Holla Out: The Best of The Week
Jack U, Photo: Jas Davis
Well, last week felt like a whirlwind of activities packed into seven days. This week things slow down a bit but there’s still plenty to do. Artists like Jack U pictured above will be rolling through our city this week. Houston, here’s what you should be doing this week.
Wednesday you can start off the week with Big Freedia over at House of Blues. Freedia has been gaining steam since coming up in the NOLA scene and is here in support of last year’s “Just Be Free.” The pop of Seattle’s Hibou will also be there as direct support. Their recently released album, “Hibou” is like a mix of eighties new wave with modern instrumentation. Opening things up will be the entertaining and fun jams of NOLA’s Boyfriend. Boyfriend raps better than most MCs, and she definitely brings her a game when she performs. Last year’s “Love Your Boyfriend, Part 2” was one of my favorites of the year. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets for $22.00.
Of course, I’d think that most of you were heading to House of Blues for the other show, when Young Thug was set to take the stage; however the show has been canceled. Refunds or rescheduling information can be obtained through the venue.
Thursday you can start off at Rudyard’s for the indie folk pop meets electronica of Matt Pond PA. I don’t really know if that’s an accurate description, as this guy seems to have the ability to orchestrate tunes that have all sorts of elements. He’s known to have an emotive live show, and his latest release, “The State of Gold” from this year is pretty damn great. Brooklyn’s Laura Stevenson will be on hand as direct support and opener, and will bring her blend of pretty vocals and pop rock to life. Her 2013 album, “Wheel” was this solo strand of beauty and grace. However she’s throwing those shackles off in favor of a more pop route for her new album “Cocksure,” out later this month. She’s been dropping singles off of it left and right, the most recent being “Claustrophobe.” The 18 & up show has doors at 7:30 and tickets between $13.00 and $15.00.
You could trek out to Joke Joint Comedy Showcase to catch the comedy of Grammy winner Mike Robles. The comic has received awards from all over and has been called one of the country’s best Latino comics. His 2008 album “Totally Uncensored” is pretty hilarious as well. His feature act will be Michael Suarez while one of Houston’s better up and coming comics will be on hand as host. The Thursday show has doors at 8:00, and the Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:00 and 10:30, while all have a cover of $16.00.
Over in the studio at Warehouse Live, you could catch the indie pop rock of Pennsylvania’s The Districts. These guys have a pretty infectious sound, and their latest album, “A Flourish and a Spoil” is pretty damn catchy. Baltimore tropical pop rock five piece Sun Club will be there as direct support. These guys sound kind of like Vampire Weekend on a steady diet of weed and Jolt cola. Their latest, “The Dongo Durango” has been getting tons of attention, and it’s a trip to hear. Houston’s Since Always will be there as openers, and will bring their emo core meets shoegaze sounds to all who attend. Their debut, “Consequences” is one of the best local albums of this year, and their live set is even better. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Mikey & The Drags, Photo: Jessi Bowman
Over at Black Barbie the sixties garage meets punk sounds of Oakland’s The Atom Age will be bringing their crazy energy to town. Their most recent album, this year’s “Hot Shame” is pretty damn electric, and I can only imagine how crazed they are live. They’ll have Houston’s garage rockers, Mikey & The Drags on as direct support. Before the end of this month these guys will have their new album out and ready for purchase. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see them live because’ I feel like they’re a true force to witness in a live setting with bounds of energy and jams that make you want to shake it. Houston’s Mojave Red will be there as openers on the all ages show, and they’ll groove everyone out with their psych soul sounds. The doors are at 8:00 and the cover is TBA.
