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Neon Cathedral: The Best of The Week

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

 

Well, things are starting to heat up as far as more and more entertainment options around Houston go.  While we all mourn the recent loss of music icon David Bowie, this week you’ll have plenty of visitors like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis pictured above, here in town.  Houston, this is how to navigate your next seven days.

 

Wednesday you can start off over at Under The Volcano when Chicago’s Al Scorch comes to town.  Scorch plays this intriguing mix of bluegrass, punk, and country music that you have to see in person to really appreciate.  His 2012 album, “Tired Ghostly Town” is like a kick to the bluegrass world, and he’s regarded as one of the best banjo players going today.  Opening things up will be Houston’s Chase Hamblin.  Hamblin, in my opinion, is one of our city’s best songwriters, he’s a heck of a performer, and he can make you laugh or make you cry with any one of his tunes.  His latest single, “Way Back” from last year sounds like a mix of John Lennon and Barry Gibb.  The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and a measly $5.00 cover.

 

Satellite Bar will host a set from the folk pop of Austin’s Dreamboat.  This sometimes six piece and sometimes nine piece plays a blend of folk and eclectic pop rock that’s pretty infectious.  Last year they dropped the “Strong Legs” album that should get you in the mood to check them out live.  The electro pop of Houston’s A Girl Named Tiger will go on prior as direct support, and they’re worth getting there early for.  The indie college rock of Houston’s Race To The Moon will go on prior, and bring their highly energetic live show to all.  Last year these guys released “What A Time To Be Alive” and proved that they’ve grown as a band by adding hooky riffs and melody based choruses.  A band called New Swim will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.

 

Walters will host a barn burner when they have the crazed stoner doom of Austin’s Duel.  These guys sound like a mix of seventies Brit metal, stoner rock, and psych doom at the same time.  They’re so drenched in that lovely seventies sound that you feel like they could’ve been on the “Easy Rider” soundtrack.  Their latest release, a single called “This Old Crow” should convey what they’re like.  The stoner doom of Houston’s The Dirty Seeds will be on the bill as direct support.  These guys play the kind of thick and chunky riffs you want in your stoner metal mixed with hints of Southern rock.  Their latest, 2014’s “King Kush” might give you the munchies.  Magnolia’s Serpent Sun will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.

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Tool, Photo: Courtesy of Artist

On Thursday you could start off over at Toyota Center for the hard rock sounds of Tool.  So, I actually don’t like these guys’ music, but I have seen them live and they’re good for what they are.  They don’t have a new album out, so I guess this is just a cash grab show.  Primus will be on as direct support while 3Teeth will open the all ages show.  The doors are at 5:15 for some weird reason, and the tickets are between $59.50 & $79.50, but it is sold out.  However, that doesn’t mean that seats won’t become available the day of.  

 

If that’s not your thing, then you could head to  House of Blues for the pop rock of Never Shout Never.  Though they started as a one man project, the now three piece has gained a ton of steam and is here in support of last year’s “Black Cat.”  The alt pop of Alabama’s Jule Vera will be on as direct support, while Houston’s Waterparks will go on prior.  This pop punk three piece is definitely worth catching before they’re too big to see live.  Their latest single, “Crave” is so catchy that you’ll be humming it days after one listen.  The emo pop of California’s Metro Station will open the all ages show with doors at 5:30 and tickets for $18.00.

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The Legendary Shack Shakers, Photo: Preston Corn

Over at Rudyard’s, the rockabilly sounds of The Legendary Shack Shakers will be on full display.  It seems like it took forever for these guys to release a new album, but late last year they dropped “The Southern Surreal” and it was worth the wait.  This four piece is highly energized and their live shows are like receiving “the gospel” when they perform.  The punky acoustic bluegrass of Colorado three piece, The Yawpers will go on as direct support.  Their 2015 album “American Man” is like Chuck Ragan with more speed and intensity.  Houston rockabilly legends The Flamin’ Hellcats will open the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $14.00 and $16.00.

 

Beta Theater will have another edition of the in house improv team, Max drop a performance.  The weekly show is always worth the “pay what you can” price.  I dropped in on a recent performance and found myself laughing from start to finish as they fed off of one another creating hilarious premises and stories all from a suggestion from the audience.  The all ages affair runs from 9:00 to 10:00.

 

Continental Club will offer up another raucous evening with the rock n’ roll mariachis, Tino & Jose.  By all accounts these guys are worth making it out for.  They have a crazy amount of energy while they mix in classics and favorites.  The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and a TBA cover.

