Nights & Weekends: The Best of The Week
Cold War Kids, Photo: Joshua Mellin
Well, I certainly hope that many of you are getting out and enjoying this rad streak of weather we’ve been having. I’m sure many of you are wondering what this little video all the “cool kids” having been posting is all about. Well, I can say that FPH will drop the details behind it tomorrow on Thursday. Last week we saw plenty of entertainment options, and this week there’s just as many. Legends in the making like Cold War Kids, pictured above will be rolling through town this week. Houston, here’s where you should spend the next seven days.
Wednesday you can get started over at Walter’s when they host the Baton Rouge duo of Moon Honey. Hailed by critics from Vice, New York Times, and everyone in-between, the two piece has created their own sonic landscape within each and every song. Lush arpeggiated vocals that sit atop a multi-faceted guitar is a great way to describe their sound. Their 2013 album, “Hand-Painted Dream Photographs” should give you an idea of their indescribable sound. Joined by a Houston act that has their own sound, Satellite D’Homme will be there as direct support. These guys are more than a band containing Gio Chamba on bass and members of Tax The Wolf; but more of a mix of dual vocals and jammed out songs. They take soul and psych elements and create their own thing while adding a highly energetic live show. Getting the show started will be the indie electro pop of Camera Cult, who’s definitely worth getting there early for. The all ages show will have doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $8.00 and $10.00.
Barbarella will have the emo pop of Chicago’s Dowsing perform. Dowsing is like a mix of Knapsack, Small 23, and Rainer Maria. Their 2013 full length, “I Don’t Even Care Anymore,” is pretty amazing, and their latest, “Annabel/Dowsing” Split is just as grand. They’ll have the mixture of several of Houston well known artists with PHOEBE there, as well as Houston’s Middlechild. While I don’t know what PHOEBE sounds like, I can attest to the power of Middlechild. They remind me of Sentridoh and Guided By Voices being played through an old amplifier owned by Stephen Malkmus of Pavement. Their latest album, “Middlechild” is pretty good, and they’re definitely worth checking out. The doors are at 8:00 and the cover is $5.00 at the door on the 21 & up show.
Tom Green, Photo: AP Images
On Thursday you might want to start off at Improv, when former MTV talk show host and actor Tom Green comes to town. The Canadian born funnyman is just as animated in person as he is on television, and his 2013 album, “Tom Green: Live” is pretty hilarious. As per all of these shows, two of Houston’s better comics will serve as host and feature act. The doors for Thursday are at 7:15, the doors for Friday are at 7:00 and 9:00, and the doors for Saturday are at 6:00 and 8:00; while all shows have tickets between $22.00 and $35.00.
If you missed Utopiafest this year, then you can go to Walter’s to catch the after party featuring Canada’s Les Hay Babies. The indie folk three piece drops in English and French verses while they segue way between acoustic guitar and banjo with ease. Their latest release, “Mon Homesick Heart” from last year is pretty incredible, and they’re known for an intense live show. The Austin/San Marcos folk four piece, The Deer will be there as direct support. This group plays what they call avant folk, but it’s more like a modern day Emmylou Harris sound. They just dropped an album that’s called, “On the Essence of the Indomitable Spirit,” that’s pretty good. Of course, the show is rounded out by the alt country of Houston’s Second Lovers. This show will be just a duo from nick and Thomas, and a stripped down acoustic set of the band’s works. Their newest single, “Hold On” is a departure from their past while adding the newer elements of dual vocals and keeping the essence of their core sound intact. The show is all ages, the doors are at 8:00, and tickets are between $7.00 and $10.00.
You could head to Beta Theater for a double dose of improv, starting with the Flirt Reynolds crew. Starting with just a single word from the audience, this troupe goes from zero to one hundred pretty fast, while making you laugh the whole time. Things start around 8:00 and the BYOB show has a $6.00 cover. Stick around if you want to see another improv troupe when Beta’s in house crew, BetaMax performs. I’ve seen this group take improv to a whole new level while keeping everyone entertained from start to finish. This show begins around 9:00 or so, and it also has a $6.00 cover.
