No Regrets: The Best of The Week
King Khan & the Shrines. Photo: Sebastien Cuvelier
Things are really starting to feel stacked in our city. With festival season upon us, this week in Houston brings in an array of performances from the likes of King Khan & the Shrines, Jessy Lanza, Mitski and Reverend Horton Heat. Houston, here’s how to navigate the next seven days.
Wednesday you can get going over at Woodlands Pavilion to see the Oakland’s G-Eazy. This guy is definitely popular, but it feels like he’s going to move here soon with as many appearances as he’s made here recently. His latest album, When It’s Dark Out, is full of hits, which you know if you’re already a fan. Logic will be on this bill as direct support, and he’s been in Houston enough in the last year to get his mail here. Yo Gotti will also be on, as will YG who will open the all ages show with gates at 6:30 pm and tickets between $30 and $79.50.
If you don’t want to trek that far, then you could go to Warehouse Live in the green room for the straightforward American rock of Nashville’s Future Thieves. These guys are making quite the name for themselves, they have a nice and catchy sound, and their debut album, Horizon Line from last year, sticks in your head. There’s no word of direct support or opener on the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
Venom Inc. Photo: Andre Smirnoff
Walters will host the dark metal sounds of Venom Inc. Okay, so you need to know right off the bat that this isn’t Venom in the sense that it’s Cronos and pals. This is actually Mantas and Abaddon from the original lineup performing the eras in which they were in the band Venom songs. Of course, because both were in and out of the band over the years, it becomes tricky to say what you’ll actually hear, though I’m guessing easily Welcome To Hell through Possessed era in the least. Ohio based death metal pioneers of the eighties Necrophagia will be on as direct support, while NYC’s SUNLORD will go on beforehand. However, both bands will have their work cut out for them, as the dark metal of Houston’s Peasant will go on prior. If you’ve somehow missed these guys, check out their new EP, Pain Is Near, because it’s pretty nuts. Possibly one of the better new bands in Houston, God Fearing Fuck will bring their d-beat punk meets heavy metal on as openers. If you want to get a little scared, or maybe you just want to hear a solid and fast metal band, check out their latest Wasteland Hymns. The all ages and all metal show has doors at 7 pm and tickets are between $20 and $22.
Nightingale Room will have the indie folk sounds of new Houston trio, Phantom Arcade. I’ve never seen these guys before, but judging from the videos they have posted, they could be pretty good live. Their singer, AP Stark, will bring his folky sounds on in a solo set as opener for the 21 & up show that’s 100% FREE with doors at 7 pm.
If that’s not your deal, then you could swing by Under The Volcano for the country sounds of Wrenfro. You’ve probably never heard of these guys, but considering that there’s members of Fastball and Soulhat, maybe you’ll go see what they’re about now. There’s no word of openers for the 21 & up show with doors at 8 pm and a TBA cover.
Ruiners. Photo: Hannah Gledhill
If you’re more in the mood for punk, then Barbarella will do their best to lure you over for their Dollar Punk Night. I have no idea what that means for the bands playing, but you can’t say they’re asking for a lot. You’ll have three strong acts to check out for your four quarters, with a headlining set from Gast. Gast makes anarcho punk with hints of Killing Joke and The Jam, and their latest, Gast Cassette, is something everyone should own. The “communist era” punk of Houston’s… I mean, Moscow’s Commie Hilfiger will go on as direct support, while one of my favorite new Houston bands, Ruiners will be on hand to open things up. I caught this three-piece a couple of weeks ago, and I was seriously blown away. And, while their debut EP Wasted Years is pretty damn tight, they’re better to see live. The 21 & up show has doors at 9 pm and a $1 cover.
