Hung Up: The Best of The Week
Madonna, Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty
Well, it’s hard to believe that 2015 has come and gone, that we survived the three day assault of Diplo, and that we’re gearing up for a whole new year. This week is a little light but there’s still plenty to do like catching the iconic sounds of Madonna pictured above. Houston, here’s your next seven days.
Wednesday you could venture over to MKT Bar to catch a DJ set from Peter Zama. Zama does the podcast, “Heaven, Hell, or Houston,” and alongside being a super nice guy, he’s a big supporter of things around town. The all ages evening starts at 7:00 and runs until 10:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
DJ Quik, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
If you’d rather get your hip hop on, you could head to Warehouse Live to catch the gangsta sounds of hip hop legend DJ Quik, however the show has since been rescheduled for February 18th.
Thursday you could get your laugh on over at Warehouse Live when SNL’s Michael Che comes to town. Part of the Weekend Update segment, hailed by critics, and a crowd pleaser the world over, Che has become quite the name in comedy as of late. Away from SNL, Che won New York’s Funniest Stand-Up in 2012, he’s performed on the Oddball Comedy Tour, and he’s been selling out standing room only shows all over the country. The show should have two of Houston’s better comics on as feature act and host, it’s all ages in the studio, and the doors are at 7:00 with tickets between $18.00 and $22.00.
Ralphie May, Photo: Amy Harris
If you can’t make that show, then you can always catch the riotously funny Ralphie May over at Improv. May is one of the funniest comics going, his shows almost always sell out, and his latest special, “Unruly” on Netflix is a riot. To tell you the kind of guy May is, he did a show the last time he was in town and matched the door with his own money, benefitting a local comic. Two of Houston’s better up and comers will also be on the bill with the Thursday show having doors at 7:15, two shows at 8:00 and 10:30 on Friday, and two shows on Saturday at 7:00 and 9:00. All of the 18 and up shows have tickets between $25.00 and $50.00.
Over at Queensbury Theater, you could see Alfred Hitchcock’s “39 Steps” like you’ve never seen it before. This adaptation has four actors basically playing the parts of 30, which is kind of insane. It’s supposed to be a mix of theater and Monty Python, which sounds pretty amazing. This is the opening night as the performance runs for a couple of weeks from Thursdays until Sundays. More information is available here, things get going around 7:30, and tickets are between $30.00 and $40.00.
If you’d rather have some eye candy on a Thursday then you could head to Stone’s Throw for the Thursday Tease show from Dem Damn Dames. This version will feature the sultry Mary Lynn Mayhem from the upper decks of the catwalk while you sip on Tito’s specials. There’s also music from DJ Brown Coat. As someone who’s attended one of these events, I can say that it’s a great use of the space. Things get going around 8:00, it’s 21 & up, and 100% FREE.
Rudyard’s will host a set from Denver’s Thinking Plague. The avant garde group that mixes jazz and folk rock into something completely different, has been going strong since the eighties. They’ll have to contend with the genre mixing awesomeness of Houston’s The Wheel Workers who’ll be on prior. This band is like a mix of early REM, middle era Pearl Jam, and Apples in Stereo. Aside from the fact that their latest EP, “Citizens” was one of my favorite albums of last year, they put on a highly energetic live show that everyone needs to see for themselves. Bassist and composer Thomas Helton will bring two others to the bill to bring his eclectic sounds to life as a trio when they open things up. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.
Nathan Quick, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Over at Mucky Duck you could catch one of Houston’s best kept secrets with a set from Nathan Quick. You might not know Quick’s name, but this guy is kind of like John Mayer in that people see him as a singer songwriter, when he’s really a hell of guitarist who can pen a strong tune. Last year he stretched his blues legs on the “City Lights” EP where he channeled the likes of Eric Clapton and Keith Richards. The pop rock and R&B mixture of Brazilian singer Tatiana Raines will be on board as direct support, while Melissa Eason will open things up. The 21 & up show is at 9:30 with tickets between $15.00 and $17.00.
Friday you could start off over at Fitzgerald’s for the garage psychobilly sounds of Austin’s Johnny Hootrock. The three piece doesn’t mess around when it comes to putting on a great live show. Usually complete with their own go-go dancer, these guys play with the energy that Reverend Horton Heat used to. Their latest release was a 2013 single, “Dead-Cute Girl,” and they should put on a strong show. Dallas’ The Swingin’ Dicks will be on as direct support, while Houston’s The Velostacks will give both a run for their money with their full throttled sound. A band that everyone needs to see live, Texas Mod Crushers will bring their Texas punk to life in three piece suits, while playing three chord punk in style. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00.
