King Kunta: The Best of The Week
Kendrick Lamar, Photo: Aaron Poole
Well, even though last week was a stacked week, the next seven days will test your abilities to possibly attempt to attend more than one thing a night. Acts with plenty of steam like Kendrick Lamar will grace our area code this week. Houston, here’s where to spend your paycheck.
Wednesday you’d be best to start off at Raven Tower for the songwriting prowess of Mike Stinson. Full of twang and country tonk, Stinson’s latest album “Hell and Half of Georgia” is pretty epic. His 2010 album “The Jukebox In Your Heart” is one of the best albums you could hear in the singer/songwriter country genre. The all ages show has doors at 5:00 and it’s 100% FREE with RSVP.
Hippie Sabotage, Photo: JH
Warehouse Live will host the massively popular electronica duo of Hippie Sabotage in the ballroom. The Sacramento based brothers have been gaining steam after their remix of Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)” dropped in 2014. Their latest album, the recently dropped “Providence” is full of their hip hop inspired beats and grooves, and they’re rumored to be an insane act to see live. The hip hop of Chicago’s Alex Wiley will be on as direct support, and the intense hip hop of Chicago’s Kembe X will open things up. The all ages show will have doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $40.00, the latter being a VIP option with meet & greet.
Numbers will have the hushed electronics and folky tunes of Daughter. The three piece has gotten pretty big after they released 2013’s “If You Leave.” Like a softer and more acoustic version of CHVRCHES, they’re known for their beautiful live shows. They’ll be here in support of this year’s “Not To Disappear.” One of the most gorgeous solo acts you can hear, New York’s Wilsen will be on as direct support and opener. Though her 2014 EP “Magnolia” was all the rave, her latest singles “Garden” from last year and “Centipede” from this year are both more impressive and diverse. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $15.00 and $20.00.
Improv will host a very limited evening with comedic legend and civil rights activist, Dick Gregory. The fact that this guy is still performing is hard to believe. Born in the early 1930’s, Gregory opened the doors for African American comics with his satirical jokes. His 1961 album, “In Living Black and White,” is a landmark release, and you’re foolish if you miss his sets. Two of Houston’s better comics will more than likely serve as feature act and host. The 18 & up shows have doors at 7:00 on Wednesday, or doors at 8:00 on Thursday, and both have tickets between $22.00 and $32.00.
Under The Volcano will host the soulful voiced tunes of Austin’s Christy Hays. Hays sounds similar to Lucinda Williams, and her 2014 album “O’ Montana” is pretty beautiful. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.
Def., Photo: FJM
Thursday you can get going over at Nightingale Room when Def. (formerly Def Perception) will bring their high energy hip hop to life. Lead by Raymond A’s mic spitting skills, the full band and DJ scratches of DJ Baby Roo have been making all of the right moves as of late. SXSW showcases, a launch party for their label Roologic at House of Blues, and opening slots for big name hip hop acts is the universe telling you to catch them live. Last year they gave us the “Understand/My Place” single that showcased their strengths in hip hop. Things will get started off by the Chase DeMaster and Sergio Trevino hybrid act Guess Genes. Almost like if Buxton went electronic or a folk version of Children of Pop, these guys are pretty killer live and their track “Tangerine Balloon” is one of the best things you can put in your ears. The 21 & up show has doors at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’ve been jonesing for the new Guilla EP “Children of The Sun,” then you should stop off at Raven Tower for a listening party for the release. I have the release and it’s a departure from his last EP, 2014’s “Rap, Trap, & Drums.” There’s more depth and more of an elemental feel to these tracks, and there also promises to be projection mapping visuals from Blackout’s Leckie. The all ages party will be the only time you can hear the EP before its April 16th release. The doors are at 7:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
You could make it over to Beta Theater for their improv block of shows. These shows happen every Thursday and kick off with their newest house team, Nobody’s Yeti, only to be followed by their popular house team, Max. Both of these groups are pee your pants funny, and will change your mind about improv. The Nobody’s Yeti show is at 7:00, and it’ll be a “ladies nite” show, where the Max show begins at 9:00. Both shows are BYOB, 18 & up, and carry a pay what you can policy.
