Hostage Stamps: The Best of The Week
At The Drive-In. Photo: Rise Records
Now that festivals are in full swing, things are heating up as far as the weather and what’s rolling through town this week. Sets from the likes of At The Drive-In, Metallica, and Tripping Daisy will be on deck with performances from locals like Clay Melton, Finger Guns and more filling in the gaps. Houston, here’s how to map out the next seven days.
On Wednesday you could begin over at Discovery Green for their Party on The Plaza series featuring Dallas’ Ishi. There was a night some years back where Wilco bored me, so I went to catch Father John Misty where the venue was too hot, and Ishi saved my night with an electric performance at Nightingale Room. Maybe he can save your night as well, as his latest single “Crocodile Tears” is an electronic jam that’s worth hearing live. The folky sounds of Houston’s Romina Von Mohr will open the all ages show that gets going around 5 pm and is 100% FREE.
We Were Wolves. Photo: Ken Asibor
Later on at The Secret Group, you could catch the Nashville rock goodness of JEFF The Brotherhood. This duo seems to really be all about exploring the genre of rock without taking things too far. Their live shows can be crazed energy bubbles, and last year’s Zone proved they can still mix things up. Houston’s We Were Wolves will bring their beer fueled rock n’ roll party on as direct support and should add new songs from their upcoming album to their set along with songs from 2015’s Ruin Your Weekend. Houston’s Far Out will bring their hook-heavy rock on as openers for the all ages show, and their last album Universe was one everyone should hear. Doors are at 8 pm with a $12 cover.
On Thursday you could kick the evening off over in the ballroom at Warehouse Live when Dallas’ Tripping Daisy reunites for a performance. It’s been eighteen years since the death of founding member Wes Berggren and since the band has performed live, so this is a real treat for fans of the band. While the group’s posthumous B-sides album Tripping Daisy from 2000 and the album before it Jesus Hits Like The Atomic Bomb were both good and well received, the album I Am An Elastic Firecracker with the hit track, “I Got A Girl” was what made the group Texas psych pop legends. I saw the band a lot in the nineties and their live shows were always on point and sometimes bizarre. Dallas’ Motorcade featuring members of War on Drugs, St. Vincent and more will be on hand as direct support while the only Houston band that could open things up, Frog Hair will get things going. If you’ve never seen Frog Hair before, just imagine what Butthole Surfers on LSD would be like and you’ll have their debut album A Long List of Shortcomings figured out. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $25 and $30.
Over at Walter’s you could get the indie meets punk rock of Finger Guns who will be there to drop their new album, Life On The Floor. The new sounds of Houston’s The Daphne Blue were set to perform, but have since had to cancel due to an emergency. There’s also a set from Since Always who should impress with their indie rock sounds while the all ages show will get opened up by the alt rock sounds of Middlechild. Doors are at 8 pm with a $10 cover.
Clark. Photo: Tim Saccenti
Downstairs at White Oak Music Hall, New York born and New Jersey raised Com Truise will return for a set filled with electronica jams. This guy has been making bangers for a good while, but his latest single, “Isotasy,” is definitely something to groove to and his live sets are always a little bonkers. He’ll have one of the best electronica producers going as direct support and opener with U.K. triple threat Clark. Clark is literally fire as a producer and his live sets are a real trip. His latest release Death Peak from this year just keeps him at the top of the electronic game even moreso. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $17 and $22.
Friday you could make it out to House of Blues for the alt country of Old 97’s. While the band has been around a good while and their live shows have always felt like a party made up of friends, their latest release Graveyard Whistling offers up hints of the band in their early days. Shooter Jennings will bring his twangy sound on as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $25 and $49.
Japanese Breakfast. Photo: Phobymo
Upstairs at White Oak Music Hall will host the always fun lo-fi indie pop of (Sandy) Alex G. While the Philadelphia artist has always been worth catching, his latest record Rocket offers up his most cohesive and catchy sound to date. The indie sci-fi jams of Japanese Breakfast will be on as direct support while Brooklyn-based power pop rock group Cende will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $13 and $18.