We Were Wolves, Photo: Maurice
Over at Satellite Bar you can throw down with Houston’s We Were Wolves. So, for what, three years now I’ve said that this band is a band that everyone needs to see live? Well, that hasn’t changed as they’re more full throttle than they were two years ago. In that time frame they’ve grown and gotten stronger, as well as dropping a new EP, “Ruin Your Weekend,” and they’ve kept their core sound intact. They’ll have the lo-fi surf rock of Waco’s Loafers on as direct support, as well as a set from Waco garage rockers, Teenage Sexx. Houston surf rock trio, Total Nightmare will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.
At Alley Kat you can get psyched out when Houston psych rock outfit, Mojave Red performs. On the heels of a new album, “Creeper,” the group plays the type of psych that’s similar to that of Brian Jonestown Massacre, and is known for a trippy live show. NOLA three piece, Bantam Foxes will be on as direct support. Full of energy and songs that embody the vibe of a power trio, the rock group is here in support of last year’s “…Loser.” Houston jazz infused trio 10,000 Chiefs Under the Sea will also be on the bill, as will the dream psych of Austin’s Shmu. The proggy goodness of Houston’s Sunrise & Ammunition will also be on the bill for the 21 & up show with doors at 8:30 and a measly $5.00 cover.
D&W Lounge in conjunction with Nick Gaitan’s Tune Parlour will present a night with The Broken Spokes. This Houston five piece plays old school country like it was meant to be played, alongside old standards and favorites. I’d recommend catching them sooner than later, and their 2010 album, “Raw Deal” is pretty stellar. The 18 & up show has doors at 9:30 and it’s 100% FREE.
Saturday you could start off over at Beta Theater for the New Year Swap Meet. It’s a good old fashioned swap meet where you can swap your junk for other people’s junk. There’s no cover or age restriction, it’s FREE, and it gets going at 10:00 am and runs until 3:00 pm.
The Duende Art Project will host some pretty cool art from Houston artist, Kathleen Clark. The pieces will utilize afterimages as a foundation, and should make for an intriguing collection of works. A portion of the art sales will go to Elijah Rising to help end human trafficking. Things get going around 6:00, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE.
Frenetic Theater will host an evening of burlesque with Houston’s House of Dollz at the Holiday Hangover show. The show will feature performances from eight different performers and a special guest spot from Dallas’ Roxxy Reckless. The 18 & up show has doors at 7:00, and tickets are between $12.00 and $20.00.
Pecos Hank, Photo: Daniel Jackson
Continental Club & Splice Records will host the 6th Annual Bowie Elvis Fest, celebrating the fact that the two share the same birthday. Games, food, a costume contest and more will greet you as you catch a burlesque set from Dem Damn Dames alongside a slew of live music. Headlined by Pecos Hank, there’s music from the likes of Chase Hamblin, Dollie Barnes, Space Villains, John Evans, and many many more. The 21 & up event has doors at 7:00 and tickets run $15.00.
At Warehouse Live you can catch the sheer power of Houston’s Another Run in person. These guys have been doing their thing for over a decade, and they seem to just get stronger with each passing year. Crazed energy and plenty of hooks in every track, their live shows are entertaining from start to finish. Last year they dropped the “Be Honest” EP where they stretched their legs offering up more than the melodic rock they’ve become known for. They’ll have the bluesy and hook heavy sounds of Houston’s King Finn on as direct support. Last year they released “As Part of Me” proving that they’re ahead of the rock curve. The pop rock of San Antonio’s Hydra Melody will also be on the bill, bringing to life their latest EP, “Stay Right Here.” The folk punk of Tulsa’s Joe Myside & The Sorrow will also be on the bill, while the funk of Houston’s Carpet & The Drapes open the all ages show in the studio with doors at 7:30 and tickets for $10.00.
Satellite Bar will have a barn burner when Young Mammals take the stage at the East side venue. If you somehow missed their 2014 album, “Alto Seco,” then you’ve been missing out. One of the most amazing releases of that year, mixing that sound with their highly energetic live show makes this one not to miss. Austin/Houston indie rockers, Woozyhelmet will be on as direct support. Since the late nineties this trio has been making pretty poignant jams, and their latest, 2008’s “Get Down” sounds just as amazing as it did when it was released. Like a mix of Low and Lightning Bolt, these guys don’t perform much, so you should probably come see them. The indie pop of Houston’s The Lories will also be on the bill. This band is like if Magnapop and The Lemonheads had a baby, and their “Demos” release is pretty solid. Fan Club will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and it’s $5.00 for 21 & up and $7.00 for the kids.