Over at Arlo’s Ballroom, you could get your groove on with Gio Chamba for his Electrotropical Movement dance party. I’m not sure if this is a DJ set or Gio dropping one of his famous live sets, but either way it should be lit as always. The 21 & up event gets going around 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Thursday you can swing by Nightingale Room to catch the reggae meets soul sounds of Austin eight-piece, Cilantro Boombox. Rumor has it that this band is like a ball of energy, and their sound is pretty crazy. Their latest is a single, Fears Away, is a good summation of their sound. The hip hop of Houston’s RYMNA will be on hand as support and opener. If you haven’t heard this guy rock a mic in Def, then you need to hear either of his dope mixtapes. Last year’s (The Unexpected…) was one of my favorites from the year, and this year he just dropped UNDSTRBD, which is more chill but also as equally impressive. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
New Edition. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty
Don’t call it a comeback, because it technically isn’t; but over at Arena Theatre you could relive the eighties when the boy band goodness of New Edition performs. The R&B inspired sounds of this boy band rebirth that followed in the shadow of The Jackson 5 was once the biggest act of the eighties. Featuring Bobby Brown before he was known more for his antics, the group spawned the hits “Candy Girl,” “Cool It Now,” and “Mr. Telephone Man.” After several comebacks, they had more hits with “Can You Stand The Rain” and “I’m Still In Love With You.” I have no clue if they’re good live anymore, but if you’ve always wanted to see them then this might be your last chance. The all ages show has doors at 7 pm and tickets for $99.50.
Mucky Duck will have two shows from the popular roots rock band, American Aquarium. This six piece has been delighting audiences for almost a decade, and they’ve amassed a strong following. Their latest album, Wolves from last year, gained them a wider audience while keeping their core sound intact. The 21 & up shows are at 7 pm and 9:30 pm, and both carry tickets between $25 and $27.
Mikey & the Drags. Photo: Whitney Andrew
Of course, if you want to get some of that good ole’ garage rock, you could make it over to Satellite Bar for the return of Houston’s Mikey & the Drags. Though I’ve heard that they already have a new release ready to go, last year’s Make You Mine sounded like it was recorded in the sixties with modern techniques, and they’re one of the best live bands in Houston. They’ll have the beautiful and multilayered sounds of Kay Weathers on as direct support. Since she doesn’t live in Houston anymore, I feel like you can’t miss her one woman band thing live, and this year’s Songs For Lucy is a mix of beauty and trippy effects that will leave you impressed to say the least. The psych drone of Austin’s Black Liquid Drop will also be on the show, while the bluesy psych goodness of Mojave Red will open things up. This three piece sounds fuller than a lot of bands with more members, and last year’s Creeper proved that the band is ahead of many of their peers. The 18 & up show has doors at 7 pm and an $8 cover.
Walters will be bringing the old school punk of British legends Special Duties to town. These guys have been around since the late seventies, they literally declared war on the band CRASS, and they disbanded in 1983. Around the late nineties they got back together and they’ve been back pretty much ever since. Their latest release is a reissue, last year’s 77 One More Time Expanded. The Potato Pirates from Denver will provide direct support, while the hardcore punk of Houston’s Black Coffee will also play, and probably blow the direct support off of the stage. Seriously, while their latest Livefast is a strong release, their live show is like a hardcore punch to the face. The all ages show gets going with an opening set from hard core band, Substance and has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $12 and $13.
House of Blues will have the hip hop jams of Houston’s DJ XO. XO has made quite the name for himself, he’s known for a crazy live show, and his latest release, XO Like The Drug Reloaded, is definitely on point. There’s no word of support or openers, but I’m sure that’ll change. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets for $15.
Friday you could start with a swing by Fitzgerald’s for the alt pop of Michigan’s Craig Owens. Owens makes this alt pop sound that seems to have a bigger fan base than I thought and his latest release is a two song single called Las Vegas Sessions. The last show for Houston’s A Midnight In Chicago will be on as direct support, while the alt rock of Houston’s In Memory Of will go on prior. Backdrop Violet will also perform and Austin’s Hitting Subset will open the all ages show with doors at 6 pm and tickets between $15 and $25, the latter being a VIP option with meet and greet.
Jon Bellion. Photo: Dave Weiner
House of Blues will host the massively popular sounds of contemporary pop artists Jon Bellion. This guy mixes R&B and hip hop with hints of indie rock and electronica to create his own thing. He’s rumored to have a crazy live show, and this year’s The Human Condition is pretty damn catchy. He’ll have the hip hop of Canada’s Sonreal on as direct support who should make the crowd go crazy when his jam “Can I Get A Witness” plays. Blaque Keyz will bring his hip hop on as opener for the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $18.