Continental Club will have the New soul funk act, Tightn’ Up on hand. I’ve seen them perform several times now, and I’m telling you that you’re gonna’ want to catch them live. The large and in charge sounds of Hayden Jones & The Roosevelt House Band will open the 21 & up show. This collective has tons of swagger and energy, and they’re definitely worth getting there early for. The doors are at 9:00 and the cover is a measly $5.00.
On Friday you should start off over at Firehouse Saloon when Lawrence, Kansas’ Sweet Ascent brings their second wave emo sounds to town. These guys remind me a bit of bands like Saves The Day and Say Anything, and their 2015 album, “War” is pretty good. There’s a ton of local acts on this bill, starting with hard rock act, Emerge. The five piece kind of has that sludgy Tool sound, and should be interesting to see live. The show will also host A Vow Unbroken, 14th Drive, Dallas’ Page 9, Port Arthur’s Xwansongs, Excessive Pleasure, and the horror punk of Houston’s Brumes. While I haven’t seen the bulk of these bands before, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go see them. There’s some more bands on the bill with doors at 6:00 and tickets between $10.00 and $12.00.
If you like butts and you cannot lie, then you could stop off at Catacomb to see “Sorry So Sloppy” a collection of drawings of butts by Austin Smith. You might know Austin from bands like A Sea Es and his latest, Jerk. The details haven’t been dropped yet, but I’m guessing they’ll have an opening reception with adult beverages. It should be all ages with doors at 7:00, but more details are available here.
Down at Scout Bar, you could go catch Local H. Though after hearing how they acted towards their fans from someone who toured with them kind of turned me off; I will say that they put on a strong live show. You’ll know them from their hit song, “Bound For The Floor,” but their new album from this year, “Hey, Killer” is pretty strong. Going on prior will be the murky psych rock trio, Ganesha of Pasadena. You know how garage rock was misinterpreted by kids in their twenties as psych rock about five years ago? Well these guys are a mix of actual psych and stoner rock, and are definitely worth getting there early for. Houston’s Carmeci opens the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $12.00 & $15.00.
Mucky Duck will have Austin alt country act, Reckless Kelly for two shows. Since the late nineties, these guys have played their brand of old school country meets alternative country like only they can. Their debut album, “Millican” is as amazing as their most recent, 2013’s “Long Night Moon.” These guys are truly amazing to catch live, and seeing them as close as you can at this venue is a real treat. There’s a 7:00 and a 9:30 show, and both have tickets between $30.00 and $33.00.
Pete Holmes, Photo: Jeremy Freeman
Warehouse Live will have the funny humor of the massively popular Pete Holmes in the ballroom. Briefly, Holmes had his own hilarious show on TBS, he’s filled venues all over the world, and his latest full length album, “Nice Try, The Devil” from 2013 is insanely funny. Holmes has been on pretty much every place where they allow comics on television including Comedy Central, Conan, Jimmy Fallon, as well as drawing cartoons for the New Yorker and writing for NBC’s “Outsourced.” He has an opener who hasn’t been announced yet, while Houston’s Gabe Bravo will be there to get the show started. This show will sell out, it’s all ages, the doors are at 7:30 and the tickets are between $28.00 and $32.00.
Rudyard’s & Pegstar will host the stoner rock of New Jersey’s The Atomic Bitchwax. The three piece plays a mix of stoner and seventies groove rock. they’re known for a crazy live show, and their most recent album, this year’s “Gravitron” is pretty tight. Washington three piece and purveyors of that seventies rock vibe, Mos Generator will be there as direct support. Their most recent release is a two song called “Isaak,” and it sounds like it was made forty years ago. Detroit’s Against The Grain will be there to open things up, while bleeding ears in the process. These guys play fast, loud, and without apology. The 21 & up show has doors at 8:00 and tickets for $15.00.
