Hot and Cold: The Best of The Week
Photo: April Greer
Last week we got to attempt to figure what we would and would not attend on some nights where the options were just too varied. Well, this week isn’t much different where amazing acts like the rock trio Ex Hex pictured above, will roll through town. Here’s what you should be doing this week.
Wednesday you can head over to Continental Club to catch the instrumental surf rock sounds of guitar legend Dick Dale. Last year Dale dropped one of his most progressive albums to date, “Unknown Territory.” You would know Dale from his song “Miserlou” from the Quentin Tarantino film, “Pulp Fiction.” This guy is seriously as strong of a guitar player as you can see, and he still goes hard at his ripe old age. The blues rock of Houston’s Jay Hooks Band will open things up with doors around 9:00 and a cover of $35.00.
Over at Fitzgerald’s, they’ll have the hip hop styles of Manhattan’s Skizzy Mars. Mars has been blowing up since he dropped his first set of mixtapes as a teenager. He just released an album, “The Red Balloon Project” that has that sweet NYC hip hop vibe to it. It has appearances from G-Eazy, Quest, and more to create a very catchy sound. He’ll have the Mad Decent discovered and Philly club sound pioneer, DJ Swizzymack on dropping a DJ set. This guy is insanely talented for not being old enough to drink, and Philadelphia’s club sces will be forever changed due to his sound. NYC’s Prelow will be there to bring their electro pop rock sound to the mix. They just released an EP, “Why Does Everything Happen So Much” that’s catchy and even danceable. Like they took that dance side that Spoon has always had to a whole new level. The all ages show is downstairs with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
Over at Warehouse Live, Indianapolis rapper Mark Battles will be in the studio of the venue. Battles has been getting bigger and bigger since he dropped his first sounds ten years ago, and lately he’s been a pretty prolific writer and performer. His latest, this year’s “Shelter Food” keeps in line with his stylistic approach on a mic. Twenty year old LA rapper Derek Luh will be on the bill to get things going. He just released “The Second Coming” this year, and he has a unique sound that’s worth checking out. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $25.00, the latter being a VIP option with early entry & a meet and greet.
Thursday has hordes to do starting with a three show billing at Beta Theater. This improv night all begins with a reunion show from Phortasics. The group that features Christine Wines, Paige Wharton, Vic Shuttee, and many more will reunite for one night of improv. After that there will be a performance from the troupe Spontaneous Combustion. The seven piece troupe is known for wacky antics, and should be fun for any improv fan. That’s all closed off with the team from Beta, the Beta Max group. I’ve seen them perform, and I was entertained…keeping in mind that I’m not a huge improv guy. All three shows are BYOB, things start at 7:00, and you can see all three shows for a measly $6.00.
The Nightingale Room will have the pop electronica of Austin’s Blue Healer. The trio is known for their pop sounds and fun live shows. They’ll have to really bring it though, as Children Of Pop will be there to open things up, and bring their electronic pop sound to the table. Dropping songs left and right, remixed works from the likes of LIMB and Josiah Gabriel, and even a Madonna cover of “Lucky Star,” are what this duo brings to the mix. And their live show is tight and fun. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:30 and is 100% FREE.
Over at Improv Houston, the hilarious antics of Charlie Murphy will be there all weekend. Murphy is more than Eddie’s older brother and a guy who tells tales of basketball with Prince or beating up Rick James; he’s a funny comic as well. His 2010 album, “I Will Not Apologize” is a funny album and proves that Murphy is a strong comic. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as Feature act and host. There is one show Thursday at 8:00, two shows on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, two on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:30, and one on Sunday at 7:30. There’s a real good chance that many of these will sell out, and the tickets are between $30.00 and $35.00.
There’s a very special living room show featuring Rocky Votolato brought to you by The Secret Group. Votolato is a very magical sounding singer songwriter who emotes a hint of Elliott Smith alongside the poppier side of Kevin Devine. His latest album, “True Devotion” from 2010 is a great example of his sweet yet powerful sound. The tickets are $20.00 and available only here, where the performance will take place here. Things start at 8:00.
Arrested Development Photo: Courtesy of Artist
If you were planning on going to Fitzgerald’s to catch nineties hip hop collective Arrested Development, the show has been canceled.
