Loco Ono: The Best of The Week
Photo: Mark C. Austin
I think we all learned last week that if possible, Houston can and will have plenty of goings on in one evening. Well, this week is a little lighter but still, just as equally packed. While we all rejoice in the fact that Sleater Kinney has reunited, here’s where your time with loved ones should be spent this week.
On Wednesday, you can get things started over at Fitzgerald’s for the post rock sounds of This Will Destroy You. The San Marcos based band has been around close to a decade, and the make a very landscaped and lush type of music. Once they get going though, the heavy guitar comes in and they’re almost like a new band. They’ll be here in support of their recently released, “Another Language.” They’re bringing Austin’s Future Death to give the crowd their experimental noise rock vibe to digest. Future Death has always come off as a band who never understood conventions in music, and their newest release, “Special Victim” gets a little closer to conventional sounds. The noise acoustic mish mash of Silent Land Time Machine will get things started with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00 for the all ages show.
If you’d rather catch a true lounge act, then you could head to Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge to catch the amazing Peter & James. So, I’m not into cover bands, but I’ve witnessed these two cover songs quicker than most. Anything from the Bee Gees to Hank Williams, these guys can usually pull it off. They also play originals as well. And, because it’s Big Top, you never know who’ll you’ll catch dancing or singing with them. If you’re lucky, they might even play blindfolded. Things usually get going around 10:00 and run close to close for the 21 & up show.
Thursday at Discovery Green, you can get funky with Austin’s T Bird & the Breaks. This nine piece coupling of artistry has been getting bigger and bigger since their inception back in 2007. The best way to describe this band is to say that they sound like young Van Morrison singing with a Motown based session band. They released a single in September called “Justine” that might give you an idea of how tight they sound in a little over two minutes. They’ll have Houston’s garage pop rockers, Mikey and the Drags getting things started before them. Last year, these guys gave us an album, “On The Loose” that proved that some bands get the psych garage vibe better than others. On it, they create songs that like like Brian Wilson and Anton Newcombe decided to cover songs by The Animals. This FREE show is all ages, family friendly, and gets started at 6:30.
Maybe you’d rather do some head banging, and if you do; then you should head to Scout Bar to catch the South American sounds of Soulfly. The band, lead by Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera, is in town in support of their latest release, “Savages.” The album, is as riff heavy and thick drummed as their previous releases, but does carry a more melodic feel than their previous albums. If you’re a fan, you should definitely make it out for them, as they’re kind of a force to reckon with when they play live. Rhode Island’s Scare Don’t Fear will be on the bill as well, and will bring songs from their reiff intensive 2014 album, “From The Ground Up.” The progressive metal of Houston’s Oceans of Slumber will also be on hand. The guys released an album called “Aerherial” that was a mix of doom, thrash, and prog metal that stops and starts with growly vocals and more melodic points; and is a really different sound that usual prog metal bands. The thrash metal of Humble’s Termination Force will get things started with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $20.00 for the all ages show.
Back in the nineties, pretty much every decent comic got offered a sitcom. However, the black sheep of those who got one, was the hilarious and dark humored Christopher Titus. Titus is seriously hilarious, off the cuff, and gut wrenchingly honest. Starting on Thursday, he’ll bring his, “my family sucks” humor to Houston’s Improv. Titus hosts the popular Titus podcast, and he dropped his best album to date last year, “Voice In My Head.” He’s sincerely a truly great comic to watch perform, and one no one should miss. As per most of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will be on the bill as well as feature performer and host. There’s one show on Thursday, two on Friday and Saturday, and one on Sunday. The Thursday show is at 8:00 and tickets are between $22.00 and $32.00.
If you’ve ever done acid and listened to Ween, then you most certainly know the name Aaron Freeman. Freeman will be in town at Fitzgerald’s to bring his latest project, FREEMAN to life. This year, he dropped an album, “Freeman,” that lets you know real quick who the pop songwriter of the duo was. It’s seriously an amazing record to listen to, and it’s filled with as many pop hooks as you’d expect. There are still silly moments, as any Ween fan would expect, but it’s a different sound that’s really amazing and should be great to see live. The folk pop of Rhode Island’s Arc Iris will serve as opener. Arc Iris is a seven piece group that seriously blurs the lines between what you think you know about pop music, and their “Arc Iris” album from this year sounds pretty magical. This should be a pretty awesome show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $20.00 for the all ages show.