 

Friday you can start your night off over at Warehouse Live for another concert from Black Horse Limo.  This time they’ll be bringing in the metal/hard rock of Dallas’ Hellyeah.  Though their music isn’t my thing, they have a pretty strong fanbase.  Dallas’ Drowning Pool will be on as direct, I’m guessing with a new singer seeing as how the last one died.  The high energy of Houston’s American Fangs will be there to open things up.  Whether you’re a fan of these guys or not, they put on a great live show.  They’ll be performing songs from last year’s long awaited “Dirty Legs.”  the all ages show is in the ballroom, the doors are at 7:00, and it’s 100% FREE with RSVP found here.

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Jawwaad, Photo: Zigna Kortnik

Walters will have a barn burner when they host the compilation release party from SugarHill studios.  the compilation called “Nextwave” will feature five different Houston acts, and the show will have all five performing.  Headlining things will be the enigmatic and crazed electro hip hop of Jawwaad.  You have to respect a guy who can call Mos Def whenever he wants, he made an album with MF Doom and JJ Doom, and who tours the world with his jazz band, The Young Mothers.  In 2014 Jawwaad dropped an album called “The Bully Love Set” that’s like a mix of Houston and Brooklyn, while still staying future.  His sets are on point and he rarely performs hip hop in Houston.  Going on prior will be the dark electronica of Houston’s black kite.  Sometimes a three piece with producer birdmagic, and sometimes a two piece, this band has blown me away with pretty much every raw & energy rich performance they’ve dropped.  In the midst of an upcoming tour and an album due in the Spring, they’re definitely one of those bands everyone should catch before they blow up.  Their 2013 album “Bird” still blows me away with every listen.  The intense energy and hustle of Guilla will go on beforehand.  This guy got on my radar by selling out a series of shows and busting his tail just to get his name out.  He’s been on FPSF and Houston Whatever Fest alongside all the right shows and his 2014 EP “Rap, Trap, & Drums” is still one of my favorites.  Prior to that, the songbird also known as Dollie Barnes will perform.  The first time I heard her sing across a crowded room I was drawn to her like flies to honey.  Alongside a stint in Buxton, a side project with Austin and Sergio of Buxton with Ancient Cat Society; her live shows are a mix of endearing sweetness and a rockin’ party you don’t want to end.  Opening things up will be Houston’s Catch Fever, who spent the bulk of last year on all the right shows.  Playing FPSF wasn’t as big of a deal as the fact that they played sold out shows at House of Blues, CMJ in NYC, and a slew of festivals.  Their 2014 album “Shiny Eyes” is still the roadmap I tell bands to follow on how to grow your band.  The bonus of this show is that all of these artists are releasing albums this year, meaning that you’ll get to hear new material in some cases for the first time.  A portion of the proceeds will go to Music Is Our Weapon as well.  the all ages show has doors at 7:30 and tickets for $5.00 presale & $10.00 at the door.

 

If you’d rather get a great laugh, then you could head to Revention Center to catch Kathleen Madigan.  The St Louis comic went from unknown to international comic in just ten years, and her latest album “Madigan Again” from 2013 is a riot.  She’s been a frequent guest on every late night talk show, she’s had 3 Comedy Central specials and 2 HBO specials, and she sells out pretty much everywhere she performs.  She will more than likely have two of Houston’s better up and comers on as feature act and host.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and the tickets are $33.00.

 

Fitzgerald’s will be bringing American dirt sounds of Cody Canada & The Departed to town.  The Southern rock band formed by the Cross Canadian Ragweed singer will put on a heck of a show.  Their latest album, 2014’s “HippieLovePunk” has more soul than it’s predecessor.  The alt country sounds of Houston’s Quiet Morning & The Calamity will be on as direct support, while the folk punk of Houston’s The Ramblin’ Boys will open things up.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a $20.00 cover.

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Moji, Photo: Patrick Davis

You could head to The Nightingale Room to catch the engaging sounds of Houston’s Moji.  The three piece mixes elements of jazz, rock, and soul into one engaging and intriguing package, and their live shows are always entertaining.  The indie pop of Austin’s The Please, Please Me will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a FREE cover.  

 

Satellite Bar will host the cassette release party for Deep Cuts.  The cassette, titled “Gulf Coast Companion Vol.1” contains everything the band released prior to last year’s 7”, “While The House Fills Up.”  There’s also outtakes and rare recordings on the limited edition cassette.  Before Deep Cuts performs, a set from BE Godfrey will occur, and prior to that a tropical pop set from Total Luau will go down.  Colin Hedrick’s new band Thlon will also perform while things get started off by DJ Bud Ice.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $6.00 and the first 20 attendees get a free cassette.

