Loose Change: The Best of The Week
Royal Blood, Photo: Brian Rasic
It doesn’t feel like fall outside, but the way the acts keep rolling through town; it definitely has that vibe. This week, acts like Royal Blood pictured above will be here in attendance alongside a slew of local offerings as well as the re-opening of Fitzgerald’s. Here’s where to spend your money this week Houston.
Wednesday you can kick off the week over at MKT Bar when local booker and Houston Whatever Fest organizer, Jason Price drops a DJ set. I feel like Price is one of those guys who really cares about the fan experience at his events. He’s been in the booking industry for a really long time, he’s the primary talent buyer at Warehouse Live, and he’s the kind of guy that any musician should get to know. Things get going at 7:00 and end at 10:00 and as always it’s 100% FREE.
You can get your laugh on at Midtown Bar & Grill, when Houston comedy legend Andy Huggins headlines the High Bar show. I shouldn’t have to oversell Andy, as anyone who’s familiar knows that he’s hilarious. If you need to know what you’re in for, then catch his new album, “Inspired By True Events” before heading out. The show will also feature three hilarious comics with Barry Laminack, Kazeem Rahman, and Joe Gardner. Hosted by Bob Morrissey and Nick Meriwether, the show also promises a secret guest comic. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and tickets for a paltry $5.00.
Deke Dickerson, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
If you’d like to hear a guy slay a guitar, then I’d suggest heading to Continental Club for the surf rock sounds of Deke Dickerson. The missouri native has always been one of the most respected guitarists out there, and his live shows are always insane. His latest album, last year’s “My Name Is Deke” goes a little more old school Texas swing sounding, but it’s still right up there with his best stuff. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a TBA cover that shouldn’t be more than about $10.00.
Barbarella will host Austin darkwave and experimental lo-fi duo, De Palma. Their stuff sounds pretty rad, and their new release, “The Dreamer” is like Kraftwerk on mescaline. While the synth sounds of Houston’s XLO will go on last, Houston indie pop act Camera Cult will open things up on the 18 & up show with doors at 9:30 and a $2.00 cover before 11:00, or a $5.00 cover after.
Thursday you can make it over to Warehouse Live to catch the massively popular fuzz rock of UK duo, Royal Blood. Though some call these two the British White Stripes, I’d say they’re more different than the fact that they have similar set ups. These guys are a force to see live and they’ve been riding high since releasing last year’s “Royal Blood.” They’ll have the lo-fi garage rock of Mississippi duo, Bass Drum of Death on as openers and direct support. These two are known for a crazy live show, and last year’s “Rip This” just proves that they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. The all ages show takes place in the ballroom with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $20.00 and $25.00.
You could go on the pop side of things over at House Of Blues, when Baltimore dream pop duo Beach House performs. After garnering critical acclaim and mass amounts of fame with 2012’s “Bloom,” the two piece is back with the recently released, “Depression Cherry.” The Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak side project, Flock of Dimes will be on board as opener. The project that she refers to as one of vanity is lush,beautiful, and kind of all over the place. You can hear her latest, “The World Is Round,” and judge for yourself. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $28.00.
Robert Ellis, Photo: Paul Penton
At Rice U Memorial Center Grand Hall, they’ll host a show celebrating the KTRU return to FM, headlined by the country twang of Robert Ellis. Ellis has always been amazing to see live with his singer/songwriter meets Texas tonk sound. Last year’s “The Lights From The Chemical Plant” was as beautiful as it was entertaining, and his new album should be out sometime next year. Speaking of great albums, Ellis’ label mates, Buxton will be on as direct support. This year they released contender for album of the year with “Half A Native,” which finds the band throwing off the Americana shackles and crafting something grander and more straightforward. Opening things up will be the gulf coast swagger of Deep Cuts. These guys have grown more in the past fifteen months than most bands do in five years, and last year’s “Love Grows” EP was one of my favorites. More details are available here. The all ages show has doors at 7:30 and it’s 100% FREE.
Walters will have British punk legends, Sham 69 in house. Though this is the original lead singer with a whole new band, I’ll admit that 2013’s “Their Finest Hour” sounds much better than I thought it would have. These guys were the voice of the people during the UK’s first wave of punk, and they played the kind of gritty punk that wasn’t found with their contemporaries The Clash & Sex Pistols. They’ll have the punk of Dallas act, The Scandals on as direct support. Houston’s Dead To The World will be on hand to open the show, and bring their crazed energy to life. I feel like the raucous nature in which these guys burn through a blistering set is something that every punk fan needs to witness, and their songs like “DTTW” are pretty epic. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $12.00 and $14.00.
