How High: The Best of The Week
Curren$y. Photo: CJ Wallis/Atlantic Records
It’s beginning to look a lot like touring season in the music industry. This week we’ll be greeted by bands who haven’t played here in a long time, most notably stoner rockers Sleep. There’s also sets from acts like SWMRS, Curren$y, Los Lobos and more while Kiki Maroon brings back her burlesque festival and a ton of locals perform all over our city. Houston, here’s how to navigate the next seven days.
Wednesday you can begin at Warehouse Live in the ballroom for the rap of Brooklyn’s Desiigner. This guy has blown up and his live shows are known to be crazy. Here in support of last year’s popular album New English, this should be a show worth checking out. California rapper Rob $tone will be on as direct support with a set from Ski Mask the Slump God on prior. The all ages show with doors at 7 pm will get opened by 16yrold with tickets between $23 and $25.
If you’d like to see a funny social experiment live, then you could head to The Secret Group to catch 7 Minutes in Purgatory with Ian Abramson. The show is basically comics performing in front of a camera in a soundproof room, so there’s no way for them to know if their jokes are landing or not. I’ve seen the show before and it’s a trip with doors at 7 pm and the all ages event has tickets between $12 and $15.
Over in Mandell Park, one of Houston’s best kept secrets, Hearts of Animals, will perform. I’d hope with appearances all over town over the years, a set at the first Day for Night, and a list of stellar albums that you’d have heard of this band. If you haven’t, then you should know that their 2014 album Another Mutation is one of the best albums you might not know about and their latest single, “Cat Karma” from last year, keeps in line with their stellar sound. Things get going at 7:30 pm and the all ages show is 100% FREE.
Over at Crumbville Texas on Elgin, the Damn Gxrl series will host a set from Peru’s Maria Chavez. Known for creating immense sets on the decks, her DJ sets alone are worth making it out for and she doesn’t stop in town often. The R&B soul jams of Houston’s Peyton will provide direct support while the DJ sounds of yazzaspazza will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm with a measly $5 cover.
Turnaways. Photo: Danny Larrea
Upstairs at White Oak Music Hall you can get your punk fix when CJ Ramone swings by to play. Having to replace Dee Dee in the late ’80s wasn’t a task that many could do, but CJ was definitely a great candidate for the gig and as a member of the famed punks, he added a new life to the Ramones. His solo stuff is catchy and his live shows are full of energy. His latest release, American Beauty from this year, is energetic and fun, too. Houston’s Turnaways will bring their intensity as direct support and openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $13 and $15.
Later at The Secret Group, you can get down with Emily Snow at her birthday bash. DJs, penis balloons, burlesque and more will all be on hand. The last party she had at the venue got dirty, so just be warned for the 21 & up event with doors at 10 pm with a $5 cover.
Thursday at Improv, Houston comic Ali Siddiq will celebrate 4/20 in style with two shows called 420 Live From the Greenroom. Siddiq is easily one of the brightest and funniest comics coming from Houston since Bill Hicks, and his last album Damaged Goods from last year is a riot. There’s no word of host and feature act, but that should change. The two 18 & up shows have doors at 3 pm and 7:15 pm, both with tickets between $17 and $27.
It wouldn’t be 4/20 without the annual Warehouse Live set from New Orleans’ rapper Curren$y. This guy has been busy with a slew of releases last year and the latter being Andretti 12/30. Atlanta’s J.I.D will be on as direct support while Houston’s Dice Soho will perform prior. The raging hip hop madness of Houston’s BILLYRACXX will go on beforehand and make it hard for anyone to follow. There’s also sets from Soupmakesitbetter, OG Ron C & The Chopstars, Yobi Yobz, Bruce Waine, and Brody Musesick for the all ages show with doors at 5 pm for the Munchies food truck event, and the concert has doors at 7 pm with tickets for $40.
Satellite Bar will have the Reefer Radness 4/20 Celebration with a headlining set from Houston’s Soul Creatures. Metanoia, Positive Disturbance, Free Radicals, The Skatastrophics, and Let Me Remember will all be on hand to celebrate getting lifted as well. The all ages show has doors at 5 pm and a $10 cover.