You won’t know the name Bobby Ray Simmons Jr. but, you most certainly know the name B.O.B. if you listen to hip hop. He’ll bring his rhyme heavy prowess to Warehouse Live Thursday night. B.O.B. has been getting bigger and bigger since he dropped his 2010 album, “The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” His latest album, last year’s “Underground Luxury” has collaborations with T.I., Juicy J, and 2 Chainz, and is massively hook heavy. He’s got Baton Rouge’s Kevin Gates as his opener, which is a little insane. Gates came to national attention when he was dropped into mixtapes from Pusha T and Gudda Gudda. Since then he’s released his own stuff, including this year’s “By Any Means,” that features Piles, 2 Chainz, and Doe B. This show should sell out or least get close with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $27.00 and $29.00 for the all ages show.
Rudyard’s will be pulling charity duty for the Laugh In The Face of Breast Cancer event, featuring comics performing for breast cancer. The event will be hosted by Houston comic Judd Jones, who’s done shows with Rich Williams, and is a regular at the Joke Joint. The show will also feature local funny man and ESPN radio host, Barry Laminack. Barry does couples humor like he’s been married forty years, and still figures out ways to sneak in jokes about reality television with great comedic timing. Tim Mathis, one of Houston’s hardest working comics will also be on the bill. Mathis has a different style to his act, and he’ll do comedy pretty much anywhere; but that doesn’t mean you won’t laugh till’ it hurts when he performs. One of the newer but still riotous comics on the show, John Nguyen will also lend his humor to the show. Nguyen won Laff Town’s funniest this year, and his jokes about race and his family might be some of the best you’ll ever hear. Host of the Saint Dane’s open mic, Steven Padilla will perform as well, while Houston’s man of 2014, Ashton Womack will open things up. What can you say about Aston that hasn’t already been said? He won best comic at the first annual FPH Sammy Awards, he won the Beta Bracket Comedy Competition, and his charismatic style and relatable humor makes him one of Houston’s next big things. 90% of the proceeds will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the show is 21 & up, and the doors are at 7:00. The tickets are $25.00 each, and can be purchased in advance here.
Speaking of charity, upstairs at Fitzgerald’s, they too will be hosting an event for charity with proceeds going to benefit The Walk For Mental Health Awareness. The group will donate the funds to Houston area mental health programs. The show will be headlined by the blues funk of Houston’s Mellow Riot. This year, the group put out a single called “Gone” that sounded like a mix of Jack Johnson, G Love, and Ben Harper. The psych soul sounds of Handsome Beast will also be on hand, while The Trimms will be there to melt faces with their riff heavy sound. I’m pretty sure that The Trimms are the result of what happens when you spend a large portion of your youth practicing guitar, as they play like veterans. They’re always a party in the making to see play live as well. The six piece soul collective known as Soul Creatures will get things started with doors at 8:00 and $10.00 tickets for the all ages show.
If you’re a fan of pop punk, then you’re probably heading to House of Blues to catch Yellowcard. You would remember them from their ultra poppy hit, “Ocean Avenue.” Well, they’ve kept going since that mega hit, and they’re here to support their latest, “Lift A Sail.” If you’ve never seen them before, this is your chance to see their energy heavy performance. They’ll have Dallas’ Memphis May Fire on hand to play their blend of post hardcore and pop screams. They’ll perform songs from their recently released album, “Unconditional.” Kentucky’s pop based post hardcore band, Emarosa will get things started with doors at 6:00 and tickets for $32.75 for the all ages show.