Out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, a comic to keep an eye on, is Louisiana native and LA transplant, Alysia Wood. Known for quick timing and a sharp tongue, Wood is being hailed as one of the nation’s next great comics. Coming out of the thriving Seattle comedy scene, she’s been on the Bob & Tom podcast, and is regularly referred to as one of the funniest comics going. She’ll have Blame the Comic, aka Marion Stafford of Houston on as her feature, as well as one of Houston’s better up and comers as host. The Thursday show has doors at 8:00, the Friday and Saturday both have doors at 8:00 and 10:30, and all carry a $16.00 cover.
Rudyard’s will host Vancouver synth artist, Teen Daze. The atmospheric tunes that this guy makes are pretty intense, and his latest release, this year’s “Morning World” is as intricate as it is beautiful. The pop infused electro jams of Heavenly Beat will be there as direct support. The side project of Beach Fossils bassist John Pena, his most recent release, last year’s “Eucharist” is soft and pretty, as well as pop infused. A DJ set from the always busy Children of Pop will be there to get the show started. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $13.00.
On the West side of town, you can catch some FREE comedy from Rich Williams and Aleks Withak, on the Comedy Night show at Al’s Sports Bar. Hosted by Tim Mathis, the show will have newer comics doing time on a show that’s desperately needed on that side of town. It’s 18 & up, it gets going around 9:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
DJ Maseo, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
I’d suggest ending your Thursday night over at The Flat when Andy V & Luz drop jams alongside De La Soul founding member, Maseo. One third of the revolutionary hip hop trio, Maseo, aka Vincent Mason Jr. is also a well known DJ. This should e a pretty dope set on the 21 & up show that gets going at 9:00, and is 100% FREE.
Friday you can start off at House of Blues for the comedy of Joe Rogan if you snagged tickets. Rogan’s a funny guy and he’s all over the place with a podcast, radio appearances, and so much more. There’s no word of an opener, but that will more than likely change. There are two shows at 7:00 and 10:00, which look to be sold out for now. Tickets are like almost $50.00, so good luck.
Danny Brown, Photo: Ashley Mar
Over at NRG Arena, you can catch the Rocky & Tyler tour. Of course that’s A$ap Rocky and Tyler, The Creator. Possibly one of the oddest tours going, this odd couple should bring the masses out for this stacked bill. I’m guessing at A$ap is headlining, and his latest album, “At.Long.Last.A$ap” is full of hits to make it so. If you missed Tyler, The Creator’s recent show over at Warehouse Live, then this is your chance to catch the high energy artist. His new album, “Cherry Bomb” is pretty dope, and he will bring fire when he performs. Detroit MC Danny Brown will also be on the bill as direct support. Brown had quite the jam with 2012’s ”Grown Up,” and his new album, “Hot Soup-Instrumentals” from last year is pretty tight. Both Brown and the Odd Future tied hip hop of the popular Vince Staples are the ones to watch, as Staples will open things up. Staples just dropped a new album with “Summertime ‘06,” and should whip the crowd in a frenzy when he goes on. The all ages show has doors at 7:30, and tickets are between $35.00 and $200.00, the latter being a meet & greet option.
Alley Kat will get a cool billing when Hearts of Animals headlines the small upstairs room. Recently I caught Hearts over at the Poison Girl anniversary party,and I was blown away by their sheer power of emotion in their set. Add to that, last year’s amazing album, “Another Mutation,” and you should have another great set. Austin post pop electro trio BUHU will be there as direct support. The always engaging indie experimental sounds of now four piece, Whit will go on prior. Whit is possibly one of our city’s more interesting bands, with tons of melody cloaked in an array of sounds. Last year they dropped a two song release called “With” that’s pretty amazing. A band called Fan Club will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00, and tickets between $5.00 and $7.00.
The album release party from Houston’s Race To The Moon will be going on over at Rudyard’s. This four piece has really grown since I first saw them two years ago. Sweeping guitars and rhythmic choruses are all over their new full length, “What a Time To Be Alive.” Possibly the tightest traditional rock four piece in Houston, Brand New Hearts will be there as direct support. This year they dropped their first full length with “Brand New Hearts,” and it’s easily one of the best locally released albums of 2015. The alt rock sounds from Houston’s Middlechild will also be on hand to open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and cover for $8.00.
