Queen of Tears: The Best of The Week
Photo: Courtesy of Artist
Well, as the weather becomes increasingly more harsh, there’s still more than enough happening around town. Usually, this time of year has a mix of legends and newcomers rolling through Houston, and this week is no exception. Here’s where you can warm up this week.
On Wednesday over at Rudyard’s, you can catch a great local show that will be headlined by the noise psych sounds of Houston’s Kose. Kose has that sound where it feels like it’s a little improvised, yet structured. I really like how their live shows go, where the duo brings that element of chaos thrown in. Their self titled album from last year, “Kose” is pretty great. They’ll have the psyched out dreamy pop of Austin’s The Sour Notes on the show as well. This band has so many different elements to their sound, that it’s better to just tell you that they’re good than attempt to pigeonhole them into a genre. They dropped a great album last year called “Do What May” that should give you an idea of their sound. The electronic mixed dream psych of Houston’s Mantra Love will open the show. The doors are at 8:00, the show is 21 & up, and the cover is $5.00.
Of course, no one would blame you if you chose to venture over to Continental Club to catch the surf guitar twang of Los Straitjackets. The Nashville group, who’s been around since 1988, is known for wearing Mexican wrestling masks and playing mostly surf rock. This go around, the band is here in support of their latest, last year’s “Deke Dickerson Sings The Great Instrumental Hits.” As an added bonus, Dickerson will be in tow to perform with the legendary act. The lounge sounds of Houston’s Clouseaux will get things going, with doors at 8:00 and a $20.00 cover for the 21 & up show.
Out at the Dosey Doe Big Barn in Woodlands, Ezra Charles will bring his Boogie Woogie show to life. The king of the Texas blues piano will be telling tales about boogie woogie and its’ roots in our great state. The all ages show isn’t one that includes dinner, but that just means it’s a lower cover for $15.00 with doors at 8:00.
Thursday you could be starting off at Rudyard’s when Beta Theater presents their first Triple Header show of 2015. The shows feature three local comics performing twenty minute sets each, and are always a good amount of bang for your buck. This show will have up and comer, and fellow New Yorker Zahid Dewji doing a twenty minute set. One night, very late, I got to see Zahid drop a fifteen minute set at the Saint Dane’s open mic; and it was pretty magical. Jermaine Warren, aka Jimmy Jam will also be doing a twenty minute set, that should be as entertaining as it was to see him perform recently at MKT Bar. Warren makes funny videos, and his stand-up is pretty golden. Rounding out the twenty minute sets, is Kazeem Rahman. Rahman seems to be getting stronger by the shows he’s been doing, and his impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger is pretty amazing. Of course Houston’s own Bob Morrissey will be hilariously hosting the show. There are two shows at 7:00 and 9:00, it’s 21 & up, and the cover for either is a paltry $6.00.
There’s also the Lubbock, Texas sounds of Ross Cooper over at Continental Club. The American artist has gotten praise from tons of publications, and his latest album, “Give It Time” has received all sorts of accolades and love. The show is 21 & up with doors at 10:00 and no mention of cover.
If you’d rather catch some out of town comedy, then you should skip the joke stealing act of Carlos Mencia and head straight to Joke Joint Comedy Showcase for the hilarious and original humor of John Tole. Tole, a tatted up metalhead does comedy on all sorts of topics ranging from life and death to everything in between. Tole dropped a pretty strong album in 2013 called “Reign In Laughs,” and he’s definitely a force to see live. With appearances all over the country and on fests like Oddball; his alt room style will be interesting to catch at a traditional club. The feature act this week will be Outlaw Comic and Houston stand-up legend, Andy Huggins. Huggins has been on fire lately, and by recording his first album recently; it’s like he’s hitting his stride. FPH Sammy winner Ashton Womack will be hosting, and slaying audiences as he’s known to do. There’s one show at 8:00 on Thursday, two on Friday at 8:00 and 10:30, and two on Saturday also at 8:00 and 10:30. All shows carry a $16.00 cover charge.
Your Friday has just a bunch of options that start off over at Discovery Green for the screening of the beautiful film, “March of The Penguins.” As with all of these screenings, it’s a bring your own blanket affair that’s fun for the whole family. Get there early & bring your camera for a photo-op with Penguin on Break from Puppet Pizzazz. The pics are from 6:00 to 7:30, and the film starts at 7:30, with a pet friendly policy the event is 100% FREE.
Since you’re on that side of town, you might as well stop off over at MKT Bar, for the ongoing series of Beta Theater Comedy Night shows. This week, the show still has a killer brew special from 8th Wonder, and they’ll also have a more traditional stand up club show. This week, local stand-up Victor Tran curated the show that will have Ed Blake headline. Blake has gotten much attention from his recent health issues, but he’s also one of the funniest comics going in Houston. Barry Laminack of ESPN radio will also be on the show, and he’ll bring his jokes that cover everything from reality tv to relationships to the show. Newcomer, Son Tran will host on the show that’s all ages, gets going around 9:00, and is 100% FREE.