Peanut Butter Wolf, Photo: Daniel Shaked
Over at Last Concert Cafe, Stones Throw Records will be bringing the epic jams of Peanut Butter Wolf to town. Okay, this guy not only founded Stones Throw, but he’s a freaking badass and has been since the late eighties. The San Jose native is a groundbreaking DJ and producer, and if you just gave his 2002 album, “The Best of Peanut Butter Wolf” a spin, you’d know what I’m talking about. Joining him, will be another amazing act, J. Rocc of the Beat Junkies. Rocc has DJ’ed for Madlib, and he’s an insane act to catch live. His producer work is top notch, and his latest, “Beats On Tape” from last year is insane. New Jersey producer Knxwledge will also be there, and will bring his latest, “Hud Dreems” to life. Detroit rhyme-slayer Guilty Simpson will also be on hand, and should blow most in attendance away with his mic skills. He’s appeared on albums by J Dilla and Madlib, and his most recent is a single, “Fractured (feat. Fat Ray).” Homeboy Sandman of Queens will open the all ages show up. The doors are at 8:00 and tickets are between $20.00 and $25.00 for this killer lineup.
You can close your Friday night off over at MKT Bar for another round of the Beta Bracket Comedy Competition, presented by Beta Theater. There’s 12 weeks of this thing while comics from all over Texas compete for a shot at $3,000.00 in cold hard cash. For those who don’t know, that’s the highest paid out competition in the entire state. You can help make or break a comic’s year because it’s audience vote. This week, the host is the always fun and hilarious comic, Kristin Lindner. With TV credits to her name and an always funny set, she should wow audience members while they hold their sides with laughter. The show is all ages, it starts at 10:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Saturday you should get going with an in-store performance from Houston’s Kyle Hubbard over at Cactus Records. I’ve heard his latest album, “Majestic Hotel,” and this is your chance to get a physical copy as well as what will more than likely be a dope live set. It’s all ages, it starts at 1:00, and I’m guessing they’ll have comped beer as well.
Deer Tick, Photo: Anna Webber
Over in Discovery Green, another year of Untapped Fest will be taking place, headlined by Cold War Kids. So, these guys are pretty damn intense live. I caught them when they were starting and they didn’t have half the catalog they do today. Their latest, “Five Quick Cuts” follows the massively popular “Hold My Home” from last year. They’ve grown a ton since they blew up with their 2006 hit, “Hang Me Up To Dry,” and they’re definitely worth catching live. Florida’s Twin Shadow will go on prior, and will bring his jams from his crazy catalog to the masses. This guy is a trip to see live, and he has a ton of popular jams to his credit. This year he dropped “Eclipse” to massive fanfare. One of the greatest songwriters going, John McCauley will be there as well with his full band, Deer Tick in tow. The Providence four piece is pretty damn amazing to see live, and one of my favorite bands around. Their 2013 album, “Negativity” is so amazing, and they’re a band you should see for sure. Lucky for you, the most underrated performer in Houston, Fat Tony will also be there. Tony transcends hip hop trends, and he seriously blows me away with each and every performance. His latest single, “Sushi” with Asher Roth should be your jam like it is mine. The soulful electro pop tunes of Denton’s Sarah Jaffe will also be on the festival bill. Her latest, this year’s “Visions” finds her in her element and is easily her best work to date. One of Houston’s best indie rock bands, New York City Queens will also be there, and will be performing some of their new songs alongside fan favorites. The four piece captures the vibes of The Strokes while still having their own sound, and is always an amazing act to see live. Gio Chamba will be there as well, and will more than likely gain more fans than he already has. After blowing minds at this year’s FPSF, the digital Cumbia artist dropped an EP, and continues to step up his insane live set. If you’ve never experienced one of his shows, you’ve been missing out. A DJ set from Houston’s Wrestlers will open things up, and will hopefully contain at least one of their newer songs from their upcoming full length. This is a really great lineup, and there’s tons of beers on hand as well. Over sixty different breweries will be on hand to help you enjoy yourself. The Wrestlers DJ set is part of a VIP experience, which starts at 2:30, but general admission is at 3:30 with NYCQ starting at 4:20. The tickets are between $32.00 and $60.00 on the all ages show.
