Grown Ups: The Best of The Week
Photo: Fiona Goodall
Well, last week we had a ton of legends roll through town, and we made it to today. This week, you’re going to get lots of future legends when artists like Earl Sweatshirt pictured above make their way here. Here’s where you should be headed this week.
Wednesday you can head to MKT Bar to catch a DJ set from producer, engineer, musician, and all around nice guy Josh Applebee. So, this guy plays in the Roustabouts with Chase Hamblin, he’s produced a lot of your favorite bands at Sugarhill, and supports lots of local music. You should drop by and meet this guy as things run from 7:00 to 10:00, it’s all ages, & 100% FREE.
Fitzgerald’s will be bringing LA’s one man band, Ariel Pink to town. Pink has been making fans and occasionally offending others since he was discovered by Animal Collective. His latest album, “pom pom” from last year included the mega hit track, “Put Your Number In My Phone.” The album really echoed the vibe of a band from the nineties you’ve never heard of, The Mike Flowers Pops. Anyway, Pink has gained attention for his often fun and sometimes silly live shows, so he should be interesting to catch. Opening things up is the dark and brooding electronica of Houston’s Indian Jewelry. I feel like if you’ve never seen this band then you must live under a rock. Their trippy live sets are always mesmerizing, and the 2012 album “Peel It” was ahead of its time. The all ages show is downstairs, the doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are between $15.00 and $19.00.
David Liebe Hart Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Of course if you’re a fan of the mundane and the who knows, then you should be over at Notsuoh for the, what I think will be music, of David Liebe Hart. If you’re a fan of ‘Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!’ like I am, then you’ll probably at least pop in to get a glimpse of whatever this show will be. Puppeteer, painter, and singer of songs like “Salame” and “Father and Son,” Hart will at the very least be interesting. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that could change. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and cover is TBA. The show is also Notsuoh’s 19th anniversary show.
Thursday, you could head over to Walter’s to catch the French easycore band, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!. I’ve heard these guys get called everything from emo metal, to easycore, to screamo; but they sound like pop punk to me. They have a super energetic live show, and their new stuff like this year’s single “The Other Line” from their new album, “Get Lost, Find Yourself” seems more focused. Ohio five piece easycore band, Hit The Lights will be there as direct support. They’ll be here touring their newest from this year, “Summer Bones.” The emo pop of California’s Forever Came Calling will also be there. These guys have been around since 2006, but their latest album “What Matters Most” from last year is their strongest. Seattle’s To The Wind is also on the bill, as is LA’s In Her Own Words. Magnolia’s Carter will open the show up, and show the rest of the bands on the bill how things are done in Texas. The all ages show has doors at 6:00 and tickets between $13.00 and $15.00.
Over at Rudyard’s you could catch the Deathpunk Slursday show, that features the punk rock of Houston’s Dead To The World. So, I don’t know if you’ve sat through a set from these guys; but it’s blistering. Like nonstop punk with crazy high energy and fan involvement from start to finish. The rock glam of Houston’s Vanity Crimes will also be on the bill to mix things up. Opening the show and even dropping two sets, is DJ The Last Dragon, or Heights Vinyl’s Jared SanMiguel. The 21 and up show is hosted by Turbojugend Bayou City, the cover is a measly $3.00, and the doors are at 7:00.
Out in the burbs at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, you could venture North to catch the sixties retro pop of Lana Del Rey. Since she hit the scene in five years ago, Del Rey has been getting bigger and bigger. She’s here in support of last year’s “Ultraviolence,” and is known for an intense live show. Making the show more interesting, will be former Hole frontwoman and ex to Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love. I can’t sell a performance from her, so I’ll just give you her stats. She dropped a solo album over a decade ago called “America’s Sweetheart,” and the newest thing she’s done is a single from this year called “Honour.” Though that’s a word that I don’t think she understands the meaning of, it could be worth getting there early for. She’s always been a bit of a trainwreck, so that might add to the excitement. The doors are at 7:30, it’s all ages, and tickets are between $25.00 and $79.00.
Wild Moccasins Photo: New West
The Nightingale Room will be dropping a set from the always fun and energetic sounds of Wild Moccasins. Fresh from a tour with Stars and last year’s wonderfully crafted sounding “88 92” the Houston five piece will bring their dancey sounds to life in the intimate space. I would recommend checking them out if you haven’t before, as they could be the best Houston act going with over a million plays on Spotify. Usually, a set from this band would be enough, but they’ve upped the ante by adding another Houston band who dropped an amazing album last year; Young Mammals. This four piece put out the well written and all around amazing album “Alto Secco” where they stepped up their game by going with a more direct approach to the songs. So, if you add it up you get two of Houston’s best bands for a one night only show, with only 100 tickets available….sounds like a plan, right? Things are 21 & up, the doors are at 7:30, and the tickets are between $10.00 and $15.00.