If you’re looking to just get your groove on, then Fitzgerald’s has a barn burner when Children of Pop throw a party prior to leaving on tour. The show which will not only feature the up and coming masters of electronic pop, will also feature performers who have remixed tracks for the band. At the top of that list is Josiah Gabriel. Noah is really going to blow your minds when you hear what the new Josiah Gabriel album sounds like. He’s really changing things up, and he’s definitely on the top of a short list of great electronic producers in this town. Austin’s WEZ will also be on hand, as will the boogiepop of Ft. Worth’s Ronnie Heart. The electro dance of Houston’s Promenade will be there, as will the high energy and electronic wizardry of LIMB. If you’re lucky, James will drop some of his new LIMB material at this show. Of course, things will get started with the smooth jamz of Yung Slutty, and the entire show will feature visuals from FLCON FCKER. The all ages affair has doors at 8:00 downstairs with a cover of $10.00.
Walters has a pretty great show as well, when they host the fuzzy retro garage rock of Dallas’ The Deathray Davies. The recently reunited band will be here to play songs from their back catalog, most notably their 2005 release, “The Kick and The Snare.” They’ll have the garage rock pop of Houston’s Mikey and The Drags on as direct support. These guys have that certain something that even their 2013 album, “On The Loose!” only partially captured; and they’re definitely worth seeing live. The tripped out multifaceted jazz of Howl and the Rougarou will also be on hand, while the bizarre garage rock noise of The Wiggins will open things up. The show has doors at 8:00, it’s all ages, and the cover is a measly $8.00.
If you’d rather catch up on some soul from the past, then you should make it out to Arena Theater to hear the legendary sounds of Gladys Knight. I shouldn’t have to “sell” you too much on this show. I mean, the string of hits she has to her catalog are more than enough reason to make it out for this show. She’s here in support of her latest, “Gladys Knight,” a retrospective from last year. The show doesn’t mention an opener, but the doors are at 8:30, and the tickets are between $45.00 and $65.00.
Over at Mangos, they’ll have the garage punk of Austin’s Basketball Shorts. The great and energetic way that these guys sound, reminds me of the first time I heard Cheap Girls, except these guys still sound nice and rough. They dropped a great album last year called “The Houston Sessions.” The throwback garage surf of Austin’s Those Howlings will also be there, complete with their almost doo wop vines. A band I wish played more, Houston’s Muhammadali will also be there to bring their fuzz pop punk to life. The trippy psych sounds of Houston’s Silver Blueberry will be there to open things up with their garage rock groove. The all ages show has doors at 9:30, and the cover is TBA.
Saturday, you have a good amount of options that should start off over at Warehouse Live with the Bayou City Burlesque and Circus Arts Festival. So, you may or may not know who Kiki Maroon is, but you should know that she’s worked her butt off to put this thing together. The star of her own Kiki’s Sordid Sideshow has pulled out all of the stops with an event that’s only partially burlesque based. Jugglers, pint sized pole dancers, sideshow acts and a bizarre filled with shops from FYHA and burlesque props are just a part of the festivities. Stunts, interactive intermissions, and world class performers will be there to amaze and wonder you, while Mills McCoin and others usher you throughout the entire affair. The VIP option is sold out, but you can still grab yourself some GA tickets between $20.00 and $30.00. The doors are at 7:00 and it’s an 18 & up show.
However, you might have missed B.E. Godfrey since he moved away, but he’s back to play a show over at Walters. His slower and more focused folky sound mixed with electronics is definitely one you should see in person. His “Wild Desperation” album is one that will have you humming along with every listen. He will have the Gulf Coast meets Panama City swagger of Houston’s Deep Cuts on the bill before they leave for an East Coast tour. Last year, these guys made me an instant fan with their amazing “Love Grows” EP. The folky bluegrass of Austin’s The Gents will also be performing. I’ve never seen these guys, but I really enjoyed the fast pace of their “The Gents” EP. Sergio from Buxton and Hayley Barnes have teamed up to form Ancient Cat Society, who will open things up. Their sound is folky, poppy, and lovely; and their album “Stay Home” is simply beautiful. This is a pretty killer bill that’s all ages with doors at 8:00 and an $8.00 cover.
If you like a FREE show, then you can hear an artists I feel like I’m getting blue in the face telling you about, the soulful Kristal Cherelle. Over at the Vine Wine Room, Cherelle will bring her soulful sounds to life complete with her acoustic guitar and her amazing voice. Last year she released her debut album, “Fighter” and it’s still one I listen to almost daily. The show starts at 7:00 and runs until 10:00, and it’s 100% FREE.