Libby Koch. Photo: Nicola Gell
Mucky Duck has an intriguing show with four acts under the name Double Date Night. The show featuring two duos gets headlined by Houston’s Libby Koch & Chuck Hawthorne. Koch, an emerging artist that could easily become the next queen of Americana, will play tunes from her latest album Just Move On while Hawthorne will bring his soft country from Silver Line to life. The country goodness of Brant Croucher and the sweetness of Lainey Balagia will perform beforehand for the 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
On Friday you could get going at Discovery Green for Circo Avenida. Contortionists, acrobats, and more circus acts will be on hand for your delight. The family friendly event gets going at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’d rather get some Tex-Mex blues in your life, then you could head to the Heights Theater to catch East LA’s Los Lobos. Here in support of their 2015 album Gates Of Gold, this five-piece usually throws a pretty amazing live show and catching them in such an intimate setting should be great for any fan. The Afro-Latino rhythms of Kansas City’s Making Movies will be on hand as direct support and openers for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $28.
Tom Segura. Photo: Robyn Van Swank/3Arts
If you want to laugh until it hurts, then you should head to Improv to catch the always hilarious Tom Segura. Here in town for a limited run of shows, Segura has been on a roll since his 2014 album Completely Normal. Since then he’s blown up appearing all over the globe and taping the funny as hell Netflix special Mostly Stories. Segura is definitely an act you don’t want to miss and these shows should sell out fast. The performances are all 18 & up with two shows Friday with doors at either 7 pm or 9 pm. There’s also two shows Saturday with doors at 6:15 pm and 8 pm or a show Sunday with doors at 6:45 pm, all with tickets between $29 and $50.
Jandek. Photo: Corwood Industries
Over at Hamman Hall on the Rice University campus, the elusive Jandek will perform. Part of the KTRU 50th Anniversary series, what Jandek will do will be a mystery to everyone. If you somehow don’t know Jandek, he’s released somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 albums and DVDs since 1978, usually made up of dissonant folk and blues, often with spoken word lyrics. The hook here is that Jandek rarely performs and the likes of Ben Gibbard, Kurt Cobain, and Mike Watt are all considered big fans of his work. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm for the 100% FREE concert.
At Near Northside Studios you can catch an impressive group exhibition, I Tried Really Hard. Art from Mark Armes, Eyesore, Bret Shirley, Jonathan Paul Jackson, LIMB, Blake Jones, Meredith Richey, Darcy Rosenburger, Traci Lavois Thiebaud and so many more will be on view. The all ages evening gets going around 8 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Satellite Bar will host the indie rock of Boston’s Pile. Quite possibly one of the better indie rock bands going today, these guys put on an impressive and energetic live show. Here in support of their newly released album A Hairshirt of Purpose, these guys are not to be missed. The intense math rock goodness from Nashville trio Gnarwhal will be on hand as direct support while Houston’s Ruiners will bring their post punk meets punk energy on as openers. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm with tickets between $10 and $12.
Flower Politics. Photo: Courtesy of Flower Politics
Rec Room will bring back another edition of their Tiny Bar series with a set from Houston’s Flower Politics. Earlier this year I wrote about the latest release from Flower Politics’ latest album, New Beginnings, as I found their approach to bedroom pop invigorating, and the fact that they’ve dropped over twenty releases in three years shouldn’t be lost on anyone. The show has doors at 9 pm and a TBA cover.
Rudyard’s will have the return of the psych blues doom stoner rock of Portland’s Black Pussy. While the band has had all sorts of drama over their name, they’re pretty amazing to catch live and they’ll be here in support of their latest release Power, due out in May. The old school Houston rock of HogLeg will be on as direct support while Pinche Gringos will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
Substance. Photo: Josh Robicheaux
Substance will headline their 7” album release over at Rito’s Bar. I don’t know if you know the band, but their songs are short and fast punk and their lead singer usually ends up writhing on the floor after the first song. In other words, they put on a great show. San Antonio’s Sex Ray Vision will be on as direct support while the hardcore of McAllen’s Narb will go on beforehand. Sets from Crawler and Shallow will also take place at the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and an $8 cover.
If you’d rather get your dance on, then you could make it over to Boondock’s for another edition of BLACKOUT. The long running series is always a great place to get your groove on, especially this edition featuring a performance from NYC’s Riobamba. Visuals from Leckie, the entire Blackout crew on hand to drop sets, and more should be your signal to head over to the 21 & up show with doors at 10 pm and a TBA cover.
On Saturday, things should kick off with you heading to Cactus for an in-store signing from Bun B. Bun will be there as part of the Record Store Day festivities, signing copies of the UGK classic Hard To Swallow, which will be available on vinyl for the first time. There should be a line, if not for any other reason than that Bun is awesome and he always draws a crowd. Things get going a 1 pm, but I’d get there early if I were you.
