Hot As Day: The Best of The Week
Wye Oak. Photo: Capitol Hill Block Party
Now that we’re constantly retreating indoors, it’s time for summer tours to make their way through our fine city. Possibly the largest of the tours is the reunion of sorts by Guns N’ Roses, who’ll be over at NRG Stadium this week. Whether or not that’s your thing, you’ll have plenty of other options in lieu of their appearance, like Wye Oak and Cro-Mags. Houston, here’s where to spend your paycheck this week.
Wednesday you can start off the week over at Woodlands Pavilion for the industrial hippie metal of Rob Zombie. I say hippie metal because I’ve never really known how to describe Zombie’s sound without sounding condescending. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not really anything as memorable as his contemporaries. His new album, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser is pretty solid, though honestly all of his stuff sounds like White Zombie to me. Though, I’ll admit that for what it is, his live show is always impressive. He’ll have the post grunge alt pop metal sounds of Korn on as direct support. Sorry, I can’t defend these guys, they just plain suck and represent everything I hate about the music industry. LA’s In This Moment will open the all ages show with doors at 5:30 pm for some bizarre reason and tickets between $25 and $69.50.
Nightingale Room will host a set from Americana four piece Ruckus. On the heels of dropping their debut album, these guys are always solid in a live setting, and their twangy tones are not to be missed. The throwback rock sounds of Oliver Penn will get things started. I haven’t seen Penn before, but his EP Runaway from this year is pretty catchy. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Satellite Bar will have the raucous psych punk of North Carolina’s Menthol. These guys kind of sound like Fear, and their latest, Vanished, sounds pretty intense. The speedy hardcore of Houston’s Wild Thing will be on as direct support while Dress Code will go on beforehand and probably blow everyone else off the stage. Seriously, if you like punk and you haven’t caught Dress Code yet, you’re really missing out. The hardcore of Houston’s Flick Knife will open the all ages show with a $7 cover and doors at 8 pm.
Azizi Gibson. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Bands In Town
You can get your hip hop fix when Azizi Gibson stops by Walters to drop a set. Currently an LA resident, Gibson has been gaining plenty of steam since he dropped Backward Books two years ago. His latest, this year’s A New Life has been burning up since it was dropped due to his single “DJ Khaled.” Houston’s Doeman will bring his Latin hip hop sounds to all as direct support. Earlier this year he dropped O.B.E.(Outer Body Experience) which was one of the strongest hip hop albums I’ve heard in a good while, and his live shows are always lit. Houston’s Wes Blanco will go on prior, while Tim Woods will open the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
Thursday you could get going at Raven Tower when Deep Cuts will bring their indie rock sounds over to headline a show. These guys have been going for a good while now, and while they play a good amount around town, they’re a band that everyone needs to catch at least once. Their live shows are always on point and their latest release, Gulf Coast Companion, Vol.1, is everything the band has done up to 2014. Georgia’s Triathalon will be on as direct support, and will bring their indie pop sounds to life. Their latest release, this year’s Cold Shower has hints of electro pop, R&B swag, and indie rock all over it. The catchy and atmospheric indie rock jams of Houston’s Vodi will open things up. There’s something about this band that reminds me of about five different hall of fame songwriters that is my way of telling you to go early to check them out. Their latest single, “Notice,” is insanely hooky and a song you can’t get out of your head. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Ron Funches. Photo: Mindy Tucker
Improv will be hosting an entire weekend full of the hilarious antics of LA’s Ron Funches. Funches has been all over TV including Comedy Central, The Tonight Show, as well as appearances on Kroll Show, John Oliver’s Stand Up Show, and tons more. Funches has a relaxed style to his comedy, and if you missed him when he was at Come and Take It Comedy Fest, this is your chance to see him live. His 2015 album The Funches Of Us is pretty on point too. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as feature act and host. The 18 & up shows all have tickets between $22 and $35, and the Tuesday show has doors at 7:15 pm. There are two shows on Friday at 8 pm and 10:30 pm or Saturday at 7 pm and 9:30 pm.
