Get Down: The Best of The Week
Kurt Vile. Photo: Shantel Mitchell
Last week we had enough options to stay busy for the entire week. This week isn’t much different with acts like Kurt Vile, pictured above, rolling through town. Houston, here’s how to plan your next seven days.
Wednesday you can get started over at Raven Tower for the twangy alt-country sounds of Houston’s Ruckus. This four piece is easily one of our city’s better kept secrets, their live shows are always full of energy, and their track “Better Than It Was” sounds like a road weary tune performed by Jay Bennett era Wilco. The all ages show has doors at 5 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
In The Greenroom at Warehouse Live, you can catch the eclectic and electric sounds of Austin’s Mobley. The solo artist has opened for everyone from MuteMath to Wavves, he’s composed music for TV and film, and his latest single “Solo” is pretty amazing. He’s known for an intense live show and is one of the better things to come outta’ Austin in a good while. The progressive sounds of Houston’s Lost Element will be on as direct support, while the always engaging indie rock of Houston’s The Wheel Workers will open things up. If for some reason you haven’t seen this band live yet, then you’ve been missing out. Their live sets are always entertaining, and last year’s “Citizens” is one of the best albums from last year. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $8 and $10.
Slingshot Dakota. Photo: Jay Breslin
Walters will have the indie electronic and drum duo of Slingshot Dakota. Touring in support of their recently dropped album, “Break,” the Pennsylvania two piece has made a name for themselves as a crazed live act. The indie emo sounds of Houston’s Middlechild will perform as direct support, while the emo heavy sounds of Houston’s Valens will go on prior. These guys are like if Braid played Knapsack tunes, and their last full release, “The Trouble of Finding Out,” is pretty damn amazing. The now two-piece shoegaze emo of Houston’s Since Always will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $5 and $10.
The 70s sounding piano rock of Nashville’s K Phillips will be delighting those in attendance at Under The Volcano. His last album was “American Girls” from 2012, but he should have a new album out sooner than later. The 21 and up show has doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
Rudyard’s will host the synthy electro pop of San Francisco’s Blackbird Blackbird. Touring on last year’s “Strawberry Light,” the solo act has soft vocals and a layered sound that’s pretty infectious. The electro pop of UK act Chad Valley will be on as direct support, while Maryland producer Shallou will open things up. Shallou is known for his trippy style and his latest “Heights” from this year is quite the jam. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
If you’re up for a drive, then you could head to Gridiron Sports Bar & Grill in Sugar Land to catch a comedy set from the always hilarious Billy D Washington. Washington has been all over network and cable TV, he’s known to pack a room and make that room erupt in laughter and it’s hard to believe this Houston comic isn’t the biggest comic going. He’ll have sets from Clinton Shorter & Kiki Maroon on the bill with him for the 100% FREE show with doors at 9 pm for 21 and up.
David Liebe Hart. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Thursday you could begin at the studio at Warehouse Live to catch the always bizarre sounds of outsider artist David Liebe Hart. You should know Hart from his strange puppets and songs from “Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” He dropped an album last year called “Go Into The Light” that’s about as strange as his choice of puppets, and this show will feature plenty of entertainment from the performer, including a set full of puppets and songs. The loud rock of Houston’s We Were Wolves will be on as direct support. This four piece is known for a loud and explosive live show, appearances on tours with Dwarves and FPSF last year have solidified them as a heavy hitting act; and last year’s EP “Ruin Your Weekend” proved they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The always entertaining music of The Mustn’ts will also be on the bill. Is Vicki in on the joke? Will Jeromy interrupt every song with commentary about something random? You’ll have to find out when the duo performs one of their rare and always hilarious sets. Nick Meriwether will open things up, and if you’ve never seen this guy, I’ll just say that he had Kyle Kinane laughing hysterically at the Come And Take It after party this year. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $12 and $15. “Salame.”