Friday, things get started over at Two Allen Center for The Art Car Ball. Wild costumes encouraged, this is where things get crazy in the beginning of everything art car. There will be music from acts like Moji, who will bring a soulful fire to all who attend and T Bird & The Breaks. There will also be a performance from Burlesque extraordinaire, Kiki Maroon. There’s way more than these listed on the event that’ll be hosted by Artemis of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The doors are at 6:00 and the tickets are between $25.00 and $30.00.
Traffic Premium Lounge will have another show from those over at Laff Town, this time with Jermaine Warren. So, Jermaine is one of those comics that I wish I saw more of. He has a quick wit, he seems to be able to gauge a crowd quickly and adapt, and his timing is top notch. Shabaz ‘Playtime’ Ward will also be there, while the hilarious joke machine Carl Hunter goes on prior. Lil T will host the entire evening as well. These shows are a great way to catch some of Houston’s best comics in a very intimate setting. The doors are at 9:00, the show starts at 10:00, and the cover is $10.00 at the door with presale tickets available here, for $5.00.
Upstairs at Fitzgerald’s they’ll have the always interesting sounds from New England’s tUne-yArDs. So, Merrill Garbus, who is Tune Yards, has been kind of a big deal since she dropped the song “Gangsta” in 2011. However, last year she returned with an even bigger song, “Water Fountain” off her record “nikki nack.” The thing is that even with great songs, the performance is why you check her out as she makes and loops live drums and it’s pretty awesome to see. If you missed her at FPSF last year, then I beg you to check her out this go around cause’ I think you’ll be impressed. She’ll have the post rock nocturnal sounds of Colorado’s Son Lux as her opener. Son Lux makes these sweet, dark, and crazy sounds that are supposed to be a trip to see live. His latest, this year’s “Music From and Inspired by: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack);” is a thing of beauty. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $26.00 and $30.00.
Voodoo Queen will have a party for the ever changing musical genius of Lucas Gorham. This guy is like what Prince, Frank Zappa, and Marvin Gaye would be like if they were one person. Now living in LA, he’ll be in town for his birthday with his latest music project, HVN SPCY. It’s trippy and psych fueled with R&B notes in a whole new sound. There will be visuals from FLCON FCKER, the show is 100% FREE, and it gets going around 9:00.
X Photo: Michael Hyatt
Warehouse Live will bring the legendary punk sounds of LA’s X to town. So, in 1980, this four piece ignited the LA punk revolution with their debut album, “Los Angeles.” Listening to it now, it doesn’t feel like punk, but it still holds up today. The crazy thing about this band is that they feature off key harmonies from Exene Cervenka & John Doe. I mean, they had an album produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors, they are responsible for the Cali punk scene, and this being the original lineup; is a “must see” show for any punk rock fan. In a weird twist, the San Diego duo known as Folk Uke will open the show. Their last album was 2011’s “Reincarnation” that featured Shooter Jennings on a track, and should make for an interesting performance. The all ages show takes place in the ballroom with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $26.50 and $28.50.
Continental Club will host their yearly visit from Southern Culture On The Skids. I would think that you would have heard SCOTS before, but if you haven’t; then their latest single “Party At My Trouse” should give you an idea. Though the song features Fred Schneider of B-52’s fame; the sound is still the same. There are two shows being one on Friday and one on Saturday. The Friday show has the 9-10 piece Wifee and the HuzzBand opening up. The group incorporates a fifties and sixties rock sound that’s like if the doo wop era was mixed with the Everly Brothers and maybe The Shirelles. On Saturday the opener will be Austin’s The Ugly Beats. This five piece has an interesting mix of Replacements with a poppier vibe. Both shows are 21 & up, they both have doors around 9:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Over at Stereo Live, you can catch the Australian sister duo of Nervo. So, there are heavy pop elements to these two, but that might be because they wrote hits for artists like Kylie Minogue and Ke$ha. Aside from playing all of the big electronic fests, they have the ability to drop in DJ sets and perform live with ease. Their latest single, “It Feels” is one of their biggest hits to date, and they’re known for a fun live show. They’ll have the DJ Surain of Nepal will open the 18 & up show with doors at 9:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $40.00.