Bayonne. Photo: Dustin Cohen
On the Rice University campus, the 26th Annual KTRU Outdoor Show will take place. Celebrating 50 Years of KTRU, the show with a headlining set from Chicago’s Jamila Woods. The soul singer really puts plenty of flavor in her live sets and her 2016 single “Blk Girl Soldier” should be enough reason for you to attend. Chicago rapper Saba will also be on hand while Houston-born Austin transplant Bayonne will go on beforehand. Bayonne is one of the most passionate performers you can see and 2016’s Primitives is difficult not to love. Houston’s Free Radicals will also be on the bill, as will the indie pop rock of Houston’s Rose Ette. Sets from Steve Cox’s Beard and David Morgan & Charles Moon will kick things off at the all ages and 100% FREE event that gets going around 2 pm with more information available here.
Kiki Maroon will bring her Bayou City Burlesque & Circus Arts Festival back to the ballroom at Warehouse Live. Alongside a slew of locals like Ms Yet, Honey Moonpie, and Maroon herself will be acts like Tucson’s Don’t Blink Burlesque and Portland’s dainty daredevil Juliette Electrique. In fact, there’s so many more performers that it’s almost impossible to name them all. Contortionists, sideshow acts, burlesque performers and so much more will be on hand at the one night only festival. The 18 & up show has doors at 7:30 pm and tickets between $20 and $75, and the last ones have sold out in the past.
The Wheel Workers. Photo: Allison McPhail
Over at The Secret Group you could get all of the melodies when Austin indie rockers Quiet Company return to perform. This four-piece has become known for their fun live shows and their latest release, Transgressor from 2015, is their strongest to date. The energetically fun indie rock of Houston’s The Wheel Workers will be on as direct support while Denton’s Criminal Birds open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm with tickets between $12 and $15.
Of course, the stoner rock of Northern California’s Sleep will be on hand downstairs at White Oak Music Hall. Coming back from the proverbial dead, this trio makes sludge heavy songs that are intense and immense to see live. Austin’s American Sharks will be there as direct support and the instrumental metal of Austin’s Eagle Claw will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm with tickets for $25.
Continental Club has the indie rock of Houston’s The Glass. Making interesting and almost orchestral sounds, this five-piece is worth checking out, as their latest single “Miracle” is pretty solid. The jazz rock fusion of Houston’s Phrolic will open the 21 & up show with doors at 10 pm with a TBA cover.
SWMRS. Photo: Alice Baxley
Sunday you could get your pop punk or rock fix, depending on how you see it, when California’s SWMRS swing by Walter’s to perform. Here in support of last year’s Drive North, these guys are becoming very popular and well known for their energetic live set. The angst driven band also features the son of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, if that matters. The Police meets The Cars sounds of Kentucky’s White Reaper will be on as direct support while the garage pop of LA’s No Parents will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $17.
Upstairs at White Oak Music Hall, Austin’s Mobley will bring his infectious electro pop to town. This guy mixes in hints of R&B to get a sound that’s hard to deny, and his latest EP with Houston’s Catch Fever, Dreamers is pretty great. The cinematic electronica of Hescher will be on beforehand while the chillwave jams of Houston’s George West will open up the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $8 and $11.
In the ballroom at Warehouse Live you could get your laughs in for the Guys We F@#KED: The Experience. The show, which is a live version of the anti-slut shaming podcast of the same name, should be pretty hilarious to catch in person. One of the top weekly downloaded podcasts in the country, this should be a great show for any fan of the show or the two hilarious comics who present it, Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $22 and $25.
Monday you can head to Walter’s for the always fun antics of Peelander-Z. The New York based Japanese punk band never disappoints live, performing in full costumes and playing with incredible energy. Their latest album, Live at Red 7 from 2015, is pretty rad, though not as great as the crazy band is in person. There’s no word of support or openers, though that should change for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
The Garden. Photo: Epitaph Records
Tuesday the neo-punk of LA based twins The Garden will swing by Walter’s to drop a set. These guys have made music for a long time, they both modeled for Yves Saint Laurent, and their live shows are a mixed bag. Anyone who sees them says it’s definitely an experience like no other and their latest album Haha is something different entirely. The enigmatic hip hop of Houston’s Fat Tony will be on hand as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $13 and $16.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you decide to do, remember that acting like an idiot and not getting home safely does no one else any good. So drink like an adult and get home as safely as possible.