Over at 8 One Sneaker House, you can grab a first listen of the new album, “#OK Whatever,” from rapper, The Aspiring Me. The Mo City rapper will be dropping the album to grab honest feedback from all who attend, and with the likes of Mobbs, Bizzy Thowed, and iLL Faded on this release, the Q & A portion should get great responses. There’s also a DJ set from DJ Kenny Evans. The RSVP only event has more information here, it’s all ages and the 100% FREE event gets going around 7:00.
The Landing Theater will run there preview series of their latest gem, the Sam Shepard play “Fool For Love.” The dark humor piece will be in a limited preview run from March 31st until April 2nd, and the all ages show stars some of Houston’s better actors. The doors are at 7:00, the tickets are between $10.00 and $100.00, though the theater also offers a pay what you can option.
If you find yourself on the West side, you can get your laugh on at The First Tee Pub for another Comedy or Death show. Hosted by John Pierson, this edition will feature sets from Liz Padjen, Ryan McGhee, Ted Vincent and George Brito. The 21 & up show should be a riot, as these are all funny comics. The doors are at 8:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
You can close Thursday with a DJ set from Luz and Andy V over at Little Dipper for their To Aunt Charlie with Love show. The 21 & up evening is always chill and full of your favorite disco and 70’s jams. Things get going at 10:00, it runs until close, and it’s 100% FREE.
Friday you should consider starting off at Discovery Green for their March Madness Music Festival. The three day viewing party will include sets from some of your favorite pop acts. The Friday show has a set from Panic! At The Disco at 6:30, and a set from Fall Out Boy at 8:30. The all ages event gets going at 4:00, it’s first come first serve, and it’s 100% FREE.
Napalm Death, Photo: Righteous Fury
If that’s not your thing, then you could head to Numbers to have your face melted from Napalm Death. These grindcore legends have been causing chaos since the early eighties, and if you’ve never seen them, make sure you have earplugs because they’re loud. Their latest album, “Apex Predator-Easy Meat” from last year just proves that the British band isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Keeping things loud, the sludgy sounds of Melvins will be on hand to show you what heavy is all about. These guys have been around since the late eighties, they’re intense to see live, and albums like “Houdini” and “Stoner Witch” have them solidified as one of my favorite bands. Their latest release, “Bulls & The Bees/Electroretard” is a mix of their old sound with hints of new techniques that make it their most progressive in years. One of the best live bands you could possibly see, Japan’s Melt-Banana will be on as opener for this show. Like a more energetic version of the Boredoms, this noise rock band is loud complete with screeching vocals and squealing guitar. Their latest release is a singles collection, “Return of The 13 Hedgehogs,” from last year; but listen to their 2013 album “Fetch” to get an idea of what you’re in for. The all ages show will more than likely sell out, the doors are at 5:30, and tickets are between $22.00 and $27.00.
At White Swan you can help Rome Hero Foxes kick off their tour. The prog heavy indie rockers may look young, but their songs are far beyond their years. This January they dropped the full length “For When You’re Falling Backwards” that echoes sounds of acts like Thursday and From Indian Lakes. Vox Vocis will bring their prog rock on as direct support while playing tunes from their recently released album, “In The Arms of The Sun.” The post hardcore sounds of Houston’s So Soon, The Truth will also be on the bill, while the indie rock of Houston’s Nowhere is Home will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 6:00 and a measly $7.00 cover.
Satellite Bar will have the cassette release party from The Wiggins. The lo-fi outsider sounds of the Houston act have been around for a good while, and if you’re a fan of Miss Champagne cassette releases, then this is your show. A set from one of the best and most underrated acts in Houston, Pleasure 2 will be on as direct support. The electro synth darkness featuring members of Indian Jewelry is always intriguing and engaging live. The post punk intrigue of Distant Worker will be on as opener for the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and a TBA cover.
The druggy punk of Austin’s Drip Fed will be over at Walter’s, and should make people get down. These guys play a melodic punk that isn’t pop punk, and “Sickened Kind” from late last year is pretty solid. Hardcore Houston four piece, Clasp will be on as direct support, while the fuzz punk of Houston’s Hired Gun will go on prior. Houston’s Substance will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00 cover.