Over at Improv they’ll be bringing the comedy of Chicago’s Sebastian Maniscalco. This guy has a Showtime special, he’s toured the world over, and he’s known to just say what’s on his mind. His latest album, 2013’s “Sebastian Live” is a riotous coupling of jokes about family and society. As with all of the shows at Improv, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as host and feature act. There’s one show at 8:00 on Thursday, two at 8:00 and 10:30 on Friday, and two on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and all have tickets between $22.00 and $32.00.
Fitzgerald’s will be bringing the dark and Krautrock electronics of San Francisco’s The Soft Moon to town. This one man band drops some really trippy and dark songs that are like if Nitzer Ebb and Tobacco had a baby. He just dropped a new album this year called “Deeper,” that seems to make its way into your soul while also making you want to dance. The show will also feature the trip metal sounds of Skull Katalog, who I would recommend checking out, cause’ it’s pretty different. This year the group put out the single “Pass The Furnace” that should convince you to go see them. The mod industrial sounds of Houston’s Auto-Fellatio Dreams will also be there, as will the dark synths of Houston’s Millennial Grave. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
Believe it or not, the Laff Town Stand Up Open Mic has hit a milestone, and the show’s anniversary will be happening at Saint Dane’s. So, when I went there the first time, I didn’t get why anyone would want to do stand up in that room. But after talking to the comics, most see getting attention and laughs there as a huge hurdle to get over. To my knowledge, this is Houston’s longest running open mic. The sign up is at 9:00, and unless there’s a game on, things start at 9:30. To sweeten the deal, they have cheap wings and in my opinion, some of the best fries in town. Things are 21 & up and always 100% FREE.
At Continental Club, you could see the throwback jams of Austin’s Sweet Spirit. The band who had their recently released EP, “Sweet Spirit” produced by Mike McCarthy, has this kind of sixties soul mixed with these crazy female vocals. They sound fun and amazing at the same time. They’ll have to really bring it, as Houston garage rockers and possibly the funnest band to see live, Mikey & The Drags will be opening things up. Their 2013 album “On The Loose!” still holds up while we patiently await for their new album to drop. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00, and a TBA cover that shouldn’t be more than $10.00.
Friday you can really get lost in all the things you could be doing starting with Jonny Lang over at House of Blues. Lang had a massive hit in the 90’s with “Lie To Me,” but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been making great tunes since. I caught him years ago and I have to say that for modern blues music, he was pretty impressive. His latest, 2013’s “Fight For My Soul” finds the blues guitarist utilizing new technology while bringing a more R&B vibe to the songs. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but the doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $30.00 and $85.00.
Over at Warehouse Live, they’ll have the alt pop rock of Arkansas four piece, Knox Hamilton. The band has this really interesting mix of pop rock with hooky soul that seems to work for them. Their new album, hasn’t dropped yet, so they’re here in support of their single, “Work It Out.” The impressive sounds of Austin two piece Armstrong Leigh will serve as direct support. I caught these two a couple of weeks ago and they were really good. They mix blues and rock together better than any two piece you’ll hear in a while. Opening things up will be Houston’s King Finn. I haven’t caught the band yet, but I can at least say that they just dropped a pretty damn strong album with this year’s “As Part Of Me.” It’s a mix of indie rock and pop that makes me wish I had more time to hear it live. The studio show is all ages, the doors are at 7:00, and tickets are between $10.00 and $13.00.
Of course, it would make the most sense if you were at Fitzgerald’s to catch the album release party from Houston’s Fox & Cats. Their new album, “Ampersand” got a great review from me, here. If you’ve never seen this band, it’s best to say that for a pop rock duo now turned trio, you’ve been missing out. Their singer keeps his composure as he sings and plays guitar while their female drummer beats a kit like she hates it, but still with precision. The album release is ahead of the record’s actual release date in a week, but they’ll have copies on hand. The lead single, “Black Hole” should let you know what you’re in store for. The vintage punk of Austin’s Madd Comrades will be there as direct support, while the psych of Houston’s Mantra Love will be there to melt minds. DJ Tempty will get things started on the all ages show downstairs with doors at 8:00 and a paltry $5.00 cover.