Mucky Duck will host two sets from the always amazing sounding Joe Ely. The Amarillo native has been doing his country rock thing for a long time now, and he might be one of the best kept secrets in our state. With hits like “Honky Tonk Masquerade,” and “The Road Goes On Forever,” his latest release Panhandle Rambler is one of his strongest to date, and you don’t get to see him this close very often. The 21 & up shows are at 7 pm and 9:30, and both have tickets between $30 and $33.
Nightingale Room will be bringing in the folky pop of Houston’s Sherita Perez. Sherita might work harder than most people you’ll meet in music, she’s fronted multiple bands, and her latest works are better than anything else she’s done in the past. The dark and folk heavy sounds of John Egan will be on as direct support and opener. This guy plays with a dobro and adds this really soulful and thick voice that makes his sound one you need to hear as soon as possible. His 2014 release Amulet is like hearing the gospel of what blue eyed soul bands wish they sounded like. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
If you’re a fan of the Harrison Ford classic film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, then you should head to Jones Hall to watch the film on the big screen accompanied by the entire John Williams score to be performed by the Houston Symphony Orchestra in it’s entirety. This doesn’t happen often, this was truly the best of these films, and the two night only event is a great way to beat the heat. The all ages shows on Friday and Saturday have tickets between $22 and $115 and have doors at 7:30 pm.
Out at Joke Joint Comedy Showcase, you can catch a weekend from Houston’s John Wessling. Possibly one of the best joke writers in Houston, Wessling is more than just another of The Whiskey Brothers, and his sets are always rife with side splitting jokes. He’ll have the always hilarious Dale Cheesman on as his feature act, and I feel like if you miss Cheesman while you can still see him in a small club, then you’re missing out on a guy who could blow up sooner than later. As always, one of Houston’s better up and coming comics will perform the duties of host on the 18 & up shows at 8 pm and 10:30 pm on both Friday & Saturday, all with tickets between $16 and $18.
Mitski. Photo: Julia Burke
Walters will have the hard-to-describe sounds of Mitski over to perform. Mitski does this intriguing mix of orchestral pop and fuzz rock that sounds like nothing you’ve heard, while still reminding you of so many things. She’s received praise for her live shows and her music from pretty much every music publication, and her new album Puberty 2 is a mix of insanity and beauty. The lo-fi pop of Philly’s Japanese Breakfast will be on hand as direct support. Hailed by everyone from Pitchfork to NPR, her new album Psychopomp sounds like a soulful version of what you wish big label pop music would sound like. The bedroom pop of San Francisco’s Jay Som will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
Even though she was literally just here, you could go by Rudyard’s to catch Canada’s Jessy Lanza. Riding high off of the popularity of her debut single “Kathy Lee,” Lanza has returned with her second album, this year’s catchy and feet-moving Oh No. Mixing R&B influence and electronica vibes, Lanza has been known for trippy live sets and plenty of grooving sounds. She’ll have the crazed footwork sounds of Chicago’s DJ Taye, who was the youngest to join the Teklife crew and his latest release Break It Down is pretty insane. The all ages show has doors at 8 pm and tickets between $10 and $12.
If you want to catch some alt-country goodness, then you should head to D&W Lounge to catch a set from Houston’s Quiet Morning & the Calamity. This band has gone through a lot of changes in the past year, but their core sound that’s a mix of alt country and Americana still shine through. The all ages show gets going around 9 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Continental Club will bring the blue eyed soul of Austin ten-piece The Nightowls over for a late night set. Usually when Austin critics hail a band, I ignore them because most bands up there sound like carbon copies of better bands it seems. But, with this band they aren’t wrong. Full of energy, showmanship and multiple vocals, their live shows are crazy good and their latest single “Clean It Up (Play By The Rules)” is a great example of their sound. The 21 & up show has doors at 10 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
You could close out the night over at Midtown Bar & Grill for the latest edition of Haywire, this time with Chase DuRousseau. DuRousseau is possibly the funniest guy in Houston right now, he’s toured and could be a big deal before you know it. The 21 & up show has doors at 10 pm and it’s a measly $5.