Nightingale Room will have the Gulf Coast indie rock of Houston’s Deep Cuts. Last year these guys dropped the single “While The House Fills Up,” then dropped the retrospective album, “Gulf Coast Companion, Vol. 1.” They’re always entertaining to see live and this show shouldn’t be much different. The tongue in cheek electro alt sounds of Get A Life will serve as opener. The three piece gave us the full length “As If Emoji” last year, and they’re one of the best local bands you’ve probably never seen. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
House of Blues will host the massively popular sounds of former War On Drugs member, Kurt Vile. Vile has been making his own jams since he was 14, he’s always been a prolific artist, and over the years he’s become bigger and bigger. Last year he dropped the album, “b’lieve i’m goin down…” that included the hit song “Pretty Pimpin.” He’ll be performing this show with a full band, also known as The Violators. A solo set from Philly’s Purling Hiss will serve as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $22.50 and $35.
Over at Satellite Bar you can catch the stoner rock psych of the UK band, Desert Mountain Tribe. These guys are kind of like if The Cult played QOTSA songs, and they’re rumored to be a trip to see live. They’ll be in town supporting their latest album, this year’s “Either That or The Moon.” The alt rock of Houston’s Pilot will be on as direct support, while the intriguing blues rock of Carmeci will perform as well. The dark ambient sounds of Houston’s Whale Bones will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
The ballroom at Warehouse Live will have a special set from popular Houston rapper, Kirko Bangz. It’s been five years since Bangz popped off with the hit jam “Drank In My Cup,” and since he’s kept the flow of singles coming. His latest, this year’s “Worry Bout It” featuring Fetty Wap, and his live sets are always worth catching. X.O. will provide direct support for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $20 and $60, the latter being a VIP option with meet and greet.
Hayes Carll. Photo: Jay Blickenstaff
Wortham Center/Cullen Theater will host the twangy singer songwriter tunes of Hayes Carll for his album release party. Carll has been making waves throughout the music world for a good while, he’s a hell of a performer, and after being compared to the likes of Townes Van Zandt, the world is definitely in his fingertips. His latest album, “Lovers and Leavers” from this year is his strongest to date, and full of beauty and tribulations. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $46 and $75.
Mucky Duck will have a set from Houston’s Nathan Quick. This will probably one of the last times you can see the singer songwriter before his set at this year’s FPSF. I’ve been singing this guy’s praises since his first record, but it was last year’s “City Lights” EP that really showcased the artist’s depth. He’s always entertaining to see live, and this show should be no exception to that. The 21 and up show has doors at 9:30 pm and tickets between $15 and $17.
Friday you can get going at Revention Center for two of the Blue Collar Comedy guys, when Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy perform. While I’m not a big Larry guy, Foxworthy has stayed funny well past those “you might be a redneck” jokes of the nineties. The all ages shows have doors at either 5 or 8 pm and tickets are between $59.50 and $199, the latter being a meet and greet with VIP option.
If that’s not your thing, then you could head to Nightingale Room for the instrumental viola based metal of Fiddle Witch & The Demons of Doom. Even though I panned their album, “Fiddle Witch & The Demons of Doom” last year when it came out, I still contend with the level of musicianship in this band and they’re probably pretty amazing to see live. They’ll have the blues rock of Tribe Hill on as openers, with doors at 6 pm for the 100% FREE 21 and up show.
Operators. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Raven Tower will host the electro jams of Canada’s Operators, however the show has since been cancelled.
The Spain bred new wave punk of La URSS will be over at Walters. Translated to The USSR, this DIY punk outfit has been going strong since 2006, they’re known for a crazy live show, and their latest release “Maravillas Del Mundo” from last year is amazing. The raw punk of Houston’s Existencia will be on as direct support, while the killwave punk noise of Cop Warmth will go on prior. The old school hardcore of Houston’s Substance will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
If you like laughing, then you can’t go wrong with the always hilarious antics of Houston’s Ali Siddiq over at Improv. Siddiq has been on Showtime, Comedy Central, and all over the globe blowing up and taking names. His latest album, “Enjoy Your Life” from 2013 is funny as hell, though he has a new special coming sooner than later for Comedy Central. All of these shows will have two of Houston’s better up and coming comics as feature act and host, and Ali is a guy you’ll wanna’ grab tickets for early, because he usually sells out fast. The 18 and up shows are at 8 and 10:30 pm Friday, 7 and 9:30 pm on Saturday, and 7:30 pm on Sunday. All tickets are between $20 and $30.