Over at Walters you can catch the mesmerizing neo-traditionalist folk pop of Nashville’s Tristen. Tristen sounds like you time warped back to the sixties, but missed the garage and psych movement. Her latest album is from 2013 called Caves, but don’t let that keep you from seeing her live, as her catchy and endearing sound might be one of the best things you’ll experience in a long time. The atmospheric rock of Austin’s Mirror Travel will be on as direct support and openers. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets for $10.
After Beetle at Continental Club, you can catch the psych rock sounds of Houston’s Vanilla Whale. These guys put on a pretty impressive live show, their tunes are a mix of sixties psych and seventies blues rock, and their 2014 album Greatest Hits is pretty strong for a debut release. The roots rock of Tribe Hill will be on hand to open things up, and you should definitely get there early to check them out. The 21 & up show has doors at 10 and it’s 100% FREE.
Friday you can get going at Killem Collective for the unveiling of the visual and contemporary art series as well as a set from Baton Rouge Instrumental hip hop artist AF The Naysayer. This guys is a trip to see live, his music is always on point, and his remix of the Phony PPL track, “End of The Night” is pretty stellar. DJ Flash Gordon Parks will be on hand to spin jams as he’s become known for while Synato Watts will get things started. The all ages event has doors at 7 pm, tickets are available here, and more information on the event is available here.
Second Lovers. Photo: Daniel Jackson
Over at Raven Tower you can catch the alt country good times jams of Houston’s Second Lovers. After sets at multiple festivals, a couple of lineup changes, and the release of a new sound found here, this five piece is set to finally start recording a new album. Their live shows are always impressive, energetic, and fun. They’ll have the electro pop R&B of Houston’s -US. on hand to get things started. If you haven’t caught this guy lately then I’ll just say that his hyper-energetic sets have had me impressed with what one guy can do by himself. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $8 and $10.
Satellite Bar will have the guitar based indie pop rock of Clay Melton. Melton has more critical praise than artists twice his age, he’s gotten a name for a strong live show, and his latest release “Home” is pretty damn catchy. The intriguing sounds of Houston’s Colonial Blue will be on as direct support, and should turn heads with their mix of Americana, folk, rock, and blues. If you haven’t caught this three piece yet then you’re missing out, and their debut album Dear Misery, is like nothing you’ve heard before. The blues rock of Houston’s Sik Mule will also be on hand, while the blues jam band sounds of Denton’s The Gypsy Bravado will also perform. Nicole Starch and The Grizzly Boys will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and a TBA cover.
At Axelrad you can catch the one man band electronica of Houston’s JERK. I say one man band, but I think now it’s actually a three piece with Vicki from Black Kite and Zach from Deep Cuts, but I’m not certain. The always entertaining sounds of DJ Squincy Jones will open things up with doors at 7:30 and the 21 & up event is 100% FREE.