Friday night, you can start things off over at Numbers, when Dem Damn Dames bring their latest installment of their monthly series of burlesque shows to life at the historic venue. This month it’s a murder mystery based show, titled “Murder On The High Tease.” From what I hear, this is always the biggest of their shows, and there’s a good chance that you’ll watch it with a room full of guests. This show will feature your favorite performers from the troupe, complete with aerial silks and choreographed routines that never disappoint. There also promises to be some out of town talent on hand, like Harlet Davidson of Austin, Constance T. Nople of San Antonio, and John Orr also from Austin. The doors for this show are at 7:00, the show gets going at 8:00, and tickets range between $15.00 and $30.00, depending on how fancy you wanna’ make your experience. As per all of these shows, your ticket price includes a FREE entry to the club’s “Classic Numbers” dance night, to follow quickly after the show ends.
Over at Fitzgerald’s, they’ll be welcoming The Tontons back from another tour that makes Houston a stop rather than an end. The band has enjoyed a pretty stellar 2014 and is slotted to appear at the Voodoo Fest in New Orleans in early November. If for some reason you haven’t heard their newest album, “Make Out King and Other Stories of Love,” then you’re missing their best to date. They will definitely impress those in attendance, but they’ll have to follow the intense energy of Austin’s Ume. Ume may be one of the best things to come out of Austin since Stubbs started bottling BBQ sauce. Their lead singer/guitarist Lauren, is a force to watch perform, and a beast on the guitar. They’ll be here in support of their intensely great new album, “Monuments,” which is something everyone should listen to on repeat. The bizarre and experimental hip hop of Houston’s Buckamore will also be on hand, while the overly poppy synth of US. opens things up. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and the tickets are between $12.00 and $15.00.
Over at Warehouse Live, they’re having former Soul Coughing frontman, Mike Doughty in the studio. Doughty will be performing his world renowned Question Jar show, which has the singer collecting ideas from the audience, placing them in a jar; and then performing those ideas. It sounds like a crazy and cool idea for sure. If those who attend are lucky enough, they’ll get to hear songs from his latest solo album, “Stellar Motel.” I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t good because it’s really good. This is a very unique type of show, so the fact that there isn’t an opener listed may or may not change. The doors are at 7:00, it’s an all ages show, and the tickets are between $17.00 and $20.00.
If Doughty isn’t your cup of tea, then you could go to the ballroom show at Warehouse Live instead, where Macy Gray will be performing. Gray has come a long way since her breakout hits from 1999. Her latest album, this year’s “The Way,” is full of as many possible hits as her previous works. I’ve caught Gray twice in the past, and she’s a pretty great act to catch perform live. The dancey pop of Cary Nokey will get the show started with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $28.00 and $30.00.
If you’re up for a laugh, then Phoenicia MKT Bar has comedy provided by Beta Theater happening. This week will be the last comedy show of October, while the venue has something else planned for Halloween. This show, is a contest where 20 comics will fight in three minute sets for a $200.00 cash prize this week; up from last week’s $100.00 prize. Last week, host John Wessling made the final two comics battle it out for the winning slot; proving that you never know what will happen. Beta Theater curator and seasoned thespian, Jeromy Barber will host this battle royale and attempt to decipher who the audience likes best of the group. Things get started at 9:00, it’s all ages, and it’s 100% FREE.
Walter’s has their first show of the week when they have New Jersey’s Screaming Females pay our city a visit. They’ll be here to drop some rock n’ roll goodness on us all in support of their recently released album, “Live at The Hideout.” There are times where you hear this three piece and you realize that the rock gods are still channelling the same vibes that SRV and Jimi Hendrix received. Kind of a mix between Wolfmother and Clutch, these guys are well known for their intense live shows, so be warned. One of music’s most unsung acts, Tennessee’s Pujol will be there as well to bring their garage based rock to all. I’ve watched Pujol destroy an audience with their high energy show before, and this time should be no different. Their newest album, “Reunited States of Being” might be their best to date, and should be a real treat to hear live. Appropriately, Houston’s Spare Bones will be opening things up with their high energy garage rock sound. This is a really well balanced show that should be hella’ fun to make it out for. The doors are at 8:00, the tickets are a measly $8.00, and it’s an all ages show.
Over at Continental Club, they have an early show that features the country sounds of HoneyHoney. The two piece collaboration on an imprint of Lost Highways, has been wowing everyone who’s had the honor to catch them live, for the past seven years. Their 2011 album, “Billy Jack” is one of those albums that commands another listen when it reaches its’ end. There isn’t an opener for the show with doors at 7:00, and tickets at $10.00 for the 21 & up show.