If you couldn’t attend the first show at Traffic Premium Lounge, then you can catch Midnight Traffic around 11:45. This show will feature the hilarious long form jokes of Jaffer Khan. Jaffer has the ability to make you think while also making you laugh. It’s not just him on the bill as Bryan Rakestraw, Tommy Berretz, Kirk Loftin, Brandon Queshawn, Chris Riddle, James Frank, Keenan Stewart and Chris Rogers will all be on prior and bring varying forms of funny to the show. Bob Morrissey will perform the hosting duties in the funniest way possible. Things will start at midnight so get there early if possible.
Saturday, I think it’s safe to say that most of you will be getting your day started off over at the annual KTRU Outdoor Show. In its 24rh year, the festival will bring some heavy hitters to town, all being headlined by the electronica of England’s Objekt. So, this guy seems to channel Aphex Twin and varying strands of IDM to create his own thing. His latest release, 2014’s “Flatland” is dense, lush, and landscaped with notes, beats, and tones into something completely different. Prior to him, will be South London’s Bok Bok. The grime and house DJ is seriously on the next level as far as how he drops tunes. He mixes the old school DJ world with something new entirely, and his 2014 release “Your Charizmatic Self” is something crazy and amazing at the same time. GoldLink will be there to drop his new world hip hop for all who attend. Gaining praise from all who have seen him perform, last year’s “The God Complex” proved that he is on a different level. The fun and energetic rock of Ex Hex will be on before, and will prove that rock music is far from dead. Seriously, their “Rips” album from last year was easily one of my favorites where the trio mixed the sound of Joan Jett with the intensity of Wild Flag. I caught them at Walters and they were seriously entertaining, energetic, and truly amazing to see. Massachusetts’ Stalls will also be there to bring their Bauhaus meets Jesus and Mary Chain sound to life. The hip hop beats of Heaven Spacey will also be on the bill, but will have to bring it as Houston rapper and true performer Fat Tony will be on prior. I feel like if you live in Houston and you haven’t seen Fat Tony perform, then you’re doing something wrong. I’ve seen this guy put more energy into one performance than most rappers do on a tour, and last year’s “Insecure” solidified him as an artist who’s steps ahead of everyone else. The always fun and Gulf Coast swag of Houston’s Deep Cuts will be there as well. If you missed their “Love Grows” EP last year, then you definitely need to get there early to check them out. Fire Alarm, the winner of the KTRU battle of the bands contest opens things up. There will be visuals from Houston’s FLCON FCKER as well. More details if needed are available here. Things get going at noon, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE at the Rice University Central Quad.
Over at Fitzgerald’s, they’ll be hosting a benefit that takes up both the upstairs and downstairs, with the Be The Match show. Basically some of your favorite bands will be playing as much bigger bands for fun. The lineup this year includes: Another Run performing as Radiohead, The Beans as Michael Jackson, Catch Fever as U2, Empty Shells as Nirvana, Fire Moth as Creedence, Fox & Cats as Say Anything, King Finn as Queen, Otis The Destroyer as David Bowie, Sunrise and Ammunition as St Vincent, -Us. as Drake, and We Were Wolves as Pearl Jam. DJ Fredster will be there as well on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets for $10.00.
FLCON FCKER Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Khon’s will be hosting a music and art show curated by Prints NotPrince. The show will feature sets from modular synth guru Pfaffenberg, an intesnse set from FLCON FCKER, a tripped out set from Josiah Gabriel, and a set from Diego Ice. There’s also a live performance painting from Mondo X Most and new visuals from Prints. the 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a $6.00 cover.
Mucky Duck will have a special evening with singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves. This guy is pretty much like a mix of Woody Guthrie and John Prine. He’s kind of a big deal in the music world, he’s one of the best things to come outta’ Austin since SRV, and his latest album, “Still Fighting The War” from 2013 is pretty damn great. There are two shows, one at 7:00 and one at 9:30, and both carry a cover of $28.00-$30.00.