For those of you who’ve missed Fitzgerald’s, you’re in luck as the iconic venue reopens this weekend. The jump off show, Texas’ own Neon Indian, is sponsored by Fun Fun Fun Fest, which is booked by new Fitz talent buyers Transmission Events. Neon Indian is a pretty great act to start off with, and if you’ve never seen this guy before, you’ve been missing out. His latest single, this year’s “Slumlord” is as synth heavy and tripped out as his previous works. Houston’s electronic indie synthpop artist -Us. will be there to open things up. You should get there early to get down to his sweet jams from last year’s “V.XXVII.IX,” and relish in his live set. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $21.00 and $26.00.
At Big Top Lounge you can get your pop rock fix, when Houston’s Catch Fever performs. These guys have been doing pretty much everything outside of touring, to make a name for themselves. Big shows at big venues, an appearance at CMJ, and a strong debut with “Shiny Eyes” set them away from the herd in Houston music. They’ll have the folk pop goodness of Spring’s Inzi on as opener. Inzi makes these sweet little gems that are all over her 2015 album, “Exist” that echoes resemblence to artists like Regina Spektor and Lorde. I promise that you won’t be disappointed by catching either of these acts live. THIS show is all ages, has doors at 8:30 and a measly $5.00 cover.
Quite possibly one of the greatest ideas for a show in a long time will be happening over at Beta Theater for the “Devin Finch Will Debate Anyone” show. I’m not sure who knows this or not, but Devin Finch is one of our city’s best artists. He’s created posters like the three headed dragon for Beta Theater’s Triple Header show, as well as tons of posters for all kinds of tours and what not. He’s also seen as an asshole, and an unapologetic guy who admits to drinking more before 10:00 am than most people drink all day. On what will hopefully be a series of shows, this first one sees Devin debating “a 17 year old homosexual kid,” per Finch’s description, which should be interesting no matter what they decide to debate over. He’s also welcoming audience participation on the BYOB show which gets going at 9:00 with a $5.00 cover.
Over on El Dorado you could stop off over at Union Tavern for the metal of Houston’s Supergrave. If that’s not enough for you, the alt rock of Houston three piece Before Radio will bring their high energy to life as direct support. Three piece Empty Shells is on prior, with Closed Eyes Open starting things off. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and is 100% FREE.
Ancient Cat Society, Photo: Christian Anderson
Mucky Duck will have the Buxton/Dollie Barnes hybrid act, Ancient Cat Society in their intimate setting. So, you may or may not know this trio made up of Sergio and Austin from Buxton and Haley from Dollie Barnes. What you need to know that the folky tones that dance underneath Sergio & Haley’s wonderfully paired vocals is something truly magical that exists nowhere else. Their 2012 album “Stay Home” is one of the prettiest things you’ll ever hear. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:30 and cover between $15.00 and $17.00.
Phoenicia’s MKT Bar will have week eight of the twelve week Beta Bracket Comedy Competition. This week, the comics will go head to head performing five minute sets for a shot at $3,000.00. Because it’s audience vote, you could help decide who walks away with all that cash in the largest payout ever for a Houston comedy contest. The all ages affair gets going at 10:00, though it can get packed fast so getting there at 9:15 is your best bet for a seat. The parking is FREE as well as the event itself.
You can close out the night at Avant Garden for Blackout’s DJ Act Badd, when he celebrates his birthday with LA’s DJ Ultra Cat. Ultra Catis one half of the LA collective known as 2Deep. Act Badd will also be on the decks as well as Vic G and GRRRL Parts on the patio. The 21 & up show gets going around 10:00 w/o a dress code & it’s 100% FREE.
Saturday you can start the day over at Royal Oak for another edition of The First Saturdays series. The afternoon event that features all sorts of vendors, eateries, and entertainment has become a great way to start a Saturday. DJ sets from Children of Pop and Seize The Beat will accompany live music from The Lories, Young Girls, and Something Fierce. The all ages affair runs from noon to 6:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
If you had planned on heading to House of Blues for the pop laced tunes of Charli XCX & Bleachers, the show has been cancelled.
Def Perception, Photo: Will Morgan
Celebrating their grand opening weekend, Fitzgerald’s will host the hip hop of Houston’s unofficial mayor, Bun B. I hope I don’t have to sell the former UGK member to anyone from Houston. If you’ve never caught him before, then this is your chance. His most recent release was this year’s single with Billy Cook, “Pimp.” However, the 2013 classic “Trill OG (The Epilogue),” might give you a better idea of his prowess on a mic. Getting things started is the Houston hip hop six piece, Def Perception. Combining the powerful mic skills of Raymond A, a DJ who scratches actual records, and a live band; the group is definitely one of the best kept hip hop secrets in town. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $23.00 and $26.00.