El Lago. Photo: Danny Garcia
Walters will have the long running indie pop of Denver’s Dressy Bessy. There’s something so engaging about this band that I’d say you’re kind of silly to miss them. Like a female fronted Of Montreal, their live shows are always fun and their new album KINGSIZED is really catchy and pretty damn great. The punk of Houston’s Giant Kitty will be on as direct support and will bring their debut This Stupid Stuff to life, while the atmospheric indie rock of Houston/Galveston four piece El Lago will go on prior. This band is like if early Superchunk made a shoegaze album, and their single “Tell Me How It Ends” is really amazing. The bedroom pop indie rock of Houston’s Rose Ette will be on hand to open things up, and possibly get everyone to fall in love with their catchy sound as well. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
If you’d rather get some throwback in, then you could head to the Foundation Room at House of Blues to catch a set from Houston’s Mikey & The Drags. These guys are always on point live, their sound is unmistakably garage rock, and their latest Make You Mine sounds like they went back in time to record it. The psych chill jams of Mantra Love will go on beforehand, and should get everyone all groovy when they play from last year’s EP Mantra Love. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Guns N’ Roses. Photo: Katarina Benzova
Of course, I’m guessing that a lot of people will be headed to NRG Arena to catch the kind of reunited hair metal sounds of Guns N’ Roses. The “Not In This Lifetime” tour name could apply to the fact that no one thought they’d get through a whole tour together in this lifetime, or that they could actually get people out to the shows. While this isn’t the same lineup that released that horrific album Chinese Democracy, this is Slash and Duff with Axl performing the songs that made them famous. All joking aside, their debut album Appetite For Destruction was the best of that genre. If you “Use Your Illusion,” then you’ll forget that for some strange reason, Skrillex will be opening this show. I don’t know if GNR realize that the producer can blow them off the stage, but anyone going for this show isn’t going for Skrillex. The all ages show is at 8:30 pm, and tickets aside from whatever parking costs, run between $39.50 and $250.
Rudyard’s will host the bluesy desert rock of Austin’s Heavy Glow. This three piece plays songs that are kind of like a lighter version of Red Fang and their 2014 album Pearls & Swine and Everything Fine is definitely catchy. The intense indie rock power of Only Beast will be on as direct support, and they might blow the Austin band off of the stage with their energy heavy set. The stoner rock of Houston’s Funeral Horse will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
You can close out the night at MKT Bar for the Bowie Karaoke Tribute show. Roll through, park for free in the attached garage, then go belt one of your favorite David Bowie songs. They’ll have Bowie themed cocktails, and a list of tunes that will include a slew of other artists. There’s more information here, it gets going around 10 pm, and the all ages event is 100% FREE.
Saturday you can start at several spots in the heights for White Linen night. It’s not my thing because it’s overcrowded and chaotic, so you could be on the edge of the heights at Town in City Brewing. This is the heights, but not the thickest part of the White Linen festivities, so you might be safe. They’ll have a headlining set from The Heights Funk Collective, the Americana of Ruckus beforehand, and everything is started with a set from Oliver Penn. The all ages event gets going at 6 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Axelrad Beer Garden will host a show that’s pretty intriguing with the Festival of Stanzas event. Seven artists, seven stanzas, performing live with Michele Thibeaux dropping the soundtrack to it all. It’s visual poetry set to music, the list of artists are all right here, and the 100% FREE show for the 21 & up attendees gets going around 7 pm.
Ruiners. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
The Waughford will host a pretty sick show when one of my favorite Houston hardcore bands, Black Coffee stops by to headline a set. Aside from the fact that all of the proceeds from this show go to the Houston Area Women’s Center, these guys are killer. Like a punch to the face, if you haven’t seen them live yet then you’re seriously missing out. Their latest, Live Fast from two years ago is intense, but catching them live is where it’s at. The anarcho punk of The Ancient Gods will go on beforehand, while the screamy math rock of Mouthing will be on prior. The indie punk jams of Ruiners will open the show up, and they’re a band that everyone needs to check out sooner than later. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm, the cover is $10, and the beverages are complimentary.
You can get your groove on at House of Creeps for another edition of Terraform. The visuals and electronica show will feature a headlining set from Daed, as well as sets from other Houston producers like Josiah Gabriel and BRKCHK. There will also be sets from Austin based producers urtica, Detox Unit, and Cactus Bath. I think it’s all ages, the gratis Lone Star for the adults, and the show that has doors at 7 pm has a $10 cover.