They Might Be Giants, Photo: Joe Papeo
Warehouse Live will host a once in a lifetime show, when the two John’s, They Might Be Giants play the ballroom. The reason that this is such a special show, is that the underground legends will be performing their album “Flood” in its entirety just for this show. It’s hard to believe that this album is over 25 years old, but for those outside the know, this album produced the hit songs “Istanbul,” “Particle Man,” and “Birdhouse In Your Soul.” In fact some people would argue that this album is the band at their height, and if you’re a fan then know that the band has discussed retiring from touring so this might be one of your last chances to see them play live for a while. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and could sell out with tickets between $22.00 and $25.00.
You can get your laugh on at Pearl Bar for another Laughs For The Ladies show, this time headlined by the always funny Andy Huggins. If you’ve never seen the legend before, then this is your chance. Even if you’ve heard his album, “Inspired By True Events,” it’s not as great as catching him in person. The show is hosted by the show’s creator, comic Liz Padjen and will feature sets from Ashton Womack, Chris Rogers, and more, as well as raffles and more. There’s more details here for the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Fitzgerald’s will host Massachusettes hardcore legends, The Freeze. These guys have been around since 1978, their 1982 release “This is Boston, Not L.A.” is an old punk classic, and they’re intense to see live. Now living in Arizona, they dropped a new single this year with “Someone’s Bleeding,” and they sound as fast and tough as back in the day. Houston’s Talk Sick Brats will be on as direct support, while Shut Out will open the all ages show with doors at 9:00 and a $15.00 ticket price.
It’s that time of year again when Southern Culture On The Skids invade Continental Club for a couple of days. If you’ve never seen this band before, then you’ve been missing out. Their most recent release was last year’s “Party At My Trouse” featuring Fred Schneider of B52’s. But, listen to everything between 1995’s “Dirt Track Date,” and 2013’s “Dig This,” and you should get a feel of the Southern swag sound. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Raven Tower will host a special listening party for the new albums from Houston’s Children of Pop and Houston’s Josiah Gabriel. If you were unaware, CoP’s Chase DeMaster inked a deal with Orchard distribution, and landed his own imprint with #VeryJazzed Records. He’s putting both of these albums out and it should be cool to hear them for the first time. If you somehow missed the 1st single off of the new Children of Pop album with “Manic,” then you can hear what other crazed future sounding things the duo has on their new album due in May. The all ages event has doors at 9:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
The Hates, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
The Hates will be commemorating their first show ever, 37 years later at Rudyard’s. I feel like if you’ve never seen these punk rock legends before you either just moved here or you rarely go see live music. They’ve been around longer than many of you have been on this planet, and they’re always impressive to see play out. You can relive their older tunes on their “30 Years of Hate” album, or relish in their newer songs on 2013’s “Shank.” No matter what album you choose, they’re all top notch songs. The punk of Houston’s Action Frank will be on as direct support while new Houston three piece Revels will go on prior. Tony Villa will open the 21 & up show with doors at 9:00 and a paltry $8.00 cover.
Saturday you could start off with day two of the March Madness Music Festival at Discovery Green. Alongside a viewing party for the game, the second day of the three day event will have a set from Conrad Sewell at 12:15 and Jason Derulo at 2:30 will occur. Of course, that was just that until late Monday when they added Grammy award winner Kendrick Lamar to close out the day. Okay, sure, DJ Jazzy Jeff was added as a DJ, but what? Kendrick is gonna’ drop a FREE set in Discovery Green? Yep, you’ll get to hear jams from last year’s epic “To Pimp A Butterfly” and maybe even his latest “untitled unmastered” as well. The all ages event gets going around noon, it’s first come first serve, and it’s 100% FREE.
Rudyard’s will be hosting Joe Apa’s 100th Beer Tasting Dinner in the parking lot across from the legendary pub. To mark the occasion, each brewery and chef that’s been involved over the previous 99 of these, will be on hand equalling something like 10 breweries and 10 chefs from all over Houston, and some from other places in Texas. If that weren’t enough, he’s also roasted a whole pig and there’s even a live set from Houston funk six piece The Journey Agents. The event runs from 2:00 until 6:00 and it carries a $75.00 ticket with more information available here.
Over at the FPH offices, you can get down for the SaturDAY show with Younger Lovers playing one of their only 2 Texas dates. The Oakland based punk three piece will be here in support of their latest release, 2013’s critically acclaimed “Sugar In My Pocket.” Houston’s The Lories will bring their power pop to life as direct support, while the hip hop of Biz (formerly Biz Vicious) will open things up. The show has doors at 3:00, a portion of the proceeds go to Girls Rock Camp, and the $10.00 cover includes complimentary drinks.
