garbagemen, and many more. ALL of the door goes to the magazine with doors at 7:00, and a $7.00 cover for the all ages show.
Dave Matthews Band Photo: Kerry Maloney
I’m sure that there’s at least a handful of you that want to get stoned and jam out to the sounds of Dave Matthews Band at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Matthews does really bring it when he performs, and the band’s latest is the expanded edition of 1995’s “Under The Table and Dreaming.” The last studio album from the band came in 2012 with “Away From The World.” He’ll be performing two sets with things starting at 8:00 and tickets between $40.50 and $85.00.
House of Blues will be bringing the San Francisco based cello player and composer, Zoe Keating to town. Keating was a part of the cell rock band Rasputina, and is known for being quite the intense performer. Her latest album was ten years ago with “One Cello x 16: Natoma,” but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check her out, cause’ she’s kind of amazing. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are $19.33.
Over at Fitzgerald’s they’ll have the Brooklyn cosmic pop rock of Dreamers. The three piece dropped the “Wolves” single last year to plenty of praise, and they’re supposed to be a fun band to see live. The indie rock pop goodness of Houston’s Young Girls will be there for direct support. If you’ve never seen these guys, they bring a high energy mixed with dual vocals to their live show; and last year’s “Young Girls” was pretty amazeballs. The indie rock meets garage pop of Houston’s Race To The Moon will be there to open things up. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and tickets are between $10.00 and $13.00.
Knights of The Fire Kingdom Photo: Courtesy of Artist
You could make it over to the East side to The Shop to catch the melodic emo sounds of Houston’s Holder. So, these guys bring a crazy energy when they play while they mix emo and punk with a traditional indie rock structure. They just dropped an EP “Live @ Rudyard’s” that should let you know what you’re in for. The high energy and matching outfits of Knights Of The Fire Kingdom will also be there. Though it’s not coming until July, the band has a full length that truly captures their crazy live show. If only it was a video so you could see what showmanship is while they perform. These guys play hard whether they’re in fron of 5 or 500 people, and they’re one of the tightest live bands going. The post rock shoegaze indie rock meets emo sounds of Houston’s Since Always will be there to open the show. If you missed me saying that I adored their full length “Consequences,” then you should go see their great live show in person. It’s BYOB, all ages, and things get going around 8:00 with a $5.00 cover.
Rudyard’s will be hosting the incredibly high energy of Houston’s Only Beast. So, if you’ve never seen a three piece where the guitarist masterfully plays both guitar and bass at the same time, or if you haven’t seen a drummer keep time and rhythmically charge your soul; then you should see this band ASAP. Away from the fact that their singer has more energy in one show than most bands have in a lifetime, she has this Corin Tucker meets PJ Harvey set of pipes that are all over their 2015 release, “Live At Notsuoh.” Austin’s Lick Lick will bring their brand of high energy rock to life. Female fronted and high energy are all over the band’s 2007 release, “Lick Lick,” and they should have their new album on hand at the show. The bizarre and trippy two piece, Toxic Water will be there, and they’ll drop their very different goth electro sound when they open things. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:30 and an $8.00 cover.
At Notsuoh, they’ll have the solo sounds of Houston’s AP Stark. Coming from the Woodlands, Stark uses various methods to create this Ben Kweller meets early Bob Dylan sound. There’s definitely something intriguing about the tracks he’s dropped here, where you realize that there’s some strong talent outside our city’s inner loop. He’ll have the blues rock meets soul sounds of Houston’s Tribe Hill on the bill prior. The fuzz heavy guitar of JVS Reel will open the 21 & up show with doors at 10:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Over at Boondocks, they’ll host a party from Dance Mofo Dance with Trashed. The show will also feature Grrrl Parts, Hiram, Angieliste, and DNCSxWLVS. The show should be full of plenty of great jams for the 21 & up crowd that gets going at 10:00. It’s 100% FREE.
Sunday, you could make it out to Etro Lounge to catch the queer dance party of Whatever Forever. The show will feature jams dropped by DJs like Lacy Youngblood, DJ Fredster, and Dan-Knee. There’s a photo booth, FREE entry, and things get going with doors at 5:00.
On Monday you’ll have to make wise choices when there’s a handful of shows all worth making it out for. This all gets going over at Fitzgerald’s, when they host the amazing sounds of Toro Y Moi. This guy is kind of like if you took the trippy funkiness of Funkadelic, the spirit of the Beatles, and mixed it with the swag of Usher & put them together. Known for a crazy live show, he’ll be here in support of his recently released “What For?” South Carolina performer Keath Mead will be there to open things up. His latest, “Sunday Dinner” from this year sounds like what you want Conor Oberst to do solo. The all ages show should sell out with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $26.00 and $31.50.
Over at House of Blues, they’ll have the incredibly long titled show, Quality Control Presents Yung Rich Nation Tour. Things will be headlined by Atlanta trio, Migos. There will be a handful of you who scratch your heads about the act until you realize that it’s made up by three strong rappers in Offset, Quavo, and Takeoff. These guys have seriously moved some units, and their latest, “Rich N**ga Timeline” from last year is pretty damn good. Opening things up will be the hip hop of Atlanta’s OG Maco. Maco is getting bigger and bigger as the year rolls on, and his new EP, “Breathe” just adds to his list of hits. Hopefully he’ll perform for longer than the 15 minutes I saw him do recently at Warehouse Live. The all ages show has doors at 7:30, and tickets between $24.50 and $30.00.
Warehouse Live will have the indie rock guitar greatness of Built To Spill over in the ballroom. So, if you wondered what you’d get if you took J Mascis, Neil Young, and Pavement; and put them in a blender; then Doug Martsch of Built To Spill is what you’d get. These guys are legends, darlings of the nineties indie rock scene, and heavy hitters when it comes to a live show. If you missed the last time they were here, they played the bulk of their back catalog for a really long time. Their new album, this year’s “Untethered Moon” stays in line with their guitar heavy sounds, while charting new territories for the band. They’re easily one of the best live bands you can see, and they’re always generous to their fans. The psych garage of Wooden Indian Burial Ground will be there as direct support. This band sounds like if you took low grade acid with roky Erickson and passed out in the sixties. Their 2012 album, “Wooden Indian Burial Ground” is a trip and they should be great to see live. Idaho’s Clarke and the Himselfs will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $18.00 and $20.00.
Minus The Bear Photo: Ryan Russell
Tuesday, I feel like the only show worth going to, is the Minus The Bear show at Fitzgerald’s. Look, these guys make a mix of beautiful indie rock and pop melodies that I can’t tell you more that you shouldn’t miss. They are such a tight live band that saying they have high energy isn’t enough. I’ve seen them at least five times and they’ve always been great. Their new album, last year’s “Lost Loves” just proves that greatness. One of the most talented guys to come out of this third wave of emo, Into It. Over It. will be here to open the show. His latest, 2013’s “Intersections” is as melodic as it is beautiful; and he’s such a great band to catch live. The all ages show has doors at 7:30, tickets between $23.00 and $27.00, and will more than likely sell out.
That’s really about it. It’s not crazy, but still a great week. No matter where you go, please be mindful of us all and take the safe route home.