House of Blues will be bringing the insanely popular indie folk of Sweden’s The Tallest Man On Earth to town. It’s hard to believe that this guy is from Sweden, because his voice sounds like a grizzled trucker from someplace american like Montana. He’s had plenty of hits, and his latest album, “Dark Bird Is Home” is pretty amazing. The beautifully engaging indie pop of Maryland’s Lady Lamb will be there as direct support. So, aside from her gorgeous voice, this woman makes songs you can dance to or fall in love to. Her newest release, this year’s “After” is her best to date, and she should be great to see live. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets are between $30.35 and $46.37.
If you’d rather stay local, you could head to Black Barbie for Josiah Gabriel. The future bass producer is definitely due for an album release sooner than later, but that doesn’t mean that you should miss him do his thing live. The hip hop of JOn Black will also be on hand, while the always entertaining jams of Pitter Patter will also be on the bill. If you missed him go off with black kite at Walter’s a couple of weeks ago, then I’ll just say that you’re missing out. This guy goes hard and he definitely deserves a bigger fanbase. The tripped out noise rock of MOTHS will also be there on a versus set with Ghost Police of San Antonio; which should be a trip to witness. Things are opened by the proggy sounds of Sunrise and Ammunition for the all ages show with doors at 8:00 and a $5.00 cover.
If you’d rather get your punk fix, then you could stop off at Rudyard’s for late seventies Austin punks The NEXT. The band is actually reuniting for this show, and a short documentary about them will be featured as well. The fast and furious punk of Houston’s Zeroheros will go on prior. These guys play unapologetic punk, the bulk of their songs aren’t over the two minute mark, and their latest, “Zeroheros” from this year is pretty tight. The tight and seventies punk sounds of Houston’s Talk Sick Brats will open things up. The 21 & up show has doors at 9:00 and an $8.00 cover.
Over at Big Top, you could go see the twangy sounds of Knoxville’s John Paul Keith. So, this guy tells stories like Warren Zevon, but with a hint of John Prine if Redd Volkaert was his guitarist. Keith has the kind of sound that’s american, rock, country, and pretty much everything else. Known as a consummate showman, his latest release was 2013’s “Memphis Circa 3am,” and it’s pretty epic. The 21 & up show has doors at 10:00 and a paltry $5.00 cover.
Kiki Maroon, Photo: Miles Love Studios
Sunday you can start the day at The Corkscrew for another edition of The Sketchbook Saloon. This time, one of the kindest, funniest, and sexiest females in Houston, Kiki Maroon will be on hand for artists to draw. I think most people who know Kiki would tell you that she’s a naturally funny and extremely hard working woman, and definitely proves that being in burlesque is about 20% beauty and 80% hard work. The creator of the Sordid Sideshow, radio co-host, and now two sold out burlesque fests, Maroon is definitely someone who you’d want to sketch. If you’re a member, it’s a $10.00 cover, if you’re not, then it’s a $15.00 cover, and if you wanna’ take pics, then it’s $20.00. Bring your own supplies, don’t gawk, and know that the 21 & up event now co-hosted by Dem Damn Dames burlesque performer Honey Moonpie alongside the show creator Hannah Bull, gets going at 1:00. More details are available here.