Tech N9ne, Photo: Judy Won
Warehouse Live will have the hip hop of Kansas City’s Tech N9ne in the ballroom. The rapper has been making waves since he dropped his 2006 album, “Everready.” He’s had plenty of hits since, though his most popular jam to date, “Hood Go Crazy” came from last year’s “Special Effects,” and his live shows are always on point. He’ll have Krizz Kaliko on as direct support, and Atlanta’s Rittz on prior. Mayday will also make an appearance while Stevie Stone will also be on the show, and rounding out the rest of Tech’s label, CES CRU will open the all ages show. The doors are at 7:00 and tickets are between $27.50 and $30.00.
Satellite Bar will have Houston’s Birthday Club for a special show. Birthday Club has this kind of 80’s feel to their songs, that are closest to a mix of Britpop like Pulp and new wave act Simple Minds. The end result is closest to pop rock, but the live show is energetic and something everyone should see for themselves. The dream pop of Denton’s Pageantry will be on as direct support while they drop their new album. The alt dream pop of Austin’s The Sour Notes will also be on the bill, and I’d recommend seeing their engaging set live. Houston’s best kept indie rock secret, Hearts of Animals will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.
Formerly The Willy Collins Band and now BlackTop Junkies will be at Warehouse Live in the studio. Where Collins Band had a more singer/songwriter vibe, BlackTop Junkies has a more country rock feel that you can hear come through on Collins’ last release “Last Call.” The not to be missed alt country tunes of Ruckus will be on as direct support, and the doom folk of Austin’s Screamin’ J will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
Southern Culture On The Skids, Photo: David A. Smith
Night two of the Southern Culture On The Skids takeover of Continental Club will be going on. This three piece is lightning in a bottle, their live shows are always impressive, and this 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 will more than likely sell out with tickets for $15.00.
The Waughford will have Austin garage punk rockers Free Kittens & Bread to town. This year they dropped a new single called “Brainless” that makes me think they’ll be impressive to see live. The bluesy psych jams of Houston’s Mojave Red will change your mind about how hard a three piece can go when they play as direct support, and the experimental rock of Chris Dunaway’s new two piece, Mockingbird Brother will go on beforehand. The modular synths of Pfaffenberg will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a $7.00 cover.
Over at Fox Hollow, you can get your feet moving for another party from Houston’s tropical bass crew, Bombon. While the show will have all of the collective’s members at the decks, their special guest for this show will be NYC’s Banginclude. While he describes his sound as “global booty” music, his new EP “To The Floor” is as lit as it is dance worthy. The always packed party is FREE with RSVP, or $5.00 at the door, and the 21 & up part has doors at 9:00.
At 2316 Caroline, there’s a house party with Merel and Tony, of Texas & the Netherlands. These two create a folky songs done in a different language that tend to get into your soul. They’ll have The Woe Woe Woes on as direct support, and Austin’s Lick Lick as opener. The show has a $5.00 suggested donation, there’s more info here, and things get going around 9:00.
Rudyard’s will host the EP release for Houston’s Slow Future. The band will be dropping the “1st EP” at the show, and their harder alt rock sound will more than likely impress those in attendance. They’ll have the fuzzy indie rock of College Station’s The Ex-Optimists on the bill with them. While possibly the most impressive new Houston band, Cornish Game Hen will open things up. These guys are a three piece, but they sound closer to a five piece, and their synth infused songs are grand without being bloated. They’re seriously a trip and worth getting there early for. The doors for the 21 & up show are at 9:00 and the $5.00 cover gets you a CD of the new EP from Slow Future as well.
Maroon 5, Photo: Kayla Merrill
Sunday you can close out the March Madness Music Festival at Discovery Green with sets from Maroon 5, Pitbull, Flo Rida, and Aloe Blacc. The all ages event gets going at 3:00 and it’s 100% FREE.
Tuesday you can get your groove on when Walter’s hosts the pop punk of female three piece Bleached. The LA trio makes tunes that are like a mix of power pop and pop punk, and they’re known for a killer live show. They’ll be in town of their latest released singles from this year, the most recent being “Sour Candy.” The garage punk of LA’s No Parents will be on as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
That’s about all that’s happening though still a stacked week for sure. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the safest way possible.