Scout Bar will host the new wave & bad haircuts of A Flock Of Seagulls. I can’t hear their name without thinking of “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie,” but that’s possibly just me. So, if you think these guys are still making records, think again. They’re so inactive in songwriting, that they don’t even have a website that’s not tied to Wikipedia. Their last non-greatest hits album was in 1996 with “The Light At The End of The World.” Since then they’ve toured the hits and are just a step away from playing county fairs. They actually had more than one hit song, but “I Ran” is the one I’m guessing they’re contractually obligated to play at shows. The throwback synth heavy sounds of Houston’s Provision will be on hand to teach any EDM fans how to do synth. These guys are seriously pretty good, and they totally have that early Depeche Mode sound. Their latest album was 2012’s “A New Revolution.” Truth be told, you should go for these guys instead of the headliners, but once again; just me. DJ Tiger Jones will open things up with a $1,000.00 costume contest that’s hosted by someone from terrestrial radio, if you know what that is. That means steal your mom’s eighties duds and win some cash, then make fun of A Flock Of Seagulls or get down to them. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are $10.00.
Saturday is pretty stacked with some epic events that start out with the last chance you’ll get to see christian rockers Anberlin over at House of Blues. The Florida based band decided to call it quits after they dropped their new album, “Lowborn.” Funny story, well not really; but I saw these guys ten years ago when I went to catch Starflyer 59 once. For what they are, they were at least entertaining with tons of energy. The alt rock of California’s Dayshell will open things up. They’ll be performing songs from last year’s “Dayshell” album. Once again, if you’re an Anberlin fan, this will be your last chance to see them before they reunite a decade from now. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are between $41.00 and $46.00. for the all ages show.
Walter’s will be hosting a Halloween party with the hip hop stylings of Houston’s Def Perception. These guys drop hip hop rhymes on top of live instruments like no one’s business, and they have a pretty high energy live show. The mixture of HISD emcees and Radio Galaxy have formed a new act called The Hue. It won’t be the one you find when you google the name, but something different. I’ve ranted before about acts looking up a name before using it; though this live hip hop collaboration sounds really cool. Maybe they’ll change the name when they record. The most prolific and continuously playing new band in Houston, Children Of Pop will also lend their name to the bill. COP has been playing a bunch lately, and they’ve dropped new stuff that’s more chillwave than their full length, “Fiesta/Drift.” Nevertheless, these guys are a party in their own right with trippy songs and a fun live show. DJ Baby Roo will open the all ages show up, with cover at $8.00 and doors at 8:00.
The guys at Mango’s have a pretty trippy show as well, when Kose performs there. These guys dropped a pretty great s/t album last year that was a mix of garage and punk noise and a bit of experimental psych thrown in. They have a pretty crazy live show that feels like it’s the eighties and hardcore is new again. They’ll have Kansas City’s Lazy, who are a healthy mix of garage and new wave pop punk. Their compilation of seven inches and what not that was released this year, “High Density 60” reminded me so much of The Kinks, The Jam, and Television; that I got chills. The experimental garage rock noise of Keno Sims is also on the show. Okay, if you don’t know, these guys are pretty bad ass. They have such an energetic live show that somehow mixes simplicity with rockin’ jams and then comes off a little complex. Golden Sombrero will be playing their blend of rock meets garage pop, and they’ll open the show up. The doors are at 9:00, it’s all ages, and it’s $7.00 to get in.
I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only guy who sings a bit of “End Of The Road” when I hear the name Boyz II Men, and if you’re the same way; then Arena Theater will have you covered. Boyz II Men will be co-headlining there with Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, which is kind of insane when you consider how many hits both acts are responsible for. Boyz II Men has a new album this year called “Collide,” which will be great to see go in with their hit based back catalog. Babyface has been producing all kinds of hits, but his last album was 2007’s “Playlist.” I’ve actually seen Boyz II Men before and they were pretty epic, as I would guess that Babyface is as well. You can experience both acts in the round with doors at 8:00 and tickets for $79.50.