Friday you should consider kicking the night off over at At Rice Media Center there’s a pretty cool show filled with classic punk photography and music on the Tri-X-Noise show. The photos are from Bill Daniels who shot 35mm pics of skaters and punk bands throughout Texas and the west coast. These are moments in time captured for you to see some of your favorite punks acts from over thirty years ago. They’ll also have a film screening as well as some great music headlined by the dark punk of GAST. Prior to them the nutty modular synths of Houston’s Pfaffenberg will go on, and I promise you won’t be disappointed to see him do his thing. DJ Damon Allen will get the music started with an as always impressive DJ set, this time comprised of punk and electronica for this show. This is a one night only event as I’m to understand, and the all ages show has doors at 6:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’d rather catch something a little more modern but still grab that twang, then you could head to Continental Club for the Americana meets country rock of Houston’s Second Lovers. I’ve always felt that you can’t keep a good band down and this band definitely proves it. They’ve had several lineups before this current one, and they’ve even faced some road bumps when recording their upcoming one; yet they’ve held their heads high and soldiered on. Prior to an appearance at this year’s FPSF they dropped the single “Hold On” to give everyone a taste of what’s to come. They’ll have the indie rock of Houston’s The Wheel Workers on prior, who should bring their energetic set to life. This band has been grinding for quite sometime, and they released an EP this year with “Citizens” after releasing a double album the year before. They’re one of those bands that I feel like you’re foolish not to see live. The indie folk rock of Austin’s Harvest Thieves will be there to open the 21 & up show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.
Dem Damn Dames, Photo: Mike “The Truth” Jackson
At Numbers, the monthly show from Houston’s Dem Damn Dames will be going on. This time the show will be a murder mystery entitled “Death By Burlesque: The Murder at Moncreep Manor.” These shows are always a trip to see live if not for only the scripting, choreography, and crazy costume design. Of course, the fact that everyone from the troupe is a head turner doesn’t hurt either. They’ll have the added talents of Dallas’ Mary Lynn Mayhem and ShelBelle Shamrock, as well as Austin’s Eve Vocative alongside special guest John Orr, also of Austin. The 18 & up show will more than likely sell out with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $30.00. Your ticket includes entry into the always popular Classic Numbers night to immediately follow the performance.
Walters will host the massively popular folk sounds of Noah Gunderson. Gunderson has been making a name for himself since he started, and he has a pretty large following. He basically blends folk elements with singer/songwriter tunes to create a truly beautiful sound. His latest album, this year’s “Carry The Ghost” is his best to date. Canadian duo Whitehorse will be there as direct support and opener. They sing in French, they mix Southern Americana and atmospheric rock, and they’re really entertaining. Last year’s “Ephemere Sans Repere” is as pretty as it is pop infused. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
Heights Vinyl will have an instore performance from Kentucky’s occult metal act, Savage Master. This band kind of sounds like evil meets old school Black Sabbath. The rough and tumble sleaze rock of Houston’s The Killer Hearts will go on prior and possibly blow some minds. These guys are pretty killer live, no pun intended. Houston mega group, The Satanic Overlords of Rock N Roll will open things up and play a short set to preview what’s to come from them. Things are all ages and there’s comp beer for the adults. Things start at 7:45 & they’re 100% FREE.
Nina Diaz, Photo: Jade Noir
At Fitzgerald’s they will have a solo set from Girl In A Coma’s Nina Diaz. Though her new solo album isn’t out yet, what I’ve heard is that it’s kind of like eighties rock-like, if that makes sense. I know that when I first saw her sing when she was 15 I was blown away, and her voice has only gotten stronger over the years. The always entertaining and massively high energy of Gio Chamba will go on prior as direct support. Gio is having a banner year with shows outside of Texas, a set at FPSF, and a set at Untapped. If for some dumb reason you’ve never seen him do his thing, this is your chance as he’s one of the best performers in Houston. The indie pop of San Diego three piece, Los Hollywood will go on before. They have a mix of songs in Spanish and in English, and their recently released EP “Los Hollywood” is pretty catchy. The indie synth pop of Houston’s Camera Cult will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
If you’re up for a drive, then you could head to Conroe for a show featuring The Flamin’ Hellcats at Backwoods Saloon. These guys have been bringing rock-a-billy to life since the nineties, and they’re always amazing to see perform. The jazzy rock of Houston’s Fear The Poet will go on prior, and I don’t know how many times I need to tell you that they’re worth seeing. lead by the sultry vocals of Sherita Perez, they’re one of Houston’s best kept secrets right now. As far as I know, the show is 21 & up with doors around 8:00 and it’s FREE.