Rudyard’s will host the Brit rock sounds of Houston’s Purapharm. This band kind of sounds like if you mixed The Charlatans UK with Supergrass and Siouxsie. Their most recent release, “Purapharm” from earlier this year is trippy and spaced out, with epic openings and some of the lushest guitars you can hear. They’ll have the sludgy cosmic psych of Austin’s Casual Strangers on as direct support. This four piece has no problem admitting they’re influenced by acts like Cocteau Twins, and their 2014 album, “Casual Strangers” is spacey and dreamy. The pretty and ambient sounds of Houston’s My Twilight Pilot will go on prior, and should really turn heads. One of Houston’s better kept secrets, the five piece goes far beyond the term psych while crafting these gorgeous soundscapes. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a $7.00 cover.
Another edition of the Stalk Show live podcast will be over at Beta Theater. Hosted by Hoja Lopez, the show idea is a talk show format where deeply personal questions are asked in a hilarious manner. This edition will have guest,the talented and funny Katy Manning scratching her head as to the barrage of questions that are bordered between creepiness and adoration. The BYOB show should get going around 9:00, and tickets are encouraged as many of these shows get close to capacity with a $6.00 cover.
You could get your groove back over at Fox Hollow for another edition of the popular Bombon shows. This time, the entire Bombon crew will be joined by DJ Act Badd as well as some live percussion and FLCON FCKER visuals. The show is sponsored by Remy Martin and Topo Chico, and it should be as fun as these shows always are. It’s also a good time for you to hear tracks live from Bombon & Peligrosa’s album, “Bombon X Peligrosa.” You can get into this show for FREE with an early RSVP here, otherwise the 21 & up show is $5.00 and runs from 9:00 to 2:00.
The sixties sounds of Nic Armstrong and the Thieves will be on full display over at Continental Club. This guy brings a mix of sixties garage pop and psych in a way that’s as poppy as it is trippy. His songs make you want to grow your hair long and hang out in the bay area while donning velvet pants. His latest release, 2013’s “Pocketless Shirt” EP is pretty amazing as well. The big band vibe of Houston’s Hayden Jones and the Roosevelt House Band will open things up. This guy is someone you need to keep an eye on, as his songs are close to a mix of Daniel Johnston and Bob Dylan. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and a $10.00 cover.
On Sunday you can make your way over to Rudyard’s to catch the old school doo wop sounds of Oakland three piece Shannon & The Clams. Since the late 2000’s, this group has been gaining steam, and their 2013 album,”Dreams In The Rat House” saw them gain a wider following. Their latest, this year’s “Gone By The Dawn” keeps their sixties sounds going. San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls will bring their sixties garage pop to town as direct support. Their last album, “A Swirling Fire Burning Through The Rye,” gained all sorts of critical acclaim. Houston’s Mikey & The Drags will open things up with their high energy live set on the heels of their new album release coming later this year. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $11.00 and $13.00.
Monday you have to decide between two great shows. First off at House of Blues you could see the multi-talented sounds of Albert Hammond Jr. I’m sure you know him from his other band, The Strokes, but he’s made quite the name for himself as a solo act. His latest album, “Momentary Masters” was just dropped this year, and has some great tunes on it. He’s really great live, and the show doesn’t list an opener which could change. Last time he was here he started early, so keep that in mind. The doors are at 7:00 and the tickets are $19.33 each.
Of Monsters and Men, Photo: Meredith Truax
At Revention Center you can get your pop fix from Icelandic group, Of Monsters and Men. The band is insanely popular, and their new album, “Beneath The Skin” is already growing their ever expanding fan base. The popular Swedish group Amason will be there to get the show started. It’s an all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $35.00 and $45.00, and it will probably sell out.
Tuesday you can go dancing with yourself, when eighties icon Billy Idol comes to town over at House of Blues. Idol has been going at the rock thing for quite some time, and I have to admit that he’s still pretty strong live. He’s here on his latest album, last year’s “Kings & Queens of The Underground.” I’m sure you’ll get the hits like “White Wedding,” “Dancing With Myself,” and “Rebel Yell,” as well. The throwback rock of NYC’s The London Souls will be there to open things up. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $49.50 and $79.50.
That’s really about all that’s happening this week. No matter what you decide to do, please do so in the most mature way possible, for all of our sakes.