Leave A Trace: The Best of The Week
CHVRCHES. Photo: Jim Dyson
Last week we got to see plenty of reunions and nostalgia roll through our fine city. This week it’s the acts that are in between the rise and those who are quite popular. Acts like Scottish three piece CHVRCHES, pictured above will grace us with their presence, while we still cope with the loss of legendary artist Prince. Houston, here’s your roadmap to the next seven days.
Wednesday you can get started over at Warehouse Live when the popular indie rock of New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms bring their energy heavy tunes to the ballroom. These guys just seem to get better with each passing tour, their live shows are always engaging and fun, and their latest release, “Back On Top” from last year just shows they aren’t slowing down soon. The electro pop drum & bass of New Jersey duo Brick+Mortar will be on the bill as direct support. You might not have heard of these guys, but the rumor is that their live shows are like a giant party. Their newest release, last year’s “Dropped” is a mix of fun and dance grooves. New York folk pop rock duo, Diet Cig will be on hand to open things up. Pretty much every journalist going has called them a band to watch, and their 2015 EP “Over Easy” proves they’re worth getting there early for. The all ages show has doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $17 and $22.
You can get your laugh on over at Improv, when the always hilarious Bob Biggerstaff hosts another of his Chillitime shows. Bob has been all over the place as a touring comic, he’s been on HBO, Comedy Central, and TBS, and he’s seriously one of the best comics in Houston. He’ll have the always funny Chase DuRousseau on beforehand, and the riotous humor of Zahid Dewji as well. There’s also other special guests on the 18 and up show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $15.
Raven Tower will host the indie pop of Montreal’s Half Moon Run. This four piece has been gaining plenty of steam, they’ve been compared to Alt J and Radiohead, and their latest album, last year’s “Sun Leads Me On” has a ton of streams. The folk pop of Montreal’s Jesse Mac Cormack will be on hand as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $19.
Atlas Genius. Photo: Jordan Sleeth
House of Blues will host the indie rock of Australia’s Atlas Genius. Known for their dance pop jam, “Trojans,” these guys make ultra catchy songs. Their latest, “Inanimate Objects” from last year keeps those hook heavy tunes going. LA singer songwriter, and the name behind hits for a slew of acts, Skylar Grey, will be on as direct support, while California pop five piece The Young Wild will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $17.
If you were a fan of The Zeros and The True Believers, then you should head to Under The Volcano to catch a set from Javier Escovedo. This guy is a pioneer, an amazing hook writer, and a hell of a guitarist. His latest release, this year’s “Kicked Out Of Eden” is a real barn burner that feels like the New York Dolls are his backing band. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and a TBA cover.
The Nightingale Room has a show featuring FLCON FCKER. After sets around town with crazed visuals and electronic jams, maybe the producer will delight those in attendance with some songs off of his upcoming new album. The highly energetic drumming meets electronics of Pitter Patter will go on beforehand. Pitter Patter is pretty intense to see live and his release, “Demo,” sounds closer to a full fledged release. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Satellite Bar will have the DIY indie pop rock of Boston’s Bent Shapes. The three piece has become media darlings with write ups all over the place. Their songs are super catchy, and their latest album, this year’s “Wolves of Want” is really good. The Grizzly Band will be on as direct support, while Nicole Starch & Torpedoed Heart will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and a $2 cover.
Thursday you can get going out in the woodlands at the big barn at Dosey Doe for British ska legends The English Beat. Known for their smash hit, “Save It For Later,” Dave Wakeling and crew were the premiere leaders of the British ska revolution alongside acts like The Selecter and The Specials. The band also had a giant hit with “Mirror In The Bathroom,” as well as subsequent hits like “The Tears of A Clown,” and “I Confess.” So, unfortunately Ranking Roger is not in this lineup, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a noteworthy show. I hear that this lineup is the best Wakeling has toured with in years. The all ages show includes dinner which is served from 6 to 7:30 pm, while the show itself begins at 8:30 pm with tickets between $68 and $108.
The Bronx. Photo: James Davenport
Of course, you’ll probably want to stop off at Raven Tower, when the punk of LA’s The Bronx returns to town. So, these guys have been steadily touring as a mariachi band for years, also known as Mariachi El Bronx. But, few people know that they were originally an amazing punk band before, and they’re seriously a band not to miss. Their 2008 album, “The Bronx III” was my jam for a long time, and their last release was 2013’s “The Bronx,” and I’m telling you that you’ll wanna’ catch these guys live. The always bombastic and energy heavy rock of Houston’s We Were Wolves will be on the bill as direct support. Last year they dropped the EP, “Ruin Your Weekend,” and their live sets are always energy heavy while they prove that loud guitars aren’t dead yet. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $3 and $10.