 

You could get your indie rock fix at Rudyard’s when Houston’s A Sundae Drive plays.  This band is like the unsung heroes of Houston indie rock.  Their last album, “The Senseless & the Sound” was a mix of fuzzy guitar, three part harmonies, and hook heavy goodness.  The best part of them is that their live shows are close to the album, so you aren’t caught off guard while you’re singing along to their melodic jams.  Austin’s SkyAcre will be on as direct support and will bring their Unwound meets Mudhoney sound to life.  Their last album, 2013’s “Sacred Ground” is a lil’ screamy, but entertaining as well.  Colorado’s Salt of Sanguine will also be on the bill, while Houston’s Golden Sombrero will bring their Replacements meets REM sound on as openers.  Last year these guys dropped the album “Replacement Level,” and proved that there’s still a place for guitar driven melodies.  The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.

 

If you want to get your dance on, then you could close out the evening at Boondocks for the Blackout Three Year Anniversary show.  To celebrate the crew of Leckie, Act Badd, Hyro and Ape Drums will perform before NYC’s Jubilee.  Jubilee has made quite the name for herself and her sets are usually known to be lit.  Check out her jams here as they’re definitely on point.  The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and tickets between $5.00 and $7.00.

 

Saturday you can start things over at Fitzgerald’s when the fake communist band, Commie Hilfiger performs.  I mean, they could be retired KGB agents living in Houston and playing comedic punk rock tunes, or they’re just guys who have an entertaining set.  The blazingly fast and energetic punk of Houston’s Some Nerve will go on as direct support.  These guys are set to release a new album soon, but their 2014 release, “Some Nerve” is definitely one of those albums to check out.  The skate punk of Austin’s Sober Daze will go on prior, while the melodic punk intensity of Houston’s Action Frank will go on beforehand.  Houston’s Shut Out will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.

Vacation Eyes

Vacation Eyes, Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook

Over at Continental Club, the legendary sounds of Houston’s Josefus will perform.  Credited for bridging the gap between American and British hard rock, these guys had that sweet Led Zeppelin sound back in 1969 mixed with Southern goodness.  They VERY Rarely perform anymore, so this show is a real treat.  They’ve reissued the bulk of their catalog, and their classic 1970 album “Dead Man” is still as amazing today as it was back then.  Houston psych rockers, Vacation Eyes will be on hand to open things up and as direct support.  So, this band lead by Jenny Hoyston of Erase Errata is an insane trip to see perform.  Last year they released a live album, “Live At The Orange Show,” that only offers a glimpse into their amazing sound.  This is a really solid show that might sell out.  The 21 & up event has doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.

 

If that’s not your thing then you could go to Revention Center for the powerhouse sounds of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.  These two know how to get down and throw a hell of a party.  If you missed them a couple of years ago at FPSF, then this is your chance to catch them do their thing.  Their latest single, “Downtown” is popping off and they should be dropping a new album sooner than later.  There’s no word of an opener, but that will likely change.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are $49.50.

 

House of Creeps will have a set from Austin garage punks, Sailor Poon.  Here in support of last year’s “Pooney Tunes,” the all female group should be entertaining.  The high energy of Houston’s United Waves will be on beforehand and the pop punk of Houston’s The Ancient Gods will go on prior.  Like all of these shows, more bands will more than likely get added.  More details are available here with doors at 8:00 and a TBA cover.

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Bang Bangz, Photo: Wonky Power Records

Walters will have a show featuring a set from Houston electronic quartet Bang Bangz.  This band has done quite a lot in a short time frame, aside from starting Wonky Power Records and an entertaining live show, they have a considerable amount of plays on Spotify with their latest single, “Let Go.”  Houston DJ Squincy Jones will drop a set prior, and a pop heavy electro rock set from one man band JERK will go on as well.  A special performance from Trippy Cholo and the crazed energy of Gio Chamba will also be on the bill, while things get started off with a set from Houston’s FLCON FCKER.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.  

 

Over at Satellite Bar you can stare at the floor while being pigeon toed when they present the Destroy My Sweater show.  The evening full of emo tributes will feature cover sets of bands like The Get Up Kids, Alkaline Trio, Saves The Day and more performed by Valens, The Medicine Years, Action Frank and more.  The evening will get headlined by a Weezer cover band called Weezhur, and there’s even an ugly emo sweater contest.  The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages and the tickets are between $8.00 and $10.00.  All of the information can be found here.