Danimal Cannon. Photo: Chiptography
Saturday you can start off at Fitzgerald’s for the RE:Play XPO w/Lazybit Collective. So this all day affair is basically a ton of video games happening downstairs with prizes being awarded, and then music upstairs. The music side of things gets headlined by New York chiptuner, Danimal Cannon. Cannon has been a fixture in the chiptune world for a good while, his sets are supposed to be insane, and his latest release Lunaria is pretty intense. New York’s Bit Shifter will be on as direct support, while Houston’s SIXIXIX will go on beforehand. Sets from Austin’s Dual Core, Houston’s Ten Pixels Tall, Broken Satellite, Float, and OVERCRASH are all set to perform as well. Houston’s Squincy Jones will kick things off for the all ages event with doors at 4 pm and tickets between $15 and $20.
Over at the White Oak Music Hall Lawn, you can catch the massively popular indie folk duo of Shovels & Rope as part of the Lone Star Beer Texas Heritage Fest. The South Carolina group has been pretty big for a good while, and their latest release, a single called “I Know,” falls in line with their usual sound. Not to be outdone, Austin folk group Okkervil River will bring their popular tunes on as direct support. Last year, these guys re-released the tenth anniversary of their album Black Sheep Boy, they have a new album due later this year, and they have a new single called “R.I.P.” that’s pretty solid. The indie punk of San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma will also be on the bill while Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit will be on hand to open things up. The all ages show has gates at 6 pm and tickets for $10, with proceeds going to Feeding Texas.
Reverend Horton Heat. Photo: Crystal Huffman
You might want to find yourself at Warehouse Live when the psychobilly greatness of Reverend Horton Heat comes over to the ballroom. The Rev has been doing his rockabilly with punk attitude for over twenty years now, his live shows are always mesmerizing, and his last full length REV was his best in a good while. He just dropped a single called “Hardscrabble Woman,” and he’s an act everyone needs to catch at least once. He’ll have the one man gospel revival sounds of Texas’ Lincoln Durham on as direct support. Durham has made a name as a heck of a performer, and his latest release Revelations of A Mind Unravelling is pretty impressive. Of course, if you’re attending this show, then you need to catch Unknown Hinson who’ll also be on the bill. Known more for the voice of Early Cuyler on animated show Squidbillies, Hinson is one of those acts that you have to see for yourself. The high energy ska of Houston’s Los Skarnales will be on hand to open the all ages show with doors at 7 pm and tickets for $10.
You can celebrate the artwork of Daniel Shaw over at Vinal Edge for the Sawblade Tenth Anniversary show. Shaw has been doing punk rock art for over twenty years, though only ten under the name Sawblade. His stuff is pretty intense, the show will have items specifically for this show that you can’t buy anywhere else, and Shaw will spin records as well. The 100% FREE event is all ages, there’s gratis beer for the adults, and it runs from 7 pm to 11 pm.
You can head by Mucky Duck to catch the bluesy tunes of Houston’s Nathan Quick. Quick busts his tail pretty hard while performing these soulful songs that sound like he’s been travelling a weary road. His mix of energy and grit when he performs are hard for most to duplicate, and his latest release City Lights has a rough sound that’s hard to beat. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and tickets between $15 and $17.
Giorgio Murderer. Photo: Adam Bubolz
I’d guess however, that most of you would be at Walters to catch the electrifying and highly energized sounds of King Khan & the Shrines. Easily one of my favorite acts going, and also one of the greatest live sets you can see, this band is like setting your hair on fire while dancing to Sam Cooke songs. It’s also pretty damn cool that a guy who’s as political as Khan has been with his latest drop of singles like “Children of The World” from The Invaders documentary soundtrack; is doing his shows in small clubs where fraudulent acts like Prophets of Rage are doing their “political” tunes in arenas. King Khan is definitely the real deal, and the shows with The Shrines are always amazing and like nothing else you can see anywhere else. One man punk machine, Giorgio Murderer will bring his lo-fi drum machine sounds on as direct support. Murderer has become known for a crazy live show, and last year’s Lazer Lord is pretty tight and strange at the same time. The DIY experimental guitar sounds of Houston’s Eli Winter will open the all ages show with doors at 8 pm and tickets between $16 and $18.