Black Pistol Fire, Photo: Bianca Pastiorka
Canadian rock duo Black Pistol Fire will headline a set over at House of Blues. These two had moved to Austin at one point, though I don’t know if they’re still there or not. What I do know is that their mix of blues and Southern rock is pretty epic, and their latest “Black Pistol Fire” from last year proves it. The soulful dream rock of Austin’s Emily Wolfe will be on hand to open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.
D&W Lounge will host the engaging and fun jams of Houston’s Get A Life. I would hope that you’d know by now that Chase DeMaster is like a mad scientist when it comes to music. This band, another one of his musical ventures is more indie rock than anything else. However once you hear their album “As If Emoji” live, you should realize that they’re pretty damn great. The drone wave of United Waves will also be on the bill, and will bring their intriguing tongue in cheek sound to life. DJ Diablo will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00. It’s 100% FREE.
If you’d rather just get down, then you can at the Get Down! show at Khon’s headlined by Eroda (One). So, this guy has been making jams for a good while and I feel like you can’t like Houston electronica without liking his music. Mixing hip hop and various breakbeats, his tunes found here have always been top notch. The always crazed and next level deck skills of Angiesliste will also be on the bill. If you’ve somehow missed her perform, you’ve been missing out. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Sunday if you want to learn to sew, then the one person I know that could teach you will be doing just that when Marcus Pontello teaches a Beginner Sewing Class at Beta Theater. Marcus is more than the director of the upcoming documentary about Numbers, “Friday I’m In Love,” he makes the majority of his clothes. So, when you see him out and he looks like a seamstress just custom tailored his attire, he more than likely did that himself. The six week course runs $200.00, anyone can sign up & attend, and it starts at noon and runs until 3:00. Tickets are available here.
Over at The Heights Bar, Progress you can attend another edition of Sketchbook Saloon. Hosted by Hannah Bull and Honey MoonPie, the event that mixes drinks with figure drawing a model has a special guest with Project Armageddon’s Doomstress Alexis. So, aside from the fact that Doomstress is like a one woman machine who promotes her bands and pretty much everyone she works with, aside from the fact that she has her own day, or the fact that she raises money for all sorts of Houston charities; she also has a sense of humor meaning that she should make a great model to draw or paint. As per all of these events, you have to bring your own supplies, and it’s 21 & up with cover at $10.00 for member, $15.00 for new members, and $20.00 for photographers.
Tuesday you can get up close and personal with Madonna over at Toyota Center, when the dance pop icon returns to town. I shouldn’t have to oversell her as aside from selling over 300 million albums, she’s known for an amazing live show. She’s here in support of last year’s “Rebel Heart,” and should be as grand as you’d expect. There’s no word of an opener yet, the doors are at 7:00, and tickets range between $40.00 and $355.00.
If that’s not your thing, then you could head to Rudyard’s for the second and last evening of the residency from Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez. He’s performing for the second time in a week making sure that everyone hears his latest solo effort, “Austin.” Fort Worth’s Telegraph Canyon will bring their critically acclaimed rock to all as direct support on the show. These guys remind me of a lighter version of Afghan Whigs, and last year’s “You From Before” is a dramatic and intense album. Austin’s Michael Kingcaid will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00. It’s a FREE show for 21 & up and $5.00 for the minors.
Adam Bricks, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Ladybird’s will host an evening with Houston singer songwriter Adam Bricks. On the verge of releasing new work, Bricks is a seriously underrated performer. In 2013 he released “City Songs” which to me, is like a mix of Tom Waits and John Prine. In 2014 he released some home recordings under the title “Demos” and showed a softer side while keeping his emotionally hefty vocals. He has NYC songstress Cal Folger Day on the bill with him. Day has this soft voice that sways in and out all over her “Adornament” EP, and she’s worth seeing live. The folk tunes of NYC’s Benjamin Shepherd will also be on the bill. Shepherd has this intimate way of sucking you into his songs, and his 2014 release “Eleven For The Road” is definitely something to give an ear to. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
That’s about all there is this week, though definitely another full of options. No matter what you do this week please do so in the safest way possible for everyone’s sake.