Purple. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
I’d guess that a good chunk of you would rather be at Satellite Bar for the album release party for Beaumont’s Purple. The three piece has been on a whirlwind of touring and traction since I saw them like five years ago at Avant Garden. The album being released is their latest, “Bodacious” that has a higher production value than their earlier releases. Austin and Houston all female Ween tribute band, POON will not disappoint as direct support, while Giant Kitty will go on prior and bring their album “This Stupid Stuff” to life. The indie rock of Houston’s Whit will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $8.
You can get your twang in when Warehouse Live hosts the alt country of Drive-By Truckers in the ballroom. These guys have been insanely popular for a really long time, and their live shows are always a mix of energy and emotional tunes. Their latest release, last year’s “It’s Great To Be Alive!” adds mixtures that the group has never blended in an album prior to it. There’s no word of an opener yet, but that could change. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $25 and $27.
If you’re up for something heavier, then you could head to Rudyard’s for the stoner rock of Houston’s The Dirty Seeds. No frills, no BS, just unabashed stoner rock that echoes driving ninety down a deserted road full of Lone Star while you run from the cops kind of vibe. Their 2014 EP “King Kush” is definitely on point. The hard Southern rock of Lafayette’s Vermilion Whiskey will be in town as direct support, while the rarely seen sounds of Houston’s Mr. Plow will come out of hiding beforehand. The fuzzy sounds of Corpus’ Switchblade Jesus will open the 21 and up show with doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
You can get your funk on at Last Concert Cafe when the R&B funk of Austin’s Roxy Roca performs. This six piece has made quite the name for themselves as a force to be reckoned with on live performances, and last year’s “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy” is definitely an R&B/Funk explosion of sound. The always entertaining sounds of Houston’s Heights Funk Collective will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
At Boondocks you can catch the long running dance party thrown by Houston’s Blackout. Alongside resident DJs Ape Drums, Hyro, Act Badd, and Leckie, this show will feature two heavy hitters with DJ Slink and Brenmar doing back to back sets. Slink hails from New Jersey, and has become well known for his house and trap sets, while Brenmar reps Fool’s Gold records from NYC. Both are on point, there promises to be lit visuals, and the 21 and up show has doors at 9 pm with tickets between $7 and $10.
Tightn’ Up. Photo: Gr8 Heights Records
New downtown venue The Red Light at Springbok will be hosting the intense soul sounds of Houston’s Tightn’ Up. If you’ve never seen this all star collective of artists, or heard their lead singer belt a tune that people in other galaxies can hear, then this is your chance. The fun and groovy collective known as Mind Shrine will also perform, and they’re one of those acts you need to see sooner than later. The funky jazz blues mixture of Bayou City Funk will open the 18 and up show with doors at 9 pm and a $5 cover for adults and an $8 cover for 18 to 20 year olds.
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, you can catch the hip hop of OGG Collective artist, Larry June. June is touring in support of his latest drop, this year’s “Sock It To Me,” and he should be a trip to catch live. There’s no word of an opener for the Bay Area rapper, but that could change. The all ages show has doors at 10 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
You can end Friday night at Beta Theater for comedic storyteller Jon Bennett. The Australian born comic is known to cause laughs all over the world and it’s highly recommended that you make it out for this show. The 18 and up event gets going around 10 pm and tickets are either TBA or pay what you can.
Saturday you can started off at the Homegrown 024 Music & Art Fest happening in the Eastdown Warehouse, Last Concert Cafe, and House of Creeps corridor. The four stage and two day event has a slew of acts spanning across the three venues, and will be headlined by New York nineties group, Green Jelly. So, to my knowledge these guys made four or five albums though no one cared before or since their chart topper, 1993’s “Cereal Killer Soundtrack.” Their live show is like Gwar… actually, it’s exactly like Gwar. This all ages event has music starting at 1 pm with tickets between $10 and $12 and more information here.
The Suffers. Photo: Gus Phillippas
If that’s not your deal, then you could head to Main Street Square for Art Blocks: The Big Bash. Tons of art, food trucks like Boombox Taco and more, and a headlining set from Houston’s The Suffers will be on hand. Go and celebrate the hometown heroes before they leave for another long tour in support this year’s “The Suffers.” Second Lovers, Craig Kinsey, DJ Sun and more will also be on hand to provide plenty of great tunes. There’s more information available here, the doors are at noon and the all ages event is 100% FREE.