At MKT Bar you can decide the fate of a comic for one of the last weeks of the Beta Bracket Comedy Competition. The guys over at Beta Theater and MKT Bar are giving away $3,000.00 to one lucky winner, making it the most money EVER given away in a Houston comedy contest. Because it’s audience vote, you can help decide who gets a shot at the grand prize. This week the host will be Houston’s Brian Zeolla. The all ages event gets started around 10:00, but to insure that you’ll have a seat they recommend getting there at least 45 minutes prior. There’s Free parking in the attached garage and it’s 100% FREE.
You can get your groove on over at Boondocks when The Heuristic Collective and Blackout present a show headlined by NOLA’s Abby Diamond. Diamond has been gaining plenty of steam since getting going, and rumor has it that her R&B infused sets are killer. The show will also feature a set from the collective’s founder, Hiram. Hiram has been dropping songs left and right this whole year, he dropped science at his FPSF set this year, and he opened for Diplo at the FPSF afterparty. He’s seriously a force to see live, and he’s also seriously underrated in this town. Relative unknown producer and purveyor of fine jams, Doom Skrilla will also be on hand to drop a set. You should check this guy out as his stuff is pretty dope. The fresh and chill sounds of Houston’s FAXD will be there to open the show with visuals from Blackout’s Leckie. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Above & Beyond, Photo Nathan Doran
Saturday you have plenty of options, though I’m guessing that the bulk of you will be out at Sam Houston Race Park for day one of the Something Wicked Festival. There are three stages full of EDM and electronica with performers from all over the world. The main stage will be headlined by the trance trio known as Above & Beyond. These guys have been a hot commodity since the early 2000’s and their DJ sets are legendary. This year’s “We Are All We Need” was a true masterpiece, and this will more than likely be your last chance to see them this year. France’s DJ Snake will go on prior and bring his massive hits like “You Know You Like It” and “Turn Down For What” to those in attendance. The complete lineup is available here and the parking opens at 11:00, as well as the box office. The music kicks off at 2:00 and tickets are between $94.00 and $249.00, depending on how many days and how fancy you want to get.
If that’s not your vibe then you could make it over to Cactus to catch an instore performance from Houston’s Knights of The Fire Kingdom. These guys are rock n roll defined and their blend of Rocket From the Crypt meets Foo Fighters is pretty damn epic. Their live sets are always entertaining, and their new album, “Knights of the Fire Kingdom” is intense. Things get going around 3:00, there’s complimentary beverages for the adults, and it’s 100% FREE.
Warehouse Live will have the UK retro soul of The New Mastersounds. The four piece has been blowing away audiences since the early 2000’s, and their most recent album, “Made For Pleasure” sounds really tight. Vermont quartet and jam band, Twiddle will be there as direct opener, while the chilled out jams of The Werks will be on prior. The instrumental fusion of New York’s Tauk will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $18.00 and $20.00.
Fitzgerald’s will host the 20th anniversary of Houston punks, Bickley. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years, it’s even harder to believe that these guys didn’t become bigger than they were. Their last album to my knowledge was 1998’s “Kiss The Bunny,” and they were always entertaining to see live back in the day. The high energy of Houston’s Dead To The World will be there as direct support, and easily whip the crowd into a frenzy when they perform. This year they released the “War” EP and they’re a force to see live. Popping up for a one off show, O’Doyle Rules will also be there making the nostalgia stronger, while The Velostacks will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $10.00.
One of the other stages at Fitzgerald’s will have the experimental rock of Japan’s Tricot. Their latest album, “AND” is a trip and they should be interesting to see live. The psych prog rock of Houston’s Sunrise and Ammunition will be there as direct support, while the trippy dream rock of Houston’s Devil Killing Moth will go on prior. Houston’s PHOEBE will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
Dirty & Nasty, Photo: Clyde Grant II
At Alley Kat you can check out the hip hop duo of Houston’s Dirty & Nasty. I feel like you’re doing things wrong if you miss these two do their thing, and their new single “Down By Law” is pretty damn amazing. The hip hop meets soul of Milky Wayv will be there as direct support, while Bobby Earth goes on beforehand. The show also has Peyton and AMD, while the massive lyrical skills of MC Genesis Blu will open the show up. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:30 and a measly $5.00 cover.