Chuck Inglish. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Warehouse Live will have the hip hop of one half of The Cool Kids when Chicago’s Chuck Inglish swings by the studio to drop a set. Inglish has been dropping plenty of solo science for a good while, his live sets are legendary, and his latest drop Ev Zepplin is on a whole other level. The always entertaining and formidable hip hop of Houston’s Fat Tony will be on hand as direct support. Tony has been grinding for a good while, he’s one of the best hip hop performers you can see, and his new release Look is next level. Kevin Flum will open the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Over at Rudyard’s you can catch the closest thing to a modern day Devo when Austin’s PONG stops by to perform. It’s hard to believe that these guys have been around for twenty years, their live shows are always crazy, and their latest album Gone is their best to date. The heavy guitar based blues psych stoner rock of Houston’s Linus Pauling Quartet will be on as direct support and openers. These guys play the kind of piercing loud rock that you don’t hear very often, and their latest album Ampalanche is pretty damn solid. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and a $10 cover.
Bombon will have another edition of their dance heavy sets at Fox Hollow, this time with special guest Peru’s Deltatron. Deltaton is leading a cumbia movement down in Lima right now, he’s touring throughout the US, and his new drop “Cocaina-Codeina” is a trip that mixes in Screw elements. Of course Navo, Principe Q, and Gracie Chavez will be dropping tropical dance behind the decks as well. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm, and it’s FREE with RSVP or $5.
Cro-Mags. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Sunday you can catch the legendary thrash hardcore crossover sounds of NYC’s Cro-Mags over at Walters. These guys changed things back in the eighties when they mixed punk and metal together to create a new sound. Their debut album The Age of Quarrel is an album any punk should own, and their repackaged some of those songs for 2000’s Before The Quarrel. These guys are intense to say the least when they perform. They’ll have the hardcore thrash of Texas’ Confused on as direct support, while a set from Houston’s oi punks, Thug Boots will go on prior. Idiot City will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $18.
If you’d rather laugh, then you could head to Improv to catch the always funny comedy of Mo Amer. Amer has been hailed by critics and audiences alike as one of the funniest comics going, and he’s toured the globe enough to be considered world class. He’ll have Houston funny man and Whiskey Brother, John Wessling on as his feature act, and one of Houston’s better comics as the host. The 18 & up show is at 7:30 with tickets between $15 and $25.
Doughbeezy. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Monday you can swing over to the studio at Warehouse Live to see the hip hop sounds of Houston’s Doughbeezy and Q. Guyton. Doughbeezy could easily be one of the better unsung rappers going today. Known for his 2014 jam “I’m From Texas,” his latest drop Reggie Bush And Kool-Aid 2 is pretty lit to say the least. You could almost say the same about Houston’s Q. Guyton who appears on Doughbeezy’s single “Cold Summer.” The show will also feature sets from acts like the magnetic R&B of Houston’s Rosewood Thievz who just dropped a sick single, “Freedom,” and who’s live set is full of tons of energy. Big Fatts, Jon S, Denaron, ONEHUNNIDT, Jay-Von, amd Dante Higgins w/Undergravity will all be on the bill as well. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 & $20.
Tuesday you might find yourself over at Warehouse Live for another edition of the massively popular show series, The Moth. The subject at this edition will be heat which should make for some interesting tales. The all ages and seated event in the ballroom usually sells out, so keep that in mind with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets for $10.
If that’s not your thing, then you could head to Raven Tower to catch the gorgeous indie pop of Wye Oak. It’s been six years since the duo has performed here, and their latest release Tween is pretty damn stellar. They’re pretty popular so be prepared for the show to be packed. They’ll have direct support from electro folk act Tuskha. The new Tuskha album, Tuskha, is groovy and worth checking out in person. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $15.
Roselit Bone. Photo: Miss Ellanea
Walters will host the Western sounds of Portland’s Roselit Bone. Seriously, this band sounds like the soundtrack to a Spaghetti Western film, and their latest album Blacken & Curl from 2014 is a trip of darkness. The folk bluegrass goodness of Houston’s Son Of Bitch will provide direct support, while the bluesy soul of Muddy Belle will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the safest manner possible for the sake of everyone else.