Out at Sam Houston Race Park, which I call the horsey track; they have a pretty crazy bill with the Something Wicked Festival. It’s technically a two day event with multiple stages and multitudes of artists. For the sake of sanity, I’m just listing a few of the days’ acts, that gets started on Saturday. The Saturday show has Bassnectar closing out the evening. You might remember when Bassnectar blew us all away at FPSF 2013 by closing off the night with his hard to follow performance. His latest bass heavy and beat induced album, this year’s “Noise vs. Beauty” raises the bar on everyone in the EDM world. Prior to him, LA’s Dillon Francis will bring his lovestep sound to all who attend. His newest album is up for pre-order; but his single, “Set Me Free” has the producer and DJ blowing up the charts. The day will also host Flosstradamus, A-Track, Headhunterz, Bro Safari; and many many more. The gates open at 2:00, it’s 18 & up, and the tickets are between $85.00 and $219.00.
You could venture over to The Summit to attend the second Boo Town Bash. The event will feature puppetry, chicken outfits, and all kinds of fun stuff. If you love shows like Grown-Up Storytime, the shadow puppet shows, and Neo Benshi that these creative people make; then you should attend to keep that kind of creativity going. Unlike a PBS pledge drive however, this show will feature adult beverages and food from all over; as well as live music from DJ Joe Gross and Rose Ette. The doors are at 8:00, I would guess that it’s 21 & up, and the tickets are $25.00.
The loudest show on Saturday will more than likely be when Toronto’s PUP brings their rock pop indie goodness to Fitzgerald’s. PUP reminds me of Paws, which is to say that this will probably be where I’m at that night. These guys have energy, plenty of great hooks, and their new album, “PUP” is pretty damn electric. You know how every rock music critic keeps telling you how “great” the new Weezer album is? Well, this is the album they should’ve made. San Jose’s Hard Girls will also be on the show, and they’re a band that everyone needs to see at least once. They’re like a mix of Guided By Voices and Cheap Girls, and their newest album, “A Thousand Surfaces” is pretty great. But so is their other new album, “Hard.” I know, it’s hard to follow, but “Hard” is a compilation of previously unreleased songs if that helps. The pop punk of Houston’s The Turnaways will get things started. If you like bands like Jawbreaker, and Green Day before they made millions of dollars, then these guys are for you. Their 2014 four song ep “Came Quick” is pretty good, and they’re a great live band. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and the cover is between $10.00 and $14.00.
Rudyard’s has a cool show with a 7” and video release party from The Linus Pauling Quartet. Last year, these guys put out a three song ep called, “Find What You Love and Let It Kill You,” that really showcased how diverse of band they really are. There were moments of garage rock coupled with dreamy fuzz riffs and complex pop melodies, which translates to it’s good. They’ve been around a good while, they’ve had work featured on Noisey, and they have always reminded me of Dinosaur Jr. The stoner based psych rock of Dallas’ Wo Fat will be on hand to get things started. Wo Fat has always reminded me of a mix of The Sword, Fu Manchu, and Electric Frankenstein; and their split last year, “Cyclopean Riffs” is really great. The doors are at 9:00, it’s a 21 & up policy, and the tickets are only $8.00.
Sunday, you can head back to Sam Houston Race Park, for day two of the Something Wicked Festival. The second day will be headlined by producer and DJ Kaskade. Kaskade has been blowing up since he was called the “Best DJ In America” in 2011 and again in 2013. His latest drop, “I Remember” has collaborations with DeadMau5 and Neon Trees, and is pretty strong. His progressive house sound has made him revered within the EDM world. Martin Garrix will perform prior, and drop some of the hits the Dutch producer DJ is known for. Garrix also has a progressive house sound that’s mixed with what many call ‘Dutch house’ and his 2014 ep, “Gold Skies” proved he was more than just another Dutch producer. The day will also see the likes of Borgore, Alex Metric, Nervo, and many many more. The gates are at 2:00, it’s 18 & up, and the tickets are between $85.00 and $219.00.