 

On Sunday you could make your way over to Joke Joint Comedy Showcase to catch Ku Egenti & The Ladies of Comedy.  Ku is a pretty funny guy who will host the evening full of funny Houston female comics.  Sets from Brit Vasicek, Roxy Haze, Emerald Gearing, Tressa Eleby, and Nissi Lamark are all set to go down.  The show will be headlined by Houston’s Netra Babin who should leave everyone in stitches.  The 18 & up show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $16.00 and $18.00.

 

If you’d rather relive your formative years, then you could go to House of Blues to catch Breaking Benjamin “unplugged.”  The acoustic set from the Pennsylvania five piece could be worth making it out for.  They might still plug in to showcase some of the songs from last year’s “Dark Before Dawn,” as well.  The cinematic rock of Ohio’s Starset will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $35.00 and $50.00.

 

Rudyard’s will have the blues alt rock duo The Peach Kings in from LA.  These two make an intriguing mixture of blues, rock, and alt pop.  Kind of like The White Stripes but reversed, their 2014 EP “Mojo Thunder” is pretty catchy and impressive.  The electronic folk of California’s Smoke Season will be there as direct support.  While they seem a little closer to electro pop at times, their 2014 album “Hot Coals Hot Souls” is worth giving a listen to.  The soulful sounds of Houston’s Moji will be there to add their highly energetic and jazz infused sound as openers.  The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets between $8.00 and $10.00.

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Tanlines,Photo: Columbine Goldsmith

Over at Walters you can get your groove on when Brooklyn’s Tanlines come to town.  The electro pop duo has been getting more and more popular by the minute, and they’re known for a really fun live show.  Their latest album, last year’s “Highlights” seems to be the favorite of many people.  The dance pop of Houston’s Wrestlers will be on as direct support & opener.  Now a full four piece, David & Aiden have some serious pop on their name and you should already know that they have lit live shows.  Last year they dropped the single “Perennial (feat. Shy Girls)” which showed everyone what level they’re on.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.

 

Monday you can go to House of Blues to catch Southern California ska-punk of Reel Big Fish.  I had forgot they were a band before I typed this, but they have had a slew of hits & when I saw them in the day they were entertaining.  Their last album was a holiday one in 2014 called “Happy Skalidays.”  California’s Suburban Legends will bring their choreographed dance moves and ska tunes to the show as direct support, while the pop punk of California’s The Maxies will open things up.  The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets are $20.00.

 

On Tuesday you might want to make it over for the grand opening of The Raven Tower.  The icehouse that was promised to be connected to White Oak Music Hall will be opened and christened with a set from The Delta Spirit’s Matthew Logan Vasquez.  Vasquez will be playing tunes from his latest solo effort, last year’s “Austin” EP.  The always engaging guitar sounds of Houston’s Kelly Doyle will be on as direct support, while the country twang of Houston’s Grand Old Grizzly will also perform.  They’ll be playing tunes from their back catalog alongside songs from last year’s “Cosmonada.”  DJ Fredster will open the all ages show with doors at 6:30.  It’s FREE for 21 & up with RSVP, and $5.00 for minors.

 

Over in the Warehouse Live greenroom, you can catch the trippy dark wave sounds of Oakland’s The Soft Moon.  This guy drops jams that are like a creepy version of Bauhaus, and he’s crafted quite the legend around his live sets.  His latest release, last year’s “Deeper” is a trip that can make you dance while it also gives you nightmares.  There’s no word of an opener on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and a $10.00 cover.

 

If you were a fan of the band Alexisonfire, then you could head to House of Blues to catch their singer’s band, City and Colour.  The massively popular acoustic project will be here in support of last year’s “If I Should Go Before You,” where they stretched their legs as far as their sound goes.  Austin’s Greyhounds will be on the bill as well on the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $30.00 and $45.00.

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Obnox, Photo: Courtesy of Artist

At Walters you can get your punk fix when the bizarre sounds of Cleveland’s Obnox make an appearance in town.  Like a sonic assault of avant garde punk meets noise, this band has made quite the name for themselves as an act to catch live.  Their latest album, last year’s “The Juke That Sat by the Door” is weird and trippy.  The legendary no wave sounds of Cleveland punk legends X Blank X will also be on the bill.  You can hear them here, though you’re kind of crazy if you miss them on this show as they never tour down here.  The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $7.00 and $10.00.

 

That’s really about it in a week that has more than enough options for what to do.  No matter what you decide to do, please do it in the safest way possible.