If you’re a fan of Lucinda Williams, then you can catch her over at House of Blues. Often referred to as the female Bob Dylan, Williams has been proving women can do it better for a long time. Her latest single, “Place In My Heart” from this year is in line with her works from over the years. LA three piece Buick Six will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $30 and $60.
Over at Fox Hollow, you can catch the latest incarnation from production trio, Analogue Escape with The Dreams In Stereo Showcase. Alongside sets from three acts that the duo has been working with will be visuals, light bites, and giveaways. The artists will be Michele Thibeaux who has a future and fresh new sound, the soulful voiced tunes of Eimaral Sol, and the pop soul of Chris Crump, fresh from “The Voice.” The visuals will come from Folklore Films while the extra tunes will come from Flash Gordon Parks for the 21 and up show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $15.
My Morning Jacket. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Revention Center will be hosting the massively popular sounds of Kentucky’s My Morning Jacket. These guys make a multi-genre sound that falls between psych and roots rock, and their ability to keep fans while crisscrossing through various sounds has always amazed me. Their latest releases have been singles, the latest being “Golden” from this year. Boston based folk rock four piece, The Barr Brothers will be on as direct support and openers for the show that might sell out. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets for $45.
Walters will bring the punishing grindcore sounds of Brooklyn’s Magrudergrind to town. From what I hear, these guys are like watching a heart attack when they play. Their latest release, “II” from this year, is fast, scream heavy, and worth making it out for. The hardcore of Nashville’s yautja will be on as direct support, while the powerviolence sludge sounds of Houston’s Holy Money will go on beforehand. The grindcore of Houston’s Gyste will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
The tropicalia psych sounds of Brazil’s Boogarins will be over at Rudyard’s. Singing primarily in Portugese, this four piece makes trippy dreamscape jams. Their latest, last year’s “Manual” is a mix of so many things you’ve never heard together before. The eclectic pop rock of Auston’s The Human Circuit will be on as direct support and opener for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
You could close out Thursday at Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge for the full throttle country twang of Houston’s The Broken Spokes. Okay, if you were unaware, these guys are the genuine article. They make country tunes that remind me of my youth growing up in beer joints with killer cheeseburgers and ice cold Lone Star. Their live shows are always the type that make you look around the room for a dance partner, and their stellar new album, “The Broken Spokes” from this year is as pure country as country music gets. The 21 and up show gets going around 10 pm and though there’s no cover, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cough up a $5 spot for a band this solid.
Friday you can kick off over at Walters when the indie pop rock of Parachute performs. The group has grown massively in popularity since they dropped their debut in 2009. Their latest, “Wide Awake” from this year has already gotten plenty of traction. John McLaughlin opens the all ages show with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $21 and $25.
Ruby Joule. Photo: Madison Hurley
If you’d rather get your sexy on, then you could head to Numbers for the monthly event from Houston burlesque troupe, Dem Damn Dames. This edition will be redder than usual with the Redhead Review for the redhead lovers out there. Alongside the full Houston troupe will be Austin’s Ruby Joule as the star of the event. Performances from Austin’s Lola LeStrange, Something Blue, and Remi Martini as well as Dallas’ Shelbelle Shamrock as well as Houston’s Nikki Knockout. For those unaware, Dem Damn Dames leader and show creator, Tifa Tittlywinks got in a pretty bad accident, but is rumored to make an appearance. Hosted by Houston comic Ryan Thauburn, the 18 and up show has doors at 7 pm, and your tickets priced between $15 and $30 will include entry to Classic Numbers following the show.
Nightingale Room will have a solid show when the indie pop rock of Austin’s Canvas People perform. These guys sound like this current folk meets pop thing that’s been happening as of late. Their latest album, “Sirens” is more catchy than much of what’s in that genre. They’ll have to bring their a game though, as the high energy of Houston’s Golden Sombrero will go on prior. On the outset, you’ll hear this four piece’s album “Replacement Level” and think that it’s like a mix of Cheap Girls and The Replacements. But when you see them live you should notice that they feel closer to a mix of The Police and Husker Du. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Of course, I’d guess about 3,000 of you were planning to catch the always entertaining sounds of Scottish electronic three piece, CHVRCHES over on the lawn at White Oak Music Hall. It’s funny, when I first saw this band, I thought they were good, but nothing spectacular. Well, since catching them last year at Fun Fun Fun, they’ve really upped the live game and I actually watched their entire set. Their latest album, last year’s “Every Open Eye” is pretty amazing, and I promise their live show won’t disappoint. The indie pop of popular Toronto five piece, Alvvays will be on as direct support and opener. They were all the rave at Fun Fun Fun last year, and their 2014 debut “Alvvays” is super catchy. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $28 and $29.50.