House of Blues will host the Local Brews Local Grooves Fest. Though I have to wonder what’s local about a band from Austin headlining, the all day event will feature plenty of Houston bands to make the venue second guess their decision in headliner. Alongside over 25+ beer selections from across the state, sets from Def., Space Villains, Another Run, Deep Cuts, Race To The Moon, Second Lovers and Bang Bangz will be on hand alongside sets from Fox Parlor, Young Girls, and more. The show is all ages and tickets range between $12 and $100, the latter being a VIP option with food and beer. Doors are at 3 pm unless you have VIP tickets, then the doors are at 2:00.
Guilla. Photo: Francisco Montes
Raven Tower will host the album release party for Guilla. The rapper, producer and energetic performer has taken a good while to get “Children of The Sun,” but the end result is definitely worth the wait. Grammy winner Bizzythowed will be on the bill as direct support, while Kyle Hubbard will go on prior to drop his well known hip hop jams; though I hear he just recorded a new release, so maybe you’ll get to hear those tunes as well. Houston’s Mojave Red will also play their blend of bluesy psych from their release, “Creeper,” while special DJ sets from ILL Faded and Mark Drew will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 6 pm, it should be packed out with this lineup, and it’s 100% FREE.
Mucky Duck has the pleasure of hosting the soulful vocals of Austin’s Phoebe Hunt. Hunt has been wowing audiences with her vocal prowess for a good while, and she’s since changed addresses twice, now taking Brooklyn as her current residence. Her latest release, “Walk With Me (Feat. Connor Forsyth)” showcases a new side to the singer, and she’s known for an amazing live show. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Dawes. Photo: Alisa Ali
Warehouse Live will have a performance from the massively popular sounds of Californian roots rockers, Dawes in the ballroom. The four piece will be here in support of their 2015 album, “All Your Favorite Bands,” and has gotten quite the reputation for a good live show. Southern California singer songwriter Hiss Golden Messenger will perform the duties of direct support and opener and should delight fans of the folk rock genre. His 2014 album “Lateness of Dancers” is pretty amazeballs, and reminds you of a mix of Bonnie Prince Billy and early Tom Petty. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $23.
Walters will have a set from Florida’s Machinedrum. This guy has become known for his mixture of soundscapes alongside drum and bass, as well as his trippy live sets. His last album was 2013’s “Vapor City,” while in 2014 he dropped a subsequent release, “Vapor City Archives.” Houston producer Josiah Gabriel will be on the bill and should drop his usually crazed set peppered with tracks from his soon to be released new EP. Everyone’s favorites, Wrestlers will be on hand to drop a dance heavy DJ set, while Division (XLO B2B Christian Alexander) will open things up with a DJ set as well. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets are between $15 and $17.
Satellite Bar will host the intriguing and crazed energy of Austin’s Boss Battle. Melding indie punk esthetics with electronica and synth heavy beats, this band is one that I’d recommend making it out for. The 2015 release, “Attack Time” is a trip and all over the place in a good way. The experimental punk of Houston’s Pink Eye will perform as direct support, where the intense electro punk of Houston’s Gato Guapo will go on prior. The garagey punk of Bernie Pink will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
The Bandulus. Photo: Alisha Ogle
You might not be too into ska because the bulk of the ska music our society has been fed is garbage. However, if you heard the throwback dancehall ska of Austin’s The Bandulus, you’d love ska music. They’ll be over at Rudyard’s under the Nick Gaitan’s Tune Parlor series. Mixing reggae, soul, and ska, this band not only makes you wish that this was the ska you first heard, but it makes you want to dance as well. Their album, “The Times We Had” from 2013 is a true gem, and their live show is on point. San Antonio’s Los Nahuatlatos will serve as direct support, and bring their Chicano soul sounds to life. Houston’s Mas Pulpo will open the 21 and up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
Sunday you can get started over at Karbach Brewing for the Houston Music and Arts Hall of Fame show. Hosted by Kam Franklin, the awards event will feature sets from acts like Traci Lavois Thiebaud, Andrew Youngblood, Chase Hamblin, Gio Chamba and many more. The all ages event has doors at noon and runs until 8:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
If that’s not your thing, then you can go to Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for A Very British Evening. The Houston Brass Band will lead a night filled with British tunes that’s suitable for fans of the genre of all ages. The doors are at 6 pm, reserved tickets are a paltry $12 and it’s an all ages event.