Out at The Dosey Doe Big Barn, you can catch a glimpse of what country music was like before Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus turned it into pop crap; when Larry Gatlin performs. Part of the Gatlin Brothers, Larry has over thirty hits to his name, and he’s always a super great guy to see live. I’m guessing he’ll close his set out with his song, “Houston(Means I’m One Day Closer To You).” Your ticket means that you get dinner included, which is served between 6:00 and 7:30. Tulsa’s Mary Sarah will open the show with her mix of traditional and modern country music. The show gets going at 7:30 and the tickets range between $78.00 and $118.00.
If you’d rather just dance, then over at Fitzgerald’s you can catch the future wave dance sounds of Austin’s Night Drive. The duo have been blowing up as of late with their throwback to eighties new wave mixed with contemporary edm. Their latest drop, the “Young Rivals” single proved that these guys have what it takes to make it on a larger scale. They’ll have the indie dream pop of Houston’s Telephantom on the bill as well. This group sounds like you took about four different genres and blended them together, and they should be interesting to catch live. Houston’s Chandelier will be on hand, while DJ FREDster will open things up. The doors are at 8:00, the show is all ages, and it’s FREE if you’re 21 & up, or $5.00 if you’re a minor.
Mangos will have Denton’s Black James Franco performing their blend of soul and indie rock. The trio has a bit of a jam band quality to their jammy tunes, but then they draw you in with an epic guitar solo. The experimental psych rock of Houston’s Disfrutalo! will also be there to blow everyone away with their acid dripped tunes. The four piece psych folk of Denton’s Space State will also perform, while Jeremy Carswell & The Nymphs will open things up with their thick and new wave guitar sound. The show starts at 9:00, it’s all ages, and the cover is still TBA.
On Sunday you can head over to The Corkscrew for the first Sketchbook Saloon of 2015, hosted by artist and teacher Hannah Bull. This time, the subject will be entertainer and cosplay enthusiast Wild Kat. She’ll be modeling in various positions that are said to include a giant martini glass. As per all of these shows, you have to bring your own supplies for your medium of art. Things get going at 2:00, and the cover is $10.00 for members, $15.00 for new members, and $20.00 for photographers.
You could venture out to The Big Barn at Dosey Doe to catch one of the greatest performers I’ve ever caught live, and a living country music legend; Crystal Gayle. You should know her from her massive catalog of hits that include, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” Gale puts on a pretty impressive live show, and scientifically speaking; this could be one of your last chances to see her live. The show includes dinner served between 6:00 and 7:30, and Gayle will have a full band with her for this performance. The music starts at 7:30, and the tickets are between $98.00 and $158.00.
Of course, you might rather want to grab some R&B smoothness, and if you do; then you should make it to Arena Theater for Brian McKnight. You might remember McKnight from his hits like “Back At One,” “Anytime,” or even “The Only One For Me;” but all have his signature set of amazing pipes. I mean, as someone who’s caught him live, this guy can really sing. His latest album, 2013’s “More Than Words” just proved that he can still really sing. He’ll have the sultry sounds of Algebra Blessett as his opener. Blessett dropped her debut album last year called “Recovery” and it’s still gaining plenty of plays. Things get started with doors at 8:00 and tickets between $25.50 and $45.50.
You could however, head over to Bayou Music Center to catch actor and comedian, Chris Tucker. Long before he was making movies with Jackie Chan, Tucker was known more as a stand-up comic, and as of late, he’s back where he belongs. From what I hear, he’s a much stronger comic than a movie star. The doors are at 8:00 and the tickets are between $55.50 and $75.50.
On Tuesday, you can head to Fitzgerald’s to catch the folk pop of Toronto’s Bahamas. So, this guy, aka Alfie Jurvanen makes some pretty great albums that tend to be basic yet beautiful. His latest, “Bahamas Is Alfie” from last year keeps in that tradition. This go around, he mixed in hints of blues and well, it’s just great for what it is. He’s have a solo set from Wisconsin’s Field Report on the bill as openers. Field Report has a David Gray kind of vibe, but much more modernized. Their newest album, 2014’s “Marigolden” contains a ton of folky pop gems that are as soulful as they are catchy. Because this show is downstairs, there’s a good chance it could sell out. The show is all ages the doors are at 7:00, and the tickets are between $13.00 and $17.00.
So, not bad for the early part of the year. Remember that if you’re an artist, and you don’t see yourself here, then you can always put your show or event on our FPH event page. No matter what you do, please be safe and drink like an adult if not for yourself; then at least for your fellow Houstonians.