Eastdown Warehouse will see the return of Detroit’s The Black Dahlia Murder. The fast and intricate guitar work that these guys bring to their music is nothing short of insane, and their latest release, “Abysmal” from last year is pretty intense. San Francisco’s Fallujah will be on hand as direct support, while the death metal of Australia’s Disentomb will go on beforehand. Houston’s Mastema will bring brutality to all as openers. These guys, formerly Legion, changed their name and have returned harder and faster, where this year’s “Awake In The Grave” has a nice brutal and rough sounds that’s hard to ignore. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Cool Moon. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Satellite Bar will host the pretty and engaging indie folk pop of Austin’s The Villettes. The once all female group, now a three piece makes these almost orchestral folk tunes that are catchy and beautiful at the same time. Almost like if Tanya Donelly of Belly started a new folk band, their 2015 EP “Passersby” is pretty awesome. The fuzzy indie rock of Houston’s Cool Moon will be on hand as direct support. The three piece featuring Mercy Harper of football, etc. is quickly becoming one of my favorite new Houston bands, and their 2015 release, “August 2015 Demo” sounds like it doesn’t need any polishing. The indie pop folk of Houston/Austin musician, Elaine Greer will be on as opener. I feel like you’ve been missing out if you haven’t caught her perform yet, and last year’s “Mockingbird/Mountain Lion,” is sheer beauty wrapped up in a two song delivery system. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
Beta Theater will have your laugh delivery system ready when they host another of their long running stand-up series, Triple Header. This edition of the show will be hosted by Dale Cheesman, direct from opening for Janeane Garofalo. As always, these shows feature three comics doing twenty minute sets each, however the talent on this one is not to be missed. Houston comic and original Outlaw comic, Andy Huggins will be headlining the evening alongside two of The Whiskey Brothers, John Wessling and Rob Mungle. For anyone who’s counting, that’s a hell of a lot of funny considering that the 18 and up show is pay what you can and the doors are at 8 pm.
The twangy guitar styles of Bonnie Raitt will be over at Revention Center. Raitt is a legend no matter how you slice it, and she’s been proving her guitar prowess since the late sixties. Her live show are always worth seeing, and she’s here in support of this year’s “Dig In Deep.” The Bat area soul and R&B group, The California Honeydrops will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm tickets between $47.50 and $85.50.
You could swing by Notsuoh for a show that’s worth paying for, but it’s actually FREE when two piece Houston rock group Murderboss Deathking performs. The hard rock of Houston’s Civeta Dei will be on the bill as well, where the bluesy tunes of Houston’s Carmeci will go on prior. Houston five piece Mind Shrine will bring their engaging sounds on board as openers for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm that’s 100% FREE.
Adam Bricks. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
Over at Continental Club, Houston singer songwriter Adam Bricks will be throwing a barn burner when he throws the album release party for his latest, “Relations.” The album should become a favorite as Bricks spent over a year crafting it’s sound, and the road weary nature to his lyrics mixed with the melodies within make the album one you’ll fall in love with. To sweeten the deal, he’ll have the beauty, the seventies rock guitars, and the energy of Buxton on as direct support. Last year, Buxton dropped what I still feel is one of the most critically overlooked albums of 2015, “Half A Native.” A transitional release, the band crafted eleven songs that mix the grandiose nature of big seventies rock guitars with beautiful lyrics and melodies that no other band around could touch. You should know by now that their live shows are not to be missed. The alt Americana of Austin’s Tapajenga will open the 21 and up show with doors at 9 pm, and the $10 cover includes a copy of Bricks’ new CD.
Warehouse Live will also host an engaging show when Austin five piece The Cover Letter stops by to drop a set in the greenroom. In a world where it seems like most Austin bands are trying really hard to sound like Wild Child, this band comes in the same genre, yet creates their own sound that’s actually more thought out sounding. Dual vocals and a group dynamic that feels closer to a party is all over their latest release, last year’s EP, “The Cover Letter.” The blues infused high energy rock of Houston’s Sik Mule will be on hand as direct support, and their raucous single, “Ball & Chain,” should give you an idea of their intensity. The alt country of Houston’s Second Lovers will be on the bill as well, and will bring the good times party they bring when they perform. Sherita Perez will be on hand as opener, after a brief hiatus away from performing. Perez is one of those acts that I feel like everyone should catch before she moves away and Houston loses her unique sound forever. The all ages show has doors at 9 pm and a paltry $5 cover.