Over at Continental, they’ll have an early show when the legendary sounds of Trudy Lynn take the stage. The Houston blues singer recently performed at the Continental Club anniversary show, and she sounded as fresh as ever. The Stax styled singer has been around since the sixties, and her latest, last year’s “Royal Oaks Blues Cafe” is in line with her insane catalog of tunes. The ever popular blues of Houston’s The Mighty Orq will be there as well, though I’m not sure if it’s a solo or full band set. His 2008 album, “To The Bone” is pretty insane, and his live solo or full band performances are always entertaining. Bob Lanza will open the 21 & up show with doors at 2:00 and a $10.00 cover.
In the Warehouse Live greenroom, there’s a hip hop show for charity called the Small Hands, Big Dreams charity event. The all ages affair features Doughbeezy, Stoppa, SoulOfSherif, and many more. There’s a ton more artists with doors at 3:00 and tickets between $25.00 and $45.00 for VIP. The VIP option includes early entry.
Later on, also at Warehouse Live, San Diego electro two piece El Ten Eleven will be here over in the studio. I say electro, but in reality they use live drums and guitars to create an intense experience for the listener and the audience when they perform. Their most recent album is this year’s “Fast Forward,” and it’s a lil’ more funky than their works of the past. The utah born and LA living duo, Sego will be there as opener and direct support. These two craft electro pop, and their new release, “Fool Around” is a fun and danceable single worth checking out. The all ages show has doors at 7:00 and tickets are between $15.00 and $18.00.
Rudyard’s will be bringing the road weary sounds of Nashville’s Joe Fletcher to the upstairs bar. Like a mix of country twang, Bob Dylan’s prose, and Son House’s guitar, Fletcher is a hell of an artist to see live. His latest, last year’s “You’ve Got the Wrong Man” is a tour de force. The country punk of Houston’s Johnny Rioux will be there as direct support, while the Americana meets folky punk undertones of Jason Bancroft and The Wealthy Beggars will be on prior. These guys just dropped a great release with “Home,” and their live shows are as intense as they are energetic. The bluegrass folkabilly of Houston’s Son Of Bitch will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8:00 and a $10.00 cover.
On Monday, you can make it over the studio at Warehouse Live for the hip hop of Alabama’s Mick Jenkins. Jenkins has been poppin’ off since he dropped last year’s “The Water[s].” Most rappers would tour relentlessly, but Jenkins dropped another release this year with “Wave[s],” and the tour is happening now. He’ll have French producer STWO as direct support on the bill as well. STWO has been getting all sorts of praise, and he should be a tight act to see live. Paris’ Myth Sizer will be there to drop his produced jams, while Ohio’s jStock will open things up. The all ages show has doors at 8:00 and tickets between $19.50 & $25.00.
Alley Kat will get a little louder, when they have Burger Records artists Plastic Pinks. The Miami based five piece looks like a mix of Thin Lizzy and those guys who are making music with Julian from The Strokes. Their sound is seventies garage glam, and their new single “Livin’ On the Coast” is a good representation of their sound. The punk of Houston’s Zeroheros will be on as direct support, while Houston’s We Were Wolves will be there to bring their high energy rock to life. This year they dropped an EP, “Ruin Your Weekend” that showed growth while keeping their sound intact. Late nineties pop punk holdovers, Kemo For Emo will open the 21 & up show with a paltry $3.00 cover and 8:00 doors.
The Get Up Kids, Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Tuesday, Walter’s will be hosting the 20th anniversary tour of The Get Up Kids. Back in the day, I’d guess that I saw these guys no less than ten times. The KC based emo poppers have always made a live show an event, and their most recent album, “There Are Rules” from 2011 is pretty epic. That’s not to say that “Four Minute Mile,” “Something To Write Home About,” and “On A Wire,” aren’t equally as amazing. Massachusetts four piece, The Hotelier will be there as direct support. Their 2014 album, “Home, Like NoPlace Is There,” is amazing, and they’re an incredible live band. The pop rock of Josh Berwanger Band will open the all ages show with doors at 7:00 and tickets between $19.00 and $22.00.
That’s about it, but all in all, another great set of entertaining options. No Matter what you do, please do it in the safest way possible.