In the back of Continental Club at the Pachinko Hut, you can get groovy to the sounds of DJ jams from the likes of Darenda Weaver, Zack Dorsey, and Black Slacks at the Citrus Shakedown. While there are rumors of a bubble machine on site, the cheap drinks and cool jams make for a fun time in the hot summer sun. The 21 & up show is free and gets going at 7 pm with more information here.
Vinal Edge will host the indie post rock strangeness of Denton’s Sexual Jeremy. I say post rock, but in reality this band just emulates multiple genres including spoken word, math rock, and early emocore, and their latest Chuck Weekend is a trip. Denton’s Jesus Chris + The Beetles will be on as direct support while the unexplained improvised magic of Houston’s Ak’chamel will open things ups as only they can for the free all ages show with gratis beer for the adults.
Pfaff. Photo: Marshall Forse Walker
The Waughford will host the return of Austin’s Dylan Cameron of Holodeck Records. Cameron has made his name by dropping danceable jams and his latest, Infinite Floor, is full of tracks to groove to. The electro-acoustic sounds of Houston’s Yakul will be on as direct support while Pfaff will bring his modular techno prior. A DJ set from Houston’s KONA FM will get the night started with visuals all night from Sppank. The show has doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
Over at Rito’s Bar you could check out the gloss punk of NOLA’s Patsy. Here in support of their snappy new 7” Eat It, they sound like a feverishly fun punk band. Austin’s Sass will be on as well as No Come, while Houston’s The Pose will bring their punk heaviness on hand. Criminal Itch will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $6 cover.
Rudyard’s will host the new album release from Houston’s Sam Turner & the Cactus Cats. While the band has traveled far down the road of what they call “beach wave,” they’re really closer to psych infused folk in sound and they’re definitely due for a new album. The show will also have Grisbee on as direct support, while the rock of Houston’s Bayou Saints will go on beforehand. The indie pop of Austin’s Golden Solid will also be on hand to perform and Mikey Drag from Flower Graves will get the evening started by spinning records all night, as well as in-between sets and after the show too. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
Clay Melton. Photo: Daniel Jackson
In the Bronze Peacock room of House of Blues, the bluesy twang of Houston’s Clay Melton will bring the house to its knees with his guitar prowess. While Melton’s debut record is good, it doesn’t really showcase his strength as songwriter and guitarist and his live shows are the type you don’t want to miss before he gets too big for this city. The energetic blues psych of Vanilla Whale will be on hand as support and openers, and they, too, are a band everyone should check out. The all ages show has doors at 8:45 pm and tickets for $15.
Saturday you could get going over at Silver Street Studios for the Pop Shop Houston Summer Festival. The two day event has tons of local vendors, art, food, and even a fashion show. The fashion show gets going around 7 pm, but the two day event opens at 10 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday with tickets for $8.
There’s a good chance you’ll head to Saint Arnold’s Brewery when they celebrate their 23rd year. The show has a headlining set from Houston’s Bun B, but also features a slew of locals to round things out. Performances from The Tontons, 30 Foot Fall, Buxton, John Evans and more will all be there to get feet moving. The 21 & up show has doors at 4 pm and tickets between $10 and $35 with more information here.
Over at Revention Center, El Paso’s At The Drive-In will make their return to our city. While they’re without founding member Jim Ward, the band has since soldiered on and dropped a new album with this year’s in*ter*a*li*a. It’s not confirmed if they still get wild like they did at their shows twenty years ago or not, but if you’re a fan, then you might want to attend based on how volatile they all are. Les Butcherettes will be on board as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $30 and $40.
Over at Arena Theatre, the internationally renowned sounds of Mexico’s Bronco will perform in the round. You might not know these guys, but seeing as they’ve sold over 12 million records, those who know them realize that they’re worth catching live. If you’re a fan of Norteno music, you should love their latest release Primera Fila from this year. The doors are at 7:30 pm and tickets are between $49.50 and $155.