Saturday you can get going over at Discovery Green for the FUNomenal Family Festival. So, this event has live music, hamster balls to roll around in, foam parties and more. But the real event here is the “baby olympics,” where parents pit their babies against others’ ages newborn to five years old. While the 100% FREE event runs from 1 to 6 pm, I hope there’s no wagering on hand between parents over the olympics side of things.
Waiting For Guffman. Photo: Castle Rock Entertainment
Later in the day you could head to a secret location to interact with the Blaine Community Players and Corky St Clair for a special screening of the classic Christopher Guest film, “Waiting For Guffman.” The event, titled exactly as it is in the film under “Red, White, and Blaine,” will have tons of surprises for those who attend. The film, is in its twentieth anniversary, and might be one of the best films in the “mockumentary” series of films that Guest created, starting with “This Is Spinal Tap.” The movie screening will have set pieces and props inspired by the film alongside secretive aspects that you’ll have to see to believe. The all ages event has more information and a ticket link here, it carries a $20 cover, and the doors are at 6 pm.
Over at Aerosol Warfare you can catch a special art exhibit, Wet Paint, presented by Aerosol Warfare and Scott Tarbox. The event will host ten very special artists, there will be two never before seen pieces at the event, and the all ages show that runs from 6 until 10 pm is 100% FREE.
Mucky Duck will have the lush and beautiful vocals of Canadian songstress, Whitney Rose. Rose has been setting hearts a flame with her doo wop meets country sound, and her live shows are said to be full of emotion and fun. Her latest album, “Heartbreaker of The Year” from last year is pretty beautiful, and catching her in such an intimate setting should be a treat for those who attend. The 21 and up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $22.
Scout Bar will have New York thrash metal three piece, Prong in town. Though the band has their biggest hit over twenty years ago with “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck,” I can tell you that they’re pretty intense live. Their latest album, “X-No Absolutes” from this year returns the band to their intensely heavy sound that they cultivated when they got their start. Houston’s Green As Emerald will be on as direct support, while heavy metal five piece ORR will go on beforehand. The Texas metal of Conroe’s Torrid Complex will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $12.50 and $15.
Death Valley Girls. Photo: Bobby Shih
Walters has the garage rock meets sixties jams of LA’s Death Valley Girls. The ban has made it known that they’re live shows are a force, they have an insane amount of stage presence, and 2014’s “Street Venom” proved that they’re worth seeing perform. The garage punk of Ventura’s Massenger will be on as direct support, and should turn heads with their catchy sound. Their 2016 album “Peeling Out” is pretty amazing, and I hear they’re a trip to see play live. Houston’s Jealous Creatures will bring their eighties rock sounds as opener for the show. If you somehow missed last year’s “The Night Goes On For Days,” then come hear it live at the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Khon’s will host Bush Fest which will feature all forms of entertainment ranging between comedy, to music, to spoken word poetry. Comedy from Liz Padjen and Britt Vasicek, music from Frog Hair, Mind Shrine, Dillon Trimm, and many many more alongside prizes for best bush and more. All of the details are available here with doors at 9 pm and a pay what you can cover.
Purson. Photo: Stephen Dalton
Upstairs at Rudyard’s you could go check out the proto-metal of Purson. So, Purson is about as close to a newer version of what Jethro Tull was when they came out, as we will probably ever get. However Tull was never this trippy in their approach, where the British five piece has become quite well known for their trippy and engaging live sets, and their recent string of singles from this year proves that they’re still going strong. The most recent, “The Window Cleaner” mixes their psych meets seventies metal sound with ease. Houston doom metal three piece Project Armageddon will definitely impress as direct support. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the band perform around Houston, but you should know that their last release, last year’s “Cosmic Oblivion” sounds heavier and more dynamic in a live setting. The Britpop meets space rock of Houston’s Purapharm will open the all ages show with doors at 9 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
At Continental Club you can catch the hook heavy and power pop rock of Houston’s Ragged Hearts. In 2014 these guys dropped a catchy as hell album called “The Champ” and they’ve been impressing people ever since. Nic Morales of Houston’s Second Lovers will be on hand to open things up with a solo set, which should be nothing short of entertaining. The 21 and up show gets going around 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Closing out a seven year run, the popular show series Top Notch will come to an end over at Boondocks. Residents Dayta and Sober have decided to end the show while it’s still well attended. To mark the occasion, they’ll have a special set from New Jersey’s kevlove, who should make things even more turnt. The 21 and up show gets going around 10 pm and it carries a measly $3 cover.