If punk rock is more your speed, then Warehouse Live will be hosting The Queers. Though it’s not the original lineup, but then it’s really never been since the early eighties; these guys are punk legends. Still lead by Joe Queer, the three piece has been going strong since their first release in 1982. Their last studio album was 2010’s “Back To The Basement,” where their last release was a live album called “Ole’ Maestro,” in 2013. Richie Ramone, formerly of The Ramones will be on the bill as well. Ramone has been playing drums and singing with his new band since parting ways with the godfathers of punk. His latest album “Entitled” from 2013 is better than you’d think. Berkeley’s The Atom Age will bring their brand of high energy punk to the show when they open things up. Their latest is an EP, “The Atom Age EP” from earlier this year; and should give you reason to show up early. The all ages show in the studio has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $17.00.
Scout Bar will be having their 11th year anniversary party with Houston natives The Hunger. I remember seeing The Hunger open for bands at Numbers back in the nineties, so it will be interesting to see what they sound like nowadays. They’ll have to bring their a game however, as TheLastPlaceYouLook will be on prior, and we all know that they have more energy than a bag of kittens. Last year these guys dropped the well crafted and well written EP “Rip It Out” that showcased the changes the band has made since their debut. I feel like if you miss their showmanship then you shouldn’t even attend. The reggae dub sounds of Houston’s Cassette Tape will also be on the bill. This is one of the better new world reggae acts I’ve seen going, and they’re definitely worth checking out. The atmospheric rock of Valeluna will open things up. These guys have that Explosions in the Sky kind of sound, and their 2014 album “In Your Absence” is pretty strong. The all ages affair has doors at 8:00 and cover at $10.00.
If you had purchased tickets to catch comedian Katt Williams back in February, then you can see him at his rescheduled show. It’s still at Toyota Center and it’ll still be funny. Though Katt’s best work was on his earlier albums like “Live” and “It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’,” his latest “Priceless” is a true comeback and return to form. I caught Williams a long time ago, but he was seriously funny and worth catching. There are tickets still available between $52.00 and $175.00.
Sunday, Fitzgerald’s will have the pop punk of Florida’s New Found Glory. So, this isn’t my thing but I know a whole bunch of people who are giddy like high school kids over this show. They’ll be here in support of their latest release, “Resurrection” from last year. The acoustic pop punk duo known as This Wild Life will be there as well as direct support. They’ll be dropping songs from their latest, last year’s “Clouded.” The throwback emo core of Virginia’s Turnover will be there to open things up. I might actually go to check these guys out as they really remind me of Texas Is The Reason if they were molded with Jets To Brazil and Seam. They’ll be supporting their 2013 full length “Magnolia,” as well as some smaller releases like this year’s “Cutting My Fingers Off.” The show is all ages, the doors are at 6:00 and the tickets are between $18.00 and $24.00.
Tuesday you can swing by Warehouse Live for another edition of The Moth series. The subject for this show will be delusions, so get your story ready. These things usually sell out so get your five minute story ready and get there early. The doors are at 6:30, it’s all ages, and the ballroom show has tickets between $8.00 and $16.00.
Polica Photo: NPR
You might be up more for some music, and if so then House of Blues will have the electro-pop of Polica. The four piece has been a big deal for a while, especially since their 2012 album, “Give You The Ghost.” This time they’ll be here in support of their latest, “Shulamith.” There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that could definitely change. It’s an all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Upstairs at Fitzgerald’s they’ll have the electro-indie pop of LA’s Smallpools. Though it’s really poppy, the four piece also makes really catchy tunes. Their debut, “LOVETAP!” from this year is already blowing up & they’re known for a fun live show. The pop folk electronica of Grizfolk will add an interesting sound as direct support. This is a mish mash of people from all around the globe put together to make one magical sound. I really like their 2014 EP “From The Spark,” and they should be interesting to hear live. Get there early though because Milwaukee based eighties electro pop act Vinyl Theatre will be there to open things up. The four piece has been around since 2012 but their recent album, “Electrogram” from last year is the one that’s blowing up. The all ages show has doors at 6:00 and tickets between $17.00 and $21.00.
That’s about it on an incredibly stacked week full of to do’s. No matter what you choose, please be mindful of others and do your best to act like an adult and get home in the safest way possible.