If you want to laugh, you could make it to Bayou Music Center to catch the hilarious humor of Wanda Sykes. She’s one of the funniest comics you can see, she’s been in movies and all over TV, and her 2007 album “Sick & Tired” is really funny. There’s no word of an opener, but the doors are at 8:00 and tickets are between $35.00 and $59.50.
Johnny Gill Photo: Courtesy of Artist
If you wanna’ get your groove on, then you could head to Arena Theatre to see the R&B sensation, Johnny Gill. Gill was once part of a band that few of you remember with Bobby Brown called New Edition. Since their demise, Gill has been dropping hits like “My, My, My,” “Rub You The Right Way,” and “There U Go.” His latest, last year’s “Game Changer” proves that he still has that spark that ignited the boy band revolution. Not to be outdone, the show is co-headlined by Baltimore super group Dru Hill. The mixture of Sisqo, Woody Rock, Jazz, and Nokio will more than likely cause a riot when they play. Not literally, but they’re really great and harken back to the Motown era of R&B. Of course, Sisqo became a star in his own right, but Dru Hill still had hits like “These Are The Times,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” and “In My Bed.” Their last album was 2010’s “Indrupendence Day,” but I’m sure you’ll get all the hits and more. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are $49.50.
Over at Alley Kat you can get all funky when The Heights Funk Collective brings their jazz meets funk sound to life. These guys mix funk, jazz, rock, and soul together to make their own sound. They’ll have funk and soul mixture of Houston duo, Kuumba Freeque on the bill as direct support. So, just from their sound, I feel like this soulful sounding act is worth checking out. They have this dual vocal with live instruments sound that had me jamming along. The jam funk of Houston four piece, Locate will open the 18 & up show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $7.00.
At The Shop, you could catch the all out assault of B L A C K I E. This guy is so far ahead of the music industry, that they’ll have to build a time machine to attempt to ever catch up with him. He’s as legit as legit gets, his live shows are always amazing, and his latest, “Imagine Yourself In A Free and Natural World,” proves how much ahead of the music industry he is. Bouyant spirit will be on the bill, as will the synth electronics of Collin Hedrick. The show is BYOB, the doors are at 9:00, and I’m pretty sure that it’s 18 & up with a $10.00 cover.
Continental Club will welcome the return of Houston’s Two Star Symphony. Now as an eight piece, the group that’s like an eclectic mix of classical music and experimental music. They have a new album which was released in January called, “Seven Deadly Sins,” and showcases how diverse they can make things. They’ll have the experimental folk of Houston’s Say Girl Say on as direct support. Though their most recent release is three years old, that song, “Coca Cola Kisses” is pretty magical. Punk veterans, My Dolls will open things up as only they can. They’ve been around since the early seventies, they’ve been on labels like Sub Pop, and they’re pretty awesome even today. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00, things start at 9:30, and the cover is $10.00.
Purple Photo: Play It Again Sam
Kicking off Saturday, will be the TXFEST in Hermann Square Park. The one day festival will be headlined by country music phenom Kevin Fowler. Fowler, an Amarillo native has been making fans since he started with his modest yet rockin’ honky tonk sound. His latest, last year’s “Loose, Loud, & Crazy” just proves that country pop isn’t all that’s out there. Aside from Fowler, there’s an impressive lineup that will be laid out over five different areas. Scooter Brown Band will be there to bring their country pop meets blues rock sound to life. Austin six piece Wild Child will also be on hand to add to the mix, and bring indie pop and folk together. The Texas groove and almost jam band sounds of New Braunfels’ Midnight River Choir will be on hand and will bring songs from their latest album, “Fresh Air.” The Western tinged folk of Magnolia natives, and now LA based Jamestown Revival will also be there. If you’ve never heard these guys, then check out their latest, “Utah” from last year; cause’ it’s pretty damn great. The amazing indie pop of Houston’s Wild Moccasins will definitely make new fans as they drop tunes from last year’s “88 92.” If you’ve never seen this infectious band, then you’ve been doing Houston incorrectly. The same can be said with Houston indie rockers Young Mammals, who can follow suit playing from last year’s gorgeous “Alto Secco.” If you missed them at the Walter’s “thank you” show last week, then you missed a band who has grown up in front of our city’s eyes, and who gets better with every album. The eclectic yet approachable indie pop of Houston’s Young Girls will also take one of the stages. This band doesn’t play a whole bunch, but their “Young Girls” album from last year is still one I jam on the regular. The