If you’re a Bon Iver fan, then you should consider checking out Texas duo Penny and Sparrow in the Warehouse Live studio as the two piece makes tunes in a similar vein. A little folky, a little heady and plenty of emotive vocals are all over their latest release, “Let A Lover Drown You” from this year. They should put on a pretty set, and though there’s no word of an opener, that could easily change. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $16 and $19.
If you’re up for prog rock, then you should head to Walters for Toronto’s Intervals. They’ll be here in support of last year’s “The Shape of Colour” and they’re interesting to say the least. Australia’s Plini will be on as direct support and will bring his fusion based guitar to life. The instrumental sounds of Angel Vivaldi will also be on the bill, while Pennsylvania’s Save Us From the Archon will go on beforehand. Opening things up however, is the best band on the bill in my opinion; Houston’s Agamemnon. Proggy, instrumental, metal — these guys have it all and I feel sorry for any band who has to follow them. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $18.
Pete Rock. Photo: Red Bull Music Academy
If you were/are a fan of J Dilla, then you should head to Continental Club to check out the Dilla Day with Pete Rock show. Pete Rock has been a force in the hip hop DJ and rapper since the early days of rap, and it should be a real treat to catch him spin wax in person. I mean, how can you hear “A Little Soul” and not think of the early days of hip hop? There’s also a featured moment from Ma Dukes, Dilla’s mother. The show will also feature Houston rapper and mic slayer, Jay Maze, Marauderz, alongside sets from A Fistful of Soul and many more. The 21 and up show has doors at 8 pm and tickets for $15.
Beta Theater will host the always funny tunes of comic Henry Phillips. An LA comedy favorite, Phillips plays hilarious songs and mixes in humor in between. His 2010 album, “LA Dream” is funny from start to finish. The always funny Chase Durousseau will be the feature act, while Dale Cheesman will crack everyone up prior. The entire show is hosted by the funny Victor Tran on the show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
Monday you could head to Walters for the last ever show from screamo band, Bane. After stating that hardcore was a “young man’s game,” the band is doing their final tour ever. Their last release was 2014’s “Don’t Wait Up,” and if you’re a fan, this is your last chance to see them live. New York hardcore band, Burn will be on as direct support, while Florida’s Axis will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $20.
Tuesday if “you believe in a thing called love,” then you could head to House of Blues to catch the throwback hair rock of The Darkness. The British four piece is known for their hit track, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” but anyone who’s seen them live knows that they’re far beyond that tune. They’ll be here in support of their latest album, last year’s “Last of Our Kind.” The modern rock meets garage pop of English band RavenEye will be on as direct support, while the pop rock of Houston’s Catch Fever will be on the bill as opener. The now two piece plays their old tracks from 2014’s “Shiny Eyes” from when they were a three piece alongside new songs from their new EP out in a month or so, and they’re worth getting there early for. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $25 and $45.
Run River North. Photo: Brian Tipton
Walters will have the massively popular sounds of California indie pop act, Run River North. The six piece band has been gaining steam since they began, and their new album “Drinking From A Salt Pond” is catchy and hook heavy. Not to be outdone in popularity, Cleveland’s The Lighthouse and The Whaler will be on as direct support and openers. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that their latest release, last year’s “Mont Royal” wasn’t super catchy, and worth getting their early to hear. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Nightingale Room will have another edition of Kam Franklin’s The Catch Up show. Sets from one man electro pop machine Rex Hudson, a memorable rap set from Mark Drew, a DJ set from Jay Tovar, a hip hop flow from Rob Gullatte, and the crazed vocal prowess of Lita Styles will all be on the show. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
That’s about it this week. No matter what you do, please do so in the safest manner possible, for everyone’s sake.