No Problem: The Best of The Week
Chance The Rapper. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
As we start to see tours make their way through town while the year starts its final descent into the holiday season, there’s still more than enough happening around town. This week acts like Chance The Rapper, Bad Religion and Gang of Four will stop by, while local acts keep the home fires burning as well. Houston, here’s where to spend your paycheck this week.
Wednesday you can begin at Raven Tower of the indie singer songwriter tunes of Ohio’s Adam Torres. Torres has made the name for his intense songwriting and intimate performances. Noted and hailed by Pitchfork and NPR for his soft vocals, he’ll be in town supporting his newest with Fat Possum Records, this year’s Pearls to Swine. Co-headlining the set is Thor Harris, percussionist of Swans, who is on the show under Thor & Friends. What he has in-store is an orchestral mix from what I’ve heard, but Harris plays in all sorts of groups including Gretchen’s Disco Plague; so anything is possible. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $10 and $13.
You could head to Satellite Bar for the punk n roll sounds of Houston’s ESE. These guys take the Texabilly punk sound and twist it with an intense and crazed live show. The leather punk of Houston’s Hell’s Engine will provide direct support while the psychobilly of The Nelsons go on prior. The eighties style hardcore of Mugrero will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
If that’s not your bag then you could get groovy with Surf Nite at Arlo’s Ballroom as The Phantom Royals show up to mysteriously play all of your surf rock favorites. If that weren’t enough, a special DJ set from Senior Jukebox will follow their set for the 21 & up show that starts around 8 pm and is 100% FREE.
Thursday you can start in the ballroom at Warehouse Live when Opeth brings their brand of proggy Swedish death metal to town. If they’re not your thing just remember that the heavy hand of metal from Austin’s The Sword will be on hand as direct support and openers. Riding high off of two critically acclaimed albums, last year’s High Country and the companion to it, this year’s Low Country, these guys never disappoint live. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $35 and $38.
Gang of Four. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
House of Blues will have the oddest billing to come through town of the week, when The Faint stops by to perform. It’s not strange that the Nebraska based indie rock group that adds strange electronica to their songs is coming, in fact their latest drop the retrospective release Capsule: 1999-2016 is cool. No, it’s the fact that new wave punk legends Gang Of Four will be the band’s direct support. It’s not the fact that this British four-piece formed in the late seventies, or the fact that their debut album Entertainment is the blueprint for so many modern indie rock and punk bands today, it’s that they never come here and they’re definitely worth seeing. Their last proper full length What Happens Next is a trip and worth checking out. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $25.
At Eastdown Warehouse you can catch the 40th Anniversary and final tour of UK punk four-piece The Vibrators. Though the band never became massively successful, they’ve definitely proven that some bands can keep it going for a really long time. Their latest album Punk Mania-Back To The Roots stays in line with their melodic brand of punk rock. Houston’s Killer Hearts will bring their high energy sleaze rock on as direct support and a yet-to-be-named opener will still be added for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $10.
Deep Cuts. Photo: Lauren Holshouser
Upstairs at White Oak Music Hall you can get your Gulf coast indie rock fix when the guys from Deep Cuts stop by to perform. Fresh from tour, the band should bring their latest Gulf Coast Companion Vol. 1 and their new single True To You to life. Austin’s Tamarron will bring their psych sounds on as direct support while the high energy of Houston’s Young Girls will go on before. The Lories will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm for the FREE show for adults, or $5 for those under 21.
You can get in all the laughs over at Avant Garden for Gabe Bravo’s GODDAMMIT Comedy Show. Houston’s one man party & laugh machine Gabe Bravo has definitely taken the plunge into comedy, he’s toured with Todd Barry, and he even hosts a radio show on 90.1. This show is technically a showcase where the likes of Ron Funches and many more have stopped by to make appearances. The 21 & up show happens every Thursday, it’s pay what you want, and it starts at 9 pm.
Handsomebeast. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
You could end Thursday night over at Continental Club when the highly energized rock of Houston’s Handsomebeast stops by to perform. These guys made a pretty solid album last year with SexyFaceReactionTime, but their live show is where it’s at. The 21 & up show has the soulful indie rock of Mind Shrine with the get down electronia of Rex Hudson on as opener with doors at 10 pm for the $5 show.
Friday you can get started at Revention Center when the legendary Elvis Costello stops by to drop a set. Costello gave us hits like “Allison,” “Radio, Radio,” and has since reinvented his sound multiple times. His latest releases have been retrospective collections, minus a release with The Roots, but that shouldn’t matter. The pop country rock duo Larkin Poe will open the all ages show with doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $39.60 and $79.50.
Bad Religion. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
If you’d rather get your punk on, then you could head to the ballroom at Warehouse Live for Bad Religion. Stints with major labels and a ton of records that sound about the same haven’t stopped these legends whose latest album True North from three years ago was a welcomed return to their earlier speed. The rumor is that they have a new album coming sooner than later. The intense energy of Against Me! will be on hand as direct support though I hear that it’s actually a double billing with both playing full sets. Against Me! just dropped the new album Shape Shift With Me as well. The all ages show has doors at 6:30 pm and tickets between $29.50 and $32.50.
Speaking of legends, Echo & the Bunnymen will finally make their way down here over at House of Blues. I shouldn’t have to sell this show too hard, as hits like “Lips Like Sugar,” “The Killing Moon,” and “Nocturnal Me” should be enough reason to catch the eighties British post punk legends. Their latest release, 2014’s Meteorites, is a trip, though I’m sure most of you will go to hear tracks from 1987’s Echo & the Bunnymen. Oklahoma post rockers Ester Drang will open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $30 and $49.00.