alterna rock meets indie pop of Houston’s TheLastPlaceYouLook will be there, and will more than likely blow everyone away with their high energy live set. These guys seem to be doing everything right, they’ve toured with Blue October, and last year’s “Rip It Out” showcased how much the band has changed for the better. The indie pop rock of Houston five piece New York City Queens will energize the crowd with their revitalized sound. Though they should have an album out very soon, you can always jam out their 2012 release “Burn out Like Roman Candles.” I would think that everyone in this city would know the synth pop of Houston’s BLSHS, but if you don’t; then you’ve been missing out. The three piece is working on the follow up to last year’s “Abstract Desires,” and they’re known for a set that makes any crowd want to immediately dance their butts off. The high energy sound of Beaumont native Purple will be on the bill, and it seems like they haven’t been here in a long time. Sure, they’ve been touring with the likes of Har Mar Superstar all over the world, and they dropped a new album “409” last year; but it feels like a long time. The alt rock pop of Houston’s Lost Element will be there as well as Austin rockers Not In The Face. If you haven’t seen the magic that IS Houston’s now Austinite, Roger Sellers, I beg you to. This guy will be there and his album “Primitives” from last year was the best thing I heard locally and nationally. Watching him perform is like seeing a guy who would die if he couldn’t perform while he mixes live drums with electronics like you’ve never witnessed before. The country sound of Stephen Chadwick will be on hand, as will the alt rock power trio Downfall 2012. this band has played with all sorts of bands, they’ve won plenty of awards, and they’re known for a great live show that’s landed them on stages like BuzzFest. Houston’s We Were Wolves will be there to start a party with the audience while they simultaneously melt faces with their hard rock sounds. We Were Wolves is like having a party while getting punched, as their live sets are like a mix of both. The blues trio known as Guitarzza will be on the bill, as will the blues rock of Vanilla Whale. The Baytown six piece hip hop collective, Positive Disturbance will be there, and should change minds when they play songs from last year’s “Chasing Distance.” Hounds of Jezebel are on the show, as is the soulful rock sounds of Nathan Quick. Quick is a diverse songwriter as the difference between last year’s “The Mile” and this year’s “City Lights” should show you that Houston has a real talent who can mix it up. Singer/songwriter Leo Mendoza will be there to open things up. The all ages event has gates at 10:00 am, things run until 10:00 pm, and tickets are between $35.00 for G/A, $45.00 for admission plus food and drink sampling tickets, or $85.00 for VIP that includes all kinds of perks like private bathrooms, a festival shirt, food and drink tickets.
Over at Walter’s, you can get your own copy of the new Another Run EP, “Be Honest.” I’ve already told you that it’s pretty great here, and anyone who has seen the band live can tell you the same thing. The electro pop rock of Austin’s Buhu will be there as direct support. I have to say that even as someone who’s been over the “Austin” thing for over a decade, these guys are pretty good. Last year they dropped “4-Track Cinemat” and it’s really catchy and worth checking out. The soul pop of Brooklyn’s Ava Luna will also be on the bill, and will bring their soulful energy to the show. They just released an album called “Infinite House” they you should give a listen to. It’s all crazy and different than what you’d expect, even from how songs open and where they go. Houston’s Whit will be there to celebrate Maddie’s birthday as well as open the show. They make avant rock that’s as interesting as it is good, and worth getting there early for. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $5.00 and $10.00.
If you were heading to Warehouse Live to catch the massively popular hip hop of LA’s Earl Sweatshirt, the show has since been rescheduled for September 8th. You can either hang on to your ticket until the show in September, or get a refund by emailing email@example.com
If you’d rather laugh, then you can always head to Beta Theater to catch the Jaffer Khan and Friends show. If you don’t know, Jaffer could easily be one of the strongest comics from Houston’s new class of comedians. He performs thoughtful and often provoking jokes that hit hard, and he’s the only comic that I know of to get punched on stage. The dark humor of Gabe Bravo will join him on the show, and should keep everyone in stitches with his one liners and more. Gabe has opened for Todd Barry, he’s performed at Meltdown in LA, and now is your chance to see him before he blows up. Another insanely funny comic who dabbles on the dark side of thing, Russell Simek will also be there, and will make you laugh until it hurts. And of course, Jaffer Khan will be there as well. The show is all ages, the doors are at 9:00, and it’s a $6.00 cover.