Satellite Bar will have the indie rock goodness of NOLA’s All People. Touring in support of their new album ALL PEOPLE, this four piece has gotten tons of praise for their insane live shows, and this album is incredibly solid. They’ll have the emo sounds of Houston’s football, etc. on as direct support. I feel like if you haven’t seen this three piece then you’re doing Houston wrong. Their EP last year, Disappear was easily one of my favorites, their live shows are always amazing, and they just dropped their entire discography, (re)move the chains with 100% of the proceeds going to help The Center Orlando. The math rock sounds of Austin’s Honey and Salt will also be on the bill while one of my favorite new Houston bands Cool Moon will open things up. Cool Moon dropped a release last year called August 2015 Demos that sounds better than most “demos” you’ll hear, and they’re like what we all wished Liz Phair would’ve sounded like when she got on a major label. This is a pretty stellar lineup with doors at 8 pm, and the all ages show has a TBA cover.
The Waughford will host Austin’s Shmu. Whether you’re a fan of them or not, you should definitely go early to check out Chris from BLSHS’ new project, SEXXES, as his debut track “Right Now” is pretty lit. Sunrise and Ammunition will be on hand to bring their proggy goodness to the bill as well. Because the facebook event page and the poster have different orders for the lineup, I have no idea who goes on first and who goes on last. The 21 & up show has doors at 8 pm and it’s $10.
Adventure Club. Photo: Courtesy of Artist
The Canadian EDM dubstep duo of Adventure Club will be over at Stereo Live. Part of what they’re calling the Texas Round Up Tour, these two are known for getting feet moving from the start to the end of their sets. Their latest release is a single called “Limitless,” and it’s in line with their usual jams. The 18 & up show has doors at 9 pm and tickets between $30 and $35.
You can get your dance on with Bombon over at Fox Hollow for the release of the new album from Royal Highness. The release of the album, Lo KeTu Quiera from the duo alongside sets from Gracie & Navo mean that this is probably the best way to end your evening. The show will have it’s always expected turnt up vibe with live percussion and lite bites from Boombox Taco. The 21 & up show is 100% FREE with RSVP before Friday, or $5 after that with doors at 9 pm.
Monday is the Fourth of July, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate it. The city of Houston will host their Freedom Over Texas festival with Darius Rucker from Hootie & the Blowfish who will headline. The Eli Young Band is also set to perform, as well as The Suffers and Brooke Eden. The all ages affair has $5 tickets until July 3rd, then they’re $8 to $10, with gates opening at 4 pm.
The Houston Symphony Orchestra will be at Miller Outdoor Theatre for their Summer Symphony Nights. The all ages event will feature some of your favorite orchestral tunes including a favorite, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” The all ages evening gets going around 8:30 pm with fireworks to follow, and it’s 100% FREE.
Handsome Beast. Photo: Orlando Sanchez
Tuesday you could head to Nightingale Room to catch another rousing set from Houston’s Handsomebeast. These guys are pure energy from the moment they take the stage to the moment they’re done, and their latest release Sexy Face Reaction Time shows off just a hint of their energy. The folk rock goodness of Houston’s Grisbee will be on hand to get things started. Last year these guys dropped a pretty stellar album called Sail Another Day that turns the folk you’re used to on its head. The 21 & up show has doors at 7 pm and it’s 100% FREE.
Over at Satellite Bar, you can catch the return of Houston’s The Escatones. Though their last album was two years ago with The Replacement, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth checking out. As I recall, their live shows were always highly energetic and fun as well. They’ll have the garage rock of Tulsa’s Dead Shakes on as direct support, while the alt rock of Houston’s A More Perfect Union will go on prior. The alterna rock sounds of Empty Shells will open the all ages show with doors at 7:30 pm and a TBA cover.
That’s about all that’s happening around town this week. No matter what you do, remember that it’s also fourth of July weekend, and that a safe ride home could also mean avoiding a night in jail.