Over at Valhalla at Rice University you can catch the underground hip hop of LA’s Open Mike Eagle. Eagle drops pretty crazy live sets as well as jams from his storied discography. Last year he dropped the EP A Special Episode Of that showcased his strength on a mic. His latest, this year’s Hella Personal Film Festival is easily his best release to date and worth making it out for. The high energy indie rock of Houston’s Young Mammals will be on hand as direct support while the electro pop jams of -Us. will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm for the 100% FREE show.
The Gooch Palms. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Instagram
Australia’s The Gooch Palms will bring their lo-fi pop rock goodness over to Walters. This two-piece plays endearing and fun tunes that you can dance to and their live sets are always worth checking out. Their latest release, this year’s Introverted Extroverts just proves that they have plenty of great tunes left. Houston indie rockers Cleen Teens will provide direct support while the garage rock sounds of The Hammer Party will bring their crazed intensity beforehand. DJ Miss Champagne will open things up with a DJ set for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $7 and $10.
The Waughford will have a barn burner when Another Run stops by to test their new songs out on those in attendance. While the band puts the finishing touches on their latest full length, you can get down to their crazed energy in an intimate setting. The energetic indie sounds of Austin’s Otis The Destroyer will also be on hand while the soulful alt rock of King Finn will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a $10 cover.
On Saturday you can start off over at the East End Street Fest. Live sets from Chicano Batman, Trippy Cholo and more alongside workshops, food and all sorts of activities will be on display. There’s more information here for the all ages event that starts around noon. Tickets are between $10 and $12 but kids under the age of 12 years old are FREE.
Lyric Michelle. Photo: Courtesy of Artist/Facebook
At 8th Wonder Brewery you can “Screw Up The Vote” when Screwed Up Click drops by to perform. Sets from Paul Wall, Lyric Michelle, Dat Boi T, Dirty & Nasty, Bombon & Waxaholics will all be on hand. The 21 & up show hosted by Matt Sonzala gets going around 4 pm and is 100% FREE with RSVP found here.
Revention Center will have the massively popular hip hop of Chicago’s Chance The Rapper. Riding high after joints on works from Kanye and Madonna, Chance showed up this year with the amazing sounding album Coloring Book. His live show is rumored to be crazy, and without word of direct support or opener, this show is his alone. The all ages event has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $39.50 and $59.50.
Over at Rec Room you can get all the feels when Hearts Of Animals swing by the relatively new venue to perform. While it’s becoming hard to wait for their new album Human Size, 2014’s Another Mutation will always hold up and will be revered for years to come as both albums will be performed in their entirety at this show. Indie rock darlings, Galveston/Houston’s El Lago will be on hand as direct support and openers for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $18 and $20.
Frog Hair. Photo: Erin Dance
Rockefeller’s is re-opening and the trippy psych rock of Houston’s Frog Hair will be performing in celebration of the venue’s return. Aside from the fact that my dad took me to Rockefeller’s to see concerts as a kid, you can’t deny how strong Frog Hair is as a live act. The acid induced visuals only magnify the complexities of their new album A Long List of Shortcomings. The punk n’ roll of The Velostacks will energetically be on hand as direct support while the indie pop rock of Slow Future will open the 100% FREE 21 & up show with doors at 7 pm.
Continental Club will host a set from indie rocker and Houston native turned Austin transplant Walker Lukens. Lukens has been on a tear lately, playing a ton of shows all over. He also just dropped a pretty popular single called “The Touch” produced by Jim Eno of Spoon fame. He’ll bring his energy while The Eastern Sea will provide their brand of indie folk as direct support. Vas Deferens will open the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $12.
Over at Satellite Bar they’ll be celebrating new manager, Whitney Andrew’s birthday for the Shakin’ All Over Dance Party. While Mikey from Mikey & the Drags spins sixties era dance jams, I’ll swing by to guest bartend and take CD’s, vinyls, and downloads from bands who’ve been trying to get their material to me. The all ages event has doors at 8 pm and starts around 10 pm, and is 100% FREE.
On Sunday you could head to Deep End Records for their Horchata Art Market & Brunch in conjunction with Honeybones. The all ages affair will feature local wares from tons of artists alongside $2 Lone Stars and small batch horchata as well. More details are here, it starts around 2 pm, and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Walters they’ll be hosting VHS Night featuring a trio of horror classics involving Texas and a chainsaw. The all ages event has doors at 7 pm and it’s FREE to attend.
Nicolas Jaar. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Monday at White Oak Music Hall you could catch the experimental dance jams of New York born and Chile raised producer, Nicolas Jaar. Jaar has made a name for himself for being pretty unpredictable and his latest drop Sirens from this year is no exception to that rule. There’s no word of support or opener for the all ages show happening downstairs with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $20 and $27.
Warehouse Live will be bringing in the alt R&B stylings of Toronto duo Majid Jordan. Best known for their collabs with Drake, these two have made quite the stir in the R&B world. They’re rumored to have insane live sets and their new album Majid Jordan is a definite trip. There’s no word of support or openers, though that’ll likely change for the all ages show with doors at 8 pm in the ballroom. Tickets are between $26.50 and $27.
MARA. Photo: Bandcamp
On Tuesday White Swan will have a set from California hardcore and death metal crossover group, MARA. I like how these guys’ music kind of scares me, and their new album No Free World is definitely a little scary. Houston’s Torture will provide direct support duties while powerviolence grindcore band, Houston’s SPARSE will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and a measly $3 cover.
That’s about all that’s happening this week. While you enjoy the great weather we’re having, please remember to be safe out there and that a safe ride home is easier than it used to be.