The Continental Club will host a barn burner when Buxton drops by for a set. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least twenty times, Buxton’s new album “Half A Native” is one of my favorites of this year. They made the album they needed to while keeping the nuts and bolts of their core sound intact. The Gulf coast swag of Houston’s Deep Cuts will be there as direct support, and will bring jams from their recent releases to life as only they can. The newly formed indie rock tunes of Birthday Club will be there to open things up. I caught Birthday Club’s inaugural show and I was really impressed. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a $10.00 cover.
Rudyard’s will have the newly reformed four piece rock of Giant Kitty. Since re-recording an entire album and adding two new members, this band has been on a tear to win over audiences. Their album, due out sooner than later should be a powerhouse for sure. The alt rock of Houston’s Before Radio will go on prior, and prove that there’s a place between emo and indie rock that you didn’t know existed. Seriously high energy and melodic songs, they’re one of those band you have to see to appreciate. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.
Sunday you could kick off day two of Something Wicked out at Sam Houston Race Park. The second day of the festival is packed with loads of talent that should get your feet moving, while the evening is headlined by the Diplo/Skrillex supergroup, Jack U. So while I knew that Diplo could bring it when he performed, prior to this year’s FPSF I was on the fence about Skrillex. I had always kind of written him off as a novelty. Then, I basically had my mind blown by his intense energy and insane visuals atop a crazed set full of some of his best jams. Jack U will be on that level, and their Justin Bieber featured track, “Where Are You Now” off of their debut album “Jack U,” is fire. Going on prior will be the crazy energy of Steve Aoki. Aoki is another guy that I was on the fence about prior to catching him drop an intense set. This guy has been popping off since he started, he has a ton of hits, and his latest “The Power of Now” with Headhunterz is crazy. The day gets started with the box office and parking opening at noon, and the music kicking off at 1:00. You can still get passes for one or two days, between $94.00 and $249.00, depending how fancy you want to be.
In the studio at Warehouse Live you could get your hardcore fix when New York’s Madball comes to town. These guys have been around since I was in high school, and they were pretty entertaining when I saw them back in the day. Their latest album, last year’s “Hardcore Lives” is higher energy than their previous works. The judge metal of Houston’s Will To Live will be there as direct support, while the metalcore of Lesser Degree will go on prior. Houston hardcore four piece, Mind Kill will open the all ages show with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $14.00 and $16.00.
At Walters the Alabama four piece of rock swagger also known as Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires will be in town. I caught these guys a couple of years ago and they were seriously impressive to see perform. Their newest release is a garage heavy two song release, “Sweet Disorder!,” available on Sub Pop records. The Americana of Houston’s Ruckus will go on as direct support, and they’re pretty damn amazing if you’ve never caught them. The psych rock of Taylor, Texas’ Paris Falls will also be on the bill, while relatively new Houston five piece Life Size Gods will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.
Rudyard’s will have the Vancouver through way of Brooklyn electronica of Bob Moses. The duo makes these groovy slow jams that feel like the kind of things you want to pump up on the way home from the club. Their debut album, “Days Gone By” from this year has been gaining steam, and they’re supposed to be amazing in a live setting. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $12.00.
Tuesday you can join all of the Wilco nerds by heading to Mucky Duck to catch a very intimate performance from Nels Cline and Julian Lage. I shouldn’t have to oversell this show as it will sell out. The show is 21 & up and the doors are at 7:30 with tickets between $20.00 and $22.00.
Oddisee, Photo: Asha Efia
If hip hop is more your speed you can head over to House of Blues for the DC based producer and rapper, Oddisee. This guy has been making beats and dropping gems since he got his start. He’s worked with heavy hitters and made his way through a crowded scene while being known as a force to catch live. His latest album, this year’s “The Good Fight” is littered with all sorts of funky jams that will get your feet moving. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.
That’s about all that’s happening this week, but still an impressive one in the least. No matter what you decide to do, be mindful of everyone else and get home in the safest way possible.