Ruiners. Photo: Keith Hatch
Over at Rudyard’s, Houston’s Football, etc. will be upstairs to play their album release party for the recently released Corner. One of my favorite records of the year, as well as the strongest from the trio, the album takes the band far outside of their emo past and places them on a larger scale. While their live shows are always fun, they will have one of the strongest live bands on as direct support when Houston’s Ruiners will release their new album as well. Their new record, Plebeian, is pretty epic, like a mix of Mission of Burma and Fugazi. The screamo sounds of Austin’s Yorick will also be on the bill while Houston’s Greg Cote & the Real Life Friends will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm and an $8 cover.
On Sunday you could make your way over to the EaDo Vintage June Fest. The monthly event takes place over on Polk Street and features an eclectic mix of vintage wares and wears, art, music and eats. The all day event is open to all ages, it’s free to attend, and gets going at noon with more information here.
Over at NRG Stadium you can hope that Metallica sticks to their tunes that don’t go past …And Justice For All. While I haven’t been a fan of how these guys act towards anyone not up to pay them for the smallest things, or the fact that I’m really not a fan of most of their work from the past twenty years, I can say that they’re pretty epic to catch live. Their early work on Kill Em’ All and Master of Puppets alone is amazing. The metalcore of Avenged Sevenfold will be on as direct support while the Danish metal of Volbeat will open the all ages show with doors at 6 pm, and tickets between $55 and $155.50. Parking is an extra $20.
Walter’s will host the proggy instrumental sounds of California’s Strawberry Girls. This trio makes groove heavy jams that are great to catch live, and their latest release Italian Ghosts keeps that vibe going. They’ll have the intense sounds of Colorado’s Comrades on as direct support while the post hardcore of Belle Noire will open the all ages show with doors at 6 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
On Monday you could head over to the new Insomnia Gallery for Night One of Houston Benefit Week for a poster art show. The art of ACK!, House of Eyes, Christopher Oddo, Honeybones, and more will be on display and available for purchase in an ultra limited run of prints, both framed and unframed. DJ sets from some mystery guests, gratis Topo Chico and Lonestar, and all proceeds go to help Christian Kidd of The Hates as he battles cancer. The event is all ages, the doors are at 7 pm, and with art from each artists for sale as well, it’s definitely worth making it our for.
Radkey. Photo: Paradigm Agency
The indie pop of London’s The Joy Formidable will be on hand upstairs at White Oak Music Hall. Here in support of last year’s Sleep Is Day, there’s something remarkable about how this group writes music. The punky garage sounds of Radkey will be on hand as direct support and should melt some faces when they perform at the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm and tickets between $18 and $22.
On Tuesday you could make it over to Warehouse Live for the long standing good time also know as The Moth story hour. The true stories told live will use the theme of celebration for this show, and if you’ve never been, then this is a great opportunity to check it out. The all ages event has doors at 6:30 pm and tickets for $10 on the seated show.
The Secret Group will have a set from the always funny Tom Rhodes. Rhodes has been doing stand up for thirty years, he’s been on places like Comedy Central, NBC, and Netflix, and his last album Colossus of Me is pretty hilarious. Two of Houston’s better up and coming comics might serve as host and feature for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
Los Skarnales. Photo: Ed Villegas
Over at Continental Club, Night Two of Houston Benefit Week will see a headlining set from Houston’s Los Skarnales. These guys have been blowing minds with their energetic shows since I was in high school and their latest release, Another Day, Another Borrachera, is one of the strongest ska records you’ll hear. A reunited set from Houston rockabilly legends The Flamin’ Hellcats will be on hand as direct support while Houston’s energetic Tax The Wolf will go on prior. A Sundae Drive will bring their indie rock goodness on as openers for the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm. Like the art show at Insomnia, the event will have all proceeds going to Christian Kidd of The Hates as he battles cancer, providing a great way to enjoy music and help out a local legend at the same time.
That’s about it for this week. No matter what you do, remember that a safe ride home is just a click away.