If a sixties swagger is more your vibe, then you should definitely head over to Continental Club to check out the UK’s Nic Armstrong And The Thieves. These guys make a blend of garage rock and blues rock that’s reminiscent of what Jack White and The Detroit Cobras do. His latest album, “Pocketless Shirt” EP from two years ago is a shot to the arm of the music industry. The Houston supergroup, The Clean Teens will bring their lo-fi doo wop to the show as openers. The band consisting of Zach and Mikey of Mikey & The Drags, and Mlee from Hearts of Animals is totally fun and worth getting there early for. The 21 & up show should be a barn burner with doors at 9:00 and a TBA cover.
Years ago, The Dead Milkmen sang, “If you ain’t got Mojo Nixon then your store could use some fixin’,” and truer words were never spoken. Over at Natachee’s, Mojo Nixon will bring his brand of psychobilly to all in attendance. Mojo has made albums with so many notable names like Dead Kennedys’ Jello Biafra, John Doe of X, and he’s been in movies and TV. These days he spends most of his time navigating his three shows on Sirius, and occasionally performing live. His last album was 2009’s “Whiskey Rebellion,” but that doesn’t mean that you won’t get new stuff. This is a very special engagement, the show is 21 & up, and the doors are at 9:00 with a $20.00 cover.
Rudyard’s will be hosting the spaced out psych blues of Houston’s Space Villains. I feel like if you’ve never seen these guys, then you haven’t been paying attention. They have this crazy sound that’s kind of like taking low grade acid and jamming out a Fishbone album. Their latest, “Asterism” from late last year is a trippy blues based jam that’s hard to stop listening to; and their live shows are always crazy energetic. The distorted jammed out sounds of Houston’s Bloodsucking Fiends will also be on the bill. I’ve never seen them, but they sound like a lo-fi fuzz box of groove rock. The indie folk punk of Wallis, Texas’ Civeta Dei will be there to open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:30 and a $6.00 cover.
Sunday is Mother’s Day, so after you’re done feeling guilty because you followed your mom’s advice of not getting her a gift; you could head to Fitzgerald’s to see the San Francisco duo, Two Gallants. These guys are basically lo-fi indie folk, and they seem to have gotten pretty big in the last couple of years. I’ve heard that they have a pretty intense live show, and their latest “We Are Undone” from this year is getting lots of praise. Part of the “new” Nashville sound, the high energy garage meets blues rock sounds of Blank Range will be there as openers. You should get there early to hear them, as their 2013 EP “Phase II” kind of blew me away. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and a $15.00 cover.
On Monday, if you were hoping to catch the Bad Suns show at Fitzgerald’s, it’s SOLD OUT.
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead Photo: Speedball
But, if you’re like me, then you’re heading to Fitzgerald’s downstairs to see the prog rock goodness of Austin’s …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Trimmed down to a four piece, these guys have been pushing the limits of the music industry for over twenty years. Their magnum opus was 2005’s epic “World’s Apart,” and since they’ve steadily dropped proggier albums. Their newest album, “IX” from last year is a little more streamlined but still really great. They’ll have the alt rock of Canada’s Your Favorite Enemies on as direct support. Austin prog rockers Boyfrndz will be there to open things up. If you’ve never seen the trippy sounds these guys make live, then you’re missing on one of Austin’s better bands. Last year they released “Breeder” and set themselves further apart from their city. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $13.00 and $17.00.
I’m guessing that the bulk of you will head to Jones Hall to see the multi-instrumental folk of Detroit’s Sufjan Stevens. Though his 2005 album, “Illinois” is what I’m sure you’re a fan of; his latest “Carrie & Lowell” keeps his soulful sweet voiced melodies alive. Known for an intimate and often fun live show, this show will more than likely sell out. There’s a 4 ticket limit on the show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $39.00 and $44.00.
On Tuesday you could go to Warehouse Live in hopes to be a part of the massively popular series, The Moth. This show will be all about chemistry, so be prepared with your five minute story in hand. The all ages show usually sells out with doors at 6:30 and tickets between $8.00 and $16.00.
House of Blues will be bringing the roots rocker, Steve Earle to town. Though in recent years Earle has become more known for his political stances, he’s still a great artist. His latest album, “Terraplane” from this year keeps in line with his amazing talents. If you’ve never seen this guy live, I’ll just say that it’s usually mesmerizing, and this will more than likely be a full band show. The folky rock of husband and wife duo, The Mastersons will open things up with doors at 7:30 and tickets between $20.00 and $35.00.
That’s really about it for this week, but still packed full of options. Whatever you do, please be mindful of us all and get home safe.