I would guess that most people would want to see what the reformed GWAR looks like, when they perform at Warehouse Live. GWAR is and has always been more theatrics than music, where almost everyone gets covered in something, and the band plays their rock meets metal songs. Since Oderus’ death, the band has soldiered on and will continue on with Blothar on lead vocals. Their last album, was last year’s “Battle Maximus” was the last recorded prior to Oderus’ passing, and keeps in line with their previous work. They’ll have Poland’s Decapitated bring their double quick drum and riff heavy tech metal to the show. They’re out with GWAR in support of their recent album, “Blood Mantra” from this year. Austin’s fuzz rockers American Sharks will get the show started with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $24.00 for the all ages show.
Since the PARTYNEXTDOOR show at Fitzgerald’s is sold out, you could catch their other show downstairs, when LA’s Mansions On The Moon performs. The chillwave act seems to gaining momentum after they got the approval of Diplo. They’ve dropped four singles this year, most notably, “Somewhere Else Tonight.” These guys are known to have a super trippy live show that should be cool to see in person. They’ll have the duo of Night Drive opening things up for them. Night Drive has a very intriguing sound that’s a mix of electro pop and eighties new wave. They’ve been dropping singles as well at a record pace this year, with “Young Rivals” being the newest. This should be a pretty good show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $15.00 for the all ages evening.
Monday, you can catch Arizona punk rockers Authority Zero over at House of Blues. The energetic and frenzied four piece will be here in support of last year’s “The Tipping Point.” I caught these guys a couple of years back and they were pretty impressive to watch perform. The sing song lyrics and anthemic nature of their songwriting makes it a great show to see. The Bastard Suns will serve as openers, and will bring their Southern punk rock sounds to the show. They’ll play songs from their better produced 2013 album, “Long Live Song” that sounded more like a mix of NOFX and Dropkick Murphys than their previous works. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are $17.33.
If you’re more in a hip hop kind of mood, then Warehouse Live has you covered when they host Joey Bada$$. The Brooklyn producer/rapper has been getting more and more fans since his hit song in 2012, “Waves.” His latest, “Christ Conscious” keeps in line with his NYC style and future rap sound. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that will probably change by show time. The doors are at 8:00, it’s all ages, and the tickets are $23.00.
However, if you really loved Firehose, and Minutemen like I did and still do, then you’ll be at Fitzgerald’s to catch Mike Watt’s latest band, Il Sogno Del Marinaio. Translated, the name mean’s The Sailor’s Dream, which falls in line with Watt’s ideals, as does the fact that they’re a three piece. The band is experimental and a mix of jazz, noise rock, and punk that really showcases how electrifying Watt is even in his elder years. The band’s second album, “Canto Secondo” from this year, is truly magical and bombastic at times. There doesn’t appear to be an opener, but that may change by the time doors open at 7:00 with tickets between $13.00 and $17.00 for the all ages night.
Tuesday, Warehouse Live will have the post emo second wave screamo sounds of California’s Finch in town. They’ll be in town to play songs from their new record, “Back To Oblivion,” which has a more dynamic feel than previous albums from them. I kind of missed the second emo wave because I was still too wrapped up in the first wave, but Finch is supposed to be a great live band. Maps and Atlases will be on the bill as well, and they’ll bring their signature blend of indie eccentricity to life. I’ve caught these guys several times and they’ve never disappointed me. Their new album, “Beware and Be Grateful” from two years ago still sounds as fresh as it did when it was released. Dublin’s Wounds will also be on board with their rock sound, while the pop punk emo sounds of Helen Earth Band will open things up with tunes from their newest, “We Fucking Quit.” This is a strong bill that has doors at 6:30 and tickets for $20.00 on the all ages event.
If you’re more in a pop mood, then you should venture over to Fitzgerald’s to see NYC’s The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. The sugary fuzzed out band sounds a little like Houston’s Young Mammals, and they’re here touring their newest album, “Days of Abandon.” The indie garage pop from Houston’s Young Girls will get things started with doors at 8:00 and tickets from $14.00 to $18.00.
That’s actually not as light as a week as I thought. While you’re out there this week, please be mindful of others while you enjoy all the cool stuff our city has going on this week. If you’re cool, and I’m cool, then hopefully everyone will be just as cool to one another.