Over at The Big Top, Houston born, but now an Austin resident, Nick Diaz will bring his eclectic solo sounds to life under the moniker Buenos Diaz. Like a mix of Americana, electro pop, and bluesy hook filled rock, Buenos Diaz is one of the more impressive live acts you can catch coming from the state capitol today. His last album, last year’s “Urbanized New Wave Texican” is just a small glimpse into his crazy and cathy sound. The 21 and up show gets started at 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Another edition of Dykon Fagatron will be over at Pearl Bar, this time featuring Kegels For Hegel. The always popular dance party will also feature a set from DJ Queermo aka Biz’ DJ alter ego, and a set from Dad’s Records. The 21 and up show will be hosted by Crystal Toliver, the doors are at 10 pm, and it’s 100% FREE.
Sunday you could catch Ms Lauryn Hill play songs from her 1998 album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and a bunch of cover songs at Revention Center. Why do I say that? Because I’ve seen her three times now and that’s what her set is like. There’s no opener and tickets are between $50 and $85.
Silversun Pickups. Photo: Phil Mamula
Monday you can get your indie rock groove on at Revention Center when Silversun Pickups rolls through town. The popular LA based four piece will be here in support of last year’s “Better Nature,” and if you’ve never seen them live I’ll say that I was impressed when I caught them a couple of years back. The even more popular jangly pop of British four piece, Foals will be on as direct support and opener. Last year’s “What Went Down” has proved that these guys know how to write catchy tunes, and they’re known for a high energy live set. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $35.
Seattle’s Kingdom of The Holy Sun will bring their very psych heavy sound over to Satellite Bar. The six piece has been riding high since dropping the LSD laced sounds of last year’s “The Return of the Sun Kings.” Their latest is a single from this year called, “Cat Sounds,” and they sound like they’re worth catching live. The syrup dipped psych of Houston’s Mantra Love will be on as direct support, and should bring their self titled EP from last year, “Mantra Love” to life. Houston indie pop five piece Mind Shrine will also be on the bill, while the indie rock fuzz of Houston’s Mother Ghost will open the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
The reverb soaked punk of California three piece, L.A. Witch will be over at Walters. Known for bringing a pedal heavy sound to life when they perform, their latest release “Drive Your Car” from this year has plenty of snap, and I hear they’re an amazing live band as well. The surf garage pop of Joshua Tree based four piece, Sugar Candy Mountain will be on as direct support, while the bluesy psych of Houston’s Mojave Red will be on as opener. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
Parquet Courts. Photo: Ben Raynor
Of course, I’d guess that if you know about it, many of you would be heading over to Fitzgerald’s to catch the high energy of Brooklyn’s Parquet Courts. So, I would hope you’d know about this four piece that originally formed in Denton, as they’re pretty amazing in a live setting. I’ve seen them three times and all three were pretty enigmatic. Their latest album, “Human Performance” from this year elevates the band to a higher plane where they’re closer to The Replacements in sound. While their 2014 album, “Sunbathing Animal” will still be my favorite, you should see these guys while you can still catch them on a smaller stage. You have to catch the band they have as support, Austin’s Video. These guys sound like if Television made an eighties hardcore album, with hints of electronics thrown in. Their latest, last year’s “The Entertainers” is pretty amazing. The all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
Tuesday you could get started at Satellite Bar when they host Bay Area pop punks, Cut Up. These guys actually play more of a mix of pop punk and melodic emo core. Their latest, last year’s “Daybreak” should give you an idea of their sound. Houston based anarcho pop punks, The Ancient Gods will be on as support, while the pop punk of Houston’s ']);"><Insert Name Here> will go on prior. High energy Houston pop punk trio 54 Reasons will get things started with doors at 7 pm and a TBA cover on the all ages show.
Ontario’s Monster Truck will bring their seventies soaked hard rock over to the studio at Warehouse Live. Known for sounding like a mix of Southern and seventies rock, the four piece is touring in support of their new album, “Sittin’ Heavy.” The no frills stoner rock of Houston’s The Dirty Seeds will be on as direct support and opener, and will give the Canadians a run for their money. Their latest, “King Kush” from 2014 holds up and has a ton of thick riffs. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets for $12.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. Whatever you do decide to do, please be mindful of everyone else’s safety and act responsibly.